Recently, I posted two entries that stirred some thought:
As I continued to ponder the topics, I realized that most of us have some ‘Biblical’ paradigms that are not informed by Scripture. In cases, these paradigms are ‘traditional,’ or ‘translator/editor induced’ and in cases, they are more subtle.
Let’s take a walk and consider some of the paradigms we have that may be formed from quite the ‘unscriptural’ basis.
1. The most useless page in your Bible: Here is an interesting paradigm we may not even realize the origin of. In the middle of almost every Bible I have ever held is a page that needs to be torn out. It is the most useless page in the Bible!!
We think in terms of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ testaments and even have a blank page in the middle of our Bible to ‘tell’ us where they are divided… But have you ever stopped to consider that that blank page is a creation of man… a figment of some publishers imagination ?
The breathed Word of God is not a two-part deal. It is all breathed of God and He never divided it into sections… In fact, the Apostles and Yeshua Himself, only used the Tanach, the Torah, Writings and Prophets. The whole OT/NT idea is a false man-made paradigm that has no basis in Scripture. That blank useless page (unless you fill it with notes about how all preceding pages have equal value with the following ones… Torah apologetics…) creates a false paradigm.
2. Errant “Scriptures” Yep, I said it! The inerrant Word of God has errors. Bear with me…
How many people have the idea that Rabbi Sha’ul converted to Christianity? Well, Scripture never says that, but I bet the chapter heading in your Bible for Acts 9 says it… I’m sitting here with my NASB and if I do a search of the word ‘conversion’ it comes up twice. Acts 9 and in Acts 15. The first is editor commentary on Paul and the second rightly speaks of Gentiles converting to ‘The Way’ which involved Acts 15:21 explains involved learning Moses (Torah) in the synagogue on the Sabbath.
This is one example of editor commentary through titles, etc, prejudicing the reader toward a particular paradigm that may not be supported by a close reading of the text. What false notions do we have that are created or fostered by ‘editorial commentary?’
3. Chapter and verse induced error. Have you ever stopped to ponder the fact that chapter and verse divisions are NOT inspired? In fact, they were not added until the 14th or 15th centuries.
Granted, they help keep us ‘on the same page,’ and are a ‘necessary evil,’ but how often do they wrongly divide a sentence, thought or paragraph? After 11 years of ministry and 35+ years as a student of Scripture, and KNOWING this false paradigm inducing problem, I still have to remind myself to read beyond the end of a chapter or ‘proof-text’ to be sure there is not important missing context due to verse or chapter divisions.
Simply reading the context around a verse can demonstrate a false understanding of the verse. Do not fall prey to ‘chapter and verse division induced error.’
4. False concepts. Often we can fall prey to a wrong paradigm simply by allowing traditional vernacular to prejudice our understanding. An example is the commonly used phrase, ‘Feast of the Jews.’
Using it perpetuates a false understanding that Passover, Pentecost Trumpets, etc are the ‘Feasts of the Jews.’ Yes, the Jews do celebrate them, but Scripture tells us that they are ‘The Feasts of the Lord’ or, ‘the Lord’s appointed times.’ See for your self.
Another common false concept, as an illustration, is the interchangeable use of ‘Jews’ and ‘Israel.’ Even today that is common in the news and newspapers, but very few understand that the Jews are only one tribe of Israel. Scripture identifies the House of Israel as being three tribes (maybe four, depending how you count). The House of Judah includes the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Levi and the absorbed tribe of Simeon. However, by not understanding this simple piece of information leads to many false concepts and wrong paradigms as relates to how we understand Scripture and prophecy.
5. Yeshua at Creation. Most in Christendom recognize the presence of Yeshua at creation. John 1, Colossians 1 and Hebrews 1, among other passages, inform our understanding. But do we stop and think of the implications?
If Yeshua was at creation, is part of the Godhead, and was at the very least, aware of Genesis 2:2-3 being spoken, then what makes us think that ‘Yeshua, the same yesterday, today and forever’ would change what was ‘good,’and an ordinance for all mankind before sin entered the world?
6. Yeshua at Mt. Sinai! This is one that few people ever stop to consider!! Who gave the Torah at Mt. Sinai? (James 4:12 points to Yeshua as the Lawgiver and Judge!) Or, who did Moses and the 70 elders eat and drink with on Mount Sinai? (Exodus 24:9-11) In that vein, what did Yeshua mean when He said, ‘If you love Me, keep MY commandments?’ Who were the children of Israel in covenant with? Hmmmm…
Just stopping to ponder the implications of Yeshua being on Mt. Sinai at the giving of the Torah is HUGE. That is a paradigm-shifting concept!
7. There is NO covenant with the Gentiles. Search the Scriptures. High and low!! You will not EVER find a covenant with the Gentiles. It is not there!! Prepare for another conceptual paradigm shift.
The ‘New Covenant,’ related to Jeremiah in chapter 31:31-34 is cited almost verbatim in Hebrews 8. Notice three very important things:
- The covenant is with the house of Israel and the House of Judah. (No mention of Gentiles.)
- The result of the covenant is that the Torah (look up the word for ‘law’ in the Jeremiah passage) will be written on our hearts.
- The covenant has NOT been completed. The evidence of its completion is that nobody will teach his brother or neighbor as all will know the Lord.
A final, less obvious, point is the fact that the Hebrew and the Greek use wording that points to a REnewed covenant, not a NEW covenant. That is more detail than this post is for, but contributes to the paradigm-shift the simple reading of the Word will give. More on it in my post, Of Elephants and Theologians.
8. Grafting in. Now, lest you be worried, after the previous point, there is allowance for us, the Gentile, however, when we understand the covenant, we also need to understand our place. We are grafted INTO Israel, not into some new religion. Messiah Yeshua is the promised Messiah of Israel! Read more about what it means to be grafted in.
I hope these diverse paradigm-shifting concepts help to identify any error we may be holding on to and help lead us into the Truth of our Father’s Word!!