Books that had been proven to be useful for worship and meaningful for understanding our relationship to God. Dr. Martin Luther King’s Bible
Ode of Solomon 10 1. The Lord has directed my mouth by His Word, and has opened my heart by His Light. 2. And He has caused to dwell in me His immortal life, and permitted me to proclaim the fruit of His peace. 3. To convert the lives of those who desire to come to Him, and to lead those who are captive into freedom. 4. I took courage and became strong and captured the world, and the captivity became mine for the glory of the Most High, and of God my Father. 5. And the Gentiles who had been dispersed were gathered together, but I was not defiled by my love for them, because they had praised me in high places. 6. And the traces of light were set upon their heart, and they walked according to my life and were saved, and they became my people for ever and ever. Hallelujah.
Gospel of Thomas 77. Jesus said, "I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there." 114. Simon Peter said to them, "Make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life.” Jesus said, "Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven."
Last Week’s Principles 1. Understand that the text that we have is the product of many interpreters. There is no understanding without interpretation. Good interpretation requires many readers 2. Good, on going, historical research into the language, customs and culture or the Bible informs informs the translation we use and should be used to inform our interpretation.
A common misstep:Missing the forest for the trees Prosperity Theology:･Deuteronomy 8:18: "But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day".･Malachi 3:10 "'Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,' says the LORD of hosts, 'if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.'" John 10:10 "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
A common misstep:Missing the forest for the trees Prosperity Theology: “The more I studied the Bible, however, I had to admit that the prosperity message did not line up with the tenor of Scripture. My heart was crushed to think that I led so many people astray. I was appalled that I could have been so wrong, and I was deeply grateful that God had not struck me dead as a false prophet!” Jim Bakker in I Was Wrong.
“God will reward signs of faith with health and wealth” • Matthew 21: 22 Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.’ • Mark 11:22-24 Jesus answered them, ‘Have* faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, “Be taken up and thrown into the sea”, and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received* it, and it will be yours.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord”, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 “God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny He has laid out for us”.
Mennonites in the USA • 109,000 members • 939 congregations.
Jo-Ann’s Limited List • Genesis 12:1-3 Promise to Abraham • Deuteronomy (the whole book) • Sermon on the Mount • The Lord’s Prayer • Isaiah’s Suffering Servant Psalms (Eg. chapter 53) • Philippians 2:6-11 “The Christ Hymn” • The Life of Jesus
Seeing the Forest for the Trees • Understand the context for which it was written. • Recognize to whom a particular book or passage is addressed. .
5. Recognition of patterns (meaning is encoded but the code is not a secret) 6. Keeping the big picture in view (both the book and the entire canon)
Understanding the Book of Deuteronomy King Jehu bowing Before Shalmanesar III
What is the law designed to do? • Is it the rules and regulations by which a society is governed? (See Deut 5:12-15) • Or is it a view of righteousness? Does it show how laws, customs, principles, should be applied? (look at Deut 10:16-22)
Deut 5:12-15 12 "Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
Deut 10:16-22 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt. 20 Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. 21 He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. 22 Your forefathers who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.
Extending righteousness and abundance to those excluded by economic and social forces
Deut 8: 11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
Looking for Patterns What is the greatest stumbling block when reading the Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings?
Judges: The Refrain The people did what was evil in God’s eyes Judges 2:11; 3:7, 12; 4:1; 6:1; 10:6; 13:1 Each person did what was right in his (or her) own eyes Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25
Deuteronomy as a Key Text • The Shema 6:4 • The Vision of Justice • The picture of leadership Chapter 18 • The curses and blessing Chapter 28 • The Renewal of the Covenant Chapter 30
If we read the Deuteronomic History (Joshua-2 Kings) as something written by God to us, what kind of story is it?
If we read it as the story that the Israelites tell about itself to God from exile and to remember in the future, what sort of story is it?
Reading Passages in the Gospels as parts of a Gospel as well as Jesus’ saying
Matt 18:10-14 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" ... "Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a shepherd hasa hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven thatone of these little ones should be lost. Luke 15:1-7 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, "This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: "Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.' Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven overone sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Understanding Jesus’ words in the context of the proclamation of the Kingdom Matthew 19:11-12 But he said to them, ‘Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.’
Don’t Loose sight of the Kingdom for the Forests!Read the canon through Jesus.