HOW DID GOD INSPIRE THE BIBLE?
HOW DID GOD INSPIRE THE BIBLE?
A Facebook Poster at DEBATE! Torah Talmud and Christian New Testament was taking up his theme that the New Testament is inherently supercessionist in “proving” Yeshua has done away with the Law. The debating began with Mark 7:19 and the infamous parenthesis. “19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) This particular Facebook Page invites debate between Observant Jews, Messianic Jews, and anti-Messianic Jews for Judaism types. Many of us, believers in the Jewish Yeshua make the argument that Churchianity has warped the Jewish Yeshua and made of him a Greek demigod. We argue that Christian theology twisted Yeshua’s words to do away with the Law; and that therefore a believer in Yeshua if Jewish is called to remain Torah Observant, and if called from the gentiles to work towards Torah Observance.
The other side of the debate is that Christianity did not warp Jesus’ meaning and that indeed he was a False Messiah. In support of this, the controversial verse Mark 7:19 was trotted out. For if this verse is accurately translated from an accurate Greek Text, it would indeed indicate that the New Testament advocates the idea that The Law was “nailed to the cross” with Jesus. However, we, the Torah Observant Messianics of the Yeshua variety believe this parenthetical statement was tacked on to the end of Mark 7:19, in order to serve the agenda of those early Churchmen who were de-Judaizing the New Testament.
Several responses dispute the claim that the poster made. We all have responded with variations on the fact that this parenthetical statement is not found in many early Greek manuscripts and in not one Aramaic. It is not present in the Authorized King James Version for instance. Our Jew for Judaism friend shifted his attack to the existence of various translations and various source texts used in the compilation of the New Testament making the very Canon of the B’rit HaKodesh non-authoritative. “It wasn’t until the second Century that these writings started to take form and what they used were copies of copies with NO autographs/signatures indicating who or when they were written.” My response follows.
Is this not exactly the process that “higher critical analysis” attributes to the entire Bible, “Old and New Testament”?
Why is this process (if it occurred) at odds with the idea of divinely inspired scripture?
When we say any of the Tanakh is the inspired word of God that is not to say that it is either written by the finger of God in the Torah, or dictated in someway to the scribes who wrote the Prophets, and Writings etc.
One way the Divine may use to create scripture is the carving away that which is not Scripture. Given the Fractal nature of the created universe, it stands that understanding how our bodies are constructed and how they work, may be a clue as to how the Creator of our bodies creates Scripture.
We all use examples from that which we know. I am a neurologist and will use neuroscience as an example of the carving out process.
One surprising non-intuitive fact is that the motor cortex though arranged analogously to say keys on a piano, when directly played, the effect is negative. When you see a patient with a stroke, the opposite side of the body is weak or paralyzed. But, the weakness or paralysis is not flaccid. It is spastic. The muscle tone is greatly increased. So, it is as if the default status of the neuro-muscular system is spasticity. When we move our bodies, we rarely use the keys directly. (Unless I say, “raise your right arm”, maybe.) When one does any spontaneous action, they mainly are aware of willing oneself to get up, pour a cup of coffee etc. Then various programs are selected, as if player piano rolls are used to play a programmed musical piece. This is accomplished by selectively inhibiting the inhibitors of inhibitory pathways. It’s complicated but not unfathomable. My point is not to either show off or teach neuroscience.
But my point is that 99% of the time our movements are carved out of the default spasticity.
The peoples of the world all have had bodies of myths, legends and stories. Most have now been relegated to anthropologic books; some are vaguely echoed in fairy tales.
The Hebraic-Canaanite corpus of mythology and legends were a basic folkloric system. It was not in any way better, or more “accurate” a history of the World or the tribe.
However, as the Hebraic Folklore was passed down, the invention of writing became the next new thing! Smart papyrus! Real tablets.
The belief that their tribal god was the God of the Universe differentiated their mythos from all others. Each individual strand of every individual story had to reflect that fact; and if it did not, it was not incorporated in the writing. The various writings were also edited with the same mindset. Thus the various higher critical analyses do show a J and a P etc. But if this is the mechanism behind the creation of Scripture, why does that negate a Divine input? The level at which G~d intervened in the creation of Scripture was in creating an overarching theme, and allowing writers and scribes to recognize which details furthered the plot and which were either irrelevant or at odds with the picture.
The Torah itself is a character in the Torah! (Just as its author, Moses, is a main character.) The Story says that Moses wrote the Torah. As for the remainder of the Tanakh, the Prophets, and the Writings, they make no claim as to their representing God’s word. It is their presence in the canon that serves as their bona fides.
This is where I came in. Samuel DeLemos wrote: It wasn’t until the second Century that these writings started to take form and what they used were copies of copies with NO autographs/signatures indicating who or when they were written.”
I ask, so what? This is how all Scripture came to be. It is at the level of compilation and even more at the weeding out of extraneous or contradictory material that Divine Inspiration occurs! SCRIPTURE IS CARVED OUT OF man-made mythology; and that is where the Divine’s input comes.