Seneca: The Fate of an Unused Bookroll — The Textual Mechanic

There has been a lot of talk in recent years on the length of time an ancient book, or even “autograph” may have been in use. I briefly addressed this topic in “Myths and Mistakes in New Testament Textual Criticism,” Chapter two “Myths About Autographs.” In that chapter I cite a comment from the second…

Seneca: The Fate of an Unused Bookroll — The Textual Mechanic

Hating Vain Thoughts — The Scriptorium Daily

Just a quick note here on the blog, to hold a link to a helpful sermon from Richard Chenevix Trench, “On the Duty of Hating Vain Thoughts.” It’s from an 1886 collection of sermons freely available at various places online, but I excerpted the sermon itself and am sharing it (along with my own highlighting)…

Hating Vain Thoughts — The Scriptorium Daily

Atonement in Heaven

This article argues effectively that Christ presented Himself in heaven for the forgiveness of humanity’s sins. The only quibble I have is that no ancient Jewish or early Christian source labels the high priest’s inner-sanctum blood manipulation an “offering.”

Lev. 6.30 explains: But any sin offering whose blood is brought into the tent of meeting to make atonement in the Holy Place must not be eaten; it must be burned up. Here is mention of the sin offering’s blood to be brought into the Holy Place for atonement of sins.

Lev. 10.18 also notes aspects of the different sacrifices and instructs that the animal’s blood that is presented in the Holy Place makes atonement: “Since its blood was not taken into the Holy Place, you should have eaten the goat in the sanctuary area, as I commanded.”

Finally, Lev. 16.11-17 gives the mechanics where first Aaron (or his sons) makes propitiation for their own sins and then the animal’s blood for the congregation’s sins are brought into the inner sanctuary for sprinkling upon the atonement cover of the ark:

“Aaron shall bring the bull for his own sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household, and he is to slaughter the bull for his own sin offering. He is to take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before the Lord and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense and take them behind the curtain. He is to put the incense on the fire before the Lord, and the smoke of the incense will conceal the atonement cover above the tablets of the covenant law, so that he will not die. He is to take some of the bull’s blood and with his finger sprinkle it on the front of the atonement cover; then he shall sprinkle some of it with his finger seven times before the atonement cover.

“He shall then slaughter the goat for the sin offering for the people and take its blood behind the curtain and do with it as he did with the bull’s blood: He shall sprinkle it on the atonement cover and in front of it. In this way he will make atonement for the Most Holy Place because of the uncleanness and rebellion of the Israelites, whatever their sins have been. He is to do the same for the tent of meeting, which is among them in the midst of their uncleanness. No one is to be in the tent of meeting from the time Aaron goes in to make atonement in the Most Holy Place until he comes out, having made atonement for himself, his household and the whole community of Israel.

All the bolded quotes are from the NIV. Perhaps the Hebrew does not mention an “offering” but I am at a loss for what else they could be if they were not some kind of presentation or offering. This is nevertheless a good article which explains the scene as described in the book of Hebrews.

Salt Losing Its Savor (Part 2)

Here is Part 1:

The first post was produced nearly 6 years ago and additional thoughts about the reference to “salt” in the scriptures have occurred to me while studying the bible as a whole.

Probably the greatest impediment to find meaning in the text is to treat it atomistically, that is to divide or view parts of the bible as unconnected fragments. Instead, the reader should meditate upon what the text is saying, as Psalm 1 instructs. This helps the reader to find concepts in scripture and not just focus on the words by themselves. Salt, in the New Testament, for instance, has the same conceptual range in all its usages.

Salt is Figurative in the New Testament

The term “salt” (halas) is used 8 times by the N.T. writers to convey the same idea each time. Only 4 verses contain its usage. Mk. 9.50 has 3 instances of the term “salt” spoken by The Master which cover the way “salt” is used in all the other places in scripture:

Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another (ESV)

Here, Mark employs a different term than Matthew or Luke for the idea “lost its saltiness.” (Analon), which means “unsalted,” or “lacking salt.” In my first post, I discussed how Luke and Matthew should be literally translated, “become foolish” (morantha), since that is what the term means. It is employed to show the contrast to the Holy Spirit’s fruits of meekness, peace and love in Matthew 5.13. Luke 14.34-35, on the other hand, uses the term in context of counting the cost of discipleship, continually turning from foolishness.

Having “salt,” in the New Testament, means having a Godly goodness which reflects and comes from God. This goodness is expressed to other Christians as well as spiritual outsiders. Conversely, if someone or some action is unsalted, then it probably will be without goodness. If the person becomes foolish (morantha), then Godly goodness will be absent as well. Perhaps The Master defined “salt” when He said it was “good” in Mk. 9.50 and Lk. 14.34.

Paul and Jesus Disclaim a Divine Council

In him we were also chosen,  having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will (Eph. 1.11 NIV)

In this verse, Paul affirms God’s working in all things, solely by His own will. This, of course, does not mean He cannot teach and interact with angelic beings. It seems appropriate that The Divine would have relational interactions with other beings not human as He has with the children of Adam. However, here in Ephesians, Paul informs us that God’s purpose is entirely His own.

Jesus Interprets Psalm 82

It seems that some biblical scholars ignore Jesus’ teaching of the meaning of statements found in Psalm 82. Here is Psalm 82 in full:

A psalm of Asaph. God presides in the great assembly; he renders judgment among the “gods”: “How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. “The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. “I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’ But you will die like mere mortals; you will fall like every other ruler.” Rise up, O God, judge the earth, for all the nations are your inheritance.

In John 10.34-35, Jesus gives the meaning regarding the reference to “gods” from Psalm 82:

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’  ? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— (NIV)

Therefore, what Psalm 82 speaks about is humans who are connected with God by a relationship. The Old Covenant (The Mosaic Law), established a relationship where God would forgive their sins through sacrifice. The heads of the Old Covenant were the Aaronic Priests and Levites who taught and ruled the Israelites in spiritual matters. These are the “gods to whom the word of God came.”

Commentary on Psalm 82

Though some want to render verse one where the Hebrew “the congregation of El” means “divine council,” this translation is impossible from the context. The verses that follow all refer to human judges and rulers. Therefore the text is about how they will be judged according to the way they ruled God’s people. The judges are not counseling God on how to rule but will be on the receiving end of judgment themselves based on their actions.

The words of Jesus and Paul show there is no such thing as a divine council. It is not needed. Instead, God will hold accountable those who are set over His people during this earthly life.

181. “All Brothers”: The Unbearable Cost of Roman Catholic Universalism — Vatican Files

L’articolo 181. “All Brothers”: The Unbearable Cost of Roman Catholic Universalism sembra essere il primo su Vatican Files.

181. “All Brothers”: The Unbearable Cost of Roman Catholic Universalism — Vatican Files
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