Friday, August 17, 2018

Some Christians oppose the Harrowing of Hell doctrine.

Which I consider very problematic giving the amount of Scriptural support the Harrowing of Hell has.

I've been an enthusiastic support of InspiringPhilsophy's videos on the Was Jesus a Copycat Savior playlist in-spite of my many doctrinal disagreements with him.  But the recently added video about Inanna includes him flat out saying there is no Biblical support for Jesus descending into the underworld.  I shall address how Christians should respond to this being compared to ancient Pagan myths at the bottom of this post.

Their only argument against it is Jesus telling the Thief on The Cross next to him that "I tell you this day you will be with me in Paradise".

1. If you believe the Parable of Lazarus and The Rich Man is an accurate literal depiction of how the After Life works (or did before The Cross) and not just an illustration based on the Pharisees own false views, it clearly has a Paradise in/next to Hades, Abraham's Bosom.

2.  My main argument on this.  An analysis of the actual Greek text can support putting a comma after "I tell you this day" meaning "this day" is not necessarily the day it will happen.  Jesus Crucifixion wasn't normal ( a fact skeptics point out) most Crucifixion victims took days to actually die.  And the evidence of Jesus dying sooner the expected is in the Gospels text itself, He died before the Romans even got to the leg breaking part.  So chances are the thief didn't even die the same day Jesus did, especially given how in the Hebrew reckoning there was only like 3 hours left when Jesus died.

3. InspiringPhilosophy is an Old Earth Creationist who will say "A day is like a thousand years" when it suits him.  After all Adam didn't literally die within 24 hours of eating the fruit did he?

Some might also feel it's contradicted by Jesus saying "Father into hands I commend my Spirit".  That's not about where he'll be located however.

Now to the clear Biblical Support.  If you haven't read it yet, you should read my break down of what "Hell" is Biblically.  Before the Cross Sheol/Hades is where all the dead went, including the righteous like Jacob and David.

Isaiah 24:21-22 foretells it.  Likewise with Zechariah 9:11.  Psalm 16:10 and 83:13 where David says "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.".  Psalm 139:8 might be relevant as well.

In Matthew 12:39-41 and Luke 11:29-32 Jesus says "as Jonah was in The Belly of the Whale so shall the Sun of Man be in the Hear(Core) of The Earth".  In Jonah 2:2 Jonah felt like he was in Sheol/Hell when he was in the Belly of the Whale leading some to speculate he technically died, but that's besides my point here.  Numbers 16:30-33 and Deuteronomy 32:22 confirm that the Core of The Earth is where Sheol is.

In Acts 2:27-31 Peter quotes the above mentioned Psalms in reference to the Resurrection of Jesus.  Peter also also discuses this in his Epistles (traditionally numbered as his first) to Jewish Churches in Asia Minor.  In Chapter 3 verses 19-20, and later in Chapter 4 verse 6 specifically saying Jesus proclaimed the Evangelion (Gospel) to the dead.

Paul in Romans 10:7 says Christ was in the Deep (Abyss).  Paul also discuses Christ Descent to the "lowest parts" in Philippians 2:9-10 and Ephesians 4:7-10.

So Paul alludes to it three times, Peter said it on more then one occasion, two Old Testament Prophets foretold it, two Davidic Palms foretold it and Jesus said it in a statement recorded in two Gospels.  Frankly it's affirmed more repeatedly and unambiguously then The Virgin Birth and yet the later is considered more heretical to neglect today.

It's also supported by understanding Easter as the fulfillment of Passover.  Jesus died on the 14th of Nisna as the Passover Lambs were being Slaughtered.  After that the Lambs were roasted, and then after being eaten any leftovers were required to be burned up before sunrise on the morning of the 15th of Nisan.  So if there is indeed a firey part of Hades/Sheol, Jesus traveled through it during those hours.  And then during the daylight hours the 15th he delivered the saints in Sheol exactly when Israel was delivered out of Egypt.  On the 16th of Nisan which was a weekly Sabbath he rested, and then on the 17th, the days Mordecai was honored and Haman hanged, Jesus Rose from The Dead.  Matthew 27:51-53 records that others arose from their graves sometime after Jesus did.  Maybe that was later on the 17th of maybe it was the 21st the last day of Unleavened Bread.

Seeing Egypt as Sheol typologically here is backed up by how Joseph is a type of Christ in Genesis. He was presumed dead to his family and then spent time as both a slave and prisoner in Egypt.  Then much later his body was taken out of Egypt at the Exodus.

The Early Church Fathers did affirm the doctrine, including Tertulian who IP likes to cite as the best Pre- Nicene precedent for a Homusion understanding of The Trinity.  And the Eastern Orthodox Church still considers it important to this day.  But it's come to be neglected in the West, possibly partially because of how it lends credence to Universal Salvation.

When some Richard Carrier type starts comparing this to Pagan myths about heroes or gods traveling to the Underworld, our response should be that Christ was Totally Victorious (1 Corinthians 15:55 "Grave" in the KJV is Hades).  Orpheus and Izanagi failed to save their Brides from Hades/Yomi, but Jesus got everyone out of Sheol/Hades he intended to (he may have completely emptied it and those in Hades in Revelation 20 have been added since, either way it will one day be fully emptied).  Inanna/Ishtar had to leave her Husband Dumuzid/Tammuz behind in her place, Jesus did not add anyone to Sheol to replace who he took out.

Basically, the Pagan versions are Bad News reinforcing the inevitably and inescapablness of Death.  The Gospel is The Good News, that as in Adam all Die so in Christ all shall be Made Alive, 1 Corinthians 15:22 (Cross reference with Romans 5).

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Sermon on Mars Hill in Acts 17 is a problem for The Sacred Name movement.

The Sacred Name movement often overlaps with the Hebrew Roots movement.  Not only do they think you have to say the proper names of Yeshua/Jesus and/or YHWH, but that you have to even get the specific pronunciation right, which of course different groups within the movement have different opinions on.  (For the record I think the proper pronunciation of YHWH is probably Yahuah.)

Acts 17:37 tells us that at least a few people became believers from the Sermon on Mars Hill.  And yet, Paul never mentioned Jesus by name in that Sermon.

"What about all those verses about calling on the name of The LORD/YHWH to be Saved?"

The Hebrew word Shem and Greek word Onoma mean more then just a set of letters or sounds used to identify someone, they include what The Name means. When Jesus says in Revelation 3:1 that Sardis has the "Onoma" of being alive but is dead, the KJV and other translations say "Name" but some instead say something like "Reputation".  And yet "Onoma" is the same word for "Name" used in the "All who call on the Name of The Lord shall be Saved" verses like Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13.

The Name of Yeshua/Y'shua/Yahshua/Yehoshua/Iesous/Jesus however you pronounce it means "YHWH is Salvation".  YHWH is generally agreed to in some way carry the meaning of "I AM that "I Am" (Exodus 3:14) a Name which implies Eternal Timeless Divinity.  Jesus explicitly identified himself with the I AM of the Burning Bush at least once in John 8:58-59.  Of course to some extent every time Jesus said Ego Eimi (Or Ena-Nan in the Aramaic Peshita) is of interest to theologians.  But I think the second most interesting example is John 18:5-8.  Many scholars compare the I Am statements with a predicate not to Exodus but rather to various I Am statements of YHWH in Isaiah 40-55.

The Salvation that Jesus came to offer is the Resurrection of The Dead, that is The True Gospel.  And that is what the Mars Hill Sermon ends on in Acts 17:31 and what really got people's attention according to the following verses.  Eternal Life is what Jesus promises in John 3:16 and also promises us we will never die.

There are other refutations of the Sacred Name movement's arguments out there.  Christ White did a video I watched years ago, some details of which reflect views I don't agree with, but the basic premise is right.
I reject most attempts to claim certain professing Christians aren't true believers because of what ever doctrine they might have you or I might disagree with.  Because 1 John 4:15 says that everyone that confesses Jesus Christ is The Son of God, God dwelleth in him and he in God, and Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:3 says you cannot say that Jesus if The Lord accept by The Holy Spirit.

Philippians 2:10-11 foretells that one day at the name of Jesus every Knee shall bow and all shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  So clearly eventually everyone will be Saved.

As a side note, NO ONE is calling on The Name of The Lord in Matthew 7:21-22, those people are doing the opposite, they are calling Him Lord (Kurios/Adonai/Mari) instead of calling Him by Name.  Doing things in His Name is not the same as calling upon it.  But that argument was more important to me back before I believed in Universal Salvation and was all about Free Grace Eternal Security.  I now view them as believers who'll be Weeping and Gnashing their teeth outside New Jerusalem, not as eternally damned.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The God of The Bible is both Masculine and Feminine.

Genesis 1:27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
In The Hebrew these two statements about the Creation of Mankind are not listed together for no reason, they explain each other.  Man was created Male and Female because they were created in the Image of God.

In Hebrew one common way to make a word or name grammatically feminine are to have them end with a Heh or a Teth.  Some names however end with a Heh but aren't considered Feminine for various reasons.  Among these are two forms of the word El (god) Elah and Eloah, both are used of YHWH.  Elohim being plural is frequently pointed out, but it's technically the plural of Eloah not merely of El.  Though -im is technically considered a Masculine plural while ending with a -th would be the Feminine plural, -im is used when the plural includes both male and female.

The name YHWH (I pronounce it Yahuah) itself ends with a Heh, as does the shortened form Yah, as does Ehyeh (I Am).  Yeshuah is a Hebrew word commonly translated Salvation that is acknowledged by scholars and the Strongs Concordance as being grammatically Feminine, it's the spelling of Yeshua (Jesus) with a Heh added at the end.  And it ends the same way as Yahuah.

Some want to primarily make The Holy Spirit the feminine aspect of The Trinity, because the Hebrew word for Spirit is itself Grammatically Feminine, and also because of the Sophia connection I talked about in Greek Words viewed as being Gnostic.  But in my view that does not make the Masculine and Feminine equation of the Trinity even enough.

Here is an Article about El Shaddai possibly referring to a Feminine Attribute of God.
 https://scribalishess.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/el-shaddai-and-the-gender-of-god/

The "Desire of Nations" in Haggai 2:7 is generally agreed by Christians to be Jesus, the word translated "Desire" there is Grammatically Feminine.  And it's the same with "Desire of Women" in Daniel 11:37 if like Chris White an Chuck Missler you view that as a Messianic Title.

If like me you've come to support a Mount of Olives Crucifixion Model.  That involves seeing The Red Heifer as a type of Jesus, and the Red Heifer was required to be Female (as were all Trespass offerings and certain Sin offerings).  That is apparent even in the KJV English, Heifer tends to be used of female Cows not Bulls.

Typologically I've argued that the Bride not the Groom represents Jesus in the Song of Solomon, and that the type of Jesus in Psalm 45 was a Woman as well.  And I've also talked about Venus being a Star of Bethlehem candidate.

Jesus's body was definitely assigned Male at Birth according to Luke's account of His Circumcision and Mary's time of purification being 40 days (it would have been 80 for a female).  And Jesus definitely presented as Male, or was assumed to be doing so, during his Ministry.  But the modern conceptions of a Bi-Gender, Non-Binary or Gender Fluid identity hadn't been developed yet.

What I'm saying is on a Spiritual Level Jesus was both Genders, Jesus too is called The Image of God by Paul.  He took the Sins of all Mankind upon himself on the Cross including including Sins committed by and against Women, Transgender, Intersex and Non-Binary human beings.  The Church is The Body of Christ, and it contains both Men and Women because within it there is neither Male or Female.

If you support Aramaic Primacy for the new Testament, the key Logos verses in John's Gospel say Miltha for Logos in the Peshita.  Miltha is a grammatically feminine noun but is refereed to in these verses with masculine pronouns creating a contradiction of normal Aramaic Grammar.
http://www.peshitta.org/bethgazza/Mystery%20of%20Miltha.htm

I'm not sure if the Memra equated with the Dabar of YHWH in some Aramaic Targum is Grammatically Feminine, but it looks like it could be.  Logos and Dabar are both grammatically masculine, but the feminine form of Dabar does appear in the Hebrew Scriptures as a personal name, Deborah.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Annihilationists use a lot of the same arguments as Universal Salvation supporters.

They will agree that references to a Judgment or Punishment itself do not prove endless punishment.  They'll likely agree with us on the Translation issues related to Olam, Aionios/Aionion and the Hell words.  But they might also agree that the Fire of the Lake of Fire is Eternal because it's the Fire of God.  And they'll also seek to define their view of God as more merciful.

I can also agree with them that something will be Annihilated, the something is Sin.  And I agree with them that the Punishment for Sin that Jesus paid for us is Death, and that Salvation is The Bodily Resurrection from Death.

Many but perhaps not all tend to also support Soul Sleep.  The Issue of whether or not we actually have a conscious state between our bodily Death and The Resurrection I don't have a solid opinion on, I could go either way.

The Second Resurrection should be a logical problem for Annihilationism. If Salvation is being saved from death why bother resurrecting the unsaved just to immediately kill them again?  And Revelation 20 isn't our only witness to that, that Unbelievers will have a Resurrection is also in John 5, 1 Corinthians 15 and Daniel 12.

Annihalationists will argue from John 5, Daniel 12 and the Sheeps and Goats Judgment of Matthew 25, that if the contrast is between Life and Judgment, the Judgment must be death since they don't have life.  And yet those texts still do not explicitly say Death.

What they forget is the word "Life" is used of more then just the state of being physically alive, it can also be about Quality of Life.  People will talk about feeling more alive then they ever had before.  Jesus message to Sardis talks about those who have the reputation (or Name) of being alive but are not.  In the context of Revelation 21-22 it could be about having direct access to the Tree of Life by being in New Jerusalem, as those chapters do clearly allude to the existence of people outside New Jerusalem, some of whom, at least at first, aren't allowed inside.

Annihilationists will also quote the same verse from Jude I like to quote about Sodom being destroyed by "Eternal" Fire, they will simply say Sodom was Destroyed.  But they are forgetting to account for Ezekiel 16 which promises that Sodom will be restored

A favorite passage of Annihilationists is Matthew 10:28 where Jesus says "fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell".  The proceeding context of this was Jesus saying if you fear anyone fer God.  God is able to Kill the Soul but that doesn't mean he will.

Once again what people need to do is read on.
"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."
What Jesus goes on to say is not to Fear because God won't destroy us because He loves us.

Now I know people will respond with how Jesus goes on to talk about denying those who deny him.  The point is Matthew 10 doesn't settle the issue.  Romans 5&11 settle the issue, as does what I already said about Revelation.

The Fire of God is for Purification and Purging according to Malachi 3.  God's Punishments are for Correction according to Habakkuk 1:12.

For more information read my post about The Baptism of Fire, and about Gehenna.

And I think the tears in Revelation 21:4 can be interpreted as tears of joy happiness, not mourning people who were lost.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Trinity in The Hebrew Bible

Inspiring Philosophy did a video on The Trinity in The Old Testament.
Where he says there are additional arguments one could make.  He also then did a Video about Jewish Sources recognizing these facts.
At any-rate the first of these two videos impressed me so much that I think it more so then any New Testament arguments are what are keeping me Trinitarian.  You see what a lot of modern attempts to refute Arianism ignore is that at least modern Arians tend to identify YHWH with Jesus not The Father, supported by IP's own observation that in the New Testament Kurios/Lord usually means The Son.  So this video building a Trinity Doctrine just from the references to YHWH is actually the best refutation of Arianism.  And then this blog post about the Fatherhood of YHWH in the Old Testament.

I've touched on some of these subjects before, in Greek words commonly viewed as Gnostic and Arguing for the Divinity of the Messiah from The Hebrew Bible.

Here I want to list some additional arguments I find interesting, but they aren't as compelling as the above video, they're merely interesting observations to back up that argument.

First is that a Triune Nature of God is possibly hinted at in The Holy Name itself.  It is commonly called the Tetragramaton because it's four letters, Yot-Heh-Vov-Heh, but there are two Hehs meaning the name is really constructed from just three letters.  The Heh has been associated with The Holy Spirit before.  The Holy Spirit proceeds from The Father and The Son, and so thus a Heh follows both the Yot and the Vav.

Some like to view Psalm 2 as a Trialouge between The Trinity, but I've become more hesitant to endorse that given how my views on the Davidic Psalms have developed.

Genesis 48:15-16
And he blessed Joseph, and said, "God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.?
That sounds an awful lot like a Trinitarian Formula.

But perhaps The Trinity is hinted at in one of the most popular titles of The Jewish God.  The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel.  Which appears in some form Twelve times in The Bible, Seven of them in The Hebrew Bible, Four in The Torah.  Exodus 3:6, 15, 16, 4:5, 1 Kings 18:36, 1 Chronicles 29:18, 2 Chronicles 30:6, Matthew 22:32, Mark 12:26, Acts 3:13, 7:32.

Q: Why stop at Jacob/Israel?  Joseph was a main protagonist for a lot more of Genesis then Isaac was?

A: Because it's identifying the Patriarchs all Twelve Tribes share.

Well then why did it take three generation for God to stop narrowing it down?  The Issues that broke part Abraham and Isaac descendants could have just as easily done the same to Jacob's.

Abraham means "Father of a Multitude" and Abram meant "High-Father", Paul in Romans 4:11 calls Abraham "The Father of All them that Believe".  Christians see Abraham as playing the role of The Father typologically in Genesis 22&24.

Isaac was the Promised Seed of Abraham, who plays the role of The Son typologically in Genesis 22&24.

Jacob aka Israel is the one who's names become synonymous with God's People.  And it's in God's People that His Spirit dwells.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Issue of Semitic Primacy for the New Testament

One of the issues to emerge out of the Hebrew Roots movement is attempting to argue the entire New Testament was written in either Hebrew and/or Aramaic rather then Greek.

As an opponent of how much Platonic and Aristolen Philosophy seeped into the Church via the Greco-Roman perspective of the "Early Church Fathers" I sympathize.  But I can't ultimately support this agenda, for the most part.

Yes all but one of the New Testament's Human Authors were Jewish.  But Acts 2 shows that even Jews living outside Judea did not speak Hebrew all that well anymore, it would have been entirely Jews in the Audience, people attending the Feast of Shavuot., but the reason the Gift of Tongs was needed was because their native languages were now those of the Gentile regions they lived in.  Following the conquests of Alexander, Greek was the Internal Language of the Eastern Mediterranean.  So even in places where both Greek and Aramaic were spoken, native Semites who knew Greek outnumbered Greeks who knew any Semitic language.

Matthew was originally written in Hebrew, multiple Early Church sources affirm that.  But they affirm that as something that makes it distinct from the others, at least the other Gospels.

I personally think Hebrew Matthew was possibly Q, a common source for both Greek Matthew and Luke.  Some Early Church comments about Hebrew Matthew imply it was only a collection of Sayings of Jesus making it fit the Q mold even better.

Luke was a Macedonian, writing his Gospel and Acts to a Theophilus, possibly partly as back ground information for Paul's trial before Nero (Nero was a total Hellenophile and so would have had no trouble reading Greek).  Luke and Acts were certainly written in Greek.

All of Paul's Epistles but maybe Hebrews would have to have been written in Greek (here is an article on why Romans wasn't in Latin).  Likewise with Revelation which was written to Seven Churches in the same region as three of Paul's letters, and 1st Peter was written to that region as well.  Paul wrote to three cities in Greece, to three men with Greco-Roman names, and to staunchly Greek parts of Asia Minor.  Acts itself reminds us how Greek Ephesus was being devoted to Artemis.  Pergamon was the capital of a Hellenic Kingdom, and Laodicea was founded by a Seleucid ruler.

I'm very open to possible Aramaic Primacy for Mark.  As well as Hebrew or Aramaic Primacy for Hebrews, James, Jude and 2 Peter.  For Hebrews I'd consider Hebrew more likely and for 2 Peter Aramaic more likely.  Jude and James would be 50/50.  The Gospel and Epistles of John I still think are Greek, I'll return to that later.

For any books that I am open to Aramaic Primacy, I strongly favor the Peshita (http://www.thearamaicscriptures.com/) over Old Syriac manuscripts like the the Four Gospels found on Sinai, an origin that parallels one of the Alexandrian Greek Texts.  Basically the Peshita should be viewed as the Textus Receptus of the Aramaic tradition.  The Peshita of Mark contains none of the common Alexandrian deviations for Mark, and yes that means it has all of Mark 16, however the Peshita versions of some other texts do echo a few Alexandrian corruptions.

My reason for being interested in an Aramaic origin for Mark is that Mark is said by Papias to have been written based on what Peter preached.  Later traditions corrupted that to be in Rome but Papias originally didn't mention Rome. Peter was in fact in Mesopotamia, where Aramaic had been the main language since Neo-Assyrian times, and indeed Aramaic is the Language of the Peshita because it's The Bible of the Assyrian Church.  The first interesting implication I've noticed for the Peshita possibly being closer to the original for Mark is Simon The Leper being instead Simon the Jar Maker.

The Gospel according to John and the Three Epistles that likely have the same author I also feel were likely to have been in Greek. Things like their stopping to explain certain Semitic key words to the reader.  Cepha/Kefa was a word both Hebrew and Aramaic had, it wasn't necessary to explain, same with Messiah since Christ is Meshika in the Peshita, and Rabbi is basically Aramaic in origin.  Now you might think that argument is hypocritical because of Revelation 9:11 identifying both a Hebrew and Greek name, but in that verse neither Name is used outside of being tied to it's language.  John says a Semitic word and then explains it in Greek.  The Peshita of John simply doesn't have the explanation in these verses which allows one to argue the translator added them, but our Greek of Matthew and Mark doesn't do that for Messiah of Peter's new name.  Matthew 1:23 is interpreting a name from Isaiah 7:14 that most Jews probably interpreted differently at first.  Mark 15:22 in the Peshita gives an Aramaic equivalent for the Hebrew Golgotha, likewise with Mark 15:34.

The Peshita of John 8 lacks the story of the Adulteress and for 1 John lacked it's declaration of The Trinity.  Disputed passages I plan to make defenses of in future posts on this blog.

Also, based on the little bit of Aramaic that pops up in the Hebrew Bible, I feel that Memar/Memra should be the Aramaic equivalent of Dabar and Logos.  But the key Logos verses in the Peshita of John use Miltha.  Though the emphasis some Peshita proponent make on Miltha being Feminine is interesting in light of another study I'm working on, Memra could just as easily be said in a Feminine form.

I haven't yet done enough research into the Peshita versions of texts I'm open to an Aramaic origin for.  So I'm cautious to in any way sound like I'm strongly endorsing it.

But one major issue is the Peshita lacks two of those books, 2 Peter and Jude.  2 Peter could have been written to Peter's usual audience rather then the specifically identified Greek audience of 1st Peter.  And it being originally in a different language could help explain why it seems to scholars like Peter's Epistles can't have the same author.  The name of Tartaros being in 2 Peter may be odd if it wasn't originally in Greek, but it could have mentioned a Mesopotamian equivalent.  The most possibly distinctly Greek detail in Jude is referring to "Wandering Stars" a Greek astronomical term, equivalents of which may have existed elsewhere but likely wouldn't translate to that directly.

One website on the subject of Semitic Origins for the New Testament I used to visit a lot is www.Ancient-Hebrew.org but I can't agree with everything there.

More recently is the Nazarene Judaism website.  It's a peculiar form the Hebrew Roots movement that I've mentioned before.  Again I can't agree with them on everything.

On the subject of Aramaic Texts they side against the Peshita unlike me.  They are similar to me on the subject of existing Hebrew texts for Matthew however, except they are not quite as strongly anti Shem-Tov as I am.

The Shem-Tov is more like the Aramaic Targums of the Old Testament then a proper Hebrew version of Matthew.  I think the key to figuring out the original Hebrew of Matthew is the DuTIllet, Muster and Cinuarbres manuscripts.  There is also a Muster text of Hebrews.

But again, I mention these with Caution since I really can't study them directly and haven't read enough of what has been studied.  My strong support of the Textus Receptus over the Sinaticus, Vaticanus and Alexandrinus for the Greek texts still means that even books that might not have been originally in Greek were preserved well in the Textus Receptus.  Any difference in these Semitic texts that effects major doctrines I have to be very hesitant to accept.  Also the very some quotes from Eusebius about Clement saying Paul wrote Hebrews in Hebrew also say it was Luke who made the Greek translation, so in that context I trust Luke to have translated it right.

What I've heard about Hebrew Matthew's version of the "Eye of the Needle" expression, and Matthew 24 saying "The Last Generation" (saying  L'Dowr Acharown from Psalms 48, 78 and 102, which English Bibles usually don't translate accurately but Jewish ones will say The Last Generation), only help support how I already interpret those verses as they appear in the Greek.

I have a number of questions I'm curious about if anyone who does know a lot about them stumbles upon this.

1. Might the Hebrew Matthew references to Simon The Leper also agree with the Peshita saying Jar Maker?  Or maybe something else entirely?

2. Are all appearances of Aion/Aionios/Aionion some form of Olam in the Hebrew texts?  And can the Aramaic words used in the Peshita also mean Age/Eon?  The Aramaic Scriptures Websites translated Eternal in the key Eternal verses but doesn't phonetically tell me what the Aramaic word was.

3. Similarly with the "Hell" words.  In this case I'm confident the true Hebrew should say Sheol for Hades and in some way identify the Valley of Hinomm where Gehenna appears. 

4. Which of the at least 5 different Hebrew words for "South" is used when Jesus calls the Queen of Sheba the Queen of the South?  If it's Teman, Yamin, or Yam that could further verify Sheba is in Yemen, but if it's Negev that would help how Velikvoskians use that verse.  If it's Darowm that wouldn't help clarify the issue at all, but Darowm is what I would half way expect of a Hebrew translation of the Greek.

5. Matthew 21:43, in the KJV "The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." Other translations will sometimes render this "a fruitful nation".  British Israelists and Two Hosue Theologists often want to imagine Jesus said the name of Ephraim here, but Ephraim means "double fruit".  It may help a developing pet theory of mine if He said Ephratah but it's not something I want to build a vital doctrine on.  So do the Hebrew Matthew texts use either of those words here?

6. When Jesus says Ego Eimi in Matthew 14:7 ("It is I" in the KJV) is that Ehyeh (I Am) in the Hebrew manuscripts of Matthew?  I already know it's Ena-Na in the Peshita.

I may be editing this in the future to add more such questions.  New Questions would be added above this sentence not to the P.S. section.

P.S.  Hell in the Peshita?

For the Peshita on Gehenna I did verify it's transliterated as Gihana in all three Mark 9 verses.  While James 3:6 has simply dropped Gehnna out of it (the Greek refers to Fire of Gehenna but the Peshita just to fire).  Maybe an Aramaic Primacy supporter could theorize Gehenna got added to the Greek in James because of a marginal note connecting it to the Gehenna Fire of Matthew.  Is this verse of James one that's different in other Greek texts?

Hades doesn't appear in any books I consider plausible for Aramaic primacy, none the less it looks like it renders Hades as Sheul.

While Revelation isn't the Peshita an Aramaic text of it has popped up that some thing could be an Aramaic Original.  A problem for an Aramaic origin for Revelation is in fact Revelation 9:11, clearly the Language of the book would be left out of that list of names?  Does this Aramaic Revelation add an Aramaic name like how some Catholic Bibles add Exterminans?  And does it say Sheul for Hades like the Peshita?

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Do Universalists need to throw out certain books of The Bible?

I just found a website attacking Universal Salvation that acknowledges the Antiochian School taught it, and then says.
It was not without reason that the Antioch School refused to canonize the books of II Peter, II and III John, Jude and Revelation. The doctrine of the Universal Salvation could be easily refuted by these five books which contained so many verses on eternal judgment as to render them irrepressible:
I'm a proponent of Universal Salvation who is not at all afraid of these books.  The very verses from Jude they go on to cite are cited by me to prove "Eternal Fire" can't mean endless torment in both KJV Universal Salvation and Words Translated Eternal, because it's used of the fire that destroyed Sodom and in Ezekiel 16 Yahuah promises Sodom will be restored.  And I recently wrote a blog post on how Revelation points to Universal Salvation, and addressed The Lake of Fire in my posts on Gehenna and the Baptism of Fire.

As far as second Peter goes, they cited two verses referring to Judgment on Sinners, none inherently saying it'll be endless or even Aionion. God's punishments are for Correction (Habakkuk 1:12) and not endless (Matthew 5:26, Luke 12:59 and Matthew 18:34).  And again one of them was about Sodom and Gomorrah, which again we know will be restored because of Ezekiel 16.

They didn't even cite anything from II or III John, those short books deal with Believers behaving badly which makes them attractive to those who say Salvation can be lost or that we need to be on guard for fake believers.  But nothing in those books refers to endless torment or annihilation as being their Punishment.  In III John it's clear the bad Christian we're to be concerned about is the one trying to kick others out.

This came up later in an article mainly opposing the Semitic New Testament theory, since the Aramaic Peshita lacks exactly the books listed above, and the Church of the East emerged largely from the Antiochene School.  I mostly agree with them that the original Language of most of The New Testament was Greek, I'm going to be doing a post on that in the near future.

They accuse Universal Salvation of being Gnostic by associating it with Clement, Origen and Diodore.  But they left out Gregory of Nyssa.  The Predestination doctrine of Augustine is what was condemned as Gnostic Hersey by the Pre-Nicene fathers, both Origen and Methodius of Olympus who on many other issues disagreed with Origen.

This website decided to just accept the worst slanders against Nesotrius and Theodore of Mopsuestia uncritically.  Theodore did NOT teach a from of Adoptionism, he wrote whole books on the Incarnation.

At any rate dispute on some of these books existed before Nicea, it used to be opponents of Pre-Millenial Eschatology just rejected Revelation altogether, like Eusebius of Caesarea, it was Augustine who enabled them to allegorize it away.

The Muratorian Fragment fails to mentions Either of Peter's Epistles or James or Hebrews and apparently includes only two of John's.  But it did include Jude.  And it adds the Apocalypse of Peter which affirms Universal Salvation.

I doubt this website approves of the Book of Enoch being added to the Canon, which I mention because the ancient arguments against Jude's inclusion were because it seemingly quotes Enoch.  So no, it being a problem for Universal Salvation was not a reason.

I do support the 27 Book New Testament as preserved by the Textus Receptus.  I just pointed out these facts to provide some context showing that Universal Salvation could not have been the issue.

Some of my allies give Enoch part of the blame for the development of the Endless Torment doctrine.  But while I definitely don't consider Enoch Canon, I do consider what it says about the fate of Azazel and his armies consistent with how I interpret the nature of the Lake of Fire.
 And he said unto me, “These are being prepared for the armies of Azazel, in order that they may take them and cast them into the abyss of complete condemnation, and as the Lord of the Spirits has commanded it, they shall cover their jaws with rocky stones. Then Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, and Phanuel themselves shall seize them on that great day of judgment and cast them into the furnace (of fire) that is burning that day, so that the Lord of the Spirits may take vengeance on them on account of their oppressive deeds which (they performed) as messengers of Satan, leading astray those who dwell upon the earth.”
It said "on account of their deeds" meaning the Punishment will fit the Crime.  Meanwhile the first 8 verses of the Book sound pretty Universalist.

In Richard Laurence's Translation "for ever" must be a bad translation (or the Ethiopic was a poor translation).   Chapter 10 Verse 8 describes a condition as "for ever" that the very next verse says will one day end.  And then verse 15 says "till the judgment that will last forever be completed"???????.  Repeatedly the imprisonment of the Angels is said to be "fore ever' even though it's also defined as 70 Generations.

Enoch 22:13-14 is what most opposes Universal Salvation in the book.  But it is also a big problem for those who want to make it Canon, it explicitly says the Souls of Sinner won't rise from where they currently are on the day of judgment, this is explicitly contradicted by Revelation 20, 1 Corinthians 15, John 5 and Daniel 12.   It might be possibly to argue all Jude was even vaguely endorsing was the first part of the book and not this later proto-Dante's Inferno.  Or it could be another textual or translation corruption and the verse meant to say their souls won't be destroyed or released from there until the Day of Judgment.

Origen was pretty fine with Enoch even though we know he supported a form of Universal Salvation.