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Posts: 194/212
(16-Feb-2008 at 08:10)


Intermitent Commentary

For anyone who is interested, I'm going to post some commentaries on passages of interest to me from the Bible. I don't intend on writing everyday as that is extremely difficult for someone with as little time as I have to actually write. However, I think it's important to have more than just religious DEBATES in the Religious discussions section.

This thread is for people who either:
1) readily accept that the Bible is true
2) are willing to give it a fair go just to learn something about Christianity.

I'm mainly writing this in order to see what others think of my writing and of the passages about which I decide to write. I won't respond to trolls. I might respond to flamers provided they at least write something with basic intrinsic value on some religious discussion level.

That being said, here's commentary #1!!!

Originally Posted by Isaiah 6:5:
Woe is me! for I am undone;
because I am a man of unclean lips,
and I dwell in the midst of a people of
unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the
King, the Lord of hosts.
Think about the word undone for a moment. Contemplate its definitions and connotations. The New American Standard and New International Version use the word 'ruined' instead of 'undone.' I like the translation that says 'undone' better for several reasons...first off, undone sounds a whole lot cooler than 'ruined.' Second, 'ruined' reminds me of the words 'ruin' and 'ruins,' which have the connotation of financial ruin or some sort of physical ruins such as a building that is in ruins. 'Undone' has a much different, much more personal connotation.

I see his "undoing" in a picture something like a person who has a strand of thread hanging off of a shirt, who is pulling on it so that the shirt is slowly, but surely, reduced to shreds, a mere shadow of what it was, and then each of those strands are dissolved into little threads of cotton, and so forth until nothing is left. I think that is what we are in light of God, what we will realize when we see God face to face, and what will make God's love for us all the more precious in our lives (both temporally and eternally). No matter what pride or self-righteousness we have in this life, when we are faced with an eternal and perfect God we have no recourse but to acknowledge our fallenness. "I am undone..." To me, he is saying that the very fiber of his life, the meaning of his life, everything that he has done for good or evil is swept away in an instant, meaningless in front of the purity and majesty of God. His life is laid bare, all of his plans are null and void. I think another way of saying it (again, not as cool as 'undone') would be 'I am finished,' or 'It is over...' All I can do is simply shake my head at this point...

If even Isaiah, such a prophet of great stature who was given the very blessing of God to write down his words, proclaimed that he was unclean, how much more than that should we who have not lived our lives according to the Mosaic Law feel unclean? As much as I am afraid of the shame of seeing God in person, what Isaiah says is, to me, an impetus...what kind of power does it take to make a man say that? He didn't just think this in his heart, because we have all thought, "woe is me..." in some selfish thought, but he said it aloud, because he knew it was true. What an impressive verse, and yet it is passed over.

I have a friend who once told me that he thinks when he gets to heaven he will wrestle with Jesus as Jacob did. I told him it would be the shortest fight ever, and coming back with a 'quick one,' he said, "Yeah...Jesus would blink and then *bam*." All I could do was laugh...it's passages like this that I think he will one day be enacting in person. I only hope that he says it now rather than wait until he sees God in person. I can't say that I know everything I need to know and that I have a monopoly on truth, but if what the Bible says is true, then we need to be burned with the coals now, rather than later.

Of course, then, after this, we must come to realize that despite our fallenness, God loves us, provides a way for us, and despite our pride and love of ourselves, there is a way made for us to have a relationship with this pure Spirit, which is the true meaning of our lives. What you don't get from Isaiah 6:5 is the promise of comfort that comes from the next ~50 chapters of Isaiah...but first, he had to realize his position in relation to the God of the Universe. After that, God began a monumental work in him...and look at the impact Isaiah's life had, and still has, on those who came after him.

Elder of Nex Imperio
Proud Monarch of E v e n t Horizon
I <3 halflings, Norbert, and kitties!
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Posts: 196/212
(02-Mar-2008 at 23:58)


Mark 5:21-43

Mark 5:21-43

My main focus in writing this time is to possibly shed some light on a passage that I believe has often been misinterpreted to prove points about blind faith or "perfect" faith. In this story, Jesus has just driven out Legion and been asked to leave the region of the Decapolis and has crossed to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. As soon as he comes ashore, people start coming to him asking for miracles. The first one mentioned is a synagogue official named Jairus, whose daughter is on her deathbed. Jairus asks if He will come and heal her, which Jesus gladly accepts, seeing his faith. The second one is an unnamed woman who, after hearing about Jesus, decides to come up behind Him as the crowd is pressing in on Him as they walk and touch the hem of His cloak. By doing this, the woman believes that Jesus could heal her.

Here is the point of 'error' that I think most people conclude about this passage. And that is that the woman had faith in the power of Jesus' touch, but not His divinity or ability to heal just by saying a word. Her faith is imperfect in comparison to Jairus' belief OR that of the Centurion who asks Jesus not to come and who recognizes that Jesus is in control and can merely speak and things are done. I will say this, the Centurion certainly recognizes an aspect of Jesus' divinity that the unnamed woman probably couldn't have put so succinctly. Her guilt and shame were already too great. And why you might ask? That is the reason for this writing.

This woman suffered from a 'hemorrhage'. In other words, she was bleeding internally, probably a cystic ovary that burst or something really bad like that. In fact, the Bible even states that she had been bleeding for twelve years straight and that all the doctors in the region had only made it worse. It says that she 'endured' (and in some translations 'suffered') much at the hands of her physicians and yet none were able to help her. Now, in Jewish culture, while a woman was on her period, she was labeled unclean. Some might think this unfair, but anytime a man had an 'emission', he was also unclean. So it evens out. Anyway, this woman had basically been ceremonially unclean for over a decade straight. She was most likely outcast from society, unable to work, may have been divorced by her husband if she was ever able to get one (pure speculation, but there is no mention of a husband), and likely spent her life's savings on physicians. She probably couldn't get a decent job since no well-to-do Jewish person would deal with an unclean person. And in some towns, you actually had to go live in a tent when you were unclean (by law) until you were able to be clean again.

I say all this to say, this woman was ashamed of her condition. This is evidenced by her actions after Jesus calls her out. She comes 'fearing and trembling' and falls at Jesus' feet. It's not that she didn't believe Jesus could heal her. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Her touching His cloak was a sign of humility, reverence, and faith. Recognizing her position as both unclean and outcast, she didn't want to approach this person who she at least believed had divine power. And note that it's not that she came looking for the next physician. She came when she heard about Jesus and that He had come to town. She came as soon as He came anywhere near her. She probably couldn't travel a long way and I doubt she had many friends to carry her, so it's not like she could get dropped down from the ceiling by her mat. No one would touch her! She did the only thing she thought she could do. Thinking in her mind that her state was too horrible to approach the King of the Universe with the boldness of speech, with the humble faith of a broken and contrite heart approaches simply to catch a glimpse of His glory.

And what is Jesus' response? "Oh ye of little faith, why hast thou not simply askedeth of me that I may verily heal thee." WRONG! Jesus, recognizing her humility and faith responds in a way that only someone who really understood her situation could respond: "Daughter, your faith has saved you; be healed of your affliction and go in peace."

First, look at what he calls her. Not "woman" or "dirty woman" or "oh unclean thing", but daughter. Jesus calls her as if she were His own child. And I believe that He was indeed labeling her a spiritual child (as He also labels His disciples as spiritual brothers and sisters). Secondly, rather than treat her as the religious leaders would have with coldness and pomp, He reaches out to her as a human being, as a father would his child. Here we see the humanity of the Christ and His recognition and dissolution of her own shame. She is no longer unclean, but the daughter of the King.

Second, He says that her faith has saved her. Most translators write it as "your faith has made you well", but in the original language it literally means "your faith has saved you". This is more than just a physical salvation, it's a spiritual one as well. She has been healed body, mind, and spirit. How amazing must this have been to a woman who couldn't bear to even talk to Him. First, to be called by such a personal title, and then to be commended for her act of faith.

Third, He confirms that she is indeed healed of her physical pain. The word literally means 'whip, scourge', but can also refer to a plague or even a punishment sent by God. I think Jesus is again speaking to her in a spiritual sense as well. Whether God 'caused' her to have this problem for so long in order that Jesus might perform this miracle at this time or whether the natural world got better of her and she met Jesus at just the right time is irrelevant. The fact is that this woman was broken, and Jesus separated her from the whip that had plagued her for over a decade.

Certainly no one can doubt the purity and sincerity of the Centurion's faith. That being said, I can't help but think that this woman's faith was no less pure. Their separate circumstances led to the events that unfolded for each. The woman wasn't trying to steal Jesus' power or sneak a miracle to prove He was God. She believed He was God and thus received a miracle by acting on her already pure and undoubting faith.

Elder of Nex Imperio
Proud Monarch of E v e n t Horizon
I <3 halflings, Norbert, and kitties!
#2  
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Posts: 123/174
(24-Apr-2008 at 23:56)
Regarding your post of Mark 5:21-43, I think the bible articulates it pretty well and i can easily conclude what you've just mentioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaiah 6:5:
Woe is me! for I am undone;
because I am a man of unclean lips,
and I dwell in the midst of a people of
unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the
King, the Lord of hosts.
The articulation in Indonesian translation is closer to ruin than undone. Undone is like taking your clothes off or something.

I would like the opportunity to add another discussion. You can read this story of Abraham somewhere in Genesis. Is it possible that Christians and Muslims are gutting each other out because of Abraham's descendants. Abraham has 2 sons: Ishmael from the Egyptian slave girl Hagar and Isaac from his half-sister wife Sarah.
1. Ishmael hated Isaac the moment he was born because Isaac was named Abraham's heir even before he was born.
2. Hagar and Ismael was casted out.
Muslim considers themselves as descendants from Ishmael(Ismail) and Christians refer to their God as God of Isaac, God of Jacob, God of Abraham .....etc. Muslims say that Ishmael is the son that Abraham almost sacrificed while Christians say that its Isaac. Is it possible that the hatred between us, Muslim and Christians, are great because of things that happened thousands of years ago?? For the record i have nothing against Muslims, in fact i have a lot of Muslim friends(btw im christian).

I also have another theory why Israel is hated by many countries. Apart from the current events that are happening, Jacob(Israelis consider themselves descendants of Jacob) tricked Esau of his father's(Isaac) blessings - the story of Jacob covering his hand with wool to impersonate Esau(forget the verse).

The descendants of Joseph formed two of the tribes of Israel, whereas each of the other sons of Jacob was the founder of only one tribe. Thus there were in reality thirteen tribes; but the number twelve was preserved by excluding that of Levi when Ephraim and Manasseh are mentioned separately (Num. 1:32-34; Josh. 17:14, 17; 1 Chr. 7:20). I read somewhere that ancient migration theory concludes that the United States represents the tribes of Israel. US is founded by 13 colonies of Great Britain that rebelled, eventually it became known as only 12 states(what a coincidence!!!).

I also read that the prince phillip of England(Queen elizabeth's husband) has a family tree chart depicting their descendency from David(ancestor of Jesus) but that's another story.

From these points, I conclude that current world events and structure is history repeating itself ..... with an ironic twist

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I think the fact that my emotions don't rule my life the way many people's do is a huge asset, but the biggest thing is I was in the right place at the right time. - Warren Buffett
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Posts: 206/212
(19-Jun-2008 at 05:55)


Re: Intermitent Commentary

Originally Posted by ArchAlmighTy: View Post
Regarding your post of Mark 5:21-43, I think the bible articulates it pretty well and i can easily conclude what you've just mentioned.
Thanks! Actually, you would be surprised what some people believe about that verse. I have heard some people say that Jairus' faith was more perfect than the woman's faith because he believed Jesus could do a miracle from a long way away rather than up close. Also, some people have said that the woman's faith was dependent upon physical, not spiritual, relief. *shrugs* It's kinda hard to explain, but basically they were saying the woman's faith wasn't as good.


Originally Posted by ArchAlmighTy: View Post
The articulation in Indonesian translation is closer to ruin than undone. Undone is like taking your clothes off or something.
I wasn't trying to say that we take our clothes off in front of God. I was making the claim that we are like the shirt. We build ourselves up, make pretty fabrics, and construct these elaborate forms to protect ourselves from the outside, from God, from any kind of attack on our ways of life. But when faced with a personal encounter with God, all of our constructs are unraveled and blown away. We return to the original state in which we started: dust. That is what I get when I see the word undone. Everything that I have done to build myself up and make myself seem worthy of respect and honor is undone.

'Ruined' works in much the same way, but (for me) 'undone' holds more power.

Elder of Nex Imperio
Proud Monarch of E v e n t Horizon
I <3 halflings, Norbert, and kitties!
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Old VaX It's a boy!
Posts: 51/61
(07-Nov-2008 at 09:48)
Firstly I would like to say thank you for posting this. I have always been Athiest - well I don't know what I call myself. At least to my understanding of the words, Atheist would mean I do not believe, which was true for most of my life, and while I can't say I do believe, I also don't feel that I can say I don't believe.

But what I am doing, is I try and look to all religions and faiths - I personally don't think any one of them is right, but collectively the message they spread and share is what is right - but who knows, maybe I am very wrong. But anyways I would like to see more of these posted with your views as well. Because while I am looking for answers, I am also lazy and so a quick thing to read is very enjoyed

Regardless of if we are right or wrong, history will form its own opinions.


If your not willing to die for democracy then you shouldn't be allowed to enjoy it.
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