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The concept Scripture does not exist within Scripture

The concept of a demarcated, delineated canon of Scripture, does not not exist in Scripture; the slogan “sola scriptura” is a rationalist Protestant imposition from the outside, and this slogan and methodology is a hallmark of under-educated pastors. Over its first circa 1400 years, the classical confesions of Christianity did not mention the concept of a demarcated, delineated canon of Scripture. The Councils of Nicea, Ephesus and Chalcedon never made statements such that “Books xyz belong in the Bible and the Bible is the inerrant word of God”. Why not? Partly because the thinkers were wise enough to avoid such categorical statements. Church Fathers as well as reformers such as Calvin, knew well that e.g. 2 Peter is a forgery. Not a single classical CREED of Christianity or Judaism says anything about the “Bible” or “Scripture.” The First Council of Nicaea (325 CE) stated nothing about the “Bible” or “Scripture.” The First Council of Constantinople (381 CE) stated nothing about the “Bible” or “Scripture.” The Creed of Chalcedon (451 CE) stated nothing about the “Bible” or “Scripture.” The codifier of Torah-law, Rabbi Mosheh ben Maimon (“Maimonides” also known as “The Rambam”), compiled what we call the Shloshah Asar Ikarim, the…

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MEDITATON ON POST-MODERNISM

Post-Modernism states that there are no absolute truths.  Group A has their brand of religion and Group B has their flavour of religion, and so be it.  The quest for absolutes is based on false premises, according to post-modernism.  When groups negotiate, there is no real quest for truth and justice either; each group is merely an interest-group pushing its own selfish agenda.  Let everyone therefore live inside his own, subjective happy-bubble, and do not dare to burst my subjective happy-bubble, no matter how cuckoo it may seem to you – there are no absolutes; there are merely a collection of subjective bubbles inhabited by opinionated members of the Homo Sapiens species, grouped into fairly cohesive & rather selfish interest-groups. Post-Modernism has “taken over” most universities in the West; the Post-Modern “take” on life is characterised by skepticism, subjectivism and relativism, a general suspicion of reason, and an acute sensitivity to the role of ideology in asserting and maintaining political and economic power. In opposition to the Post-Modern denial of the absolute, stands the transcendental experience and weltanschauung (world-view) of the Way of Israel.  The Davar of God came to Moses and the prophets – the Word, the Logos (Greek),…

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WHERE was BETHLEHEM ?

In Joshua 19:10-16 we read that there was a town Bethlehem in the tribal territory of ZEBULON (the Israelite tribe Zebulon; correct transliteration: Zevulun).  This Bethlehem is situated in Galilee in the north of Israel, and should not be confused with the area Bethlehem in Judea.  The original Hebrew behind the name Bethlehem is Beit Lechem, which means "House of Bread" i.e. "Area of Food-supply" i.e. a territory fit for planting agricultural crops, especially grains such as wheat, oats, barley, rye and spelt. Joshua 19:10-16 10The third lot came out for the children of Zevulun according to their families, and the border of their inheritance was as far as Sarid. 11Their border went toward the west and to Maralah, went to Dabbasheth, and extended along the brook that is east of Jokneam. 12Then from Sarid it went eastward toward the sunrise along the border of Chisloth Tabor, and went out toward Daberath, bypassing Japhia. 13And from there it passed along on the east of Gath Hepher, toward Eth Kazin, and extended to Rimmon, which borders on Neah. 14Then the border went around it on the north side of Hannathon, and it ended in the Valley of Jiphthah El. 15Included were…

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I FEAR FOR MY COUNTRY…

Why did Avraham Avinu (our father Avraham) pray and intercede on behalf of the wicked people of Sodom and Gomorrah? It was because, in his day, Avraham Avinu stood in the capacity of the “Guarantor of Humanity”, the custodian of humanity, the representative interceding advocate who represented humanity before YHWH. From Avraham's prayer and the response of HaShem, we learn that populations and nations may be protected and spared from severe judgement, in the merit of the Tzadiqim (righteous ones) who dwell in their midst. In 1929 the Chafetz Chayim gave a shalosh se'udot teaching (i.e. teaching after the 3rd meal of the shabbat) in Germamia shel Edom. His words were: There is a fire that hangs over the world at all times which seeks to come down from the sky and consume the world.  The only thing which shields the world is the vapour which comes from the breath of innocent young children who are starting to learn Torah.  Since the Communists, Socialists, secularists and Reform Movement were taking the children out of yeshivot (Torah learning centres), the protective magen or shield which shields Am Yisra'el from the threatening fire, was disappearing and within 10 years this devouring fire…

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The Tzadiq as the Pillar of the World

The Tzadiq (Righteous) serves as a foundation and pillar of the world — Proverbs 10:25 …Tzadiq yesod olam… which may either be read as “the Tzadiq is the foundation of the world” or, alternatively, as “the Tzadiq has an enduring foundation”.  The Tzadiq-ideology developed in the Zohar, prefers the rendering, “the Tzadiq is the foundation (supporting pillar) of the world.” The concept of Tzadiq is introduced in the Torah regarding Noach, when we read in the first verse of Parashat Noach in Seifer Toldot (Genesis) that Noach was an ish tzadiq tamim in his generation – a man who was a perfect Tzadiq in his times. In Genesis 18, Avraham implores HaShem not to annihilate two sin-filled cities for the sake of the Tzadiqim (Righteous) living there.  The dialogue continues until bedrock is reached: It requires 10 Tzadiqim to merit sparing a community from harsh judgement.  The message is clear: when there are no tzadiqim in a community, there is no merit and a gezeirah (edict) of destruction will not be held back.  The Tzadiqim therefore do not only rescue themselves, but also rescue their communities from harsh decrees. The Tzadiq of every generation was viewed as a custodian, advocate,…

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