Friday, 11 November 2011
The writings of scripture were not compiled until recently in history and so the practice of encountering scripture was communal? People gathered together, had one person read from a scroll -- be it large or small due to it being a "book" or letter -- and the rest of the community of believers would listen? The authors of scripture didn't anticipate individual reading of scripture but communal reading of scripture. Before that, all mankind had was oral tradition so many of the stories were passed on from one generation to the next through memorization. That's a lot of repetition, which means a lot of communal gatherings to hear of God.
How does this change how you approach scripture?
Jesus was a Hebrew. Jesus was Jewish. Sometimes people call him a Christian, but the fact is clear from scripture that he was actually a devout Jewish man. He held to many Jewish practices, commented and taught about the Jewish Law while also observing Jewish holidays and feasts. While Jesus was showing the Jewish people how they were meant to live under the reign of God, he did not come to create a new sect per se, but to call everyone back into right standing with the Father. Also, a part of this little fact is that Christians were originally known as a Jewish sect and not a different religion. They met in the same synagogues as their Jewish siblings for quite some time.
How does this change the way you see Jesus, Jewish people and Christianity?
When it is written in 2 Timothy 3 that "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" it is referring (primarily) to the Old Testament? The New Testament had not yet formally been put together and many believers were tempted to move away from the Old Testament and look solely to the testimony of Christ for guidance. This is why, in the verse previous, it is said that the reader and listeners of the letter have known the Holy Scriptures from infancy. Even now, after Christ, our old stories, poems, proverbs, and parables are of God and of great benefit to us who wish to be righteous!
How does this change your approach to the Old and/or New Testament?