Dear JP - Concerning our recent discussions regarding the study of the Hebraic Roots of our faith: In the next six letters I have undertaken to briefly introduce you to some of the concepts that we believe are key to understanding scripture from a Comprehensive Perspective – one integrated book picking up from where it left off with a 400 year (or so) break in the middle. As we discussed when we last met, we present our information as just that, information – what you decide to do with it is entirely up to you. Remember that the purpose of this group of “letters” is to introduce several concepts. If you’d like more detail on any or all we can do that !
IT’S A HEBREW BOOK:
The Book was written to the family of Abraham. It provides a documentation of how G*d looks at the world / expects to be treated and provides His guidelines to achieve a long and happy life. It is in effect a Constitution of the His Kingdom here on earth. It was written to the Family, anyone can join if they wish but ultimately it is written in terms that the Family recognizes.
The Family of Abraham:
As you know, Abram was called out of Ur, spent some time in Haran (now a part of Turkey) and traveled down into what would be central Israel – the city of Shechem. Later he moved further south. Typically, we think that G*d speaking to Abram was a new experience for Abram and that the teachings were new. Here, we’d like to introduce the concept that Abram was pretty well acquainted with G*d, having spent a significant amount of time with Shem (son of Noah), probably in the north in the region where the Ark came to rest. We’ll talk about this info transfer a little later in Letter 4: “First Born and Roots of Religion”.
So, please entertain the concept that Abram was selected by G*d because of an existing relationship – (Yah knew Abram’s heart) and that he had an understanding of G*d that had been passed down from Shem. Abram was born when Noah was 890 or so. Noah lived 950 years, dying when Abram was about 60. Also, Noah’s dad (Lamech) was 55 or so when Adam died. Think about Adam – Lamech – Noah – Shem – Abram.
In other words, G*d made it clear that he was going to speak to the Family of Abram, using that relationship to introduce himself to everyone else on the face of the earth. Now, the message did not flow through all of Abram’s family but specifically through the line of Isaac, Jacob and his 12 sons plus Ephraim and Mannaseh. He started speaking to Abraham around 2000 BC and Abraham was, we believe, around 2000 years after Adam. Moses was in the desert around 1500 BC. We can discuss the issues surrounding dates at some future time if you’d like.
So ….. G*d had been having conversation with the Family for about 4000 years when Yeshua was born in Bethlehem. Please consider the concept that Yeshua was speaking to specifically to the Family when He was on earth and that the Holy Spirit continues to speak to the Family of Abraham today – in the language of the Family.
Family Language and Relationships:
All families have shared experiences, stories and special slang that they understand immediately because they grew up with it. This concept became really clear to us when we spent our extended period in Costa Rica.
Although the language was Spanish, there were significant differences between it and the language spoken in Mexico, Nicaragua, Ecuador – just to name a few that we came into direct, extended contact with. It was not only the accent, it was the slang, the way of putting phrases together – the commonality of experience different from the others.
In the case of the Family of Abraham there was an understanding of G*d and a whole set of guidelines for living that were unique to the Family and that set them apart from the rest of the world. Their whole method of existence had come straight from G*d.
Yeshua was Primarily Speaking to the Family:
Yeshua is the Word made flesh. As the Word, he’d been speaking to the Family for a long time when He came into this existence in a body. If we look closely at Scripture we see that He almost always was speaking to disciples, religious leaders, townspeople. We’re not going to drown you with Scripture in these Letters but consider Matthew 15:24 where He is speaking to the Samaritan lady in Shechem “ I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel ”. (We believe that He was talking about the 10 lost tribes that were in dispersion).
They Knew What He Was Talking About:
Contrary to popular belief it is quite possible that the disciples from Galilee were well schooled in their Scriptures. Every young boy in Galilee went to formal schooling in the Synagogue starting at age 5. Yeshua was explaining concepts that they had talked about from boyhood.
The religious community definitely knew what He was talking about. His method of teaching closely mirrors that of the school of Hillel - one of the two great schools of Rabbinical teaching. There is good evidence that He was in fact a Rabbi. Many of His teachings are only partial quotes – the audience knew what He meant (and He expected them to) without Him actually saying it.
The Apostles took the message to the Family – sharing the new found understanding / clarity that Yeshua brought. Peter took it to the “Diaspora”. Paul’s Team taught the age old message to folks outside the Family - as clarified, renewed, completed by Yeshua.
The Book Was Written in Hebrew:
The Book was written for Abraham’s Family by Abraham’s Family. We can join them if we wish.
We have found that the names mean things. The numbers mean things. The Hebrew root / translation and understanding of each concept should be closely examined. A good rule of thumb is “Find the first time a concept was introduced, define it from there and stay consistent with it.” For example, the Hebrew view of “heaven and / or kingdom”.
A concept to be considered is that this was not new information to the Family, it just documented what they (at least the G*d seekers) already knew ... more on that later.
The Torah was not intended for salvation – it provided guidelines for a long and happy life, civil rules / organization and guide for spiritual conduct in the new nation that G*d was creating. They understood that and took it as such.
G*d’s Plan is restoration. He established the garden so that He could dwell among us. His goal is to have the earth and His people back in a state of cleanliness so that He can again dwell among us. An important Hebrew concept is, from chaos to restored order.
Next... NO. 3: The Roots of “Christianity”