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Hermeneutical Considerations Quotations

The Problem of Loose OT Quotations in the NT

Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, p.308 (Hendrickson:1993)

[Of the reading of the Scriptures in the synagogue] capernaum-synagogue.jpg

As the Hebrew was not generally understood, the Methurgeman, or Interpreter, stood by the side of the reader (comp. 1 Cor. 14:27,28), and translated into the Aramaean verse by verse, and in the section from the Prophets, or Haphtarah, after every three verses (Megill. 24a). But the Methurgeman was not allowed to read his translation, lest it might popularly be regarded as authoritative. This may help to us in some measure to understand the popular mode of Old Testament quotations in the New Testament. So long as the substance of a text was given correctly, the Methurgeman might paraphrase for better popular understanding. Again, it is but natural to suppose, that the Methurgeman would prepare himself for his work by such materials as he would find to hand, among which, of course, the translation of the Septuagint would hold a prominent place. This may in part account alike for the employment of the Septuagint, and for its Targumic modifications, in the New Testament quotations.

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Quotations

Some Good Points from the Apocrypha

Sirach 27:4-7 & 28:8-12

sirach.jpg

When a sieve is shaken, the refuse remains; so a man’s filth remains in his thoughts. The kiln tests the potter’s vessels; so the test of a man is in his reasoning. The fruit discloses the cultivation of a tree; so the expression of a thought discloses the cultivation of a man’s mind. Do not praise a man before you hear him reason, for this is the test of men.”

Refrain from strife, and you will lessen sins; for a man given to anger will kindle strife, and a sinful man will disturb friends and inject enmity among those who are at peace. In proportion to the fuel for the fire, so will be the burning, and in proportion to the obstinacy of strife will be the burning; in proportion to the strength of the man will be his anger, and in proportion to his wealth he will heighten his wrath. A hasty quarrel kindles fire, and urgent strife sheds blood. If you blow on a spark, it will glow; if you spit on it, it will be put out; and both come out of your mouth.”

 

Which serves as a reminder that the Apocrypha are not evil.  The problem is not that they are singularly bad books; the problem is that they are illegitimately elevated to the level of Scripture.  That does not mean they are not very good to read.

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Quotations Theological Reflections

The Lord is Risen and Glorified

And Leo the Great

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has some glorious words to point out the implications of that, in his first sermon “On The Lord’s Ascension”.

And in the course of these and other miracles, when the disciples were harassed by bewildering thoughts, and the Lord had appeared in their midst and said, “Peace be unto you,” that what was passing through their hearts might not be their fixed opinion (for they thought they saw a spirit not flesh), He refutes their thoughts so discordant with the Truth, offers to the doubters’ eyes the marks of the cross that remained in His hands and feet, and invites them to handle Him with careful scrutiny, because the traces of the nails and spear had been retained to heal the wounds of unbelieving hearts, so that not with wavering faith, but with most steadfast knowledge they might comprehend that the Nature which had been lain in the sepulcher was to sit on God the Father’s throne. (…) And hence the most blessed Apostles and all the disciples, who had been both bewildered at His death on the cross and backward in believing His Resurrection, were so strengthened by the clearness of the truth that when the Lord entered the heights of heaven, not only were they affected with no sadness, but were even filled with great joy. And truly great and unspeakable was their cause for joy, when in the sight of the holy multitude, above the dignity of all heavenly creatures, the Nature of mankind went up, to pass above the angels’ ranks and to rise beyond the archangels’ heights, and to have Its uplifting limited by no elevation until, received to sit with the Eternal Father, It should be associated on the throne with His glory, to Whose Nature It was united in the Son. Since then Christ’s Ascension is our uplifting, and the hope of the Body is raised, whither the glory of the Head has gone before, let us exult, dearly-beloved, with worthy joy and delight in the loyal paying of thanks. For to-day not only are we confirmed as possessors of paradise, but have also in Christ penetrated the heights of heaven, and have gained still greater things through Christ’s unspeakable grace than we had lost through the devil’s malice. For us, whom our virulent enemy had driven out from the bliss of our first abode, the Son of God has made members of Himself and placed at the right hand of the Father, with Whom He lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

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Practical Notes Quotations

Calvin on Ingratitude

…ingratitude is like an abyss which absorbs all the fullness of God’s blessings.

 

–John Calvin, Commentary on Lamentations (1:7)

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Practical Notes Quotations

Helping us see better by using a dark curtain

John Calvin, Sermons on the Deity of Christ, Sermon 1

[Speaking of those who found support for the doctrine of the Trinity in the writings of pagan philosophers]

Now those who are so curious as to wish thus to make the Philosophers agree with Holy Scripture think they do great service to the Christian Church when they can say that the Gospel-writers have not been the only ones who have spoken thus and that even the pagans have well known such things. It is very apropos! As though one put a veil before clear vision. Behold God Who makes Himself clear to us by the doctrine of His Gospel, and we are going to put a veil before it by saying, “Look at this! Your clearness will be still more clear.”

It is very certain that God willed that these same things might be known by pagan Philosophers to render them so much more inexcusable before His Majesty. But that is not to say that His doctrine ought to be confirmed by what they have said. For the fact is that, although the more they thought they were approaching God, the further away they were straying. So is fulfilled this sentence which Saint Paul pronounces against all mankind. All those who wished to be too clever, who did not seek God in such reverence and humility as they ought, have fallen into the depth of error. And it is a just punishment from God if we come thus to pollute His doctrine, classing it among the foolish inventions of men.

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Hermeneutical Considerations Quotations

A.W. Pink on Literalism for yesterday

A.W. Pink, Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount

In what has just been before us we may see a very real warning against a slavish literalism, which has ever been the refuge into which not a few errorists have betaken themselves. In this instance the Pharisees kept themselves close to the letter of the Word, but sadly failed to understand and insist upon its spiritual purport. Papists seek to justify their erroneous dogma of transubstantiation by an appeal to the very words of Christ, “this is My body,” insisting on the literal sense of His language. Unitarians seek to shelter behind His declaration, “My Father is greater than I” (John 14:18), arguing therefrom the essential inferiority of the Son. In like manner, the ancient rabbis took the words of the seventh commandment at their face value only, failing to enter into the full spiritual meaning of them. Let pre-millenarians heed this warning against a slavish literalism or a being deceived by the mere sound of words, instead of ascertaining their sense.