Daar word op die oomblik in die kerk meer gepraat oor self-ontplooiing as oor self-opoffering.-Anon.......As ‘n kerk haar woorde begin devalueer, dan word die kerk ‘n ramp vir die volk. - K Schilder

1/06/2010

THE BOOK OF THE COFFEE MAKER


You might not be aware, but the book of the coffee maker is part of the New Testament. It is commonly known as 'Hebrews.' The 'otherwisness' of this book interests me.

The main criteria for books to be included in the New Testament are:
- They must have been authored by a disciple, of someone closely associated
with a disciple. (This of course, creates some exceptions, notably Hebrews)
- They must claim to be the Word of God and be accepted as inspired (e.g. as Peter accepted the letters of Paul)
- Books with serious dogmatic or historical misrepresentations were rejected.

We do not know who authored Hebrews, but from the text it is clear that it is inspired and does not contain any doctrinal of historical misrepresentations.

The book, however, is different in that it deals at length with the theme of the High Priest, Jesus Christ, and the sacrifices that He made on our behalf. Another theme is that of judgement. Also the theology is well developed and does not address certain issues in specific congregations of Christians, as the Pauline letters tend to do.

The themes of the functions of the high priest, sacrifices and judgement would have been well-known themes to first century Jews and Christians alike.

Now consider these additional facts:

- Although there was no definite 'Council of Jamnia' (as previously postulated) Jewish scholars at Jamnia (Babilonia) definitely had great influence on Jewish (and possibly anti-christian) thought in the first & second centuries. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Jamnia)
- An ongoing series of events that caused a rift between Jews and Christians during the first & second centuries. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_events_in_early_Christianity)

During these stormy times, Is it then not reasonable to suppose that Hebrews was an attempt to seek appeasement and common ground between Jews and Christians by addressing these themes which were so familiar to both religions alike? Is it too farfetched to suppose that this book was an attempt to reach a hand of friendship to Jews in the hour of direst need with the destruction of the temple and following diaspora?

From this point of view, it is just as well that we don't know who the author was because then it cannot be attributed to any one apostle and his specific 'doctine.' In such a case the book would probably have been rejected by the whole of Judaism and (maybe) half of christianity as well
But hey, this is just speculation on my part! Biblical scholars would probably disagree with this viewpoint. So please do check my up and set the record straight.

10 comments:

Henrietta said...

Het weer en weer, en WEEEER gelees, maar waar o waar is die koffie ;)))

Liza said...

Ooo - dis soos in 'He brew' coffee...? Ek plaas sommer 'n prenkie ook. :))

Liza said...

If Paul didn't write the letter, who did? The most plausible suggestion is that this was actually a sermon Paul gave and it was transcribed later by Luke, a person who would have had the command of the Greek language which the writer shows. Barnabas is another likely prospect, since he was a Levite and would have been speaking on a subject that he knew much about. Martin Luther suggested Apollos, since he would have had the education the writer of this letter must have had. Priscilla and Clemet of Rome have been suggested by other scholars.

Daar is steeds bewyse te vinde dat Paulus wel die outeur kon gewees het bv in Petrus 2:3,15 bevestig Petrus dat Paulus wel ook aan die Jode (Hebreërs) geskryf het: "[...]soos ons geliefde broeder Paulus ook met die wysheid wat aan hom gegee is, aan julle geskryf het,..."

Nog 'n gedagtegang is dat as Paulus die brief nie self geskryf het nie die skrywer daarvan wel deur hom opgelei was.

Henrietta said...

Hehehe - natuurlik! Het mos al gesê jy is besonder skerp hier aan die begin van "Twenty Ten", Liza!

Henrietta said...

Interessante perspektief wat die skrywer van die gedeelte het, dat die skrywer twee "faksies" wou versoen. Die dele oor die Hoë Priesterskap van Christus en hoe Hy vir ons intree, is só ryk, mens moet dit weer en wéér lees om die diepte daarvan te waardeer.

Hoofstukke 10, 11 en twaalf, aanmekaar gelees, het al soveel in my geestelike lewe beteken, en Hebr 13:5(laaste deel) in Amplified is so inspirerend.

Henrietta said...

"I will not in any way fail you, nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down (relax my hold on you) - [Assuredly not!]" - Hebr 13 vers 6 , laaste deel, Amplified Bible.

Yf said...

Hallo Friends,
if we stick with the possible authors of whom we know at least something, it comes down to Clement or the Levite.

History (of course there is also His story) will have it that Peter (probably) anointed Clement to succeed hism as the leader of the church in Rome. He thus meets the criterium of being closely associated with an apostle. This (later designated as Pope) also wrote an "Epistle to the Corinthians" in c. 96 AD, well within the timeframe of which the NT books were written, BUT it is not included in the NT probably because it was not considered to be inspired. Thus the question surfaces: Would some writings of the same person be considered inspired, and others not (which would have been the case if Clement was the author of Hebrews)? Of course they would - this ie exactly what happened to two of Paul's letters. Anyway, for me the evidence leans in favour of Clement's work not being considered as inspired. Also, being Roman, to what extent would Clement would Clement have had command of the 'stratified' Greek used in the book of Hebrews, or been acquianted with the Jewish traditions and Scriptures?

On the other hand there is Barnabas, the Levite. During jesus' time Palestine was thoroughyl Hellinised, so he could have had an excellent command of Greek. His training as a Levite also gave him mastery over everything Jewish. For a long time he was a close associate of Paul.

Of the two, my money is on Barnabas, as I think he meets the criteria much better that Clement.

Thank you all for an interesting discussion

Gideon said...

“If Paul didn't write the letter, who did?” My geld is op Apollos as skrywer van die brief aan die Hebreërs. Lg. is nie Paulus se skryfstyl en woordgebruik nie.

“Nog 'n gedagtegang is dat as Paulus die brief nie self geskryf het nie die skrywer daarvan wel deur hom opgelei was.” Ek sou sê dis ‘n moontlikheid, want Paulus en Apollos het heelwat met mekaar te doen gehad. “…the criterium of being closely associated with an apostle” is dus ook op Apollos van toepassing.

“Barnabas,… His training as a Levite also gave him mastery over everything Jewish. For a long time he was a close associate of Paul.” Apollos se agtergrond: was ook ‘n Jood, welsprekend, en “magtig in die Skrifte” (Hd.18:24).

Clemens (“Clement”) word eenmaal in Paulus se briewe genoem. Barnabas word genoem in 1Kor.9:6, en Gal.2:1,9,13. Apollos was aktief in die vroeë kerk, word 8x in Paulus se briewe genoem, en 2x in Handelinge i.v.m. sending-aktiwiteite (18:24 & 19:1), met geen melding van Clemens of Barnabas nie.

Groetnis.
Gideon.

marion said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Lucy

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Yf said...

Good day, Marion of lucy? Please do feel welcomed here. And do also make us more aware of your presence by way of future postings. We'll be only to happy to accomodate you English.

In peace