As a Jew and a Gadite, I have the following thing to say to my friends who have become obsessed with what is commonly considered the Hebrew Roots of the faith in Jesus Christ.
Stop throwing away or dissing the Greek portion of your roots.
You were designed to flow from both.
I saw two swords in the belts of my fellow believers. One of those swords had Hebrew writing all over it, and it was forged for the desert and for meditation and for things that are more in alignment with a Jewish and Israelite way of thinking.
The other, however, was a curious narrower, straighter, double-edged blade with the writing of Koine Greek etched into it, and it, too, served a majestic purpose.
But those Greek swords in some of my compatriots’ belts were risking to fall prey to dust and rust from disuse.
And living weapons sharpen with use, rather than dull out.
And it got me to thinking.
In the acquisition of the weapons that the Hebrew and Aramiac swords of the Tanakh were written in, given “the pen is mightier than the sword”, and these words in the canon are some of the weapons of our warfare, have we laid down and abandoned the weapon that is Greek in nature?
I will never yield the Greek weapons with which I have learned to fight, the Prophet philosophical weapon of spiritual reasoning pertaining to the mind of God.
I will not lay down one sword for another.
I choose Option C.
I am not a New Testament Believer.
I am not an Old Testament Believer.
I am a Whole and Single Testament Follower of The Way.
There is a cohort of people who think the New Testament was originally written in Aramiac. Good for them.
They have never met Craig Keener.
They do not understand the value of the Greek, which for 300+ years, including the earthly life of Christ, which was the language of the people, the language of commerce, the language of business, and whose concepts are no less spiritual than Hebrew and Aramiac, and whose principles and idiom and expression gave them another third of the armory that we call the written word of God.
In our rush to acquire more Hebrew Weapons have we forgotten, denigrated, laid down, abandoned, or talked down to or about, the Greek weapons our Father gave us.
There are aresnals in both.
And Brian Simmons is not on the level with Craig Keener. Yes, I did go there.
Note, I did not call Simmons a false teacher and further note, I did not say he was not capable in his own right and arena.
However, the process of vetting his work is vastly different from that of every other major group of scholars that were involved with every other actual translation and paraphrase, the Message included.
Yes, we are all going to find something we do not like about this or that translation.
But, gang, my challenge to you is to recognize and be reminded that:
Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,Romans 3:29
There is truth of a different nature in the Greek of the NT. There is truth and wind and pure fire in that. And the Hebrew and Aramaic have access to the mind, and the Greek likewise has access to the heart.
Do not lay down your weapons, gang.
And quit, in your Hebrew roots arrogance, talking down to the Koine originals and the Koine weapons of your warfare.
If you need a Holy Spirit-filled fighter who executes using the treasures found in the Greek world of the NT, then for God’s sake, Reach out to me, reach out to Gordon Fee, Reach out to Craig Keener, Reach out to someone.
Those weapons should not be shied away from, but they should be embraced.
We need to walk in fulness, including the nimbleness to execute with the weapons that flowed from the Greek heart, and the Greek mind.
The Redemptive Gift of the Greeks is Prophet.
And the Prophet has zeal, heart, compassion, a builder’s tendency, and a mind for strategy and justice and right/wrong.
This is not a battle for the priority of the heart or the mind.
Rather, our job is to marry the two and see Heart and Brain as trench/foxhole buddies. To think and Feel.
Left Brain Right Brain.
Brain and Heart.
Not spiritual Aspergers or “do we function out of our heart more or our brains.”
As a Mercy who functions more from my heart, and I always have, why does it take a Mercy to exhort others to incorporate their mind into the equation?
I do not know or understand.
But, gang, we are hunting for a fulness that we cannot have if we abandon fulness because we think we have found a more ancient way that comes by embracing Hebrew and Aramaic ways at the expense of Greek ways.
Use all the tools in your belt, gang.
That is the point.