How Involved was God with the Old Testament Writers? rb

Here is the next post of the better articles from my early blog. It is almost totally rewritten, improved, and updated. Take a look!

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When I read from the Old Testament writers, I cannot escape the evidence that God was very important to them.  I believe the many people who wrote the Old Testament over a period of many hundreds of years identified with God and felt strongly about God. In fact, I believe they often wrote insights about God well beyond the concepts of their times.

Whoever wrote down the stories of Abraham was one of these. The writer’s Abraham found a more reasonable understanding of God than was presented in his Mesopotamian culture. Moses seems also to have conceived new ideas about God. And the Psalmists produced wonderful poetry about what they thought God was like.

Later, the prophets began to see that God was concerned for the poor and helpless and opposed their oppression by the rulers of the time, and social justice made a great leap forward over the earlier days of Israel.

Antonio Balestra - Abraham Visited by the Three Angels

Antonio Balestra – Abraham Visited by the Three Angels

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14 Responses to How Involved was God with the Old Testament Writers? rb

  1. mark says:

    Tim for many many years I believed every word of the Bible was from the mouth of God..ahh our fundamentalist past.
    The Bible tells us it’s foolishness to decide a matter without hearing all the evidence.
    Very few of the Manuscripts agree in whole with one-another. Many of the writers had agendas to promote and did so with their opinions on scripture…these opinions in time became the ..for lack of a better word the “Gospel Truth”. And many of the Stories were written many years and decades after the fact.. in 3rd party.
    Over the many centuries that these writings were grouped and promoted as THE WORD.

    The problem in part was the Southron Kingdom had their version and scribes as well as the Northron Kingdom theirs. For a large part of Israels history..the two Houses were at odds. Still are to this day.
    It can been seen there was blending of stories and Textual manipulation by the scribes soon after the return from Babylon. Remember the supposed ancient scrolls found while rebuilding the wall?..The scrolls none had ever heard about or seen?
    In the game of history telling,..and this is mostly what it is…the victor writes the story. The very same can be seen in the NT as well where as a multitude of manuscripts and letters were never included in our versions of the Bible. There were many factions of Christianity during the first couple centuries AD. whose voices were stifled under political pressures from Rome. You and I have talked about these on several occasions before and I’m not saying the Baby was tossed with the bath water….not wholly anyway.
    I see the Bible, today as we have it,…is a mere guideline or outline of religious opinions and commentaries on opinions. I honestly believe God reveals Himself to individuals on a one by one and personal basis…thru the Person of Christ,…and not necessarily by ancient text written and compiled by superstitious man 2 to 5 thousand years ago. But they can be of value as we try to understand mans search for His CREATOR.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Mark, for a long time I also thought every word of the Bible was the word of God. Of course, this short-circuits our understanding of the Bible and prevents us from seeing it as it is. This often leads to very harmful conclusions and beliefs.

      You seem to have a good grasp on how the OT developed; and, Yes, I have often wondered about those lost scrolls that were found after the return from exile; how old were they? Was the parchment rather fresh for old scrolls?

      I like your statement, “I see the Bible, today as we have it,…is a mere guideline or outline of religious opinions and commentaries on opinions.” I think some of those opinions and commentaries are more valuable than others.

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      • mark says:

        Tim I concur on that last statement.

        My grasp on the formulation of the scriptures is due to me wanting to know the “Why” and the “How come” of it all. Never was I ever satisfied with the official doctrines and history as was put forth…to me it always seemed as if something was amiss …that drove me to dig deep my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          Mark, I think asking ‘Why’ and ‘How come’ are extremely important questions. Interestingly, most of my changes in belief from fundamentalism to now did not come about from reading books but by asking questions about what I was taught: “Why do we believe this?” and “Is this really true?” It was often after this that I found other people who had come to the same conclusions.

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  2. Charlotte Robertson says:

    I always have understood the OT to be Jesus’s ‘home ground’. These were his scriptures. He was a Jewish rabbi, teaching with help of the Jewish scriptures. Btw, Paul actually mentions the Book of Enoch as part of the scriptures. This I find intriguing. Why was it left out?

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Charlotte, the OT WAS Jesus’ ‘home ground’ in that it was pervasive in his culture. But he used OT references for his own purposes and did not read them as God’s inerrant word.

      I am not aware that Paul ever mentioned the Book of Enoch, though Jude did. Jude even understood that it represented the words of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, even though it had only been written a few hundred years before Jesus.

      Books were not included in the Old Testament just because they were old, and Enoch wasn’t even that old.

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  3. Charlotte Robertson says:

    You are right, of course, it was not Paul. And yes, Jesus quoted from the OT, but I meant that we have to read it to understand his culture, to understand where he was coming from. His words and actions show God to be very close and loving,as opposed to the way people saw Him in the OT.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Charlotte, I agree totally. We must have a grasp of the OT in order to understand Jesus’ context and culture, and Jesus does portray God in a way that is opposite to much of the OT.

      I understand you point much better now.

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  4. mark says:

    When we misunderstand the OT and what it actually is we are open for deception and easy victims of traps and pit-falls.
    One of those pit-falls is the Hebrew-Roots movement.

    I took an interest in it around 7 years back.
    At first it sounded wonderful but as I dug deeper into the movement I was greatly disturbed by what I discovered
    In their quest for everything Paleo-Hebrew..including the dead language, and their desire for “true” worship of our FATHER they have become super-legalistic. And like many secret society organizations and occult groups that smell pretty on the outside..are full of ever deepening layers of deceptions and spiritual traps unknown from the start to the “New Proselyte”.

    Instead of just “Honoring the Father” by keeping a Sabbath..they have made it into a rigid requirement to even be considered a nominal “saved” Israelite. Going so far as to have heated exchanges orver which calendar to use..Solar, Lunar, or Sol-lunar combination And if it lands on a Tuesday…well too bad NO WORK…to heck with your job and responsibilities..be OBEDIENT..

    Declaring each man must grow beards….All must wear tzitzit’s on the Tallit an corners of their clothing…..and must be Dyed with the “CORRECT” color blue obtained from the proper salt water clam. God must be called by HIS correct and proper name to keep from glorifying false gods…yet ironically no group can decide which name is correct? Division among the ranks with each group splintering off into another sect subgroup.
    To say God or Jesus is calling on false deities, and NOTHING PAUL wrote is of value seeing that He was a False teacher and possibly fore-runner of Anti-Christ.

    They have traded the LIBERTY of CHRIST and His words of freedom for enslavement to a Temple Law system. To their beliefs Christ is to no avail, for salvation can only be obtained by following a strict set of ordinances for daily living and 100% adherence to the Noahide Law ..things that would make the most maniacal Pharisee proud. Yet in their Zeal to impress GOD, can not see the shackles and chains that they self-impose.

    Here is the danger… Many Christians are disillusioned by the Mainstream Church over it’s watered down message and metric tons of “Baggage”..
    So People are flocking to alternatives for answers and the Hebrew Roots movement appears to be a Fresh breath of Air. But it is very subtle and deceptive in it’s enticing promises or Godly living and Salvation Hope. Drawing in these believers by the multitudes and offering them a yoke of burden painted up in a pretty pink dress to hide it’s true nature of oppressive bondage.

    This deception is far greater than I can elaborate on here at Tim’s forum..but I would encourage any who are enticed by it to do some research first..
    Remember…”Still Waters Run Deep”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Mark, before reading your comment I was completely unaware of the Hebrew Roots movement. As you described it, I thought of similarities with Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God and, less so, the 7th Day Adventists and other Sabbatarians.

      So thanks for sharing this; I did a little research after reading it. Were at one point involved with this movement yourself or through a friend?

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      • mark says:

        Tim I actually got involved in the movement for about 18 months or so.

        I thought I had seen a glimmer of Hope and Truth in the HR movement. The initial draw for me was structured study and research of OT manuscripts and known documents from antiquity and Church history that I was looking for…….they seemed to have it.

        I soon found that with each new level of knowledge that you acquired…you were shown that what was just behind you was insufficient for pleasing our Creator. In other words you where never good enough! Even to the point of improper pronunciation of Hebrew words could be your un-doing.
        There were always numerous battles and infighting between groups over the silliest things……and the outcome was always name calling and Heretic accusations being thrown about to prove which group was more righteous and accurate.

        Now…as to whether or not Jesus was actually GOD in flesh…or part of a Trinity or that he even died for our sins…is of no concern when it comes to the HR movement…… Jesus is hardly ever mentioned and when He is his life and testimony of His actions are relegated to basically a footnote of no concern to serving “THEIR” God. In other words He is almost in the way…..
        They do not call themselves Christians…..they claim the title of Nazarim.
        In public they are sugar and spice and all that….one on one they are a hateful and deceitful lot.
        Over my 6 decades on Earth I have witnessed many a cult and or fringe religious movements …yet never have I ever come across a more blasphemous group than these….I believe they would cause a satanist to blush at their outlandish behavior .
        They really make Herbert Armstrong and Ellen G White look almost like saints.

        Liked by 1 person

        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          Wow Mark! This is so interesting–and sad. I have noticed that the infighting you describe is common in newly formed groups as each faction claims to have the absolute (detailed) truth and castigates those almost identical to them for being dreadfully wrong and even heretical.

          I am glad you escaped.

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          • mark says:

            Tim i’m not so sure “escaped” would be the right word. Being I am an old stubborn cuss that has never taken whats said or taught for truth as the absolute..Not sure you could say I was trapped or caught up in it.
            Father is very merciful to me…many times He will send up a red flag over just ONE LITTLE WORD spoken that just doesn’t seem right or fit in…at other time it’s more like a two by four slap upside the head to get my attention.
            He blesses me daily where the “rubber meets the road” by allowing me to see what is false…yet as murphy’s law would have it…I still manage to screw it up more times than not.

            Liked by 1 person

          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            Mark, I am familiar with both the red flag and the two by four.

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