Showing posts with label #Study. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #Study. Show all posts

What, you thought there were only 10 commandments?

by K.W. Leslie, 03 February

Most Christians are familiar with the fact there are 10 commandments. Ex 20.1-17 Not so familiar with the actual 10 commands, but we do tend to know there are 10 of them, and it wouldn’t hurt to live by them. In fact the politically-minded among us think it’d be a good idea for the whole of the United States to live by them… although it’s a bit of a puzzler how we might simultaneously enforce “You’ll have no other gods before me” Ex 20.3 and “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Amendment 1

Some of us have also heard the idea there are 12 commandments. Where’d the extra two come from? Well, someone once asked Jesus his opinion on the greatest command.

Mark 12.28-31 KWL
28 One of the scribes was standing there listening to the discussion.
Recognizing how well Jesus answered the Sadducees, he asked him,
“Which command is first of all?” 29 Jesus gave this answer:
“First is, ‘Listen Israel: Our god is the Lord. The Lord is One.
30 You must love your Lord God with all your heart, life, purpose, and might.’ Dt 6.4-5
Second is, ‘Love your neighbor like yourself.’ Lv 19.18
No command is higher than these.”

Since these two commands aren’t among the 10, certain Christians tack ’em on at the end.

But there’s far from just 12 commands. There’s 613.

Technically there are even more than 613. But when you combine redundant commands—namely all the commands repeated in Deuteronomy, like the 10 commandments Dt 5.1-21 —you get 613 of them. Or at least that was the conclusion of Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon of Spain (1135-1204, also called Maimonides by westerners, Rambam by Jews). Moshe listed them in his book Sefer Hamitzvot/“Book of Good Deeds.” He had slightly different priorities than Jesus, which is why he put loving God at 3 and 4 in his list, and loving neighbors at 13.

These commands are mostly for everyone. There are many priest-specific commands, which don’t apply to the general population. (Although Pharisees customarily practiced ’em anyway, figuring all Jews ought to be as ritually clean as priests.) There are also many gender-specific commands, which apply to men and not women, or women and not men.

And let’s be honest: There is a double standard in the Law. Women and men may be equal in Christ, Ga 3.28 but not under Law. Fr’instance there’s a test for a wife’s faithfulness, Nu 5.11-30 but no such thing for husbands. ’Cause under patriarchy, men could have sex with any woman in their household. The Law abolished many of patriarchy’s customs—no they couldn’t have sex with just anyone they wished. But though abolishing patriarchy was God’s goal—with men in leadership or service practicing monogamy 1Ti 3.2, 12 and loving their wives like Christ loves his church Ep 5.25 —he didn’t do it outright in his Law. Though certainly the test of a wife’s faithfulness under the Law is considerably better than the previous patriarchal custom: Kills her without any trial. Ge 38.24

Gospel, gospel music, and the gospels.

by K.W. Leslie, 25 September
GOSPEL 'ɡɑs.pəl noun. Good news. Specifically the good news of God’s kingdom; or the revelation, teaching, and saving work of Christ Jesus.
2. A record of a great person’s life, teachings, and works. (Specifically a record of Jesus, namely the four included in the New Testament.)
3. adjective. Something meant to share good news, such as a book, tract, or song.
GOSPEL MUSIC 'ɡɑs.pəl 'mju.zɪk noun. Black contemporary Christian music.

The gospel, the good news of Christ Jesus, you know already. Or at least I hope you do. If not, I wrote all about it. Give it a read.

Gospel music used to refer to Christian music performed by church choirs. Nowadays in the United States, it just refers to Christian music performed by African Americans. Might be R&B, hip-hop, rap, or rock; but if it’s Christian and the artists are black, it’s gonna be lumped under the category “gospel,” and you’re as likely to find it on K-LOVE as you’d find a black artist on MTV before Michael Jackson broke through. Because culturally, the Christian music business is still 40 years behind the times, so it’s still segregated—which is still sin. But that’s a whole other discussion.

As for the gospels, these’d be the records of Jesus and his teachings. In the New Testament we find four of ’em. They were written anonymously—but we Christians weren’t having that, and gave credit to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Matthew and John were members of the Twelve, and Mark and Luke were members of Paul’s ministry team.

Gospels have a lot in common with biographies, but they’re not really the same thing. They aren’t about the life of Jesus—’cause if you read ’em, you’ll notice the authors dropped a lot of biographical details. Like Jesus’s childhood, family and personal life, a precise chronology of events including exact dates… We have nothing about Jesus from birth to age 30—except Luke’s brief story about Jesus, the child prodigy, teaching in temple. The missing details are all the things historians care about, and they go a little bonkers that we don’t have it. But the gospels’ authors had a wholly different priority: They were trying to prove to their readers Jesus is Messiah, the King of Israel. Jn 20.31