Home » Posts tagged 'new testament'
Tag Archives: new testament
Counseling services are good for so many reasons and the reasons people go for counseling are numerous. However, I think we would all agree is that there is one main goal in it, to get unstuck from whatever has the person stuck so every area of that person’s life and relationships can improve.
In secular counseling, the spiritual dimension of people is not at all addressed. Secular counseling is based on people solving their own problems without bringing God into the equation as having any influence on human issues or solutions. It is a self-focused, self- improvement project for people who dismiss the notion of God as present, real, relevant, and involved.
Bible based counseling is for those who believe in God or who want to believe in God and His work in our life. It differs from secular counseling in that it specifically incorporates the spiritual dimension, Biblical truths. In that, there is belief in God as our Creator.
The type of bible based counseling I am focusing on here is the counseling that takes into account the entire bible of 66 books, Tanakh (Old Testament) and the New Testament. In that, God, salvation, the gospel, Jesus, the Holy Spirit (the third part of the Godhead, who draws a person to God and is a God oriented conscience within a believer) are all part of the conversation.
God is always in the process of redeeming, or buying back the broken/hurt/stuck areas and bringing them in line with how He desires us to think which leads to how we feel and act. Bible based counseling has an absolute standard by which to measure the objectives in counseling and evaluate the counselee’s lifestyle.
I would like to pose three questions.
1) Do you want truth or do you want to hear just what you want to hear?
2) Are you willing to consider that behaviors you may be engaged in may not be healthful?
3) If what God says in His Word, the Bible, contradicts what you want to be doing, or what you believe, are you willing to consider the entirety of what God says on the subject?
Bible based counselors can only present God’s truths to you. It is up to you whether you want to believe them, or not. Once you decide to believe them, it is not a self-improvement project. If you decide to focus solely on God, He will change you and you will become unstuck, I can guarantee you that. You will never be the same again! The key to unlock the change is where you are looking. At yourself? Or at God?
Of course we have choices to make in the process of becoming unstuck, but it is not about us focusing on ourselves. Just like when Peter tried to walk on water (Matthew 14:28-33), he was fine and able to do so when his eyes were on Jesus. The moment Peter moved his gaze from Jesus onto the wind and his own ability, Peter began to sink. It is no different with us!
Salvation is not simply a moment in time when a person becomes bound for heaven after they die here on earth. There is more as we still have a life we are living here on earth. Healing, unstuckness, freedom comes out of the beauty of living out one’s identity in Jesus (Romans 3:21-26; Ezekiel 36:26-29; Colossians 1:10-14; Colossians 1:21-23; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Colossians 2:6-15; Romans 6:1-11; Romans 8; Philippians 2:12-13.)
Once God saves us, He continues to bring us deeper and deeper into His gospel, for it is the power and the motivator for our life. We walk out here on earth what God has credited to us, that new identity. That inheritance is ours positionally, and our life is God working it out through us, experientially, as we live our life here.
My friends, there is nothing more exciting and beautiful! To God be the glory!
Praying for you.
Antisemitism is a deadly shadow that has sadly always been a part of Jewish history. Where does this hatred come from? Some, in trying to point a finger to a root cause, have claimed that the New Testament is fraught with antisemitic sentiment.
Context, context, context. There absolutely are New Testament scriptures that appear at face value to be eschewing hatred toward or of Jews, however, there are also Tanakh scriptures (Old Testament) that do the same thing! In the light of the entire passage, and book, a deeper sentiment is being expressed, one that must be examined to glean the entire meaning.
Some discussion on the difficult New Testament passages that appear at face value to be antisemitic can be found on the page that leads into holidays and holiday celebrations.
Some may dismiss the New Testament based on hearsay without having had examined the scriptures for themselves.
If you personally have any question about the New Testament’s attitude towards Jewish people, please let us discuss the specific scriptures that are of concern to you. I will gladly analyze them with you, within the context of the paragraph, book of the Bible, and Bible as a whole. You may list out the scriptures in question in the comments section below or email. Thank you!
Why both the Tanakh (Tanach, Old Testament) and the B’rit Chadashah (New Covenant/New Testament)?
Jeremiah 31:30-33 in the Tanakh (Jeremiah 31:31-34 in the Old Testament). “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, and I will form a covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, a new covenant…”
The books of the Tanakh and Old Testament have the exact same content. However there is a slightly different order/arrangement between the two, and verse numbers in some instances are different.
If you compare the content side by side, you will see that they are identical.
To clarify the word “Torah”; in it’s most limited sense “Torah” refers to the Five Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. But the word “Torah” can also be used to refer to the entire Tanakh.
Rabbis may include the term “oral Torah” in the word Torah. That oral Torah, also known as the Talmud, they believe was given to Moses by God.
The “oral Torah” is a collection of Rabbinical interpretations of the written Torah. There is absolutely nothing in the written Torah that alludes to the fact that there was another Torah given to Moses. If you find such a scripture, please feel free to post it in the comments section!
There is an account in 2 Kings 22:8 and 2 Chronicles 34:15 of how the written Torah was both lost and completely forgotten for over 50 years and rediscovered by the Temple priests. It is difficult to believe that the Israelites could remember a non-recorded oral law while at the same time completely forgetting what was in the written law.
The words of the oral Torah have absent from them the familiar Biblical wording of “And the Lord spoke…” and “…thus says the Lord”.
If one reads the text of the Oral Torah, one sees the opinions of Rabbis who disagree with each other repeatedly. The Rabbis explain that whenever there are such disagreements, “both opinions are the words of God.”
According to the Tanakh, God does not contradict Himself. (Malachi 3:6 “For I, the Lord, have not changed; and you, the sons of Jacob, have not reached the end.”; Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man that He should lie, nor is He a mortal that He should relent. Would He say and not do, speak and not fulfill?” Isaiah 40:8 “The grass shall dry out, the blossom shall wilt, but the word of our God shall last forever.”Habakkuk 3:6 “He stood and meted out to the earth; He saw and caused nations to wander. And the everlasting mountains were shattered; the everlasting hills were humbled. The procedures of the world are His.”)
Regarding other “extra biblical books”; there is a cluster of about 14 books, known as the Apocryphal books, which were written some time between the close of the Old Testament (after 400 B.C.) and the beginning of the New. They were never considered as part of the Hebrew Scriptures, and the Jews themselves clearly ruled them out by the confession that there was, throughout that period, no voice of the prophets in the land.
The Old Testament had been translated into Greek during the third century B.C., and this translation is known as the Septuagint, a word meaning 70, after the supposedly 70 men involved in the translation. It was the Greek Septuagint that the disciples of Jesus frequently used since Greek was the common language of the day. Whether or not the Septuagint also contained the Apocrypha is impossible to say for sure, since although the earliest copies of the Septuagint available today do include the Apocrypha, placed at the end, these are dated in the fifth century so cannot be relied upon to tell us what was common half a millennium earlier. Significantly, neither Jesus nor any of the apostles ever quoted from the Apocrypha, even though they were obviously using the Greek Septuagint. Therefore those 14 books are not in the Biblical Canon although they are used in the Catholic bibles.
The English word “gospel” comes from two old English words, “god spell” meaning “good news“, or, as it is sometimes used, “glad tidings“. This is the translation of the Greek word “enaggelion” or “evangelion“.
In the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh [Tanach], Old Testament), the word “besorah” is used, and in English is translated as, yes, the same as “gospel”… “good news” or “tidings.”
Gospel is a proclamation of good news, either oral or written, typically announcing a positive event of public importance, such as victory in battle, the accession of a king, the death of an enemy.
Interesting to note that the Hebrew Bible includes small portions in Aramaic, written and printed in Aramaic square-script, which was adopted as the Hebrew alphabet after the Babylonian exile. Also, by the time of the New Testament, many Jews didn’t even speak Hebrew anymore. Rome had conquered Greece, and the influence of Greek culture had saturated the empire.
Any assertion that the word “gospel” (again, which means “good news”) has connotations from the New Testament that are NOT for Jews, is immediately refuted by the usage of the word “besorah”(which again, also means “good news”), found in the Hebrew Bible.
Originally, the word “besorah” was used to describe the report of victory in battle ( 2 Samuel 4:10.) As the Israelites believed God was actively involved in their lives (including battles and wars) it evolved in it’s connotation. To proclaim the good news of Israel’s success in battle was to proclaim God’s triumph over God’s enemies. Believing credit for the victory belonged to God, the Israelites’ proclamation of the good news of victory was, in fact, proclamation about God.
The transition from the use of “besorah” in a military setting, to its use in a personal context, is pretty basic. If Israel proclaimed good news when God delivered the nation from its enemies, individuals would also want to proclaim good news when God delivered them from personal distress (Psalm 40:10.) The nation’s victories in war and a person’s individual victories both called for the announcement of what God had done.
The Book of Isaiah marks the full development of the term within the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh [Tanach], Old Testament). By this time the word is most often used to describe the anticipated deliverance and salvation which would come from the hand of God when the long awaited Messiah appeared to deliver Israel (Isaiah 52:7.) The military-political and personal connotations of the word were fully united in the hope of a Deliverer who would both triumph over the earthly enemies of God’s people and usher in a new age of salvation. The arrival of this Messiah would be good news.
In the Hebrew Bible, the verb form of “besorah” dominates in usage. A noun derived from the verb does appear on occasion, but the vast majority of references are to the verb itself.
Besorah or good news/tidings is made in the following places (please note, this list is for the usage of the word, not necessarily to imply that the news was actually good for the Israelites): 1 Samuel 4:17, 1 Samuel 31:9, 2 Samuel 4:10, 2 Samuel 18:19-20, 26, 31, 1 Kings 1:42, 1 Chronicles 10:9, 1 Chronicles 16:23, Psalm 40:10 Tanakh; 40:9 OT, Psalm 68:12 Tanakh; 68:11 OT, Psalm 96:2, Isaiah 40:9, Isaiah 41:27, Isaiah 52:7, Isaiah 60:6, Isaiah 61:1, Jeremiah 20:15, Nahum 2:1 Tanakh, 1:15 OT.
Delving even deeper “besorah” is from the root “basar”. The intensive form “bissier” means to bring (good) news. (In grammar, an intensive word form is one which denotes stronger, more forceful, or more concentrated action relative to the root on which the intensive is built).
“Basar” means “to bear tidings” and “basar” also means “flesh.” “Basar” meaning “flesh” occurs before Adam sinned. Adam already was flesh and bone. (Genesis 2:21.)
In Genesis 2:23-24 “And man said, ‘This time, it is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one shall be called ishah (woman) because this one was taken from ish (man). Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.’”
English “Gospel”; Greek “enaggelion” or “evangelion”; Hebrew “besorah.” Word study is so fascinating!
Let us consider for a moment that the English word “Gospel” states that the proclamation of good news is “they shall be one flesh.” God’s Gospel states the very way that we become connected with Him, with nothing separating us, ever. That is Good News!