The more and more I learn and study and absorb the scriptures (and it is truly both a luxury and a work of Great Grace I don’t even want to take for granted!), the more I also UN-learn things as well as see connections. These connections were there the whole time, yet I simply didnt have eyes to see them.
Ive NEVER been a reader, let alone or studier of scriptures. I could read it, and the more I read it the better things went and felt, but it was never a joy. I would get so jealous of people who talked about how much they loved “the word”, and how they wished they had more time for it, I just felt like I was getting ripped off. Something that was so vital and supposed to be so rewarding was like taking my vitamins. So I basically never really made a priority.
And when I did, I tended to get twisted out of shape. Id use the classic approach I was seeing (or interpreting) from my culture. Id read verses, or maybe a chapter, and then find some little piece and run with it. And I still believe that God still does highlight things, but I never had the ability or the interest to grasp the context, or the setting, and never realized or experienced the reward or the connection to anything. I wouldn’t be surprised if I find out in hindsight that YHVH in Wisdom might have been restraining this payoff. Somehow I have to believe it was more than accidental as the tremendous transformation that Ive experienced. Im so grateful, and I dont want to lose this.
A tip someone gave me, and something I do far more now is listen to scripture. I mostly love to listen to people who read it and discuss it, giving context and historical elements. It does get hard when people go too far into their interpretation rather than presenting the info. It is so easy to do, even without knowing it. I also listen to this during exercise, like running or working out at the gym. Sometimes when we go on long drives, and Ill get to listen to several sessions over a 2-3 hour period.
Yeshua helps you apply Torah
This concept is becoming clearer and clearer to me. I have come to the conviction that not only is the “New” testament not New, it isnt different from the Torah. It is far more the application of Torah. That can sound totally bizarre to people, and I get that. But until I spent significant time studying Torah, I didnt understand the context, or the setting for the words of Yeshua, let alone Paul , Peter or the rest of the apostles.
And then this conversion began to happen, and as I hear or read the Torah, I can “map” things immediately to the Gospel accounts or the apostolic writings. I understand the context or the reference point those “New” words are coming from. And I realize without the frame, these “New” words are very easy to not only misunderstand, but misapply. And because they are considered “New”, and disconnected from anything, they become great opportunities for DOCTRINE.
Simple statements, taken not only out of context, but without context, have no anchor point. So they become the basis for an idea, which over time morphs into a doctrinal position, and serves as a foundation for a theology. This is not only dangerous, I find it sometimes anti-Torah. This means either God changes, and meant one thing before, and another thing later, or scripture itself is inconsistent.
I believe anything that comes later has to be 100% in agreement with what was said first, or it is to be thrown out! God gives us that guideline as a way to understand when someone is claiming to be transmitting information from God. That simple premise puts together a framework for understanding that is surprisingly easy.
At this point, the best I can describe it is something like:
- Epistles base themselves on the person of Yeshua, and the application of the reality of the Messiah going forward.
- Gospels proclaim the Messiah, and use the Prophets to place Messiah in context. Yeshua teaches the Torah and lives it out in a practical way, revealing the whole heart aspects of it. Yeshua = Torah with Flesh and proclaims a repentance back to obedience to Torah, while at the same time explaining what is to come.
- Prophets proclaim repentance back to obedience to Torah, or face the consequences. As well, they explain in concept what is to come.
- Torah is the basis, and the foundation all latter words refer to for authenticity. Without it, a prophetic utterance is without a foundation. Without Torah, Yeshua has no message, because there is no definition for either sin (missing the Torah) or righteousness.
If any subsequent block breaks with the previous, then it is unacceptable. If something appears to be contradictory, then it can only truly come down to a few different areas:
- You are misunderstanding what is being said
- The translation of what you are reading has failed to accurately represent the original. This is often a bias from the christian or jewish side protecting some pet doctrine, or trying to point the reader or hearer a specific direction.
- What you are reading or hearing is false, and you must reject it.