Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Blessed and Holy: Understanding Them Better Through Luke 10:25-28 (Relationship - Part 2 of 5)


There is no more important time to define holy correctly than RIGHT NOW.  And the best people to have on your team to reach the correct definition are those who possess both common sense and a specialized sense.  It is also good to have on your side commonly known passages like Luke 10:25-28 to make sure your point of view is well-supported.  (More on this part later this week.)  When it comes to understanding the definition of holy in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, surprisingly the biggest problem is not that people do not know Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.  I still wish more did! The bigger problem is that the specialists who know Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek lack too often common sense in their own language.

When people lack common sense, they are undependable.  That can leave us running scared.  That is a very big problem.  It can result in what are called "random catastrophic failures" by yourself and those who are around you.  You need brains that don't have this problem.  You need a brain that has common sense.  It is like a computer with a dependable microprocessor. We have got computer integrated circuits that have overcome this issue, but do we have the brains too?  These kinds of errors need to be taken care of and fast as learned in the computer industry years ago. Again, brains with those kinds of mistakes can leave people running scared.

Let me give you a concrete example.  I once was coaching on a sideline, when the head coach sent into the quarterback a signal from the sidelines for the next play.  The quarterback took the signal to mean that we wanted to do a quick kick.  That wasn't nearly so bad until the rest of the team lined up with him and did just that. It made absolutely no sense whatsoever.  We had time outs to use.  It ended up costing us the game. We were driving at the time for a potential score.  The quarterback had a great sense of his mechanics as a quarterback, which is a specialized knowledge that other players don't possess, but he also lacked common sense.  That made him at a critical point in the game undependable.  It was really costly.  But that was only a game.  In the case of holy, its wrong definition is much more costly.  It can cost us our lives.

So how can "random catastrophic failures" be avoided?  I think I know how.  First, there has to be no opposition to continuing to grow in our specialized knowledge of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.  That has to be a GIVEN right now.  What is not a GIVEN is that those with this specialized knowledge are dependable.

The problem of their lack of dependability seems to keep growing.  They keep pointing out what is not dependable (ex. James Barr), but they do a weak job of replacing what is not dependable with something that is dependable.  I'm afraid that a major part of this problem goes back to the place where our schools that were designed to give us sense failed to do so.

Don't get me wrong, I am strongly in favor of schools.  I believe in "sense and schools" as much as I believe in "rules and freedom".  They are inseparable.  But the point of schools is to provide sense and eliminate nonsense. Nonsense is what I believe is resulting in "random catastrophic failure".  Something is wrong. Elimination of what is wrong is not happening frequently enough.  We have got a problem right NOW.

What I would like to do is have everyone take a deep breath (in football we call this a "time out") and take some time to find out to text if they possess common sense.  That goes for everyone who wants to know the meaning of holy or blessed or any biblical words for that matter.  The problem is that there has not been a good test for common sense.  (While there are a lot of tests for whether you know Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek).

Reading Thomas Paine's Common Sense won't do it.  That is somewhat of a dead end.  Common sense is something that you can't study for once you are asked, because then you are admitting you don't HAVE it. Relationally, you either HAVE or you DON'T' HAVE it, when you are asked the question.   So here is the big test.  By the way, I would have struggled to come up with the answer not that long ago myself. So don't feel bad, rather get yourself tested.  That is the first step to getting it, if we don't have it already.

I want you to answer a simple essay question without any studying.  I want to find out whether you have it right NOW (not later).  I want everyone who is going to read my definition of holy or give me their definition of holy to at least possess common sense BEFORE they or I speak on the topic.  (I have already given my definition in earlier posts, if you trust my common sense.)

To do this testing of common sense, I am offering a series of tests.  It will have three parts over the remaining days of this week (the week starting Sunday, April 20, 2014).  Remember to really prove you have common sense right now you have to avoid cheating.  This is all based on a honesty system.  I can't check all the cheaters at the door, but you can check yourself.  By the way, God is checking you at the door (according to my mother).

I want you to post your answers in the comment sections below.  You can write out the answer in as little as 5 to 10 words in a list or you can expand on it.  The question is whether you are among the HAVES or the HAVE NOTS in the place and time you are RIGHT NOW.  There is no better timing.

I will not be posting answers, until there is enough interacting with the question (100 + people), but I will let you know if you get 100 % as soon as I can without giving the answer away to everyone else.  (I will be open to common sense suggestions on how to do this process better. I also have never done this process quiet like this before. You know what that means.  )

So here is the question:  "Tell me in as short of a manner as you can, the common sense words in your language?"  Please time yourself and give yourself a full 15 minute time period, if needed.  I hope you do well!  Thank you for taking part.  

Don't worry, I'll giving the definition of holy to all who possess common sense without "random catastrophic failures!  Again, thank you for taking an active part.



Blessed and holy: Understanding Them Better Through Luke 10:25-28. (Amount - Part 1 of 5)


One of the great problems in education is rote learning.   It is learning the answer to a question without knowing how to get the answer without having been first given the answer.   Too much of education including some of what I do myself makes this mistake.  A great example is that I used to interview coaches and I would tell them what I was looking for.   Right there I gave them the answers and they quickly nodded their consent.   I had their consent, but not their understanding or their knowledge.  I needed to have put the bar higher.  So that is what I am going to do here.  I need to find out if people understand and not just consent, because then I can trust people to be accountable without my help.

So with the bar higher, I am not just going to give a definition for holy or blessed.   I need people who understand these words, not mouth the definition from a dictionary.  Do you know how to find their meaning in the Bible?  That is a far better question.  This may shock a few people, but many scholars only repeat the definition they learned in school but they don't know how to find the definition for themselves.  They cheat and use a lexicon and call that scholarship.  

I want to prove that today.  Defining holy and defining blessed are only two examples, but there is one example that I find really glaring.  Most students (including scholars) can tell me the words of the greatest commandment by quoting from one of the gospels.  What they cannot do is explain to me is how the lawyer or Jesus knew this before their answer was recorded.  They also cannot answer equally a number of related questions.  

So here is my set of questions for you and them:

1)  What is the greatest judgment in the Bible?   How do you know this?
2)  What is the greatest testimony in the Bible?  How do you know this?
3)  What is the greatest law in the Bible?  How do you know this?
4)  What is the greatest commandment in the Bible?  How do you know this (beside quoting from a gospel writer)?
5)   What is the greatest statute in the Bible?  How do you know this?

Notice that if you can answer, "How to you know this?", then you can answer the rest of the questions and not just one of the questions.  It is 5xs times more valuable to know how than what in this case.  It could be though that is too conservative of a value.  It might have exponential value instead which is much higher!

Here is another thing I would like to ask.  I would like to ask  "If, 'Do you for others what you would have them do for you', is the golden rule for the greatest commandment; then what is the corresponding golden values for the other greatest things listed above?"

1) What is the golden continuity in the Bible? (to go with the greatest law)
2)  What is the golden bond in the Bible?  (to go with the greatest testimony)
3) What is the greatest model in the Bible?  (to go with the greatest law)
4)  What is the greatest rule in the Bible? (obvious, to go with the greatest commandment)
5)  What is the greatest sense in the Bible?  (to go with the greatest statute)

This means being at least 5 times more understanding, if you can answer all of these. Please keep in mind, these would not be know just to lawyers and rabbis like Jesus.  Golden things are the easy to understand dummy-level materials of the Bible.  See the spirit that I say this in through the picture below.  It is not a matter of insult.  It is a matter of do we know or do we really understand.  Understanding here is greater than rote learning.

I like as a teacher to create understanding students, who can move on to be teachers themselves.  But if you want cheap answers, then I warn you that I won't be giving those out.  I can tell you what holy means, but you need to see how easy it is found in the Bible.  If you can answer my questions, then you will have little trouble defining it.  Actually, you will have a lot less then scholars.  Otherwise, you are going to be subject to deception.  Do we want a Christianity (or a Judaism) that is buying things, because we are dumb enough to buy it?

You can try to answer these questions above through using the comments section below.  I will grade you, but I will not give you the easy answers.  You have to think on at least the easiest level.  I want to make sure you understand and that you understand that you don't understand even the greatest commandment, if you don't know how a person knows this is the greatest.

Best of all, I can hope that you will learn more without the answers provided in advance.  Let's test what we really know and understand before we ask for a teacher's help.  I hope you do well and I look forward to your answers.  Remember, every attempt to understand is moving toward understanding.  An attempt is never wasted.  It is the lack of an attempt that is wasted.  May God bless your efforts and my teaching.

In Christ,