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Friday: Further Thought ~ Deuteronomy in the New Testament — 5 Comments

  1. I think one of the goals of the week's lesson study was to convince us that Deuteronomy was authentic because New Testament authors quote from it. However the thought crossed my mind that both Jesus and Paul had a different agenda when they quoted from it. Deuteronomy was very familiar territory to most Jews in Jesus time. It was part of the Torah, and even if they had nothing else the local Synagogue would have had a copy that would have been kept in a special cabinet. It would have been venerated and learned. Education in those days would have comprised a lot of rote learning of the Torah. Children would learn the Deuteronomy account of the Exodus and recite parts of it at the Opening Sabbath Meal and of course at the Passover.

    Yet for all that, Jesus often said after quoting part of the Torah, "... but I say unto you ...". And he would make the point that, in spite of all their learning, they had forgotten what it was all about. They had a rich heritage with the Torah, kept in its beautiful cabinet, carried ceremonially through the streets on special occasions and learned carefully at school. They earned Jewish brownie points for being able to recite it on special occasions. They knew and venerated Holy Scripture. They used it to win arguments with one another but something was missing. Jesus had to tell them, "But I say unto you"

    Here is the take-away big picture: Seventh-day Adventists put a great emphasis on the authenticity of scripture. In fact that is one of the key points of today's study. We value scripture and many of us also value the writings of Ellen White. We use both to make points and win arguments in our discussion together. Have we come to the stage where Jesus, or a Paul, or an Ellen White, has to say to us, "But I say unto you ...!"?

  2. Today's lesson asks "Considering all the light that we have been given as Seventh-day Adventists, what should it teach us about the great responsibility upon us to be faithful to the truths that we have been given?"

    What is Christianity fundamentally about? Is it primarily about ensuring you have the right truths and then guarding those truths?

    Or is it about living in accordance with truth - living in a way that benefits others on day-by-day, person-by-person basis?

    What do we see Jesus doing while He was here on earth? Yes, He was reforming truth (as opposed to merely 'truths') but He was just as importantly offering to help others and treating them with kindness and compassion.

    It is how we treat others today that is going to speak volumes about the truth we believe.

    • Phil - yes, I also see Jesus having transformed/transfered the Truth by freeing/lifting the spirit of Truth from the pages of the Torah and making it come to life as He lived His life according to the spirit.
      He provided the example what that would look like in their time, but love and compassion are timeless; they are still applicable to our daily living in our time. He showed what it looks like when one lives the spirit of the Law - accept your God and His messenger first, love your God and your Savior, and express this love in the way you love your fellow man.

    • Yes, Phil as we live these days we must hold the truth from the bible. Keep them in our hearts, in our minds. Do action with compassion helping the needy as what Jesus did while He is in earth. My prayers goes to everyone, let's keep Jesus every day in our life.

  3. What is the truth that we as Seventh Day Adventist are called to share with others?
    I believe Peter has summarized the most important points in his last letter.

    2Peter 1:1-7 Amplified Bible
    1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Jesus Christ,
    To those who have received and possess [by God’s will] a precious faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace [that special sense of spiritual well-being] be multiplied to you in the [true, intimate] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has bestowed on us His precious and magnificent promises [of inexpressible value], so that by them you may escape from the immoral freedom that is in the world because of disreputable desire, and become sharers of the divine nature. 5 For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to, develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding), 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, steadfastness, and in your steadfastness, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly affection, and in your brotherly affection, [develop Christian] love [that is, learn to unselfishly seek the best for others and to do things for their benefit].


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