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Friday, April 11, 2008

Thoughts about the first two verses of Hebrews chapter 1

This came about through a discussion about God speaking to us today. I used Job chapter 33 as well as other verses to show that he did, while others used Hebrews chapter 1 to show that he didn't.

Well.....it really all comes down to ......is God limited to talking to people through the text alone? Many who believe that God only talks to us through the text don't deny that He can talk to us in other ways......they just don't think he does.

The argument for God speaking outside of the text was mainly about the "Witness" of the Holy Spirit (John chapter 15 and the book ofActs), as well as God talking to us through our dreams and visions(Job chapter 33). As well as still using Angels(as seen in the book of Acts with cornelius).

One side said yes, while the other side said no.




NIV
Hebrews chapter 1


"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs."


verse one
ESV
<>"Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,"


In the Old Covenant God spoke to the People through Moses, and through the other Major and Minor prophets.

In other words....in the Old Testament God constantly spoke "indirectly" through the Holy Spirit and Angles in the Law(the first 5 books) and the Prophets(all the other books).

But even in this we know that God spoke to non-prophets as well.....as seen through other verses. So just because Hebrews chapter 1 is saying God spoke to the Prophets....that doesn't mean he didn't use Angels and the Holy Spirit to speak to nonprophets......we already know from other verses that Hebrews chapter 1 can't be takin in a super strict sense......to mean.....God didn't speak to non-prophets in the Old Testament....because it's not mentioned in Hebrews chapter 1.



verse two
ESV
"2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world."



In the New Covenant......the line of demarcation.....God speaks to the people "directly" through the Incarnation of His Son.

We can see this in the four Gospels.......Jesus mostly speaks in the four Gospels......But Jesus also tought and trained the Apostles for 3 years, so God spoke to us through them as well.....indirectly...but under the authority of the Son. If we took Hebrews chapter one in a super strict sense....then we can't say "God used the Apostles to speak to us either."

We can see this in all the other books in the New Testament.


But even in this we know through other verses that Jesus chose to speak to Paul, and the Holy Spirit still spoke to people.....the same with Angels.


The only difference is that it wasn't done by the Law & Prophets anymore. It was done By the Ministry of Jesus(the Son)......so the Holy Spirit and Angels did it under a New Covenant.......The Holy Spirit leads People to Christ


John 15:26
"When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me."


In the New Covenant the Holy Spirit will "speak/testify" about Christ.


We can see the same with the Angels in the book of Acts.



So Hebrews chapter 1 is mainly talking about a "Change of Covenants".


It isn't talking about Jesus being the "only one" that speaks in His Ministry. From looking at other texts we know that He allowed the Apostles to speak about Him, and in looking at John chapter 15 the Holy Spirit was going to speak about Him as well. And in looking at Acts we saw that Jesus used An Angel to speak to Cornelius.



So Hebrews chapter one is just talking about how the New Covenant is greater than the older one. And in looking at other texts (side by side with this text) we know that the Apostles, the Holy Spirit, and Angels were speaking to people in Jesus's Ministry.




I maybe wrong, but I don't think it's a Biblical mandate for God to only speak to us through the written text. The written text itself never says that.

In order for me to believe the other view.....one would have to show me a scripture that explicitly says "after Saint John dies" God will no longer speak directly to men through Angels, Jesus, and His Holy Spirit.

One will have to show me a scripture that says:

"After the death of Saint John, God will only speak through the written text only"


We have testimony after Testimony of God still doing what was said in Job chapter 33. Even now.......in modern times people are having the same experience as that shown in scripture. This issue can also lead to the issue of modern day maricles. Some might simply disagree because they feel it may compromise the canon. But I disagree. Jesus did alot of miracles that were never recorded in the canon. we see a hint of this in the last chapter of the Gospel of John. Yet that doesn't negate the fact that what Jesus did was real.

In order for something to be real.....it doesn't have to be in the canon. Therefore the Authority of the Canon is not in jeopardy. And to make Maricles or God speaking only real because it was recorded in the written text is to lean towards a type of semi-Atheism.



So in the end....I will say that we are suppose to test our experiences by the scriptures. If our experiences lines up with scripture then what's wrong? We are not suppose to ignore our experiences because what happened to us wasn't recorded as scripture.

Also when looking at scripture one must look at all the texts that talk about an issue. In the Old Testament....if one reads the books of Exodus and Deut they will never find Angels giving the Law to Moses or the People.

Yet Paul says it was givin by Angels.

Galatians 3:19
What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator.


You won't find "Angels" in the Old Testament text. And yet......I feel that many are doing a similar thing with Hebrews 1:1-2. If one wants to only stick to a super literal interpretation of the account found in Exodus and Deut then one must call Paul a liar or just ignore Paul's account of what happened.....it was also Josephuse's account too. But one would have to ignore Paul or say that Paul's account is trumpted. I don't think we would want to do that. We should look at all the acounts and decide from that. This is what I think should be done for Hebrews chapter 1.




I know this won't change the minds of those who think differently, but I was asked what I thought about the verses of Hebrews chapter 1.


We will all just have to agree to differ






JNORM888

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