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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.

Ben Asher

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About Ben Asher

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    Philology, hermeneutics, Intercultural studies, Classical Hebrew, and modern Japanese

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    Male

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    Married

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    Christian

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    Japan

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  1. Greetings Faber, You raise, in my opinion, a very salient point well worth taking the time to contemplate! You certainly have put in a lot of effort to compile a list of comments and verses you believe relate to or address this issue. I believe, however, that your point would perhaps be stronger if you added a bit of exegesis of Deuteronomy 6:4 and/or examined it in its grammatico-historical context within the canon of scripture. I do want to reiterate that the point you raise in the title and your opening sentence is a very important one!
  2. The above is incorrect as neither the Latin rite (Tridentine Mass) nor the western Roman Catholic Church ever replaced or superseded the rest of Christendom. Case and point think of ecclesiastical communities like but not limited to the: The Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, The Chaldean Catholic Church, The Maronite Church, The Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, The Greek Orthodox Church, The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. Those communities have been reading the Bible in and using ecclesiastic rites in languages like Coptic, Syriac/Aramaic, Koine Greek, Ge'ez, and Amharic. Outside of Christendom, Jewish communities of faith throughout the centuries have largely read the Bible/Tanach in Hebrew (or at least the Sefer Torah) and recited prayers from the Siddur(The prayer book) in Aramaic and Hebrew. Grace and Peace
  3. Ben Asher

    Greetings

    Welcome to the forums! ברוך הבא
  4. Ben Asher

    Noah's Flood

    Here is one way of thinking through the context of the texts on Noah. Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible. Galaxie Software, 2003. (screen shot from my Logos Library)
  5. Ben Asher

    Music

    Since, you posted this question in the Church of Christ sub-forum I am wondering if you might have the Church of Christ/restoration movement's almost exclusive use of acapella music in mind? In other words were you attempting to ask something like: Is it wrong to listen to/use instrumental music? If, the above is the case then I would answer that members of Churches of Christ do listen to instrumental music outside of public/Congregational worship assembles/settings. So, in general I would doubt that any member of the Churches of Christ have anything against listening to or using instrumental music. .................................................................................................................................................................................. I believe, however, that in worship settings they refrain from instrumental music for the following rationals: (1) in order to follow the pattern they believe the Christians in first century followed (2) Because they believe the NT never explicit mentions (nor commands) the use of instruments in Christ worship Some individuals in the Churches of Christ might answer: (1) Barton Warren Stone and Thomas Campbell (men who helped shape the American restoration movement) were former Presbyterian Ministers at a time when many Presbyterian congregations still practiced Exclusive psalmody and used acapella music exclusively. Actually, the Reformed Presbyterian Church, the American Presbyterian Church (not to be confused with the Presbyterian Church in America), and some the of the Free Presbyterian Churches continue to use acepella music in worship. (2) The early Churches after the 1st and 2nd ceturies remained acepella for a while. (3) Jewish congregations in the past and Orthodox Jewish congregation in the present continue to use acepella music in worship. Grace and Peace
  6. Ben Asher

    How really accurate is the bible?

    Thank you very much for spotting my blunder and for correcting my post for me! Here is a new image with the correct(or corrected) verse reference:
  7. Ben Asher

    How really accurate is the bible?

    כן, תודה רבה! אני מתבייש Yes, thank you! How embarrassing. Is there anyway to edited my post? Either way, thank you for catching this blunder of mine. And, I apologize for the mistake/misinformation. שמור על קשר
  8. Ben Asher

    How really accurate is the bible?

    To better illustrate the point above please notice the following, These words are written the same way, but in the Masoretic text they are notated with different vowel points (blue) and different accent/cantillation marks (red). The notation leads us to read ויראו in Exodus 24:10 as "and they saw" and as "they feared" in Deut. 17:13. Even though from the standpoint of the vowel points the meaning may seem crystal clear in these cases we must remember that the Masorah is an interpretation. As mentioned before the Masorah is not present in Sefer Torah (Torah scrolls) nor in the Dead Sea manuscripts (it is present in Codex). Without the Masorah the ויראו could be read either way. Just for fun here are how the following verses look in the Torah. ויראו את אלהי ישראל ותחת רגליו כמעשה לבנת הספיר וכעצם השמים לטהר (Exodus 24:10) וכל־העם ישמעו ויראו ולא יזידון עוד (Deut. 17:13) Peace
  9. Ben Asher

    Greetings ChristForums.org

    Please pardon me for the belated response. I am a bit flabbergasted as I hadn't anticipated the responses to my brief self-introduction nor for that matter the very gracious warm welcome I received from everyone who has posted to this thread thus far. Thank you, Becky, Deade, William, CDF47, GaoLu, and Bill Taylor for welcoming me to these forums. I look forward to learning from and fellowship with all of you, soon. I do not mind at all. I will send you a PM, soon. ............................................................................................................................................................... Gratia vobis et pax a Deo Patre nostro et Domino Iesu Christo Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  10. Ben Asher

    Greetings ChristForums.org

    Greetings ChristForums.org, According to my profile I joined these forums on Friday 10/26/2018 at 07:38 pm not sure what time zone that refers to? (my current time zone is UTC +9). However, I have yet to introduce to myself, so what follows is my brief introduction: The user name I use on these forums Ben Asher is a pen-name or a pseudonym (my real name is Brian k. Mitchell). I am interested in Biblical philology, hermeneutics, various models of confessional interpretation, language acquisition. I look forward to conversing, exchanging ideas, and Koinonia with you! ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. άρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη πληθυνθείη ἐν ἐπιγνώσει τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν (2 Πέτρος 1:2) (1:2 חֶסֶד וְשָׁלוֹם יִשְׁפְּעוּ עֲלֵיכֶם לְמַכְבִּיר בִּידִיעַתְכֶם אֶת אֱלֹהִים וְיֵשׁוּעַ אֲדוֹנֵנוּ (2 פֶּטְרוֹס
  11. Ben Asher

    How really accurate is the bible?

    Greetings Hakeem Alyazeedi, I will address the concern you raised above with something posted on another forum: First let's start off with a little back ground information: It is speculated (and basically accepted) that original Hebrew text of the Torah/Pentateuch was written only in consonants. Vowels points (Hebrew: Neqqudot) and cantillation marks (Hebrew: te`amim) were supplied orally by the experienced reader. Even today Sefer Torah (Scrolls of the Pentateuch) used in Synagogue are written without vowel marks and cantillation marks as is the vast majority of modern Hebrew literature. The dead sea scrolls for example also do not contain any diacritical markings, cantillation/accent marks, or vowels. (However, as mentioned before both accents and vowels are absent in Torah scrolls, however, all the Masoretic diacriticals are present in Masoretic codices containing books of the Hebrew Bible and in printed editions of the Hebrew Bible/Tanakh). Cantillation/accent marks and vowels can radically change the meaning of a Hebrew text. Take for example the word וראו in Exodus 24:10 it can be read as וַיִּֽרְא֣וּ (and they feared ) or as וַיִּרְא֕וּ (and they saw). Notice, both these words are letter for letter identical and in this case, they even have the same vowel pointing the only difference is the accent mark under the Aleph (א) in the word they feared (which) would probably take either a Munach or a Tiphcha accent, rather than the Zakef Gadol accent over the Aleph (א) in the word meaning (and they saw). Given that accents/te`amim or a medieval invention it is clear that they are not part of the inspired text, but or only annotations on the text. This means that Exodus 24:10 can technically be read either as וַיִּֽרְא֣וּ (and they feared ) or as וַיִּרְא֕וּ (and they saw). So, there is not necessarily a contradiction. If, however the text is taken to read וַיִּרְא֕וּ (and they saw) we still have to contend with reason for the apparent different titles. In verse 10 אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל ( Eloheiy Yisrael) and הָ֣אֱלֹהִ֔ים (Ha Elohim) is used in verse 11, but from verse 12 on to the following chapters the writer suddenly switches to using the Tetragrammaton (the mountain in verse 13 is however called הַ֥ר הָאֱלֹהִֽים). Notice the Elders see or fear Elohey Yisrael (the divinity/power/or God of Israel) but they do not see YHWH on the lower part of the mountain of Elohim(divinity). Moses goes up the mountain to speak with YHWH directly (Numbers 12:7 might have something to say about that). Why, the use of the different titles? What is the distinction being made? Here is my speculation In Genesis we aware of a number of instances in which people have an experience with a theophany / manifestation of God/YHWH, so we are aware (and Jews and Christians of the past were aware) that in the Hebrew Bible the Divine can express or manifest himself in away that humans can percieve, but I doubt anyone actually believes that those manifestations equal to seeing the fullness of God (see Jeremiah. 23:24) . My conjecture is that the different titles/names might represent different ways in which the one above all is manifesting him self. ........................................................................................................................ לֵ֣ךְ לְשָׁל֑וֹם Πορεύου εἰς εἰρήνην
  12. Ben Asher

    A Muslim on the Gospel

    Depending on the context בָּרָא may mean to 'become fat' see 1 Samuel 2:28 were it appears as הַבְרִיאֲכֶם as a hifil infinitive. Then in the piel form בֵּרֵאתָ (Joshua 17:15) and וּבֵ֣רֵאת֔וֹ (Joshua 17:18) it seems to mean something like 'to cut down'. The vast majority of it's occurrences in the Hebrew Bible translators usually take the plain form of בָּרָא to mean 'create' (as in ex nihilo) probably because God / YHWH appears to always be the subject or the implied subject of בָּרָא (for example Ezekiel 28:13/15). Another common LEMMA in Classical Hebrew with the meaning of 'make/ doing' is עשׂה yet both humans and God can be the subject of עשׂה and this may be one the factors that have lead exegetes and translator to understand the verb בָּרָא as an action that only God can do. In short: How do we know what a 'word' in question means? By reading the 'word' in it's immediate textual/cultural/historical/linguistic context very carefully, by reading 'word' in it's greater context with in the book we find, by reading the 'word' with it's canonical context, and checking dictionaries/lexicon. Now, think about some of the different ways we picked up new vocabulary as kids while in the process of acquiring our mother tongue. ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... חַפְּשׂוּ בַּתּוֹרָה הֵיטֵב וְאַל תִּסְתַּמְּכוּ עַל דְּבָרַי
  13. Ben Asher

    Noah's Flood

    Greetings Becky ! You have raise some very astute and intriguing questions. Here are a few of ways in which some Protestants have wrestled with the pericope under discussion: Wenham, Gordon J. Genesis 1–15. Vol. 1. Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1998. Print. Word Biblical Commentary. Mathews, K. A. Genesis 1-11:26. Vol. 1A. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996. The New American Commentary. Keil, Carl Friedrich, and Franz Delitzsch. Commentary on the Old Testament. Vol. 1. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996. .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... חֶסֶד וְרַחֲמִים וְשָׁלוֹם מֵאֵת אֱלֹהִים הָאָב וְהַמָּשִׁיחַ יֵשׁוּעַ אֲדוֹנֵנוּ χάρις, ἔλεος, εἰρήνη ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς καὶ χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν. Grace, mercy, peace, from Father God and Messiah Jesus our Lord.
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