Archive for the ‘Turkish Theology’ Category

Preaching (prophecy) is more important than tongues but does tongues have a value or can it be misused?

November 13, 2020

So let us look at some of the Greek in the first two verses of 1 Corinthians chapter 14;

1 Διώκετε τὴν ἀγάπην, ζηλοῦτε δὲ τὰ πνευματικά, μᾶλλον δὲ ἵνα προφητεύητε. 1 Corinthians 14:1

  1. Διώκετε τὴν ἀγάπην Seek after love (the goal is love)
  2. δὲ τὰ πνευματικά and desire the spiritual (gifts)
  3. μᾶλλον δὲ ἵνα προφητεύητε  but especially (mallon) that you might prophecy

The first part of verse one the verb diokete seek   is imperative 2nd person plural.  It is a command that Paul gives.

The second verb ζηλοῦτε desire (zealous) is also in the imperative and is therefore a command.

Mallon; especially or more is a comparative… but linked to prophecy. 

Prophecy  is in the subjunctive  and active (in the now ).  It means may prophecy

So, what is Paul saying?

My paraphrase after all the reading;

Make love your goal and at the same time be zealous for spiritual gifts and more so for the gift of prophecy.

In the first verse tongues doesn’t even get a look in!  

Why?

Paul will spell it out and he isn’t against tongues but tongues (ecstatic speaking) doesn’t build the church.  This was the problem. Let us continue looking at verse 2

2 ὁ γὰρ λαλῶν γλώσσῃ οὐκ ἀνθρώποις λαλεῖ ἀλλὰ θεῷ, οὐδεὶς γὰρ ἀκούει, πνεύματι δὲ λαλεῖ μυστήρια· 1 Corinthians 14:2

2 For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. 1 Corinthians 14:2

Obviously verse two is interesting that speaking in a tongue is seen as speaking to God and it is a mystery.  At the time of Paul, a lot of the cults in Greece and Turkey would have been classified as mystery religions.  One had to be initiated into the rite of a particular god.  Paul was using language that they understood because everyone inside the church and outside the church used this language. 

Christianity is not a mystery religion; it is a public religion that all can understand.  It is the antithesis of mystery.   I don’t have a problem with tongues being used in this way and used in one’s own devotional times, the problem is though, if no one understands the message of the Gospel in church. There is a danger that when tongues are used that people want to know the ‘secret’.  Could this also be a danger in all tongues speaking churches that there is a hankering for a mystery that God wants to share.  Could the ordinary church goer be misled and give over hard cash for some secret?

So, we have had Pauls premise that prophecy is superior in the first five verses.  This hasn’t changed but now he is going to go into an example.   I think the key word here would be ‘clarity’.  Tongues speaking at Corinth wasn’t clear for the outsider.  It seems very strange to me that Paul starts talking about bugle sounds and so forth, but I think the tongues here is in a particular genre type.  The genre has come from the Hellenic world.

Encyclopaedia Britannica says;

“Glossolalia, also called speaking in tongues, (from Greek glōssa, “tongue,” and lalia, “talking”), utterances approximating words and speech, usually produced during states of intense religious experience. The vocal organs of the speaker are affected; the tongue moves, in many cases without the conscious control of the speaker; and generally unintelligible speech pours forth. Speakers and witnesses may interpret the phenomenon as possession by a supernatural entity, conversation with divine beings, or the channelling of a divine proclamation or inspiration.” Taken from https://www.britannica.com/topic/glossolalia

In Corinth speaking in tongues was a norm inside and outside of the Church especially I think in the Temples.  The question I suppose is what spirit is controlling the speaker.  Obviously tongues of a different genre could be seen at Peters proclamation of the Gospel where everyone understood him!  Paul could not deny tongues as the Holy Spirit has also used this as a vehicle to proclaim the Gospel.  This Apostolic Tongues was very special, and it was a sign and the people literally understood everything the Apostles said; as the Holy Spirit was the interpreter of the tongues.    

In Corinth tongues speaking compared to the Apostolic version was a mere shadow of the real thing.  Nether the less St Paul did not condemn it.  This was seen as a gift from the Holy Spirit.  For the user of tongues in their own devotion, there wasn’t a problem. The other difference was that; in Acts the Apostles, Peter spoke with all of his faculties, there was no loss of the conscious mind.  The tongues in Corinth was the opposite; they would have gone into uncontrollable bliss (experience).  It would have been closer to how tongues were spoken in the Pagan Temples but sanctified tongues. The type of tongues speaking from my point of view is that it is only a copy of the real thing but still within the framework of the Holy Spirit.               

You can also visit my other blog at; https://hasan-godtalk.blogspot.com/                                              

The Giver of Gifts is Holy and therefore let us reciprocate this great love for the church and look beyond ourselves in love.

September 25, 2020

Now I decided to go over this section again.  I felt that it was important to look at some key words that can help us get deeper into the text.  So, the first thing I will do is just give a word list based on the text below.  Once we have gotten acquainted with the words, we can start to find out what Paul was really trying to say to the Corinthians.  When I do give the list of words don’t fret.  Like in English a word can have several meanings or interpretations.   But I felt it was important for you to see other ways it has been translated in the Bible.

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the effecting of  miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the  distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

EnglishGreek
Varieties  3xg1243. διαίρεσις diairesis ; from 1244; a division:–   varieties(3).
Gifts x2g5486. χάρισμα charisma ; from 5483; a gift of grace, a free gift:–
favor(1), free gift(3), gift(5), gifts(7), spiritual gift(1).

Ministriesg1248. διακονία diakonia ; from 1249; service, ministry:–
ministries(1), ministry(19), mission(1), preparations(1), relief(1), serve(1), service(7), serving(2), support(1).
giveng1325. δίδωμι didōmi ; redupl. from the root δο- do-; to give (in various senses lit. or fig.):–
add(1), allow(2), bestowed(4), cause(2), commanded*(1), dealing(1), drew(1), gave(79), give(122), given(117), gives(14), giving(12), grant(15), granted(10), granting(2), leave(1), make(1), offer(2), pass(1), pay(5), permitted(1), pour(1), poured(1), produce(1), produces(1), producing(1), put(6), puts(1), putting(1), show(1), struck*(1), utter(1), venture*(1), yielded(3).

So in verse 4 Paul  says that there  are a varieties of gifts.  It just means that there are various gifts.  The word for gift here is χάρισμα charisma which is to do with grace. In other words a free gift from God that has positive implications and is supposed to benefit the whole church.   I went on to Wikipedia and I found it interesting that this word come from being happy (from χαίρω (khaírō, “I am happy”)) + -μα (-ma).) . 

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CF%87%CE%AC%CF%81%CE%B9%CF%83%CE%BC%CE%B1

Anyway, we should be happy that God loves us so much that he meets all our needs.  From the point of view of the 21st century however, people can interpret this in a selfish manner.  For example, this is a gift for me.  God wants to bless the whole church and not just the individual although I am not saying that you are not important.  When you are given a gift what do you do with it?  Perhaps you were given some money for some new clothes; Did you spend it on alcohol instead?  The gifts that are given here are by God, so we ought to show them the greatest of respect for we stand on holy ground.  If we stand on holy ground, then the gifts must be holy and must be used in a holy manner and how the Giver intended them to be used.

These gifts whatever they are those mentioned here and elsewhere have been given by the Holy Spirit for the Church.  Not any one person has all the gifts.  They are shared out.  Paul keeps saying ‘to another’ 4 or 5 times. 

The gift that has the most contention I suppose in the 21st century outside of Pentecostal and charismatic circles is tongues. Glossolalia from my point of view ought to be understood as a divine language rather than a foreign language.  Why do I come to this conclusion?  The reason is that as well as Christian glossolalia there were other mystic religions at the time that used it.  It was part of the ancient universal culture of the Middle East at the time. 

This article is interesting even if you don’t agree with it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossolalia

I don’t claim to really understand what is going on in these chapters but I can say that God is bigger than us, his love is bigger than us, and his gifts are bigger than we could imagine or think.  God became a man and died in our place so that we could be in an eternal relationship with the divine.  What a blessing. Let us look beyond the gifts to our great Trinitarian God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

There are many gifts which God the Holy Spirit shares out as He wills

September 16, 2020

9/16/2020

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:4

When we talk about the gifts, let us be aware that it is God the Holy Spirit that gives these gifts. There is no evidence in the Bible that these gifts died out as some segments of the Church says.  God does not Change; He is the Same yesterday, today and forever. In Corinth there were many false gifts in these cultic religions but not the real thing. The Church is different. We need to search our hearts and make sure it is in the appropriate place. If we are from a charismatic background do, we emphasis the ‘power’ and get some type of emotional kick out of it and offer false worship to God and live a lie. We think more about the gift that the Giver.  This is a real danger and if you have done this repent and get your life aligned how it ought to be.

We might be on the other spectrum and say that the gifts are dead and gone.  I would say; What are you afraid of? Are you scared that the outer appearance of church discipline will break the church? Perhaps you as a church are being too disciplinarian and stifling the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God and you are not the giver of these gifts.  Be careful that you don’t stand in Gods way.  Although as Christians let us always remember the Lords table that we humble ourselves.  It is no accident that the greatest gift to the world and the church is the death of Christ and everything should point us to Christ and what he accomplished.

In all of this let us remember that there is no such thing as the perfect Christian and when discussing let us show true humility in these things. Whatever side of the Church you are from.  For there is only one church, not three hundred or four hundred.

Do this in remembrace of me!

September 3, 2020

9/3/2020

24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 1 Corinthians 11:24

Jesus the Lord praying to his heavenly Father and our heavenly Father through and in Jesus Christ gives thanks.  Before moving on and speaking about this verse let us think about thanks in a general sense.  What does ‘thanks’ actually mean?  It is an ‘ appreciation and pleasure because of something that has been done for you:’

Taken from;  https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/thanks

So what sort of things have you given thanks for, not necessarily spiritual stuff but rather in your every day living.  Perhaps it was your birthday and someone gave you a present or perhaps someone got married 10 years ago and your give thanks.

The Lord gave thanks. According to FF Bruce perhaps this Judaic thanks could have been in Jesus Mind; “Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe , who bringest forth bread forth from the earth…” Or perhaps as it is the new covenant written in Jesus’ blood the annaugaration of the Church.  Whatever the case might mean in any thanksgiving by its very context there has to be gratitude.  The first blessing is important in that we need food for our daily lives but even more we should be grateful to our Lord for allowing us into the very presence of God through the blood of Christ.

Explanation; 1 VCorinthians 8, 7-13

July 28, 2020

28th July 2020

1 Corinthians chapter 8 verses 7-13

Having looked at Paul’s view of God

 

“7 However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 8 But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. 9 But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? 11 For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. 12  And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.” 1 Corinthians 8:7-13 NASB

 

Quotations from 1 Corinthians NASB

“7 However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

My Explanation

For the mature Believer, they know that the idols are no gods.  For some however, they haven’t come to this point of view.

8 But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. For the more mature, food is food and that is what it is.  Nothing more, nothing less.
9 But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. This knowlege if not tempered with love for the brother, sister can cause problems (stumbling block)
10 For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? So a younger believer sees you eating this meat… It could have a detremental effect on his faith somehow.

 

11 For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. Remember Christ died for the weaker brother/ sister as much as for you.
12  And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Not showing love to the weaker bother/ sister through your actions is a sin.
13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.” 1 Corinthians 8:7-13 NASB

 

Paul says there are grounds for becoming a vegetarian.

 

As we said earlier; Knowledge needs to be tempered with love. Knowlege on its own puffs up and makes one arrogent.

Interpretation; 1 Corinthians 8 6

July 27, 2020

27th July 2020

Interpretation

So, we see the all things flow from the father including our own existence that is why some translations use the word ‘exist’ and then purpose ‘for’.   It is no accident that the Lord Jesus Christ the ‘Son’ is mentioned.  We can only come to the Father through the agency of the Son. This is very clear in this verse.  I can also see why ‘in’ is not the favoured translation (although it is used in the KJV).  The reason for this is that the ‘in’ becomes ambiguous in English;

The ambiguity I;

  1. ‘In’ puts us directly in relation to the Father and circumvents the agency of Christ. This goes against the Greek.

It relates us to Christ which is the correct reading

The Beginnings of the Trinitarian doctrine. 1 Corinthians verse 6b

July 26, 2020

26th July 2020

Verse 6b continued

Now we need to look at this verse from a Christian faith point of view.  We move away from Islam here and there is no way of bridging the gap as Tawhid prohibits this.  For the Christian Believer it is of great importance.  As we said earlier Paul pointed out that all the gods were not gods.  For the Christian there is only one God revealed in the three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

“…we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.”

1 corinthiand 8 6

The interlinear was taken from Biblos;

https://biblehub.com/interlinear/1_corinthians/8-6.htm

 

If there are any mistakes in what I say they will be all mine but I have to say these words are seriously important.  So before commenting more I want to go through each section so that we are crystal clear on what they mean.  I have broken the verse into 5 sections (A B C D E )so that you can follow my argument.

My Translation

Section A = Yet for us there is One God the Father out of Whom are all things.

ἀλλ’ ἡμῖν εἷς θεὸς ὁ πατήρ, ἐξ οὗ τὰ πάντα

Here God is the subject of the sentence.  The bit where I translated ‘out of ’ this is ‘ex’ (for example exodus God called His people out of Egypt).

 

Section B= ‘we in Him’

καὶ ἡμεῖς εἰς αὐτόν

The word eis being a preposition here can be translated in various ways;

  1. Locative; ‘in’ or ‘into’ KJV uses ‘in’
  2. Time;  for example, ‘came into’ but not appropriate here
  3. Or purpose; ‘for’

Section C =  ‘and one Lord Jesus Christ’

καὶ εἷς κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός

This is straight forward

Section D =  ‘’Through’ or ‘by’ all things’

δι’ οὗ τὰ πάντα

Section E  =  ‘and we through or by him’

καὶ ἡμεῖς δι’ αὐτοῦ

My final translation for verse 6

‘Yet for us there is One God the Father from Whom are all things. We in (or exist for) Him and one Lord Jesus Christ by all things and we through Him’

The Trinity and false ideas about the Trinity.

July 25, 2020

25th July 2020

This is the end of our excursion into The Trinity.  We have looked at one germ root for the Trinity in St Paul.  We also looked at the Koran (In English)

We learned that;

  1. There were people in the Middle East that worshiped Mary as a goddess
  2. The Islamic response was to question this worship.
  3. The Koran doesn’t claim 100% that this is the Trinity
  4. The Ulema (Muslim scholars) need to revisit these verses and be honest about them.
  5. The Holy Trinity as taught universally is not this so-called trinity mentioned in the Quran.

The worship of Mary

July 24, 2020

24th July 2020

So, from looking at the evidence, the Koran is correct in the formulation that there was a heretical religious group that claimed to be Christians and they did make Mary out to be a god.  The problem here is that this was localized and did not actually speak about the universal Trinitarian point of view.  Even so looking at verse 116 in the Koran God is asking a question.  It is the ulema that have given this interpretation of the Trinity.

I did some research and these wiki’s page is helpful;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collyridianism

https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/collyridianism

Cocluding remarks on a false view of the Trinity.

July 23, 2020

23rd July 2020

If the Muslim chooses to study the evidences of objective history, he can delve into the depth of the encumbrances and misgivings which trouble him.  Quite likely they will evaporate, and the spring of heretical teachings will be exposed before his eyes.  When a religion is deprived of objective search and evidence the followers find themselves in perplexing quandaries, sailing in rough waters.”

Taken from

http://cosmades.org/articles/tathlis.htm