Tag Archives: Talmud

Geen plaats voor Jezus volgende Joden in Nederlandse Kerk noch in Israël

Heel veel mensen nemen wel het woord ‘joods-christelijk’ in de mond zonder goed te weten waar ze het over hebben of zonder enige affiniteit te willen voelen met het Joodse volk of hun geloof.

Diverse politieke partijen, vaak juist niet-christelijke, willen nog weleens roepen dat de Europese beschaving joods-christelijke wortels heeft.

Die term ‘joods-christelijk’ mag ook nogal raar zijn wanneer men weet dat veel Christenen eeuwenlang Joden hebben onderdrukt, vervolgd en verketterd. Ook zijn er heel wat joden die niet veel van Christus en christenen moeten hebben. Ook voor de ware volgers van Jeshua of Jezus Christus (zoals hij door velen is gekend) is het dikwijls moeilijk om zich te vereenzelvigen met christenen of om zich er maar mee verwant te voelen, daar zij vinden dat de meerderheid van christenen Jezus verloochend door zijn ongelofelijke daad van overgave niet te willen erkennen en hem tot hun god te maken.

Men kan echter niet ontkennen dat Jeshua een bijzonder figuur was die van een enorme invloed is geweest op het gebeuren in Europa. Het valt niet te ontkennen dat de christelijke godsdienst de Europese geschiedenis diepgaand heeft beïnvloed. Hoe men het draait of keert is er ook heel wat gediscussieerd, gepalaverd maar ook gevochten rond die persoon Jeshua of Jezus, die ook de Christus wordt genoemd.

Ook al werd door de eeuwen heen er heel wat gedaan om het jodendom de mond te snoeren of te vernietigen, is het de enige geloofsgroep die zich als enige de repressie van andere godsdiensten heeft weten te overleven. Ontegensprekelijk moet men in dat Joodse geloof de wortels zien van het christendom en christenheid. De aartsvader Abraham, koning David uit wiens geslacht Jezus voortkwam, de schrijvers van de boekrollen en de vele profeten waren Joden. Zelfs het Nieuwe testament werd geschreven door Joden. De eerste volgelingen van Jeshua (de Jood Jezus) waren zoals hij ook Joden. Zonder hen was de beweging “De Weg” niet op gang gekomen en zou het Christendom niet ontstaan zijn.

Nederlandse kerkvaders zien echter niet graag een verbintenis met het Joodse geslacht. Er zijn ook meerdere Nederlanders die er iets op tegen hebben om te wijzen naar de term  ‘joods-christelijk’ omdat de twee onderdelen van de term namelijk ongelijk zijn. Voor hen slaat het woord ‘joods’ op een periode voor pakweg 100 na Christus, de term ‘christelijk’ op de overige 1900 jaar.

Daarmee wordt ‘joods’ antiek verklaard – een neiging die door heel de kerkgeschiedenis te vinden is. De contemporaine jood wordt daarmee niet in zijn waarde gelaten: hij is antiek, ouderwets, aanhanger van een achterhaalde godsdienst. Hij zelf is geen onderdeel van de term ‘joods-christelijk’, terwijl zijn identiteit daar wel genoemd is.

Ook wensen zij te benadrukken dat

Alles wat genoemd is aan joodse bronnen, Oude en Nieuwe Testament, worden in deze term door christenen geïnterpreteerd, ja zelfs van naam voorzien. Het Oude Testament heet alleen maar zo, omdat er een Nieuwe Testament bestaat in het christendom.

De Nederlandse gereformeerden vinden dat het jodendom hun Hebreeuwse geschriften op een geheel eigen wijze interpreteren en mits zij Jezus niet als God erkennen ook niet onder de zaligheid van God kunnen vallen. Door die typische Joodse interpretatie is in de term ‘joods-christelijk’ volgens hen dan ook geen ruimte.

Als dat namelijk wel zo zou zijn, zouden we in onze ‘joods-christelijke’ cultuur heel wat makkelijker omgaan met jongensbesnijdenis, met speciale voedingsvoorschriften, met het idee dat er geofferd zou kunnen worden, met sluiers of hoofddoekjes of pruiken, met noem maar op. Juist omdat het christendom het Oude Testament heel anders interpreteert en deze interpretatie al eeuwen als de enig geldende meeneemt, zijn deze joodse (en islamitische) instellingen vreemd aan de Europese cultuur. Kortom, ‘joods-christelijk’ is een term vanuit de macht, niet een term die gewaardeerd wordt door de minderheid. Het is een term die de werkelijkheid versluierd: het lijkt erop alsof ‘wij’ een meerderheid en een minderheid waarderen in Nederland, maar in werkelijkheid staan we op het standpunt van de meerderheid en sluiten we twee minderheden buiten. {Eveline van St}

De Messiaans Joodse theoloog Mark S. Kinzer vraagt aandacht voor wat hij noemt een ‘bipolaire ecclesiologie’. Dat wil zeggen dat er binnen de kerk als lichaam van Christus ruimte zou moeten zijn voor een kerk uit de besnijdenis, die zich kan houden aan de Joodse wetten. Hierop vinden de Nederlandse christelijke theologen dat wij helemaal niet meer aan oude voorschriften moeten houden en dat zulk een keuze voor Joodse wetten dan zou getuigen van een niet erkenning van Jezus Christus zijn godheid en zijn positie als vernietiger van de Mozaïsche wetten. Meerdere Joden die Jeshua als hun Verlosser hebben aanvaard vinden dan wel dat zij als Joden die Jezus als de Messias volgen niet moeten ophouden zich als Joden te gedragen. De vele Messias belijdende rabbijnen vinden ook dat wij ons aan de Thora moeten houden en dat wij volledig in ons recht zijn om ons te blijven onderscheiden van de heidenen in hun levenswandel. Zo is ook de stelling van Kinzer. Daarmee hebben volgen hem deze Messiaanse Joden een dubbele taak. Enerzijds verbinden zij het lichaam van Christus met het Joodse volk, anderzijds vormen zij binnen het Joodse volk een levende verbinding met Jeshua of Jezus die de Messias is en met de kerk als zijn lichaam.

Kinzer geeft toe dat de stem van Messiasbelijdende Joden tot nog toe nauwelijks gehoord is in het nadenken over het “Joods-Christelijk” gebeuren. Kinzer biedt een handreiking aan zij die geloven dat Christus de diepste grond is onder het specifieke verbond van God met Israël.
Volgens hem zijn Joden en heidenen binnen het lichaam van Christus verbonden, omdat zij horen één te zijn in hem. De Joodse volgelingen van Jeshua zijn één in Christus, maar daardoor niet hetzelfde geworden. Meerdere Christenen begrijpen die “eenheid” niet en denken dat die “eenheid van Jezus met God” inhoudt dat Jezus God zou zijn. Maar zulk een gedachte maakt de woorden van Christus Jezus die vraagt dat wij één zouden worden met hem zoals hij één is met de Vader, voor die vele trinitarische christen zeer moeilijk, want dan zouden wij ook Jezus worden maar eveneens God worden of zijn. Dat maakt het voor die theologen in het christendom even verwerpelijk als sommige farizeeën het verwerpelijk vonden toen Jezus over die eenheid sprak, en zich dan volgens hen gelijk stelde met God. Volgens dat denken zouden Messiaanse Joden Jesjoeanen (Jesjoeaansen) of Jeshuaisten zich dan ook gelijk stellen met God. Maar niets is minder waar. Jeshuaisten als volgers van Jeshua beseffen dat Jeshua niet God is en dat het volgen van Jeshua en één worden met Jeshua helemaal niet inhoudt dat men aan God gelijk zou kunnen worden.
Wel geloven Jeshuaisten dat zij die Jeshua als de Messias willen aanvaarden onder de gemeenschap van Christus vallen. Maar Jeshuaisten geloven ook dat Jeshua de weg heeft geopend naar goyim en dat zo heidenen ook mede-erfgenamen mogen zijn, of mede-leden en mede-deelgenoten. Dat is volgens ons namelijk het mysterie van het evangelie.

Wij geloven dat Israël Gods uitverkoren volk is en dat kan misschien moeilijk liggen in de harten van vele “Christenen” en zeker van bepaalde Katholieke en protestantse theologen, die vinden dat enkel ‘godsgeleerden‘ het Woord van God kunnen verduidelijken en beslissen wie tot het Christendom mag of kan behoren. Velen van de theologen schijnen te vergeten (of niet te willen zien) dat de christelijke kerk is voort gekomen vanuit de Joodse sekte die de eerste christelijke gemeente vormde en ondenkbaar is zonder Israël. Met de Joden die Jezus als Messias belijden zouden zij zich in het geloof verbonden moeten voelen als broeders en zusters.

In 2017 trokken spanningen tussen Israëls rabbinaat en de liberale stromen in het Judaïsme, zowel in Israël als in het buitenland de aandacht door geschillen over religieus pluralisme. Maar een andere groep, die van de Messiaanse Joden, werd voortdurend geboycot door zowel het hoofdstroom van het wereld-Jodendom als Israël.

Zo nu en dan bereikt een verhaal de media over iemand die zichzelf als Jood ziet, waarvan de immigratie-aanvraag naar Israël, oftewel alya, geweigerd werd op grond van het feit dat hij of zij een Messiaanse Jood of Jeshuaist is.

Dit was zo bijvoorbeeld het geval met de Zweedse psychologe Rebecca Floer (64) en de dochter van een Holocaust-overlevende, die in november 2017 uit Israël werd gedeporteerd. Hoewel ze zichzelf niet als een Messiaanse Jodin definieert, gelooft zij in Jeshua, de naam die door Messiaanse gelovigen en Jeshuaisten voor Jezus wordt gebruikt. Maar Jeshuaisten geven zich niet graag uit als Messiaanse Joden, omdat bij die groepen heel wat trinitarische gelovigen zitten of Joden die een andere Messias belijden dan Jeshua.

In Israël is het probleem dat Jesjoeanen of Jeshuaisten niet aangesloten zijn bij de Joodse gemeenschap waardoor zij uit de boot vallen voor immigratie, aldus een hoge ‘aliya’-ambtenaar van het Agentschap, Yehuda Scharf {aan The Jerusalem Post}.

“Als iemand verklaart dat hij in Jezus gelooft, dan is hij geen Jood – hij gelooft niet in ons geloof,”

voegt hij eraan toe.

“Het is simpel. Een Jood, die naar Israël wil emigreren, zal naar Israël verhuizen als hij zijn Judaïsme kan aantonen. Indien hij zijn Jodendom niet kan bewijzen, dan is het een ander verhaal.”

De Wet op het recht van Terugkeer was door de Knesset in 1950 tot wet verheven. Om die wet te omzeilen zijn er heel wat gelovigen in Jeshua die zich in Israël ook aansluiten bij een gewone Joodse synagoge en daardoor met hun geheimhouding van hun geloof in Jeshua toch hun geloof kunnen belijden maar ook aanvaard worden als Jood.

Opmerkelijk is dat Mevrouw Floer al drie jaar deels in het noorden van Israël had gewoond op een hernieuwd toeristenvisum, werd haar paspoort inmiddels op de zwarte lijst geplaatst en kon haar advocaat haar enkel waarschuwen dat het moeilijk, zo niet onmogelijk, voor haar zal zijn om naar het land terug te keren.

Zowel in Israël als in de Joodse wereld, is er een bijna algehele verwerping van Messiaanse Joden of Joden, die in Jezus geloven zoals Jeshuaisten (of Jesjoeanen). Zij komen niet in aanmerking voor aliya, want terwijl ze zichzelf als Joden beschouwen, wordt niet geaccepteerd dat een Jood in Jeshua of Jezus kan geloven. In 1970 werd Amendement 4A van de Wet op het recht van Terugkeer aangenomen, waarin staat:

“De rechten van een Jood in het kader van deze wet en de rechten van een oleh (immigrant) onder de Nationaliteitswetgeving, 5712-1952, evenals de rechten van een oleh krachtens enige andere wet, zijn ook van toepassing op een kind en een kleinkind van een Jood, de echtgenote van een Jood, de echtgenote van een kind van een Jood en de echtgenote van een kleinkind van een Jood, met uitzondering van iemand, die een Jood was en vrijwillig zijn/haar religie heeft veranderd.”

Aldus oordeelde de Hoge Raad in 1989 dat het geloof van Messiaanse Joden in Jezus hen Christenen maakt en dat ze dus niet in aanmerking komen voor automatisch Israëlisch burgerschap, maar die beslissing werd evenwel opengelaten voor toekomstige veranderingen.

“De ‘seculaire test’ bestaat uit verschillende onderdelen en het is mogelijk om onderling de fundamenten van de Joodse godsdienst, de Hebreeuwse taal, de geschiedenis van het Joodse volk en de herbouw van de onafhankelijkheid in de staat, op te noemen. Het gewicht van deze elementen is in de loop van de tijd veranderd en zal in de toekomst veranderen. De seculier-liberale voorstelling is een dynamisch concept, dat verandert met het levenspad van het Joodse volk gedurende de geschiedenis,”

is er geschreven.

In april 2008 oordeelde het Hof dat verscheidene Messiaanse Joden in Israël recht hadden op Israëlisch burgerschap, omdat zij de afstammelingen waren van Joodse vaders of grootvaders, maar zelf nooit Joods geweest waren en zich dus niet hadden bekeerd.

“Je moet er een onderscheid tussen maken, of zij in aanmerking komen als Jood of als familielid van een Jood (amendement 4A),”

legt Prof. Barak Medina, hoogleraar staatsrecht van de Hebreeuwse Universiteit van Jeruzalem, uit. Medina merkt op, dat indien iemand zichzelf definieert als een Messiaanse Jood, hij niet verkiesbaar is op grond van zijn eigen verdienste, maar op grond van de verdienste van zijn Joodse familielid – zolang hij niet vrijwillig bekeerd is. Iemand die zich vrijwillig bekeerd heeft, benadrukt hij, wordt beschouwd als zijn recht op aliya te hebben opgegeven.

”Ik denk niet, dat deze benadering in de nabije toekomst gaat veranderen,”

zegt Medina.

Groot probleem bij de kijk naar Jeshua volgelingen of Messiaanse Joden is dat anderen bang zijn dat dit groepen zijn die anderen volstrekt willen bekeren tot hun geloof.

Rabbijn David Rosen, adviseur voor interreligieuze zaken bij het Opperrabbinaat van Israël, die tevens fungeert als de directeur van het Departement van Interreligieuze Zaken van het Amerikaans Joodse Comité bij het kijken naar Jeshua belijdende Joden gaat een enorme vergissing aan te denken dat zij mensen zijn die zouden geloven dat Jezus één van de personen van de drie-eenheid van God is. Ware volgers van Jeshua geloven namelijk niet in de valse doctrine van de Drie-eenheid. Het is juist om die reden dat In Nederland en België kerkleiders zulke gelovige niet onder het christendom willen aanvaarden. Ook al zegt rabbijn David Rosen

“Ze kunnen dus zichzelf identificeren als etnisch Joodse Christenen of Joodse Christenen, als ze dat willen. Maar ze zijn Christelijk”

Kerkvader Hieronymus zei over Messiasbelijdende Joden.

„Terwijl ze verlangen zowel Joden als christenen te zijn, zijn ze geen van beiden.”

In de Jules Isaac Stichting (opgericht in 2015) vernoemd naar de Franse Joodse historicus Jules Isaac doen ze een poging om de ontwikkeling te bevorderen van een volwaardige christelijke theologie die volgens hen werkelijk vrij is van vervangingsdenken. Zulke vervangingstheologie staat voor het idee dat de kerk de plaats van het volk Israël zou hebben ingenomen. Voor hen zijn Jeshua volgende Joden al 1500 jaar lang volkomen buiten beeld en daarom vroegen zij zich op 23 maart af wat de belangrijke Messiaans Joodse theologen als Mark Kinzer de kerk te bieden hebben en hoe het komt dat deze gelovigen nu meer in het openbaar beginnen te komen.

Hen valt het op dat de sterke opkomst van het Messiaans Jodendom sinds de jaren zestig van de afgelopen eeuw zonder meer tot de meest opmerkelijke ontwikkelingen behoort van de laatste vijftig jaar. Bewust zijnde dat Messiaans Jodendom (Messianic Judaism) staat voor de internationale beweging van Joden die het geloof in Jezus niet in strijd zien met hun Joodse identiteit kijken zij wel op naar de reden om zulk een beweging of groep niet in het christendom te aanvaarden.

Men moet nagaan waarom vanaf de vierde eeuw voor deze Joodse Jezus gelovigen geen plaats meer binnen de Kerk bleek te zijn. Vanaf toen werden zij alleen nog slechts getolereerd wanneer ze volledig afstand deden van hun Joodse identiteit.

Als gevolg van deze kerkelijke maatregel waren Messiaanse Joden 1500 jaar lang volledig van het toneel verdwenen. Maar sinds de afgelopen eeuw zijn ze terug van weggeweest. Hun aantal wordt intussen geschat op 150.00 – 200.000. En dat aantal groeit gestaag, vooral in Israël en de Verenigde Staten. Het is fascinerend te zien, hoe de beweging waarmee de kerk 2000 jaar geleden begon, juist in onze tijd opnieuw groeit en bloeit. Redenen genoeg om een studiedag te wijden aan deze fascinerende en belangrijke ontwikkeling.

vond de Jules Isaac Stichting.

Jeroen Bol, voorzitter van de Jules Isaac Stichting, gaf in zijn lezing een historisch overzicht van het Messiaans Jodendom. Zoals de periode vóór de Reformatie gekenmerkt werd door sterke anti-Joodse trekken in kerk en theologie, is er volgens hem kort ná de Reformatie, met name in Engeland, sprake van een trendbreuk.

Théodore de Bèze (Theodorus Beza) in 1577

Het zijn de Engelse puriteinen geweest die in toenemende mate afstand begonnen te nemen van het anti-judaïsme in de theologie van de middeleeuwse rooms-katholieke kerk. Was de klassieke theologie tot dan toe doortrokken van wat men later de ‘teaching of contempt’ (‘catechese der verguizing’) is gaan noemen, bij de Engelse puriteinen zien we rond 1600 een ‘teaching of esteem’ ontstaan. Het begin van deze omslag wordt doorgaans gezien bij de kanttekening die Beza rond 1560 in de Geneva Bible plaatste bij Romeinen 11:25-26. Contra Calvijn die hij zojuist in Geeve had opgevolgd stelde Beza dat Israël hier niet staat voor de kerk maar voor het Joodse volk. In diezelfde periode rond 1560 doceerden de grote theologen Martin Bucer en Peter Martyr op grond van Romeinen 11 dat de kerk nog een toekomstige massale bekering van het Joodse volk staat te wachten. Steeds meer puriteinse theologen na hen brachten met name op grond van hun exegese van Rom.11:12-15 die toekomstige massale bekering in verband met een eveneens te verwachten massale wereldwijde opwekking van ongekende proporties. Ook de latere Humble Attempt van Jonathan Edwards moet helemaal in deze traditie gezien worden. Het is een bij uitstek optimistische theologie waarin een positieve (toekomstige) rol voor het Joodse volk is weggelegd. Dit staat in scherp contrast met het Middeleeuws scenario waarin de Joden doorgaans het bij uitstek voor altijd verdoemde volk waren.

schrijft Bol, die verder betoogt

Grote namen uit de tijd rond 1600 waren o.a. de puriteinse theologen Thomas Brightman en Hugh Broughton. Broughton was een groot geleerde op het gebied van het Hebreeuws en de geschriften van de rabbijnen. Hij was de eerste Engelsman die het plan opvatte om als zendeling onder de Joden in het Nabije Oosten te gaan werken. Hij stond ook in nauw contact met rabbijn Abraham Ruben van Constantinopel. Deze rabbijn had contact gezocht met Broughton omdat hij zijn hulp wilde bij het vertalen van het Nieuwe Testament in het Hebreeuws. De hele 17e eeuw wordt overigens in zowel Engeland, Holland en Duitsland gekenmerkt door een enorme belangstelling onder protestante theologen voor de studie van het Hebreeuws en van Joodse geschriften als de Talmud en de Mishna. Het Joodse volk stond, anders dan in de Middeleeuwen, voor het eerst in de geschiedenis van de kerk veel positiever op de radar in protestant West Europa.

In de 18 eeuw valt die intense aandacht voor de plaats van Israël terug, ze is dan veel minder prominent aanwezig. Maar het oude kerkelijke antijudaïsme wint niet opnieuw terrein in Engeland. Het is of het nieuwe denken over Israël even pas op de plaats maakt. De 18e eeuw is de eeuw van de grote internationale evangelical awakening. Een opwekking van een geografische en getalsmatige orde van grootte die tot dan ongeëvenaard was. Engeland, Wales, Schotland, Noord Ierland, Scandinavië, Duitsland en niet te vergeten het toen nog Engelse Noord Amerika, in al die landen was sprake van opwekking en kerkgroei. het was de geboortetijd van evangelicaal christendom.

De daarop volgende 19e eeuw wordt eveneens gekenmerkt door krachtige opwekkingen en verdere groei en ontwikkeling van de evangelicale beweging. Het is ook de eeuw van de grote doorbraken op het gebied van zending. Engeland is deze eeuw het brandpunt, maar ook piëtistisch Duitsland speelt een belangrijke rol. Het is in deze eeuw dat aandacht voor het Joodse volk weer volop in het middelpunt van de evangelicale agenda komt te staan. Zending onder de Joden en passie voor de in de Schrift voorzegde terugkeer van het Joodse volk naar Palestina, het was gemeengoed in het denken van vooral de calvinistische evangelicale christenen in het Engeland van de 19e eeuw. Sterk aanwezig was ook het bewustzijn dat de Joden met name van de hand van de Rooms Katholieke Kerk eeuwenlang onnoemelijk veel en verschrikkelijk onrecht was aangedaan. Deze evangelicale christenen wilden heel nadrukkelijk een heel ander gezicht van het christendom laten zien: werkelijke naastenliefde, daadwerkelijke hulp, opkomen voor gerechtigheid. In diezelfde 19e eeuw treffen we dit type opwekkingschristendom in Nederland aan in de kringen van het Reveil (Isaac Da Costa) en bij een beweging als het Heil des Volks (ds. Jan de Liefde). In Engeland was Lord Shaftesbury wel de bekendste onder hen. Andere bekende namen in Engeland zijn o.a. Charles Simeon en Robert Murray McCheyne. Uiteindelijk bleek dit geheel nieuwe protestante pro-Joodse christendom in Engeland zo sterk dat het zelfs in staat bleek de Balfour Declaration in het leven te roepen. En zo heeft het filosemitische Engelse evangelicale christendom aan de wieg gestaan van de huidige staat Israël

Als Jeroen Bol terugkijkt op vier eeuwen calvinistisch gestempeld opwekkingschristendom in de Engelstalige wereld valt er zijns inziens een lans te breken voor de idee dat deze grote opwekkingen mogelijk een bijzondere door God georkestreerde connectie hebben gehad met Gods plannen met het Joodse volk. Hij haalt aan

Zou het niet zo kunnen zijn dat de God van Israël de Reformatie en de daaruit voorkomende puriteinen en opwekkingsbewegingen mede in het leven heeft geroepen om een einde te maken aan de vreselijke dwaling van christelijk antijudaïsme en het lot van de Europese Joden positief te beïnvloeden?

En zou het niet zo kunnen zijn dat de God van Israël, die ook de Heer van de Kerk is, dit evangelicale christendom ook om die reden drie eeuwen lang zo onvoorstelbaar rijk heeft gezegend met enorme opwekkingen en doorbraken op het gebied van zending?

Hij vraagt zich af of God dit opwekkingschristendom destijds niet mede om die reden zo enorm sterk heeft gemaakt om zo een keer te brengen in het lot van Zijn uitverkoren volk Israël. Hij vraagt zich af

Sprak deze zelfde God al niet in Genesis 12 tot Abraham en over Abrahams hoofd ook tot de kerk der eeuwen:

“Ik zal zegenen wie u zegent en wie u vervloekt zal ik vervloeken”?

Bergt dit alles voor de kerk van vandaag niet zowel een belofte als een waarschuwing in zich ? Ligt er niet nog steeds, of wellicht juist nu, een belofte van grote zegen voor een kerk die het Joodse volk en Israël werkelijk tot zegen zoekt te zijn?

Maar vandaag zien wij juist dat meerdere kerken helemaal geen zegen zien in dat Joodse Volk noch in Joodse volgelingen van Jezus (zoals Jeshuaisten) of Messiaanse Joden.

Michael Mulder, universitair docent Nieuwe Testament en Judaïca aan de Theologische Universiteit in Apeldoorn die tevens Kerk en Israël aan de CHE in Ede doceert en directeur is van het Centrum voor Israël Studies, sprak over de identiteit van Messiaanse Joden in Nederland en Israël,en vond dat zij helemaal niet thuis horen in de kerk in Nederland heel eenvoudig weg omdat zij noch Christen noch Jood zijn volgens hem.

Leave a comment

Filed under Geestelijke aangelegenheden, Juridische aangelegenheden, Levensstijl, Nederlandse teksten - Dutch writings, Nieuwsgebeurtenissen - Journaal, Politieke aangelegenheden, Religieuze aangelegenheden, Wereld aangelegenheden

Need to reject an archaic, racist inspired interpretation of the Bible and animosity against other believers

In Belgium and France we see a growing hatred against lovers of the One and Only One True God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. Several Jews have been attacked physically or were made afraid by all kinds of threats or intimidations. That made many of our brethren and sisters leave for Israel. In France Jehovah’s Witnesses, Bible Students and Christadelphians are prohibited to proclaim the Good News or the Gospel of the Kingdom in public, for example by speaking to people on the street or by billing leaflets. In several regions people look down at Muslims or show their hate, giving the impression that they must be all so terrible or be believers of the faith IS promotes.

The Netherlands for years already had their very conservative Calvinist groups, but the last 30 years they were joined by other radical Christians. Many of those follow the Bible literally and can’t read in between the lines nor showing understanding Hebrew thinking or Hebrew way of talk.

As a college professor, the writer of Help from Heaven looks at this world and sees how we have come to a period people want to have eye-flaps, but also finds that the present youngsters could perhaps be more interested in and learning from stories that illustrated the teachings he was bringing but also about the teaching the Holy Scriptures wants to bring to mankind.

Is it

Archaic, bygone, ancient, passe, primitive, old. {Bonkers away blog: daily-prompt: Archaic}

that makes us not fitting in this world any more, giving us the impression it is becoming less accepting, more limited of views, less free thinking, more prudent, less receptive to other opinions. We clearly feel how youngsters today look more hostile to different thinking people, otherwise believers and to those who belong to a different culture.

Also certain communities are guilty of bringing limitations to free thinking. We even do not have to go far. In our own regions we have very conservative Jews who want to have the children over protected and also want them to believe in literal Biblical interpretation, holding fast on a six day creation and as such with their thought on the same line as the growing group of Christian Creationists. You may call it a response to modern evolutionary theory, which explains the emergence and diversity of life without recourse to the doctrine of God or any other divine power. Mainstream scientists generally rejecting creationism may find several believers in God joining them too, but worse is to see how by the growing pressure of certain religious groups trying to get diversion or war between other religious groups, we can see many more people getting fed up with religion and putting it aside.

Certain people want to to overwrite history and think they can make for it a better picture that covers the archaic marks and portray a new picture. They have the impression the strokes that they shall strike this time shall be much stronger and sharper just like the person they have become in the journey of their life … {“Life is like an Old Sketch”}

The article “The Racist Bible” brings a view of the recent problems our world is facing. There is written:

We live with such an archaic interpretation of the Bible. People interpreted the Bible in different ways 100 years ago, 500 years ago, and 1500 years ago. We need to know why those interpretations came into being. Once we do, we can see how it is hurting us. Only then can we move on to a powerful Biblical interpretation, one that is vibrant and appeals to the modern non-Christian. {The Racist Bible}

In several of the Jeshuaists their articles they try to bring a view how the ancient Hebrews saw the beginning of the world and how the Adonai handled the rebellion of man. We can see how by the years ‘Church‘ made use to bend words or twist interpretations to get people under the spell or in their ban. Several religious groups love to have control over their flock and found it most appropriate to do that with fearmongering and with hard language (sometimes even going so far to use abusive language or enormity). Scaring people or trying to intimidate them has become more popular these days. We can find certain preachers (like Mr. Dave Norris) happy to present all sorts of lies about other religious groups than their own church, (for Mr Norris: the Bible Church), which must be the only one true church every one should have to become a member, because otherwise they shall have to burn in hell for ever. Strangely enough in several articles he attacks groups which say we are saved but still have to do works.  He then claims (like Mr. Cross Roman)  we do not have to do any works any more because we are saved by Christ his blood. Norris also knows about the problems of human tradition and writes

All this is ridiculous and pits Apostolic Authority against scripture. Judaism regards the Torah or the first five books of the Bible highly but not quite as high as the Talmud which is Jewish tradition. Tradition can be classified as a philosophy written by men. Whether you believe it or not the Bible was not written by men per se but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Christadelphians and Bible students also follow their own traditions which supersedes the word of God and each Congregation of those bodies believe differently as there is no uniform Doctrine. Just like in the Book of Judges when everyone did what was right in their own eyes yes. I follow the word of God and place very little impetus on tradition. {Precious Spiritual Children- 2}

He tells others lies about the Belgian Biblestudents and Christadelphians, so called claiming Jesus would return a certain day or year (what they certainly do not)  but he himself writes that the Jewish people will accept a guaranteed peace covenant secured by the countries of the now 80% Islamic Roman Empire.

Norris on return of Christ + Jews+ Islamic world + doctrine of imminence+end-time prophesies

Some preachers, because they believe the world shall come to an end, try to call others false prophets and try their believers to belief that those groups would have prophesied such dates for the end of the world, whilst those groups, like the Belgian Bible Students and the Christadelphians already have spend many articles saying that we should be careful with people claiming that Jesus would return on such or such a day, because even Jesus did not know it and we also can not know the exact day of the return of Jesus. But for sure we may be sure that the world shall not come to an end, not because the Belgian Bible students and the Christadelphians belief so , but because that is just the biblical truth and God’s promise  to our Patriarch Abraham, that we may look forward to a big state of united people under God’s King his reign her on earth and in heaven.

Lots of present teachers attacking Jews, Non-Trinitarian Christians and Muslims do have much self-esteem and though they seem to recognise it as part of the possible signs of the end-times do not see the beam in their own eyes but blame the splinters in someone else’s skin, claiming that at all dates setters fail to do is to rely on the words of the scripture which they only are able to do, them being able to see how fast Satan is working to cause chaos and evil, deceiving this world (like Mr. Norris is doing), because all others are “kindergartners” or “have no brains” (Norris his words).

The kettle blames the pot that it looks black but does not see the beam in its own eyes while it complains about the splinters in someone else’s skin. Mr. Dave Norris blaming others to tell and warn about end-times sings, but giving himself also some recognition to those signs in his series over the The End Times (namely part 4)

It might look honourable when people try to talk about that nice prospect of their Messiah coming back. But then they would have to follow the footsteps of that Nazarene master teacher Jeshua, Jesus Christ, who preached peace and not war, like they are doing. So many preachers may be happy with the contemporary technology making it very easy to bring the Word of God all over the nations. To our regret we also find lots of people finding in it a tool to spit their gal and to do everything to have their poisonous words to obscure all reality and decency.

Internet evangelism is how the nations will have an opportunity to hear and receive the Good News. No longer can one person reach only as many as he knows or comes into contact with. Today one person, right out of the comfort of his home, can reach millions of people in places he has never been and most likely, never will go. One person can invest a little time, without investing thousands of dollars in travel expenses, and can do much more, plant more seeds, and encourage more brethren than if he were to board a plane and go somewhere. {Today’s “Roman Road” – the Internet}

But at the same time we can see how one person can manage to bring all sorts of writings on the different denominations which exist in the world of religion, to break them. He even attacks the people of God and let his readers believe that we give more attention to human teachings and traditions than to the Torah.

Dave Norris of the Bible Church on Jews + Talmud + Rabbinical teaching

Mr Dave Norris of an American bible Church wanting his readers and all people in the world to believe the Jews are using the goyim as their slaves and would find raping women and killing whites ok, clearly wanting to create hatred against the Jewish people (Picture from The Shocking Jewish Talmud Revealed)

Concerning founders Mr. Norris has shown, about other denominations too, he also has a strange view, him believing it were the Hebrews who founded Judaism, though it was the Most Almighty Elohim Who has chosen us as His people and promised us by the seed of Abraham a great nation.

He also seems to forget one of the main points of a monotheist religion, which according to him our ancestors would have created. In Judaism part 101-1 he mentions the essence of a monotheist religion, namely worshipping only One True God above all gods, whilst he is a worshipper not of “One and Unique” God, but of the trinity and as such worships three gods: a God the Father, god the son and god the Holy Spirit, and by doing so should fall under the polytheists. When he considers the Hebrew religion as the mother religion of his religion, we would like to ask him why he went so far away from his mother and betrayed her?

Judaism – Jews chosen by God practising and teaching monotheism

For Mr. Norris it seems to be clear that all those who preach peace between Jews, Christians, Muslims and non believers are oxymorons.

Mr Dave Norris finds all those who want to live in peace together and accept the other religious groups “biblical oxymoron” finding they falter between two opinions following Baal considering that (according to him) God and Baal are oxymorons as is this question of the agreement the temple of God has with idols. (Though he himself belongs to a church with several idols or gods.) (picture of his article: The Coexist Movement- 2)

Like he does not seem to see the many differences between the Bible students he also does not seem to know much about the different forms of Judaism, only mentioning three.

Dave Norris limited vision on Jewish groups

Though people like him are being followed by many as if they are the gurus of truth.

Perhaps he, living in the United States, feels united with the many creationists and conservative and fundamentalist Christians. Him also for the whites, thinking Jews love to kill them, can find  confirmation in the writing of the professor who writes

In fact, it was not until Luther that people started taking the Bible more literally. The Creationist movement, though, including the world-wide flood didn’t really take root until the southerners of 1850+ started promoting it. Thus, we had a racist theology demand that their interpretation was the only one. Many were convinced to write on it, without referring to slavery. Slowly the arguments strengthened, until many who are not racist accept the arguments. This, though has saddled us with a theology that contradicts science. Now, we have to invent miracles that are not mentioned in the Bible to fit this theology. For example, a single flood doesn’t leave layers, it jumbles up everything.  {The Racist Bible}

For the professor it might be clear that certain Western Christians have perhaps taken a too restricted look at the Scriptures and perhaps in their thought that the King James Bible is the only true Bible, many Americans even thinking those Hebrews, like Abraham, Isaiah and Jesus all had English Names and as such find, it can not be that the rebbe his name is Jeshua or that God is called Jehovah.

Perhaps it is getting time that people from the West Northern hemisphere start looking at the Bible with other eyes. They also should start questioning their attitude to Jews, real Christians, Muslims, other and non-believers. If they want to win souls or if they want to convert people, loving to see them as members of their Christian faith, it will certainly come down not to follow the way of preachers like Dave Norris serves his community of the Bible Church, because I think he is at the moment getting more people away from faith and religion than getting them in his group or into becoming a Christian. The way we see many Christians act against other Christians and how there is a growing number of Christians reacting cruel against other faith groups or pushing others not to believe in the existence of dinosaurs or that the earth is flat and that NASA would be fooling us about the round earth, it is understandable why so many Christians are leaving the Christian Faith.

We need to reject the archaic, racist inspired interpretation of the Bible. We need to look at it afresh. The interpretation I suggested is not necessarily right, but is a reasonable alternative. Right now, because we are stuck with the racist inspired creationism, we are losing Christians when they go to High School and college and study science. They see how the two conflict, and are rejecting the Bible in great numbers. If we study the Bible fresh, we will see that there are literal interpretations that do not conflict with science, and we can then focus on talking about Jesus without people saying, “I don’t believe that stuff. It is just an archaic myth that science has shown to be wrong.” {The Racist Bible}

+

Preceding

Confrontation by people telling lies to force others to avoid the targetted groups

The written, the spoken, and the audible a part of the soul and a blessing to humanity but also the trigger to those who love Crusades and the Inquisition

++

Additional reading

  1. Dave Norris and his writings on the Belgian Bible Students
  2. Trusting present youngsters who are not necessary evil
  3. Overprotection and making youngsters drifting away
  4. The way of looking at the Scriptures and the people in this world
  5. Knife-trust in democratic sore back
  6. Pushing people in a corner danger for indoctrination and loss of democratic values

+++

Related

  1. The Watchtower Belgian Biblestudents
  2. Comfort Zone Gospel
  3. Jonah; Wake Up
  4. The Missing Piece to Salvation
  5. Saved From What?
  6. Selling Jesus
  7. Think About It…
  8. Entering the Trail to True Freedom
  9. Main Reason to Share the Gospel
  10. Evangelism as a lifestyle
  11. How to Overcome Fear of Sharing the Gospel – The Story of the Waldensians
  12. Forgetting that the Gospel is Good News, Romans 1:7
  13. Salty Agape
  14. Communicating the Wondrous Truth of God’s Love and Mercy
  15. Eschatology for beginners (part 1)
  16. The Return of Yeshua Ben Joseph, also known as Jesus – by New Dimension – 12-23-17
  17. Exit Strategy End Times: “Unforgiveness and the Band Aid of agreement.” “
  18. This is NOT the Time to be SILENT
  19. Eastern Lightning | The Awakening of a Deceived Spirit (Part 2)
  20. Keep Racing!
  21. How to Teach About the Second Coming
  22. Today’s “Roman Road” – the Internet
  23. The Antichrist in the Holy Place Church
  24. The Historical Lesson Historians Need to Learn
  25. Scoffers
  26. Why Is Christ’s Return Not Widely Taught?
  27. The Beginning and the Ending
  28. Seven Reasons For Six Day Creation
  29. The Creationism
  30. Elmore Fundamentalism, Part 1: Matter
  31. More on Evolution: From the Mail Room, by Fred Reed
  32. Is There Biological Evidence of Life’s Recent Creation? – Part I
  33. Scientists Identify a Key Cognitive Error that Could Explain Why People Believe in Creationism and Conspiracy Theories
  34. Why Evolution is True Review
  35. Teleogical views predict not just creationism, but conspiracy theories
  36. A Creationist Surprise
  37. Is Creationism racist?
  38. God and Science
  39. Eric Hedin, prohibited from teaching intelligent design at Ball State, retires and moves to a Christian university
  40. Claim of creationism taught in school linked to National
  41. School response on creationism, claims evolution ‘controversies’
  42. School response on creationism, claims evolution ‘controversies’ — Your NZ
  43. Origin Story: A Big History of Everything
  44. There IS Purpose!
  45. Your Mythology is not Science
  46. Where Were You Radicalized?
  47. The Ends of the World
  48. Civil Debate? Catcall? Or Creationist Ruse?
  49. Faith abates reason at Edmonton’s first Flat-Earth International Conference
  50. #1: Inexplicable Species and the Theory of Evolution
  51. Evolutionary psychology: The naturalistic and agency fallacies
  52. A creationist makes the dumbest criticism of evolution ever
  53. Noah’s ark: the most ridiculed story in the Bible
  54. Tel Aviv’s new natural history museum (built to look like Noah’s Ark) deliberately omits mentioning evolution
  55. Why Do the Fundamentalists Love Tracey Ullman Now?
  56. InfightingNon-Physical Fighting 2
  57. Sikh Radicalisation in Britain
  58. Waitress Denied Tip for ‘not loving Jesus’
  59. Christian-hating transgender VT gubernatorial candidate DUPED by satire site: ‘Some evangelists just crazy!’
  60. The Nashville Statement (A Plain Language Translation)
  61. Love and Hate

9 Comments

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, History, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, World affairs

Dr. Miller looking at Jews in France

About the Author Dr. Yvette Alt Miller
Yvette Alt Miller earned her B.A. at Harvard University. She completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Jewish Studies at Oxford University, and has a Ph.D. In International Relations from the London School of Economics. She lives with her family in Chicago, and has lectured internationally on Jewish topics. Her book Angels at the table: a Practical Guide to Celebrating Shabbat takes readers through the rituals of Shabbat and more, explaining the full beautiful spectrum of Jewish traditions with warmth and humor. It has been praised as “life-changing”, a modern classic, and used in classes and discussion groups around the world.

Jews and France: 11 Interesting Facts

As France headed to the polls, Dr. Miller presented some fascinating points about Jews and France through the ages on Aish.com

As France went to the polls in the first round of its presidential election, France’s 500,000-strong Jewish community was in the spotlight: two front-runners, Marine Le Pen and Jean Luc Melenchon, having been accused of making high-profile anti-Semitic comments.

Long before France’s unpredictable election, Jews have been making history in France. Here are 11 interesting facts about Jews and France through the ages.

Greatest Jewish Scholar

Rashi

Rashi, acronym of Rabbi Shlomo Yitzḥaqi (born 1040, Troyes, Champagne—died July 13, 1105, Troyes), renowned medieval French commentator on the Bible and the Talmud (the authoritative Jewish compendium of law, lore, and commentary).

A modern translation of Rashi’s commentary on the Chumash, published by Artscroll

Rashi, as the great Medieval Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki is known, is the most widely consulted Jewish rabbi of all time. His commentaries on the Bible and Talmud are considered crucial to understanding these Jewish texts. Rashi’s explanations help us understand the Torah and at times, a knowledge of French can help us understand Rashi.

Monument in memory of Rashi in Troyes, France

That’s because this greatest of Jewish scholars had humble beginnings. Rashi lived in the northern French town of Troyes from 1040 to 1105. Out of a total population of 10,000, Troyes was also home to about 100 Jewish families. Jews travelled from far and wide to consult Rashi. Many of these visiting Jews lodged with nearby Christian families.

Troyes centre ville1.JPG

Troyes centre ville – capital of the department of Aube in north-central France

In some respects, Rashi was very French. He earned his living as a vintner (wine maker), and incorporated some French words in his commentaries. A typical example comes in Rashi’s discussion of the Torah’s description of the beautiful golden Ark that our ancestors were commanded to build, which stood in the Temple in Jerusalem. Its gold ornaments were joined together, or soulderix (soldered in Old French), Rashi explained (Rashi on Ex. 24:18).

Rashi’s sons-in-law and grandsons – who continued to live in northern France – became rabbis of nearly his towering stature, penning additional commentaries on the Torah and leading European Jewry. Their scholarship continues to define Jewish life to this day.

Talmud on Trial

In the year 1239, Paris was witness to a very strange trial; the Talmud was accused of insulting Christianity.

The Talmud was defended by the Chief Rabbi of Paris, Rabbi Yechiel ben Joseph, though there were restrictions on what Rabbi Yechiel could say. Leading the charge against the Talmud was Nicholas Donin, a Jewish convert to Christianity who seemingly harbored an intense hatred of his fellow Jews or, possibly, a desire to impress his new Christian co-religionists. He was encouraged to make fun of the Talmud, quoting its text out of context and distorting its meaning. Presiding over the trial was none other than the Queen Mother of France, Blanche of Castille, and several Archbishops.
After hearing the “evidence”, the Talmud was found guilty and condemned as “dangerous to Christianity”. Volumes of the Talmud were confiscated. In 1242, 24 cartloads of hand-written tractates of the Talmud, representing countless thousands of hours of work, were brought to a public square in central Paris and burned.

Medieval Crusades

In 1095, Pope Urban II called for a holy Crusade to conquer Jerusalem and wrest it from Muslim rule. (The temptation to launch a crusade might have been closer to home. Historians note that the harvest of 1095 was particularly bad in northern Europe; calling for a crusade was a way to distract the population and encourage them to plunder wealth in other lands.)

100,000 men signed up for the Crusade. (The term “crusade” refers to the French word for the crosses they sewed on their clothes.) Soon, their attention turned from conquering Jerusalem to attacking Jewish communities along their path. In three waves, spanning a hundred years, over ten thousand Jews were murdered in Europe and Israel. Frenzied demonization of and violence against Jews became a hallmark of the Crusader period.

France’s Jews were periodically expelled during this intense period of Jew-hatred, as well. In 1182, and again regularly in the 13th Century, Jews were forced to leave French cities, only to be let in again a few years later. In 1306, a more organized expulsion was decreed by France’s King Philip. Short of money after war with Flanders, King Philip decided to force French Jews to flee, and compound their property.

The decree was handed down on July 21, 1306, which was Tisha B’Av, the Jewish day of mourning on which we mourn the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, as well as other calamitous events in Jewish history. The following day, July 22, 1306, 100,000 Jews were arrested. France’s Jews were ordered to leave the country within one month or face death. French Jews were allowed to leave only 12 sous (cents) apiece. Their property was confiscated, auctioned off, and all proceeds reverted to the French crown.

(King Philip’s decree was reversed by his son King Louis, but Jews continued to be banned from France and were ordered to leave in 1322 and 1394 again, before returning slowly over the subsequent years.)

French Chocolate’s Jewish Origins

Following the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, and the introduction of the Inquisition into Portugal in 1536, some Jews fled to the French town of Bayonne, near the Spanish-French border. There, they used their contacts with Jewish traders in the New World to import materials and know-how to process cocoa, a New World product which was just starting to take Europe by storm.

Dark Chocolate with Espelette pepper.

Bayonne Jews adapted cocoa recipes to European tastes, creating sweet versions of chocolate and using additives like milk, butter and nuts. Jews built the Bayonne area into a chocolate center, but their very success undid them: once local Christians learned how to make chocolates too, they petitioned local authorities to ban Jews from the chocolate industry.


Jews were only permitted to resume making chocolate in 1767 when a court annulled the decree. In 2013, the town of Bayonne formally recognized the contribution of Jews to the region’s famed chocolates. “Since we are the inheritors of the Jews’ savoir faire”, explained Jean-Michel Barate, head of Bayonne’s Chocolate Academy, “it was our duty to thank them….” and to right the historical wrong of overlooking the fact that it was Jewish refugees who created sweet chocolate confections as we know them today.

Equality

Avignon, Palais des Papes depuis Tour Philippe le Bel by JM Rosier (cropped).jpg

Palais des Papes – Avignon in south-eastern France in the department of Vaucluse on the left bank of the Rhône river

Although Jews were banned from France for many years after the 14th Century, by the 1700s about 40,000 Jews lived in France, particularly in Bordeaux and Avignon, which never formally expelled their Jewish inhabitants.

These 40,000 Jews became the first Jews in European history to gain full and equal rights with the French Revolution. The decision wasn’t easy: France’s new rulers deliberated for over two years about whether they should extend their new regime’s ideal of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” to Jews. When they did, in 1791, it was seemingly with some regret: “The Jews” explained a leading revolutionary, “conscious of the error of their ways, have felt the need for a fatherland; we have offered them ours.”

Napoleon’s “Sanhedrin”

The Emperor Napoleon styled himself “defender” of the Jews, noting that he had (unsuccessfully) tried to conquer the Land of Israel for France. Back home, even though Jews were nominally recognized as citizens, Napoleon harbored much of the intense anti-Jewish prejudice that was typical in France at the time.
Seeking to assure himself that Jews were indeed “Frenchmen”, Napoleon decided to invite Jews from throughout France to participate in what Napoleon called, with much pomp, a “National Assembly of Notables”. Napoleon deliberately scheduled the Assembly for a Saturday; the “notables” he invited turned up despite the assembly’s scheduling on Shabbat, and voted yes or no to a series of questions Napoleon had devised to ascertain whether Jews could indeed be French. The “notables” were asked whether Jews could engage in manual labor, whether they could marry Christian women, whether Jews would help defend France, etc.

Cover page to siddur used at the Grand Sanhedrin of Napoleon, 1807.

Not satisfied with his Assembly, Napoleon sent word to the governors of France to elect Jewish representatives to a new group, which Napoleon grandly named the Sanhedrin, the ancient Jewish court that governed Jewish conduct for hundreds of years. Like the Sanhedrin of old, this new “Sanhedrin” contained 71 members, was governed by a leader (picked by Napoleon) whom he gave the traditional Hebrew title Nasi, or “prince”, and was meant to issue new decrees for the Jewish people.
Napoleon’s “Sanhedrin” met in Paris with great pomp, and the puppets making up this group did indeed go along with many of Napoleon’s requested declarations. They declared that Jews serving in the French army were free of Jewish mitzvot, or commandments, and (echoing long-held prejudice against Jews, who’d long been forced into the money-lending business by European rulers) declared money-lending illegal for Jews. Even the stooges on Napoleon’s “Sanhedrin” drew the line at some of the Emperor’s requests, refusing to countenance mixed marriages, for instance.

Despite the assurances of this “Sanhedrin”, Napoleon went on to issue a host of infamous Jewish decrees, restricting Jewish rights to live in certain parts of France, suspending repayment of debts to Jews for ten years, and limiting Jews’ rights to go into some areas of business.

Official Names

Another legacy of Napoleon’s rule was an official list of approved names that could be given to babies born in France. Most of these were Christian saints’ names, though a number of Jewish names were included on the list, as well.

The list was abolished in 1993, though even in recent years French authorities have banned some names. In 2016, for instance, a French judge ruled against two parents who wanted to name their newborn Mohamed Merah, after the terrorist who murdered a rabbi and three children outside of a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse in 2012.

The Dreyfus Affair

Jews were ostensibly equal French citizens, but the dramatic 1894 trial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus exposed deep anti-Jewish hatred in France. After being arrested on manufactured charges of spying for Germany (Dreyfus was later exonerated; the real culprit had fled to England and some of Dreyfus’ fellow soldiers forged evidence against him), Dreyfus was publicly humiliated and sent to prison, while a mob of French men and women shouted “Death to Jews!”

Throughout Dreyfus’ trial, French Catholic authorities continued to stir up Jew-hatred. The intense bitterness made many in France conclude there was little future for Jews in France. Emile Zola, the non-Jewish great French author, wrote in 1896 “For some years I have been following with increasing surprise and disgust the campaign which some people are trying to carry on in France against the Jews. This seems to me monstrous….” Two years later, Zola wrote his famous open letter, beginning with J’accuse, or “I accuse”, directed against French President France Felix Faure, complaining about irregularities in Dreyfus’ trial. Zola was prosecuted and found guilty of libel and fled to England for a year to avoid imprisonment.
Another observer came to a similar conclusion during Dreyfus’ trial, realizing that Jews faced an uncertain future in France. Theodore Herzl was a young reporter for the Viennese newspaper the Neue Freie Presse, and he covered Dreyfus’ trial in Paris. He later wrote that the chants of “Death to Jews” shook him to the core, and helped him realize that only a Jewish state could provide security and safety for the world’s Jews. In 1897, Herzl organized a Zionist Congress in Zurich, where he called for the reestablishment of a Jewish country.

France and the Holocaust

With World War II looming, France became a destination for desperate Jewish refugees fleeing Germany and Eastern Europe. From a Jewish population of about 80,000 in 1900, by 1939 France’s Jewish population had swelled to 300,000 as Jews fled to France for safety.

Tragically, that safety proved illusory. After Germany invaded France, it divided the country into a northern, “occupied” zone, and a southern “free” zone which was allied with Nazi Germany. Both areas of France willingly participated in the deportation of Jews from France; in the nominally independent southern part of France, it was French policemen and authorities who helped implement Hitler’s so-called “final solution to the Jewish ‘problem’”. Over 70,000 French Jews were sent to concentration camps; only about 2,500 survived.

After the War, France’s devastated Jewish community was revived by an influx of Jews from former French colonies in North Africa. In the 1950s and 1960s nearly a quarter of a million Sephardi Jews moved to France from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

Resurgent Anti-Semitism

In recent years, tragically, the call “Death to Jews!” has once more rung out in the streets of Paris and elsewhere in France.

A string of horrific attacks has targeted Jews throughout France. In 2006, Ilan Halimi, a young Jewish man living in Paris, was lured into a trap by local Muslim hoodlums; he was tortured for a month in a public housing project in Paris before being murdered; it later emerged that his ordeal was an open secret in the neighborhood, but no one intervened. His mother later had Ilan buried in Israel, fearful, she explained, that if he was buried in France his grave would be desecrated by anti-Semites.

In 2012, in the central French city of Toulouse, a terrorist shot three children and a rabbi at point-blank range in front of a Jewish school. In 2014, a mob rampaging through the streets of Sarcelles, a Paris suburb, chanted “Death to Jews!”, burned Jewish-owned businesses, and surrounded a synagogue, baying for the murder of those Jews inside. For hours, scores of Jewish families cowered inside, fearing for their lives, until police finally managed to disperse the mob late that night. In 2015, terrorists murdered four hostages in a kosher synagogue in Paris. In 2017, two Jewish brothers were forced off the road in a heavily Muslim neighborhood near Paris and attacked by passers by; one of the brothers’ thumb was sawn off in the attack.

In fact, the number of anti-Jewish hate crimes is going up. In 2014, there were 423 reported hate crimes against Jews in France. In 2015, there were 851 reported anti-Jewish hate crimes.

In the face of rising hatred, more and more Jews are fleeing France. One 2016 poll found that fully 43% of French Jews are considering moving to the Jewish state. In 2014, a record-breaking 6,658 Jews moved to Israel from France. (By way of comparison, only 1,923 French Jews had moved to Israel in 2010, when the number of anti-Semitic crimes was lower.) In 2015, 7,469 French Jews moved to Israel.

France in Israel

Beach promenade of Netanya (Hebrew: נְתַנְיָה‎, lit., “gift of God”; Arabic: نتانيا‎‎) a city in the Northern Central District of Israel, and the capital of the surrounding Sharon plain.

As more French Jews move to the Jewish state, parts of Israel are gaining a distinctly French accent. In 2015, the Times of Israel noted that the Israeli seaside city of Netanya calls itself the “Israeli Riviera” and that in recent years, it has indeed come to resemble the famed French Riviera: “walking along its main pedestrian boulevard, one would be hard-pressed to tell it apart from its twin city of Nice” in France. French restaurants, French style – and French Jews – have given parts of Israel a very French feel.

One recent immigrant from France explained that the rising anti-Semitism in France sparked her family’s desire to move to Israel: “Here we get the feeling that we can protect ourselves. There we have the impression that we are on our own and if, God forbid, something happens we will have to manage.”

+

Preceding articles

Kindertransport

Apocalyptic Extremism: No Longer a Laughing Matter

Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God

What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism

The Rise of Anti-Seminism

If you’re going to be a hater, make sure you’ve done your homework.

++

Additional reading

  1. Religious Practices around the world
  2. January 27 – 70 years ago Not an end yet to genocide
  3. World remembers Auschwitz survivors
  4. Migrants to the West #6
  5. Protest against Tzahal concert in Antwerp
  6. 2014 European elections
  7. French Muslims under attack
  8. Objective views and not closing eyes for certain sayings
  9. At the closing hours of 2016 #2 Low but also highlights
  10. How importance on religion is placed
  11. Is Europe going to become a dictatorial bastion
  12. Declaration of war against Islam and Christianity
  13. 25 Orthodox rabbis issued a statement on Christianity
  14. The American clouds of Anti-Semitism
  15. Donald Trump after declining numbers of people victimised for their religion managed to increase the numbers again
  16. Incidents of hate have become commonplace in the U.S.A. anno 2017
  17. Today’s thought by the French elections and right-wing populism in the world

+++

Further reading

  1. Judaism Fast Facts
  2. History of the Jews in France
  3. France Virtual Jewish History Tour
  4. Jewish Attempts at Rejudaizing Converts
  5. The French Jews have landed – les juifs français sur Londres
  6. U.S. Immigration Policy and the Jewish Refugee Crisis of the 1930s
  7. Incarceration and Detention
  8. Villains, victims, untold stories of refugees and officials
  9. That proud History of welcoming refugees
  10. Jewish Refugees and Liberation
  11. Timeline of deportations of French Jews to death camps
  12. Drancy internment camp
  13. Criticism of the Talmud
  14. Alliance Israélite Universelle (political organization)
  15. Adolphe Feder at the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum
  16. death camp showers in ww2
  17. Eisenhower’s Rhine Meadows Death Camps
  18. Was Soviet Jewish Identity Strengthened by Russian Anti-Semitism During the Second World War?
  19. Netanyahu: Allies could have saved 4 million Jews if they’d bombed death camps in 1942 (Lol…..)
  20. Himmler diaries found in Russia reveal daily Nazi horrors – BBC News
  21. Public Service Announcement
  22. Remembering Elie Wiesel
  23. Denial. . . . . . A Film
  24. The Tony Hall case revisited
  25. Never Again!!!
  26. Feast of Saint Edith Stein (9 August 2016)
  27. Surviving The Holocaust
  28. The Deep History of US, Britain’s Never-Ending Cold War On Russia by Finian Cunningham
  29. Bernie Sanders Talks Out of Both Sides of His Mouth, Tries to Justify Signing onto UN Letter
  30. Will We Live Out Our Heritage as People of Faith or Will We Succumb to fear?
  31. At home in London, French Jews dread vote on exiting the EU
  32. ‘French Jews experiencing worst situation since 1945’
  33. Natan Sharansky (French Zionist Jew) to French Jews mulling aliya: Do it!
  34. Natan Sharansky (Jew) : There is no future for Jews in France
  35. In Manuel Valls, French Jews get a presidential candidate they can trust
  36. In Manuel Valls, French Jews get a presidential candidate they can trust (Not good!!!!)
  37. Another 5,000 Jews quit France for Israel
  38. French Jews will have to give up Israeli citizenship, says Le Pen
  39. French Israelis fume at Le Pen’s plan to ban dual citizenship
  40. French Jews ‘will have to give up dual Israeli citizenship’ if Marine Le Pen wins presidential election
  41. French Jews imagine life under Marine Le Pen
  42. French Jews put off by Le Pen now worry about another presidential candidate
  43. French Jews worried over Le Pen’s success in presidential vote’s 1st round
  44. French Jews ‘relieved’ Macron won but worried over Le Pen’s electoral gains
  45. See you at the Demonstration: Protesters Remember the Refugees, Forget the Jews
  46. Looks like a Holocost to me
  47. Israel’s abuse of the Ethiopian Jews is a vital piece of the puzzle of Talmudism
  48. Israel’s New Cultural War of Aggression
  49. How Information Is Controlled by Washington, Israel, and Trolls, Leading to Our Destruction
  50. Jews Are Still the Biggest Target of Religious Hate Crimes
  51. A New Kind of ‘Safety’ School: Coping With Campus Anti-Semitism
  52. What is the Federal Government Doing to Oppose Anti-Semitic Hate Crime?
  53. SPLC Grudgingly Admits Many Recent Hate Incidents Targeted Jews
  54. Politicians React to Vile and Vulgar Palestinian Hatred
  55. Who Is Behind Anti-Semitic Attacks in the U.S.?
  56. Denying Islamophobia is Islamophobia

+++

9 Comments

Filed under Crimes & Atrocities, History, Political affairs, Religious affairs

Silencing Women – Of God or Men ?

There are 2 passages in the Bible which  appear to say that women should be silent in church.

1 Cor. 14:34-35  & 1 Tim. 2:11-12

A closer look shows that they are talking about different things and use a different Greek word for silence.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (KJV)

“ Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted to them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

Notice that it doesn’t just say that women can’t speak – even if they have a question they must ask their husbands at home. This implies that husbands are able to answer their wives spiritual questions.

Notice also that Paul appeals to the law, but he doesn’t say where he’s quoting from.

What’s also interesting is it seems to be the ONLY time Paul says he’s quoting the Old Testament, and he doesn’t back it up with the quote.

Let’s take a look at Paul’s normal writing style when he says he’s quoting scripture.

CITING QUOTES – (Thanks to Ian McHaffie for his research on this)

Paul introduces an Old Testament quote by “It is written” about 30 times and Includes full quote

Paul says “it says” or “the law says”  about 25 times and includes the quote.

Sometimes Paul just quotes with no introduction about 36 times

So that’s a total of 91 times where Paul gives the actual quote.

The only where he says he’s quoting scripture, but doesn’t say where, seems to be this verse .

1 Cor. 1:1–2a from the 14th century Minuscule 223

1 Cor. 1:1–2a from the 14th century Minuscule 223

It seems strange that if this is a weighty passage intended to stop women speaking for all time – that Paul doesn’t back it up with the exact scripture in the way he normally does. There’s another possibility. Corinthians was written to mostly Gentile believers living in a Roman city.  Maybe it’s Roman Law mentioned here.

ROMAN LAW

The word “law ”in 1 Cor. 14  can mean  any law whatever -not just the law of Moses.  For example Rom.3:27 “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith – so here the word law refers to a law of works and a law of faith.  It’s possible the word Law in 1 Cor. 14  could be referring to yet another Law – the Roman Law. Under Roman law a woman was subject to a man all her life.  The Romans had a law called Patria Potestas -power of a father – absolute authority – power over life and death.  When his daughter married this power could either go to her husband to have control over her, or stay with the father, whichever way, she was always controlled by a man.

But the traditional church argument has been that Paul is referring to Genesis and a Law that women must submit to men.  Let’s see if such a law exists.

GENESIS 3:16 is where the traditional argument takes us back to – the events in Eden.

“Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

What is the context of this verse ?  It’s often been interpreted through Paul – but let’s think about it again realising that we don’t know if Paul was referring to it.

What happened in Eden was a breakdown of relationships, especially with God, and it lead to sin.  When Eve was tempted she didn’t turn to God, she turned to her husband.  It was a mistake to turn to her husband, she should have turned to God.

It’s also interesting that the term, “cursed”, arur, is absent from God’s announcement to Eve. The serpent is cursed above all the animals and punished, and because of Adam’s sin, the earth is cursed. But nothing is cursed, using the word ‘arur ‘because of Eve. 

Let’s compare this verse in Gen. with Paul’s verse in Corinthian –

“Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16

“They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as also the law says. If they want to learn something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” 1 Cor. 14:34

Notice that The verse in Genesis isn’t a commandment, it’s a statement  -That men WILL rule over women – a prophecy. The verse in Cor. says that women MUST be submissive to men – this is a commandment to obey, two different things.

The question is – is Paul really referring to Genesis?

The traditional view is that Paul expanded what was said in Genesis, that he in fact gave it a different meaning than we would otherwise take from it.

But why would Paul appeal to the Law in this verse, when he says so many times we are no longer under the law?

LAW QUOTES

“Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” Galatians 3:13

“If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Galatians 5:18

This Law of sin and death that we are set free from goes back to Eden.  Paul is clearly referring to it and saying we are no longer under it – we still die, but if we are in Christ it doesn’t have a hold over us in a spiritual sense.

So what is this law that Paul is referring to?  It’s inconsistent to say we’re NOT under the law and then to enforce it in 1 Cor. 14. Could it just be the Roman Law?  Or could there be a fuller explanation?

When Jesus was tempted to take a passage of scripture at face value during his temptation in the wilderness, His response was to say “IT IS ALSO WRITTEN”. He considered the broader picture of what else the scriptures had to say.   So now I’d like to do the same.  Let’s think about the rest of the Bible and what it has to say about the silence of women.  Let’s start by looking at some women in the Old Testament.

The Bible provides examples of women who led, spoke out, and gave wise instruction to both men and women.

I’ve heard it said that men shouldn’t listen to women because Eve deceived Adam – more about that later- but we have  the  example of David hearkening to the voice Abigail and it was a good thing. She stopped him from sinning.   There’s the example of Deborah who judged and led Israel.

Esther who saved the nation by having the courage to speak out – A Jewish girl who married a foreign King at a time when other Jews were forcing men to divorce their foreign wives. (more about that in next post)

Huldah the prophetess  -The King and priests – the most important men in all the land – went to her to hear God’s word.

Miriam was chosen by God to lead Israel along with Moses and Aaron.

NO -There weren’t as many women as men in leadership roles but there’s enough to show they DID have God’s approval. I don’t believe it was God  who told women to be silent but the prophecy of male dominance taking effect.

RABBIS –Let’s  have a quick look at Jewish thinking by the time of Jesus and Paul.  As well as the Law of Moses they had all the interpretations of it by Rabbis known as the Mishnah and Talmud. These are some examples of what they said.

“Out of respect to the congregation, a woman should not herself read in the law.”

“It is a shame for a woman to let her voice be heard among men.”

“Even the sound of a woman’s voice is lustful.”

Josephus summed them up:

            “Thus says the scripture, a woman is inferior to her husband in all things.”

So clearly these Rabbis thought women were inferior to men and made statements to say that the scriptures backed them up.  There’s definitely no scripture which says that a woman is inferior to her husband in all things –it was a story going around because of how the Rabbis re-interpreted scripture.

Let’s compare these sayings with what Jesus said.

WHAT JESUS SAID

“For you have one Teacher, and you are all brethren (includes male and female).  And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.  Nor are you to be called instructors (Rabbi, Master), for you have one Instructor, the Messiah.  The greatest among you will be your servant.”Matt. 23:9-11 NIV

So we are not to call anyone but Jesus our instructor or leader. It’s Jesus women turn to for ultimate guidance, not their husband, nor people who wrongly interpret scripture. Likewise it’s Jesus men should turn to, not their wives. Jesus is our leader.  How can women ask spiritual questions of their husbands at home if they don’t have a husband?

Let’s think about a woman with no husband. In John 4  Jesus broke the protocol of the day by talking to a woman alone. She had no husband to ask questions of.

The disciples left their nets to follow Jesus, but she left her water pot to go and preach.  She was the first person to be told by Jesus that He was the Messiah

She spoke to the people (including men), of the town and “many came to believe because of the words she spoke.

She was the FIRST to hear Jesus words and go out preaching the good news.

This was clearly an example of a woman preaching the good news of Jesus to men.  This woman grasped the message of Jesus and ran with it – she didn’t need a husband to know what the right thing to do was.

Jesus TRAVELLED WITH WOMEN we are told in Luke 8:2

He went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women.” Luke 8:2

After His resurrection He APPEARED FIRST TO A WOMAN & TOLD HER TO PROCLAIM HIS RESURRECTION – just as we should be doing now.

In John 20:17 Jesus said to Mary

“Go to my brethren, and say to them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.”

We are told in Luke 24:11 that “It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.
But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.”

Mary became known as the “apostle to the apostles” because Jesus chose her to give the news of His resurrection to the other disciples.  We are told that the 11 men didn’t believe her.  We are also told that Jesus rebuked them sternly for this.

Mark 16:14  “Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven … he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen”.

Jesus wasn’t impressed when the men refused to believe these women who were proclaiming the resurrection, especially when they had been instructed by Jesus Himself to proclaim it.  This is a powerful point and warning to men who refuse to listen to women proclaim the gospel.

The  New Testament is full of examples of women preaching alongside  men.  Just a few examples here.

Acts 2 says ALL received the holy spirit, ALL spoke in tongues.”  This is what was spoken by Joel the prophet in chapter 2:

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,  your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”
It was an exciting time for the church – men and women were working together  to proclaim the gospel.                      

We are told that Phoebe (a woman) was a servant/deacon of the church in Cenchrea in Romans 16:1-2,  and that Priscilla and her husband Aquila were a preaching team “When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” Acts 18:26, 1 Cor. 16:9

Priscilla and Aquilla taught Apollos, they are mentioned together about 5 times and usually it’s Priscilla who is mentioned first.   So in the New Testament  we hear of  women speaking and preaching together with men.

But what of the two difficult verses by Paul which seem to say at face value that women are to be silent???

CONTEXT

–Before we look at the quote in 1 Cor. 14 Let’s think about the context within the rest of 1 Corinthians.  Paul doesn’t expect women to be silent because –

1 Cor. 11  discusses what men and WOMEN will wear when PRAYING AND PROPHESYING– both spoken activities.

1 Cor. 14:5 says “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy”.

1 Cor. 14:26 says “When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.”

1 Cor.14:39 says Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy” (NIV)

In the IMMEDIATE CONTEXT  – Paul approved and encouraged both men and women speaking in the ecclesial meetings.

In the WIDER CONTEXT – Women spoke, judged, prophesied, led.

EXPLAINING 1 COR. 14:34-35

It seems to me that 1 Cor. 14:34-35 can’t be saying the opposite of what is established by the rest of the Bible.  Women did instruct and speak both in the Old Testament and New Testament WITH GOD’S APPROVAL.

The difficulty with 1 Cor. Is that Paul is answering a whole series of questions.  We have the answers but not the questions, nor the punctuation in the original Greek to make the questions stand out.  We know that all through 1 Cor. Paul is answering questions that have been written to him. 1 Cor. 7:1  makes this clear when Paul says Now for the matters you wrote about”.

I believe that the strongest explanation for this puzzling verse is that it’s actually Paul quoting one of these questions that he’s been asked .

1 Corinthians 14 is a QUOTATION of the matters they wrote about.

This is what it looks like if we put the words of Paul in italics

                                    QUOTATION  1 Cor. 14:34-35

Paul’s words Italics

And the spirits of  prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.”

“As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is a shame for women to speak in  church”.(PART PAUL IS QUOTING THEY HAVE WRITTEN TO HIM ABOUT)

 What?

Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only ones it has reached?” (Paul dismisses the idea as nonsense)

I think this passage is the outcome of the Rabbis re-interpreting Genesis 3:16, something that was the thinking of the day, and is one of the “things you wrote about” which Paul refers to.

This theory makes sense of the strange exclamation of “What” at the start of verse 36 -It’s Paul’s dismissal of such an idea that women can’t speak. If we understand it like this, then Paul’s message takes on the opposite meaning to the traditional view. It’s dismissing the silly idea of women not being able to speak. Let’s look more closely at Paul’s dismissal of the idea.

If we understand that the passage is something quoted – then this response from Paul makes sense.  The problem verses would be a whole new teaching that contradicts Jesus.

Women to be silent and ask questions of their husbands? Paul challenges this new teaching with two questions.

  1. “Came the word out from you?”  – The word came out from Jesus not these men.
  2. “Came it unto you only?” “only” =  alone –  without a companion.  Were these men alone receiving a new teaching and not the women?

In Jesus women are “Sons of God”. Being male or female doesn’t matter, they are born of God’s will not men’s will, nor a husbands will.

“To all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12

Let’s move on the Paul’s other difficult quote in 1st Timothy

What was Paul’s Purpose of Writing to Timothy?

Paul tells Timothy to stay in Ephesus – so that he could command certain people not to teach false doctrine.  So our setting is Ephesus in the 1st Century and there is a problem with wrong doctrine. Lets’ try and go back in time to ancient Ephesus, and try to understand the wrong doctrines that were in circulation.

ANCIENT EPHESUS –   Was the home of the Temple of Artemis – one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.

Ephesus was the trade centre of the ancient world. It was a melting pot of myths.

Trying to understand these myths is useful when thinking about the problems that Paul is addressing in his letter to Timothy

Archeological site Ephesus at the time of Marcus Ampe's 1992 visit

Archaeological site Ephesus at the time of Marcus Ampe’s 1992 visit

Besides the cult of Artemis, there is evidence of various mystery religions, the practice of magic (Acts 19:19), worship of Egyptian gods as well as a large number of other gods.Legend has it that the city of Ephesus was founded by the Amazon women who also built the first temple to Artemis.  Ancient Statues of the Amazon women still exist. Artemis, according to Greek mythology, is one of the virgin goddesses who remained independent and free of any man. She is the Goddess of pregnant women and childbirth, Goddess of all animals and Goddess of the hunt.

Let’s think about the Amazon women who supposedly founded Ephesus.

AMAZON WOMEN – According to Greek mythology the Amazons were a nation of all female warriors who originated from Northern Turkey. They were skilled warriors who rode horses, enslaved men and forced them to build the city of Ephesus. They also worshipped Artemis.  By the time of Paul Artemis had merged into Diana of the Ephesians.

DIANA of the Ephesians

We know from Acts 18 that Diana was worshipped all over the Roman Empire, and this is confirmed by ancient coins which even call her “Saviour”. From Acts 19:27 we have the quote

“The goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world.”

She had many titles, one of them was PROTECTOR OF WOMEN IN CHILDBIRTH

The Roman Diana had evolved from the Greek One.  The idea of powerful independent women was reinforced in the Artemis cult because unlike other Greek goddesses, Artemis had no need of a male partner. Images of the Amazon women also lined her temple in Ephesus.

Philosophers, Myths -As we’ve seen Ephesus was a breeding ground for myths and also attracted philosophers.  Paul said –

“Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified.” 1 Cor. 1:20-25

Ephesus, library of Celsus - Photo by Marcus Ampe

Ephesus, library of Celsus – Photo by Marcus Ampe

Here in Ephesus the thinkers of the age came together.   There was a statue in the library in AD 117 where wisdom or Sophia was personified as a woman.

At some stage there were the Gnostic stories going around.  It’s hard to date the origin of the Gnostic stories as they evolved over time, but it seems likely that the ideas that fed them would have been present in Ephesus at the time of Pauls writings. This is one of the Gnostic texts which mentions Eve as the daughter of Sophia (Wisdom) who wakes Adam from sleep.

Myth – Eve made first (difficult to date the origins of these myths)

Sophia sent Zoe, her daughter, who is called “Eve,” as an instructor in order that she might raise up Adam, in whom there is no spiritual soul so that those whom he could beget might also become vessels of light. When Eve saw her companion, who was so much like her, in his cast down condition she pitied him, and she exclaimed: “Adam, live! Rise up upon the earth!” Immediately her words produced a result for when Adam rose up, right away he opened his eyes. When he saw her, he said: “You will be called ‘mother of the living’, because you are the one who gave me life.“  from ‘On the Origin of the World’

We’ll keep these ideas in mind while we look at Paul’s other difficult passage.

Paul’s other difficult passage

SILENCING WOMEN ?  1 Tim 2:11-15

“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. And she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”

At face value Paul appears to be silencing women because Adam was made first and wasn’t deceived like Eve was.  He appears to be giving Adam an elevated status and endorsing a MALE HIERARCHY.  Let’s see how these ideas compare to the teachings of Jesus.

                                                 Would Paul contradict Jesus?          What did Jesus say?

NO HIERARCHY

“Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah.  The greatest among you will be your servant.”

Matt.23:11“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.”  Mark 10:43

“Whoever does the will of God is My brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:35

ORDER DOESN’T MATTER

“But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Matt. 19:30

Younger brothers chosen: Jacob not Esau, Isaac not Ishmael, Joseph ruler of older brothers, David the youngest son

WHAT PAUL APPEARS TO SAY

MALE HIERARCHY ?

  “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” 1 Tim. 2:12

  “They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.  If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” 1 Cor. 14:34-35

   “The head of the woman is man” 1 Cor. 11:3

DOES ORDER REALLY MATTER ?

     “She must be quiet.  For Adam was formed first, then Eve.” 1 Tim 2:13

Conclusion – At face value – the words of Jesus and the words of Paul don’t seem to agree.

Let’s compare Paul’s words in here to some of his other words.

Would Paul contradict himself?
The question is – Would Paul really command all women to be silent when
he has encouraged them to speak?

1 Cor. 11  discusses what men and WOMEN will wear when PRAYING AND PROPHESYING– both spoken activities.
1 Cor. 14:5 – “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy”.
1 Cor. 14:26 – “When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.”
1 Cor.14:39Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy” (NIV)

Would Paul say order matters in one place when he said it doesn’t in another?

1 Cor. 11:11-12 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. And everything comes from God.”

Compared to

‘Women are to be silent for man was formed first.’

So once again – at face value – Paul’s words are very puzzling. Let’s think about Timothy the young man Paul is writing to.

Timothy’s Background

Paul begins his letter by saying –

“To Timothy, my dear son…

I thank God, whom I serve… I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” 2 Tim 1

Let’s compare this to our difficult passage

“I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” 1 Tim. 2:12

Again the passages seem to clash.  Would Paul really silence Timothy’s mother and Grandmother? In 2 Timothy he commends them, he even seems to say that Timothy’s faith had been nurtured by his mother and grandmother. It would seem very much that they had in fact been teachers to Timothy

Let’s think about another part of the difficult Timothy Passage.

Verse 14

“And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” 1 Tim 2:14

A misunderstanding of 1 Tim 2: 12  has caused  Eve to be blamed for the original sin which brought down mankind – yet Adam and Eve were together in the transgression.  Eve turned to Adam when she was deceived. Adam knowingly sinned.

It’s interesting that in Eden God had given the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge to Adam – before Eve was made.  It would seem that Eve was told about the command via Adam, and  what Eve told the serpent was not quite what God Told Adam.

After they ate the fruit it was Adam that God spoke to- the one given the original command from God.  Adam’s guilty verdict starts with “Because you listened to your wife,” which gives the impression that listening to his wife is his main misdoing;  this is NOT what it’s about at all.
The point of Adam listening to his wife was not about listening to a woman, and therefore all men should never listen to women- the point was  about  Adam messing up and disobeying the direct and  clear command from God.  Adam deliberately sinned by eating the fruit, he knew it was wrong and still did it anyway. Eve had been deceived by wrong doctrine, she wasn’t sure if it was wrong anymore.

Paul said repeatedly that is was ADAM who  brought sin into the world.

     IT IS ALSO WRITTEN

            “For as in Adam all die”1 Cor. 15:22

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin” Rom. 5:12

It’s very likely that the church in Ephesus would have read Paul’s letters to the Romans and Corinthians Letters which stated that Sin came into the world by one man – Adam.  It’s very likely that the women were questioning whether Eve was part of the original sin of Adam.  In 1 Timothy Paul is emphasising that women were drawn into the transgression by being deceived, that is the point here – to correct wrong doctrine.  It seems likely that some women were saying that Eve was not part of Adam’s sin.

Different Greek words for silence

Next let’s compare our difficult verse in Cor. with our difficult verse in Timothy.

The translators have used the same English word “SILENCE” in these 2 passages.  But in Greek the  words are different with different meanings.  The word for silence in the Cor. passage means silence as we understand it – without sound.

But the word in the Timothy passage doesn’t necessarily mean to be without sound – It has more of a slant to meaning stillness, or behaving in a quiet way, or settling down.

COMPARE -So let’s compare our Timothy passage with another passage which uses the same word for silence – only this time the translators decided to call it quietness.

1 Timothy 2:11-15

“Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.  For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.”

2 Thes. 3:11

“We hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread…14And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.”

So in this passage the same word takes on the meaning of quietness.  It’s the Greek word hesychia, it’s not the word sigan, “refrain from speaking”, used in 1 Corinthians 14  when speakers in tongues, prophets and the women are told to be silent. “Quiet” in verse 2 of the same chapter in Timothy means “free from disruption or persecution”, and it has been suggested that Paul meant the same in verse 11, i.e. that no attempt should be made to disrupt the process of a woman being taught.

Traditional Interpretation

Let’s compare the traditional interpretation with an alternative one

Traditional interpretation

Women are to be silent because Adam was made first. A universal rule from Paul to apply to all women for all time.

Alternative interpretation –

Deceived women teaching wrong doctrines are to stop teaching and learn in quietness. Advice for a local situation to women who still needed to learn and were leading others astray. Other women like Priscilla were ready to teach and  they did.

1 Tim 1   What was PAULS PURPOSE OF WRITING TO TIMOTHY?

1 Tim 1:3  says

“Stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies.”

NOTICE:  Paul’s command was only for ‘certain people’ – the ones teaching wrong doctrine. 

FROM THE CONTEXT OF 1 TIM. 2 The Wrong Doctrines appear to be

– Doubts about Jesus being human

– Angry men

– Women overdressing

EVE MADE FIRST and not part of Adam’s transgression

– HAVING CHILDREN WAS BAD or women hoped Diana would saved them in childbirth

Paul’s comments – Wrong Doctrines

I want to try to explain this passage by comparing what Paul is saying, to what appears to be the wrong doctrines  he’s referring to.

Remember that in chapter one Paul told Timothy to stop some of the people from teaching – the people to stop teaching were the ones spreading wrong doctrine.

“Stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer  or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies.”

Then in chapter two he goes on the say who those certain people are he is not allowing to teach – it is directed at a woman or perhaps a group of women.

I don’t allow a woman (with wrong doctrine – who is still following the myths and genealogies) to teach nor to “usurp authority”  (act of herself – independently of the men) but to learn quietly.

For Adam WAS formed first.  Remember we know that there were ideas circulating in the Gnostic writings that Eve woke Adam.  It’s not unreasonable to suppose that those ideas were forming at the time of Paul’s writingsPaul is not saying

“Women must be silent because Adam was made first”

He’s saying that women with wrong doctrine must not teach and the fact is that Adam WAS made first, and that Eve WAS in the transgression.

Paul warned of those who claimed to have true knowledge but had a false knowledge (gnosis “Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge (gnosis)” 1Tim.6:20

WOMEN HAVING AUTHORITY

The Greek word for “AUTHORITY” that Paul uses in this verse is unique – it’s the only time it appears in the Bible.

1 Tim 2:12  “And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence (meaning quietness).”

Authority – authenteo –means “to act of oneself” a SELF WORKER

The  most common word used for authority in the New Testament is

– exousia– means power or authority – used 103 times

We know from the context of 1 Timothy that there were women in Ephesus who were trying to dominate but they were lead astray by wrong doctrine and still needed to learn. We know there was a culture in Ephesus of Diana worship  and of the worship of independent women who had once dominated men – according to myth.

 Paul is saying that women with wrong doctrine were not to be self workers, not to be independent of the men.

It should also be noted that Paul is not saying that men can have authority over women or be  self workers – MEN  can’t work independently  of women – JUST AS WOMEN CAN’T WORK INDEPENDENTLY OF MEN.

Saved through childbearing?

            What does Paul’s statement mean that women will be saved through childbearing?

            I don’t believe this verse is saying that women are saved by the birth of Jesus.

            It’s not saying “through the childbirth” there is no “the” in the Greek.  It is in the same sense of childbearing that he uses in chapter five.

1 Tim. 2:15  “And women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”

1 Tim. 5:14  “So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.”

Women are not saved by a different process  MEN AND WOMEN are saved by grace – by belief in God and Jesus.

            But idle widows at Ephesus were being deceived by wrong doctrine (turning after Satan). Perhaps they were following the wrong teaching of abstaining from marriage.  Perhaps Paul suggested that marrying, having children and keeping busy would save them from being led astray as Eve had been by wrong teaching.

             Paul silences Men

Paul didn’t only silence women, he also silenced men.  He silenced anyone with WRONG DOCTRINE !

That’s the real point here.  It’s not a matter of gender – it’s a matter of stopping those who teach wrongly whether they are male or female.

Titus 1:10-14

SINNING PEOPLE (men included) DECEIVING  OTHERS WITH JEWISH FABLES TO BE SILENCED

  For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:

 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;  Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

            ANOTHER WOMAN WHO TAUGHT WRONG DOCTRINE

Rev 2:24 “Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols….. But to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you no other burden.”

POINTS

There was no other burden put on the men & women of Thyatira The only one told to be silent is the one with wrong doctrine.

            Jezebel was not condemned for speaking – but for speaking wrongly, for turning after Satan.

Eve’s undoing was that she was deceived by wrong doctrine.  Adam’s undoing was his deliberate sin.

ADAM WAS GIVEN God’s word first – presumably Adam told it to Eve.  After the sin it was Adam who God confronted with the question Have you eaten from the tree that I COMMANDED YOU not to eat from?”Gen 3:11 God didn’t ask this question of Eve.

Adam sinned knowingly, he should have saved Eve when she was deceived.

JESUS -the second and greater Adam – didn’t give in to sin and died to save his bride. Being first didn’t make Adam better than Eve – he sinned.

           Jesus the 2nd Adam is greater that the 1st Adam.  The fact that Adam was formed before Eve doesn’t make him greater.  Paul was more likely correcting wrong doctrine when he made the point that Adam was made first. Probably some were saying that Eve was made first.

MEN are GIVEN the SAME WARNING

2 Cor. 11:3  to both MEN AND WOMEN

 “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray”

So Paul warns MEN as well not to be deceived and fall into sin like Eve.

The point of the passage in Timothy about deception is DON’T MAKE EVE’S MISTAKE – don’t be deceived – turn to God not people

 What about Paul’s advice to young widows? Is Paul’s giving  advice in a Local Context or making a rule for all women for all time?

1 Tim 5:14    “So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, rule their households”

            Compare this to

1 Cor. 7:8  ”Now to the unmarried and the widows

I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.”

(Anna had been a young widow  – SHE DIDN’T HAVE TO MARRY AND HAVE CHILDREN. She spoke to “ALL (men and women) who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem”.)

Man as the Head –is  A symbol to show Christ’s relationship with the church… it’s a marriage symbol.  By not understanding this symbol some people have fallen into the “men domination women” relationship of Eden that Christ freed us from.  Man as the head is not about male domination but a relationship in marriage that echoes Jesus saving his bride.

MARRIAGE

THE WIFE- the church

She is presenting a picture of how believers submit to Christ.

THE HUSBAND -symbol of Christ. He is to love his wife as Christ loved the church.

Someone looking at a believing husband should be able to see a picture of how Christ loved the church.

JESUS & HIS BRIDE – He didn’t tell His bride to be silent – He told her to go into the whole world and preach the gospel

It is also written

We began by looking at 2 quotes that many people have taken at face value.

But Jesus didn’t just take verses at face value, He  also weighed up everything else that God had said.  So Jesus didn’t isolate verses  to mean something that was incompatible with the rest of scripture.

So when we see a verse that says “Women are to be silent for Adam was formed first”

We should also remember the verse that says that man also comes from woman and everything is from God, and the multitude of verses which encourage women to speak, pray, teach.

There is neither Jew nor Greek

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal . 3:28

PAUL’S FINAL COMMENT ABOUT TEACHING

 “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”        “reliable people” = men & women
2 Tim. 2:2 New NIV © 2010

SUMMARY
1 Cor. 14:34-35
Paul was quoting one of the matters that he had been asked about before dismissing it as nonsense.
1 Tim 2:11-15
Deceived women teaching wrong doctrines are to stop teaching and learn in quietness. Advice for a local situation to women who still needed to learn and were leading others astray .  Other women like Priscilla were ready to teach and  they did.

Robin Jones

PPT presentation at  oneinchrist.yolasite.com

+

Additional reading:

  1. Be still and listen
  2. Patria Potestas and Ancestor worship
  3. Patria Potestas and Pater familias

+++

4 Comments

Filed under History, Religious affairs