“And they shall turn away their ears from truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2Tim. 4:4)
In the world we live in today there are very few absolutes. People tend to live in a make-believe world in order to escape the reality of everyday life. Some live in the world of sports, secretly wishing that they themselves were some of the super heroes of football or hockey or baseball, still others live in the make believe world of entertainment, emulating the lifestyle of the movie stars and yet others, primarily the younger folks live in the world of their video games. None can face the reality of today’s harsh world without these diversions. Since our lives are controlled to a large extent by the information provided to us through the media, both television and newspaper, information often distorted or outright false, people become programmed in such a way that sooner or later they start to believe and live a lie. Black becomes white and white has become black. It is a sad fact that this mindset has also taken hold in the Christian community. The Word has been distorted so often that a majority of believers now believe in fables that are not Biblical at all. With this in mind I would like to take this opportunity to look at some of these false assumptions or fables from a Biblical aspect.
“FABLE” – Most if not all of us have heard or read the statement in both secular and Christian writings or even heard it off some pulpit that Abraham was a Jew, or Abraham the Jew.
“FACT” – Abraham was and is progenitor of the Israelite people. He was the father of Isaac, who was the father of Jacob, who was the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. Now of these twelve tribes or sons Judah was the fourth born. It was some of the descendants of Judah which in later times became known as Jews. So you can see that during Abraham’s days there were no people known as Jews and thus the label does not fit. It would be easier to call Abraham a Syrian, because that was the land he came from, namely Haran, or a Canaanite because he lived in the land of Canaan. Abraham was known as a Hebrew, never a Jew. What one should realize is that the term Jew is a generic word as used in the Old Testament, depicting a person from Judea, used in the same way as a person from some parts of the US is called a Yankee. When the word Jew is used in a New Testament setting it is usually talking about a person adhering to a certain religion, namely that of the tradition of the elders. (Matt. 15:2) Also known the traditions of men (Mark 7:8), which later in its written form became known as the Babylonian Talmud, a religion that does not revere God as supreme, but rather puts intellectual man as the supreme being. This is in total conflict with the First Commandment as given by Moses at Mt. Sinai.” I am the Lord thy God, who have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.” (Ex. 20:2,3)
“FABLE” – One of our readers recently called our office and asked to elaborate on a bumper-sticker that he had seen on several occasions which read as follows. “My Lord is a Jewish carpenter.”
“FACT – The word or term “carpenter” is only used twice in the Gospels. The first mention is in Matt. 13:55, where the question is asked by folks in Nazareth, Jesus home town, whether Jesus was the carpenter’s son. In the same episode as recorded in Mark 6:3 Jesus is referred to as the carpenter, whereas in the Gospel of Luke relating the same story He is referred to as the son of Joseph. (Luke 4:22). Thus you can see that the fact of Jesus being a carpenter is debatable. If we look at the story related in Luke 2:41-49, where Jesus parents lose sight of Jesus in the hustle and bustle of Passover in Jerusalem for three days and where He is eventually found in the Temple discussing the things of God with the teachers of religion, Christ then explained to Mary and Joseph that He had to be about His Father’s business. Not His earthly father, but His Heavenly Father. Jesus was twelve years old at that time and He was already preparing Himself for His Godly or Heavenly mission. To thus say that Christ was a carpenter would be mainly conjecture or assumption, since Christ knew from early childhood what His mission in life was to lead to. Now as to the second or rather first part of the same bumper-sticker statement. Was Christ a Jew? Most definitely no! Jesus was reared in the Hebrew belief system, as codified by Moses at Sinai, a belief system that father Abraham was already familiar with in his day. Their belief is borne out by the fact that when baby Jesus was presented to the LORD in the Temple they, his parents, brought a sacrifice of two turtle doves as commanded by the law (Lev. 12), also they went to Jerusalem yearly for the Passover feast. (Luke 2:41). Jesus was from the tribe of Judah thus He was a Judahite not a Judean, He was from the land of Galilee thus a Galilean. As I stated earlier, in the content of the New Testament, the phrase “Jew” is in almost all cases indicative of a person adhering to the religion of Judaism of which the Pharisees were the most dominant entity. It was these people, the Pharisees, that strove with Jesus and with these folks that Christ was in conflict with throughout His ministry. It should also be recognized that a large portion of the inhabitants of Judea were not of pure Israelite stock anymore at the time of Christ’s sojourn in the Land of Palestine. The amalgamation of Israelites, Edomites and Canaanites took place during the Maccabean period some one hundred and fifty years before Jesus ministry. You can read about this in the books of the Maccabees in the Apocrypha. Jesus’ lineage was pure Judahite, whereas most of those Jews that Christ was in conflict with were of Edomite blood, called Idumeans. No! Jesus lived by the law and statutes of God as laid down at Mt. Sinai and not according to the traditions of men as the Jew did and do.
“FABLE” – There is a phrase that has become quite popular in the last twenty-five years or so but especially in these last days and that phrase is Judeo-Christian.
“FACT” – This phrase “Judeo-Christian” is in fact a double contradiction, an oxymoron. What we have to realize is that “Judo, Judaic or Judaism stands for the religion of the Jews, a religion that for over two thousand years has been in opposition to Christianity. The assumption is that Christianity has its roots in the religion of the Jews. Nothing could be further from the truth. The argument of those that hold to this fallacy is that they credit the Old Testament to the Jews. What they fail to realize is the fact that the Old Testament was written to and for the people of Israel, all twelve tribed Israel. It is true that the Orthodox Jews still will recognize some parts of the Old Testament, but even the Muslims honor some of the Old Testament writings. What is a fact though is that to the Jewish people the Talmud is first and foremost. The Old Testament or Torah is of no importance anymore in their religion. As for the New Testament writings, to them it is heresy and blasphemy. They ridicule and denigrate the name of our Lord and Saviour in their writings and in their conversations. We, the Christians, on the other hand, hold the Old Testament, the Bible, or written Word of our forefathers, in high esteem, knowing full well that the Bible is incomplete one without the other. Thus Judeo-Christian is nothing but a fable.
We who live in these Western Christian nations are blessed that we have freedom of religion and that is everyone’s right whether we agree with them or not. But one thing to me is certain, we cannot and must not mix things to the detriment of the truth. I do not blame anyone for these fables but our own weak minded theologians and preachers for distorting the truth. I believe the whole Bible to be the inspired Word of God and detest having a label put on it that is false and untrue. When I read my Bible I am awed by the wisdom of the Psalms and the Prophets, I am thrilled by the accounts put forth in the Gospels and I am made aware of our weaknesses by the admonitions and teaching of St. Paul.
In 1Thess 5:21 we read, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good”. It is well if we would all take that statement to heart and let no one deceive you.
Paul furthermore said, “This know, also that in the last days perilous time shall come. Evil men and seducers shall become worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2Tim. 3:1,13)
Paul also said, “And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2Tim 4:14)
And so, my friends, be aware lest you fall into the trap.