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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sufficiency of the Word

Two or three days a week I work at an outdoor store.  A while back we had a customer come in who I helped find one of our specialty items.  While I was helping him I noticed that he had ιησου tattooed across his wrist. As he was checking out I mentioned it to him.  He then showed me another tattoo on the inside of his arm, יְֽהוָ֗ה.
Is is necessary or helpful to look for hidden meaning in the Bible?  Thoughts at DTTB.
He then started to tell me about all of the hidden meanings in Hebrew.  He started with the numerical values for each Hebrew letter, which is true, they have those. Then he progressed to the pictorial values of each letter, I am not so sure that his understanding was correct on this.  It was, however, obvious that he had invested a great deal of time with this line of inquiry.

There was a lot written a few years back about hidden codes in the Bible.  I have an old friend who has studied that sort of thing extensively.  This is not new.  There have been claims of codes and hidden meanings in the Bible since the first century.  There were those who claimed to have special knowledge, that is how the term gnostic was derived from the Greek word for knowledge, gnosis.

Jesus, at some level, addresses this in John 5:39 – 40.  He tells those who have the first five books of the Bible memorized that they are missing the point.  The purpose of the Old Testament, which was written primarily in Hebrew, was to lead them to Christ.  They were not doing that.  They were coming up with rules to live by based on what they saw in the Bible.  In a real sense they were gnostic.

The Bible was written in a language that has grammar and vocabulary.  The Holy Spirit directed men to write what they did using this language, 2 Peter 1:20 – 21.  In my experience, there is enough in the text to deal with without looking for some code or hidden meaning.  Especially, if one has not simply studied the Bible as it is in the first place.

1 comment:

  1. A fascinating topic, for sure. Ii is obvious that all the effort I can muster is still way inadequate to do anything but just smudge the surface of what the plain intent of the text is, and what the Spirit wants me to know about it.I don't really need to look for "hidden" meanings. In one sense it's all hidden - until the Spirit shed His light on it. God gave us His Word as written word, for a reason.