Sunday, 28 December 2014
Clearing the air: Language and Understanding
In this article I desire to address two major points that two apostates have brought to me and I wish to put these objections to rest here on this article.
How can you answer Judaism when you don't understand Christianity?
This comment is often made by CT West Coast, a Roman Catholic who has denied the Trinity. When he started to I do not know but have been aware of his anti trinitarian stance for some time.
CT (assuming he is still part of the Roman system) is assuming the Roman Catholic Church is the one true church which Jesus founded, however it can be demonstrated forcefully that modern day Romanism has no root or foundation in the early Church Fathers or even the New Testament scriptures.
Taking the New Testament documents as historical documents alone, you still have a high christology, such as Trinitarian belief rooted implicitly in the thinking of Jesus and the apostles, baptism and other beliefs I could list.
Case and point, the New Testament gives us an early picture of the Messianic Jews (Christians from Jewish backgrounds) and the Gentile Christians and what they believed. They certainly did not told to the teachings of Romanism that plague us today.
But by CT's own logic, he does not understand biblical Christianity since he even admits that he doesn't believe in the Trinity itself. The Roman catholic will agree that The Trinity is a vital doctrine to hold and if they are going to be honest, will have to admit those who deny the Trinity are outside Rome's flock.
How can you address someone if you don't know the language?
This objection is raised by Guard of Gold (he has several nics).
First, if one isn't an expert in a language, they can look into the language by reliable lexical material, they can get an understanding of syntax and other things a language contains or better yet attempt to learn the language from someone who himself is an expert on the language.
The argument that somehow a translation is not the true book, be it the claims "If it's not in Hebrew, its not TANAKH" or "If it's not in Arabic, its not Quran" is just a pointless argument.
"Nehemiah 8:5 Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. 6 Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
7 The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah—instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. 8 They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear[a] and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read."*
Some of the individuals who came back from Babylon could not even speak their native Hebrew, does this mean they themselves didn't have the TANAKH? No, that reasoning about any book in another language is absurd.
Be sensitive to the fact that not everyone can speak the original languages. As long the translation conveys the original meaning of the original language, the translation has done its job.
This isn't to disparage learning the language itself, it can be very helpful to learn it yourself and even having a reliable lexicon itself can be of great value.
Hopefully these two objections have been addressed and if some are offended by me referring to the two I have addressed here as apostates, I am just simply calling a spade a spade.
If you hear these two points from these men, direct others to this paper.
*26th of March 2015. PS. It is quite possible that some individuals did have the Hebrew language, namely thanks to the teachers preserving it to them, or the individuals remembered their Hebrew after coming back from exile.