Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Faithful Faves - Hebrews

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

(No, I am not going to make the joke about men making coffee...but it's tempting!)

Hebrews is another one of those books that I could spend weeks in, mining nugget after nugget, but I thought I'd pick a verse that my Friends Club girls have to learn when we do the unit on Bible:

For the word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  -- Heb. 4:12, NIV

As I skimmed through Hebrews, I noted how much Old Testament scripture was quoted, and I frowned a bit as I realized the author didn't always cite the source; sometimes he (she?  I've heard a few opinions that offer Priscilla as a possible author, but, given the social norms of the day, that would be very surprising) doesn't even seem to remember much about the origin of the quote, using phrases like 'someone said' or 'in another place' to introduce the quotes.

But then it hit me...not only the author of Hebrews, but all the New Testament authors had to quote OT Scripture ENTIRELY from memory.

The only copies were kept locked up.

They didn't have a pocket Torah, or an online reference, or Strong's concordance to help them.

Every one of the Old Testament quotes in the New Testament was spoken/written from memory.

No wonder the author of Hebrews was less than absolutely precise...and no wonder there is some variation between the actual text in the OT and the quote in the NT.

Let's say you or I had to teach someone about our faith...and we could only use the verses we have committed to memory.  How would we do?

I'm afraid I'd be rather pitiful; I've memorized the same verses in King James, NIV and New King James, due to differences in preferred texts over the years of belonging to different churches; most times a verse comes out a mishmash of all three.  And the reference? I can usually remember what book it's in.  Um, usually.

But look at the power of the word...and how the author of Hebrews builds his arguments from the word that was so obviously part of his very identity.

For some time, I've been feeling that I need to be more intentional about memorizing scripture; this really hammers that point home.

A discipline for 2012.

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