I Corinthians on Hebrew Bible interpretation
This blog post about Hebrew Bible study is written from a Christian point of view. I believe that 1st Corinthians teaches how to interpret Hebrew Bible.
The main idea of this blog post is in the "1st Corinthians, chapter 2" section below. Please necessarily read it.
(I am able to wisely interpret not every verse of I Corinthians, so I will explain some verses and skip some others.)
1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, 2 to the assembly of God which is at Corinth; those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, both theirs and ours: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Sosthenes" being translated means "safe strength". So our topic is how to receive the strength of Hebrew Bible in a safe way (not using it for evil).
The derivation of the word "Corinth" is unknown, but it is closely associated with speaking tongues. So our topic is linguistics.
The letter is addressed to (all) "the assembly of God which is at Corinth; those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place". This means that **all** Gospel believers are called to read Bible in Hebrew.
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" is the purpose of studying Hebrew Bible in Hebrew, it is to receive more grace and peace.
4 I always thank my God concerning you, for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus; 5 that in everything you were enriched in him, in all speech and all knowledge
This refers to the fact that we are "enriched" by God by the speech and knowledge of Hebrew Bible which is to read in Hebrew.
6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you
Hebrew Bible should be understood as a "ciphered" message about Christ ("the testimony of Christ").
7 so that you come behind in no gift; waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ
We will be not "behind" any gift, if we read revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ in Hebrew Bible.
8 who will also confirm you until the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I suppose that this means that the "end" (the day of our Lord Jesus Christ) will happen when we will bring to the end study of Hebrew Bible.
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
We will be in this fellowship if we carefully study spiritual sense of Hebrew Bible.
Now I beg you, brothers, through the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
It is the purpose this site was created: To research the entire Hebrew Bible in one place, without "forking". We need to consider different viewpoints on Hebrew Bible and find one united Christian opinion.
19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, I will bring the discernment of the discerning to nothing.” 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
It is about theologians and Hebrew linguists. Their very sophisticated study of human Hebrew language which among other things includes vowels cannot reach revelation of God, because it is revealed by removing vowels and thus having many new senses of Bible (which may appear if one substitutes different vowels or does not use vowels at all). God mocks the theologians, as their wisdom is made foolish.
21 For seeing that in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom didn’t know God, it was God’s good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save those who believe.
This is my preaching for foolish people, not for professional theologians: Study Hebrew without vowels, it is an easy study for a fool just like you. Whether you will benefit from this, depends on whether you believe not on whether you have a theological diploma.
22 For Jews ask for signs, Greeks seek after wisdom,
Jewish rabbis investigate vowel "signs", theologians try to find wisdom.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For you see your calling, brothers, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, and not many noble; 27 but God chose the foolish things of the world that he might put to shame those who are wise. God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame the things that are strong; 28 and God chose the lowly things of the world, and the things that are despised, and the things that are not, that he might bring to nothing the things that are: 29 that no flesh should boast before God.
Yes you are called even if you are stupid to become a Bible translator even if you consider yourself a stupid man, in order that God shames professional theologians and linguists.
Your "foolish" translation without vowels is much greater than a traditional translation by "wise" theologians and linguists.
God has chosen missing vowels ("things that are not") to be much greater than "things that are" (thorough linguistics and cultural study of Hebrew word derivation using vowels).
1 When I came to you, brothers, I didn’t come with excellence of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.
It is also about me. I am neither excellent in ancient Hebrew speech, nor I am a wise theologian. But I proclaim what is deserves to be called "the testimony of God".
1st Corinthians, chapter 2
Now to the main topic of this blog post (1st Corinthians 2):
4 My speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith wouldn’t stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
I mind that Hebrew Bible should not be considered as human wisdom, but its study should be the demonstration of spiritual sense.
This means a simple thing: The human meaning of Bible and the cultural context of the people which wrote it is not that important, the important thing is what God has said through these people.
7 But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom that has been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds for our glory,
This is about the hidden spiritual sense of Bible.
9 But as it is written, “Things which an eye didn’t see, and an ear didn’t hear, which didn’t enter into the heart of man, these God has prepared for those who love him.”
This means that the primary sense of Hebrew Bible ("as it is written") are abstract concepts (that is words "an eye didn’t see, and an ear didn’t hear"). We need to study hidden sense of Bible which is spiritual not about literal object of this world (which eye can see).
To understand the hidden sense you need to love God and find him in all situations. It is prepared for all who love God. If you love God, you should study Hebrew Bible.
10 But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
Hebrew Bible is understood with help of Spirit.
12 But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that were freely given to us by God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.
The spirit is not about "this world" (that is not about words denoting objects of this world, like sheep, swords, or human kings) but about the hidden abstract sense of Bible. The human wisdom of writers of Bible is not what I speak about, but what God means speaking spiritually through the authors of Bible. The purpose of studying Bible is to know what to pray about that God will give us freely.
And the main idea of this blog post: We should compare spiritual things with spiritual things. This means that studying Hebrew Bible we should consider first only these translations which are entirely about spiritual things. If we replace one of the words of a Bible verse with its spiritual meaning and the rest words in the verse remain fleshly, it is not the intended meaning of the verse. Moreover such partial "spiritualization" may lead to an utter nonsense. Reject this nonsense, it is not the intended meaning of the word of God.
14 Now the natural man doesn’t receive the things of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can’t know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The natural man is a man who does not accept spiritual meaning of Bible. Even the human authors of Bible can be considered as natural men, because they haven't understood what God speaks through them. These who don't believe consider our teaching foolishness. This needs the belief in the spiritual sense of Bible.
And finally about theologians studying vowels:
18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone thinks that he is wise among you in this world, let him become a fool, that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He has taken the wise in their craftiness.”
1st Corinthians, chapter 4
1 So let a man think of us as Christ’s servants, and stewards of God’s mysteries. 2 Here, moreover, it is required of stewards, that they be found faithful.
We reveal God’s mysteries. Is it written that stewards of God’s mysteries should be very smart? No, that we should be faithful. If you have faith, you can join us studying God's mysteries in Hebrew Bible, even if you are not particularly smart.