Paul Wants to Be Like Moses

2010 April 19

Filed in:

One Untimely Born (Paul)

As I read along in Numbers, I keep seeing things that Paul has latched on to.

Par example…

Paul says (1 Cor 14.5-9, 24):

Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.

6Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 7If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? 9So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said?…24 If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds?”

The punch line to this whole thing is at the bottom, but let’s focus on the bugle thing first.  Look at Numbers 10.1-3, 9:

1The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2Make two silver trumpets. Of hammered work you shall make them, and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for breaking camp3And when both are blown, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the entrance of the tent of meeting. …9And when you go to war in your land against the adversary who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before the LORD your God, and you shall be saved from your enemies.

The bugle gets two things to happen which Paul uses in 1 Cor 14:

  1. Gets the congregation to assemble
  2. Gets the congregation to be ready for battle by breaking camp while making a memorial directed at God.

Having established the passage connection, notice another huge one, which we see when God gives “the Spirit which is on Moses” out to the 70 elders, and two have not shown up at the elder assembly.  They were caused to prophecy even in the camp, and Joshua wants to help by saying, “My lord Moses, stop them!”  What is Moses’ reply?

29But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD’s people were prophets, that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!” (Num 10.29)

Remember that?

Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. (1 Cor 14.5).

Paul’s heart is Moses’ ministry desire too.


Paul Takes Advice from the Wilderness

2010 April 17

Filed in:

One Untimely Born (Paul)

Jethro sees that Moses has too much work for one person, and he suggests a division of labor  (Exodus 18).  God hears Moses’ complaint that the people are too burdensome and gives Moses similar advice to arrive at 70 elders.  This eases what Moses calls “nursing the people.”  And Paul says the apostles have done just this very thing excellently: “We,” he says, “took care of you” like “a nursing mother to her own children.”

Paul is not alone; and Paul is properly burdened – not so much that he despairs of life, and not so little that he doesn’t take pains for the people.

The passages to compare are below: – Keep Reading>

“Believes All Things” – What does that mean?

2010 February 1

Filed in:

It’s Good Enough for Me (Paul)

Love believes all things.

(1 Cor 13.7)

What does that mean?  What can context tell us that this phrase doesn’t yeild up on it’s own?

Comments requested and welcomed.

Sweet, Sweet, Comfortable Confidence

2009 November 21

Filed in:

Both Feet Firmly on the Ground (Cosmology)

If It’s Good Enough for Paul, It’s Good Enough for Me (Paul)


So YES.  I have recently affirmed publicly now that I am indeed a 6 day creationist.  This is a recent development and I want to explain why I felt constrained to making this move.  The posting of this thought began in THIS [Click Here] post, and continues in the current post as installment 2:


I think I find that for many people who have always been young earth/6-day people, it is very hard to see how someone could be old earth and a consistent Christian.  But I will try to explain the struggle that I had in my head over the last 10 years.

Allegory?  Parable?

Again, I have always had an absolute commitment to the Bible, but I also felt like the old earth, and process of evolution were basically demonstrable, and scientifically hard to get around.  I thought Gen 1-11 was figurative, or parabolic.  True, yet non-historical, in the way that a parable has a true lesson, but not a factual history.

I also assumed that humanity “became” humanity at some point in an evolutionary process.  So I was able to affirm that at some point we became sinful and human, but it wasn’t necessarily in a pristine garden.

Sounds Like Myth

I also thought that Gen 1-3 was too stylistically symbolic to be real.  I thought that with names like:

Adam – “Humanity”

and Eve  – “Life”

and a talking snake and a magic fruit…. come on!

But my mind has changed, and I now welcome these literary frills as BOTH highly symbolic AND historical.

But how did it all go down?

The Beginning of the Breakdown

One day in my New Testament class, I was reading the speech Paul gave at the Aereopagus, and one of the verses struck me like a brick.  I actually gasped for air when I read it, quietly, but there was really was a breath – Acts 17.26:

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth…

Paul is preaching to the Gentiles at Mars Hill (the Ἄρειον Πάγον).  One of the things always pointed out about this situations is the difference in how he preaches to the Jews and the Gentiles.  The Jews have a whole canon of knowledge behind their hearing of sermons.  The Greeks likely know nothing of the Old Testament so they have to be told anything that it’s necessary to know.  They are also repenting from outside the Law, and not from under it.

The outline of Paul’s sermon:

  • there is ONE Lord of heaven and earth (v.24)
  • and he is not in need of man (vv.24-5)
  • he is not an idol of human crafting since (v.25)
  • he is the ONE source of all life (v.25)
  • all humanity is responsible to him since (vv.26-27)
  • he made all nations from ONE man (v.26)
  • he is not far from us since (v.27)
  • he made us and he sustains us (v.28)
  • again, he isn’t an idol since (v.29)
  • we are made in his image (v.29)
  • he has been patient with your sin (v.30)
  • but he is going to bring judgement by ONE man who has been raised from the dead already to vindicate this fact (v.31)
  • so REPENT (v.30)

The passage doesn’t use the word “one” over and over, but it isn’t absent in idea, and it DOES use the word “one” in verse 26.

The simple version is that there is ONE God and ONE Man, and we are RELATED.  The one God is both OUR JUDGE (by fact of creation), and NOT  AN IDOL (by correlation to us).  The fact that the Judge is near us and the judgment is upon us both are proven by the Resurrection of ONE MAN.

The “one man” thing seems to be pretty important – even theologically necessary.

Calm down!  I know about Romans 5 and 1 Cor 15.  I will deal with them later.  At that point, I had worked around these monster passages, but Acts 17.26 was the “little leaven” to leaven the whole lump.

Now, we have to talk about the Greek.

ἐξ ἑνὸς – is the Greek behind “one man” from v.26

That phrase can mean “one man.”  In fact, it should do so if there is no other reason to translate it other wise.  And there isn’t any other factor to change it.  So the substantival masculine adjective “one” (henos) becomes the noun “one man.”

However the word (anthropos) is not used here, but it is not use for Jesus either – he is an (aner): “a male”.  Some later texts insert the word “blood.”  Regardless, the point of the verse is a single source for all humanity, which is used as a proof that we are all unified in responsibility to the one creator.  So no way around the single source of humanity.

You could say that even with evolution and a large source of humanity we are still responsible to God, but you can’t say it without implying that Paul was either wrong or lying.

The Beginning of the End of the End of the Beginning

This verse not only began my downfall into sweet, sweet, comfortable confidence by making me think “Paul thinks Adamic origin is important,” but it also made me formulate a litmus question:

“How does the rest of the bible treat Gen 1-11 and Jonah or any other questioned literature.”

That, my friends, is how we will proceed.

[Go to post # 3 in this series – Click Here]