This opens a three part series on Hebraic Thought Versus Greek Thought. Most people in the Western world or in any culture with Western influence have been taught to think with a Greek mindset. The problem is that the Bible was not written from a Greek perspective. It was written from a Hebraic perspective. In Romans 12:2, Paul wrote, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – There is a pattern of this world we must avoid. The Greek mindset conforms to this pattern. So much of what we believe as Christians and teach has been influenced by Greek culture. This mindset can lead us to false conclusions. Our minds must be transformed to think the way the Lord thinks. This will tremendously open up our understanding of the Bible!
Thought Pattern #1 that must be transformed: Linear versus Cyclical
The Greek mindset thinks linearly. For instance, someone with the Greek mindset sees things in terms of Event A is followed by Event B, which is followed by Event C, which is followed by Event D, which is followed by Event E, etc. Part of this mindset is that once we are at Event E, then Events A, B, C, and D are over with. They will not occur again. Take years for instance. The year 2014 is followed by 2015 which is followed by 2016, and so forth. The linear thought method leads people towards believing in evolution, where things are progressing and evolving into a higher state than what they were before.
The Hebraic understanding of time is cyclical, meaning that whatever occurs now has already happened before. Solomon worded it best, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, KJV). Thus, history is simply a series of cycles repeating themselves. Events A, B, C, and D occur, and then the cycle repeats. These cycles may have different details involved with them, but they are the same events occurring over and over again. This is re-iterated by the fact that God never changes (Mal. 3:6, Hebrews 13:8).
The linear, evolutionary mindset is completely opposed to creation and the Bible. Unfortunately, evolution is crammed into our minds from birth in the Western world. Due to this, we view the Bible from a linear, evolutionary mindset. I want to give you a list of misconceptions people have about the Bible because of the linear, evolutionary mindset.
Sometimes people believe that Christ nailed the Law to the cross in the gospels, changed the Feast days, or that Paul changed the gospel when he went to the Gentiles. These are all evolutionary thought patterns. The commandments and Feasts are found in the Old and New Testaments. In fact, even in the New Heavens and New Earth the whole world will keep the Sabbath (Isaiah 66:22-23). Jesus is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. How could He nail the Law to the cross if He was sacrificed even before the Law was given?
Some people believe the gifts of the Spirit were used in the first century and then faded away in the fourth century. This is another evolutionary, linear mindset. The gifts of the Spirit can even be found in the Old Testament. How can a New Covenant with better promises lack the power of God’s Spirit? The gifts of the Spirit are still alive and in operation today.
It is commonly taught that God the Father created everything, but the Son redeemed it. John 1:1-3 and Colossians 1:15-17 plainly state that Jesus created all things. When Jesus came, died, and resurrected, it was the Creator dying for the creation.
When God created Adam and Eve, their minds were not that far removed from God. In other words, they knew what God meant when He said it. Let me give you an example of this. In Genesis 7:1-2, God told Noah to take 7 pairs of clean animals and 2 pairs of unclean animals into the Ark. Notice that God did not take the time to explain to Him which animals were clean and which ones were unclean. Noah simply knew what God meant. As man continued to sin over years and years, the mind of man became farther away from God. God then called a man named Abram from his father’s house to go to the Promised Land. God revealed to Abraham all of his laws, statues, and commandments (Gen. 26:4-6). God’s people lived by His commandments until they went down into Egypt. After they came out of Egypt, the Lord has to reveal the Sabbath, dietary laws on clean and unclean animals, etc. all over again.
Have you ever noticed that as you read the Bible, God gave an increasingly greater amount of instructions? To Adam and Eve, He gave a few simple instructions: Be fruitful and multiply, take dominion, and don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When Noah came off of the Ark, he was given even more instructions (Gen 9:1-17). God begins to give signs of the covenants He makes with His people. Starting in Exodus 20 and onward, God gives even more laws.
God was not giving something new, for nothing is new with God. As mankind continued to sin, the mind of man became farther away from God. This means that God’s requirements for mankind had to be re-introduced time and time again. When your read the Bible, there has only been on standard for God’s people, and that standard is summarized by the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah. God gave different details at different times so that mankind could understand how He intended for us to live.
We have a re-newed covenant with the law written on our hearts. Truly, this was God’s intention from the very beginning (Deut. 26:16, Deut. 32:46).
As Christians, we often profess that we believe in creation, but we view the Bible from an evolutionary stand point! When we view the Bible from an evolutionary mindset, then we fail to see the same God working the same way throughout history. God evolves and changes, and His requirements change. The same cycles in Genesis we find repeated throughout the Bible because God never changes; His requirements for His people never change either.
Part 2 will be coming in a few more days!