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Whats all the fuss about?


lazarus

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Let me start with your last question. I do recognize that the original text had no chapter and verse breaks. I am more concerned about the context without regard to chapters as verses. Typically when I look for the context of a particular Scriptural point, I backtrack to where there is a clear literary break, transitional phrase, typical opening/introductory phrase, time marker in a narrative, or some clue as to where the topic at hand starts and then read back to the verse in question and then past it until there is a clear literary closing. Sometimes its not real clear, but sometimes it is. Often the starting point and ending point do not correlate to the chapter/verse breaks.
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David, with all due respect, that was a pretty lame effort. When I boil down your post to the essential substance, I am hard pressed to find anything of significance. I seems to me that you are totally missing the forest for the trees. Let me give you another contextual analysis thought and enlarge the forest context even more. Reading much of Isaiah makes sense only when read from the perspective of Jesus' life. His life breathes meaning into it.

As Ed has just posted, First understand the principles. That forest takes shape and meaning. Then the trees will make sense. Adding to the principle Ed mentioned, here is one that Jesus also stated and lived out by example - "It is lawful (the right thing to do) to do good on the Sabbath." And the good he live out was the exact opposite of the selfishness, self-centeredness, the self-indulgence of the "doing as you please", "thinking your own thoughts", speaking your own words". It's all about others.

Here is an assignment - go read all the Sabbath miracles of Jesus. (He had very little to say about the Sabbath outside of that context.) Then go back and understand Isaiah. Appreciate the forest.

Tom

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David, with all due respect, that was a pretty lame effort. When I boil down your post to the essential substance, I am hard pressed to find anything of significance. I seems to me that you are totally missing the forest for the trees.
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So far, you have presented your own personal ideas about the subject passage, but they are only your ideas

No, actually not. Literary structure is part and parcel of the text. The items he cited are in the text, and can be objectively verified. They do indeed explain the themes.

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The 'principles' cannot do violence to the text. That would be eisegesis.

Just so. But you have neither indicated nor demonstrated in what way, if at all, the principle enunciated does violence to the text.

We all know what eisegesis is, so there's no need to give a definition once again. In light of all this, I have no idea why you made that statement.

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Fine, well and good, but that is neither here nor there with respect to the word meaning of 'doing your own pleasure' in Isaiah 58:13.

Unless one moves to the next step of interpretation. Exegesis is the beginning, not the end of the process. The next step is biblical theology, and there, Tom's comparison is not only appropriate but necessary.

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I do, and the forest I see is not inconsistent with the trees.

I'm sure we're all happy about that. Perhaps, then, you'd be willing to move beyond the tree in Isaiah and give us some glimpse of what you think the forest looks like?

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First, I was interested in Tom's ideas, and wanted to see those ideas supported and explored. So far, opinions haved been expressed. Questions have been raised in regard to word meanings and context, which remain unanswered. I will be interested to see some objective answers.

No, no, no, no. This is wrong in several ways. First of all, objective evidence has been given.

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Tom:

This passage shows a very clear literary ending as the last declaration of verse 14 - "The mouth of the Lord has spoken." That seals an important message from the Lord - it's his byline. So now one should go back through the passage to see where the Lord opens his mouth or there is some phrase to introduce or announce the message from the Lord. I find just such a phrase in the first verse of the chapter - "Shout aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins." This marks out the literary boundaries of the immediate context.

David:

You have stated this as an opinion, as your assertion. How do you know it to be correct? How would you know if God was intending instead, to address a number of separate issues, including carefulness about the Sabbath--each of which could stand alone?

Tom presented evidence from the text that this passage begins with "Shout aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins," and ends with "The mouth of the Lord has spoken."

And your response is "How do you know?"-- you've got to be kidding! Instead of speculating airily about what "might be," present contrary evidence, if you have it. But I've got to tell you, it better be good, because Tom's literary analysis matches the techniques I see used by the foremost scholars.

When anyone says, "God told me to tell you something". . .and finishes with "that's what God said," any rational analysis of the text in any century would conclude that those phrases enclose the intended message.

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The first principle I would cite is Jesus statement about purpose:

Mark 2: 27Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

I would like to add an example of this principle at work, from James.

The purpose of the Sabbath is that it is for man, and on it we're not going to be doing work for our own advancement.

In James 1:27, James talks about what is pure religion (the Amplified Bible calls it "external religion and worship).

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. James 1:27

The Amplified Bible also indicates that the word used as visit has the implication of helping, assisting, and alleviating their troubles.

This seems to go along very well with Jesus statement that it is "lawful to do well on the Sabbath".

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Tom presented evidence from the text that this passage begins with "Shout aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins," . . . And your response is "How do you know?"-- you've got to be kidding!

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Oh really? Isa. 58:1 is squarely in the middle of God's discourse.

This really is freshman Bible stuff. A longer discourse may, and usually is, constructed from shorter segments, each dealing with a different aspect of the main subject. Such is obviously the case in ch. 57.

Using YOUR supposed reasoning, Isaiah 58 is in the middle of the book of Isaiah, so it can't be a unit within itself. Just nonsense.

To say the chapter boundaries are "arbitrary" is in this case false. They are not part of the inspired text, but that does not make them arbitrary. More than once I've sent in an article for publication, only to have the editor put in subtitles separating the main points. The subtitles were not part of my text, but they were logical, and derived from the text itself. They were not arbitrary.

Isa 57 deals with worship of false gods

Isa 58 deals with false worship of the true God

Isa 59 deals with the iniquities--not related to worship--of Israel

The tools you have been taught should be used to illuminate the text, not obscure it.

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Also, v. 12 looks like it COULD "mark out a literary boundary," with vv. 13 and 14 addressing a separate issue.

But how could it? It's "in the middle of God's discourse!!!"

You act as if the text had no flow, no meaning, no logical progression. Language has ambiguity, that's true. But if it were totally ambiguous, no communication would be possible. Claude Shannon's work on information theory demonstrates that.

Unless the book of Isaiah is so alien in its thought patterns that ordinary analysis of syntax and semantics don't apply, then the three chapters I listed cover the topics I listed.

If Isaiah is that alien, then we won't understand it anyway, and God wouldn't have preserved it.

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I do enough writing to qualify as a wordsmith, and I took Honors English in college, scoring in the top 2/100's of a percentile.

My degrees are in Education, so only did freshman comp. I've always wondered just how much writing it takes to qualify as a wordsmith. And is it calculated in words, pages, or percentiles?

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At any rate, I wish to summarize what I understand of the position statement, and list the proofs which have been presented in support thereof.

1) The Hebrew word 'chepets' as used in Isaiah 58:13 has been mistranslated in the KJV, as 'doing your own pleasure.' The proper translation should be 'doing as you please.'

2) 'Doing as you please' refers to the behaviors described in vv. 1 - 12, including oppressing workers, smiting with the fist, etc., rather than to recreational activities or games, for example.

3) The reason that is true, is because Isa. 58 is a literary unit, starting with v. 1, and ending with v. 14.

The evidence or proofs which have been presented in support of the foregoing position statement, consist of proof by assertion. No citations of authority have been presented, no footnotes, no exegesis. In support of the assertion that the chapter is a literary unit, the claim has been made that it IS a literary unit because v. 1 read, "Cry aloud, spare not: show My people their sins," and v. 14 reads, "For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it." However, no cite has been presented in support of that claim. An assertion has been presented in support of an assertion.

Dave

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Actually, I have stated no position on the meaning of 'chepets.'

However, someone else has, and that was how this specific discussion got started.

Now, then, in the next post, I shall take a closer look at the word itself, the semantic range, and possible understandings of its context in the subject passage.

Dave

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Very well . . . this specific word occurs 37 times in the OT. It is uniformly rendered as 'desire,' 'delight,' 'want,' in almost every book in which it occurs. An exception is the book of Ecclesiastes, in which it is rendered somewhat differently. The word occurs 11 times in Isaiah, where it is rendered 'delight,' 'please[d],' 'desire' in all but two occurrences.

In ch. 58:13, 'do as you please' would seem to be a supported translation,' as would 'do your own pleasure.' The two renderings are comparable.

So much for the word itself. And, it is growing a bit late. The next step, for this student, will be to examine the word in the context of the surrounding passage.

Dave

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I do enough writing to qualify as a wordsmith, and I took Honors English in college, scoring in the top 2/100's of a percentile.

My degrees are in Education, so only did freshman comp. I've always wondered just how much writing it takes to qualify as a wordsmith. And is it calculated in words, pages, or percentiles?

I don't know Ed, but I think the bar has been set pretty high here with all this academic and scholarly chest pounding and demands for undisputed authoritative sources from Biblical language scholars, etc. I'm almost too embarrassed now to even mention or even cite the authoritative source that advocates reading the whole chapter 58 of Isaiah as a continuous integrated message, connecting the humanitarian good works of the first part of the chapter with the Sabbath message of the last part. I just don't think this person is going to pass muster in this discussion without any advanced degrees or honors even. I just don't think I can persuade anyone with the words of someone who didn't even finish grammar school.

Oh well, I'll just toss it into the fray anyway, for what it's worth:

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The Pattern in Isaiah 58.--The fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah contains present truth for the people of God. Here we see how medical missionary work and the gospel ministry are to be bound together as the message is given to the world. Upon those who keep the Sabbath of the Lord is laid the responsibility of doing a work of mercy and benevolence. Medical missionary work is to be bound up with the message, and sealed with the seal of God.--Manuscript 22, 1901. {Ev 516-17}

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I cannot too strongly urge all our church members, all who are true missionaries, all who believe the third angel's message, all who turn away their feet from the Sabbath, to consider the message of the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah.

The work of beneficence enjoined in this chapter is the work that God requires His people to do at this time. It is a work of His own appointment. We are not left in doubt as to where the message applies, and the time of its marked fulfillment, for we read: "They that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in."

God's memorial, the seventh-day Sabbath, the sign of His work in creating the world, has been displaced by the man of sin. God's people have a special work to do in repairing the breach that has been made in His law; and the nearer we approach the end, the more urgent this work becomes. All who love God will show that they bear His sign by keeping His commandments. They are the restorers of paths to dwell in. . . . Genuine medical missionary work is bound up inseparably with the keeping of God's commandments, of which the Sabbath is especially mentioned, since it is the great memorial of God's creative work. Its observance is bound up with the work of restoring the moral image of God in man. This is the ministry which God's people are to carry forward at this time. This ministry, rightly performed, will bring rich blessings to the church.--Testimonies, vol. 6, pp. 265, 266. {ChS 139-141}

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What saith the Lord in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah? The whole chapter is of the highest importance. "Is not this the fast that I have chosen?" God asks, "to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am."

"If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." Isaiah 58:6-9, 13, 14. {CH 520}

Tom

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Yes, those are very good. I have used them often, and they are included in my seminar and syllabus on city evangelism.

HOWEVER, the specific issue at bar in this case is the meaning of the word 'chepets' in v. 13. What Sister White wrote does not change the meaning of the word, nor does what she wrote mandate that the KJV's rendering of the word is incorrect, as you have suggested.

In fact, 'chepets' is typically used to denote 'pleasure,' 'happiness,' etc. God's prohibition against doing one's own pleasure in v. 13 would not detract in the slightest from an understanding of the remainder of the chapter in harmony with what Sr. White wrote about it.

Dave

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Oblivious to the forest, a solitary woodpecker determinedly hammering a hole in a single branch of a single tree in search of that tiny morsel...

Yet another adventure in missing the point...

Enjoy.

Tom

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I do enough writing to qualify as a wordsmith, and I took Honors English in college, scoring in the top 2/100's of a percentile.

My degrees are in Education, so only did freshman comp. I've always wondered just how much writing it takes to qualify as a wordsmith. And is it calculated in words, pages, or percentiles?

Hmmmmmmmmmm........Reminds me of the time I met a Respiratory Therapist who could quote Fisk's equation...but couldn't put an ultra-sonic nebulizer inline with a ventilator...

Translation: All that useless intellectual knowledge wasted on practical applications...

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You may notice that the needles of the White Pine (pinus strobus, aka Northern White Pine, Eastern White Pine) come bundles of five, while the needles of the Red or Norway Pine (pinus resinosa) come only in bundles of two. The needles of the White Fir (abies concolor) and White Spruce (pinacea glauca) occur singly, and are shorter than most pines, although the beautiful White Fir needles can be two to three inches long.

Fir and Spruce needles may be readily distinguished by a simple test. Place a single needle between thumb and index finger, and try to roll them. Fir needles are flat in cross section, and will not roll, whereas Spruce needles are triangular of sometimes quadrilateral in cross section, and roll easily.

None of this, of course, applies to the purely deciduous forest of Sycamore, Hickory, Elm, Oak and Maple at Geode State Park.

The Oak family (quercus) can be broadly divided into the red/black oak family, and the white oak family. The easiest distinguishing characteristic in the field is that the red/black oak leaves have pointed lobes and protruding central veins in those lobes called 'bristle tips.' This the name 'pin oak.' The white oaks have rounded lobes and lack bristle tips.

We turn now to the tree in question, a hawthorne, not to be confused with . . .

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saywaROFL

Over the river and through the woods to grand-mamma's house we go... Lalalalala...

Oh mister tree man, can you tell which way to go... Am I on the right path.... I'm kind of hungry, are there any fruit and nut trees in this forest? ... And can you tell me where would be a good place in these woods to pitch my tent for the night...

(Young man, you better know if you are in a forest or in the woods...)

Are there any bears or mountain lions out here in these dense woods?...

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my... In the jungle the mighty jungle the lion sleeps tonight... Wait an minute... Is this a jungle or a forest? What if I can't tell? Would I be more lost if it is a jungle, or less lost if it is just the woods?

Oh well, Lalalalala...

LOL

Tom

angelnot

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Continuing the study of 'chepets' in Isa. 58:13 . . .

Here is the verse as it is translated in the NASB, often called the "rock of Biblical honesty":

"If because of the Sabbath, you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure, and speaking your own word,"

Here we see several specific behaviors enjoined:

1) turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day;

2) desist from your own ways;

3) from seeking your own pleasure;

4) from speaking your own word.

The behaviors are enjoined "on My holy day," the Sabbath. The focus of this verse is activities engaged in on the Sabbath. What activities? Those enumerated in the verse.

I note that the NASB treats vv. 13 and 14 as a separate subject from the preceding verses.

At any rate, in the next post I shall compare the behaviors enjoined in v. 13 with other behaviors described in the preceding verses.

Dave

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