Thursday, February 28, 2013

Whose Faith Follow

The author of Hebrews urges his readers to follow their leaders' "faith" ("faith" is also described as being the motive power in Ether and Moroni, in clear temple contexts).  They are to do this "considering" (anatheorountes, looking up at) the "end" (ekbasin, walking out or exit) of their "conversations" (anastrophes, turning upward).

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Honourable in All

The visionary men have a positive view of marriage and "the bed."  This is not surprising; remember that Nephi's own covenant-initiatory experience consists of the Lord making promises about his "seed," and Lehi can't really leave Jerusalem until he's secured wives for his sons.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The City of the Living God

Hebrews makes explicit that he is exhorting a temple community, and inviting them to come forward and persevere.  They are not in "the mount that might be touched" because the Jerusalem hierarchy controls the physical temple of Solomon.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Make Straight Paths

The call to "make straight paths" is another sign that the author of Hebrews imagines his audience as standing in the hekal.  References to "peace" and seeing the Lord are consistent.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

If Ye Endure Chastening

"Chastening" and "chastisement" are translations of paideia, a Greek word meaning instruction or training.  The Worship of the Shalems is the process of being trained to be God's children.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Despise Not Thou the Chastening

It's interesting that in the context of exhorting us to move forward towards Christ on his throne, Hebrews quotes Proverbs 3, a famous poem about moving forward along paths of peace towards the tree of life and wisdom, who gives happiness and has filled hands (a sign of priesthood and also a possible allusion to sacred gestures).

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Author and Finisher

"Author" is archegos, captain, the one having arche, or dominion.  Having arche marks Jesus as a Melchizedek priest.

"Finisher" is teleiotes, the one who makes perfect.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Let Us Run

A cloud, witnesses, and running a gauntlet looking forward to Jesus, who has sat upon the throne of God, all go together in the hekal, in the moment when the shalems resolve to move forward to the veil.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Offered Up His Only Begotten

Isaac is a priestly figure.  He is the "seed," he is offered as a sacrifice, and he is raised from the dead.  He is a "figure" (in Greek a parabole, a parable).

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Through Faith Also Sara

"In faith" Sara receives "seed" (a subject on which Nephi obsesses) and gives birth to the father of a race of angel-priests.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A More Excellent Sacrifice

We begin to "witness" the "elders" and we see that their stories have temple dimensions.  Abel's sacrifice is of the firstlings -- it's the same as God's own sacrifice, which is laid on the table for consumption in the Worship of the Shalems.  Enoch ascends to heaven and overcomes death, which Alma shows us is God's gift to the shalems.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

He That Cometh to God

Faith is the motive power by which one approaches God, "seeks" him, and asks for a reward.  This is the same thing we are told by the Brother of Jared and also by Matthew.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Faith Is the Substance

"Substance" is a mechanical rendering of the underlying Greek word, which is hypostasis.  "Understanding" would have been a similarly mechanical rendering, and similarly uninformative.  Hypostasis is a word that refers to a shared substance or reality; it has been adopted by Christian theologians to refer to each/any member of the Trinity.  Christ, the Logos, or Aramaic Memra are said to be (or not be, in some case) a hypostasis, an appearance of divinity sharing divinity's substance.

So "incarnation" is a word that could translate hypostasis, and shed more light.  Faith is the incarnation of things hoped for, the "coming to light" of deeds not seen.  "In faith" (not by faith) the elders have "been witnessed" (not obtained a good report).

This is ordinance language.  In faith, Hebrews  has seen incarnated and brought to light that which is ordinarily behind the veil, and also the elders.  In this same context, "we" understand God's creation of the earth.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Let Us Draw Near

Christ has opened the road into the Holy of Holies.  Hebrews invites us to enter, which we do by drawing near, having faith, being washed, approaching in a community, and grasping something.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Through the Veil

The temple veil is the flesh of Jesus.  Since Jesus has opened the way through his sacrifice, the author of Hebrews invites his readers into the Holy of Holies.

Matthew knows the same symbolism.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Boldness to Enter

"Holiest" is again a bad translation here.  Hebrews says ten eisodon ton hagion, which is better rendered "the saints' [holy ones, angels] road leading in."

Hebrews connects the Day of Atonement and the Worship of the Shalems repeatedly.  The authors sees the Worship of the Shalems, identification as "perfection" or the "road of the holy ones," made efficacious or possible or meaningful by the one-time sacrifice of Christ, foretold in the yearly Day of Atonement rite.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Blood of Bulls and of Goats

A bull and two goats are some of the Day of Atonement sacrifices recorded in Leviticus.  Hebrews then quotes several verses from Psalm 40, suggesting that the context for that Psalm is the Day of Atonement.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

There Is a Remembrance

The Day of Atonement is a remembrance.  This is key, and a plain statement, because other passages connect the ideas of remembrance, the dressing of the high priest, and the incarnation of the Lord.  See, for instance: Leviticus, Luke, Exodus, and Matthew.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Shadow of Good Things to Come

The "law" (of Moses) can't make anyone perfect.  That's because it lacks the "image" of things to come, and contains only the "shadow" of that that image.

Hebrews is telling us that before its apostasy, the First Temple contained the image of things to come and perfected its worshippers.  This precedes a discussion of the Day of Atonement, which Hebrews understands as -- in its original, uncorrupted form -- teaching of the coming of Christ.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Patterns of Things in the Heavens

The Day of Atonement rite pre-enacted Christ's once-for-all self-sacrifice.  The temple is heaven on earth, containing the presence of God.

Men die and face their judgment: this is the dressing and judgment at the veil within the temple.

Having made his sacrifice, Christ will now come spotless with salvation: this is the high priest-the Lord emerging from the temple on the Day of Atonement.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

He Is the Mediator

Christ is the mesites, the one who stands between.  Those who are "called" grasp (labosin) the promise of eternal inheritance.

One can only inherit something when the one who possesses it has died.  This makes sense because Christ is the Lord-Yahweh-the King.  Having died, he can now meet shalems at the veil and acknowledge them individually, if worthy, as his children and heirs.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Neither by the Blood of Goats and Calves

Christ comes as the high priest and also the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement.  His coming is an element common to the Day of Atonement and the Worship of the Shalems, and it is that coming that gives both ordinances their power -- until then, they are just forms and figures, parables.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Meats and Drinks, and Divers Washings

The apostate services, though they include meat, drink, and washing, are unable, without the mission and presence of Christ, to make the worshippers "perfect" (teleiosai) (compare with Matthew 5:48).