Mike Ended That

Well, if you have read some of my previous post then you know that I have had a struggle with letting go of the old and taking in the new.  Mike Williams just summarily ended that struggle.  I don’t know if I caught Mike on a good day or not but I joked with Mike that it sounded like Mike and Jeff had been talking about the Murphree problem and Mike finally decided to let it fly.  I don’t know if this is true or not but you had to hear the conversation.  Within about fifteen minutes I was totally set free (even though we talked for about 45 minutes).  Mike was in rare form.  All I could do was to keep thanking Mike. 

That’s it guys and gals.  I am done.  There is nowhere to go from here.  I have taken the red pill.  There is no going back.  I am totally letting go of my obsession with the limited knowledge that the writers of the New Testament had to offer.  I now understand that if what they were saying does not line up with the perimeters of the law and the psalms and the prophets then I cannot accept it as truth.  As much as I love the writings in the New Testament I have to accept that in most cases the writers did not fully get the true purpose of the cross.  This explains why I have had such a struggle trying to make it all fit together with any consistency at all and especially when it comes to issues such as law, grace and judgement.

I now have a new mission in life other than (and with) The Bohemian Junction.  This new mission is to go back and study the law and the psalms and the prophets.  Ironically, it was the law and the psalms and the prophets (and the tabernacle) that originally set me free to experience true grace for the first time.  I guess I just got lost along the way.  To add further, it was the original tabernacle that helped me understand the body of Christ for the first time.  Once I understood the original tabernacle for the first time and then fast forwarded to the book of Hebrews I had a complete new understanding of the freedom that comes through the Gospel.  Unfortunately, and thinking back, I realize that I had only just begun. 

At this point I can say that it’s all good folks.  I would like to thank all of the Friends of Mike Williams and The Gospel Revolution on facebook that have been so patient and supportive of me as I grow in the knowledge of the Gospel.  I truly love all of you guys and gals. 

Peace!

Pinkwaters

 

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The Thinker and The Gospel

You know, I am starting to think that I need a small lobotomy.  I do not think that I need a very big lobotomy, but one that does just enough to make me more child like and not question everything in the world.  Beres, can you grab your drill and a small bit and drive down to Crestview, FL and do the job?  Actually there was a GREAT movie called Pi that came out in the late 90’s where a guy that was a super intellect gave himself a lobotomy with a drill towards the end of the movie.  Ironically, and to the best of my recollection, I think it actually worked for him. 

Seriously, it sounds cliché but I really do wish that I had a dollar for every time I have been told in my life that I think too much.  I have to admit that this is very true.  At times it is like a drug to me and especially during my twenties and thirties when I had such a horrible fight with clinical depression.  Looking back, it was always a sign that a bout was coming on when I would want to get in my car late at night and drive and just think. 

Well, there is good news and bad news here.  The good news is that I can pretty much say with confidence that at the age of 50 I have pretty much beaten the depression problem.  Yes, I do get a little chemical assistance from the Veteran’s Administration, but nothing drastic.  As the words say in the song Comfortably Numb, I get “Just a little pin prick” of chemical assistance.  I highly recommend it with the right doctor and in the right doses.  Feel free to call if you are suffering and I will be more than happy to talk to you about this.  I am by no means a doctor but I am confident to say that after 20 some odd years of experience with clinical depression and coming out on the other end that I could at least give some helpful insight.  Anyways, this is the good news.  Now comes the bad news.

The bad news is that I am no less a thinker today than I was in first grade when my counselor threw up her arms and said that if I did not keep thinking so much I was going to have a heart attack by the time I was 20 (true story, I remember it like it was yesterday). Just a little history here.  I will digress.

I did terrible in school.  From first grade till my senior year in high school, school was the last thing on my mind.  I was always a C, D, and F student. I was also raised by a single Mom who eventually remarried when I was 13 but I have to think real hard to ever remember being pushed in school.  By my senior year of high school I had my own apartment on the beach in South Florida (long story) and was a total pot head party animal and ended up graduating 3rd in my senior class…FROM LAST out of 365 graduates! 

After going in the Army for three years as a helicopter mechanic and crew chief I did eventually get out of the Army and go to college at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (The Harvard of the skies I might add) and I did get a four year degree in Professional Aeronautics.  Thank God for the geek and nerd engineering students that I became best friends with.  Hey, I knew how to work up a good strong B average in calculus (which I had the least clue about going into college).   So I digress even more.

Anyway, and yes, in spite of being on the down side of advantage I was, in the end able to pull a decent education out of my ass.  This was not because I was the academic type at all. It was more to do with the fact that I had huge balls. 

During these four years I also was the president of the Embry-Riddle Christian Fellowship for two years for which I won the President’s Award for Leadership in my senior class.  These were also some of my worst years struggling with clinical depression.  I would not know until about 12 years later when I saw my first doctor what I was up against. 

So, I was never even close to being the academic type but I was and always have been a thinker to the max.  This has been my best friend and my worst enemy at times.  Today, as I take in this Gospel it is still my best friend and my worst enemy.  I will explain. 

My dear old mom has always told me in the midst of great frustration with me that I should have been a lawyer.  Well, as a Christian I found the perfect tool to use my debating skills…the bible.  I was especially good at taking New Testament verses and turning them into law.  I poisoned many others and myself with this approach.  The problem was that I was more depressed and disillusioned in the end than I had ever been.  Then came Mike Williams.

Mike Williams freed me from the law.  Mike freed me from the Gospel being all about myself and what I did and turned my whole perspective into it being all about Christ and what he did.  This was the Mike of the 90’s.  Fast forward to today.

I have only come to find out recently that Mike Williams switched up his game and took things to a whole nother’ level.  Now Mike preaches a Gospel of total redemption to the whole world.  Mike preaches that redemption is not only to those that believe but to all of mankind regardless of whether we believe or not.  This Gospel has ruined me and totally mind fucked me. This is my blog and I can cuss all I want. 

In the past, I could take plenty of verses from the New Testament and argue that redemption is only available to those who believe in Jesus (which my mind says), but in my heart I know that this is complete bullshit.  There is no good news in this Gospel.  The problem is that my mind (the thinker) wars against my heart.

In my heart I know that there is no good news in saying that billions of good souls are going to hell.  This is the Christian message that most Christians are in complete denial about.  Most Christians love to revel in what Jesus has done for them but are in complete denial about what will happen to the billions that did not have a chance to receive the message.  You hear all kinds of bullshit, watered down reasoning’s that try and get past this problem.   None of them work. 

Go to church, hear a good sermon, go home to your nice three bedroom house, eat potato salad, watch the Sunday game and fucking die as you watch billions of people go to hell over your bullshit doctrine.  I am glad that it works for you, you selfish son of a bitch, but just think while you are watching Green Bay play Detroit that you are also condemning hundreds of thousands of people in China and India and Russia to eternal hell. 

Over the last couple of days I have been able to listen to a few Mike Williams podcast (good job Beres).  During one of these podcast it hit me like a diamond bullet going to the center of my brain. What hit me was that if the law was nailed to the cross, then there is not only nothing to accuse me, but there is nothing to accuse all of the human race.  The point being that if there is no law, then there is not sin.  If there is no sin then there cannot be judgment. 

Look, I can take a very good and studied evangelical Christian and at least get them to admit that the law was nailed to the cross.  What I cannot do is get them to admit that where there is no law then there is no sin.  I can use a good bohemian example here.

If the state of Florida legalized pot then there would be no more law against marijuana.  So, if there were no more law against the possession of marijuana then obviously the possession of marijuana would not be a crime.  If marijuana was not a crime then there would obviously be no punishment for possessing marijuana. No law, no crime, no crime, no punishment. No law, no sin, no sin, no punishment, no punishment, no judgement…get it!

That’s it.  Thanks for reading.  Believe me, it does more for me than it does for you.

Peace

Pinkwaters

 

 

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Heart Dreamboat Annie

Well, today’s Bohemian Junction album of the day is Heart’s Dreamboat Annie.  There is a lot of history here that needs to be mentioned. 

Basically, Ann Wilson, the lead singer, and Nancy Wilson, her guitar playing sister were the glue that made up Heart in the mid-seventies.  I have great memories of watching the two of them play together in early concerts (God, were me and my buddies fucked up at the time).  This is not to understate the awesomeness of their band which was made up by bassist Steve Fossen and brothers Roger Fisher and Mike Fisher.  I cannot put together at this point which of the Wilson sisters had what relationship with what Fishers but I can say that they were all hooked up in various forms of dysfunctional relationships. 

You have to understand that in the mid-seventies that there were no other female led rock groups other than Linda Ronstadt (Pat Benetar was still on the way).  Even though Linda Ronstadt had broken the mold there was still room for  improvement.  Along came Ann and Nancy Wilson.

Listen guys, I listen to multiple albums from multiple artist from all over the globe but I have to say that Heart’s Dreamboat Annie is a masterpiece.  As an artist and musician I have to say that the whole thing blended together perfectly.  After all of my research I still cannot say what the deal was between Heart and Mushroom records but somewhere during this time Heart decided to break away from Mushroom and go to Portrait.   

Here is a cut from allmusic.com:

After selling more than 30,000 copies north of the border, Mushroom issued the LP in the U.S., where it quickly achieved platinum status on the strength of the hit singles “Crazy On You” and “Magic Man.” In 1977, Heart jumped ship to the CBS affiliate Portrait, resulting in a protracted legal battle with Siegel, who in 1978 released the unfinished LP Magazine on Mushroom shortly after the band issued its true follow-up, Little Queen, on Portrait. The single “Barracuda” was another massive hit, and like its predecessor, Little Queen sold over a million copies.

So, there you have it.  Just enjoy the music.

Peace!

Pinkwaters

Click below to hear some good tuneage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gpNqB4dnT4

 

 

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Houses of the Holy and Believing

Well, I got off of work tonight at 11:00 very much looking forward to coming home and doing my music thing.  I started off with my all time reference album which is Donald Fagan’s (Steely Dan) first solo album called The Nightfly.  The Nightfly is one of the best recorded albums off all time and is great for testing out my stereo and getting a good reference of where I am with my sound.  From there I figured it was time to switch things up so I went to my favorite Led Zeppelin album of all time which is Houses of the Holy.  I was really digging Houses of the Holy but all I could think about was how pissed off I was at Mike Williams for switching up the game and coming out and preaching a gospel that says that you don’t have to believe to be saves and as a result everyone on earth is saved (or redeemed…whatever).

I want the Mike of the 90’s back.  I want the Mike that preached such eloquent messages about how we have been freed from the law.  Why did Mike have to switch up the game and totally mind funk me (this is my blog and I can cuss all I want) with this message that it was the belief of Christ and not belief in Christ that saves us?

Then I had to take a step back and relate to the apostles for a second.  I am sure that they felt the same way that I do about Paul.  I sure that they were talking amongst themselves and saying the same thing about Paul.  If I could go back in time I am sure that I would here the conversation going something like this; “Well guys, we can all agree that we are all happy that this guy that used to persecute us is now with us but why and the hell is he teaching gentiles that they do not have to be circumcised to be saved???” You dig what I am saying here.  Now I feel like one of the apostles by saying that everything that Mike says about law and grace is great but you still have to believe to be saved.  Here in lies the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

What confronts me here is that I have to ask myself, “what is the option to not believing that the cross was a finished work for all of mankind”.  Well, the option is clear.  Billions of people are going to be judged by God and if you believe evangelical Christianity it also means that Billions of people are going to hell.  Well, how fucked up is that message?  I see no good news in that. 

The problem is all of those damn verses in the new testament that talk about believing unto salvation (both by Paul and others).  Josh and Jeff keep telling me that I need to throw my NIV version of the bible in the lake behind my house but come on, NIV or what there is still an overwhelming amount of verses that talk about believing in Christ verses the few that talk about the belief of Christ no matter what version you are reading. But once again, what are my options here?

Even though I have been a pretty good evangelist over the years (as many have told me…plug) I am still just a student seeking the truth.  I love Mike Williams and Jeff and Josh and Beres and Marjorie from the bottom of my heart but I am just keeping it real here.  In the end I can take great joy and knowing that we all love Jesus from the bottom of our heart.  I would not hang with you guys if that were not the case.  I just have to work out my now dysfunctional relationship with the new testament. 

Anyway, true to The Bohemian Junction the new album of the week is definitely Houses of the Holy by Led Zeppelin.  The Zep boys took a whole new direction here and they did like pro’s.  This is before Jimmy Page got hooked on smack and things started to get dicey.  A cut from Wikipedia:

Houses of the Holy is the fifth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released by Atlantic Records on 28 March 1973. The album title is a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed “Houses of the Holy”. It was the second Led Zeppelin album not to be officially titled after the band. It was also the first of the band’s albums to be composed of completely original material. It represents a musical turning point for Led Zeppelin, as they began to use more layering and production techniques in recording their songs.

The album was certified eleven times platinum by the RIAA.[1] The title track was also recorded in the sessions for this album, but was left unreleased until its appearance on their next album, Physical Graffiti.

In 2012, Houses of the Holy was ranked number 148 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The song of the day is No Quarter.  I have a lot of great stoned memories over this song.  There is actually a funny story attached to this song when one early morning, after staying up all night with a couple of groupies and my harmonica player this song came to light as we were walking back from fishing in a lake (what else is there to do after staying up all night after a gig right…as Marjorie would say LOL.) 

Anyways, hope you have enjoyed my latest rantings and will enjoy some good tunage.

Peace.

Pinkwaters

Click below for tunage:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKOngTfTMs0

 

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The History of The Bohemian Junction

The Bohemian Junction was originally founded by James Murphree Hyde in the year 2000.  After several years of teaching and preaching in the conservative evangelical church through Murphree’s college years and beyond, Murphree became very burned out and disillusioned with the conservative evangelical church community.  Although Murphree had the best of intentions to be a servant of Christ what had really happened was that Muphree’s identity had become all about what he did (or did not do) and little about what Christ did. 

Around this time Murphree was handed several tape series by a former homosexual by the name of Mike Williams.  Mike Williams is the founder of a ministry called The Gospel Revolution that still exists to this day.

Through Mike Williams and the Gospel Revolution, Murphree discovered for the first time that his relationship with God was not about himself and what he does or does not do but all about Christ and what he did and does.  Murphree’s life changed during this time.  Murphree also learned through Mike Williams the difference between relating to God based on the law (the commandments) of the Old Testament and old covenant and the grace of God that comes through the New Testament and the new covenant.  Once again, Murphree’s life was completely revolutionized through these revelations and Murphree was free for the first time in his life.

It is also of significance that during these same years Murphree’s number one passion (and many times obsession) was the perfect reproduction of recorded music.  Like an Alexander Bell, Murphree’s every waking hour was somehow interrupted by the thought of how he could take recorded music to the next level.  Murphree spent many thousands of dollars towards this task.  This was also taking a toll on his marriage. The problem with this passion was that his conservative evangelical peers were heaping loads of guilt on Murphree regarding his passion for music and the term “idolatry” was used many times.  Murphree’s sense of guilt regarding this passion once brought him to the point of loading up a multi-thousand-dollar stereo system into his car and driving out to the everglades in South Florida and throwing it all in a canal as a sacrifice to God.  It did not take long before Murphree started building another system.

Eventually Murphree was at the height of his IBM sales career but his marriage was failing.  His two daughters were two and four at the time and Murphree was living in Birmingham, Alabama.

One day Murphree went to see his musical idol, Roger Waters, in concert in Atlanta and afterword while driving home, Murphree decided that performing Pink Floyd songs was his future.  Not long after that, Murphree was in the middle of a divorce.

After Murphree’s divorce, he started a band called the Junkie Felons and Murphree cut his teeth in the Birmingham area as a guitarist and singer (not much of a guitarist or singer but enough to get by).  This was the time that Murphree decided to form The Bohemian Junction.  The year was around 2000.

The whole idea for The Bohemian Junction was that through music Murphree would leave the confines of the conservative evangelical church and share the good news of the gospel in the bars and highways and byways and strip joints and gay bars (which were the only bars open after the gigs). Murphree over the next several years played hundreds of times and shared the good news of the gospel with well over a hundred people. 

Unfortunately, a problem developed.

This is quite cliché, but what started out as the gospel and music turned into the gospel and music and drugs, which turned into music and drugs and eventually just drugs.  This also eventually turned into jail time and a very short stint in prison for a drug related crime.  It took Murphree several years to recover from this, but the good news is that Murphree is back on his feet and more than ready to kick off The Bohemian Junction all over again. 

Without apology, The Bohemian Junction is and will be closely related to Mike Williams and The Gospel Revolution.  Through the Gospel Revolution and the wonderful folks that associate themselves with The Gospel Revolution, Murphree has found a place that he can call home and totally be himself for the first time in his life.  Murphree also has the total support of the folks that associate themselves with The Gospel Revolution.

Stay tuned as we share the best of the good news of the gospel, and the best of music and, of course, rock and roll.

Peace to all.

Murphree Hyde

Founder

 

 

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New Testament Struggles

Well, I got off from work tonight with the idea of comparing amplifiers in my stereo but after reading the book of Romans tonight at work I had a million thoughts going through my head so I had to take a break from the music thing and put some stuff down.

So yes, once again for the 50 millionth time I am studying the new testament in the bible and more than ever I am walking away scratching my head (actually, it is more like I am scratching all the way down to my skull).  You know, I am all about Christians being freed from trying to live a life that is mixed between the old of the old testament and old covenant and the new of the new testament and the new covenant but the more that I read the new testament, which is supposed to be the magna carta for the gospel the more I can sympathize and empathize with why the modern evangelical Christians have such a schizophrenic relationship with God based on what they are learning from the new testament. 

Look guys and gals, in the end the fact is that the message is all fucked up in the new testament.  One minute you are reading that it is all about you and what you do (or don’t do) and the next minute it is all about Christ and what he did (and does).  No wonder Christians are so confused.

Right now I am hanging with the folks that are friends of Mike Williams and The Gospel Revolution.  You can find us on facebook.  I have known Mike for 18 years now and Mike has done more for me than any other preacher/teacher than anyone before or after.  However, there are problems.

One of the main things that Mike teaches is that redemption and salvation is not just for people that decide to believe in Jesus and accept him as their personal Lord and Savior, but as a result of the finished work of the cross redemption has been brought to all of mankind weather they believe or not.  Basically, every man, woman and child is already redeemed to God as a result of what Jesus did on the cross.  Sounds great.  And there are a lot a very good arguments for that doctrine.  The problem is that if you read the overwhelming amount of new testament versus that place an individual’s personal belief in Jesus as being the only requirement for redemption then it is not looking good for this doctrine. 

Look, I love all of my buddies that associate themselves with The Gospel Revolution and I can call some of them my new best friends.  But the more I study the new testament the more muddied and complicated this whole thing gets. 

I would love to believe that Jesus did it all on the cross.  All judgment, all wrath, all condemnation was taken care of on the cross.  Hell no longer exist.  I would also love to believe that redemption has been brought to all of mankind through the finished work of the cross.  But I also love the writings of the new testament and even though there are a seemingly a few verses that speak that it was the faith OF Christ that redeemed us to God there is also an overwhelming amount of verses that speak that it is faith IN Christ that redeems us to God.   The 800 pound gorilla in the room with believing that redemption is brought only to those who believe in Christ as their PERSONAL Lord and Savior is that you are also in one stroke of a pen condemning billions of people to condemnation that have never had the opportunity to do so. 

In the end I have to admit that I have a love hate relationship with the new testament of the bible.  I love the new testament and all that it has to speaks of Christ and the new covenant but I hate the new testament and all that it speaks of relating to God based on the laws of the old covenant and coming wrath and judgment. 

At this point I am totally dug in and am going to finish this gig of studying the new testament as it relates to the message that I am hearing from Mike Williams and The Friends of Mike Williams and the Gospel Revolution. 

Stay tuned for more. I am just a student.

Peace

Pinkwaters

 

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What Is and Is Not Scripture

The following is a post that Jeff Robertson of Mike Williams and The Gospel Revolution posted regarding what is scripture and what is not scripture in the bible.  This post is foundational to the doctrine of The Bohemian Junction.

I was going to make a point about Jesus being the “Scriptures in the flesh because of Chris Harrison’s reference to the verse in John being “scripture.” The scriptures are the oracles of God kept with strict scribal control by the Jews. The Gospel of John or any other New Testament writings does not qualify with that classification. Here’s an essay I posted early this summer on that subject:

MY RECENT CONCLUSIONS ABOUT WHAT IS & IS NOT SCRIPTURE

Since everything I planned to work on this weekend got put on hold until this coming week, so I decided to do some research on something I’ve been wondering about. I’ve gotta find some other form of entertainment! LOL

Just by coincidence, 2 days ago I received 3 separate calls from people asking me what is and is not scripture. They wanted me to justify my reasoning for my answer. It made me think back to when I first decided what ISN’T scripture. To my surprise, I realized it was 25 years ago. God, I hate it when something reminds me just how old I am now!

I was 25 years old when I had that epiphany. I came to understand this beautiful gospel of grace and peace for all of humanity close to 10 years before that. However, right before I turned 25, I had a “fall from grace.” Legalism crept back in and got a toe-hold somewhere in me. I started grappling for over a year with the inconsistencies and flat-out contradictory statements that the New Testament is literally overrun with. It caused a huge mental and emotional turmoil for me.

In my frustration at my own inability to reconcile all of the obvious errors in the supposedly “inerrant Word of God,” I looked to scholars who claimed to resolve the conflicting NT statements and make them agree. Their contortions in reasoning away contradictions were on par with listening to a mental health patient explaining the mysteries of the universe. My logic just couldn’t accept their explanations because you can’t make 2 statements agree when they totally disagree, I don’t care how much you mangle what the writers obviously wrote.

Then one day, I made another attempt to re-read some of the contradictory passages I was having trouble with in the New Testament and I remember thinking, “Why am I wasting my time? These are just a bunch of letters some guys wrote decades after the cross that had been copied over and over and circulated for hundreds of years. They’re just opinions or accounts from their memories! Why would anyone expect them to be accurate, much less agree exactly with letters written by other people? The ‘noble Bereans searched the scriptures.’ The only scriptures they were searching were in the Old Testament! These ‘letters’ are not SCRIPTURE! ‘Inerrant Word of God’ my a–!” And I slammed my Bible shut. Case closed.

It just so happened that a short time after that day, I read a chapter in Luke that I must have read 100 times in my life before but never really paid much attention to it. In Luke 24, Jesus was talking about what the scriptures are and concluded by saying, “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”

After I read that, I remember thinking, “See, Jesus proved my point! LOL”

From time to time in recent years, I’ve considered the absolute “sloppiness” of some of the New Testament writings. It’s been proven that many statements were added or changed in later manuscripts that are nowhere in the earliest known manuscripts. And even then, the earliest manuscripts we have are just copies that were made a couple hundred years after the actual letter was even written. I got to thinking about the Hebrew Scriptures.

The Hebrews were chosen by God to be the keepers of the “oracles of God” – the scriptures. They had strict laws for the scribes to follow. The Hebrew alphabet has a numerical aspect that the scribes used as a quality control mechanism to test the accuracy of the “written word.” It’s one of the earliest known quality assurance programs. Each section of scripture had to add up to an exact number. Also, the sum of a specific letter of one section with corresponding specific letters of other sections also had to ad up to an exact number. If just one thing didn’t add up precisely to the exact number, the whole document had to be destroyed.

In recent months, I also realized that Jesus said he came to fulfill the scriptures. If they are fulfilled, then he had to fulfill what was written before he came along and if he fulfilled the scriptures, that means the scriptures are now finished…done! There is no more scripture. However, since Christianity doesn’t believe all scripture has been fulfilled, they won’t even consider that as a valid point to discredit the New Testament as scripture.

So, let’s just see if the New Testament was even created according to the “rules.”

The New Testament writings never went through any quality control and weren’t even written by Hebrew scribes. Who could possibly have had the audacity to put those writings in the same classification as “scripture?” Well, to keep it simple, what became known as the “Bible” we have today came from the early Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church. The Protestant Bible we have today contains all the same books that the Catholic Bible does with the exception of a section of books called the Apocrypha.

So, the Bible I have is the Protestant version, but I guess I’m supposed to thank the Catholic Church for it. Not yet…

When quoting “scripture,” the New Testament writers only quoted from the Old Testament. They never quote anything in the New Testament and say it is scripture.

So I know I can confidently say at this point that the New Testament is not scripture. And, since Jesus even backs me up on that by telling me the scriptures are the law, the psalms and the prophets, can I say something in the Old Testament is NOT scripture?

Not if I’m using my Christian Bible as a guide, no.

The writer in the New Testament I rely on the most is Paul. In Romans 11:3, Paul quotes from 1 Kings 19:10 and 19:14 in the Old Testament. In Romans 11:4 he quotes 1 Kings 19:18. In Hebrews 1:5, the writer (presumably Paul) quotes 2 Samuel 7:14 as well as Psalm 2:7.

So, if I adhere to my Bible, can I say everything Paul quoted here is scripture? No.

The above quotes from 1 Kings and 2 Samuel are books not listed in the “Prophets” section of my Christian Bible.

So, can I say that 1 Kings and 2 Samuel are NOT scripture? NO!

I do believe the law, the psalms and the prophets are scripture, not only because Jesus said so, but because he also qualified the scriptures as “they are they that speak of” him. And I can show you in all three where they are speaking about none other than Jesus and what they are specifically saying about him. However, I have to ask myself, “What books did Jesus consider to be ‘the prophets?’”

To answer that, I need to consider who his audience was. He was speaking to Jews. He was referring to what they knew were the scriptures – the Hebrew Scriptures. So, how did the Hebrews group the scriptures?

The Hebrew Scriptures have 3 divisions. The first division is called “the law.” The second division is called “the prophets,” and the third division is called “the writings.” The Hebrew Scriptures and the Old Testament in my Protestant Bible contain the exact same books. The difference is how they are grouped and my Bible also breaks up some of the books into 2 or more books.

The first division of the Hebrew Scriptures is exactly the same as my Christian Old Testament. They are the 5 books of Moses and appear at the beginning of the Hebrew Scriptures and my Old Testament.

OOP’S…guess that was too long. Here’s the continuation of that: The second division is called “the prophets,” and the third division is called “the writings.” The Hebrew Scriptures and the Old Testament in my Protestant Bible contain the exact same books. The difference is how they are grouped and my Bible also breaks up some of the books into 2 or more books.

The first division of the Hebrew Scriptures is exactly the same as my Christian Old Testament. They are the 5 books of Moses and appear at the beginning of the Hebrew Scriptures and my Old Testament.

The second division of the Hebrew Scriptures, the prophets, differs with my Old Testament division that is classified by Christianity as “prophet books.” My Bible also places them as the last division of the Old Testament. The Hebrew “prophets” division includes the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel (1 & 2) and Kings (1 & 2). My Bible does not include those 6 books in the “prophets” section of the Old Testament, but completely separates them into a different grouping of books Christianity classifies as “the history books.”

So, can I say when Paul quoted 1 Kings and 2 Samuel that he was quoting scripture? Yes, according to the Hebrews’/Jesus’ definition of scripture, I can say Paul was quoting scripture because he quoted from the division of Hebrew scripture that Jesus referred to as “the prophets.”

Here’s where it gets tricky. The last division of the Hebrew Scriptures is called “the writings.” This is where the psalms are located. This is also where Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job and several other books are grouped. What might surprise some Christians is this is also where the books of Daniel and Lamentations are found. The Christian Bible has those 2 grouped in the prophets section of the Old Testament.

So why did Jesus say the scriptures are the law, the psalms and the prophets and not the law, the psalms and “the writings?” Can I say that Jesus was saying books like the book of Daniel is not scripture? I can’t say that.

So now I have to consider again who his audience was and when he said it.

Back then (and in some cases even now), Judaism relied heavily on oral tradition. Historically, we know much of the Jewish population at the time was illiterate. When they went to the synagogue, they always heard a reading from the law. Most of the time, they also heard a reading from the prophets after that. Sometimes after that they would then hear a reading from the Psalms. Law, prophets and psalms and always in that order. That was their liturgical tradition in the synagogue.

Since Jesus was speaking to an audience of people that weren’t all literate, it’s a reasonable explanation that he would speak to them in terms they were all familiar with since not all of them had ever read the Hebrew Scriptures.

I can’t say that’s why Jesus used that particular choice of words, but I also cannot say that out of all the books in the Hebrew Scriptures called “the writings,” the only book that Jesus considered “scripture” was the book of Psalms.

The reason this was so tricky for me was because in Romans 2:6, Paul quotes something that is found in both Psalm 61:12 and Proverbs 24:12. So, which one was he “thinking of” when he wrote that? I can’t say. Can I say it had to be the psalm because the proverb is not scripture? Again, I cannot say that.

MY CONCLUSIONS:

I can’t say that the books of Joshua, Judges, Kings and Samuel are not scripture just because they aren’t in the prophets group of my Christian Bible that uses the primitive Catholic Church’s reshuffling of the Hebrew Scriptures. But I can say they are scripture according to Jesus’ definition and the divisions of the Hebrew Scriptures.

I cannot say that any book like the books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Daniel or the other books in “the writings” division of the Hebrew Scriptures are not scripture just because they are not Psalms, or in the prophets or law divisions of either the Hebrew Scriptures or my Christian Bible.

The only thing I can say is definitively NOT scripture is the New Testament. I CAN say that because Jesus said the scriptures are the law, the psalms and the prophets, and because the New Testament is inaccurate and was not written according to scribal law. (I can also say the scriptures were fulfilled and therefore there was no more scripture to be written after the cross, but that’s just for those who understand the gospel.)

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