- 1 Why Do You Need To Read The Bible With Hebrew Thinking ?
- 1.1 The First Characteristic Is “God-Centered Thinking”
- 1.2 The Second Characteristic of Hebrew Thinking Is “Relationship Centered Thinking” Which Emphasizes A Relationship With God, With Parents, And With Their Community
- 1.3 The Third Feature of Hebrew Thinking Is “Intuitive Thinking” While Greek Thinking Seeks To Convince With Intellectual/Logical Thinking.”
- 1.4 The Fourth Characteristic of Hebrew Thinking Is “Dynamic Thinking”
- 1.5 The Fifth Characteristic of Hebrew Thinking Is “Meaning Centered”
- 2 The Approach to The Bible Through Hebrew Thinking Is Made Up of Three Nuclei.
In Japan, Cohen University seminars are regularly held.
Applying the proper use of “Hebrew thinking” when approaching Jewish Bible readings are regularly emphasized in these seminar lectures.
Why Do You Need To Read The Bible With Hebrew Thinking ?
First of all, it is important to know that “Hebrew thinking” and “Greek thinking” (Hellenism thought) are polar opposite ways of thought.
Hebrew Thinking,(which includes Jesus who recorded the Bible’s articles by God’s inspiration) is a natural sense and what Jewish people also call common sense.
Based on this definition of Hebrew thinking, Jewish people read, understand, tell, and write down scriptures of the Bible.
The Jewish people throughout the generations have used Hebrew Thinking to read, write, and understand the Bible.
On the other hand, contrary to Hebrew Thinking, the Christian church has read and understood the Bible using Greek Thinking (critical, analytical, and open to debate).
Therefore, the Christian gospel was a mixture of Hebrew Thinking and Greek Thinking and has led to a history of division as previously mentioned.
Due to the differences in Hebrew and Greek thought processes, even when translating directly from Hebrew’s, original meanings of the Bible, which is the Word of God, translations can be misinterpreted due to a misunderstanding of the Hebrew thought process (i.e., the era or cultural background).
Hebrew thinking has five features:
1) God-centered Thinking, 2) Relationship-centered Thinking, 3) Intuitive Thinking, 4) Dynamic Thinking, and 5) Semantic centered Thinking
The First Characteristic Is “God-Centered Thinking”
The first characteristic of Hebrew thinking is God-centered Thinking.
The Jewish people position God in the highest position of value in their lives and they live their lives according to God’s Word.
This is because, since childhood, they have been thoroughly raised and educated with God’s Word in their family education.
On the other hand, Greek thinking is “human-centered”.
Greek thinking, which has its history in logic and science, was constructed by people whose religion excluded God and Christ.
The predominant Greek religion at the time the Bible was written was atheism and pantheism.
Many modern-day Christians have their own way of living and have put God’s Word together for their own convenience.
This partially explains the history of how “various kinds of denominations have been born” by “interpreting” the word for themselves.
The Second Characteristic of Hebrew Thinking Is “Relationship Centered Thinking” Which Emphasizes A Relationship With God, With Parents, And With Their Community
In Judea, there is a deep relationship between God, between a father and a child, between children and their parents, and between families and their community.
On the other hand, Greek thinking is more individualistic., As such, it may lead to looser bonds of parental and societal relationships.
Consequently, with looser bonds of parental and societal relationships, collapses of these relationships become more likely due to the individualistic mindset.
Of course, any collapse of parental and/or societal relationships often lead to isolation which sometimes drives the negatively affected people to vandalism and suicide.
The Third Feature of Hebrew Thinking Is “Intuitive Thinking” While Greek Thinking Seeks To Convince With Intellectual/Logical Thinking.”
As a result of Greek scholars intelligently classifying and analyzing the Bible, the Christian church divided itself into several denominations.
On the other hand, even though the Jews were displaced for 2,500 years, when they returned home in 1948, they could easily come together.
That is because they did not create their own interpretation of the Bible.
Instead, they simply read it repeatedly, memorized it, and gained intuition.
The Fourth Characteristic of Hebrew Thinking Is “Dynamic Thinking”
Hebrew is a verb-centered language.
A Hebrew verb is basically composed of a “root verb” which is composed of three letters.
Then, by adding another word either before and after its root, the verb changes into various meanings.
The Jewish people interpret words dynamically and treat words as being alive.
Therefore, each new morning the same word could have a slightly different definition.
In contrast, Greek thinking is “static thinking” so the meaning of words do not change.
In Greek Thinking, static word definitions will exclude other possible definitions.
The Fifth Characteristic of Hebrew Thinking Is “Meaning Centered”
Everything has a meaning in Hebrew, whether it is a person’s name, a place name, or even a single phrase.
People are impressed and feel joyful with the perfection of God’s order as they study how Hebrew letters are combined to create individual meanings.
Even though Greek thinking seems to be pursuing meaning at first sight, the destination it reaches is “pointless”.
Thus, Dr. Kang calls the five characteristics given above, “The embodying of Hebrew thinking”.
The Approach to The Bible Through Hebrew Thinking Is Made Up of Three Nuclei.
THE FIRST NUCLEUS IS “WHOLENESS”
This is to see the whole as one complete unit.
In other words, when opening the Bible, it should be looked at and learned as one “whole” piece.
Even if you do not understand any single part completely you should continue to read through it until you reach the end.
THE SECOND NUCLEUS IS “UNITY” WHICH HARMONIZES AND HARVESTS SEVERAL DIFFERENT FRAGMENTS INTO ONE.
Although the Bible is a collection of different pieces such as law, prophecy, poetry, etc., each piece is regarded together in harmony and not as separate pieces.
THE THIRD NUCLEUS IS “CONSILIENCE” WHICH MEANS THAT SEVERAL INDIVIDUAL ELEMENTS MELT TOGETHER AND CREATE A THIRD NEW THING (SYNERGY).
“Integration” by definition, is when elements that are independent from each other come together harmoniously and become quite similar? even though they still keep their independent state.
In contrast, “consolidation,” by definition, is when different elements combine together and no longer exists individually but another new creation is born.
Originally, the definition of consilience is “jumping together” and happens when two different things jump over a boundary of separation, join hands together, and land in a new area.
As mentioned above, something completely new can be created (a new life) by collecting parts and fusing them together. In Hebrew Thinking, this is also done with the Bible. When parts are collected and fused with each other, something completely new can be created.
For example, the word “redemption” is not understood by only looking at one part of the Bible.
However, when looking back and forth between Genesis, Leviticus, and Ruth, God’s intended definition of “redemption” becomes clearer.
As someone looks back and forth between how a word is used in various books of the bible, the understanding of words and phrases become alive as you begin to feel the “redemption” being incorporated in your own life and as it moves you, it becomes your own.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. This is your true and proper worship.
Cease from insisting on mixing your own ideas into the Word of God as the sages of the past have done.
Instead, abandon Greek Thinking and just bless the Word with yourself.
That way, the joy of truth will rise in you! This is our true and proper worship.