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Hebrew vs. Greek Salvation - Water In The Desert Hebrew vs. Greek Salvation - Water In The Desert

THE GREEK VIEW OF SALVATION

The whole idea of salvation to the Greek mind is wrapped up in the state or eternal status of the soul. As we have discussed before, in Greek dualistic thinking, only the soul or the domain of the nous or mind is 'godly', or can be godly. Salvation is right thinking and creedal in it's nature. To 'believe' is to know the right things. This knowledge comes only from the gods. Many even believed that there would be 'doorkeepers' at the gates of the heavens and that secret codes would have to be declared before entrance. This could be where we get all the St. Peter jokes. Salvation, none the less, was confessional and directed at the soul.

The following is an early example from the gnostic document, The Gospel of Philip: The Lord revealed to me what the soul must say when ascending into heaven, and how she must answer each of the upper powers: I have come to know myself, and I have collected myself from everywhere, and I have not sown children to the Archon but have uprooted his roots and have collected the dispersed members, and I know thee who thou art: I am of those from above. And thus she is released. To be 'saved' in Greek thought is to be released from this evil world. Salvation is a matter of creeds and correct knowledge about the gods. In gnostic thought, the concept of 'keys' are mentioned quit liberally. Scriptural terms such as, 'believe', to 'know' or 'knowledge', 'word' or 'words', 'keys' and 'gates', 'confess' and 'faith', are all tied in with this esoteric knowledge given by the gods.

These terms were easily transferred to New Testament teaching. When Yahshua said "I am the door... I am the good shepherd... I am the light of the world... I am the way, the truth, and the life...", these were understood to speak of the logos or the nous come down from heaven to distribute this knowledge or gnosis. He came to bring the 'keys' of salvation. Let me remind you that in Greek thought the logos was the collective mind or nous of the gods. In order for the soul to be destined for heaven one must 'believe' certain propositions about the logos. The early 'church' remained very 'hebrew' for the first two centuries and this is why there is no record of 'creeds' being established. The creeds come later when the church is dominated by gentiles and the 'Jewish believers' have been chased away by the Jews and the Christians.



THE HEBREW VIEW OF SALVATION


In scriptural thinking, salvation is not limited to the soulish area. This is because Elohiym sees a 'person' as one or echad (a unity). Salvation involves the spirit, soul or mind, and the body. All three are seen as the one person. As far as life goes, there is no separation of these three. Salvation is relationship centered, as YHVH is seen as Father and not a collective mind separated from humanity. YHVH is seen as being involved in all areas of life, and so doing the right things as a result of trusting is part of salvation. Salvation begins with trusting in His words which leads to right action. Salvation is not LEAVING this world but becoming actively involved in changing what is wrong and sustaining what is right. 'Peace' in Greek thinking is to escape the pressures of life. 'Peace' in Hebrew thought is to actively take part in the 'completion' of what is good and righteous. Peace and salvation involve being a whole human being. YHVH gives instructions to guide us in our growth to be a full person, spirit, soul, and body, and to save us, spirit, soul, and body from whatever would desire to destroy any of these three areas. YHVH placed this pattern in the building of the Tabernacle in Sh'mot 25-35.


But to sum up, YHVH has an order that He has designed. He must begin in the Most Holy place first. Then to the Holy place, followed by the court. Then, when approaching Him, man must begin in the court and proceed to the Holy place and finally the Most Holy place. This is the 'peace' that Yahshua came to give (Yochanan 14:27). As you read and search out salvation in the New Testament dictionary (the Old Testament), you will find that salvation is consistently deliverance from evil or contrary circumstances, not escape to paradise or some otherworldly existence. In Greek thinking, heaven is the goal, in Hebrew thinking, heaven is the reward. Deliverance in Hebrew thinking was being rescued from ways that were contrary to YHVH's ways. This is why the first words from Yahshua's mouth, and Yochanan the immerser, was REPENT!

They both cried these words to the Jewish leadership which had gone it's own way and had strayed from His ways. The word Yahshua means salvation or deliverance. Deliverance from what? From the direction they were going. Yahshua was a light to lighten the gentiles and the glory of his people Israel. In Greek thinking, the 'savior' was the coming of the 'mind of the minds', the 'god of the gods' to rescue the soul from this world. His mind was to bring us inner peace until that great day of deliverance. His words were our 'spiritual food' to feed our souls that we might grow inwardly. Laws or instructions concerning the physical things were only for the "weak in the faith" who needed such things to guide them, for they lacked inner maturity or gnosis. This doctrine quite naturally led to a distaste for the Jews or anything 'Jewish', and you can see how this would eventually lead to the destruction of those who were hindering the coming of YHVH. This might also explain why songs such as "I'll Fly Away" and "In the Sweet Bye and Bye" or "God's got a Mansion For Me" would be very popular songs.


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