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  #1  
Old 06-24-2022, 2:56 PM
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Default Do you read legal and sacred texts differently?

I'm not sure whether this topic is likely to go haywire, but the Calguns Faith forum may be the only kind of place that it could easily be discussed. Let's see if this leads to an interesting discussion.

I've spent a lot of time trying to understand how the founding generation expected legal texts to be read, above all the Constitution (i.e. not really about how you have to read it today if you expect to win, which is different). I became very originalist, without any expectation that any court would accept such a reading. I usually notice gunnies reading it in modern context without being aware of it, and I try to avoid doing that.
dd
I've also spent a lot of time trying to understand how to read scripture as we were intended to read it, and ultimately became very originalist there as well--scripture as it could have been understood in the First and Temple Jewish contexts, most of all. I usually notice Christians reading it in modern context without being aware of it, and I try to avoid doing that. (Just to be clear: this is a variant of specifically Protestant Christian hermeneutics. The variation consists mainly in not putting much authority in reading in the context of later church history, which I suspect is probably the standard Reformation hermeneutic. I can't intelligently say much about other hermeneutics.)

As you can see, my belief in "correct" hermeneutics in both law and theology converged pretty strongly. This is back on my mind again because the snippets of Thomas' writing in Bruen that I've seen mandate the most breathtakingly originalist readings of the Second Amendment and historical precedent that I've ever read in a legal document. Most of all because it looks like Thomas is very clear that you have to read it in the original context (a huge conceptual shift that is going to have fascinating consequences). In fact it's far closer to how I've come to read the bible than how most Christians read it (whether that's good or bad is a separate debate).

With all that said, my question is whether others have ended up doing this, or do you choose instead to read inspired texts differently? Do you intentionally choose the context you read in (whether the Constitution or scripture), or not?

7x57
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Old 06-24-2022, 8:49 PM
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You read like a conservative, as do I.
Liberals will interpret the Bible the way THEY want it to mean, rather than what it says. They interpret the Constitution the same way.
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Old 06-26-2022, 7:38 AM
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You read like a conservative, as do I.
Liberals will interpret the Bible the way THEY want it to mean, rather than what it says. They interpret the Constitution the same way.
Very well put. 👏
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Old 06-24-2022, 10:36 PM
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The hermeneutical I use is: Literal, historical, grammatical, with emphasis on authorial intent.

The idea is why was the author literally saying (no special hidden meaning) to the intended audience (historical). Informed by the grammar e.g. narrative, poetry, and so on.

https://mikralab.org/news/2019/3/21/...s-an-interview

I read the constitution the same.
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Old 06-30-2022, 10:27 AM
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The hermeneutical I use is: Literal, historical, grammatical, with emphasis on authorial intent.
It often doesn't matter, but I think authorial intent suffers from the problem of mind-reading long dead people if taken too seriously. The term that seems to best capture what we actually can do is "original public meaning." As it happens we generally, and correctly, assume that the OPM (where "public" means the general audience who received the text) represents the meaning the author intended and the readers (probably hearers in the ancient world), it is occasionally important to realize that it is the OPM we can determine with historical texts, not authorial intent except indirectly through the OPM.

And that's true for both sacred and legal texts, so I do apply that uniformly to both types of texts.

7x57
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Old 06-25-2022, 1:15 PM
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I use various methods to get an understanding of the intent of the writer of Old Testament / First Covenant and New Testament / Second Covenant scripture. A interlinear translation / Greek or Hebrew across the top, with the direct intent english underneath and often get a much stronger sense/picture of the writers message in what he has written. As well examining Hebrew and Greek words in Strong's Concordance. Big Help ! This helps me to get past the older RELIGIOUS meanings such as " Thou shalt not kill," which actually says " thou shalt not murder ." The Hebrew word is saying " Thous shalt not DASH IN PIECES" and I pronounce it Routesekh or ROTSEKH. Religious church writing has done a lot of thus saith the gosple according to ME. Often no examination of the actual meaning of some words are used. Just my methods used during my reading and also I use a lot of prayer asking for HIS meaning of the scripture being studied.

Psalm 1
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Old 07-04-2022, 10:51 AM
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I use various methods to get an understanding of the intent of the writer of Old Testament / First Covenant and New Testament / Second Covenant scripture. A interlinear translation / Greek or Hebrew across the top, with the direct intent english underneath and often get a much stronger sense/picture of the writers message in what he has written. As well examining Hebrew and Greek words in Strong's Concordance. Big Help ! This helps me to get past the older RELIGIOUS meanings such as " Thou shalt not kill," which actually says " thou shalt not murder ." The Hebrew word is saying " Thous shalt not DASH IN PIECES" and I pronounce it Routesekh or ROTSEKH. Religious church writing has done a lot of thus saith the gosple according to ME. Often no examination of the actual meaning of some words are used. Just my methods used during my reading and also I use a lot of prayer asking for HIS meaning of the scripture being studied.

Psalm 1
Garand Guy ... you have my vote. Me too.
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Old 06-28-2022, 11:02 PM
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I choose to decipher and discover the meanings and how it applys to law or the word using translations and past present and future.

The verse below gives you a warning and reasoning to do so.
2 Corinthians 2:10-12
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

For example
Santa can also be spelled Satan and took over the Christmas holiday with trees and gifts.

Apple had Harvard professor's theory of how did St(Eve) Job use the fruit of the desire of sin and knowledge as his symbol and the fall of man to earth. Why was the first apple computer cost $666 strange but true. Steve's Job provided you the devices to find the fruits of knowledge

Written instructions for divorce is to provide written document with the reasoning of Adultery or abandonment or a breach of contract on the man's end when God Judges.
(KJV) Matthew 5:31
“It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

Instructions for Food and Medicine except for today they add aborted fetal cells.
(KJV) Ezekiel 47:12
And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.


Another example may be reaching not because of the name Trump but because of the evidence and relation to the strange events going on in history. God can use 1 man or woman to prove he is the all-mighty God and created all things. Samson, Noah, Moses, King David Esther example.

God's voice or sound is written as a Trump or Trumpet I find that remarkable today.
(KJV) 1 Thessalonians 4:16
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

(KJV) 1 Corinthians 15:52
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

No one knows where the name of the Bible came from but as an Acronym it makes sense.
(Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) (BIBLE). Now the world is full of Acronyms.


Just some of the observations I have that are relevant and not a coincidence towards the very near this year maybe tribulation beginning. Even over in Russia, they're talking about the 4 horsemen are already riding.

And I find it odd the man who runs Higher Ground Productions Inc used that name when it cast the devil down here to hell.

Isaiah 14:14
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Or China being a recent name and if you look up Machina in Latin the name fits. (Machine).


“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)

Last edited by AWE; 06-28-2022 at 11:15 PM..
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Old 06-29-2022, 5:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 7x57 View Post
I'm not sure whether this topic is likely to go haywire, but the Calguns Faith forum may be the only kind of place that it could easily be discussed. Let's see if this leads to an interesting discussion.

I've spent a lot of time trying to understand how the founding generation expected legal texts to be read, above all the Constitution (i.e. not really about how you have to read it today if you expect to win, which is different). I became very originalist, without any expectation that any court would accept such a reading. I usually notice gunnies reading it in modern context without being aware of it, and I try to avoid doing that.
dd
I've also spent a lot of time trying to understand how to read scripture as we were intended to read it, and ultimately became very originalist there as well--scripture as it could have been understood in the First and Temple Jewish contexts, most of all. I usually notice Christians reading it in modern context without being aware of it, and I try to avoid doing that. (Just to be clear: this is a variant of specifically Protestant Christian hermeneutics. The variation consists mainly in not putting much authority in reading in the context of later church history, which I suspect is probably the standard Reformation hermeneutic. I can't intelligently say much about other hermeneutics.)

As you can see, my belief in "correct" hermeneutics in both law and theology converged pretty strongly. This is back on my mind again because the snippets of Thomas' writing in Bruen that I've seen mandate the most breathtakingly originalist readings of the Second Amendment and historical precedent that I've ever read in a legal document. Most of all because it looks like Thomas is very clear that you have to read it in the original context (a huge conceptual shift that is going to have fascinating consequences). In fact it's far closer to how I've come to read the bible than how most Christians read it (whether that's good or bad is a separate debate).

With all that said, my question is whether others have ended up doing this, or do you choose instead to read inspired texts differently? Do you intentionally choose the context you read in (whether the Constitution or scripture), or not?

7x57
What you describe is almost identical to proper Biblical study. I study the Bible so carefully, that it can't help but spill over into the rest of my life. I'm constantly pointing out the absurd meanings that misplaced prepositional phrases have on TV, in the news, etc. We get quite a laugh.

I also find myself constantly frustrated by terribly poor grammar of most news articles. Many, many sentences are non-sensical.

And, yes, I read all documents "in-context." Same with the constitution. So, in the Bible each book has a specific context. You have to completely understand what the author was saying to that audience at that time. Then, you pull out the "universal truths" for teaching. Application is always current, but completely in line with the universal truth.

If you do this, you can ignore much garbage in religious posts around here too!

Blessings,
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Old 06-30-2022, 10:33 AM
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What you describe is almost identical to proper Biblical study.
I certainly intended it to be. One of the trains of thought that led to the post was the realization that Clarence Thomas had described (what I regard as) correct biblical hermeneutics more accurately than all but a handful of descriptions that were intended to be about the bible. I found that astounding.

The only real difference is that Thomas was talking about texts with a clear final form at essentially the time of writing. That's not true of biblical texts in general, a number of them tell us they were edited (generally in the OT). Essentially that's part of the inspiration process, and it complexifies things for us slightly. But unless someone is disputing the canon, that really doesn't matter, it's the same as what Justice Thomas described.

7x57
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Old 06-30-2022, 10:35 AM
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So, in the Bible each book has a specific context.
I forgot a minor quibble: they often have several contexts. We can't really expect texts ranging from 2-3.5k years old (very round to avoid disputing dates) to be just easy....

7x57
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What do you need guns for if you are going to send your children, seven hours a day, 180 days a year to government schools? What do you need the guns for at that point?-- R. C. Sproul, Jr. (unconfirmed)

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Old 07-01-2022, 9:24 AM
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I forgot a minor quibble: they often have several contexts. We can't really expect texts ranging from 2-3.5k years old (very round to avoid disputing dates) to be just easy....

7x57
The author wrote each book to a specific context. The author didn't know that some verses in the letter/book would have a near fulfillment and a future fulfillment. In fact, if it was prophecy, it could have both, and he wouldn't know it. But, again, the author was writing to a specific context. We have the context for each book of the Bible, so interpretation at the book level is not hard!

Blessings,
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Old 07-01-2022, 9:34 PM
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The author wrote each book to a specific context.
One issue is that many OT books have been edited, and they tell us so:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ezekiel 1:1-3
1 In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the Chebar canal, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.[a] 2 On the fifth day of the month (it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin), 3 the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the Chebar canal, and the hand of the Lord was upon him there.
Verse 1 is in the first person. Verses 2-3 are in the third, and add details that the author of v1 assumed his readers already knew--that is, they understood which Ezekiel, which year and where the Chebar canal was from their context. The author of vv2-3 clarifies that the author is Ezekiel the priest, expresses the year in regnal years, and where the Chebar canal was. Apparently he could not assume that his audience necessarily knows those things from their different context.

It's pretty easy to guess what is going on; one of Ezekiel's students/followers edited the master's work and did his best to keep it understandable even though the situation had changed since Ezekiel's day. Nothing wrong with that, it just means that the context of the audience he is writing to is different than the context of the original audience of v1. And our editor was not trying to hide his work--on the contrary, he left the first person in v1 alone, I suspect out of respect for the text he was working with.

My point is that simply assuming that only a single person touched the text of a particular book (or in the case of the Psalms, a particular chapter) is going to mislead you. Ezekiel saw the visions, yes, but he had editorial help in recording it in a way that it would remain understandable. And since Jesus affirmed the absolute authority of "every jot and tittle" of the edited text as it existed in the first century, the editing itself must have been part of the inspiration process. That involves multiple contexts. We need to consider all of them where possible.

7x57
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Old 07-04-2022, 11:08 AM
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One issue is that many OT books have been edited, and they tell us so:



Verse 1 is in the first person. Verses 2-3 are in the third, and add details that the author of v1 assumed his readers already knew--that is, they understood which Ezekiel, which year and where the Chebar canal was from their context. The author of vv2-3 clarifies that the author is Ezekiel the priest, expresses the year in regnal years, and where the Chebar canal was. Apparently he could not assume that his audience necessarily knows those things from their different context.

It's pretty easy to guess what is going on; one of Ezekiel's students/followers edited the master's work and did his best to keep it understandable even though the situation had changed since Ezekiel's day. Nothing wrong with that, it just means that the context of the audience he is writing to is different than the context of the original audience of v1. And our editor was not trying to hide his work--on the contrary, he left the first person in v1 alone, I suspect out of respect for the text he was working with.

My point is that simply assuming that only a single person touched the text of a particular book (or in the case of the Psalms, a particular chapter) is going to mislead you. Ezekiel saw the visions, yes, but he had editorial help in recording it in a way that it would remain understandable. And since Jesus affirmed the absolute authority of "every jot and tittle" of the edited text as it existed in the first century, the editing itself must have been part of the inspiration process. That involves multiple contexts. We need to consider all of them where possible.

7x57
As you wrote, your "guess." First, you need to be a Christian or you'll never understand the Bible properly (1 Cor. 2 tells us that. Not my opinion). Then, just use a consistent, literal, historical, grammatical, plenary hermeneutic.

As I said above, each book was written for a specific context.

Blessings,
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Old 07-01-2022, 11:52 AM
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Good reasoning Bill !

Psalm 1
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Old 07-04-2022, 2:37 AM
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What a great question. I of course do not know if i'm correct or have the right to direct others.... but as i try to reason out the question i have at least for myself come to what i hope is a rational conclusion.

When reading law....i read it and abide to it in the here and now. That doesn't mean that it's not open to discussion, challenge, revision etc. That's why ideally we have established our judicial system.

When studying and reading scripture as well as historical or religious law, i read it as it portends to forever...and as a result I am instructed and committed to try to understand the intent of the text not only from then but for now and the future....hence the message becomes ever more broad and pertinent. The process is sine que non to Jewish educational system (no multiple guess, no parroting of answers etc.).

I'm not however, dogmatic in my view or understanding of the process. For me Judaism and it's legal structure remains as Rabbi Hillel taught (copied from the internet): fundamentally the expression of the ethic of reciprocity, or the "Golden Rule": "That which is hateful to you, do not do unto your fellow." That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary; now go and learn." and "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And being only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?"

I don't consider each and every presentation, story and allegory to be fact....but rather as lessons to be communicated, discussed, considered, argued, challenged and learned from. For example, i don't take as fact that burning bushes spoke etc.

Just my thoughts
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Old 07-04-2022, 5:51 AM
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That is the whole Torah?? Did not Jesus Say to the scribe the scripture the greatest commandment was the one saying love the lord with your whole heart and soul, and your neighbor as yourself, the whole Law hangs on these these two commandments ! Commentary by various rabbi's thru out the ages cannot refute that can they. How you read the scripture is not flexible except to those who do not understand it or want to tinker with its meaning.

Psalm 1

Last edited by Garand Hunter; 07-04-2022 at 5:53 AM.. Reason: added sentence
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Old 07-04-2022, 10:40 AM
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Garand, I'm not challenging you, your understanding or your faith.

My response merely expresses a personal reflection on the OP's query. Likely i am biased by my religious and cultural background as well as our approach to law and education.

In this respect, quoting a lesson from a famed teacher who preceeded your diety seems reasonable to me. I would imagine that the two likely studied and even argued contemporary thought, law and philosophy.

i certainly respect your teacher's message as so much of what i've learned seems to parallel precedent messages and thought.

I feel a strong commitment and responsibility to question, think, contrast and come to meaningful conclusions, ideally or at least often with guidance from respected teachers....for we stand on the shoulders of giants. It's important to me. As a biochemist and then an academic physician and scientist this structure has served me and my family well.

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Old 07-04-2022, 10:52 AM
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Garand, I'm not challenging you, your understanding or your faith.

My response merely expresses a personal reflection on the OP's query. Likely i am biased by my religious and cultural background as well as our approach to law and education.

In this respect, quoting a lesson from a famed teacher who preceeded your diety seems reasonable to me.

i certainly respect your teacher's message as so much of what i've learned seems to parallel precedent messages and thought.
"Your Deity" -- I was tempted to point out that appealing to Jesus' authority is pretty specific to only one of the two surviving descendants of second temple Judaism.

As I understand (historical, Orthodox) Rabbinical Judaism, the consensus of the rabbis has what would be in Christian terms a kind of inspired status. As it was explained to me, issues that were settled in one aeon and not re-opened in the next are more or less fixed forever. So it seemed that quoting a rabbi who the consensus regards as authoritative is the closest equivalent to quoting Yeshua. That seemed very like what you were doing with the good rabbi Hillel, who has a clear foundational status in the development of Rabbinical Judaism. (I think I detect a range of opinion on this. The most conservative rabbi I ever met just baldly stated that Torah was incomprehensible without the tradition and the tradition was so complete that Torah was not even necessary. I think that was an extreme position, and it reminded me of both gnosticism and the Qumran sectarians attitude toward the Teacher of Righteousness, but it seemed to not be outside the permissible rabbinical variation.)

Given that, I assumed that you were most likely contributing a Jewish viewpoint to the conversation. Well, why not? If you'll put up with the "children" of the other, troublesome twin (an explicit reference to Alan Segal's "Rebecca's Children"), I certainly will. Glad to have you.

7x57
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Old 07-04-2022, 11:02 AM
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7x57, fascinating ....i very much appreciate your thought and content.

I'm a very live and let live, cherish and respect others, life is precious kind of guy.
Surgery is a great equalizer, I can honestly tell you from having performed thousands of surgeries that we're all very much the same a mm or two under the skin.
I must also confess that i can never and will never understand the kill you to save you mentality.

Last edited by mtenenhaus; 07-04-2022 at 11:05 AM..
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Old 07-04-2022, 11:18 AM
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7x57 7x57 is offline
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7x57, fascinating ....i very much appreciate your thought and content.
Thanks! He can't be blamed when I get something wrong, but if I get anything about Judaism right it's to be credited to a dear friend who has spent a few decades now trying to educate the ignorant goy he met in grad school. It took many years just for him to be comfortable letting me know how difficult that can be for a Jew....

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I'm a very live and let live, cherish and respect others, life is precious kind of guy.
Surgery is a great equalizer, I can honestly tell you from having performed thousands of surgeries that we're all very much the same a mm or two under the skin.
I must also confess that i can never and will never understand the kill you to save you mentality.
Which version of "kill you to save you" do you mean? It seems to reappear periodically in history. It's personally most distressing in a Christian context, which I suspect you mean, as it's not even theologically defensible (contra Augustin, who IIRC may have been one of the early proponents of forced conversion in the West).

Come to think of it, maybe that's a different thread, and maybe not a good public topic.

7x57
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I know every chance I get I'm going to accuse 7x57 of being a shill for LCAV. Because I can.
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Old 07-04-2022, 11:47 AM
mtenenhaus mtenenhaus is offline
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7x57....you're no doubt wise and correct, best for another time and place

i find solace and hope in the appreciation that there are many faiths, many beliefs, many philosophies, many ideologies and many ways that seek to aid us in the path of good, happy, helpful and just.
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Old 07-05-2022, 10:37 AM
Garand Hunter Garand Hunter is offline
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Excellent Kokopelli ! Keep it up.

Psalm 1
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Old 08-02-2022, 4:33 AM
DB> DB> is offline
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In reflecting on recent SCOTUS decisions, one can utilize the "text, history, tradition" approach to both law and scripture, with the added element of guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the added perspective that comes from a personal relationship with THE WORD, made flesh.
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