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  #41  
Old 10-30-2018, 1:42 PM
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Originally Posted by CVShooter View Post
Parables shouldn't be over-thought or over-spiritualized. But you can't over-do the context. The way we think about it today (spiritual kingdom, discipleship as a formal & codified method as we see it today, etc.) is OUR way of seeing it but it would have been a foreign idea to Jesus and his audience.

There are only 3 rules to proper interpretation:
1) Context
2) Context
3) Context

Alan Block raises a good point. Seems like there might be an ethical issue with not disclosing the presence of treasure on property that isn't yours as you're convincing somebody to sell it to you. But the rules of the marketplace in traditional societies often allow for some inequality in information. It's similar to how there were strict rules about charging interest to fellow Jews but there were no problems at all with charging interest to Gentiles. That brings a whole new light to the traditional interpretation of the parable of the talents (why would God encourage the "lazy" servant to lend his money out for interest?). But that's a thread for another day.
Context, is right. And just as you said, the inequality of information is not unethical and back in those days, seller beware was just as applicable as buyer beware.

Secondly, the man didn't steal the treasure nor did he just buy the specific area where the treasure was hidden. He bought the entire field. Seems legit to me.
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  #42  
Old 10-30-2018, 6:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CVShooter View Post

Alan Block raises a good point. Seems like there might be an ethical issue with not disclosing the presence of treasure on property that isn't yours as you're convincing somebody to sell it to you. But the rules of the marketplace in traditional societies often allow for some inequality in information. It's similar to how there were strict rules about charging interest to fellow Jews but there were no problems at all with charging interest to Gentiles. That brings a whole new light to the traditional interpretation of the parable of the talents (why would God encourage the "lazy" servant to lend his money out for interest?). But that's a thread for another day.
It may be legal but it seems a very 'unchristian' thing to do.
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  #43  
Old 10-30-2018, 6:22 PM
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It may be legal but it seems a very 'unchristian' thing to do.
i don't think that verse has anything to do with hiding god's kingdom from anyone. it is about embracing your faith, rather than visiting it from time to time.

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  #44  
Old 10-30-2018, 8:43 PM
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It may be legal but it seems a very 'unchristian' thing to do.
You're missing the point of the parable.
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  #45  
Old 12-01-2018, 11:27 AM
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The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

44“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44 ESV)

1) Man is anyone of us. Hidden treasure is Jesus. He is of greater value than our worldly things.

2) Man is Jesus. Hidden treasure is us. Jesus gave all he had to purchase us.

I grew up having been taught interpretation #1. Today, I heard a sermon that taught interpretation #2.

What do you guys think?
One of my go-to commentaries is by Arnold Fruchtenbaum, a messianic Jew. He is a prolific writer, but of his books, the two commentaries I use the most are Yeshua The Life of Messiah and The Footsteps of the Messiah.

In Yeshua The Life of Messiah, he expands upon the commentary that he makes here.

A little context: in the time of Christ, the leaders of the Jews had a process for investigating messianic movements. When someone came to their attention, they would observe that person to determine if the person was doing something insignificant, or something that warranted further examination. You see this with John the Baptist (people were sent from the Sanhedrin, Pharisees and Sadducees, to go out and observe him), and when they concluded that John did indeed warrant further examination, they came again and asked him who he was (John 1:19-22, "So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"). They did the same with Jesus, observe and then interrogate. The culmination came when they accused Jesus of being demon-possessed after he cast out a demon that made the possessed person both blind and dumb. This made their rejection clear.

The public ministry of Jesus Christ was divided into two phases. The first phase was intended to give the Jews (both the leadership and the people) the opportunity to accept Him as Messiah, or not. They rejected Him as Messiah, and this began the second phase of His public ministry. It was only after the rejection by the Jews that He began to teach in parables.

The two parables mentioned in the OP are from a series of parables that were intended to explain how God's kingdom would advance in light of this rejection by the Jews. Fruchtenbaum argues that the Parable of Hidden Treasure refers to the remnant from Israel that God will eventually redeem:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeshua Life of Messiah, p. 236-237
The sixth parable is the Parable of Hidden Treasure. From verses such as Exodus 19:5, Deuteronomy 14:2, and Psalm 135:4, where Israel is called God's treasured possession, we know that treasure is a symbol of Israel. The point of this parable is that although most of the nation rejected the Messiah, God will gain a remnant from Israel. The treasure, thus, is a remnant of Israel today (Romans 11:5) and the Israel of God (Galations 6:16).

The seventh parable is the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price. While the Bible reveals that the treasure represents Israel, it does not state anywhere exactly what the pearl represents when it is used symbolically. Knowing that Christendom includes both Jews and Gentiles, very likely, the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price is "the other side of the coin" of the previous parable. The treasure represents the Jews, so it is natural that the pearl would represent the Gentiles. Furthermore, the pearl comes from the sea, and the sea symbolizes the Gentile world (Daniel 7:2-3, Revelation 17:1, and 15). Finally, the pearl comes from the oyster, which itself was unclean in the Law of Moses but made clean by the law of Messiah. Taking all these arguments into consideration, we can deduct that the pearl represents Gentile believers.

The first point made in the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price, then, is that there will also be salvation among the Gentiles. The second point made is that the Gentiles in the mystery kingdom are added by gradual accretion, like a pearl develops when a speck of dirt falls into the oyster. The oyster begins by covering this speck with calcium carbonate and continues to add small amounts of this chemical compound until, by gradual accretion, it becomes a pearl. This teaches the concept that the Gentiles in the church are added to the mystery kingdom by gradual accretion. One of the primary purposes of the church age is to take out of them a people for his name (Acts 15:14), and this is to continue until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in (Romans 11:25). This is indeed pictured by this parable.
So from Fruchtenbaum's perspective, both interpretations provided in the OP are incorrect.
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  #46  
Old 12-03-2018, 12:37 PM
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One of my go-to commentaries is by Arnold Fruchtenbaum, a messianic Jew. He is a prolific writer, but of his books, the two commentaries I use the most are Yeshua The Life of Messiah and The Footsteps of the Messiah.

In Yeshua The Life of Messiah, he expands upon the commentary that he makes here.


So from Fruchtenbaum's perspective, both interpretations provided in the OP are incorrect.
That sounds really complicated. I think Jesup told parables to simplify not to complicate.
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  #47  
Old 12-03-2018, 1:08 PM
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What is complicated about the consistent use of symbols in the Bible?
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  #48  
Old 12-03-2018, 3:58 PM
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^How one parable is for the Jews and the pearl is for the Gentiles due to gradual accretion of calcium carbonate. C'mon, Jesus didn't expect uneducated villagers to know about the chemical reactions of calcium carbonate.
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Old 12-03-2018, 6:51 PM
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^How one parable is for the Jews and the pearl is for the Gentiles due to gradual accretion of calcium carbonate. C'mon, Jesus didn't expect uneducated villagers to know about the chemical reactions of calcium carbonate.
Astute observation!
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  #50  
Old 12-05-2018, 10:22 AM
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How one parable is for the Jews and the pearl is for the Gentiles due to gradual accretion of calcium carbonate. C'mon, Jesus didn't expect uneducated villagers to know about the chemical reactions of calcium carbonate.
I'm not saying that He did. Believe what you want to believe, but Fruchtenbaum offered an argument to support his claim, which you have not done. J. Vernon McGee also offers an argument to support his view, which is pretty much in agreement with Fruchtenbaum:

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Vernon McGee, TTB Matthew Commentary
Although our Lord gives several parables in this chapter, He interprets only two of them: the parable of the sower and the parable of the wheat and tares. His interpretation is a guide to the symbolism in the other parables. For instance, in this parable of the sower, the birds represent Satan. Now when He uses the symbol of birds in another parable, we may be sure that they do not represent something good. We need to be consistent and follow our Lord's interpretation.

The parable of the sower is the first of the Mystery Parables and may be considered as the foundation for all of them.
[...]
THE PARABLE OF THE TREASURE HID IN A FIELD

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field [Matt. 13:44].

The "treasure" is Israel. The "field" is the world. The "man" is the Son of man who gave Himself to redeem the nation Israel. This is not a sinner buying the gospel because the gospel is not hidden in a field. Israel, however, is actually buried in the world today. Someone says, "Well, they are a nation right now." They are, but they certainly are having a struggle. They will not be able to enjoy their land until they receive it from the Lord Jesus Christ.
I was very much interested in reading a paper that came from Israel concerning a convention of certain scientists. In a picture I noted above the platform a great sign, printed in both Hebrew and English, which read something like this SCIENCE WILL BRING PEACE TO THIS LAND. May I say to you, friend, science will not bring peace to Israel-- nor to any country. Only the Prince of Peace is able to do that.

Actually, Israel is buried throughout the world. The largest population of Jews is not in Israel but is in New York City. And Jewish people are scattered throughout the world. But God is not through with Israel as a nation. The apostle Paul wrote: "I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew..." (Rom. 11:1-2).

Paul believed that the Lord was not through with Israel. Zechariah, one of the last writers in the Old Testament, wrote that a new day would come for Israel: "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn" (Zech. 12:10).

The prophet Jeremiah in many passages speaks of the regathering of the people of Israel and of God bringing them to their own land. That time is still future. When God regathers them, it will be by miracles so great that they will even forget their miraculous deliverance from Egypt which has been celebrated longer than any other religious holiday. God is not through with the nation Israel, and this parable makes that fact very clear. Israel is the treasure hid in a field, and Christ is the One who "for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field." In fact, He gave Himself to redeem the nation. Our Lord purchased them with His blood, just as He bought your salvation and my salvation. Zechariah writes of the cleansing which will take place at the time of Christís return to this earth: "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness" (Zech. 13:1).
These passages from TTB are on the long side, so I'll break them up.
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  #51  
Old 12-05-2018, 10:32 AM
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J. Vernon McGee continues:

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Vernon McGee, TTB Matthew Commentary
THE PARABLE OF THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it [Matt. 13:45-46].

The popular interpretation of this parable says that the sinner is the merchantman and the pearl of great price is Christ. The sinner sells all that he has that he might buy Christ. One hymn says:

I have found the pearl of greatest price.
My heart doth sing for joy.
And sing I must for Christ is mine;
Christ shall my song employ.

I cannot accept this interpretation, and I have dismissed it as unworthy of thoughtful consideration. To begin with, who is looking for goodly pearls? Are sinners looking for salvation? My Bible does not read that way, nor has that been my experience as a minister. Sinners are not looking for salvation. The merchantman cannot be the sinner because he has nothing with which to pay. To begin with, he is not seeking Christ, and if he were, how could he buy Him? The merchantman sells all that he has-- how can a sinner sell all that he has when he is dead in trespasses and sins (see Eph. 2:1)? Further, the Scriptures are very clear that Christ and salvation are not for sale. Salvation is a gift-- "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). God so loved that He gave. And in Romans 6:23 we are told that "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

The correct interpretation of this parable reveals Christ as the merchantman. He left His heavenly home and came to this earth to find a pearl of great price. He found lost sinners and died for them by shedding His precious blood. He sold all that He had to buy us and redeem us to God. Paul told this to the Corinthians: "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich" (2 Cor. 8:9). He redeems us to God-- He bought us.

Now let's look at the pearl for a moment. The pearl represents the church. A pearl is not a stone like the diamond. It is formed by a living organism. A grain of sand or other foreign matter intrudes itself into the shell of a small sea creature. It hurts and harms it. The response of the organism is to send out a secretion that coats over the foreign matter. That fluid builds up until a pearl is formed-- not a ruby or a diamond, but a beautiful white pearl. A pearl is not like other gems. It cannot be cut to enhance its beauty. It is formed intact. The minute you cut it, you ruin it.

The pearl was never considered very valuable by the Israelites. Several verses of Scripture give us this impression. For example, in Job 28:18 pearls are classed with coral. Although the pearl was not considered valuable among the Hebrews, it was very valuable to the Gentiles. When Christ used the figure of "goodly pearls" (v. 45), I imagine that His disciples wondered why. Oriental people gave to the pearl a symbolic meaning of innocence and purity, fit only for kings and potentates.

With this information in our thinking, let's look again at the parable.

Christ came to this earth as the merchantman. He saw man in sin, and He took man's sin and bore it in His own body. Our sin was an intrusion upon Him--it was that foreign matter. And He was made sin for us. As someone has put it, I got into the heart of Christ by a spear wound. Christ "... was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities..." (Isa. 53:5).

Notice Christ's response to the sinner. He puts around us His own righteousness. He covers us with His own white robe of righteousness. "... we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus..." (Eph. 2:10). Christ sees us, not as we are now but as we shall be someday, presented to Him as "... a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:27). Christ sold all that He had in order that He might gain the church. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2).
I don't agree with everything I read in a commentary, and who does? God gave all of us brains, and He expects us to use them; you'll be called to account same as everyone, including myself.

If you prefer, you can listen to J. Vernon McGee talk about it himself. His TTB commentaries are basically recapped in his broadcast, but he always puts a little different spin when he speaks.
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  #52  
Old 12-05-2018, 10:38 AM
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The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

44“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44 ESV)

1) Man is anyone of us. Hidden treasure is Jesus. He is of greater value than our worldly things.

2) Man is Jesus. Hidden treasure is us. Jesus gave all he had to purchase us.

I grew up having been taught interpretation #1. Today, I heard a sermon that taught interpretation #2.

What do you guys think?

Think of the Bible as the Living Word. Though we sometimes place limits on it, it is actually limitless, boundless and beyond human comprehension.
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  #53  
Old 12-05-2018, 1:56 PM
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Think of the Bible as [...] beyond human comprehension.
Well, for many American Christians, the only reason it is beyond comprehension is because they spend so little time reading and studying it, and I include myself in that group. It wasn't until three or four years ago that I started reading it frequently, even if I have attended church for years and years, and been privileged to learn from many gifted pastors/teachers. One of the best decisions I ever made (in 2015) was to start about 99% of my days with time reading the Bible, instead of news/stocks/social media. Now it is a habit.

I have been privileged to know a few Godly men over the years and this is a common habit among them. as well. One of these men was a machinist, self-taught in Hebrew and Greek, and he studied the Bible intently for years and years. He was the one who suggested Fruchtenbaum as a source of commentary.

When you read a passage of scripture, even if you believe whole-heartedly that it is living and active, in order to understand how it applies to your life, you have to have a reasonable understanding of what it meant to the original audience. Jesus of Nazareth was the greatest teacher that ever lived, and He did not waste words, but he spoke mainly to Jews living in Palestine. You have to consider the context.
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Old 12-05-2018, 2:17 PM
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J. Vernon McGee continues:

I don't agree with everything I read in a commentary, and who does? God gave all of us brains, and He expects us to use them; you'll be called to account same as everyone, including myself.

If you prefer, you can listen to J. Vernon McGee talk about it himself. His TTB commentaries are basically recapped in his broadcast, but he always puts a little different spin when he speaks.
It appears that J. Vernon McGee favors interpretation #2. I enjoy listening to him on the radio. Thanks for that info.
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Old 12-05-2018, 2:18 PM
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1 Corinthians 3:4-6
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Old 12-05-2018, 2:22 PM
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It appears that J. Vernon McGee favors interpretation #2. I enjoy listening to him on the radio. Thanks for that info.
Yes, and we are Gentiles, are we not?
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