Hebrew Mind vs. Greek Mind
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS
by Brad Scott
This course was designed to be elementary. I pray that it has been just that. I hope that I have shown in a simple way how the thinking of the early church began. I hope that you have seen some sort of time line in our western thinking process. I believe with all my heart that when Sha'ul said that gentiles are grafted into a natural tree, contrary to their nature, that this western thinking process was precisely what he was referring to. When he said that we need to have "the mind of Christ", that he was referring to the current state of our thinking process. The facts are that our thinking is not scriptural thinking, and there must be a radical transformation made. Many times in our culture we are divided up into other kinds of thinking. Those who call themselves conservative are many times moved to laughter in trying to understand the liberal mind-set. White people are sometimes in another world from black people. From a straight persons point of view a gay man is from another planet or solar system. There are books about the differences between men and women, and type 'A' or type 'B' people. Young people think differently from old people and rich people from poor people. A middle-aged member of the NRA sees his world differently from the Greenpeace activist. I am sure my father still struggles to make me see things his way. I believe that all these barriers would fall if man could see his world from the scriptural view. I am quite aware that this is very idealistic, but YHVH's design was and is ideal.
I would like to conclude with a few thoughts and comments. This course is not designed to condemn Greek people. The term Greek only summarizes a world thought that opposes, by it's prophesied nature, Hebrew or scriptural thinking. YHVH knew ahead of time that most of the world would reject his pattern for behavior. Behavior must begin with a thought process that leads to ungodly behavior. All that is wrong in this world can be traced back to the circumventing of YHVH's word. As I have stated earlier, the Greek mind and the Hebrew mind both gaze upon the same evidence. Both look at the same scriptures and come to different conclusions. This is because both minds have a preconceived bias. It is just like the evolutionist and the creationist. Both ponder the exact same physical evidence, and come to two different conclusions. One brings with him a bias that says there is no god. The other brings a bias that says there is. When a gentile makes a decision to follow the Messiah, he brings with him all that he has learned about life and the world around him into the equation. He sees every word in the Scriptures from the world he was raised in. The majority of the words he will read in the New Testament he already knows, and he will never research their true meaning. When these words are spoken from the pulpit he will rarely investigate them.
Before I give the final exam, I would like to provide a basic bibliography. These are some of the sources used for this course. These are the sources that contain the most comprehensive information for your money, if you should decide to purchase them for your library. There are really too many Hebrew sources to name, so I will give the ones I enjoy the most and are the easiest to read. I will place an * next to the volumes that I consider to be a must in your library. It would be helpful to have a means by which to read all the writings of the early church fathers, but I know this is cost prohibitive for some.
- * "The Gnostic Religion" by Hans Jonas. Beacon Press. 1958.
- "The Eastern Orthodox Church" by Adrian Fortescue, Ph.D, D.D. The Catholic Truth Society. 1920.
- "Eusebius Ecclesiastical History" Hendrickson Pub. 1998.
- * "The Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages upon the Christian Church" by Edwin Hatch. Hendrickson Pub. 1895.
- "The Genius of Alexander the Great" by N.G.L. Hammond. University of North Carolina Press. 1997.
- "Ancient Greece" by Thomas R. Martin. Yale University Press. 1996.
- "The Bible and the Ancient Near East" by Cyrus H. Gordon. W.W. Norton & Company. 1965.
- The Works of Philo.
- The Works of Josephus.
- "Let This Mind Be in You" by Brad Scott. Children are Forever Pub. 2000. This book is based on the above teachings and many areas have been enlarged with new sections added. It is available here
I have not listed the Hebrew sources for they are too numerous. If you are like I am, you will be pouring through them the rest of your life. Be careful about what you read there as well. I would be flattered to be asked what I would recommend you stay away from. I hope and pray that you go on to more deeper and life changing teaching. If what you learn does not change your life in some small way, then it is just so much intellectual fluff.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊