(part 1 https://peacefulpolemics.home.blog/2019/12/11/example-post/)
God revealed the pesher (interpretation) to the raz (dream or mystery) of Nebuchadnezzar, it was not by means of “quadrashic” equation that led to solving the difficult mystery, it was divine inspiration from God as Daniel himself said.
Daniel 2:30 “And to me this mystery (raz) has been revealed (pesher), not because I have more wisdom than any man alive, but in order that the interpretation might be made known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.”
Clearly no amount of trained exegesis would have allowed Daniel to take a shot at interpreting the King’s dreams, it was God himself who revealed the mystery. This is where the Qumran community (most likely the Essenes) adapted the concept of pesher and razim (revealing of the mysteries), but it was not simply a hermeneutic, as the Jewish viritual Library states – “Both the raz and the peshar are given by divine revelation; the raz is the first stage of the revelation, but it remains a mystery until the second stage, the peshar, is forthcoming(1)” Those of Qumran, believed it was a divine revelation to the “Teacher of Righteousness” (to those in Qumran he was seen as a chosen prophet) as was in the case of Daniel and the King. The Essene’s Pesher writings are not Bible canon so we can assume they were not from God. We can also discern that Daniel’s pesher (revelation) from God was a unique revelation by the Holy Spirit according to his timing and his will as apposed to an “exegetical tool” like a scientific equation to a problem. God reveals the “answer” or solution to whom he chooses when he chooses.
As seen bellow this is where Jacob gets the idea for his “Pesher Prophecy Updates” which seems to imply that he considers himself the “Teacher of Righteousness” who is chosen to receive by God the prophetic interpretation. As you hear him mention the Dead Sea Scrolls and warns that “we need to be careful” with pesher, it indeed is the Qumran inspired Pesher that Prasch is attempting. I believe we should not “be careful”, because we should not attempt to “use pesher” today as it is a divine revelation not based on human wisdom (or exegesis) as Daniel stated, but by revelation from God in his time and according to his will. In other words, it is God that uses us by his own will. We do not “use pesher” as some tool based on our intellect and “trained midrash exegesis” (and being blessed enough to not be an “ignoramus”). Most certainly we should be aware of “the times” that we live in as Jesus wants us to (Luke 12:56), and we know that our “salvation is nearer now then when we first believed” (Romans 13:11). We do not need to equate being an aware and discerning Christian who recognizes the imminent return of Christ with using “Pesher interpretations” as this only brings serious confusion. It also puts the “Pesher interpreter” on a pedestal of sorts which is against scripture. It presumes to either be like Daniel, chosen by the Holy Spirit to give a divine interpretation or to be the “Teacher of Righteousness”, a chosen prophet as they (of Qumran) believed. There is no excuse in advertising such terms as magic key words that as Christians we should somehow deem “essential” and “indispensable” to our reading of the Bible. On the contrary we should be aware that people such as Prasch are using them falsely, bringing confusion at best and arrogant heretical presumption at worst.
Just as we mentioned “ereunaó” the deep searching and revealing of the Holy Spirit, Pesher is the same. Pesher and Ereunao should be considered the searching and revealing by the Holy Spirit alone and certainly not the exegetical “essential key” that only intelligent Bible teachers can discover. Prasch believes these tools are based on intellect, and compares them to “complex mathematical theorems”. This is absolutely against what Jesus taught us.
Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus declared, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven andearth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
We must learn to study the Bible for ourselves as 1 John tells us the Holy Spirit is our chief teacher. We must not deceive ourselves into believing our spiritual growth and Bible understanding is dependent upon Bible interpreters to reveal to us what the scriptures have to say. This is spiritual suicide as all other teaching is secondary to our own cultivated relationship with the Spirit and the Word. Jacob wants you to depend on him because “midrash is vital and essential”. He wants you to believe that chiefly him and maybe a select other few know how to “use complex quadratic equations” of midrash. this only destroys your own relationship with God and ability to cultivate your own dependence on the Spirit and the Word. God wants us to develop a dependence upon him and no Bible teacher as he tells us to look to no man as our Rabbi (teacher)
Matthew 23:8 But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers.
He promises us that “you do not need anyone to teach you” because he has freely given us his Spirit and his Word. The Word without the Spirit leads to “searching of men” or as Timothy states 2 Timothy 3:7always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Of course this is not to say bible teachers and preachers are not important to the Body of Christ as they are outlined ministries ordained by God in the Church (Ephesians 4:11-16), but we must never depend on a teacher more than we are able to learn first on our own by means of the Bible and his Holy Spirit. This is true today more than ever as we have the Bible along with Greek and Hebrew concordances, commentaries, and every translation at our very fingertips. We must always remember it is the Word and the Spirit as when we hear the message of Truth and receive it we are marked with the Seal of the Holy Ghost (Ephesians 1:13-14). This is why the Jews who perfected the art of midrash but were void of the Spirit have remained blind in discerning who the Messiah was and is, because he could never be found by midrash exegesis (John 5:39), he could only be found by the revelation of the Father by way of the Holy Spirit as he was to Peter Matthew 16:17. When the church (and believers in general) become dependent on Bible teachers with “special insights”, “special exegesis” or “unique interpretation”, we start idolizing man and our spiritual ears grow weak and dull. This is when we become distant from God and become easily deceived and manipulated as history has shown.
Was it “exegetical mathematicians” of Torah such as the Pharisees that Jesus came to reveal himself to or to the humble men and women who knew they needed a Savior? An intellectual mind is a waste in God’s eyes if your heart is not soft to the Spirit of the Lord and this is the key for every Christian to understand the heart of God. The Lord reveals to those who are listening with humility and are attuned to the Father’s heart. God’s wisdom is not meant to reside in the hands of some “chosen intellectual Bible teacher” or “midrash interpreter” as the Holy Spirit and the Word have been given to all those who come to truly know Christ. Such a concept of dependency on man is akin to the dependence for Bible interpretation on the Catholic Church’s Magisterium.(quite similar to the Rabbis, the Catholic Magisterium alone can “properly discern the Bible” and tell us what is says).
Please note bellow how Jacob chooses to believe in rabbinical exegesis of the TALMUD instead of the straightforward historical grammatical exegesis of the reformers. This is absolutely foolish. The reformers (those that knew God) gave their lives to Jesus but the Rabbis who wrote the talmud did not. The midrashim give hundreds of contradictory interpretations on one verse by many different Rabbis and considers them all to be “Oral Torah” which is equal to the Word of God. Please consider that for a moment. Jacob believes that Jesus would have chose Rabbinical midrashic conjecture with all of their contradictory opinions and without the Holy Spirit, instead of The reformers who God used to reclaim the word of God for the people. The reformers sought to safely and properly interpret the Bible and separate the false human interpretations such as the Catholic “traditions of men” (which were quite similar to the rabbinic traditions of men). They certainly were not perfect and made mistakes but many of them helped reclaimed the Truth of the Bible from those who perverted it and used it to manipulate the masses and we should be thankful that God used them. Notice also how Jacob claims that Historical Grammatical Exegesis which mostly all scholars agree is proper biblical hermeneutics, is only the “simple first step”. In other words Jacob believes the standard Biblical interpretation is just kindergarten, it is simply “the milk” for the children. He believes spiritual muscle and maturity is using midrash and pesher (as well as PARDES from Kabbalah) typological conjecture just as the rabbis did which leads to gnosticism, mysticism and false conjecture. As we will see in Part 3 Jacob has certainly entered into the realm of midrashic conjecture against what the Word of God teaches. I assure you that many good hermeneutics classes today teach much of the same interpretation that Prasch calls “midrash” but finds no need to try and claim it to be “midrash”. The parallelism of John 1 and Genesis 1 is commonly pointed out in hermeneutics classes but not with the label “midrash” but the inspired pattern that God has interwoven into his plan for creation and redemption.
This explains why Jacob’s go to scholars that supposedly “validate” his use of midrash and pesher do not support him at all. R.N. Longenecker says specifically “I suggest we cannot reproduce Pesher”(2) and believes we should stick to historical grammatical exegesis alone when interpreting the New Testament. Because the authors of the Bible were divinely chosen by the God ( meaning the one who attempts to mimic them presumes to be just as they were; divinely chosen to give new revelation or prophetic fulfillment through the Spirit). Likewise, Lightfoot says midrash is “mystical;”, “tradition and allegory”(3) which was different from the Apostles non midrasnhic exhortations. Alfred Edersheim simply says they were “fanciful” and “erroneous”(4). Why would these men caution against attempting midrash today? Because it presumes putting yourself in the place of a chosen oracle of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit to bring forth new revelation as the New Testament writers did. We are commanded to not add or take away from the Words of God because the cannon is closed (Deuteronomy 4:2). No “Oral Torah” is needed, nor is the “Hidden Torah” (Zohar) needed as we have the Word and the Spirit to guide us. Trying too hard to find “hidden meanings” in the scriptures is quite dangerous especially when someone like Prasch promotes “the lost necessity of midrash” instead of emphasising the power of the Gospel, the need for the Holy Spirit, and traditional deep study into the the Word of God.
Lightfoot, Edersheim and Longenecker had it absolutely correct. We may study Jewish sources for sitz im leben (cultural and contextual benefit). But we must remember Paul was “blinded” to Jesus by religious pride including his Jewish education and reputation (Which he called “dung” and worthless to him after receiving Christ), until Jesus took the scales off his religious eyes after appearing to him in blinding glory. Gamaliel the respected teacher of Paul is not recorded as receiving Yeshua as Messiah, neither was Yohanan ben Zakkai who started the first “Beth Midrash” or Midrashic school right after the destruction of the 2rd temple. Nicodemus though sympathetic towards Jesus is never recorded as being a disciple or follower. It was only by way of repentance, faith and receiving the Holy Spirit that so many in Israel had awakened to yeshua hamashiach. It was the Pharisees, the “Masters of Midrash” who were devoid of repentance, faith and the Holy Spirit. They could not see the Messiah for Christ could only be revealed by the Father to those who could recognize his voice (John 10:27).We must remember that God “chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;God chose the weak things of the world to shame thestrong.” (1 Corinthians 1:27). God started a revolution not with the “midrash masters” of his time, but with those who were humbly willing to sit at the feet of the master, and put their faith in him.
John 2: 27 And as for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But just as His true and genuine anointing teaches you about all things, so remain in Him as you have been taught.
( part 3 coming soon)
(1) [Retrieved from] What is Pesher https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/pesher
(2) R. N. Longenecker [Retrieved From] https://legacy.tyndalehouse.com/tynbul/Library/TynBull_1970_21_01_Longnecker_NT
(3) John Lightfoot [Retrieved from] https://books.google.com/books?id=oK82AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA277&lpg=PA277&dq=Midrash,+the+mystic+and+allegorical+lightfoot&source=bl&ots=eEkAlRFB57&sig=ACfU3U0kPKXg6rgYrKmptLL4mL35Nj3KvA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjFkPfds7TmAhUh01kKHUUgA94Q6AEwAHoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=Midrash%2C%20the%20mystic%20and%20allegorical%20lightfoot&f=false
(4) [Retrieved From] Alfred Edersheim https://books.google.com/books?id=hfkCAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA290&lpg=PA290&dq=Edersheim+%22little+objection+can+be+taken+to+them%22&source=bl&ots=YXwKL3ejyu&sig=ACfU3U3IWlgSx7C7rApmvAOh4WANCtbG3w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj-ytuKtLTmAhXuqFkKHSBVBG4Q6AEwA3oECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=Edersheim%20%22little%20objection%20can%20be%20taken%20to%20them%22&f=false
One thought on “Midrash Manipulation Pt. 2”