Final, vital prophets, and other vain headliners
It is a kind of default badge for people in what they think are new movements to seek a accreditation by associating the movement with a prophet or some other icon of authority. Whatever the choices are for an icon it is hoped that the movement acquires an aura of authenticity. This is a madness that envelops religion.
Historians and theologiams have found similarities between Christianity Islam and Judaism which can only be explained by the fact existence of a common source. The “people of the book” designation must be taken literally, otherwise people would need to rely on oral tradition and, frankly, rumour speculation and folklore. Christians had the same Hebrew Bible, its (second century BC) translation into Greek, and the belief in one GOD. The unique Christian book, the New Testament, did not take shape until the 2nd and 3rd centuries, and the Arabs had neither book nor monotheism until the 7th century. The only book that could have been a source for the thoughts that reliably lift people towards Divinity must be the Hebrew Bible.
Those unfamiliar bridges
What are females?
The creation of woman is unique among the creation narratives. The existence of an alternate version means that the book cannot be trusted. Neged as the term defining the relationship between male and female cannot possibly mean the lame “beside” or “suitable” with which we are familiar. Rib, from which God made Eve, is help and protection, as ribs are known to protect the vital organs, heart and lungs. Neged also describes equals in negotiations and equals face to face. The reason the first woman is called “mother of all living” is obvious, but mother as source could not be a male honour. Man becomes part of the living chain only through women. Hence women represent the fact of being alive, and the “out front” part of the life cycle. Or do we want to imagine that God’s bringing Eve to Adam could be something other than a face to face presentation? So what’s with the hidden or invisible woman, the second class female, and the exclusion of females from any human endeavour?
What are words?
If Christians, Muslims and Jews read the first three chapters of the Hebrew Bible study Christians are less likely to grasp the foundations of human life. The vocabulary and grammar leaps off the page into a clear understanding, and the meaning does not need to pass through translations and revisions of translations such as we find in the 17th century King James version and the 19th century Revised Standard version. When one has no respect for the distance between the 21st century and the unique materials that have come to us through Jewish hands, the search is over for the counterfeit and diabolic.
He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?Micah 6:8
No matter what people call themselves they know what is good, they know what justice looks like, they appreciate kindness (given and received) but they all have a problem with humility. Just look at the jockeying to be first and tops in humanitarian ventures, even when the game has been called repeatedly, for kings, priests and mystics. There is no second Solomon, no remixes of covenants and promises. Isn’t goodness within the reach of all humans apart from a creed or cultural framework?
Least in tune
It makes sense that projection is involved in the claims people make about themselves. The expression of such claims are either external or internal. It is always what we wear, clothing or life itself. The liar broadcasts his abhorrence for lies, and unholy people wear their holiness on their sleeves. A prophet is only a big deal for people who want to avoid God. Do people not have a moral obligation to read sacred texts? The landmark encounter with God in the Jewish experience is still the Exodus and Sinai Covenant. The elephant in the room of every reflection on history and personal accountability is the broken covenant; broken from inception by choosing not to hear Moses instead of God’s voice and violated to the present day via idolatry. The indications are that neither Jews, Arabs nor 21st century seekers make any significant progress without acknowledging the demise of prophets and the rise of anointed leadership without precedent. Of Yahweh, Isaiah wrote:
Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.Isaiah 40:11, NASB
Ezekiel, a prophet of priestly background, also wrote:
For thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day.Ezekiel 34:11-12
I [emphatic] will feed My flock and I [emphatic] will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord God.Ezekiel 34:15
It is Moses, the prophet who dared to ascend Sinai and be as God to the Egyptian king who assures us that prophets are going to be common.
But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!”Numbers 11:29, NASB
The Arabs of the 7th century were neither fans nor followers of Moses, disciples of Jesus nor owners of the Hebrew Bible or the Greek Testament. Every tenet in the Bible takes on an extreme profile while the virtues of love and moderation become mere platitudes. We are great at avoiding GOD by means of talk. A lot of yapping about God blesses no one. First and last things get reversed any way, and it is the truly eternal statutes that demand our attention: justice, mercy and faith[fullness]. So let’s take Moses and John the Baptist seriously, before we find it really challenging to exit the prophet trap. We are not going to impress God by being hard line on crime and sin. God has already shown what his answer is to human sin, and it is a sacrifice, not fixing behavior.