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Summary: Growing with God.

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I trust that so far in this study I have given you a wee food for thought to go with your Irish cream cheese muffins and that strong Irish tea that you've drinking. Remember that Paul’s writings or letters, the earliest writings in the New Testament, are filled with allusions, images, and quotations from what we today call the Old Testament or as Paul called it, Scriptures. These were the body of writings that comprised the sacred text of Israel.. It would be misleading to refer to this Scripture as the "Hebrew Bible," because the original Hebrew language of the biblical writings were not of a concern of Paul. His citations follow the Septuagint (LXX), a Greek translation of the Hebrew writings dating from the second or third century B. C. E., which was in common use in the Hellenistic synagogues during Paul’s lifetime.

Now for our advanced theologians who might want to question my reasoning so far, I need to point out that rarely do Paul’s quotations agree with the Masoretic Hebrew text (MT) against the LXX; even the few cases of apparent agreement with the Hebrew can be explained as evidence of variant LXX text forms that have been subjected to "hebraizing revisions, " a tendency well attested elsewhere by the Greek versions of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion. It would seem that since Paul concentrated on predominantly Gentile congregations in Asia Minor and Greece, he would read and cite Scripture in Greek, which was the common language of the eastern empire in his time.

‘Wow! A lot of technical stuff Denis" you might say. Well go ahead and say it and then I give you the easy explanation. Which will give you a heads up on that smart aleck that obnoxiously conceited and self-assertive person with pretensions to smartness or cleverness, down the street who thinks that just because he/she goes to church that makes him/her a "real Christian" . Rather like standing in a car park, doesn’t make you a car.

So when you point out that Paul is quoting from the Old Testament and they begin to argue with you that Paul is not quoting exactly what they think he should.

So lets review, 1) Paul was now a "real follower of the Messiah- a completed Jew" 2) Paul was using the Greek translation of the Hebrew writings in his citations 3) Paul was going to those who were called God fearers (those who were acquainted with the basic understanding of Jewish Scriptures.

Now with that out of the way, lets look at the second face (phase) of Paul. Reminding ourselves that Paul was evolving, again reminding ourselves that evolving is in fact growth of the intellect. You are not the same person you were seven years ago. There were changes in your waistline, or perhaps your health. In any case you have changed perhaps not intellectually, but if not mores the pity!

When we come to the second phase I am perplexed for if the New Testament dating that I have researched is correct then Philemon might have been written in 62 A.D. in the his first imprisonment while Ephesians and Colossians the two books we want to consider next would have been written two years later in 64 A.D. Bishop John Lightfoot places the writing of these two books at the same time, (I would note for those keeping score in the quaint little game "Catch the Doc" that writing something does not necessarily equate as publishing at the same time)


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