See, I am Fallible!!!!!!
(and a discussion of the Radical Marriage Mandators too!!!!!!!!)
I was just reading up on Jim West's, and Lawrence Mykytiuk's comments on the Seal of Gedaliah, which I wrote about a while back. I have to admit, I think Jim brings up a good point that there is nothing on the seal to identify this with the Biblical Gedaliah. I had originally went down this road, but I thought that Finkelstein would have said something if this were possible. I must, therefore, agree with Jim West that, given that we don't know the frequency of these names in Jerusalem, we cannot identify it with the Biblical Gedaliah.
However, I must disagree with his comments that we cannot allow the Bible to interpret our Archaeology. He says, "Or, it’s equally possible, isn’t it, that the biblical account is based on historical factlets without itself being ‘historical’." For the Christian, the answer is simply "No, it is not possible." We are called to "Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ" [2 Corinthians 10:5]. Hence, we view history as being under the sovereign direction of God. Hence, if this does refer to the man spoken of by the Book of Jeremiah, we must understand him in the light of what the scripture says. Then, I would go on to argue that any philosophy of history other than the Christian philosophy of history makes nonsense out of the study of history.
The mistake that myself and Mazor made is that there is nothing in the Bible that says that this is, indeed, the seal of the Gedaliah that tried Jeremiah. I am willing to grant, therefore, that it is indeed possible that there was another Gedaliah that lived at this time, and that he is the owner of that seal, since the scriptures do not rule out that possibility.
However, I will not allow the liberal media off that easy. To this I simply would like to comment on Lawrence Mykytiuk's comments. He noted many of the same things I did, namely, that the script is consistent with this time period, and it was found on a controlled archaeological dig by a respected archaeologist. Hence, this makes it, at very least, difficult to question whether or not it is genuine. He also says that it is, at least, a reasonable hypothesis that this is the seal of the Gedaliah son of Pishhur mentioned in the book of Jeremiah. Therefore, you need to understand that the discovery of this seal does tell us that the book of Jeremiah, at least in this respect, is consistent with the time period in which the book of Jeremiah claims to have been written. Hence, if authentic [and I have little reason to doubt that it is authentic], it would at least confirm the historical accuracy of Jeremiah, namely, that it would further show that Jeremiah's writing shows a knowledge of the time period in which the events spoken of in the book took place.
Let me ask a simple question to drive this home. Why is it that a seal bearing a Biblical name in the script from that time period, recovered by a respected archaeologist, and having a reasonable hypothesis that this is the seal of the Biblical character gets absolutely no media attention, and the Talpiot Tomb theory, which was mocked and laughed at by secular and Jewish archaeologists alike, gets an entire program on the Discovery channel? I cannot figure it out, other than to point out that Christians are not the only ones who are ideologically driven. Hence, while I must agree with Jim West about this seal, it still shows the incredible bias of the leftest media.
As a Van Tillian, am not going to rest my faith on this discovery, but I think it is telling that this seal has gotten no media attention.
Now, from the academic, to people who are simply out of control. I happened to go over to the Boundless Blog today, and, much to my shagrin, found the following comments:
A few of us because concerned about the roots of this problem coming from the proliferation of the "gift of singleness" teachings of the past few decades. This phrase was actually an embellishment of the Living Bible of the 70's (now the NLT), that caught on among singleness writers, becoming somewhat of a rogue doctrine. A few of us became fed up the fact that not only was in not in the original Greek text, but with how it caused so many people to doubt whether or not God was on their side about the goodness of pursuing marriage. So we got together and successfully campaigned to the NLT to have it removed! HALLELUJIAH, IT'S GONE!!
Now, I am assuming that this is the same Jennifer that posts under the screenname Gortexgrrl. Of course, what is maddening about this is that I already addressed this issue a long time ago. As I mentioned in that post, I know one of the translators for the NLT, and if you go to that post, you will see that everything Jennifer is saying here is wrong. She says that she "successfully campaigned to the NLT to have it removed." Of course, the NLT translators told me that they did nothing because they agreed with these women. They did, indeed, decide to reconsider their translation of the passage, but the change was made because they didn't feel translating the passage in this way, and bringing out the fact that Paul was calling singleness a gift here would show the connection between this passage and the following discussion about spiritual gifts. The only thing on which the NLT translators were willing to agree with these women was that this text should not be used to forbid those who would like to marry from marrying or pursuing marriage, which no one was teaching in the first place! In fact, even worse for these girls, is that the NLT translators say that they still believe this passage teaches that singleness is a gift! Now, how did Gortexgrrl respond to this? Did she take back what she said? Did she, at very least, nuance what she said? No, she just said:
We're just glad the GoS is G.O.N.E.
Notice, no nuancing of what she said. No admittance that the NLT translators do not agree with her, and no acknowledgement that they did not remove this phrase because of their campaigning. Just a response of "whatever." Keep in mind, she knew all of these things before she repeated the same thing in this post on the Boundless Blog!
Not only that, but, [and I have said this before], but I have pointed out that this girl does not know Greek. I pointed out that in her article on 1 Corinthians 7, she simply put the dictionary form down for every word, and acted as if that was the Greek of the text. Here is what she said was the Greek of 1 Corinthians 7:6-9:
De lego touto kata suggnome ou kata epitage 7) Gar thelo pas anthropos einai kai hos emautou alla hekastos echo IDIOS CHARISMA ek theos HOS MEN HOUTO DE HOS HOUTO. 8) Lego de agamos kai chera esti KALOS autos ean meno kago hos kago 9) De ei egkrateuomai ou egkrateuomai GAMEO gar esti kreitton gameo e puroo."
Those of you who know Greek know what I mean. This is incapable of translation. Again, these are all things I have pointed out before this. Now, what is interesting is that, even after pointing this stuff out, what do we have on her post on the Boundless Blog? Well, she says the following with regards to Jesus' words in Matthew 19:12:
Christ then concludes this verse by stating A SECOND TIME the conditions he set in verse 11, reiterating clearly that it is for those capable of receiving it (rather than obeying under compulsion or command from God): Dunamai choreo choreo (He that is able to receive (it), let him receive (it).
Now, is that really the Greek of Matthew 19:12? Well, you guessed it. She did the exact same thing that she did in her article on 1 Corinthians 7, that is, she posted all of the dictionary forms of the words, somehow assuming that this was the way the Greek text read! However, what is even worse this time, is that she left out the article! The Greek text actually reads "ho dunamenos chorein choreito."
Now, I am not saying this because I think that it will somehow change Jennifer's mind. She believes she is right, and, even on something as easily demonstratable as these things, she still is going ahead. However, I was concerned because of the following comment that was left in response to her:
I am glad you brought your study of the original language into your post, God's word has final authority.
The ability to "receive" a teaching may well be what Jesus was referring to in that instance, but does that negate a view of giftedness including all you have been given? What have you NOT been given, in truth?
The label "gift" applies to far more than temporary pleasure, and all things work together for ultimate good (Romans 8). It does not seem a stretch to put all our circumstances and limitations and, dare I say, even sins into His hands & trust Him to use all for His glory & our good since that is His promise.
However, changing the label of "gift" doesn't change our responsibility. I've heard various teaching on "gifts" and have come to the conclusion that it's an area that causes sidetracking because the edges are fuzzy. I should've thought of that before I used the term!
Now, I have to say I am encouraged because it is obvious that this woman is using discernment. The problem is that she has no idea about the fact that Jennifer didn't even post the Greek text, but just simply went through and posted the dictionary form of each word! She also has no idea that the NLT did not remove anything because of these girl's campaigning. You see, this is what I am afraid of with this kind of thing. Many girls who have not heard of Debbie Maken, Captain Sensible, Gortexgrrl, etc. will be sucked into this simply out of ignorance. She has no way to check on these things. For all she knows, Jennifer has studied many years of Greek, and campaigned at the Society for Biblical Literature to have these things removed.
Hence, so that this rumor does not go any further, I am inviting everyone who is interested in this topic to post my response to this stuff found here on their blog, so we can get it out to as many people as possible. I figure that, if we can get this article out, it will at least make it harder for Gortexgrrl and Captain Sensible to go around saying these things all because of the ignorance of the people to whom they are talking. I also have written a response to this stuff at the Boundless Blog, but it would be a total waste of time to go around looking for everytime this issue has come up on the internet, expecially since I am preoccupied with my classes here at Trinity. Hence, anyone who is interested in posting the relevant section of that article on their blog, you have my permission.