Saturday, April 15, 2006

"Hearing" is "doing"....literally!

When we are instructed to "hear" by the Bible, it is often assumed (and taught) that this means to "hear," in other words, to perceive via the auditory senses. This mistaken understanding most likely stems from the tri-lingual culture of the Paul and the early Church and points to the fact that many of Paul's early teaching was, in fact, in Aramaic.

The Greek word for "hear" is akoos.
Romans 10:17 ara e pistis ex akoos, e de akoo dia rematos theos.
then faithfulness comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of God.
But, the Aramaic says:
mkyl hymnwta mn mshme adna hy wmshme adna mn mlta dalha
therefore, faithfulness is from obedience of the ear, and obedience of the ear from the word of God.
The term "obedience of the ear" is idiomatic for "obeying the word." Psalm 18:44 clearly equates the two terms:
(Psa 18:44) l'Shama, `ozeN yiSham',u
"at the obedience (or hearing) of the ear, they obey me"
Now, James uses a different form of the word for "hear" in James 1:22:
(Jam 1:22) But become doers of the Word, and not hearers (akroatai = "listeners") only, deceiving yourselves.

(Jam 1:25) But every one that looks upon the perfect law of liberty and remains in it, is not a listner (akroatai) of something to be forgotten, but a doer of the deeds; and he will be happy in his work.
When Moses communicated to the people through their elders the incomparable covenant promise of YaHuWeH, they promised unanimously to do all that YaHuWeH said:
Exodus 19:8 And all the people answered together and said, All which YaHuWeH has spoken we will do. And Moses brought back the words of the people to YaHuWeH.
The Greek word dia is a primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; "through" "by way of" (in very wide applications, local, causal or occasional). Another english word that conveys the causal aspect of the word dia is "because." It is this sense that is intended here (dia rematos - because of the word)

A better translation would be:

"...then, faithfulness comes from heeding, because of the the word of God."

In Galatians 3:5, Paul wrote:
Then He supplying the Spirit to you and working works of power in you, is it by works of Law or by [the] hearing of faithulness?
What could Paul have meant, but the "doing of faithfulness," the faithfull execution of God's instruction? Remember, "hearing" is "doing!" and "faithfulness comes from being obedient in response to of the word of God."

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