The Context of Scripture
Any teacher could confirm that the arrangement of information will affect the manner in which the subject matter is assimilated. A wise educator will organize his or her lessons in a manner that will maximize the student’s understanding of the subject. The educator will recognize that the second lesson that is taught will be understood by the pupils in light of the first lesson, and the information will be arranged accordingly.
There are different techniques that can be used to impart information. Knowledge can be acquired through written word, through discussions and through live presentations. A wise educator will choose his or her methods of teaching carefully. In some instances one teaching technique will be utilized and in other situations a different technique will be employed, all in order to maximize the student’s ultimate comprehension of the topic that is being taught.
Now, picture in your mind an eminent educator. This distinguished individual possesses the most impeccable credentials in the field of education. This same individual applies much thought and effort in the crafting of a particular academic program. According to the design of this expert, the students will learn the first lesson several times before they approach the second stage of the program. The first course is to be repeated through various intense live experiences, before the pupils begin studying the second course.
It is obvious that this educator wants the second stage of the program to be read in the context of the first. A student who insists on disregarding the first step of the program and begins his or her studies with the second stage of the program, will not comprehend the material according to the intent of the teacher who so carefully designed the program.
God is Israel’s teacher (Isaiah 48:17). We have to ask ourselves if God chose to organize the information He teaches us in any particular arrangement. It would also be desirable to ascertain the particular techniques that God chose to employ in the education of His first-born son.
The scripture makes it clear that our Divine teacher first instilled in our nation a perception of God. He repeated this lesson many times and with spectacular demonstrations, before He handed them the first book of scripture. (Exodus 6:6,7, 10:2, 11:7,14:31, 16:6, 20:19, Deuteronomy 4:35, 31:24.) God ensured that the subsequent generations also absorb the lessons in this order and with these methods. A child of Israel will learn of God’s power and His love for Israel before the child can read the first word of scripture. It is through the observances of the holy days that God preserves the impact of the Exodus miracles, and passes the message on to the future generations. (Exodus 12:14,17,26,42, 13:8,14, 31:13, Leviticus 23:43, Deuteronomy 5:15, 16:3,12.) The child will experience the observance of the holy days and absorb their lesson many times before he begins to read scripture.
It is clear, that God, the Master educator crafted the educational program for His nation with precision and exactitude. God determined that the nation first absorb the lessons of the Exodus through the living experience. It is in the context of this first lesson that God presented the scriptures to His people. Only after they have experienced and assimilated the appropriate perception of God, can they read the scriptures according to the Author’s intent.
How insolent then is the position of Christianity. With no regard for the educational program that God designed, Christians ignore the lesson that God designated as the introduction to scripture. Never suspecting that there is an inherent fault in their approach to scripture, they are shocked to learn that those who did pay heed to God’s first lesson read His second lesson in a different light. Instead of re-examining their approach to scripture they accuse the very people whom God designated as His witnesses (Isaiah 43:10, 12, 44:8) with the affliction of spiritual blindness.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal
Rabbi, I love your approach! You make things so clear, and thought provoking.
Your work is a breath of fresh air 🙂
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