Midrash Manipulation — Site Title

an open letter to Mr. Prasch and Pastor Marco (with enhancements for the reader)

“And as for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you.

— 1 John 2:27

 ” In regard to your use of “midrash” Jacob, You have clearly substituted MIDRASH (the “searching” of men) for “revealing” of the Holy Spirit. This is evidenced by your misconception of the use of “ereunao” (which you assume this to mean Midrash exegesis in the New Testament) in John 5:39 of which Jesus tells the Pharisees their “deep searching” (or Midrash) is useless because they do not know God’s voice. (Ironically you use this as an example of what Midrash is which speaks volumes to your own blindness just as they were blind). In other words, the ” hidden meaning” and the “deep searching” of the intellectual Rabbis’ blinded them from simply knowing God and hearing his voice.

37 “And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You study the Scriptures diligently (Ereunao) because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5:37-40)

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It is used again John 7:52 to once again denote the blindness of the “deep searching” of the Pharisees who could not recognize the Messiah from their “midrash exegesis” of the scriptures, because they were spiritually blind. (They tell Nicodemus to go “Ereunao” the scriptures to realize Yeshua was not the Messiah). It is very clear what Yeshua thought about their “midrash exegesis” and how it blinded them.

50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51 “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?”52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it,(Ereunao) and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.” (John 7:50-51)

The rest of the times Ereunao is used it is in conjunction with the “revealing” and “searching” of the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) who searches, reveals (in his own time) and teaches ALL those who receive him. This was most definitely not dependent upon “Jewish Exegesis” but the sole means of the Holy Spirit who reveals all things in his time and according to his will.

“Just like Hebrew words “Zohar”, “Talmud”, “Cabala” (which obviously do not endorse the later Rabbinic works) are found in the Old Testament, the term “Midrash” likewise found twice in 2 Chronicles 13:22 and 24:27, has no connection or endorsement with the exegesis of the Rabbis except that the development of the exegetical technique was solely formulated to take the place of the Holy Spirit during the 400 years of Silence they suffered.

“Midrash Halakha” (The confused legalism on the levitical Law that made the pharisees add all of their own rules and rituals which Jesus hated and called “traditions of Men”) and Haggadah (their fables and myths they added to the narratives) became ways the Rabbis could attempt to speak on behalf of God in the absence of the Holy Spirit which brought much sectarian debate and confusion. This Midrash was part of the Jewish traditions that both Jesus and Paul referred to negatively as the “traditions of men”

As you call the Genesis Rabah a “classic work of Midrash”, you are endorsing the pseudo words of God, the fables of men that sought to take the place of the Holy Spirit. A forgery of God’s masterpiece well painted (by human standards) by the Rabbis, poetic and enjoyable to read, but none the less it is the imaginations of men not the revelation of God. (Dr. Lawerence Schiffman explains bellow what “Midrash Haggadah” was from the Qumran “Dead Sea scrolls” of which Prasch often refers to. Schiffman calls it “rewritten bible” because the Rabbi’s would interpolate their own myths.

Therefore, even if there are any similarities between the New Testament writers, and the rabbinical exegesis, we must assume that Midrash is NOT “The Key” of biblical understanding as you have stated, it is first and foremost the Holy Spirt who gives understanding to those who truly know God and the Son Yeshua. If you do not display evidence of the Holy Spirit in your life, then searching the scriptures is as a blind exercise that will profit you nothing. We need the “Spirit and the Word” and not “Midrash and the Word”.
(Please check soon for part two and part three)

Resources

Prof. Schiffman’s official page http://lawrenceschiffman.com/resources/videos/

John Ellicott Bible Commentary on John 5 https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-5.html#39

Greek reference (2045, ereunaó) https://biblehub.com/greek/2045.htm

5 thoughts on “Midrash Manipulation — Site Title

  1. Also here is part two. https://peacefulpolemics.home.blog/2019/12/14/midrash-manipulation-pt-2/

    Midrash Manipulation Pt. 2
    Posted byFrank RogersDecember 14, 2019Posted inUncategorized

    (Please read part 1 first if you have not already)
    God revealed the pesher (interpretation) to the raz (dream or mystery) of Nebuchadnezzar, it was not by means of “quadrashic” equation that led to solving the difficult mystery, it was divine inspiration from God as Daniel himself said.

    Daniel 2:30 “And to me this mystery (raz) has been revealed (pesher), not because I have more wisdom than any man alive, but in order that the interpretation might be made known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.”

    This is where the Qumran community (most likely the Essenes) took the concept of pesher and razim or the revealing of the mysteries, but it was not simply a hermeneutic, as the Jewish viritual Library states – “Both the raz and the peshar are given by divine revelation; the raz is the first stage of the revelation, but it remains a mystery until the second stage, the peshar, is forthcoming(1)” Those of Qumran, believed it was a divine revelation to the “Teacher of Righteousness” (to those in Qumran he was seen as a chosen prophet) as was in the case of Daniel and the King. The Essene’s Pesher writings are not Bible canon so we can assume they were not from God. We can also assume that Daniel’s pesher (revelation) from God is not the norm for us today, it is a unique revelation by the Holy Spirit according to his timing and his will as apposed to an “exegetical tool” we can use independent of God’s unique revealing of a mystery.

    Please note above how Jacob chooses to believe in “rabbinical exegesis” of the TALMUD instead of the straightforward historical grammatical exegesis of the reformers. This is absolutely foolish. The reformers knew Jesus and the Rabbis who wrote the talmud did not. The midrashim give hundreds of contradictory interpretations on one verse by many Rabbis and consider them all to be “Oral Torah” which is equal to the Word of God. Please consider that for a moment. Jacob believes that Jesus would have chose Rabbinical midrasnhic conjecture with all of their contradictory opinions and without the Holy Spirit, instead of The reformers who God used to reclaim the word of God for the people. The reformers sought to avoid gnosticism and false human interpretations such as the Rabbinical and the Catholic “traditions of men”. They sought to interpret the scriptures as safely as possible. They certainly were not perfect and made mistakes but many of them reclaimed the Truth of the Bible and we should be thankful that God used them. Notice also how Jacob believes “historical grammatical exegesis” which mostly all scholars agree is proper biblical hermeneutics, Jacob claims this is only the “simple first step”. In other words Jacob believes he can use midrash and pesher (as well as PARDES from Kabbalah) for rabbinical conjecture when mostly all other scholars believe this leads to “gnosticism” and dangerous conjecture.

    As seen bellow this is where Jacob gets the idea for his “Pesher Prophecy Updates” which seems to imply that he considers himself the “Teacher of Righteousness” who is chosen to receive by God the prophetic interpretation. As you hear him mention the Dead Sea Scrolls and warns that “we need to be careful” with pesher, it indeed is the Qumran inspired Pesher that Prasch is attempting. I believe we should not “be careful”, because we should not attempt to “use pesher” today as it is a divine revelation not based on wisdom (or exegesis) as Daniel stated, but by revelation from God in his time and according to his will. In other words, it is God that uses us by his own will. We do not “use pesher” as some tool based on our intellect and “trained midrash exegesis” (and happen to not be “ignoramuses”).

    Just as we mentioned “ereunaó” the deep searching and revealing of the Holy Spirit, Pesher is the same. Pesher and Ereunao should be considered the revealing by the Holy Spirit alone and certainly not the exegetical “essential key” that only intelligent Bible teachers can discover. Prasch believes these tools are based on intellect, and compares them to “complex mathematical theorems”. This is absolutely against what Jesus taught us.

    Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus declared, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven andearth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

    Was it an exegetical mathematician Jesus came to reveal himself to or to the humble men and women who knew they needed a Savior? An intellectual mind is a waste in God’s eyes if your heart is not soft to the Spirit of the Lord and this is the key to for every Christian to understand the heart of God. The Lord reveals to those who are listening with humble hearts that are attuned to his own. God’s wisdom is not meant to reside in the hands of some “chosen intellectual Bible teacher” as the Holy Spirit and the Word are freely given to all those who come to truly know Christ. Such a concept is akin to the dependence for Bible interpretation on the Catholic Church’s Magisterium.

    We must learn to study the Bible for ourselves as 1 John tells us the Holy Spirit is our chief teacher, and not deceive ourselves into believing our spiritual growth and Bible understanding is dependent upon Bible interpreters to reveal to us what the scriptures have to say. This is spiritual suicide as as all other teaching is secondary to our own cultivated relationship with the Spirit and the Word. Jacob wants you to depend on him because “Midrash is vital and essential” he and only a select few others know how to “use complex quadratic equations” of midrash. this only destroys your own relationship with God and ability to cultivate your own dependence on the Spirit and the Word. God wants us to develop a dependence upon him and no Bible teacher as he tells us to look to no man as our Rabbi (teacher) Matthew 23:8But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. He promises us that “you do not need anyone to teach you” because he has freely given us his Spirit and his Word. The Word without the Spirit leads to “searching of men” or as Timothy states 2 Timothy 3:7always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. This is not to say we cannot learn from a pastor or bible teacher but we must never depend on one more than we are able to learn first on our own by means of the Bible and his Holy Spirit. This is why the Jews who perfected the art of midrash but did not have the Spirit have remained blind in discerning who the Messiah was, because he could never be found by midrash exegesis (John 5:39), he could only be found by the revelation of the Father by way of the Holy Spirit as he was to Peter Matthew 16:17. When the church overly depends on “Bible teachers” with “special knowledge” or “special exegesis”, we start idolizing man and our spiritual ears grow weak and dull.

    This explains why the scholars you (Jacob) usually refer to do not support you in your use of Midrash as you often claim. R.N. Longenecker says specifically “I suggest we cannot reproduce Pesher”(2) and believes we should stick to historical grammatical exegesis alone when interpreting the New Testament. Because the authors of the Bible were divinely chosen by the God ( meaning the one who attempts to mimic them presumes to be just as they were; divinely chosen to give new revelation or prophetic fulfillment through the Spirit). Likewise, Lightfoot says midrash is “mystical;”, “tradition and allegory”(3) which was different from the Apostles non midrasnhic exhortations. Alfred Edersheim simply says they were “fanciful” and “erroneous”(4). Why would these men caution against attempting midrash today? Because it presumes putting yourself in the place of a chosen oracle of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit to bring forth new revelation as the New Testament writers did. We are commanded to not add or take away from the Words of God because the cannon is closed (Deuteronomy 4:2). No “Oral Torah” is needed, nor is the “Hidden Torah” (Zohar) needed as we have the Word and the Spirit to guide us.

    Lightfoot, Edersheim and Longenecker had it absolutely correct. We may study Jewish sources for sitz im leben (cultural and contextual benefit). But we must always remember Paul was “blind” to Jesus by his “Midrash” and tradition, until Jesus took the scales off his religious eyes after appearing to him in blinding glory. Gamaliel respected teacher of Paul is not recorded as receiving Yeshua as Messiah, neither was Yohanan ben Zakkai who started the first “Beth Midrash” or Midrashic school right after the destruction of the 2rd temple. Nicodemus though sympathetic towards Jesus is never recorded as being a disciple or follower. It was only by way of repentance, faith and receiving the Holy Spirit that so many in Israel had awakened to yeshua hamashiach. It was the Pharisees, the “Masters of Midrash” who were devoid of repentance, faith and the Holy Spirit. They could not see the Messiah for Christ could only be revealed by the Father to those who could recognize his voice (John 10:27).We must remember that God “chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;God chose the weak things of the world to shame thestrong.” (1 Corinthians 1:27). God started a revelation not with the “midrash masters” of his time, but with those who were humbly willing to sit at the feet of the master, and put their faith in him.

    John 2: 27 And as for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But just as His true and genuine anointing teaches you about all things, so remain in Him as you have been taught.

    ( part 3 coming soon)
    Shalom

    Resources

    (1) [Retrieved from] What is Pesher https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/pesher

    (2) R. N. Longenecker [Retrieved From] https://legacy.tyndalehouse.com/tynbul/Library/TynBull_1970_21_01_Longnecker_NT
    Exegesis.pdf

    (3) John Lightfoot [Retrieved from] https://books.google.com/books?id=oK82AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA277&lpg=PA277&dq=Midrash,+the+mystic+and+allegorical+lightfoot&source=bl&ots=eEkAlRFB57&sig=ACfU3U0kPKXg6rgYrKmptLL4mL35Nj3KvA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjFkPfds7TmAhUh01kKHUUgA94Q6AEwAHoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=Midrash%2C%20the%20mystic%20and%20allegorical%20lightfoot&f=false

    (4) [Retrieved From] Alfred Edersheim https://books.google.com/books?id=hfkCAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA290&lpg=PA290&dq=Edersheim+%22little+objection+can+be+taken+to+them%22&source=bl&ots=YXwKL3ejyu&sig=ACfU3U3IWlgSx7C7rApmvAOh4WANCtbG3w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj-ytuKtLTmAhXuqFkKHSBVBG4Q6AEwA3oECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=Edersheim%20%22little%20objection%20can%20be%20taken%20to%20them%22&f=false

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