1. Standard membersonship
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    23 Jun '16 17:202 edits
    KellyJay, this thread is for you. You have reacted to some things I shared about the ingredients of the anointing oil in the book of Exodus.

    I have heard this matter before .. "Oh why do we need a Decoder Ring?"

    After the initial giggles die down I would like to examine this kind of objection a bit.
    In this thread could you explain a little more about this Decoder Ring comment ?

    Let me get the ball rolling for you. Look what Jesus said to His disciples about His performing a couple of miracles and their supposed deeper significance -

    " And Jesus said to them, Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. But they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we did not take bread. And Jesus, knowing it, said, Why are you reasoning among yourselves, you of little faith, because you have no bread?

    Do you not yet understand nor remember the FIVE LOAVES of the FIVE THOUSAND and how many handbaskets you took up?

    Nor the SEVEN LOAVES of the FOUR THOUSAND and how many baskets you took up?" (Matt. `6:6-10)


    Because Jesus seemed here to emphasize that the numbers of items and people involved were significant, do you think Jesus was also kind of appealing to a "Decoder Ring" ?

    Was this an instance of Christ expecting a kind of "decoding" matters in order to apprehend their spiritual significance ?
  2. Joined
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    23 Jun '16 18:34
    Originally posted by sonship
    KellyJay, this thread is for you. You have reacted to some things I shared about the ingredients of the anointing oil in the book of Exodus.

    I have heard this matter before .. "Oh why do we need a Decoder Ring?"

    After the initial giggles die down I would like to examine this kind of objection a bit.
    In this thread could you explain a little more ab ...[text shortened]... rist expecting a kind of "decoding" matters in order to apprehend their spiritual significance ?
    Oh dear.
  3. Standard memberDeepThought
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    24 Jun '16 00:09
    Originally posted by sonship
    KellyJay, this thread is for you. You have reacted to some things I shared about the ingredients of the anointing oil in the book of Exodus.

    I have heard this matter before .. "Oh why do we need a Decoder Ring?"

    After the initial giggles die down I would like to examine this kind of objection a bit.
    In this thread could you explain a little more ab ...[text shortened]... rist expecting a kind of "decoding" matters in order to apprehend their spiritual significance ?
    I looked up decoder ring on Wikipedia to find out what you are talking about; it said: "Decoder Ring is an experimental electronic-rock crossover group from Australia.". So I assume you mean secret messages via numerology.

    This is plausible, 5,000 would be the size of a Legion, 5 could refer to the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and (according to Wikipedia) can be used to represent God. So the story of the feeding of the 5,000 might be a story about preaching (=feeding) to a Legion. It's likely that they would boast about their success in code as the Roman authorities would be likely to have regarded it as sedition. In the second part of the quote, 7 would represent the totality of perfection and completeness, I don't have any ideas about what the 4,000 could represent.

    Of course, while it's fun to speculate about this, that's all it is.
  4. Standard memberRemoved
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    24 Jun '16 01:45
    Commentary for: Matthew 15:37


    And they all ate and were filled, and they took up what remained of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full.

    “seven.” Many theologians have tried to figure out what is the significance of mentioning in the record that there were “seven” large baskets of leftover bread—why mention the number seven? The number seven is included in the record for a reason, and while there actually may be several different things it relates to, one of them certainly seems to be a reference to the fact that Jesus would be a blessing to the Gentiles.

    To understand the feeding of the 4000, we must read it in connection with the feeding of the 5000. The two records both show that the Messiah will provide for God’s people (for all intents and purposes, the audience was God’s people—people who believed in Jesus or were seeking his teaching and help. Surely there were some people who were there just due to curiosity, but even they were “seekers” at some level. Non-believers stayed home and did not take the trouble to follow Jesus from place to place). So the feeding of the 5000 and the 4000 have a similar and inter-related message about the Messiah being the source of blessing for both the Jews and Gentiles, and as such the two records need to be considered together as one interconnected teaching.

    The feeding of the 5000 and the 12 baskets of leftovers point to God’s blessing on the 12 tribes of Israel. Although there were other lessons built into the “12 baskets” of leftovers, such as that if we will feed God’s people we will be blessed ourselves—the 12 apostles fed the multitude and each got a full basket back—it seems the primary meaning is that all Israel will be blessed by the Messiah. There are many pieces of evidence that point to that. For one thing, the feeding of the 5000 is one of the few events in Jesus’ ministry that is recorded in all four Gospels (Matt. 14:13-21; Mark 6:32-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-13). That makes sense because God wanted to magnify the fact that His Messiah would provide for Israel.

    In the feeding of the 5000, the audience was certainly almost all Jews. They came from the surrounding towns and were familiar with where Jesus was going with his apostles to get some time alone. Then, after he fed them, they were about to come and make him king (John 6:15). Furthermore, there are things in the vocabulary of the feeding of the 5000 that point back to the Pentateuch, and the covenant promises and blessings there. For example, Jesus made the people sit in groups of hundreds and fifties (Mark 6:40; Luke 9:14). This number goes back to the way Israel was governed under the Law, when they had rulers over fifties and hundreds (Ex. 18:25). And under the Law, Israel was promised covenant blessings if they obeyed the Law, which included plenty of food (Deut. 28:4, 5, 8, 11, 12). So the evidence in the accounts, especially when contrasted with the feeding of the 4000, shows that one of the lessons of the 12 baskets of leftovers from the feeding of the 5000 is that the tribes of Israel would be blessed by the Messiah.

    The feeding of the 4000 has many things that point to the Messianic blessing on the Gentiles. In contrast to the feeding of the 5000 which occurs in all four Gospels, the feeding of the 4000 only occurs in Matthew and Mark, as if saying that although the Messiah came for Israel, the Gentiles would be blessed in him too. Furthermore, the feeding of the 4000 occurs after Jesus goes to “the region of Tyre and Sidon” (Matt. 15:21). That was Gentile territory, although there would have been some Jews that lived there, which is why he was able to stay in a house there (Mark 7:24). But if Jesus went into the Gentile territory to minister to Jews, there is no record of it. Quite the opposite. The only healing miracle that Jesus did in that Gentile territory was to cast the demon out of a Canaanite woman’s daughter. The fact that the woman is specifically identified as a “Canaanite” (Matt. 15:22) who lived in Syrian Phoenicia (Mark 7:26) is important in tying the feeding of the 4000 to the Messianic blessing of the Gentiles. We have seen how the feeding of the 5000 has connections to the Law, now we will see that the feeding of the 4000 does too. In the Law the Israelites were told that God would “drive out” the seven nations that were in the Promised Land so God could give the land to Israel (Deut. 7:1) and if any Canaanites remained in the land, the Israelites were to destroy them totally (Deut. 7:2). That the only miracle Jesus is recorded as doing in the region of Tyre and Sidon is healing the daughter of a Canaanite is a clear sign that the Messianic blessing is now extended to them through the Messiah, and it is a fulfillment of the prophecy that the Messiah was to be a “light to the Gentiles” (Isa. 42:6; 49:6). When Jesus left the area of Tyre and Sidon, no doubt a group of Gentiles followed him for the same reason crowds of Jews followed him—to hear him and see the miracles he did. But when Jesus left the area, he did not go back to Jewish territory. Mark tells us that he went to the Sea of Galilee and then to its east coast, “the region of the Decapolis,” which was also territory populated by Gentiles (Mark 7:31). There he healed a deaf mute, and the people there spread the word about him (Mark 7:31-37).

    By now there would have been a large number of Gentiles following Jesus from the region of Tyre and Sidon and from the Decapolis. He went up onto a mountain and did many healings (Matt. 15:29-31), and they “praised the God of Israel.” That the crowd would “praise the God of Israel” points to the fact that this crowd was not primarily Jews. When Jesus did miracles among the Jews, they “praised God” (cp. Matt. 9:8; Mark 2:12; Luke 13:13; 18:43; etc.). Then, after the healings, Jesus fed the 4000 and took up 7 large baskets full of leftovers. In thinking about the feeding of the 5000 and feeding of the 4000 we see that the record of the feeding of the 5000 has distinctive Jewish elements throughout it, and it makes sense that 12 baskets of leftover bread would point to covenant blessings on the 12 tribes of Israel. Then, the feeding of the 4000 has distinctive Gentile elements, and the 7 baskets of leftover bread harkens back to the seven Gentile nations in Canaan that God drove out before Israel that, along with the other Gentiles, will receive a blessing through God’s Messiah.

    http://www.revisedenglishversion.com/Matthew/15/37
  5. Cape Town
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    24 Jun '16 08:59
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    I looked up decoder ring on Wikipedia to find out what you are talking about;
    The full name is "Secret Decoder Ring"
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_decoder_ring

    The reference with regards to this forum has to do with the claims of certain posters that they, and only they, are capable of understanding / interpreting scripture.
    The problem I see with this philosophy is that it means that the 'true message' contained in scripture must now be obtained from some anonymous poster on the internet whose reputation for honesty is far from pristine.
    I personally think that it can easily be demonstrated that working Secret Decoder Rings either do not exist, or we cannot determine who actually possesses one. Simply have two people who claim to possess such a ring in separate locations and have them interpret portions of scripture. If they fail to produce identical interpretations then one of them has a broken ring. But which one?
  6. Standard membersonship
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    24 Jun '16 15:213 edits
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    I looked up decoder ring on Wikipedia to find out what you are talking about; it said: "Decoder Ring is an experimental electronic-rock crossover group from Australia.". So I assume you mean secret messages via numerology.

    This is plausible, 5,000 would be the size of a Legion, 5 could refer to the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and (according to ...[text shortened]... e 4,000 could represent.

    Of course, while it's fun to speculate about this, that's all it is.
    This is plausible, 5,000 would be the size of a Legion, 5 could refer to the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and (according to Wikipedia) can be used to represent God. So the story of the feeding of the 5,000 might be a story about preaching (=feeding) to a Legion. It's likely that they would boast about their success in code as the Roman authorities would be likely to have regarded it as sedition. In the second part of the quote, 7 would represent the totality of perfection and completeness, I don't have any ideas about what the 4,000 could represent.


    I have never applied myself to understand what Jesus could have been indicating.

    In my spare time I will go to a book dedicated to the use of numbers in the Bible called "The Numerical Bible" which I think has its most recent republishing (an old classic) as "Numbers in Scripture" by E.W. Bullinger, to see if there is discussion on that passage.

    For the purposes of this thread it is good enough that I demonstrate that here and elsewhere the inspired word of God does invite the consideration numbers or other details, for the sake of deeper meanings.

    Let's take an obvious one Rev. 13:18.

    "Here is wisdom. Let him, who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred sixty-six."


    No one can argue that this is inviting some "decoding" of sorts upon a number.
    Thanks a lot for your input.

    Let me see what the more cynical crowd has for me.
  7. Standard membersonship
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    24 Jun '16 15:381 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Thank you.


    The reference with regards to this forum has to do with the claims of certain posters that they, and only they, are capable of understanding / interpreting scripture.


    Whew! So far that would not include me. I have never said only I can interpret Scripture. I put out some intepretations, I do defend some, I do feel strongly about some.

    I do not claim my interpretations are infallible. And heaven knows that I give credit to people from whom I learned things that I never noticed on my own. I have no teachers who claim that their interpretations are infallible.



    The problem I see with this philosophy is that it means that the 'true message' contained in scripture must now be obtained from some anonymous poster on the internet whose reputation for honesty is far from pristine.


    Maybe its a danger. I don't think I personally have done anything to pose that danger.
    Do you disagree ?


    I personally think that it can easily be demonstrated that working Secret Decoder Rings either do not exist, or we cannot determine who actually possesses one.


    I didn't read the article on a specific Decoder Ring.
    What I notice in the Bible is that there is a call for wisdom. And in Scripture "wisdom" has to be related to quality of spiritual life and not just intelligence.

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And to depart from unrighteousness is understanding. - that kind of tone.

    I don't trust any purely mechanical decoding.
    A godly man or godly woman prefessing some insight into symbolism, I would at least give an ear.

    No, they do not always agree. But there expositions are at least, safe, being Christ centered or God centered.

    I am totally uninterested in what someone like Nostradamus might want to interpret in the Bible. Occultic explorations into Bible enigmas would not interest me.

    Things like "The De Vince Code" have no attraction to me. And decoding which flat out contradicts the major themes of the Bible I would not take seriously.


    Simply have two people who claim to possess such a ring in separate locations and have them interpret portions of scripture. If they fail to produce identical interpretations then one of them has a broken ring. But which one?


    Beats me.
    Sounds like you are talking about an actual physical coding ring device.

    I took KellyJay's remark to be a bit more like sarcasm. Maybe he did have an actual physical device in mind.
  8. Standard membersonship
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    24 Jun '16 15:412 edits
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Here comes Divegeester with his few.

    Oh dear.


    Pace yourself, pace yourself. Don't overdo it there.
  9. Standard membersonship
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    24 Jun '16 15:54
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    Commentary for: Matthew 15:37


    And they all ate and were filled, and they took up what remained of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full.

    “seven.” Many theologians have tried to figure out what is the significance of mentioning in the record that there were “seven” large baskets of leftover bread—why mention the number seven? The number se ...[text shortened]... receive a blessing through God’s Messiah.

    http://www.revisedenglishversion.com/Matthew/15/37
    Interesting, and safe (at least).

    I'll have to go over it again though.
  10. Cape Town
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    24 Jun '16 16:23
    Originally posted by sonship
    Whew! So far that would not include me.
    Well I, for one, have not suggested you are in possession of a Secret Decoder Ring.

    One small correction to my post: It is not that a person using this argument claims to be the sole person capable of interpreting the Bible, but typically claims to be the only one in present company so capable - or has some comrades who they agree with. The key to the argument however is that the method of interpretation cannot be double-checked by the listener. The 'correct' interpretation must be taken on authority / faith or whatever.

    If I am not mistaken, you, sonship, have in the past claimed that atheists are incapable of correctly interpreting the Bible because we are blinded by something. I could be mistaken about this, but if that is your stance then you have at least used some of the Secret Decoder Ring argument.
  11. Standard membersonship
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    25 Jun '16 12:2110 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    One small correction to my post: It is not that a person using this argument claims to be the sole person capable of interpreting the Bible, but typically claims to be the only one in present company so capable
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I still see no application to myself (whether you mean that or not).

    "Present company?"
    How does anyone completely know who is "present company" on the Internet ?


    - or has some comrades who they agree with.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Do you mean, like you have some comrades that you and they mutually agree ?


    The key to the argument however is that the method of interpretation cannot be double-checked by the listener. The 'correct' interpretation must be taken on authority / faith or whatever.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This is not too useful.

    1.) If I stand on authority of someone, we have atheists here who do just as much standing on someone's authority.

    2.) Faith is not a dirty word.

    Faith is a bridge by which man can contact, enjoy, and commune with the faithful God who otherwise, His infinite and eternal characteristics would probably ever elude our limited minds.

    This distance is not something God exploits. It just the way things are. He is the Creator and we are the creatures.


    3.) The aplumb with you spice your posts usually, give off the impression that your own authority can hardly err.

    You often post things like " You apparently don't understand ..." "You don't know ..." "Your education here is deficient" "Your knowledge of this or that is lacking" etc.

    If anyone appeals to his own authority in a matter of fact way, its you twhitehead.

    aplomb
    noun \ə-ˈpläm, -ˈpləm\
    Popularity: Top 10% of words
    Simple Definition of aplomb

    : confidence and skill shown especially in a difficult situation


    Full Definition of aplomb

    : complete and confident composure or self-assurance : poise
    See aplomb defined for English-language learners



    If I am not mistaken, you, sonship, have in the past claimed that atheists are incapable of correctly interpreting the Bible because we are blinded by something. I could be mistaken about this, but if that is your stance then you have at least used some of the Secret Decoder Ring argument.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You'll have to quote me before I claim specifics. It may have been a discussion on a spiritual blindness or blinding which is possible to anyone.

    It may have been about the blindness of a unrepentant defiled conscience which needs confession. I had a thread on "Why God Is Not Real To You" .

    So I very well may have said something about Atheism's blindness. I would add that spiritual blindness is too often not related to intelligence. It is not that one i blind because he doesn't have the right code. The blindness of a person to see God may have absolutely nothing to do with their ability to decipher symbols or puzzles.

    If I said atheists are blind most likely it had to do with the insulation between their sinful selves and a holy sinless God. God has made provision for the removing that barrier which leaves the soul in darkness.

    I have used in the past the illustration of a window covered over with soot. It is so blackened that no light can shine through. I have used this as an example of the blindness that unforgiven sins have on man's ability to see God.

    God has made abundant provision for the removal of the blinding soot that His light might penetrate the heart of any man.

    This is not related to the skill of "decoding" skillfully designed codes.
    Anyone willing to humble themselves before a healing and forgiving heavenly Father's love may be given sight.
  12. Cape Town
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    25 Jun '16 12:44
    Originally posted by sonship
    I still see no application to myself (whether you mean that or not).
    I have not applied it to yourself.

    How does anyone completely know who is "present company" on the Internet ?
    It doesn't really matter.

    Do you mean, like you have some comrades that you and they mutually agree ?
    No, I mean, for example, Robbie and fellow JWs often agreeing on certain interpretations of certain passages. (not that I am saying they use Secret Decoder Rings.)

    This is not too useful.
    Huh? Not useful for what?

    1.) If I stand on authority of someone we have atheists here who do just as much standing on someone's authority.

    2.) Faith is not a dirty word.

    I really don't think you understood what I said.

    I am saying that the Secret Decoder Ring meme has to do with posters that claim to have a method of interpreting scripture that they cannot divulge to others present in the discussion so that they can double check the interpretation as valid. For example if you claimed that you had come to a certain interpretation via prayer and that I would not be able to come to that interpretation by any reasonable means - but you simultaneously claim your interpretation is the correct one. Then that would be suitable for the label 'Secret Decoder Ring'.
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    25 Jun '16 15:36
    Originally posted by sonship
    Here comes Divegeester with his few.

    [b] Oh dear.


    Pace yourself, pace yourself. Don't overdo it there.[/b]
    More mob-jumbo from the earl of error.
  14. Standard membersonship
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    25 Jun '16 15:401 edit
    Originally posted by divegeester
    More mob-jumbo from the earl of error.
    You have a question to answer on the thread "The Spirit was not yet "

    Why not apply your skills to that one ? Now THAT would get my attention bigtime.
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    26 Jun '16 05:221 edit
    Originally posted by sonship
    You have a question to answer on the thread [b] "The Spirit was not yet "

    Why not apply your skills to that one ? Now THAT would get my attention bigtime.[/b]
    Do you feel you have some sort of special decoding mechanism for understanding scripture?

    I mean other than the spirit of course, before you duck behind that.
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