We're doing ok, Thanks
Hope you are doing ok Walt! How is your wife? Are you settled after the move?
Wife has good days & bad days, such is life.
Settled in the new place for the most part - still getting things done
Nige, credit should be given to blokes like TWTY-Admin, Rob, Mike, David (Bowie) and KP (of whom I'm almost in daily contact with). But I find thinking about this stuff while driving in my car the place where things come together, for example the question came to mind: where is the the direct command for Gentiles to be circumcised? Or should I say the unconditional command regardless of where one resides. Each time circumcision is mentioned there's a condition: 1) be Abraham's direct descendant, 2) circumcised as a baby on the 8th day after birth, 3) a non-Jew bought with money to work in the employment of a Jew, 4) or if a non-Jew wants to observe the Passover. And let's not forget how they are all linked to living in the Promised Land, Israel.Matthew - I think that your posts on here (and bridging to the other place too) are inspired - I really appreciate the thought you have put into this... my understanding has increased hugely with this whole discussion - great work!
The bottom line with circumcision---or any other rite commanded in the Torah---is that there are two parallel meanings, one literal, the other symbolic. Comparing them side by side...
Physical performance --- Symbolic significance
To be physically done by Israel --- To be observed and heeded by devout gentiles
Not intrinsically effective --- The point Yahweh really wants to make
A sign --- The intended destination
The teaching tool --- The lesson God want's us to learn
A picture, a shadow --- The actual object, the thing casting the shadow
The metaphor --- The meaning
Christians, of course, make the same sorts of stupid mistakes concerning the few rites they were instructed to observe, baptism and communion. They're symbols of a greater truth: they don't in themselves save anyone. That doesn't detract from their importance, however. It doesn't mean we shouldn't do them; it only means that when we do, we should ponder and contemplate what they mean. We should have gotten that message loud and clear when it became impossible to literally perform (for example) the rites of the Day of Atonement. Does anybody today really think that our sins cannot be atoned because the two-goat thing can't literally be done anymore as the Torah prescribes? I don't know why some people find this so hard to see. It all seems perfectly obvious to me.
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