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Mishna, Gezeirah And "mormon Doctrine"


poulsenll

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With all the fuss about the change in a word in the intoduction to the Book of Mormon, I was reminded of the Jewish custom of interpreting the scriptures and their dependence on the Mishnah. I did a Google search on Mishnah and found the following.

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/jewfaq/halakhah.htm

A gezeirah is a law instituted by the rabbis to prevent people from accidentally violating a Torah mitzvah. For example, the Torah commands us not to work on the Sabbath, but a gezeirah commands us not to move a object only used to perform prohibited work (such as a pencil, money, a hammer), because someone handling the implement might forget that it was the Sabbath and perform prohibited work

It was interesting to me that the rationale used to justify the creation of the Gezeirah, was the desire on the part of the Rabbis to prevent accidental violation of the Torah. This in turn, reminded me of Satan's proposal in the preexistence to guarantee our salvation by eliminating the possibility of sin.

To contrast this with the teachings of Jesus Christ, we have the incident in the New Testament where Christ was found plucking corn.

Mark 2: 23-24, 27-28

23 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.

24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?

â?¢ â?¢ â?¢

27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Unfortunately we have many, including Church leaders, who have taken upon themselves a similar obligation. With the ease of book publishing, this has resulted in a proliferation of supposedly authoritative discourses on what the scriptures mean and how we should interpret them. Many resort to this source rather than folowing the admonition of Christ in the New Testament.

John 5: 39

39

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Commentaries are not a substitute for the scriptures any more than a good cookbook is a substitute for food. (When I refer to "commentaries," I refer to everything that interprets scripture, from the comprehensive book-length commentary to the brief interpretation embodied in a lesson or an article, such as this one.). . . As a result, commentaries, if not used with great care, may illuminate the author's chosen and correct meaning but close our eyes and restrict our horizons to other possible meanings. Sometimes those other, less obvious meanings can be the ones most valuable and useful to us as we seek to understand our own dispensation and to obtain answers to our own questions. . .

If we depend only upon our own reasoning or the scholarship or commentaries of others, we will never obtain the understanding that can come only be revelation. Persons in that circumstance will be left forever with what Alma calls "the lesser portion of the word" (Alma 12:11)

"Scripture Reading & Revelation," Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, Jan. 1995 p 9.

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Matthew 23:8-12;

â??But you, do not be called â??rabbiâ??; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.â?

Parameters, these are the teachings and commandments of Jesus Christ. They are what we will be judge by - each one of us. The apostle Paul said we can differ in what we eat and drink and what days we observe to the Lord and He is able to make each to stand in His presence, so as we seek to do His will by His word, lets maintain charity towards those we disagree with on matters not judged by the Lord as worthy of damnation. Jesus prayed that we love one another that the world might know that God sent Him. Letâ??s not do harm to the desire of Jesus for each of us, and at the same time each must be willing to surrender their will and viewpoints to those of Jesus Christ.

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Commentaries are not a substitute for the scriptures any more than a good cookbook is a substitute for food. (When I refer to "commentaries," I refer to everything that interprets scripture, from the comprehensive book-length commentary to the brief interpretation embodied in a lesson or an article, such as this one.). . . As a result, commentaries, if not used with great care, may illuminate the author's chosen and correct meaning but close our eyes and restrict our horizons to other possible meanings. Sometimes those other, less obvious meanings can be the ones most valuable and useful to us as we seek to understand our own dispensation and to obtain answers to our own questions. . .

If we depend only upon our own reasoning or the scholarship or commentaries of others, we will never obtain the understanding that can come only be revelation. Persons in that circumstance will be left forever with what Alma calls "the lesser portion of the word" (Alma 12:11)

"Scripture Reading & Revelation," Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, Jan. 1995 p 9.

It gives me an image of someone coming onto this site, reading for a few days, then going away saying "Now I know all about the gospel, I don't need to hear any more."

:P

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