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Author Topic: Martin Luther explains the 8th commandment
philnotfil
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Short and simple and to the point. Great stuff on how we should act towards our neighbors.

quote:
The Eighth Commandment.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

What does this mean?--Answer.

We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, or defame our neighbor, but defend him, [think and] speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.


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Wayward Son
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Good answer!

It would have been nice, however, if he had remembered to apply it to his Jewish neighbors. [Frown]

Ah, well, the spirit is willing...

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D.W.
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I liked the short hand commandment. Seems the pearly gates just slammed shut for a lot of people under this interpretation.

It wasn't the 10 guidelines you should try your best to live up to. Don't kill, keep it in your pants around the spouse of others, are a lot lower a bar than, don't think bad of your neighbor. [Razz]

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Wayward Son
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Hey, if you gots problems with Martin's extrapolation of the 8th, how do you feel about Christ's "anyone who looks with lust at his neighbor has committed adultery in his heart?" How many do you think ever passed that little test? [Eek!]

All have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God. If the big 10 were a pass/no pass system, real estate in heaven is really, really cheap. [Smile]

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D.W.
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My understanding is almost certainly flawed, but;

OT: Obey these rules or you are pretty much screwed!
NT: BTW those old rules reach further than you thought. Surprise! None of you live up to them, but that's OK because if you try, and you believe, that's good enough.

The whole, "you got one shot at this, don't mess up!" view on fleeting mortality / eternal spirituality just confuses me. That's a lot of pressure for a game that's rigged so hevily for some compared to others.

Apparently the "mysterious ways" amounts to seeing if free will and strict obedience are compatible. Some are born into a life of less suffering or less temptation as control groups for the experiment.

That or existence is a soul crushing labyrinth and God is only allowed to hand us a map on a napkin and wish us luck.

Neither offer me much comfort. Even the wisdom and guidance from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure seems downright profound in comparison.

The true miracle for me is that I still believe in God after so thoroughly discarding almost all of the bible teaching I was raised with.

But as for the origional topic, that is a much improved goal to strive for. Particularly for people who believe they are "good enough" to pass a divine test. [Wink]

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Hey, if you gots problems with Martin's extrapolation of the 8th, how do you feel about Christ's "anyone who looks with lust at his neighbor has committed adultery in his heart?" How many do you think ever passed that little test? [Eek!]

Wasn't that from Paul? I remember a passage just like that from Romans. Maybe Christ said it too. To be fair, I think the meaning of the passage isn't about a random moment of lust as an emotion, but rather about the mental entertaining of lust as an active desire that you just can't act on because of circumstances.

As far as the 8th goes, I think it's almost identical with the first, which can essentially be translated to "worship truth, and don't worship anything other than truth." Sounds like a pretty good rule.

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Mynnion
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Love the Lord your God with all your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength and Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law is based on these. Pretty much sums it up.
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rightleft22
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Sums it up but what does it mean to Love?
What is ment by the word God?

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
I liked the short hand commandment. Seems the pearly gates just slammed shut for a lot of people under this interpretation.

It wasn't the 10 guidelines you should try your best to live up to. Don't kill, keep it in your pants around the spouse of others, are a lot lower a bar than, don't think bad of your neighbor. [Razz]

There are commandments and guidelines that surround the commandments. Thou shalt not testify a false accusation against thy neighbor is a commandment and the penalty under Mosaic law was the same penalty as the penalty of the crime you falsely accused your neighbor of. Meaning if you accused your neighbor falsely of murder you were put to death. Think nicely of your neighbor is a guideline extrapolated from the commandment.

Jesus doesnt say try really hard not to commit adultery. He says dont commit adultery, and try really hard not to think about committing it. Nowhere does he say that "committing adultery in your heart" is as bad as adtually committing it.

The difference between Jesus' spirit of the law extrapolations and Ezra's proto-phariseeical hedges about the law is that Jesus isnt proposing these guidelines as prophylactic measures but as . Spiritual law that must be attempteon the way to perfection. The saint isn't perfect but heads in the direction of perfection.

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Pete at Home
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"Hey, if you gots problems with Martin's extrapolation of the 8th, how do you feel about Christ's "anyone who looks with lust at his neighbor has committed adultery in his heart?" How many do you think ever passed that little test?"

Since Jesus' test (sermon on the mount, F) speaks in the present tense, i should hope that most of us, during this discussion, pass it. I am not at the instant of writing this, looking on anyone with lust.

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noel c.
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"Apparently the 'mysterious ways' amounts to seeing if free will and strict obedience are compatible. Some are born into a life of less suffering or less temptation as control groups for the experiment. "...

I like Lincoln's insight on priviledge. :

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

It seems, for example, easier to be generous from poverty, than wealth. Matthew 19 :

(16) And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” (17) And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” (18) Then he said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER; YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY; YOU SHALL NOT STEAL; YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS; (19) HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER; and YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” (20) The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” (21) Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (22) But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.(23) And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven."

Perhaps the "control group" are the "poor". I doubt it though. Where the rich are gripped by greed, the poor wrestle with envy... both conditions are spiritually leathal.

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KidTokyo
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quote:
Since Jesus' test (sermon on the mount, F) speaks in the present tense, i should hope that most of us, during this discussion, pass it. I am not at the instant of writing this, looking on anyone with lust.
"Has committed" is not present tense. Also, not sure the original text uses the exact same tense structure as the English translation.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
quote:
Since Jesus' test (sermon on the mount, F) speaks in the present tense, i should hope that most of us, during this discussion, pass it. I am not at the instant of writing this, looking on anyone with lust.
"Has committed" is not present tense.
"anyone who looks with lust" is the antecedent. Has committed is the conclusion. This is the way you commonly describe legal constructions: "If you intentionally STRIKE someone without reasonable apprehension that they were about to strike you, you HAVE COMMITTED battery."

"Also, not sure the original text uses the exact same tense structure as the English translation."

Well, if you're going to accuse someone, it's on you to show that you got the facts and the law right, neh?

If Wayward had said that none of us have ALWAYS lived as to pass Jesus' test, I would not have demurred. But since he said that none of us PASS it (present tense), that is clearly wrong.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Hey, if you gots problems with Martin's extrapolation of the 8th, how do you feel about Christ's "anyone who looks with lust at his neighbor has committed adultery in his heart?" How many do you think ever passed that little test?

The actual construction of "lust" there is closer to"recovery" or "jealousy" than simple desire.

It's not just saying that you found your neighbor attractive, but rather that you looked with the intent to commit adultery. The fact that you never managed to get you plan to work, or were otherwise foiled doesn't matter. The fact that you were willing to carry through means that you already as good as broke the rules.

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Wayward Son
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Hey, guys, before parsing the grammar of my sentence, please note that I was quoting from memory. It is not an exact quote.

The actual passage in Matt. 5:28 goes something like this:

quote:
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (KJV)
quote:
But I tell you that if anyone looks at a woman ·and wants to sin sexually with her [lustfully; L with a desire for her], in his ·mind [heart] he has already ·done that sin [committed adultery] with her. (EXB)
quote:
You may think you have abided by this Commandment, walked the straight and narrow, but I tell you this: any man who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery in his heart. (VOICE)
Of course, one needs to know ancient Greek to truly know what he was saying.
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Pete at Home
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I'm contradicting what you said, Wayward. You, not Jesus, are the one that's inferring that to pass Jesus' so called test, that one must have never sinned. That's about as opposite what Jesus taught as anything. Jesus' actual test is to "sin no more." Not to never have sinned in the past. Jesus' Sermon on the mount isn't about condemning imperfect people.
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Pete at Home
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Also, all three of your translated quotes involve a PRESENT tense description of the sinful act. Jesus isn't about shaming people for past sins. He's calling on us to do better NOW. "Go thy way and sin no more."
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Pete at Home
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"Of course, one needs to know ancient Greek to truly know what he was saying."

There is no evidence or likelihood that Jesus ever spoke Greek. The Greek is a rendition from the Aramaic that Jesus actually spoke.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
You, not Jesus, are the one that's inferring that to pass Jesus' so called test, that one must have never sinned.
Pete, I was responding to D.W.'s comment, "Seems the pearly gates just slammed shut for a lot of people under this interpretation."

Martin was expanding the literal definition of the 8th commandment to include the spirit of the law, the attitudes that are sinful. Jesus did the same thing in Matt. 5:28. Not just refraining from doing the dirty keeps you from breaking the commandment; just imagining the deed is enough.

Yes, Jesus is not out to condemn us all for our past sins. But he is expanding the literal definition of that sin, so we all know we need to repent and do better daily. That we are far from perfect, and need to work hard at being better.

But it still means that even if we have not done the dirty, most (if not all) of us still have sinned in our hearts. Yes, past tense.

Or do you think it was not a sin until you heard the words from Jesus? [Wink]

quote:
The Greek is a rendition from the Aramaic that Jesus actually spoke.
If you have his original words in Aramaic, then you have a point. But IIRC, the only records we have were written in Greek, so that is the closest we can come to the original. So to know exactly what the Bible says He said, I'd suggest learning ancient Greek over ancient Aramaic for now. [Smile]
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velcro
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I see three choices:

-Find an Aramaic transcript of Jesus's words, verified to be accurate, and interpret those words.

-Assume one specific English translation is divinely inspired and therefore completely accurate, and interpret those words.

-Given your personal beliefs and understanding about God, Jesus, or whatever, interpret the flawed translations in a way that makes you live a better life.

Since the first is unavailable, and the second is purely a matter of preference, I go for the third option.

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D.W.
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quote:
-Given your personal beliefs and understanding about God, Jesus, or whatever, interpret the flawed translations in a way that makes you live a better life.
Not sure if it's a flusihing out of this one or a fourth option.

-Accept that even a perfect translation of divinely inspired text should be viewed through the lense of today's society.

Unless God made it a point to frown upon or ban technological improvements or even to mandate an 'ideal' lifestyle. If you practice some way of life like the Amish it is easier to be consistint in following an unchanging holy text. For the rest of us we should (must?) constantly ask ourselves, how do these lessens apply today?

As silly as I found the catch-phrase and internet meme based version of religion, W.W.J.D. is a very good question to ask for those who want to follow his teaching. From what I read of Jesus I think those who never go to church but ask themselves that question are probably closest to what he intended to see happen. A holy text can't cover answers to all of life's questions.

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velcro
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I'll agree with you, but as a nitpick, most people who believe in a perfect translation of a divinely inspired text are not inclined to interpret it liberally.
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D.W.
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And those who can't 'interpret it liberally' are almost always at odds with a society which bears little resemblance to that of the time the text was written / revealed.

Believers have 3 options.
-Strive unrelentingly to preserve the way of life at the time of that document's authoring. (self imposed societal/geographic exile)
-Strive to interpret the message / lessons of that document so that it applies to life today. (risk fractured dogma)
-Attempt to convince all of society to interpret narrow readings of that document the same way you do while ignoring portions when they no longer are relevant/defensible. (risk violent fundamentalism)

[ August 17, 2015, 01:20 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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KidTokyo
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Maybe he'll come back soon and clarify things for us.
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velcro
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That would mean nobody could brag about how strong their faith is.
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D.W.
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Plenty would velcro. If we had a visit from a/the divine being there would be claims that he/she/it was just an alien or supernatural being outside of our understanding but not "God". Or even the more religious oriented could claim the being to be a/the devil attempting to lead us astray.
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KidTokyo
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They might actually go so far as to crucify him. Again.

Not sure if this is a relevant or common take on the matter, but my own view of the story of Jesus is that it is a constant "happening" rather than a fixed event in the past -- i.e., a fable illustrating the constant damage we humans do to our capacity for love. It makes more sense to me that way.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
They might actually go so far as to crucify him. Again.

Not sure if this is a relevant or common take on the matter, but my own view of the story of Jesus is that it is a constant "happening" rather than a fixed event in the past -- i.e., a fable illustrating the constant damage we humans do to our capacity for love. It makes more sense to me that way.

Have you read or seen performed Shaw's "Saint Joan?" The last scene (incredibly surreal) communicates that message persuasively and poignantly.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
You, not Jesus, are the one that's inferring that to pass Jesus' so called test, that one must have never sinned.
Pete, I was responding to D.W.'s comment, "Seems the pearly gates just slammed shut for a lot of people under this interpretation."

Martin was expanding the literal definition of the 8th commandment to include the spirit of the law, the attitudes that are sinful. Jesus did the same thing in Matt. 5:28. Not just refraining from doing the dirty keeps you from breaking the commandment; just imagining the deed is enough.

Yes, Jesus is not out to condemn us all for our past sins. But he is expanding the literal definition of that sin, so we all know we need to repent and do better daily. That we are far from perfect, and need to work hard at being better.

But it still means that even if we have not done the dirty, most (if not all) of us still have sinned in our hearts. Yes, past tense.

Or do you think it was not a sin until you heard the words from Jesus? [Wink]

You laugh, but that's precisely what the new testament teaches re sin:
quote:
Romans 7:9 At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life,

But to address your question more specifically, Until I heard the words from Jesus, I was still aware of the law not to covet. So for me, before I heard Jesus' words, it was the sin of coveting, not the sin of committing adultery in my heart.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
And those who can't 'interpret it liberally' are almost always at odds with a society which bears little resemblance to that of the time the text was written / revealed.

Believers have 3 options.
-Strive unrelentingly to preserve the way of life at the time of that document's authoring. (self imposed societal/geographic exile)
-Strive to interpret the message / lessons of that document so that it applies to life today. (risk fractured dogma)
-Attempt to convince all of society to interpret narrow readings of that document the same way you do while ignoring portions when they no longer are relevant/defensible. (risk violent fundamentalism)

I prefer and intend to follow your option 2, but if I am to be honest, I have often largely followed OPTION 4: study the message as an intellectual curiosity, but apply it piecemeal, as convenient. There's one major ancient world religion that practices that way, btw. [Smile] "This is God's unchangeable law, and these are the parts we feel like practicing today." [Razz]
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