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A New Interpretive Paradigm for Melchizedek in Hebrews 7New Testament/Early Christianity/Rabbinic StudiesEuropean Association of Biblical Studies 2014EABS 2014 & SBL IM2014Vienna, Austria. July 6-11, 201410-39 New Testament/Early Christianity/Rabbinic Studies (EABS)July 10 Thursday 1-4 PM Room: SR IÖGF - Hauptgebäude
Richard K. Min
The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas, USA
Instituto Teologico Bauptista Pablo (ITBP), Chiapas, Mexico
These terms are used somewhat informally and interchangeably:
In the past,
=> The question is: does the barber shave himself? …
(Russell 1918 Lecture: The Philosophy of Logical Atomism)
cf. “Physician, Heal Yourself!” Luke 4:24
Even one of their own prophet has said, “Cretans are always liars”
(Epimenides circar 600 BC)
“I think; therefore I exist.” (Descartes)
Scripture explains by Scripture (Augustine)
“I think, therefore I am.” in Specimina Philosophiae (1644)
This proposition became a fundamental element of Western Philosophy, as it was perceived to form a foundation for all knowledge. (Wiki)
Scripture explains scripture.
(On Christian Doctrine III.86-86, p. 87).
Kripke (1975): “Outline of a Theory of Truth”, and
“Kripke-Kleene 3-valued Semantics for Logic Programs” by Fitting (1985), and various computational approaches & implementations, including:
Circular Rhetoric and Paradoxes
Edward Malatesta, Interiority and Covenant: A Study of Einai En and Menein En in the First Letter of Saint John [Analecta Biblica 69] (San Francisco: Biblical Institute Press, 1978): 34–36
Raymond E. Brown, The Epistles of John (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995): 195–96;
(1) Matthew 22:15-22
To Pay Tax to Caesar or not
(2) Matthew 22:23-33
Marriage vs Resurrection
(3) Matthew 22:41-46
David called Christ, “My Lord” in Psalm 110:1
Example 4. (3) Paradox in Matthew 22:41-46Christ - Whose son is he? Son of David. Paradox of Lord-Servant (Father-Son) RelationshipWhat is Human vs Divine in crash!
A Note in Matthew 22:34-40. Order in the Laws (legal precedence)
It took over a half-century to uncover the underlying critical method of Cullmann in temporal-modal logic, and to be correctly recognized and rightfully appreciated.
He who comes after me [“not yet”] … he was before me [“already”].
(John 1:15, 30 in Circular temporal-modal logic)
cf. Matthew 22:41-46; Hebrews 7:3,15 with Psalm110:1,4]
John 8:12-19 (NIV)
12When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said,
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
13The Pharisees challenged him,
“Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”
(1) John 8:12. one of “I am” sayings in John: ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου
(2) John 8:13. Objection and Accusation by the Pharisees (lawfully)
It is self-witness or self-testimony (Circular Reasoning).
(3) The Pharisees (just like us in 20th century) declared it invalid !
14Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf,my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going.
But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me.
17In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid.
18I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”
Note: Two proof methods being presented side by side.
John 8:12 “I am …” as Self-Testimony – Circular/Coinductive Reasoning
John 8:17 Testimony of two men according to the Law – Legal/Inductive Reasoning
(1) Thus all metaphorical “I am” sayings of Jesus in John are essentially Circular
(2) Contrary to the contemporary biblical scholarship/exegesis/interpretation/logic
Πᾶς ὁ γεγεννημένος ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἁμαρτίαν οὐ ποιεῖ,
ὅτι σπέρμα αὐτοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ μένει, καὶ οὐ δύναται ἁμαρτάνειν,
ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ γεγέννηται.
Hebrews: A Masterpiece of Circular Rhetoric and Logic of Paradox in Action (4+ Major Paradoxes)
The Son of God is both divine and human, preexistent and yet to be born as a man to be the priest according to the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:1, 4; Hebrews 7:3, 15). [Paradox of Mutual-Reference in Temporal-Modal Logic]
In the past on Hebrews 7:1-3, Scholarly Opinions or Debates focus on
(1) Rhetoric & Logic: Jewish vs Greek Influence (Qumran vs Philo)
(2) Melchizedek: Human vs Divine (or Supra-Human)?
(3) Type vs Inverse Type (Melchizedek vs Christ)
(4) Reading in Canonic Faith vs Blind Faith (or Skepticism)
But in the state of contention and disagreement (and for how long?)
1 Οὗτος γὰρ ὁ Μελχισέδεκ, βασιλεὺς Σαλήμ, ἱερεὺς τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ὑψίστου, … 3 ἀπάτωρ ἀμήτωρ ἀγενεαλόγητος,
μήτε ἀρχὴν ἡμερῶν μήτε ζωῆς τέλος ἔχων, ἀφωμοιωμένος δὲ τῷ υἱῷ τοῦ θεοῦ,
μένει ἱερεὺς εἰς τὸ διηνεκές. . . .
15 καὶ περισσότερον ἔτι κατάδηλόν ἐστιν, εἰ κατὰ τὴν ὁμοιότητα Μελχισέδεκ ἀνίσταται ἱερεὺς ἕτερος,
15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest.
This priesthood is ordained by the oath of God, sworn by himself in an act of self-reference, for no higher authority exists whereby to swear (Hebrews 6:13; 7:21).
Cf. Exodus 3:14, John 8:12-20
According to the Scripture, as it is written as in due time, the Son of God has come to fulfill what had been written about himself to do the will of God (Psalm 40:6–8; Hebrews 10:5–9).
Here the Son is reading the scroll, which was written to speak about himself (as it is written in the scripture [Epistle of Hebrews] which refers to the scripture [the scroll]). This is one remarkable and mysterious example of circular rhetoric and paradox, as a literary masterpiece, noteworthy in biblical prophecy and logic.
The Son is not only the high priest of God, but also the sacrifice himself with his own body (or blood) in circular rhetoric, once for all to set aside the first to establish the second (Hebrews 10:8–10).
This is another remarkable and mysterious example of circular rhetoric, literary wonder and mystery, and a literary masterpiece on the Son of God.
in the order of Melchizedek in Hebrews 7 and thereafter. (cf. John 3:12-13 on Heavenly matters)
Ἰησοῦς, κατὰ τὴν τάξιν Μελχισέδεκ ἀρχιερεὺς γενόμενος εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα (Hebrews 6:20; 8:1)
The key thesis in progression is centered in the correct understanding of this key passage in Psalm 110:4.
(Psalm 110:1, 4; Hebrews 7:3, 15). Cf. John 1:15, 30 by John the Baptist.
(2) The Second Controversy and Paradox of the Son of God in Psalm 110:4 is the problem of the priesthood of Jesus Christ who is from the tribe of Judah (Hebrews 7:14–15).
13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.
(Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NIV)