Knowledge of mysteries in the Bible

Theophilos

Member
Two common words, "know" and "mystery", appear in English translations of the Bible, but they do not fully agree with the connotations in Greek. The resulting misunderstanding can be profound.

English is unusual in that it uses the verb, "to know" to refer to knowledge gained by experience as well is knowledge of facts. In biblical Greek those to concepts have two different verbs.

For example, the Greek verb (knowledge gained by experience) is used in this verse:

. . .this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3

In this example, knowing God and Jesus Christ does not refer to book learning; instead it implies knowledge gained through personal experience. That understanding makes sense when you consider that the same verb is used in this verse:
Then Mary said to the Angel, “How shall this be done, since I do not know man?” Luke 1:31

How do Christians experience God? For Catholics and Orthodox Christians it is through the sacraments or "holy mysteries" as they are called in the East.

That meaning for "mystery" is consistent with the use in biblical Greek. For example consider this verse:
Accordingly, let man consider us to be ministers of Christ and attendants of the mysteries of God. 1 Cor 4:1

Knowledge gained through experience of the mysteries also appears in this verse:
. . . it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven . . . Matthew 13:11

The Bible affirms that we get to know God through experiencing the holy mysteries (= sacraments). Sadly this understanding has gotten lost in translation for many Christians.
 

mica

Well-known member
Two common words, "know" and "mystery", appear in English translations of the Bible, but they do not fully agree with the connotations in Greek. The resulting misunderstanding can be profound.

English is unusual in that it uses the verb, "to know" to refer to knowledge gained by experience as well is knowledge of facts. In biblical Greek those to concepts have two different verbs.

For example, the Greek verb (knowledge gained by experience) is used in this verse:

. . .this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3

In this example, knowing God and Jesus Christ does not refer to book learning; instead it implies knowledge gained through personal experience. That understanding makes sense when you consider that the same verb is used in this verse:
Then Mary said to the Angel, “How shall this be done, since I do not know man?” Luke 1:31

How do Christians experience God? For Catholics and Orthodox Christians it is through the sacraments or "holy mysteries" as they are called in the East.

That meaning for "mystery" is consistent with the use in biblical Greek. For example consider this verse:
Accordingly, let man consider us to be ministers of Christ and attendants of the mysteries of God. 1 Cor 4:1

Knowledge gained through experience of the mysteries also appears in this verse:
. . . it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven . . . Matthew 13:11

The Bible affirms that we get to know God through experiencing the holy mysteries (= sacraments). Sadly this understanding has gotten lost in translation for many Christians.
Paul speaks of a mystery 17 x and mysteries 3 x in his writings. which sacraments is he speaking about?
 

Theophilos

Member
Paul speaks of a mystery 17 x and mysteries 3 x in his writings. which sacraments is he speaking about?
The Eucharist is the foremost mystery of faith and Paul clearly references that:

Similarly, deacons must be chaste, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not pursuing tainted profit, holding to the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 1 Tim 3:8-9

A primary duty of deacons is to bring the Eucharist to the congregation including shut-ins. "Holding to the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience" certainly is consistent with Paul's warnings worthily receiving the Eucharist:

But let a man examine himself, and, in this way, let him eat from that bread, and drink from that cup. For whoever eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks a sentence against himself, not discerning it to be the body of the Lord. 1 Cor 11:28-29
 

Johan

Active member
The Eucharist is the foremost mystery of faith and Paul clearly references that:

Similarly, deacons must be chaste, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not pursuing tainted profit, holding to the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 1 Tim 3:8-9
"Clearly"? I cannot find any clear reference at all to the Lord's Supper in that passage. Appears to the ordinary Catholic eisegesis.
 

mica

Well-known member
The Eucharist is the foremost mystery of faith and Paul clearly references that:

Similarly, deacons must be chaste, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not pursuing tainted profit, holding to the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 1 Tim 3:8-9

A primary duty of deacons is to bring the Eucharist to the congregation including shut-ins. "Holding to the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience" certainly is consistent with Paul's warnings worthily receiving the Eucharist:

But let a man examine himself, and, in this way, let him eat from that bread, and drink from that cup. For whoever eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks a sentence against himself, not discerning it to be the body of the Lord. 1 Cor 11:28-29
the men of the RCC don't meet any of the things in that verse, from the priests on up to the pope.
 

Theophilos

Member
"Clearly"? I cannot find any clear reference at all to the Lord's Supper in that passage. Appears to the ordinary Catholic eisegesis.
The passage is entirely consistent with mystery referring to the Eucharist.

My observation is that non-Catholics frequently allow their own doctrines and preconceptions to become the basis of translation and interpretation of scriptures. The result is to downplay or exclude scriptural references to sacraments and liturgy. For example, consider this verse:

Now as they were ministering for the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said to them: “Separate Saul and Barnabas for me, for the work for which I have selected them.” Then, fasting and praying and imposing their hands upon them, they sent them away. Acts 13:2-3

Laying on of hands is part of the mystery/sacrament of ordination in Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The verb translated as "ministering", Λειτουργούντων, is the basis for the English word "liturgy". It literally means "to minister liturgically". The same verb is used for liturgical worship in the Jewish temple:

. . . every priest stands by, ministering daily, and frequently offering the same sacrifices . . . Hebrews 10:11
 

mica

Well-known member
The passage is entirely consistent with mystery referring to the Eucharist.
you'll have to point it out - and be specific.

My observation is that non-Catholics frequently allow their own doctrines and preconceptions to become the basis of translation and interpretation of scriptures.
that's very, very catholics. could be some unbelieving nCs do the same tho.

The result is to downplay or exclude scriptural references to sacraments and liturgy. For example, consider this verse:

Now as they were ministering for the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said to them: “Separate Saul and Barnabas for me, for the work for which I have selected them.” Then, fasting and praying and imposing their hands upon them, they sent them away. Acts 13:2-3

Laying on of hands is part of the mystery/sacrament of ordination in Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The verb translated as "ministering", Λειτουργούντων, is the basis for the English word "liturgy". It literally means "to minister liturgically". The same verb is used for liturgical worship in the Jewish temple:
believers do the same. laying on of hands is for prayer also.

. . . every priest stands by, ministering daily, and frequently offering the same sacrifices . . . Hebrews 10:11
sounds catholic...

yes, that's about the OT sacrifices - much like catholics think they're 'recreating'. read more verses around it. are catholics under the law/OT or the NC with Christ as Savior?

Heb 10
1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.

7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;

9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
 

Buzzard

Active member
The passage is entirely consistent with mystery referring to the Eucharist.


. . . every priest stands by, ministering daily, and frequently offering the same sacrifices . . . Hebrews 10:11
Hebrews 10:11
And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices,
which can never take away sins:

and the new and better way is ?????????????????????????
 

Buzzard

Active member
That meaning for "mystery" is consistent with the use in biblical Greek. For example consider this verse:
Accordingly, let man consider us to be ministers of Christ and attendants of the mysteries of God. 1 Cor 4:1

Knowledge gained through experience of the mysteries also appears in this verse:
. . . it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven . . . Matthew 13:11

The Bible affirms that we get to know God through experiencing the holy mysteries (= sacraments). Sadly this understanding has gotten lost in translation for many Christians.
ahh; come again;
I don't see any thing in The Parables (Matt.ch.13) you quoted
about some "Magic Cookie" except the words you added
ie: (= sacraments).
through experiencing the holy mysteries (= sacraments).


know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven . . .
Matthew 13:11

but I do read of this
the true Knowledge of these "Mysteries" from the words of Christ

Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things?
They say unto him, Yea, Lord.

52 Then said he unto them,
Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven
is like unto a man that is an householder,
which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old
.

The Scribes (Mark and Luke) and Pharisee (Paul) set in the Seat of Moses
and that is not The church of the Gentiles
"The Great Sea"

back to those Parables you, as a "Waysider"; do not understand

When any one heareth the word of the kingdom,
and understandeth it not,
then cometh the wicked one,
and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.
This is he which received seed by
the way side.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net,
that was
cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:

48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down,
and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away
.
 

Johan

Active member
The passage is entirely consistent with mystery referring to the Eucharist.
Well, the passage is also entirely consistent with the general theory of relativity (in the sense that there is no contradiction between the two), but it does not follow that the passage teaches that theory. And the same goes for the Lord's Supper, which is not mentioned or even alluded to in the passage.
My observation is that non-Catholics frequently allow their own doctrines and preconceptions to become the basis of translation and interpretation of scriptures.
Oh, the irony. The Catholic tendency to commit eisegesis is a recurring theme, your "interpretation" of this passage being a case in point. I simply let the text speak for itself, and there is no "Eucharist" mentioned in the text. Very simple, actually.
The result is to downplay or exclude scriptural references to sacraments and liturgy.
Whenever the text actually refers to "sacraments and liturgy", I will happily admit it. If you need to use eisegesis and the magic crystal ball of Catholic "interpretation" to find such references, I reject such hermeneutics.
Laying on of hands is part of the mystery/sacrament of ordination in Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
Good for you. Is it called a "mystery" or a "sacrament" in the Scriptures as well?
The verb translated as "ministering", Λειτουργούντων, is the basis for the English word "liturgy". It literally means "to minister liturgically".
The literal meaning of the verb λειτουργέω is "to perform work/service for the people" (λαός = people, ἔργον = work) and had a perfectly secular meaning as well (perform public duties, serve the state, Liddell-Scott-Jones). But also in a religious sense, it had a wider meaning than just the work performed by priests in the temple.

Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister [λειτουργῆσαι] to them also in material things. (Rom. 15:27)

The cognate noun λειτουργός is for example found in Rom. 13:6 where it refers to the authorities being God's "servant". In Rom. 15:16, Paul calls himself "a λειτουργός of Christ Jesus", i.e., a servant of Christ Jesus, and the same is said about Epaphroditus in Phil. 2:25. So yet again, you read too much into a single word.

The leaders of the church in Antioch (it would be very difficult to give αὐτῶν a wider application than to the prophets and teachers of v. 1, though most commentators do this; Haenchen (380), for example, says that the presence of the community is not mentioned but is presupposed) are described as holding a service of worship. Luke gives no indication of the form taken by the service; there is no ground in the context for answering Richardson’s question (Theology 297), ‘Does this mean “While they celebrated the eucharistic liturgy”?’ in the affirmative. There is more to be said for the suggestion that they were prophesying (see below) and teaching; and praying (v. 3). But the matter is one on which Luke gives us no information, and it is wise to recognize the fact. (Barrett, C. K. (2004). A critical and exegetical commentary on the Acts of the Apostles (p. 604). Edinburgh: T&T Clark; emphasis in bold mine)
 
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Theophilos

Member
you'll have to point it out - and be specific.


that's very, very catholics. could be some unbelieving nCs do the same tho.


believers do the same. laying on of hands is for prayer also.


sounds catholic...

yes, that's about the OT sacrifices - much like catholics think they're 'recreating'. read more verses around it. are catholics under the law/OT or the NC with Christ as Savior?

Heb 10
1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.

7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;

9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
The same Greek verb translated as "ministering" is used for both the actions of the Jewish priests and the apostles who were "ministering to the Lord" in Acts 13:2. According to Acts, the apostles were worshipping in Jewish synagogues and the temple in Jerusalem.

. . . they continued, daily, to be of one accord in the temple and to break bread among the houses . . .Acts 2:46

Then Paul, taking the men on the next day, was purified with them, and he entered the temple, announcing the process of the days of purification, until an oblation would be offered on behalf of each one of them. Acts 21:26

. . . they arrived at Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, according to custom, entered to them. Acts 17:2

If Paul went into a Greek Church today he would hear chanting of the same psalms in the same language that he heard both in Greek-speaking synagogues and in early Christian worship:

. . . be filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking among yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual canticles, singing and reciting psalms to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks always for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God the Father. Eph 5:18-20

The liturgy that the apostles offered was almost certainly based on the Jewish liturgies. It is no accident that the same verb is used for the Jewish and Christian worship, which included the Eucharist.

The form of worship established by the apostles continues to this day in Catholic and Orthodox Christian churches.
 
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mica

Well-known member
The same Greek verb translated as "ministering" is used for both the actions of the Jewish priests and the apostles who were "ministering to the Lord" in Acts 13:2. According to Acts, the apostles were worshipping in Jewish synagogues and the temple in Jerusalem.

. . . they continued, daily, to be of one accord in the temple and to break bread among the houses . . .Acts 2:46

Then Paul, taking the men on the next day, was purified with them, and he entered the temple, announcing the process of the days of purification, until an oblation would be offered on behalf of each one of them. Acts 21:26

. . . they arrived at Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, according to custom, entered to them. Acts 17:2

If Paul went into a Greek Church today he would hear chanting of the same psalms in the same language that he heard both in Greek-speaking synagogues and in early Christian worship:

. . . be filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking among yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual canticles, singing and reciting psalms to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks always for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God the Father. Eph 5:18-20

The liturgy that the apostles offered was almost certainly based on the Jewish liturgies. It is no accident that the same verb is used for the Jewish and Christian worship, which included the Eucharist.

The form of worship established by the apostles continues to this day in Catholic and Orthodox Christian churches.
Jewish worship in the temple included the eucharist?
 

Theophilos

Member
Jewish worship in the temple included the eucharist?
They originally worshipped in the Temple and had private services in homes for the Eucharist.

After the Romans destroyed the Temple, elements of Temple worship were included in Christian worship. That is confirmed in the Book of Revelation:

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a great voice, like that of a trumpet, saying, “What you see, write in a book, and send it to the seven Churches, which are in Asia: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamus, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” And I turned around, so as to see the voice which was speaking with me. And having turned around, I saw seven golden lampstands. Rev 1:10-12

"Seven golden lampstands" refers to a Menorah similar to those found in the Jewish Temple. Similar lampstands still appear on the altar of Eastern churches. The "Lord's day" refers to Sunday when Christians met to celebrate the Eucharist.

Arch of Titus Menorah - Menorah (Temple) - Wikipedia
 

Theophilos

Member
Another piece of conjecture.
Sunday is still called the "Lord's day" in modern Greek and Romance languages. The New Testament confirms that is the when the apostles met to celebrate the Eucharist:

. . . upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. Acts 20:7 KJV
 

mica

Well-known member
The same Greek verb translated as "ministering" is used for both the actions of the Jewish priests and the apostles who were "ministering to the Lord" in Acts 13:2. According to Acts, the apostles were worshipping in Jewish synagogues and the temple in Jerusalem.

. . . they continued, daily, to be of one accord in the temple and to break bread among the houses . . .Acts 2:46

Then Paul, taking the men on the next day, was purified with them, and he entered the temple, announcing the process of the days of purification, until an oblation would be offered on behalf of each one of them. Acts 21:26

. . . they arrived at Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, according to custom, entered to them. Acts 17:2

If Paul went into a Greek Church today he would hear chanting of the same psalms in the same language that he heard both in Greek-speaking synagogues and in early Christian worship:

. . . be filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking among yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual canticles, singing and reciting psalms to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks always for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God the Father. Eph 5:18-20

The liturgy that the apostles offered was almost certainly based on the Jewish liturgies. It is no accident that the same verb is used for the Jewish and Christian worship, which included the Eucharist.

The form of worship established by the apostles continues to this day in Catholic and Orthodox Christian churches.
were any of the apostles Jewish priests?
 
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