Friday, June 15, 2018

Got milk?

This is a brief sequel to my earlier post:


This verse is often quoted out of context:

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account (Heb 13:17).

However, the author who wrote that is the very same author who wrote this:

11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil (Heb 5:11-14).

i) So the role of elders isn't to keep laymen in a perpetual state of subservience. Rather, their duty is to teach laymen to become teachers. Teachers teaching the next generation of teachers. 

Of course, that doesn't mean every laymen will become an elder. Yet laymen supply the recruiting pool for elders. Elders are supposed to be grooming their successors. Teaching the next generation. Educating "students", some of whom will replace their teachers. 

Presumably, that's the mentoring relationship between the former leadership in v7 and the current leadership in v17. Laymen are supposed to grow in theological understanding and spiritual maturity. Not remain in a state of arrested development. 

The author compares laymen who haven't made the transition to overgrown children who haven't been weaned. That's quite a slap in the face. The image isn't drinking a glass of milk. Rather, in ancient culture, it conjures the image of adult men who are still sucking a wet nurse or their mother! 

2 comments:

  1. "The image isn't drinking a glass of milk. Rather, in ancient culture, it conjures the image of adult men who are still sucking a wet nurse or their mother!"

    With the ongoing Islamicize Me debate ESPECIALLY about the 'breastfeeding an adult ten times' episode... You did this on purpose lol!

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    1. I confess that did occur to me :-)

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