House Church Talk - Re: Baptisms and Administrations: Star of Bethlehem

Ross J Purdy rossjpurdy at
Thu Apr 29 22:49:27 EDT 2004

Hi Bruce,

Catching up...

You wrote:
> Dear Ross,
> When I asked:" Have I understood you wrong, or do you actually believe
> scripture  teaches that there is one mediator between God and men, the
> nation of  Israel?"...
> You responded:"Under the New Covenant, Israel as a nation, serves as
> to the other nations as appointed. This does not displace the work of
> or the HS."
> Dear brother. where in scripture did you ever find this idea set forth???
> -What passage of scripture that deals with the new covenant speaks of
> as priests???

1 Peter 2:5,9

> -What passage of scripture ever teaches that Israel (under any covenant)
> or is or ever will be PRIESTS TO THE OTHER NATIONS?
> - Scripture teaches priests made by God are priests UNTO HIM.  Ex.19:6;
> Rev.1:6; Rev.5:10

I stand corrected on the symantics.

> Concerning the magi, the star and Numbers 24:17, you wrote:"However they
> interpreted things one can only speculate, but if they knew the above
> passage from Israel's writings and saw the phenomena of the star, its
> symbolism and significance would have been obvious to them. The reason the
> magi observed the stars was to look for signs."
> Brother, can you explain to me how they would come to such a conclusion??
> Why would any new star be immediately connected by them to Num.24:17???
 > What would make them think that this particular star was associated with
> prophecy of Num.24??

It would only be my guess but they apparently thought the star was
significant enough to associate with Israel. Putting the OT prophecies
together to come to that conclusion does not seem out of the question in the

> I'd written:"Rather, the facts that (1) they did not know of the
> of Christ (a  fact which any Jew could have told them) and (2) that they
> to travel all  the way to Jerusalem in order to ask their question seems
> provide very  clear evidence that they'd had NO CONTACT WITH JEWISH PEOPLE
> AT ALL IN THEIR  OWN COUNTRY!  Brother Ross, what do you honestly think
> probabilities are that such men  (if indeed there were Jewish people
> in their own country) would have  travelled so far to find the information
> they needed instead of asking their  "next door neighbours"???  To be
> honest, I'm more baffled than ever with your insistence that the magi had
> indeed gotten all their revelation through Jewish people!!! "

Their was indeed a large Jewish population in Persia as there was in every
city of the Roman empire. To expect the locals of Persia to know where the
house of bread was in Israel is like expecting me to know where a particular
small town in another state is located.

> You responed:"The lawyers lived in Jerusalem so there would be no one with
> any more knowledge in the dispersion than the magi themselves."
> Brother Ross, Jewish people in the dispersion had the scriptures and , as
> whole were familiar with them! So what makes you think that "there would
> no one with any more knowledge in the dispersion than the magi
> themselves."??

Again, it is unreasonable to think people in a far away land would know the

> You continued:"Daniel had been put in charge of the magi and there lies
> connection. It is not far-fetched to think that Daniel would have had a
> significant and lasting effect on that fraternity not only as a result of
> his person but also the contributions he would have made which would
> Israel's literature. Now however speculative it is as to what effect
> may or may not have had, it remains a matter of fact that Daniel is the
> connection."
> Dear brother, you regard as FACT what is only a possibility!

Not so!

>You assume but do do KNOW that the magi came from Persia!

Yes, I am relying on the scholars here.

>But if Daniel was a connection
> (like about 500 years BEFORE the magi of Matt 2!) Daniel was one of those
in > the dispersion who was very familiar with the scriptures which seems to
> disprove your statement that no one in the dispersion had any more
> than the magi themselves!   I thought you had maintained all along that
> Jewish community in the dispersion  WAS ACTUALLY THE SOURCE OF THE MAGI'S

Exactly! You can't expect that the Persian Jews had perfect knowledge of
Israel though especially from 500 yr old writings.
> So now I am more confused with your view than ever!  If none in the
> dispersion knew more than the magi, how could the Jewish community in the
> dispersion be the source or channel of the magi's revelation of God????

Just from what was gleaned from Israel's writings (which they may have had a
lot more of than we do).

> Re. my question about Job and Abraham, you wrote:"So that there is no
> misunderstanding, I would agree with you that Job had revelation apart
> Abraham just as any one would have before then."
> Well brother, this is something that I had no idea you believed before
> Let me restate to you what I am hearing and ask you to verify if I am
> understanding you correctly....
> It seems to me from what you said above that, prior to Abraham's call by
> God,  God would reveal Himself to anyone, regardless of nationality. But
> after God called Abraham, God purposed that ALL of His revelation of
> to mankind would then come THROUGH ABRAHAM, ISAAC, JACOB AND THE NATION OF
> ISRAEL EXCLUSIVELY.   Have I heard you correctly?

More or less Bruce. I would allow for some transition until Israel became a
full nation.

> If so, are you aware of
> any scriptures which explicitly teach this doctrine?  Or is this one of
> "deductions" which you believe are just as valid or even more valid than
> explicit statements of scripture???

Not any other Scriptures than those concerning the subject. I don't see how
you can pit your interpretations of "explicit statements of scripture" as
being any more or less valid than my "deductions" from the "explicit
statements", plus the context, plus the history, plus the use of language,
as well as whatever other sources of evidence might be available. You can
shoot yourself in the leg and stick your other one in a bear trap and try to
travel, but I will use every available resource God has provided whether
that be a Chevy or a Lear jet. We don't have to be afraid of the helps we
have nor do we have to hide from the facts just because the scholars find
them for us.

In Christ,
Ross Purdy

House Church Talk is sponsored by the House Church Network.

House Church Talk has been renamed. These discussions, via the web, now occur at the Radically Christian Cafe.