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Author: Bob O'Dell

Published Date: September 14, 2018

Last time we gave you some things to consider. I wrote you a little letter and asked you “from where did I get my inspiration.” It was very easy to see that my little letter was inspired by Psalm 23.

We talked about what it might take to prove my letter was in fact inspired by Psalm 23, and we came up with four key points.

  1. I mentioned David directly, and said “the Lord is his shepherd” which was practically quoting from that Psalm.
  2. About 10% of the words in my letter were actually words from Psalm 23.
  3. Not only did I use a lot of words, the vast majority of those words were used in the same consecutive order, in my letter, as they were used in Psalm 23.
  4. Finally, even when I didn’t use the exact same word, there were cases where I was using THOUGHTS or CONCEPTS from Psalm 23. For instance, my letter said that God shall “supply our needs” at the exact place in my letter where Psalm 23 says “I shall not want.”

All these things taken together prove conclusively that my letter was in fact inspired by Psalm 23. We then said, that if my little letter were to ever become part of the New Testament that almost everyone would have seen the connection to Psalm 23 immediately.

Today, we will finish preparing you to receive a great harvest, a great discovery about the New Testament. Given that we are currently in the Days of Awe between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we felt it would be more appropriate to finish our preparations this week, and have the “big reveal” next week!

This week is still a time of personal and national reflection. It should be a time of introspection and repentance. So let us wait to celebrate this discovery here at Root Source on the first day of Sukkot, the Feast of the Ingathering, the Feast of Tabernacles. Just like Sukkot is a time for enjoying the harvest of the season, I promise to share with you the entire discovery, the entire harvest next week.

So how should you think about this week? Consider it as the Second Dinner invitation from Esther to which you have been invited! You do not know exactly what is going to happen, but something will happen. So let us finish our preparations this week and get you ready to understand the significance of what has been found.

To see the video associated with this transcript, please click here.

Last week, we began to prepare your mind. This week I would like to do my best to prepare your mind — and your heart.

 

Third Training Room — Hide and Seek

Come with me into the third training room where you will find a table, and on that table is a letter. The letter you are about to read is specifically addressed to Christians, and you will see multiple references to the Jesus in it.

Yet, the letter you are about to read has been inspired by a single passage of scripture. Your job is to read my letter and guess what is that passage.

NOTE: This is going to be much harder than last time, so PLEASE don’t feel bad if you don’t see it! Just give it a try.

Dear Christian Friends, I have heard that many of you are concerned about the direction this world is currently heading, and what evil might befall us. Do you believe that when Christ was resurrected and went to heaven, that it was as if He wanted to leave us all alone and in harm’s way? Of course not! When trials, difficulties or even evil comes our way, let us never be afraid, for as Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 31:6 “He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Furthermore, Jesus has promised that if He leaves, the Comforter, who we know as the Holy Spirit, will be there to lead us into all truth. But, yet you might ask me, what if I stray to the point of my love for Christ growing cold, what then? Our Lord is longsuffering with us! He tells John that He stands at our door and knocks, saying in Revelation 3:20 “if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” So let each of us resist all lies of our enemy to believe that we are but lost and forgotten sheep in this world, but rather may we trust in God’s lovingkindness today, tomorrow and forever. Sincerely, Bob O’Dell

Do you have any guesses as to what passage of scripture inspired my letter? I will give you one hint — none of the passages from which I quoted inspired my letter. It is a completely different passage not mentioned at all.

With that extra hint, would you venture a guess?

That letter is, once again, inspired by the same passage as last time. It is inspired by Psalm 23.

This task was much harder than last time, but what are the clues? First, let us look at the number of shared words in that letter as compared to Psalm 23.

Dear Christian Friends, I have heard that many of you are concerned about the direction this world is currently heading, and what evil might befall us. Do you believe that when Christ was resurrected and went to heaven, that it was as if He wanted to leave us all alone and in harm’s way? Of course not! When trials, difficulties or even evil comes our way, let us never be afraid, for as Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 31:6 “He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Furthermore, Jesus has promised that if He leaves, the Comforter, who we know as the Holy Spirit, will be there to lead us into all truth. But, yet you might ask me, what if I stray to the point of my love for Christ growing cold, what then? Our Lord is longsuffering with us! He tells John that He stands at our door and knocks, saying in Revelation 3:20 “if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” So let each of us resist all lies of our enemy to believe that we are but lost and forgotten sheep in this world, but rather may we trust in God’s lovingkindness today, tomorrow and forever. Sincerely, Bob O’Dell

This time only 8 words out of 218 were shared with Psalm 23 rather than 22 last time! That is only about 4%. In order to see the true connection we must also look at the conceptual connections. They are highlighted below.

Dear Christian Friends, I have heard that many of you are concerned about the direction this world is currently heading, and what evil might befall us. Do you believe that when Christ was resurrected and went to heaven, that it was as if He wanted to leave us all alone and in harm’s way? Of course not! When trials, difficulties or even evil comes our way, let us never be afraid, for as Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 31:6 “He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Furthermore, Jesus has promised that if He leaves, the Comforter, who we know as the Holy Spirit, will be there to lead us into all truth. But, yet you might ask me, what if I stray to the point of my love for Christ growing cold, what then? Our Lord is longsuffering with us! He tells John that He stands at our door and knocks, saying in Revelation 3:20 “if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” So let each of us resist all lies of our enemy to believe that we are but lost and forgotten sheep in this world, but rather may we trust in God’s lovingkindness today, tomorrow and forever. Sincerely, Bob O’Dell

“Afraid” is connected to the concept of “fear” without using that exact word. “Never leave you nor forsake you” is connected to the idea of what is the job of a shepherd! It is also a vague reference to the parable of Jesus saying which of you would not leave the 99 sheep to rescue the one. “Comforter” as a proper name of the Holy Spirit is a shared word, but also a shared concept to “thy rod and thy staff comfort me.” “Stray” is connected to the idea of sheep wandering off the trail. “Dine with him” in Revelation is being connected to a “preparing a table for us.”

So IF YOUR GUESS was Psalm 23 as having inspired my letter, then it was probably a combination of both the words that I chose, along with the concepts I used that tipped you off.

But remember, if you GOT IT, you still had 2 tremendous advantages over any other person. What were your advantages? First, you were told that the letter you were about to read, was inspired by a passage of scripture. Second, you had just spent time last week looking at an example of Psalm 23. So you already had Psalm 23 in your mind!

This is why the discovery that we will reveal next week was so difficult to notice. It’s not difficult, it’s just that nobody was in the frame of mind to actually look for it!

But your HEART was already prepared for the idea that a letter from me might be inspired by a passage of scripture! So you were like the Mr. Optimistic of last week. You were already open to the existence of a connection!

Now, let’s say 2,000 years had gone by, and all you had was my letter. Do you think you could convince Mr. Skeptical that my letter was inspired by Psalm 23? I can tell you that you would not be able to convince him, even with all the clues I just showed you. Why not?

Because…

My letter was too short, and Psalm 23 was too short as well. When a pattern is not obvious, it must be tested over a longer period of time, it must be tested over more data, before it can be proven!

So how do we fix this? How do we convince Mr. Skeptical that my second letter is inspired by Psalm 23? Here is what I think it would take.

Let’s imagine that my second letter to you was ten times longer. Imagine that this letter used some words and phrases from Psalm 23, and then the next section of my letter began to use words from Psalm 24 and the next section of my letter used words from Psalm 25, and so on?

Now this might not be enough for Mr. Skeptical, but then, what if, in just the right place in my letter, I actually made a direct quote from Psalm 25? And what if just in that place in my letter, where I share some words with Psalm 26, I also use a specific phrase from Psalm 26 that is used nowhere else in the Bible except Psalm 26! And so you find that my letter has ten sections, corresponds to ten Psalms in succession!

With all that evidence, then, even Mr. Skeptical would have a hard time winning a debate against you.

And that, my friend, is the kind of convincing case that stands behind the discovery we will reveal next week.

 

One Last Topic of Preparation

But there is still one last question to be answered. For what purpose might I write a letter to you, and have it connected to a passage of scripture in the Hebrew Bible?

The answer is illumination. Dual illumination. Illumination that goes in both directions. I would contend that my little letter to you illuminates for you, as a Christian, Psalm 23 in a different way than you had seen it before. And, if my little letter were to ever be something important, that was ever studied (I know it won’t be, but if it was studied), then a fuller understanding of Psalm 23 could in fact illuminate both my thinking, and my heart to you, that which I carried inside of me as I wrote you my letter.

Illumination.

What is another word for illumination? Commentary.

My little letter is not only “a letter to Christians,” it is in its own quiet way, in addition, a commentary on Psalm 23.

Commentary.

If I were a Jew writing commentary 2,000 years ago, my commentary would be called… a midrash.

A midrash is a Jewish commentary that illuminates a passage of the Bible. After the destruction of the Second Temple, Jews began to change their mind about simply passing down wisdom verbally. They began to write it down. Thus, there are many Jewish commentaries that were recorded starting about 200 CE. They are referred to collectively as the midrashim, the plural of midrash. The most famous of the midrashim is the Midrash Rabbah (or great commentary) that has many different authors who comment on various passages of the Hebrew Bible, the Tanach, that we call the Old Testament, including the five books of the Torah.

Title page of Midrash Rabbah translation into English on Archive.org

The most common style in the early Midrash Rabbah is to “write the verse down” such as Genesis 1:1, and then weave together other passages of scripture in other books like Daniel, Isaiah, Proverbs and Psalms to try to illuminate the specific verse of the commentary.

The New Testament has for years been considered to have something akin to a midrashic style. Researchers have written papers showing how one passage of the New Testament is in fact or in part, a midrashic interpretation of a passage in the Hebrew scriptures.

For those who study Jewish roots or Hebraic studies, you will commonly hear broad statements such as proclaiming that the New Testament is essentially a midrash on the Hebrew Bible, the Tanach. But that kind of general statement would only be accepted by a minority of Christians today, even if for no other reason that most Christians have never even heard the term midrash, much less laid eyes on one.

It is also possible for a Christian to learn and use Midrashic principles to write their own personal commentary on portions of the Torah, including concepts from New Testament as well, and many believers/followers of Jesus/Yeshua have done so.

But next time, we will reveal a discovery about the New Testament that has profound implications, and is different from anything else we have seen. I spent a year looking at this before I was willing to stand here and wave a flag and say “look over here!” This is real.

Next time we will introduce you to the discovery through the mouth of the man who first discovered it. We will hold nothing back any more! You have completed your training preparations.

Have a safe, deep and meaningful Yom Kippur and prepare your heart to receive a harvest of knowledge next time, as we enter the Sukkot holiday, a holiday of great joy. Come celebrate God’s goodness next week.

Next week we will introduce the discovery, then in the week following we will look at its implications, and in the final week we will look at applications of the discovery.

Until then, this is Bob O’Dell of Root Source saying, “Shalom.”

 

 

 

 

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