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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 7: The End of the Wicked

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 7: The End of the Wicked

In our last presentation, In the Hand of God, which was our commentary on the first part of Wisdom chapter 3, we had already begun to speak of the end of the wicked in comparison with the fate of the righteous, where we had cited certain of the Psalms of David that address these same subjects which we see being treated at length by Solomon here. But where we allude to the end of the wicked, we do not mean to state that men of the Adamic race who lived wicked lives will cease to exist, or be destroyed in the figurative Lake of Fire. Rather, the end of a man can refer to his destiny in other ways.

In Wisdom chapter 4, for example, Solomon wrote of the wicked as being “a reproach among the dead for evermore”, and then described them as being called to account for their sins. This evokes a passage in Daniel chapter 12 which we have also already cited, where the prophet describes a resurrection to shame and everlasting contempt, which shall apparently be suffered by certain wicked men. In any event, reproach for evermore and everlasting contempt indicate an eternal existence even if it is a miserable existence when compared to what has been promised to the righteous. As we have seen, the Adamic spirit was created in the image of the eternity of Yahweh God, and God cannot fail.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 6: In the Hand of God

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 6: In the Hand of God

In our last two presentations of this commentary On the Wisdom of Solomon, which discussed chapter 2 of the book, we saw a Portrait of the Wicked, and then a portrayal of a righteous man, which we also identified as a Portrait of the Messiah, since every aspect of Solomon’s portrait of the righteous man, who would be persecuted by the wicked on account of his righteousness, was fully manifest in the life and ministry of Yahshua Christ. But just as significantly, the Gospel of Christ is an announcement to the scattered and sinful children of Israel of the very same message which is found here in chapters 2 and 3 of the Wisdom of Solomon. Therefore it should be evident that there are multiple reasons why we consider this section of Wisdom to be a Messianic prophecy.

First we saw the wicked portrayed as being covetous and lustful men, who would dominate the righteous, the weak and the poor, and rule over them with their own sense of righteousness just so that they themselves can live wantonly in a quest to gratify their own desires. Then we saw a righteous man portrayed as being intractable to the wicked, as rebuking them for their sins, and ultimately as being killed by them, the only way by which they could remove him because he is an obstacle to their quest for gratification. But now we shall see that the righteous have a reward for their righteousness, which the wicked cannot even perceive, and therefore in the end, the wicked shall never succeed. This is revealed at the end of chapter 2, where Solomon had concluded that the Adamic man is indeed immortal, as Yahweh God had originally created him for that purpose, and then in the opening of chapter 3 where he announces the fate of the righteous...

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 5: Portrait of the Messiah

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 5: Portrait of the Messiah

In the first part of this second chapter of the Wisdom of Solomon, we saw a Portrait of the Wicked, which is actually a timeless description of some of the natural tendencies of wicked men. Now we shall see more of those tendencies described in relation to the attitude of the wicked towards the righteous. They are portrayed as declaring their own concept of righteousness and seeking to uphold it forcibly by the might of their own strength, which is a manifestation of the pagan and humanist phenomenon of “might makes right”, and which in turn is really only the law of the jungle and justifies tyranny. With this attitude, the wicked are portrayed as justifying the oppression of the weak, the elderly, and the righteous in their pursuit to gratify their own fleshly desires.

Yet the truly righteous man is an obstacle to the wicked, because he declares to them their sin and stands firmly in opposition to them on account of their sin. So they are depicted as saying, as we would translate verse 12 of the chapter: “Therefore let us lie in wait for the righteous; because he is intractable to us, and he is opposed to our works: he reproaches us for our transgressions of the law, and imprecates the transgressions of our education.” There we also see that in spite of the fact that they seek to implement their own law, the wicked nevertheless are forced to acknowledge that there is a greater law by which the righteous condemn them, and for that alone they hate the righteous and seek to destroy them.

Perhaps with the exception of the Bolshevik Revolution, of which the actual circumstances were purposely hidden from the people of the West for many decades, nowhere in recent history is this phenomenon of the hatred which the wicked have for the righteous more evident than it is today. God-fearing White Christians are being persecuted for their Christian profession, and are hated merely for being White. Today the righteous are being openly and systematically persecuted for nothing else but speaking out against evil. The so-called “Black Lives Matter” organization, and also the so-called Antifa organization with whom it is partnered, are only fronts for the imposition of global communism, by which the wicked hope to steal the wealth of the righteous and destroy Christianity forever, as well as any concept of a White race. They hate Whites for being Christians, and they hate Whites for upholding the rule of law.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 4: Portrait of the Wicked

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 4: Portrait of the Wicked

The Wisdom of Solomon is timeless. Its portrayal of the wicked is probably much more relevant today than when it was written.

In our last presentation of this commentary on the Wisdom of Solomon, we already began to introduce the second chapter of the work, and discussed aspects of its opening verses, as they provide a conclusion to ideas which were introduced in chapter 1, as well as an introduction to what is described throughout this chapter. I had also presented and briefly discussed this second chapter of the Wisdom of Solomon in Part 45 of my commentary on the Gospel of John, which was titled Gods and Emperors. That is because this chapter, as a whole, may be seen as a Messianic prophecy, and this first half draws a portrait of the wicked which also very well describes the attitudes and behavior of the men who had opposed Christ during the time of His ministry, and also mentions some of the same sentiments or practices of the wicked for which Christ had rebuked them. Then the later half of this chapter draws a portrait of a just man whom the wicked would persecute for his righteousness, and that also very well describes Christ Himself. Being wrapped in passages which discuss death and resurrection at the beginning of the chapter, and professing that God created man to be immortal at the end of the chapter, it is manifest that the whole of this chapter is indeed a Messianic prophecy.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 3: The Remedy for Sin and Death

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 3: The Remedy for Sin and Death

In the first two presentations of this commentary on the Wisdom of Solomon we hope to have refuted many of the criticisms of the work, which set out to prove by its language and vocabulary that it was not written until the first century before Christ, or according to some claims, even later. Those same critics usually repeat the unfounded claim that it must have been written by some Alexandrian Jew. However as we discuss the actual content of the work, we hope to make it evident that such claims are also false.

One avenue of investigation in our answering the critics of Wisdom was left open where earlier we had described a source which claimed that fragments of the Wisdom of Solomon were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. In an article found at an internet ministry this claim was made and a book was cited, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction by one Gleason Archer, which was first published in 1974. We ordered a used copy of that book, which we expected to be the same 1985 edition of the work as was quoted by the article in question, but it was not. Instead we received a “revised and expanded” 1994 printing. This newer printing does not mention the Wisdom of Solomon, and we surmise that the article was citing an appendix to the book, because the pagination is different, which is a catalog of books found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. We may further pursue this, but Wisdom is not listed in the 1994 version of the catalog.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 2, The Introduction of Wisdom

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 2, the Introduction of Wisdom

In the opening presentation of our commentary on the Wisdom of Solomon, we provided and refuted many of the popular academic opinions of the work and the frequently-repeated criticisms concerning the nature of its text, by which the provenance and veracity of the work have long been challenged. So although we have already provided commentary on the opening verse of the text, which we also hope to continue here, we realized that some of the newer material discussing the Wisdom of Solomon had further-developed criticisms which must also be addressed. So before continuing, we shall do that here.

In the introduction to its own presentation of the Wisdom of Solomon, the New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS) claims under the subtitle “Character of the Greek” that “There is widespread recognition that the [Wisdom of Solomon] was composed in Greek… The book is an example of a protreptic work (προτρεπτικὸς λόγος), an exhortation to adopt a particular philosophy, and it deploys literary genres familiar from Hellenistic rhetorical texts including the diatribe… the ‘problem’ genre… and the comparison (σύγκρισις…) Correspondingly… the book is written in a good Greek style and shows none of the characteristics of translation Greek.”

Yet it is commonly exhibited that the Book of Proverbs is also “an example of a protreptic work… an exhortation to adopt a particular philosophy”, and further, that the literary diatribe is a common feature of the writings of the Hebrew prophets. Some examples of Classical Greek literature have been recognized as having the attributes of the genre more recently identified as the Problem Play, such as the 5th century work of Euripides titled Alcestis, as are other early works, as well as the Book of Job which is found in the Bible, which we can certainly esteem to date to as early as the 12th or 13th centuries BC, however it definitely predates the Classical Greek period. Lastly, the σύγκρισις, or synkrisis, is a literary form of comparison, and it has been identified as a feature of both the gospel of John and some of the epistles of Paul, especially in the epistle to the Hebrews. But forms of the so-called σύγκρισις are also found in the Hebrew Old Testament. So none of these features of grammar are exclusive to Hellenistic writings, and these charges against the Wisdom of Solomon are meaningless because these things do not prove it to be a product of the Hellenistic period.

On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 1: Addressing the Critics

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On the Wisdom of Solomon, Part 1: Addressing the Critics

Here we are going to examine an apocryphal book of Scripture which I have often cited in my commentaries on various books of the New Testament, and especially in the recently-completed commentary On the Gospel of John. This book I have always accepted as being canonical in spite of the fact that evidence of its great antiquity is very scant, and no original Hebrew version of the work is known to have existed. But rather than judging the book according to the words and deeds of the world, I have chosen to judge it based on its contents.

This book is the Wisdom of Solomon, which I will often identify simply as Wisdom here. It was accepted as canon in the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches, but it was rejected and relegated to apocryphal status by Protestants, who certainly seem to have followed the Jews in this regard. The Wisdom of Solomon was included alongside the other books of Wisdom of the Old Testament in the 4th century Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B) and in the 5th century Codex Alexandrinus (A), but it is not found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

At least one source, an online denominational ministry, has published an article on the Scrolls which claims that fragments of the Wisdom of Solomon were found among the scrolls, citing A Survey of Old Testament Introduction by one Gleason Archer, which was first published in 1974. But I have not yet been able to verify this claim, since it is not supported by the first edition of Archer’s work. In the author’s Appendix 4 there is an Inventory of Biblical Manuscripts from the Dead Sea Caves, as he titled it, which has no reference to Wisdom. But the book was revised and updated in 1996, and I have not yet been able to access that edition, as this information is new to me. [I have already ordered a copy of the book.]

Ecclesiastes, Part 8: Even Vanity is Vanity

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Ecclesiastes, Part 8: Even Vanity is Vanity

It seems to be often overlooked, that the first syllable in the word culture is cult. The first definition of culture listed in the Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary is “the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also : the characteristic features of everyday existence (such as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time.” Our definition would be a little different, but the point should be made.

Historically, in societies which are free of tyranny, the people shared a common origin, myth, tradition, and religious practice, which was actually a part of their daily lives from early childhood. The values of their society were ingrained into them during their educational process, taught to them by their parents from infancy. What to think about God, life, death, morality and sin, the people around them, other nations and races, all of these things are taught them in their upbringing, and are taught consistently in every phase of life. But tyrannies are generally compelled to codify and enforce their own religious beliefs and practices by either force or law, when they have objectives which conflict with the values of the organic nation over which they rule. For this reason, in chapter 16 of the Book of Acts, we see where certain Roman citizens were confronted with the Christian Gospel and they complained to the magistrates and said “These men agitate our city, being Judaeans, and they declare customs which are not lawful for us to receive nor to do, being Romans!”

When Rome was a Republic, its people naturally agreed to cooperate because they had a common origin and a shared culture and values. When Rome became an empire, its citizens were required to pledge allegiance to the emperor, even making sacrifices in temples dedicated to the emperor, and their daily practices and customs were restricted by law. The eventual acceptance of Christianity is often blamed for fracturing the Roman people and precipitating the downfall of the empire. However it is clear that the empire and its people had already slid into a state of decadence, and it had already begun to crumble long before Christianity was accepted.

Ecclesiastes, Part 7: The Rhetoric of the Skeptic

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Ecclesiastes, Part 7: The Rhetoric of the Skeptic

As we have already seen in our earlier presentations of Ecclesiastes, the Preacher frequently employs skepticism as a method of teaching, and he also uses much repetition by which he can introduce new aspects for each of the subjects upon which he lectures. So here once again, in chapter 9 of the work, we have more skepticism and further repetition as he returns to topics which he had already discussed in the earlier chapters of the work.

But now his skepticism is magnified beyond pessimism, where he expresses an attitude of nihilism, and it is apparent that this too is a rhetorical prevarication, since it stands in contradiction to the Preacher’s earlier declarations concerning the works of men and the judgment of God. For example, in chapter 3 the Preacher had said: “17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work”, or for every deed.

Now he shall once again urge men to consider God and judgment and the necessity of obedience to God for reason of judgment in Ecclesiastes chapter 12. But he only hints at these things here in this chapter, for instance in verse 8 where he exhorts his readers to “Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.” The reasons for such an exhortation are not given explicitly until we come to his final conclusions in chapter 12. In the meantime, the Preacher is using skepticism and nihilism as rhetorical devices, and his true purpose is to illustrate the vanity of man and the futility of life without God. We must also remember that the Preacher had already proclaimed that it was God Himself who purposely subjected man to vanity, in order to be exercised in travail, in chapters 1 (1:13) and 3 (3:10) of this work, and therefore there must be a greater purpose for the exercise.

 

Ecclesiastes, Part 6: Wisdom and the Power of Authority

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Ecclesiastes, Part 6: Wisdom and the Power of Authority

We do not usually report on news at Christogenea, and we generally ignore all of the school shootings and other mass shootings, unless we can document for ourselves the details. So I think the only mass shooting we wrote about or discussed here was the alleged Whorlando Homocaust. The recent Florida shooting seems to be just as real as that one, another fake news psy-op orchestrated in a community that is heavily Jewish. But neither is it our purpose to discuss that.

But there is another recent event which does have our attention, which shows just how fast we as a nation are sliding into the fires of hell. That is a recent court decision in Hamilton County, Ohio, where a seventeen-year-old girl has been taken from her parents because her parents were denying her desire to transition herself into somehow being a boy. This is according to WCPO in Cincinatti (or Sin-sin-atti, a name which should be spelled using the letter s, not the letter c), where we read in a recent article that:

A 17-year-old Hamilton County boy who has spent more than a year fighting to be recognized by his family and the world as a boy finally has just that.

A ruling handed down Friday by Juvenile Court Judge Sylvia Sieve Hendon awards custody to the boy's grandparents, with whom he currently lives and who have supported his gender transition.

Notice that the article from WCPO has already accepted that this child is a boy, even while it is still a biological female and before it has actually undergone whatever medical procedure may make it a male [like, maybe medically attaching appropriate biological appendages]. The article also makes the supposition that because some local judge decided the girl can be a boy, that the entire world would support and follow the judge's decision....

Ecclesiastes, Part 5: Wisdom and the Power of Sin

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Ecclesiastes, Part 5: Wisdom and the Power of Sin

Presenting our commentary on Ecclesiastes chapter 6, we discussed the vanity of poverty and wealth. The Preacher had presented us with three examples of circumstances in the lives of men, and the evils that befall two of them. The first example was of the man who, having been blessed with riches, was blessed by Yahweh in his later years to enjoy the fruits of his life’s labors. Then there was the man who accumulated riches and was bereaved of them so that he lived his later years in want. Finally, there was the man who worked a long life and had many children, but who had never enjoyed any luxuries all of the time that he lived.

While it was apparent that the men of the latter two examples were undergoing trials imposed on them by Yahweh, whether or not they had sinned, it is also evident from other Scriptures that the man in the first example, the rich man who enjoyed his wealth, was also being tested. But this is not evident unless we examine the Law and the Gospel. In the Law we learn that wealth is given to men by Yahweh so that He may establish His covenant, in Deuteronomy chapter 8. Understanding that, wealthy men should abide the Gospel of Christ and employ their wealth in a manner so as to build His Kingdom, seeking to store treasure in heaven rather than to increase their earthly treasures even further. So this might be the most difficult of these three examples for a man to live up to.

Ecclesiastes, Part 4: The Vanity of Both Wealth and Poverty

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Ecclesiastes, Part 4: The Vanity of Both Wealth and Poverty

Resuming our presentation of Solomon’s Ecclesiastes here with chapter 6, as we have already explained, there are going to be times when we shall necessarily repeat ourselves, because the work itself is quite repetitive in nature. But we have also explained that as he repeats his themes, the Preacher adds different perspectives or new elements to his subjects. With this we have concluded that the repetitious nature of the work is one of its teaching methods, just as the skepticism which is often expressed is also a teaching method. Making repetitive remarks, the author expresses and addresses skeptical concerns in different ways.

The labors of life, the vanity of those labors, the trials which man must undergo only to die in the end empty-handed. And regardless of whether he had been impoverished or wealthy, the oppressed or an oppressor, his fate is the same as all other men, and with this he has no comforter. That was the theme which the Preacher had employed in chapter 4 of Ecclesiastes, that man has no comforter to succour him in his trials, while all of his own labors are vanity. However the antithesis to the skepticism and the dismal outlook of the Preacher is found in Christ, since He is the Comforter of men, as He described Himself, as it is recorded in John chapter 14, and as Paul had also described Christ in the opening passage of his second epistle to the Corinthians. Ultimately, the Preacher will answer his own skepticism in this same manner, that all things are in the hand of God and that He shall judge every good or evil work. But he does not make that conclusion explicit until the very last chapter of the work.

Ecclesiastes, Part 3: The Comforter

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Ecclesiastes, Part 3: The Comforter

Proceeding through our presentation of Solomon’s Ecclesiastes, it is evident that there are going to be times when we shall be compelled to repeat ourselves, because the work itself is quite repetitive in nature. We have also discussed, as our writer himself had explained, why we believe that this preacher is indeed Solomon, the ancient king of Israel. But we have called him the Preacher because that is what he had called himself as he wrote this work. As he repeats his themes, the Preacher also uses different perspectives or adds new elements to his subjects. Therefore we can see that the repetition of the work is one of its teaching methods, just as the skepticism that the Preacher often expressed is also a teaching method. Making his repetitive remarks, the Preacher expresses and addresses skeptical concerns in different ways throughout this work.

The transience, or vanity, of man, the cyclical nature of worldly existence, the fact that man ultimately dies without any apparent reward for his labors, or any ability to enjoy them once he is gone and therefore he must leave them to the enjoyment of others, these have been the primary subjects of the Preacher. And even though he laments such vanity, where he exhorts men to keep the commandments of God we realize that while all may appear to be vanity, all is vanity without God. Therefore with God, it becomes evident that all is not in vain, that there must be something greater in the end, some greater purpose underlying man’s apparent vanity. Realizing this, we must admit that for man, for the Adamic man which Yahweh created to be immortal, the skepticism of the Preacher is unwarranted because there certainly is a God.

In chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes the Preacher added to his lamentation over the vanity of man the idea that men were no different than the beasts, who also labored and died. However there the Preacher had also asserted that it was God who purposely subjected man to vanity, and that man should therefore fear God, because “God requires that which is past” and “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.” Considering this, we must conclude that man’s labors do indeed matter in the end, that man will be judged for his works, however it is also apparent that man will be judged for the works of his life apart from and beyond whatever worldly riches he was able to accumulate during that life. Later on, in the Gospel, Christ taught the same difference between the accumulation of worldly riches, and the accumulation of treasure in heaven by the good things that a man may do in this life.

Ecclesiastes, Part 2: Vanity and Deliverance

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Ecclesiastes, Part 2: Vanity and Deliverance

Presenting the opening chapters of Ecclesiastes, we showed how this work was attributed to King Solomon from the earliest times, and also how it accords very well with the life of Solomon, once we realize that it must have been written in the later part of his life. Only in the life of Solomon do we find someone who could have had the experiences of this writer, who called himself the Preacher but who also claimed to be a son of David and king over all Israel. Then in addition to these assertions, there is also the confession of an abundantly opulent lifestyle which the historical Scriptures describe for us in the life of Solomon. Writing this book, the Preacher is now reflecting back on that life and assessing its value.

Ecclesiastes was written to lament the plight of man, that none of the works of man seem to be of any benefit to him at the end of his life, because he must leave the fruits of them to others. Realizing this, the Preacher turned to mirth and decadence, but neither did he find any satisfaction in those things. Making our own assessment of his words, we explained that the Preacher had purposely employed skepticism as a teaching method throughout his discourse. All is vanity, he proclaimed, but what he really meant to say is that all is vanity without God, something which is further revealed to us as we make our way through these subsequent chapters of his work.

Ecclesiastes is poorly understood by many Bible readers, since the skepticism it expresses is often mistaken for Scriptural truth. But rather, that skepticism is merely used as a literary device in order to demonstrate that without God, man has no hope at all. Regardless of what he does with his life, in the end he dies like all other men, and all are eventually forgotten. Reading the book, Christians should understand that the conclusions of the skeptic are wrong, because there is a God. The Preacher makes that expression where he declares the importance of keeping the Law. Here in this chapter, chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes, the Preacher informs us that it is God who subjected man to this travail, for man to be exercised in vanity. If man is being purposely exercised in vanity, then there must be something for him beyond this life, or the exercise itself would be in vain. Here we must ask, does even God act in vain?

Ecclesiastes, Part 1: Methods of The Preacher

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Ecclesiastes, Part 1: Methods of The Preacher

Before beginning a commentary on Ecclesiastes, let me first make the confession that none of my commentaries on Scripture are founded on worldly learning. I never went to Bible school, I never studied other mens’ commentaries, and I have little idea what the supposedly learned men say about most aspects of Scripture, or about individual books of Scripture. Neither am I going to research any of them for any particular commentary. With only a few exceptions, on the infrequent occasions where I have tried to read a popular commentary on a portion of Scripture, I have been disappointed, and sometimes even angered by what I have seen. For the most part, my only experience with the popular commentaries is through the editing work which I have done for Clifton Emahiser, who quotes from them frequently.

So when I write my own commentaries, I seek out only what information I can glean from or about the oldest available manuscripts, and I base my commentaries on what I have come to understand from Scripture itself and from classical histories and whatever I remember from my own readings of these and other works, such as the apocryphal literature or the ancient inscriptions of the neighboring cultures. Therefore, whether I say anything new, or whether I repeat anything old, for me to contend with or to mimic any of the traditional commentaries is not premeditated. Rather, I only seek to provide a discussion of Scripture through the lens of that proper covenant theology which is found in our Christian Identity understanding.

However, in my readings of archaeological journals and other worldly sources I am familiar with at least many of the claims of the critics of Scripture. Concerning this particular book, Ecclesiastes, they point to Aramaic or Persian words or other seemingly foreign aspects of its language, and they assert their own interpretation of these things in order to cast doubt upon the veracity of authorship, whether it be claimed or attributed. Here I will only state that their presumptions do not make inevitable their conclusions, as other reasons may also be given to explain the circumstances. The ancient Hebrews did not live in a vacuum, and often they did have foreign influences. For that they were even chastised by Yahweh their God. The ancient Hebrews themselves also greatly influenced the surrounding nations. Under David, and for a long time after David, they did indeed occupy and rule over all of the lands from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates River, and at least as far north as Hamath. So Solomon ruled over a great part of the Aramaic speakers of his time.

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