God Is Not Our “Daddy”!

I’m sorry, but God is not our “daddy”! To call the Almighty God “Daddy” is misguided at best, and disrespectful (in Biblical terms, profane!) at worst!
I have never believed the claim that “Abba” is a term of childish endearment reserved for New Testament Christians. Going back to prophetic times or farther, it has been common for orthodox Jews of all ages, to refer to their parents as Abba and Eema. It is simply a respectful term for “father”, or the more Middle-Eastern form, “my father.”
The word, Abba, is found three times in the ESV New Testament:
Mark 14:36 (ESV)
[36] And he [Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane] said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
Romans 8:15 (ESV)
[15] For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Galatians 4:6 (ESV)
[6] And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
So, what is the significance of this twofold representation, if both words are equivalent? Abba was originally an Aramaic term, which was “borrowed” by Hebrew. It is the respectful way the children in Israel would have addressed their fathers. I believe that the Greek language of the 1st century Scriptures was simply repeating it the way it was spoken by Jews, and then translating it into Greek for those not understanding it.
There are a number of good treatments of this subject on the Internet. This link is one that goes into the origin of the false “daddy” idea:
By the way, an OT example of the same term is found in
Isaiah 8:4 (ESV)
[4] for before the boy knows how to cry ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria.”,
which is presented in the Complete Jewish Bible as
Isaiah 8:4 (CJB)
[4] because before the child knows how to cry, ‘Abba*!’ and ‘Eema*!’, the riches of Dammesek* and the spoil of Shomron* will be carried off and given to the king of Ashur*.”

Did God Abrogate the Dietary Laws for Jews?

Updated January 2022; fist posted February 2019.

Traditional interpretations of Scripture often seem to become Scripture over time. Peter’s vision in Acts 10 is a case in point:

Acts 10:10-15 (CJB)
[10] He began to feel hungry and wanted something to eat; but while they were preparing the meal, he fell into a trance [11] in which he saw heaven opened, and something that looked like a large sheet being lowered to the ground by its four corners. [12] In it were all kinds of four-footed animals, crawling creatures and wild birds. [13] Then a voice came to him, “Get up, Kefa, slaughter and eat!” [14] But Kefa said, “No, sir! Absolutely not! I have never eaten food that was unclean or treif.” [15] The voice spoke to him a second time: “Stop treating as unclean what God has made clean.”

The Hebrew term “treif“, here (literally, “torn”, as if by wild animals or by falling off a cliff), and its Greek equivalent, “koinos“, include any food that is non-kosher, profane (common), defiled, unclean, or unholy.

Most Christian theologians today, would say, “That is an object lesson, but it is also a clear statement that God has cancelled His own commandment!” But did He? First, let’s be clear, the Jewish dietary laws have never applied to non-Jewish believers! Torah was God’s teachings to Jews, His commandments to them to set them apart from the profane ungodly, as His holy people. The closest we have in the New Testament to a dietary commandment for non-Jewish believers, is an opinion delivered by James at the first church council, in Jerusalem:

Acts 15:19 (CJB)
[19] “Therefore, my opinion is that we should not put obstacles in the way of the Goyim [essentially, Gentiles] who are turning to God. [20] Instead, we should write them a letter telling them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from fornication, from what is strangled and from blood.

What was Peter’s understanding of his trance? At first, he didn’t get it at all! The voice had to tell him three times, “Stop treating as unclean what God has made clean” (vs 16). Yet, in the following verse, when he awoke from his trance, he “was still puzzling over the meaning of the vision he had seen” (vs 17). Then “While Kefa’s [Peter’s] mind was still on the vision, the Spirit said, “Three men are looking for you” (vs 19).

I think that is when the light dawned for Peter. The sheet was a vision, not a reality. The food on it was a vision. God wanted to teach him something. The vision wasn’t about food, it was about people! He was given an object lesson; the lesson taught him

Acts 10:28 (CJB)
[28] He said to them, “You are well aware that for a man who is a Jew to have close association with someone who belongs to another people, or to come and visit him, is something that just isn’t done. But God has shown me not to call any person common or unclean…”

Something else needs to be clarified: Peter’s attitude going into this incident was wrong to begin with. There is no commandment in scripture that tells Jews to shun non-Jews! There are only the traditions of the rabbis to account for it. A “cultural construct”. Got created all mankind “clean” from the very beginning. A Gentile in sin is no more defiled than a Jew in sin—in fact because God gave Torah to Israel, He holds them to a higher standard. God doesn’t defile mankind, we defile ourselves. Only God’s grace can restore the holiness we relinquish.

Paul, on Head Coverings

Something I said in Sunday School this morning needs clarification. I was discussing the Jewish tradition that men’s heads must be uncovered in synagogue and women’s covered, as contrasted with the opposite traditions among Christians. I speculated that the Christian custom might be a polemic against Judaism. My friend, David then rightly pointed out I Cor 11:4-5, which seems to command the Christian custom. When David and I discussed it after class, I mentioned that I had just read a commentary claiming that Paul was referring to hair but hearing his response I began leaning towards the theory that the Jewish view, since it does not seem to be according to a scriptural command, might instead be a polemic against Christianity. Much of present Jewish tradition comes via the Talmudic Era, roughly 200 – 400 AD.
Having now reviewed the topic in more detail at home, in its scriptural and historical context, I am now satisfied that neither hats, nor wigs, nor hair is intended here, but rather Middle Eastern veils! The Greek for “cover” in these verses is katakalupto, which comes from roots meaning to “cover wholly”, “down and over” the head. Many of you know that my favorite Bible translation is the Complete Jewish Bible, because its translator, David Stern, is a Messianic Jew who is very well versed in ancient Hebrew customs and tradition. Here is the passage in that version:
1 Corinthians 11:3-10 (CJB)
[3] But I want you to understand that the head of every man is the Messiah, and the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of the Messiah is God. [4] Every man who prays or prophesies wearing something down over his head brings shame to his head, [5] but every woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame to her head—there is no difference between her and a woman who has had her head shaved. [6] For if a woman is not veiled, let her also have her hair cut short; but if it is shameful for a woman to wear her hair cut short or to have her head shaved, then let her be veiled. [7] For a man indeed should not have his head veiled, because he is the image and glory of God, and the woman is the glory of man. [8] For man was not made from woman, but woman from man; [9] and indeed man was not created for the sake of the woman but woman for the sake of the man. [10] The reason a woman should show by veiling her head that she is under authority has to do with the angels.
So, what these verses are discussing seems to be, not so much choice of apparel or grooming, as roles within the church or synagogue (see I Cor 14:33-35; I Tim 2:9-15). Men are to lead, and women to defer to their husbands.
Is there, then, an implied Biblical Commandment regarding either head coverings, veils, or hair? I think that Paul is here endorsing the cultural norms of the day, at Corinth. His following words indicate that the above discussion does not carry the force of Edict:
1 Corinthians 11:13-16 (CJB)
[13] Decide for yourselves: is it appropriate for a woman to pray to God when she is unveiled? [14] Doesn’t the nature of things itself {Greek phusis, or natural growth} teach you that a man who wears his hair long degrades himself? [15] But a woman who wears her hair long enhances her appearance, because her hair has been given to her as a covering. [16] However, if anyone wants to argue about it, the fact remains that we have no such custom, nor do the Messianic communities {Greek ekklesia, local assemblies: synagogues/churches} of God.