“And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” – Mark 1:22 NKJV
Jesus’ authoritative teaching, as the spoken Word of God, was in sharp contrast to that of the scribes (experts in the Old Testament Scriptures), who based their authority largely on that of other rabbis. Jesus’ direct, personal, and forceful teaching was so foreign to their experience that those who heard Him were “astonished.”
“desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.” – 1 Timothy 1:7 ESV
The false teachers wanted the kind of prestige enjoyed by Jewish Rabbis; but they were not concerned at all about going back to the original source – the very Word and Law of God and then teaching the truth of Scripture as it was clearly written.
“for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” – Matthew 7:29 NKJV
The scribes quoted others to establish the authority of their teachings; Jesus was His own authority because He came from the Father. He understood the law and it’s instructions and taught them accurately. In addition to this, Jesus not only spoke with authority He then acted upon the law and did what it commanded demonstrating His authority was from the Father.
The matter of authority was a major issue between Jesus and the Jews, who felt their authority challenged.
Just as in the days of Christ, the issue of authority is of utmost importance today. As much as possible we must go back to the original source whether we’re talking about America, our founders, or the Word of God.
Now, I am not at all equating the original documents of the Founding Fathers to be on par with the Bible and it’s original sources. However, the fifth device so obviously seeking to tear down America and Christianity is called, Academic Collectivism.
Academic Collectivism is when writers and scholars quote each other, and those from their tribe, rather than consulting original sources. This destructive and harmful tendency now dominates the modern academic world with heavy reliance on peer review as the almost exclusive standard for historical truth.
Once again I reference “The Jefferson Lies” by David Barton. Here is an excerpt from his thoughts on Academic Collectivism.
“An excellent, if chilling example of this historical malpractice is evident in a book called The Godless Constitution. In that work, Cornell professors Isaac Kramnick and Laurence Moore assert that the Founding Fathers were a group of atheists, agnostics and deists who deliberately set out to create a secular government. (The Godless Constitution, page 12,22,& 27). This text has become a staple in many universities across the country; law reviews, courts, and other professors now cite this work as an authoritative source to prove the Founding Father’s lack of religious belief. (Barton Footnotes his source on this #48 page xxii. Strikingly, however, at the end of the book where footnotes customarily appear, the professors candidly acknowledge that “we have dispensed with the usual scholarly apparatus of footnotes. Page 179 “The Godless Consititution.”” Page xxii from the Jefferson Lies.)
I looked the book up on the internet and discovered that the authors did not use one original source but rather, quoted others from their own academic field. The earliest documents for their sources were only two from 1955 (of 27 total sources throughout the text).
This type of peer review is incestuous, with one scholar quoting another, each recalculating the others reviews, but with none of them consulting sources or ideas outside of his or her own academic gene pool.
Some things never change! Jesus was dealing with a group of Jewish religious heretics that desired power and control over the Truth!
Here is an application for you and I: When someone spouts off about some aspect of Christianity or our country, ask a simple question—what is your source? More specifically ask, “Where is that in the Bible?” “What original document supports your premise for what the Founders believed?”
Listen, we might not know the answer but it will motivate you and I to dig into the Scriptures or to look for documentation from the original documents of America’s history (depending on what we are seeking to understand).
On Mission with You,