UPDATED 08 JUNE, 2006
I saw a teaching that discussed the “Hebrew versus Greek mindset.” What does this mean?
There has been some teaching going around the Messianic community on the subject of the “Hebrew versus Greek mindset,” and unfortunately as we have observed there is usually a vague definition of both sets of thinking and some people get the impression that when “Greek thinking” is demeaned that likewise the inspiration of the Greek New Testament is demeaned. As these teachings vary, we find it very difficult to pinpoint an exact answer for the reader.
The most serious concern we have with many people reverting to the “Hebrew mindset” taught by some Messianics is that this Hebrew “way of thinking” may not be that of Yeshua, but of post-Yeshua Medieval Jewish Rabbis. This is not to say that what the Rabbis of Judaism have to say is invalid, but it must be viewed with caution and discernment. Likewise, we should certainly not interpret the Bible through the exclusive lens of the philosophies of Classical Greece. What is most important to anyone who wants to have an Hebraic world view, is that he must have a firm foundation in the Hebrew Scriptures or Tanach (Old Testament).
The best solution that we can offer to people who have been influenced by “Hebrew versus Greek mindset” teachings and have become confused is try to remain as Scripturally focused as possible. Always be sure to examine Scripture in context with other parts of the Bible, and understand the historical context of what is being written. As it concerns the Apostolic Scriptures, that includes a broad understanding of Mediterranean life—both Jewish and classical. Have a firm grasp on proper Biblical hermeneutics and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all things. Seek continuity among all of Scripture. The Bible is very clear that the mindset we are to have is the mind of Messiah (1 Corinthians 2:16), which is to orient us toward Him and His work.
For a further discussion, consult the editor’s article “The Work of the Holy Spirit: Perfection of the Mind.”