God’s wisdom is in the Bible and other sacred religious scripture. Seeking negative scipture to validate the right to hate other groups is not of God but of man’s descriptions of his belief systems. Individuals seeking to reject or hurt others seek out human writings in the Bible, which validate the right to discriminate, reject, punish and even kill those who are different and present different life styles, creeds or beliefs. Ecclesiates and Proverbs are books of wisdom, if your preacher is not preaching from wisdom but rather from writings suggesting who is acceptable and not acceptable by God, it is a warning signal that you are hearing the soul of man and not the message of Godari.

The Apocrypha

Around 330 BC, the Greeks under Alexander the Great conquered the Persians and established the Greek Empire. Judah became known as Judea, and for the next few hundred years it was governed by the descendants of Alexander’s generals.

The Jews participated in the Greek invasion of Egypt, and as a reward, they were allowed to settle in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. Influenced by Greek culture, the majority of Alexandrian Jews learned to speak Greek instead of Hebrew. In order to preserve their religion, the Jewish scriptures were translated into Greek. This translation was painstakingly compiled over the last few centuries BC.

Some of the scriptures that were translated into Greek had only been written in recent centuries, and although the Greek speaking Jews considered them to be sacred, they were not accepted as sacred by the Jews living in Judea. These controversial books have since become known as the Old Testament Apocrypha.

When Christianity first appeared, the early churches used the Alexandrian Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures as their Old Testament. The additional books of the Apocrypha were accepted by the early church as an integral part of the Bible.

After the Protestant churches split away from Catholic control around the 1600s, book publishers in Protestant countries like England and Germany removed the Apocrypha to reduce the size of the Bible and save on printing costs. The removal of the Apocrypha was encouraged by the Protestant bishops.

The Apocrypha still appears in many Catholic and Greek Orthodox editions of the Bible. One of the Apocryphal books is called Ecclesiasticus. It was written around 200 BC and translated into Greek around 130 BC. In the book of Ecclesiasticus, it says …

“When an intelligent person hears a wise saying, he praises it and adds to it; but when a fool hears it, he laughs at it and throws it away. In the treasuries of God’s wisdom there are many wise sayings, but God’s wisdom is an abomination to the sinner. The knowledge of wickedness is not wisdom, nor is there good sense in the advice of sinners. For great is the wisdom of the Lord. He is mighty in power and sees everything. And he does not command anyone to be wicked.

Perform all your tasks with humility. The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself, so that you will find favor in the sight of the Lord. Do not praise yourself, or you may fail and bring dishonor upon yourself. The Lord will reveal your secrets and dishonor you before the whole community, because you did not come in fear of the Lord, and your heart was full of deceit.

Do not say, “I have sinned, and yet nothing has happened to me”, for the Lord is slow to anger. Do not be so confident of forgiveness that you add to your sins. Do not say, “His mercy is great, he will forgive the multitude of my sins”, for both mercy and wrath are in him, and his anger will fall upon sinners.

Do not become a beggar by feasting with borrowed money when you have nothing in your purse. A rich person will exploit you if you can be of use to him, but if you are in need he will abandon you. Riches are only good if they are free from sin. Poverty is only evil in the opinion of the ungodly.

Do not cheat the poor out of their living. Do not add to the troubles of the desperate, or delay giving to the needy. Do not let your hand be stretched out to receive, and closed when it is time to give. Do not avert your eyes from the needy, or give them a reason to curse you. For if in bitterness, some of them should curse you, then the Lord may hear their prayers. The compassion of human beings is for their neighbors, but the compassion of the Lord is for every living thing.

Let those who are friendly with you be many, but let your advisers be one in a thousand. When you gain friends, gain them through testing, and do not trust them hastily. For there are friends who are such when it suits them, but they will not stand by you in times of trouble. And there are friends who will change into enemies and talk about you to your disgrace.

Keep away from your enemies and be on guard with your friends. Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter, whoever finds one has found a treasure. Do not abandon old friends, for new ones cannot equal them. A new friend is like new wine; when it has aged, you can drink it with pleasure.

Love your friend and keep faith with him; but if you betray his secrets, then do not follow after him. For a wound may be bandaged, and there is reconciliation after abuse, but whoever has betrayed secrets is without hope.

Do not reveal your thoughts to anyone. The mind of a fool is in their mouth, but the mouth of the wise is in their mind. The wise make themselves loved with only a few words, while all the loving words of a fool are wasted.  

Do not find fault before you investigate, examine first and then criticize. Never speak against the truth, but be ashamed of your ignorance. Do not be ashamed to confess your sins. Fight to the death for the truth and the Lord God will fight with you.

Listen to me, and in the end you will appreciate my words. Like a drop of water from the sea, or a grain of sand on the beach, so are our years among the days of eternity. Do not deprive yourself of a day’s enjoyment, and do not let your share of desired good pass you by. Reflect on the statutes of the Lord, and meditate at all times on his commandments. It is he who will give you insight into your mind, and your desire for wisdom will be granted.”

 

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