Psalm 5     Isaiah 56:1-8     Mark 7:24-30

I’m always fascinated when I read from other sources more on a subject our Bible has previously addressed.  The Bible is the greatest story book ever written, even with it’s spiritual aspects put aside.  One might think of the Bible as the book that illuminates and amplifies the accounts and stories of other books within a great library.  As an avid reader, my perspective on books I read is to a large degree shaped by what I’ve previously come across in the Bible.

In this Isaiah passage, the author tells that the followers of the LORD – including those foreign (vv. 3-8) to God’s fold, will reap blessings for what amounts to good living.  It should be pointed out that this message must have, at the time of it’s original writing, been viewed as controversial in it’s invitation of those foreign and eunuch’s.  Apparently, they existed within Israel, probably since the time of Joshua.  Traditionally, those would have been barred from worship and certainly the priesthood of Israel.

On another front, it was Aristotle (384-322 BC) who believed that true human happiness was dependent on the individual practice of virtuous living – both morally and intellectually (right thinking, intuition, wisdom, art, technical skill, and prudence).  Virtue is described as a disposition as well as an activity.  A primary virtue is friendships which are supposed to be based on the caring for another for it’s own sake; not on what can be gained from another.

It has been speculated that some Greek philosophers may have been aware of OT writings, through diaspora Jews spread amongst Alexander the Great’s Empire, because they so closely echo their thinking in many respects.  On the other hand, truth is truth regardless of it’s source.

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