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Thread: "Fool"

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    tWebber
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    "Fool"

    I've heard that "fool" used to be mean someone who knew better but willingly blinded themselves on a matter, as opposed to someone who is just an idiot. Was putting forth a question to see if that is so. Also was wondering whether or not calling a brother "you fool," as in the Sermon on the Mount, could also be construed as calling your brother "idiot."

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    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    I read somewhere that calling your brother a fool was akin to calling a fellow Christian an unbeliever or atheist. Don't recall the exact verse in Psalm that states "the fool says in his heart, "There is no God"."
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christianbookworm View Post
    I read somewhere that calling your brother a fool was akin to calling a fellow Christian an unbeliever or atheist. Don't recall the exact verse in Psalm that states "the fool says in his heart, "There is no God"."
    I've seen this asserted but I didn't find it very convincing.
    For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. - Ambrose, 4th century AD

    All cruelty springs from weakness. - Seneca the Younger

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    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    I've seen this asserted but I didn't find it very convincing.
    What do you think? I was just saying that that is what I heard/read.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    tWebber John Reece's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christianbookworm View Post
    Don't recall the exact verse in Psalm that states "the fool says in his heart, "There is no God"."
    Psalm 14:1a The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” (ESV)
    Last edited by John Reece; 03-14-2014 at 09:00 AM.

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Reece View Post
    Psalm 14:1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” (ESV)
    Hebrew: אָמַר נָבָל בְּלִבּוֹ אֵין אֱלֹהִים

    LXX: ἄφρων ἐν καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔστιν θεός

    ἄφρων = fool (without understanding)
    in Luke 11:40,
    You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? (meant are the Pharisees).

    Matthew 5:21 has another word for fool: μωρός

    anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.


    Matthew 5:13 might inform about the meaning:
    You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt becomes tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

    if the salt becomes tasteless = ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας μωρανθῇ

    from:
    μωραίνω
    1) to be foolish, to act foolishly 2a) to make foolish 2a1) to prove a person or a thing foolish 2b) to make flat and tasteless 2b1) of salt that has lost its strength and flavour

    so μωρός = a drab, dull person.

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    tWebber John Reece's Avatar
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    Translation and comment on Psalm 14:1a by John Goldingay in Psalms Volume 1: Psalms 1-41 (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms, 2002):

    Psalm 14:1a : A scoundrel has said in his heart, "God is not here."

    The scoundrel is a nābāl, a fool (LXX) who has no insight (cf. verse 2), but also a villain, the opposite of the noble or honorable person (Isa. 32:5), the kind of person who rapes his half sister (2 Sam. 13:13) or scoffs at God (Ps. 74:18, 22). Here the psalm starts from the last kind of villainy. It is "a sustained comment on the nābāl." Sometimes such scoffing in the heart might contrast with outward words that profess commitment to Yhwh. Even an intellectual might not dare openly to deny God's reality―not a hesitation that survives into the modern world. But this psalm may have in mind a life and heart that match. The scoffing is not a superficial discounting of God. It takes place not merely on the lips but in the heart: it deeply characterize the person. Either way, saying "God is not here" (English versions: "There is no God") is not merely a statement of theoretical atheist conviction but a declaration that God can be discounted from everyday life (...). It is the attitude explicitly expressed by the Rabshakeh to Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:29-30) and implicit in the action of Nebuchadnezzar (cf. Isa. 14:14). Thus Targum's paraphrase "said in his heart, 'There is no rule of God in the land/earth'" may express the point, even if it is designed reverentially to hold back from expressing the conviction "God is not [here]" even on a scoundrel's lips.

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    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christianbookworm View Post
    What do you think? I was just saying that that is what I heard/read.
    I don't find it very convincing. This psalm does not seem to be addressing theoretical atheism, which I don't think was as common in ancient times as it is today, but rather a kind of moral atheism, whereby someone does not seem to believe that they will be judged or punished for evil deeds. I could be wrong, but that's my initial impression.
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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    tWebber robrecht's Avatar
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    Great minds think alike, but, as usual, John has the reference to back it up!
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robrecht View Post
    I don't find it very convincing. This psalm does not seem to be addressing theoretical atheism, which I don't think was as common in ancient times as it is today, but rather a kind of moral atheism, whereby someone does not seem to believe that they will be judged or punished for evil deeds. I could be wrong, but that's my initial impression.
    Indeed! That does make sense. Especially since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom(Proverbs). I would ask then to ingnore the ethiest part of my comment, then.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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