I had a little email exchange with my friend Eric that I want to share:
So, I was reading the article Jesus’ Command to “Hate” by R. Steven Notley, and it got me to thinking, could this interpretation of “hate” be used in Romans 9:13? (Just as it is written, “JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.” a paraphrase of Malachi 1:2)
I’m asking because I honestly don’t know. The Romans verse is a favorite of Pastor Fred “God hates fags” Phelps, and it would be interesting if it proved to be contrary to his interpretation…
Yes…that’s an example of the use of that word to show a comparative disfavor in Hebrew. “I prefer Jacob over Esau” is the way that verse should be understood. Jacob also did not “hate” his wife Leah either…he just prefered her less than Rachel.
Not that I have anything else to add, other than it’s dangerous to interpret scripture without taking the culture of the time into account.
I started volunteering at Care & Share today. As I was taping boxes together, a thought occurred to me; “this is why people don’t volunteer.” Well, not that job in particular, but jobs like it. There is no glory in “grunt” work. Nobody is going to tell you what an incredible person you are for doing it. Heck, you probably won’t leave feeling like you’ve made a difference in someone’s life afterward. I’ve come to realize that most people don’t help others just to help them; they often do so for what they can get out of it. “I volunteer at the local homeless shelter because it makes me feel good.”
So, I ask, can you step up and help someone just because they need it, or do you need the sense of accomplishment that accompanies it?