211 – FABLES
What is a fable? A fable is a moral allegory, a moral truth expressed in the form of a fable or allegory, or under the veil of fiction. Fable is a legend, a popular tale, and a myth. Mythology tells about fabulous gods. The Mount Olympus of the Greeks was the place where the Greek gods lived. A fable is, in resume, a tale or myth, something that is not real. It is a lie.
There was an ugly man who lived in the times of Christ, deformed and stuttering, who became notable for the fables he wrote. His name was Aesop, the Phrygian.
Are there fables in the Bible? Let us look at what the apostle Paul says about the issue. “As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus, in order that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal from our instruction is love with a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Tim. 1:3-6). In verse three, Paul refers to the doctrine of the Church. In verse four, he affirms that some of the Church, instead of preaching the sound doctrine, spent their time discussing fables or genealogies that do not edify the kingdom of God, a kingdom which consists of faith alone. In verses five and six Paul declares that those who occupy themselves with the investigation of fables and genealogies stray from the faith.
It becomes clear that in the rising church there multiplied fables, that is, legends or tales that hindered the edification of the Church and the kingdom of God. Further in the same letter to Timothy, Paul declares that such fables were profane. Now, to profane is to violate the sanctity of the Gospel. To profane is to violate a sacred thing. Let us read the text in which Paul clarifies these things. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness” (1 Tim. 4:1-7).
Paul warns the Church in this text that the profane fables are doctrines of demons and deceiving spirits, fit for the hypocrites. Those fables dealt with prohibitions (1 Tim. 4:3).
Paul warns the Church that the fables that so disturbed and undermined the Church of his times belonged to the Old Testament. “This testimony is true. For this cause reprove them severely that they may be sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth” (Titus 1:13-14). Now, the Jews all attended the synagogues and followed rigidly the teachings and the Law of Moses. As Paul speaks of Jewish fables, and also of the commandments, it is obvious that the fables were those fabulous stories of the great killers, such as Gideon, Jephtah, Samson, and others. In the New Testament the order was to save the souls of the bad and the lost, and in the Old Testament the order was to kill all. The mythological heroes of the Old Testament killed men, elder people, children and women without pity, and Paul, condemning these fables, recommended Timothy: “Have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7). David had thirty-seven valiant men. One of them killed 800 men in one attack. Another one fought against the Philistines injuring them for the entire day, until his sword was glued to his hand. Another one by the name of Abishai killed three hundred in one attack. Another yet killed three lions, and hurt a huge Egyptian. The only thought of the thirty-seven was to kill. They were the fabulous warriors that we see today in fiction pictures. The valiant men of Jesus, all of them, gave their lives to save the lost and doomed, the very ones whom the valiant men of David killed without pity and were commanded for doing it, considered fabulous heroes. In their feats, the biblical heroes were like the Greek heroes of the ancient mythology. Achilles is a replica of Samson, or rather, Samson seems to have been in reality what Achilles was in the legend. The vulnerable spot in Samson were his hairs, and the weak spot of Achilles was his heel. Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia to assure the victory against the enemies, and Jephtah did the same, for he sacrificed his own daughter to Jehovah in order to obtain a victory (Judg. 11). Paris, the heir to the throne of Troy, fell in love with Helen, wife of Menelaus, king of Mycenae, and kidnapped her. Consequently, Troy was overturned. Pluto, whose name was also Hades, was, in Greece, the king of the hells, and ruled over the dead. The devil, or Satan, is the king of hell, and has the power over death (Heb. 2:14-15).
Demon, in the Greek language, is “divinity.” These divinities had the power over, and oppressed men. These same divinities oppressed the Jews from the times of Moses on (Lev. 17:7; Ps. 106:37; Matt. 11:18; Luke 9:1; Job 7:20; 8:48; 1 Cor. 10:21; James 2:19). Pluto, whose name was also Hades, was the king of the hells of Greece, and ruled over the dead. The devil or Satan is the king of hell and has the powers of death (Heb. 2:14-15). David fell in love with Bathsheba, wife of Uriah, and laid with her in the absence of her husband. From this incident on, began the disgrace and the end of the kingdom of Israel, for Solomon, son of Bathsheba gave the start to the destruction.
Peter the apostle, in his second letter, says: “
For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Pet. 1:16). It is obvious that Peter, as well as Paul, made reference to the Jewish fables. The truth is that Jesus does not belong to the concert of the law of Jehovah (Heb. 7:18-22). Jesus descended from another galaxy to try and save a few, carrying them over from this dark and unjust world to a world of righteousness, kindness, light and love (Col. 1:12-13; 2 Pet. 1:13).
by PASTOR OLAVO SILVEIRA PEREIRA