The New Testament Is Feelings Oriented While The Hebrew Bible Is Action Oriented

There’s plenty about action in the New Testament and plenty about feeling in the Hebrew Bible but the stereotype in my headline is generally true.

When the Hebrew Bible talks about loving God, it refers primarily to action, not feelings and theology.

My mischievous side just took over and I made this Facebook update: “Luke Ford got up in shul today and talked about what God had done in his life.”

I have never heard a Jew speak this way. We don’t speak about God acting in our lives. Our religion is not feelings oriented, it is law oriented. We don’t trust feelings and we don’t trust the heart and we don’t trust people to intuit what God wants and we don’t trust people to feel their way to God and goodness.

If I did get up in shul and speak about what God had done in my life nobody would notice because I would have nothing to say. I can’t get my head around talking with assurance about God acting in your life. How do you know? How do you know it’s not just your feelings acting in you? How do you know it is not a delusion?

I grew up a Seventh-Day Adventist Christian where talking about how God has acted in one’s life was the norm and you were a freak if you didn’t assent to this approach. Women used to hit up my dad –when he was single — and say that God had told them they were to marry. My dad would say that God had given him no such message.

In Judaic history, we believe that prophesy ended with the prophet Malachai about 2,400 years ago.

An Orthodox friend comments on my Facebook status: “But it could’ve been an impromptu dvar torah/spiritual release, while under the influence of vodka, during kiddush?”

“Well, it wouldn’t be the first time a chassid with a long beard was inspired to speak by his dear rebbe.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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