In the last couple of posts, I’ve been talking about the Greek Style of rational/logical thought which is the style of thinking that the majority of world (especially the West) currently operates under.
However, from today, I’m going to be discussing what scholars would term ANALOGICAL THOUGHT.
Analogical thought is a totally different animal than Greek rational/logical thought and IS THE STYLE OF THINKING OF THE BIBLE WRITERS.
In fact, the Greek style of rational/logical thought didn’t even begin to emerge until the times of Yeshua.
So let’s get started.
The simplest way to explain analogical thinking is to say that it operates based on patterns and models established in the past.
An analogical thinker looks for points of commonality shared between similar things.
For example, I’m pretty sure the Wright Brothers used analogical thinking in their early attempts to build the first airplane.
They observed that the common point between all flying creatures is that they all have “wings”.
So they figured that if they built a machine PATTERNED after the wings of a bird, it might also be able to fly.
Another important thing you need to know is that contrary to Greek thinking which works best in a vacuum, analogical thinking is dependent on RELATIONSHIPS AND CONNECTIONS.
Now notice in Leviticus that the Lord does NOT give a reason for each new law or command He gives.
Instead, He continues to one by one add new but similar laws to the mix.
Here’s the point you need to grasp.
The relationship between all these laws and commands TOGETHER results in an overall picture that gives us the meaning.
If you encounter a puzzling command in Scripture, instead of wringing your hair out trying to understand it as an individual stand-alone command, you need to view it as part of the whole.
You need to see how it is CONNECTED with the other commands in Scripture.
So for example, when we encounter God’s command in Scripture to not eat pork.
The Greek thinker will not view that particular command in light of its connection to the other commands in Scripture.
What I find to be chutzpah beyond the pale is that the Greek thinker will ignore the fact that the command is coming directly from the mouth of the Creator of the Universe Himself.
That is the one RELATIONSHIP or CONNECTION you do not want to ignore when studying the Lord’s commands.
Instead the Greek thinker will search high and low for some “logical” answer as to why God forbid pork and come up with ideas like the Lord had to forbid pork in ancient times because food hygiene practices were still primitive blah, blah, blah.
So how would the Hebrew or analogical thinker answer the question “why can’t we eat pork?”.
The Hebrew’s answer would simply be “because it HARMONIZES with the underlying principle behind all the other laws”.
In other words, the new rule forbidding pork is for the purpose of staying in perfect relationship to all the other rules.
In His parables, Yeshua also spoke using the analogical style of thinking.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.”
“The kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish.“
“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.“
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.”
Embodied in Yeshua’s parables are spiritual PRINCIPLES and PATTERNS that are eternal.
Yeshua got His point across by CONNECTING established and understood patterns to other things that at first glance don’t seem similar.
Of course, the Greek thinker is going to have a hard time understanding Yeshua’s parables.
“WHY in the world would anybody throw valuable pearls to pigs?”
“WHY would Yeshua relate a mustard seed to the Kingdom of Heaven?”
“WHY does an oil lamp running out of oil have something to do with Yeshua’s return?”
Notice the incessant “WHY? WHY? WHY?” of the Greek thinker.
If you want to understand some of the more puzzling parts of the Bible, STOP ASKING WHY!
The Bible ain’t no Greek philosophical treatise or science book man!
Instead look for the PATTERN that will connect everything nicely just like the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle that completes the picture.
The answers you seek are to be found in the ESTABLISHED patterns and principles you will find in the TORAH.
One thing about analogical thinking is that of course there must be a PRE-EXISTING or an ORIGINAL pattern from which what follows will model itself after.
So if you really want to understand the analogical thinking style of the ancient Hebrews (actually the entire ancient Middle East in general), understand that instead of the Greek style of thinking which always searches for the “why?“, the ancient Hebrew would instead be on the lookout for the “which”.
“Which pattern is true and relevant to this current situation I find myself in?”
That’s the question you’ve got to ask yourself.
Once you recognize the pattern, then the meaning will become clear.