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Raymond Harris

I am Raymond Harris, the Administrator for Faith and Conviction, and the primary contributor, authoring articles and publishing videos.

I am an ordinary fellow who took a strange route to get to where I am.

When I began Faith and Conviction, it began as a class project when I was a student in Bible School (2004-2006). In 2006, I became a pulpit minister, and I quit pulpit ministry in 2010. Elsewhere, I have written about that experience and why I stepped away.

Up until this update for my About, I managed Faith and Conviction with a ministerial approach. Because I saw myself as a minister my previous About page read as a professional bio.

I am not going to become casual with Faith and Conviction, because I take seriously my faith and my conviction. But my approach to Biblical studies has changed substantially, and how I present those things is changing.

My studies of the Bible include the following.

I study the Scriptures within their historical, social, and cultural context. I study the Scriptures with a contextual awareness of their literary nature; for example, I study with the aspect that poetry does not have the same authoritative doctrinal weight as historic prose. I study the Scriptures accepting that metaphors and symbolism (allegories, analogies, parables, similes) do not have the same interpretative weight as commands and statements.

I do not study the Scriptures using Replacement Theology. In order for Jesus to be Messiah of Israel, I study accepting that Jesus has to be faithful to the Torah (Law of Moses). Jesus is the anointed one of God, the Promised one to Israel; because Jesus is descended from the Davidic Line, Jesus is the King of Israel and as King of Israel Jesus is required to be governed by the Law of Moses. I also accept that Jesus is a Rabbi and as such taught the Law of Moses. Therefore Jesus did NOT replace the Law of Moses as has been commonly taught.

Based upon the arrangement of the Hebrew Canon (The Law, The Prophets, The Writings), I study the Scriptures as having a graduated doctrinal weight. The Law of Moses has the most weight. The Law has more weight than The Prophets. The Prophets have more weight than The Writings. For doctrine, this means everything (Joshua-Revelation) is measured against the Law of Moses (Genesis-Deuteronomy), including Jesus and his teachings.

Theologically, while Jesus is the King of Israel, Jesus is also a Prophet. This means I accept his teachings on the level of The Prophets, knowing that The Prophets have to be faithful to the Law of Moses. The NT Epistles, with perhaps the exception of Revelation, I accept on the level of The Writings, which means in some instances, NT Epistles have authoritative weight akin to Solomon’s wisdom, which means in some instances it applies, in other instances it doesn’t.

I am an accredited graduate of University, having a Bachelors of Business Administration with a major in Computer Information Systems. I am a graduate of a Bible School, having an unaccredited Bachelors of Bible Studies.

Prayer, spiritual reasoning and rationale, along with the above study parameters and those theological perspectives, influence my approach to interpreting Scripture. I continue improving my studies of the Hebrew and Greek Languages, and continue developing my understanding of the history, culture, and society surrounding the events within the Scriptures and how their presentation of theology affects my understanding of the text.

My studies challenge the conclusions others have drawn, and challenge what is commonly accepted, whether Jewish, Christian, or Messianic Jew, or possibly otherwise. I study to understand the authorial intent of the Scriptures. I also study the history surrounding the First Century AD/CE.

I consider myself unlearning much of what I was given. I consider myself continuing as a student of the Scriptures. What I learn from my studies, I present. If one feels that what I present is beneficial, then may they be blessed. If one takes exception with what I present, then may they also be blessed.

Updated October 24, 2016