EJ Hill – Cataleptic Parables

EJ HillEJ Hill’s Cataleptic Parables

EJ Hill, “the South African Theologian, Independent Nonconformist Christian Apologist, IT Consultant, Martial Artist (Emphasis added), Author, and former Charismatic/Pentecostal Pastor” [4] who is now a Reformed Charismatic, says that Jesus never told parables to convey literal, factual events or to teach real and actual incidents in the normal, run of the mill lives of people. He emphatically states in his article:  The Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Updated)

NO parable is to be interpreted literally. They are to be understood spiritually.

Hill’s interpretation that the rich man in Luke 16:19-31 personifies the Tribe of Judah, whom he also regards to be the entire Jewish nation, and that Lazarus represents all the materially and spiritually poverty stricken Gentile nations, is at best a very poor entertainment skit that deserves to be met with the most hysterical laughter imaginable. He says:

Biblically speaking, there is only one that fits ALL the descriptions of the Rich Man. Only one who“personifies” all of the symbols and identifying clues. And that is Judah and his descendants, the Tribe of Judah.

I. Like the Rich Man, Judah and his descendants were ‘rich’.
God Himself prophesied that Abraham’s descendants would be rich.

“But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.” (Gen. 15v14, ESV)

He then proceeds to show that virtually all the kings of Judah were extremely rich. His audacious use of the word “virtually” is no slip of the tongue or a coincidence because he knows very well that the King of Judah who is indeed the King of kings was not rich and neither were some of his apostles from the tribe of Judah (Thomas and Jude).

EJ Hill is an enigma who, in his quest for the deeper spiritual meaning of Jesus’ parables, seems to have no qualms to identify Jesus Christ from the Tribe of Judah with the rich man in Luke 16:1-31.

Oh, but he does manage to accommodate Jesus’ apparent lack of wealth when he declares:

However, apart from their material possession, Judah were also rich in a spiritual sense. They possessed something far more valuable than any of their material possessions – a treasure greater than any other on the face of the planet. To them He entrusted His Word.

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.”(Rom. 3v1-2, ESV)

“He declares his word to Jacob, His statutes and rules to Israel.” (Ps. 147v19, ESV)

So not only was Judah rich materially, but God bestowed on Judah His very word, and through Judah the very salvation of the world.

“You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is a from the Jews.” (Jn. 4v22, ESV)

Who, but Judah, possessed such wealth?

“For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon Him?” (Deut. 4v7, ESV)

If, as Hill asserts, the rich man’s excruciating painful experience in Luke 16:19-31 is not literal but merely a spiritual personification of the tribe of Judah (Abraham’s descendants, the Jews), then the rich man, like Judah by whom salvation came to the world [what Hill means is the “elect world”), should at least have been a blessing to Lazarus in the salvific, spiritual sense of the Word.  Guess what? The stinking rich personification of the Tribe of Judah didn’t give Lazarus a single thing, not even a crumb from his extremely sumptuously opulent table, let alone a spiritual blessing such as salvation. Surely, Mr Hill, the rich man’s pristine personification of the Tribe of Judah ought to have matched the tribe’s blessing to the world (including salvation), if he were to have been a genuine personification of the Tribe of Judah.

EJ Hill’s “Hill-arious” game of comparisons becomes even more “Hill-arious” when he equates Lazarus with the Gentiles. He says:

Lazarus Identified
Biblically speaking, there is only one that fits ALL the descriptions of Lazarus. Only one who“personifies” all of the symbols and identifying clues. And that is the Gentiles, the “goyim” [17] or non-Israeli, non-Hebrew, “non-Jews” [17]).

I. Like poor Lazarus, the Gentiles were ‘poor beggars’.

Lazarus was poor and hungry. He was so pitiful that even “the dogs came and licked his sores” (Lk. 16v21, KJV).

Throughout history, there were none as poor as the Gentiles. The Jews only allowed them to enter the Temple courts to a certain point. (Acts 21v28)

II. Like poor Lazarus, the Gentiles desired ‘the crumbs from the rich man’s table’.

If EJ Hill’s personification of the poor Gentiles (I assume Hill is a Gentile) had been a single grain of sand, his poor identification of Lazarus would have been the entire Sahara desert. Only he knows how to mould a person with a purely Hebrew Name like “Lazarus” into an uncircumcised Gentile. Wikipedia says “It (‘Lazarus’) is derived from the Hebrew (Eleazar) meaning “God has helped.” Nowhere in the entire Bible do we ever find a Jew personifying or representing the nature or circumstances of the Gentile nations. I’ve heard of many Gentiles becoming Jews by being circumcised but never of any Jews becoming Gentiles by being uncircumcised. Have you? Surely, if Lazarus were to have been a genuine personification of the poor Gentiles, then his name should at least have been something like Aurelius, Agrippa, Brutus, Caecilius, Cassius, Cicero, Domitianus, or something similar. Imagine an ancient scene where Lazarus’ neighbour meets him in the street and greets him as follows: Hi there Lazarus, how’s the personification of the poor Gentile nations feeling this bright and breezy morning?” and Lazarus answers: “Not so bright and breezy as the morning, my friend. I have been uncircumcised this morning so that I may represent the poverty stricken Gentiles of the world.” Upon which the neighbour says, “You don’t say.” “Yes, I do say,” Lazarus moans, “and may I add, it is a very difficult up-“Hill” road.”

EJ Hill assumes to warn his young friend as follows:

To my young friends, NEVER fall into the temptation of using fallible proofs to reinforce infallible proofs. NEVER stretch the truth. Doing so will not only undermine your fallible proofs, but also your infallible proofs. The opposition will, in time, find and overthrow your fallible proofs, and in the process also discredit your infallible proofs. If they discredit you on one thing, their followers and the public, will assume you are, most likely, also in error on the other.

This is good advice, very good advice indeed. Unfortunately, EJ Hill is not mindful of his own biblically proportioned exhortation. In my previous article “The Strange, Strange World of Calvinism” I explained that, if Jesus’ Christ’s suffering and death on the cross were to be a genuine substitutionary suffering and death, then He too had too suffer whatever unbelievers are going to endure in hell. And this, in reality, was precisely what He experienced when his Father had forsaken Him and He suffered the pangs of hell on the cross – an intense thirst after the Living Water from which He was cut off. The thirst after the Living Water the unbelievers are going to experience in hell is much, much worse than the most intense heat any fire can produce. It will be a worm-like gnawing thirst that never ends.

EJ Hill would do well to heed his own advice that the opposition who manages to discredit your infallible proofs, most likely will also prove you to be in error in the other major doctrines of the Bible – such as the doctrine salvation and how to escape the jaws of hell.

E.J. Hill has now converted into an Atheist.

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Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Tom Lessing is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

2 Responses

  1. Martin Horan says:

    The rich man the Jewish nation? Interesting because at the time Jesus told the parable, the Jews were under Roman rule. And didn’t Jesus say, “The poor are with you always” when Judas, was saying that the money for the perfumes ought to have beens spent on the poor?
    And what poor would he have meant other than the Jewish poor?
    Throughout history the Jews were mainly poor. They were driven into ghettos and even forbidden to have trades in “Christian” nations. A small minority were money-lenders because their “Christian” overlords forbade usuary among their own minions. These overlords were members of a that “church” lived of the backs of their own poor and didn’t mind having their own elites living in luxury from the tithes, taxes and indulgences they took from them.
    As to Lazarus being a Gentile name: Does EJ Hill apply that to the brother of Mary (Miriam in Hebrew) and Martha (another Hebrew name)?
    Also, what does “fallible proofs” mean? Surely once something is proved it is conclusive as proof. Then–please someone correct me if I’m wrong–surely whatever has been proven must be true. Maybe it’s just me, and I’d appreciate it if someone could explain it, but what can fallible or especially infallible proof mean?

  2. Martin Horan wrote:

    And didn’t Jesus say, “The poor are with you always” when Judas, was saying that the money for the perfumes ought to have beens spent on the poor?

    Very intereting point. I didn’t think of it. If Mr EJ Hill continues to interpret the Bible in the way he does, his new translation and interpretation of the Word may be available in bookstores very soon. I can assure you I won’t purchase one because it would be the best guide on how to get to hell since the beginning of time.

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