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GoldenEagle

Fasting in the Bible?

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Is fasting mentioned in the Bible? What is it?

 

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Matthew 6:16-18

16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.


Notice above Jesus said "when" not "if" you fast.


Acts 13:2-3
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.


Acts 14:23
And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.


Apparently fasting and prayer was common in the early church.


Thoughts anyone?

God bless,

GE

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Matthew 6:16-18

16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Notice above Jesus said "when" not "if" you fast.

Acts 13:2-3

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

Acts 14:23

And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Apparently fasting and prayer was common in the early church.

Thoughts anyone?

God bless,

GE

yes, the Lord Jesus referred to fasting; but the Lord Jesus also taught that one should keep all the Law of Moses.  His  ministry was to Israel; the Church was yet future ("I will build").  Thus not everything the Lord Jesus said to Israel under the Law & in view of the Kingdom proclamation, "Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand," is directly applicable to the Church.  He kept the Fri 6 PM - Sat 6 PM Sabbath also, which the Church was told not to keep.

 

What is relevant are the passages addressed to the Church, & IMHO, not the passages which are only in the Textus Receptus of the KJV, but verses supported by the oldest manuscripts. 

 

The mere historical record of what was done does not provide a commandment either.  It is recorded that they squabbled over distributions to widows; but that does not imply we should squabble.  The error of "primitive" is that whatever was done in the early church must thus be done in the church age down to today, as if we could not have electric lights becs the early ch did not have them.  However, I do think we should take notice & consider what they did.

 

We also find Paul taking a nazirite vow & shaving his head when it was over.  Of course the early Church started with Israelites who continues Mosaic Law practices.  At one point Paul also got involved in Temple ritual (right before his arrest at Jerusalem).

 

What is really relevant are any passages which issue commandments to the Church on the subject.  And I don't know of any.

 

BTW, if you are going to fast the way the Lord Jesus did as in Mat 4, it appears that you will have to be non-hungry until the very end of the fast.

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Matthew 6:16-18

16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Notice above Jesus said "when" not "if" you fast.

Acts 13:2-3

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

Acts 14:23

And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Apparently fasting and prayer was common in the early church.

Thoughts anyone?

God bless,

GE

"Apparently fasting and prayer was common in the early church."

 

What evidence do you have of fasting among Gentiles in the early church?

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and it probably should be today.

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When the Holy Spirit tells a believer "it is time to start praying and fasting", just do it. From experience, just do it.

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Is fasting mentioned in the Bible? What is it?

 

As to what fasting is, it is important to consider the context carefully; is it talking about a religious practice or merely not-eating (as for example because of stress or no food available).

 

Abridged & shortened articles from BDAG Lexicon on the 3 words, one = fast νηστεία (a noun), one νῆστις (another noun) = not eating, hungry,

the other (to) fast νηστεύω, a verb :

[it doesn't take long to learn the Greek alphabet. 

Only these characters are not recognizable from English here:

ν = n,

η = ē (e in señor)

ω = ō (long o), the omega,

σ = s]

 

νηστεία  ‘fasting’.

    1. the experience of being without sufficient food, going hungry gener., of hunger brought about by necessity: pl. of oft-recurring situations through hunger 2 Cor 6:5.  often without food 11:27.

    2. the act of going without food for a devotional or cultic purpose, fast

    a. of public fasts: of the Day of Atonement

    b. of private fasting,  Of Moses on the mountain Mt 17:21; Mk 9:29 v.l. ; 1 Cor 7:5 v.l.  Lk 2:37.  pray and fast Ac 14:23.

νηστεύω,

to fast as a devotional rite, among Jews and Christians: as a sign of grief Mt 9:15 v.l.; Mk 2:19f; Lk 5:34f 

and Jesus  Mt 4:2 fast for forty days and forty nights.

 

Ac 13:3.  Ac 13:2 

Jesus and his disciples do not fast Mt 9:14; Mk 2:18; Lk 5:33

 

Right and wrong attitudes in fasting Mt 6:16–18. 

 

(Mt 5:44)

 

Pious Israelites used to fast twice a week Lk 18:12, on Monday and Thursday.

 

νῆστις = not eating, hungry

[listed as a noun, but strictly should be called an adj.]

Mt 15:32; Mk 8:3.

 

There is a significant difference in occurrences between the Textus Receptus & the older manuscripts; the TR (KJV) has more occurrences.

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When the Holy Spirit tells a believer "it is time to start praying and fasting", just do it. From experience, just do it.

amen to that.....   

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I noted in the thread this shot off of the student body all got together and fasted...

That was not a fast as it is to be done in secrete to The Lord individually... Love, Steven

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