New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



NT Church Proliferation Digest Tuesday, August 27 2002 Volume 02 : Number 152
RE: [NTCP] Getting aquuainted
[NTCP] RE: Church in Trinidad
Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles
Re: [NTCP] mistaken identity
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
RE: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops
RE: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? (silent women)
Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? (silent women)

Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 18:51:11 +0200
From: "Keith Smith" <castillofuerte * airtel>
Subject: RE: [NTCP] Getting aquuainted

Having read what you wrote. Are you really saying that Jesus is not God?

Konfussed Keith


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Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 17:16:40 +0000
From: "David Jaggernauth" <abccom * hotmail>
Subject: [NTCP] RE: Church in Trinidad

Dear List,

Hello from Trinidad. I wish to share something that happened recently in one
of the homes we had a meeting at.

The meeting had been going quite well since we started it. The family was
reporting some breakthroughs in their lives,however we noticed that they
continually had only bad things to say about pastors they knew. There wasnt
a pastor's name from our country thatI could call that they didnt have
something very negative to say about them,including some from abroad.
Anyway,we tried to establish some rules in the beginning and one was that we
werent going to discuss other pastors business during our fellowship.

After a few months,they indicated to us that it would be difficult to
continue meeting on our regular Saturday afternoon schedule so we
acknowledged their request. We had five members of our group that met with
them regularly. They requested that only two of us meet with them but during
the week.We said okay,if this is what they wanted we would accomodate.

The people who we left to continue are prophetically gifted,both of them. I
figured the reason they wanted them is because they always wanted to get a
word to hear what the Lord says concerning them. They went from despising
prophecy to running after it.

The two brothers who continued meeting them began to run into some problems
with them.The family began having some domestic difficulty again. One of the
problems in that home was that the wife had a controlling manipulating
attitude and it has driven her husband away.he still lives with them but no
relationship,no love. She also has her children in bondage to her.

During the last meeting the two brothers who went began to talk about what
the the Lord had laid upon their spirit. They began to speak to the wife
about the biblical role of a husband in the home,his spiritual authority.
They counselled her that she should share responsibilty with her daughter
and allow her husband to also make decisions. She responded to them that she
doesnt trust her husband neither her daughter.

At some point she became upset and asked our two workers to leave the house
which they did promptly. The woman has since been slandering one of our
brothers saying that he was trying to make passes at her daughter ( not
true). She called up one of the two brothers (who is of african descent, the
other is east indian ) and began to make racially prejudicial comments to
him concerning the east indian brother, trying to bring division even in our
own group.

We all instantly recognized this as an attack of the enemy,especially the
way it came out of nowhere.

Since then the meeting has stopped,evrything is in a mess,and I am at a loss
right now as to what to do next concerning that house.

After considering the situation carefully I realised the mistake we made was
in letting them dictate to us who would handle the meeting. The input that
was needed in that home was mainly pastoral and neither brother flowed in
that gift. In hindsight I regret that we didnt consider more carefully what
was needed.

When the entire group met we were able to maintain more balance and order in
the meeting. The pastoral gift flowed and there was peace. I have had the
experience of being able to bring peace in situations by speaking just a
few wordsof wisdom, especially in evangelistic outreaches.
This is a learning experience for us.

I am not sure how to proceed next concerning that home.

Any thoughts or advice from anyone.
David Jaggernauth

Trinidad.


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Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 13:39:46 -0700 (PDT)
From: Vanessa DiDomenico <van3hijos * yahoo>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles

It could easily also be the devil, getting people to think they are
Christians, and then Christ might say when they get to the doors of
heaven: I never knew you. The devil likes to play God, when people are
looking for God. And it might all end up in real problems.

Vanessa


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Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 19:31:17 EDT
From: CWOWI * aol
Subject: Re: [NTCP] mistaken identity

Thanks! I've been told now that I've responded 5 times...oh well...hope the
abusers of the rules will either show the courtesy everyone deserves and
follows the guidelines or steps will be taken to remove them from the loop...
Thanks!
John


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Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 20:04:50 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Fred Jeavons wrote:

>Do any of you hear the Lord's thoughts on this or am I asking the question
>prematurely as debate can precede spiritual understanding. But how will you
>know when the truth is arrived at? Will it be a consensus of opinion...?
>
Dear Fred. the best words can do is give us a rough idea, or provide
some raw material for revelation. The understanding is in the doing.

David Anderson wrote:

"In 1 Cor we are talking about silence of WIVES with respect to questions
that should be asked later at home. In 1 Tim we are talking about silence
WITH RESPECT TO TAKING AUTHORITY OVER YOUR HUSBAND IN THE INTERACTIVE
MEETINGS. God knows all about the huge male ego problem and he has
graciously inserted these wonderful provisions for the sake of decorum
and domestic tranquility after the meeting, ... if you know what I mean."

Dear David, It looks to me like Paul was reading a letter as he was writing 1 Corinthians. I think if you look at it, He was quoting that letter, what it reported was going on in the assembly. "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to
be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the
church." (As I understand it, there are no quotation marks available in the original.) Paul then goes on to refute what has just been reported: "What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant."

In other words, in this context, at least, Paul was not teaching the silencing of women, on the contrary he was rebuking it.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 06:35:08 -0400
From: "Richard Wright" <wright47 * sc.rr>
Subject: RE: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles

While I understand your point, the logic is faulty. These women are
amazing on a human level, but it does not necessarily follow it is of
God. People do brave and amazing things all the time that have nothing
to do with the power of God. It may well be of God, but not for the
reason stated.

I agree with those who believe the western church has misapplied the
"women silent" admonition in scripture, and when I served as an elder in
a Plymouth Brethren assembly, I drew a lot of flack for attempting to
change their rigid practice of women not speaking in the meeting.

It never made sense to me that they should be silent during the breaking
of bread, and then be allowed to speak freely an hour latter during the
Bible study portion of the meeting; and then remain silent again during
the worship time.

The above not withstanding, I can not make the leap to women in
positions of authority and leadership in the assembly, namely as elders.

Blessings,

Dick
Phil.3:12-14


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Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 14:15:19 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? - female bishops

John F. (for whom I felt embarrassed and sorry about the recent identity
mix-up; please keep posting ... please) wrote:

> I think most of us have studied how women
> were kept separate from the men in a meeting,
> and with the freedom in Christ wives were
> calling out to their husbands for understanding
> ...thus the confusion and lack of order during a
> service which prompted Paul's teaching here.

Dear NTCP list members,
The following is a short list of reference works dealing with the
issue of women, veils, submission, and authority (primarily focusing on 1
Cor. 11), and my evaluations of each commentary. I hope this will help
illustrate the possible dangers of constructing a backdrop (see John's
comments above) to explain difficult sections of the Bible. Sometimes we
hit something solid; more often than not we're simply stabbing at the air
seeking something to lessen the impact of the text as written. Without
realizing it, we find ourslves trying to avoid the implications of a point
or concept in Scripture that we find puzzling or distasteful. My advice for
what it's worth: do the hard thing. By faith. Walk through the door of the
difficult or the unknown ... and *then* you may just discover why it was
written that way. My experience has been that when I am willing to take God
at His word-- making proper allowance, of course, for obvious metaphors,
hyperbole, other figures of speech, etc.-- He makes it worth my while to
obey Him. Even when it's difficult or puzzling. Either way, please beware
of creating backdrops to passages in the Bible unless there is actual *hard
data* to support such a posited construct. There is no such data to support
all the various "backgrounds" I've heard/read for 1 Tim. 2:12ff, 1 Cor.
14:34, or I Cor. 11. Believe me, I've tried to go that route; I've checked
into it. What is written in the canon is all we have to interpret them.
Anyway, here is my list:

1.) In his critical commentary, Hans Conzelman attributes much of Paul's
reasoning about women to the apostle's Hellenistic Jewish background. For
Conzelman, Paul's argument is centered on the term (head) to which he has
attached the meaning of eikon (image). Therefore, according to this view,
Paul is finding theological justification for his cultural prejudice. 1
Corinthians (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1975), pp. 182-191. We should
reject this view.

2.) Another opinion which should ultimately be dismissed is that the veiling
of women in the ancient world stemmed from the mistaken association between
a woman's head and her sex organs. Since the one must obviously be covered
in public, the other should be too. Dale B. Martin, The Corinthian Body
(Yale University, 1995), pp. 228-239. Though this book is more relevant to
the issue at hand than you probably think, it falls short of providing more
objective data on the subject by filtering everything through a
"quasi-Freudian psycho-sexual" framework which, in the end, distorts Paul's
message to his 1st century audience-- and to us.

3.) I think he's on the right track when James D. G. Dunn argues that Paul
is not taking a stand about women being veiled because of social convention.
Rather, Dunn says, the 11th chapter lays out a theology based on a hierarchy
that has been woven by God into the natural order. Dunn's commentary is
illustrated with various Roman and Greek religious reliefs and statues which
show men and women worshipping at pagan shrines in a variety of ways, heads
of either gender both covered and uncovered. This dispels a hard argument
that Paul was seeking to get the Corinthians back to an established social
norm. It is apparent from these works of art that at different times and
places there were different customs. 1 Corinthians (Sheffield, England:
Sheffield Academic Press, 1995), pp. 231-240. Remember, Paul says all the
churches of his day-- Jewish, Greek, and Roman-- had only one custom based
on apostolic tradition, the veiling of women (1 Cor. 11:16).

4.) An excellent exegetical commentary on 1 Corinthians was written by a
scholar named Ben Witherington III. He is careful with the text and
knowledgeable of the types of 1st century cultural issues Paul may have
encountered. He concludes that Paul was reiterating something the
Corinthian church already knew-- that women should wear veils when vocal in
church services as a means of affirming their submission to male leadership.
It seems, Witherington maintains, that there was a "feminist" faction within
the congregation who saw in the Pauline teaching on our "equality in Christ"
an invitation to assume leadership roles whether their husbands liked it or
not. Conflict and Community in Corinth (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans
Publishing Co., 1994, pp. 182-185).

5.) This also agrees with John Coolidge Hurd JR. who, in addition, suggests
that the well-to-do in the Corinthian church were bringing pagan worship
styles to church with them, one of which was (he contends) that women wore
their hair uncovered while the men did the opposite. Though there are some
interesting things to note here, this view is ultimately dispelled by the
photos in Dunn's book (as noted above), is speculative, and does not seem
to bring out the plain sense of the biblical text. The Origin of 1
Corinthians (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1983), pp. 70-75).

6.) John Ruef takes a refreshingly cautious approach to 1 Cor. 11. He stays
close to the text while occasionally bringing in cultural insights that are
relevant. He too (and I think rightly) sees Paul's insistence on women
being veiled while publicly praying or prophesying as a reflection of the
natural order as established by God. Paul's First Letter to Corinth
(Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1977), pp. 110, 111.

7.) John Lightfoot combines both the "cultural" issues and the "created
order" issues together into a palatable package which even takes into
account Paul's Jewish background. The contention goes that since Jewish
custom (biblical culture, if you will) is often a reflection of God's
creation, then the veiling of women in Israel properly portrays the way
things are meant to be everywhere, including Corinth. He illustrates that
Jewish women veiled themselves out of "shame" which translated into
reverence for the Almighty. The advantage of Lightfoot's view is that it
seems to include reasonable explanations for each of the difficult sayings
in 1 Cor. 11. Although he sometimes is uncritical in his approach to
Hebraica, he nevertheless explains the thought-forms of the ancient Jews so
that the phraseology of Paul in this hard-to-interpret section fits better
with that world-view. The disadvantage is that he leaves himself open to
the charge of legalism by not qualifying how Jewish culture should be
normative for the Corinthian church when Paul seems to have been fighting
that idea on all fronts. Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud
and Hebraica vol. 4 (Peabody, MT: Hendrickson Publishers, 1979), pp.
229-241.

It is said that variety is the spice of life. However, as with the
above list, when different well-intentioned folks create differing backdrops
as lenses through which to view difficult or distasteful sections of
Scripture, the result is often more confusion, ... not clarity. What we
thought was a solved problem re-surfaces with all its disturbing
implications as soon as we meet another differing backdrop to explain the
same biblical passage. What we end up doing in the process of creating a
"background" is trading in the authority of God's inspired written
revelation for the assumed authority of a mental construct of our own (or
someone else's) devising-- dangerous and slippery ground for understanding
God's will for our lives and for our church-related endeavors. For the
*vast majority* of cases, enough clues for what God expects of us exist in
the *text* of Scripture alone ... gleaned solely by *carefully* reading it.
Free of posited backdrops. Our job then is to depend upon Christ to believe
what is written, gather the courage to possibly stand alone, and then in the
power of the Spirit, to *do or not do* what the text says we are to do or
not do.

Michael
Jerusalem


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Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 07:51:40 -0400
From: "Fred Jeavons" <fjeavons * jtc.on.ca>
Subject: RE: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Jay,

"the best words can do is give us a rough idea, or provide some raw material
for revelation. The understanding is in the doing."

I wasn't totally sure what you meant by "the understanding is in the doing".
Did you mean that the process of "words" gives occasion or opportunity for
understanding (similar to the idea that you can only steer a ship when it is
moving)?

Fred J
- ---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft).
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Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 08:31:19 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Fred Jeavons wrote:

>Jay,
>
>"the best words can do is give us a rough idea, or provide some raw material
>for revelation. The understanding is in the doing."
>
>I wasn't totally sure what you meant by "the understanding is in the doing".
>Did you mean that the process of "words" gives occasion or opportunity for
>understanding (similar to the idea that you can only steer a ship when it is
>moving)?
>
Dear Fred,

I think the moving ship may be one word picture. It was C.S. Lewis who
said that words can only give us a rough idea. When I first heard that
quote, it immediately rang true with me.

There are many examples that I could cite. One of the most graphic took
place about ten years ago now, before we left Connecticut. The Church
that met at our house, reproduced a number of other homes where the
saints were meeting, some first generation and some, second generation.
I had already come to understand the weekly meeting of those who met in
our home as a kind of sabbeth or sacred assembly. As I had come to
understand it, the Sabbeth was not only given as a time for no work to
be done, but to the end that there might be a time of gathering with
those who are like family to us in the presence of The Lord. It is a
time set apart for the refreshing of relationships with God and each
other. I don't know how it is at your house, but where I live, it is
easy to get so caught up in the demands of this life, that relationships
can easily be left unattended, unnurtured, and even defiled.

Anyway, we were led to invite all the households to gather at our place
for a kind of extended family reunion. (We had purchased our home
because it had a very big "living room".) They came, During the course
of the evening, it suddenly struck me that this was a "new moon
celebration". Up to that moment, I had not really uinderstood what we
were doing, as having a specific Biblical precedent, but doing it, I
suddenly understood The Scriptures concerning "new moon celebrations".

The most important thing that we can do, in order to understand, is to
love deeply, vulnerably, transparently, passionately,.. love the kind of
Love that The Father had for the Son before the world began.
Jesus prayed in John 17 that we might do that. I know that this is not
possible in the flesh. That kind of love is just not in us, but in order
to get some understanding about it, we have to put ourselves in harm's
way. This is how we know what Love is; Jesus Christ laid down His life
for us..." In laying down our lives for one another, those that the
Father has given us, be begin to discover, and understand the Father
heart of God. I believe that we first must be doers of love, that willl
lead us to be victims of love, and that will lead us into a place of
understanding. Everything else is only words, but to participate in
God's love is understanding.

Yours in Christ,

Jay

P.S. Apostles are seeds of the Father's Love.


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Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 10:43:27 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? (silent women)

>David Anderson wrote:
>
>"In 1 Cor we are talking about silence of WIVES with respect to questions
>that should be asked later at home. In 1 Tim we are talking about silence
>WITH RESPECT TO TAKING AUTHORITY OVER YOUR HUSBAND IN THE INTERACTIVE
>MEETINGS. God knows all about the huge male ego problem and he has
>graciously inserted these wonderful provisions for the sake of decorum
>and domestic tranquility after the meeting, ... if you know what I mean."
>
>Dear David, It looks to me like Paul was reading a letter as he was
>writing 1 Corinthians. I think if you look at it, He was quoting that
>letter, what it reported was going on in the assembly. "Let your women
>keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak;
>but they are commanded to
>be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any
>thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to
>speak in the
>church." (As I understand it, there are no quotation marks available in
>the original.) Paul then goes on to refute what has just been reported:
>"What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any
>man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that
>the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if
>any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant."
>In other words, in this context, at least, Paul was not teaching the
>silencing of women, on the contrary he was rebuking it.
>
>Yours in Christ,
>
>Jay

Hey der Jay,

I had heard this interpretation before and it may be the most plausible
one so far for some. I just do not know for certain about the Greek verb
tenses*. It would indeed correspond with Paul's method of letter-writing
in several other places on record in which he quoted something in order
to refute it.

Jerusalem Council: Acts 15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain
which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your
souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave
no such commandment:

Head coverings in 1 Corinthians 11: 1 Cor. 11:16 But if any man seem to
be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

Seems like there was yet another passage or two like this. Undoubtedly,
Paul wrote many of his letters in response to other letters just as you
have reminded us. Surely he would have quoted verbatim some of the
portions which he was going to challenge.

What I am wondering is if the historical data of this era and locality
suggests that women were "lording it" over men. I have read that some
were.

Btw, Jay, as a North Carolinian, you may be aware that one of your local
documents was on the table when the Declaration of Independence was
hammered out. A number of lines were borrowed from your Mecklanberg
Declaration. (likely misspelled as I am on da road tonight.)

free indeed,

David Anderson

* Take for example the NT statement that "he that is born of God does not
sin." Our translators left off the word "continually" so I have been
told. Needless to say, a false teaching on perfectionism arose in part
because of this unfaithful translation. Could something like this be
underneath the silence passage in 1 Cor.

ps: If at first you didn't succeed... I hope you were not skydiving.


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Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 15:58:49 +0000
From: "David Jaggernauth" <abccom * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles

>From: Vanessa DiDomenico <van3hijos * yahoo>
>Reply-To: ntcp * homechurch
>To: ntcp * homechurch
>Subject: Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles
>Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 13:39:46 -0700 (PDT)
>
>It could easily also be the devil, getting people to think they are
>Christians, and then Christ might say when they get to the doors of
>heaven: I never knew you. The devil likes to play God, when people are
>looking for God. And it might all end up in real problems.
>
>Vanessa
>

What really is the truest test of an interpretation of scripture.

John said to test every sprirt to see is it is of God.

I sat in Church for many years where scripture was interpreted in many
diferent ways. The scriptures have been interpreted to say many different
things that can be supported by direct quotation.

I have even heard someone say once they can prove that the apostles drove a
car( Acts5:12 Nkjv). The other issue is ,experience.

There are "strange" goings on that happen in Churches today some of which I
have experienced and seen,people falling down,laughing etc.etc.
I have a bit of trouble accepting some of these things but am open minded.

After sitting under much of these teachings and much of these experinces I
think I finally found out how to really test these spirits to see if they
are of God or not.

The bible says where the spirit of God is there is liberty. I believe that
you must test the word by the effect it has on a person's heart.If it puts
that individual into somekind of bondage
( fear,suspicion,doubt);I can say this because I have run the whole gamut of
interpretation, I think most likely it isnt from God.

Every interpretation or experience must be tested by the effect it has on a
person's heart. Does it give you freedom on the inside???

When I got saved,there was no intervention by a human, there was no Church
involved,I was alone in my room. How can I prove that I was saved??What is
the evidence that I have??? Who birthed me??? Who was my spiritual father???
I know I received my freedom,but the only person responsible was Jesus.I
didnt get it by a doctrinal interpretation but by faith.

If there is a move in india where people are repenting and turning away from
sin, is this from God or Satan?? How can we test this? Would Satan cause
someone to turn away from sin??? The bible says that there is nothing good
in Satan,he is incapable of good.

We have to be careful we dont become so entrenched in our doctrines that we
miss out on something that God might be initiating. We also have to be
careful that we dont judge others by our own personal
experience,interpretaional preferences etc.

David Jaggernauth
Trinidad


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Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 20:35:42 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles? (silent women)

David Anderson wrote:

>* Take for example the NT statement that "he that is born of God does not
>sin." Our translators left off the word "continually" so I have been
>told. Needless to say, a false teaching on perfectionism arose in part
>because of this unfaithful translation. Could something like this be
>underneath the silence passage in 1 Cor.
>
Dear David,

"Continually" or not, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive
ourselves, and the truth is not in us." I think the real resolution of
the problem is not in dissecting what kind of sin the passage is talking
about, but in understanding that, indeed, the new man does not sin. The
Christ who is our new life does not sin. Sin is symptomatic of the
vitality of the "old man". The old man just can't quit. The only
solution for him is to be "crushed in the head". This reminds me of the
"footprints" picture and poem. Truth is, the way is so narrow, there is
really only room for one set of footprints. If there is more than one
set, there's a better than even chance that the second set was made by
flesh.

Yours in Christ,

Jay

P.S. Apostles are Christ's ambassadors, not their own.

 


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