Thursday, October 18, 2007

Breathing, canon, and authority

Over at ETC (that's Evangelical Textual Criticism) Michael Bird writes: "an original text is significant historically for reconstructing first century Christianity and it is significant theologically if we are to ask what it actually was that God-breathed out."

Does God only breathe once?

I have to agree with the first half of Mike's statement - historical understanding connects us to the communion of saints - whether it be a NT redactor or an ancient Hebrew poet.

Who wrote those amazing psalms at the beginning of Luke? Is this God breathing? Does God also breathe when we read them (in any form or language)? Or does God hold his breath as we stumble over the spondee - And thou child?

- "Who was that he is talking about?" asks the ignorant choir boy.

- "Do a little homework," God says, "and I will show you what prophecy is and what it costs - and you will know my breath because you are one of my autographs."

I suppose I am in danger of a hopeless subjectivism. But my faith is not in a text or a tradition. The text and tradition have informed my faith but they are not its real origin or its means of continuance.

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