This deserves special mention.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Richard Bauckham has written a fascinating book - Jesus and the Eye-witnesses. I have nearly finished. I am just experimenting with some diagrams on John and word-counting. A preliminary diagram is posted here with the first counts showing. I hope eventually to show more of the structures of John - but it will play second priority to the Psalms for some time to come.
The significance of the eye witnesses testimony may help appreciate what they had written in their names. It does not mean that they were reporting without the benefit of poetry and parable as well as personal experience.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
I wasn't going to answer but I think there are a few points to touch on as Chris Heard did.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
My copy of Jesus and the Eyewitnesses has arrived and I have to admit that I am more excited about reading this than I have been in 11 years or so when I first read Crossan's Historical Jesus, The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant.
I am currently preparing, if preparation is possible, for the upcoming colloquium on the Biblical Studies Group with Bauckham. There isn't enough time. A quicker review by Chris Tilling is available here. The book is a bit longer than CT's review.
Monday, May 14, 2007
The Hebrews diagrams were more successful because I did them in a hierarchy. So that is what will have to be done with Romans if I decide to continue. In the meanwhile, the old stuff I wrote on Romans remains on my old web-page.
see also Essays on Romans (2002) Table of questions Summary of the Argument (if you want).
One day I will do more on this - after all, this Blog takes its name from that letter.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Don't hug when there are items to be spilled nearby. While investigating Psalm 16, I spilled a glass of wine on my hostess and managed to spill my son's coffee - two separate incidents, both over a hug. Perhaps these illustrate the wording of verse 5 - the LORD deals with my cup of wine and has dealt me my lot (the coffee is with a street person who is my adopted son and who woke me up at 7:30 this morning - I never sleep that late, and I was angry - I don't wake in fear or anger. I just didn't want to deal with that son this morning. There's a book in that sentence.)
I expect there are a few children of glory that the LORD doesn't want to deal with. (How long must I bear with you!) But I did deal with him at a local restaurant with money extracted from a machine in the early morning before church - O my hypocritical enravished soul! I did not deal with him at home since my other adopted son was asleep and had worked hard the previous day. Why does one son have a home and another does not? God is love and deals our lot with care to let us engage as we must. So we also deal with each son recognizing what we cannot do because he must do it. Does this help with some of the theodicy problem? We have other children too.
More to come - comparing Dahood and Craigie and other earlier commentaries is a hoot. The disagreements are so far fetched and the manuscript interpretations so wide, I think one might be able to make anything up about this Psalm. How can I as poet leave it as ambiguous as the evidence we seem to have?
One of the earliest links I found on the web 10 years ago was David Blumenthal's site. I kept this link on my homepage for years, then lost it, and now found it again since the theodicy issue raises its head repeatedly. See particularly his article on theodicy.
On my Psalms study blog, I began a response to two articles that turned up on my aggregator on the same day. I want to see if the Psalms (as do Job and Ecclesiastes) would provide a way through this question.
Related is the question of how to engage without the lust to power that mars our own humanity. I use this word 'engage' since it avoids the cerebral notion of belief or faith. I do think that belief and faith are legitimate words, but I do think also that they are badly used. Kim Murray of Saltspring said to me once that the essence is in Jesus' phrase 'follow me' - the rest is commentary. If I take this name out of the framework of Christendom, it is not that we would be associated with any of the 25,000 forms of 'Christian' 'belief', but that we would act on the engagement with this person, by all accounts a man of self-giving love.
I can't go in one step to where this engagement has taken me, but there is a difference. Imagine a pear tree with many branches and much fruit. A tender shoot is forced to grow next to a wooden wall. Where else does a shoot grow? It can hardly move from its budded position. When the flower forms, it finds itself approaching the edge of a wooden protrusion on a fence in the garden. The bees find another pear tree nearby and manage to pollinate this flower. The fruit forms and is not an early drop off but the branch has lengthened just the right amount that the fruit catches on the protrusion. The gardener doesn't notice. Nearing the harvest, but before ripening, the pressure from branch growth pushes this pear from its constrained space. It finds itself with a painful deformation. Then in the new freedom of its place in the sun, its ravined surface begins to fill out. It has seen wood, but it is becoming full and fruitful. There is a difference.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
There are two reviews in the latest SBL list of The Preexistent Son, Recovering the Christologies of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Gathercole, Simon, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
Matera is polite and open-ended, Dunn is polite and devastating. Pre-existence is a false word. That time is a dimension mediated by the square-root of -1 and that there are 4 at least additional dimensions in the latest mathematical theories of ha-olam, should lead us to doubt pre- as a prefix or even as a fix. Instead of revelling in enclitics, let us engage with the multi-dimensional Reality that loves us.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Yes, you support me
You support me through these words
It is not just for one David or one Ethan or one unknown author
But for me, your one
So I knew in all my error
The error shows my faltering
My feet you teach to walk in love
My feet you reach to teach me love
Is it too little too late?
Did our beloved enemies push me too far too soon?
Is your hand too short to support their error or my recalcitrance?
What answer is possible!
Only One answers the call of those who stumble
Even if they scarcely know your name
Shema, Israel, Adonai Elohenu, Adonai, Echad.
I submitted my 5000 word response to "In these times". Am I a freelance writer or what?
In defence of inerrancy (a form of idolatry) I write this comment:
the letters of fire consume the sacrifice of a broken spirit.
It is enough.
In defence of Papal infallibility (a form of idolatry) I write this comment:
the love of a man covers a multitude of sin.
It is enough.
In defence of Christendom as empire (a form of idolatry) I write this comment:
lust for power like the love of money is the root of all evil.
It is not enough.
Do you teach your kids to love then send them out to kill other kids?