Friday, May 8, 2009

Body, law, and Spirit

Rachel Barenblatt has a lovely post on this week's portion of Torah. It is a creative use of the priestly sacrificial rules. Old Testament 'religion' is very concrete. In Romans 12 Paul in effect invites all to a similar concreteness through the perfect offering of Jesus to present our own bodies as a wholly acceptable living sacrifice. That would include bodies that do not meet minimum requirements concerning wholeness and being without blemish. The metaphor is very complex - clearly.

I was in a conversation about Paul today and I noted that his legal opinions concerning the facts of the body (1 Corinthians 6 and 7 - all about sex) could well have been derived from his knowledge and experience of Torah and specifically these sacrificial sections. And I think it takes a 'religious' turn in most people's minds instead of the turn of a faithful metaphor that Rachel has exhibited in her post.

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