Cultural Memory in Biblical Exegesis

Coming soon from Gorgias Press

Cultural memory is a way of dealing with the past in social and cultural life. It transposes the notion of memory as individuals’ negotiation and representation of past experience into the collective and cultural area. Cultural memory is the shared reproduction and recalling of what has been learned and retained, normally treated as “the cultural heritage”. It also involves transformation and innovation. As opposed to individual memory, it brings social institutions and power to play. The notion of location and space (Landscape, ethnoscape, mental maps) is a major contributing factor in making the fragmented retrieved past a coherent whole. Cultural memories appear as palimpsests of material artifacts (including buildings and monuments), text, pictures and ritual practice. Especially relevant is the negotiation of cultural memory between local identity and global culture in this area. The purpose of this book is to study how memory is inscribed and embodied in biblical culture and its surrounding area. When dealing with a new field in research several questions appear, such as those dealing with previous approaches relevant for the cultural memory research: i.e. historiography, folklore, tradition history. We need to join forces to open new gates to cultural memory in biblical and cognate studies, and to include a plethora of methods and perspectives in present research. Such collaborative efforts will support the much needed reflection on the relationship between cultural memory approach and post-colonialism, globalism and epistemology.

Edited by Pernille Carstens
Edited by Trine Hasselbalch
Edited by Niels Peter Lemche
Contribution by Izaak Hulster
Contribution by Dolores Kamrada
Contribution by Rüdiger Schmitt
Contribution by Terje Stordalen
Contribution by David J. Chalcraft
Contribution by Sandra Hübenthal
Contribution by John Van Seters
Contribution by Ehud Ben Zvi
Contribution by Johannes Schnocks
Contribution by Emmanuel Nathan
Contribution by Ida Fröhlich
Contribution by Philip Davies

What Purpose Does Repentance Serve?

The Christian religion is nothing else than a firm hope in God through Christ Jesus and a blameless life wrought after the pattern of Christ as far as He giveth us.

It is plain, therefore, that repentance is not only knowledge and abnegation of self, but guarding against the abnegated self, so as always to have something to hope for while you walk in hope, and not to be without something to fear, namely, a relapse into sin.

This also is clear, that not repentance but hope in Christ washes away sin, and that repentance is the being on guard lest you fall back into the ways you have condemned. — Huldrych Zwingli

This Is What Happens When Any Idiot Can Get a Gun

Police say a costumed 9-year-old girl was accidentally shot outside a western Pennsylvania home during a Halloween party by a relative who thought she was a skunk.  New Sewickley Township police say the girl was over a hillside and wearing a black costume and a black hat with a white tassel. Chief Ronald Leindecker says a male relative mistook her for a skunk and fired a shotgun, hitting her in the shoulder Saturday night.

Rule #1 when you aim a gun- only shoot at what you mean to kill.
Rule #2 when you pull the trigger- know EXACTLY what you’re shooting.
Rule #3 when you let people who don’t know rules #1-2 have a gun, you end up with stories like this endlessly multiplied.

On Gerhard von Rad’s Birth Anniversary

Those who are wise learn from their forebears- even if what they learn is to leave them to the side.  Von Rad, however, can never be left aside.  He stands – even now – as the greatest Everest to grace the theological landscape.  And today is the anniversary of his birth.

Gerhard von Rad was a prominent German Old Testament scholar whose work brought back focus to the Old Testament. He was educated at the University of Erlangen and at the University of Tübingen and later received honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Lund, Wales, Leipzig and Glasgow. He also taught at the University of Jena, University of Gottingen, Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg. The Encyclopedia of World Biography notes him as having “developed the ‘tradition history’ approach to the Old Testament that has dominated the study of the Bible for the last 40 years.” His dissertation was on “Das Gottesvolk im Deuteronomium” (The People of God in Deuteronomy).

“The historical events of his lifetime, including the two World Wars, left their mark on him, and it was not least his detestation for the nazis’s treatment of the Jews, which called his interest for OT forth, and he became a member of the academic world in stead of the clergy. Two fields of research are in a special way connected to his name. He was one of the founders of the traditio-historical method. Being one of A. Alt’s doctoral students, history and the development of traditions always played an important part in his research. The historical credo (Deut 26) and its importance for the making of the Hexateuch has made a great impact on the scholarly world. The other field is OT theology, in which he stressed the theology in the transmission of the biblical traditions, in Vol. I the historical tradition and in Vol II the prophetic tradition. His way of doing Theologie was quite different from the traditional German Old Testament Theology.”

“Von Rad’s views were highly controversial, evoking considerable heat. Many of his theories have not stood the test of time, but it would be difficult to find another person who has contributed so much to the understanding of the Old Testament. It may be that in truth he wrote a history of Israelite religion rather than an Old Testament theology, but he insisted that the Hebrew Bible be understood in the context of the religious life of ancient Israel. That is surely a correct insight.”

Lest we forget…

Any Preacher Who ‘Adorns’ The Gospel in Popular Clothing is a False Teacher

On 2 Cor 4:2 and those who adjust the Gospel to suit the fancies of the mob Calvin correctly notes

As chaste and virtuous women, satisfied with the gracefulness of natural beauty, do not resort to artificial adornings, while harlots never think themselves sufficiently adorned, unless they have corrupted nature, so Paul glories in having set forth the pure gospel, while others set forth one that was disguised, and covered over with unseemly additions. For as they were ashamed of the simplicity of Christ, or at least could not have distinction from true excellencies of Apostles, they framed a new gospel, not unlike a profane philosophy, swelled up with empty bombast, while altogether devoid of the efficacy of the Spirit.

Luther too writes

In the church nothing other than the gospel shall be preached. … Whoever teaches differently from the gospel, he misleads, and whoever does not teach the gospel …; he misleads even more and is worse than he who teaches without the gospel, because he desecrates and corrupts the word of God, as St. Paul complains about some [II Cor. 2:17; 4:2].

Would that our modern Montanists (the Emergents and the Seeker Sensitives) would read Scripture instead of marketing manuals.

Editing the Hebrew Bible: An Overview of Some Problems

This is a

Preprint of: “Editing the Hebrew Bible: An Overview of Some Problems.” Pages 41–65 in Editing the Bible: Assessing the Task Past and Present. Edited by John S. Kloppenborg and Judith H. Newman. Resources for Biblical Study 69. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012″ by Eibert Tigchelaar.

A very interesting contribution to the field.

Where in the World is Chris Tilling Now?

I’m not sure where he is this week but I know where he isn’t…  He isn’t on Rome’s list of newly minted ‘Saints’!!!!!!  This is shocking news really for who is more saintly than Tilling???

Pope Benedict XVI has named seven new saints, including for the first time a Native American, praising their “heroic courage” in a year when the Catholic Church is seeking to counter the rising tide of secularism in the West.

Kateri Tekakwitha, informally known as “Lily of the Mohawks” and a symbol of hope for American Indians for centuries, was canonised in a lavish ceremony in St Peter’s Square that followed her beatification in 1980 by the late Pope John Paul II.

Under a bright autumn sun, the pope delivered a homily praising all seven new saints, saying they “lived their lives in total consecration to God and in generous service to their brothers”.

Catholics…  Overlooking real Saints like Tilling and Thompson and Bolin and Watts for people I’ve never heard of.  Absurdly appalling.

It’s Almost Like A Series of News Headlines…

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. — (2 Timothy 3:1-7)

That’s the perfect description, word for word, of modern America.