Daily Archives: 5 Oct 2018

Once More, For the Kids in the Back Who Aren’t Paying Attention

The only one you need to listen to regarding texts and topics is the Holy Spirit.  If you take directions from some parachurch hoidy toidies you should go ahead and get out of ministry right now.

Don’t you dare let someone usurp the role of the Spirit in your life.  Your congregation doesn’t deserve to be treated so disdainfully and God doesn’t deserve to be treated so contemptuously.

Signs of the Times

The Evangelical Abomination of Desolation

The great irony of Evangelical support of Trump is that the supposition that Roe v. Wade can be overturned if the court is stacked is false. Kavanaugh will not vote to overturn and even should he, the remainder will not.

In the meantime Evangelicals have defiled the Temple of Christian faith by adoring a man more immoral than any Christian soul can align himself with. They have replaced Christ with the idol of political power and become thereby the servants of Antichrist.

There will be no recovery for Evangelicals from this abominable act of desecrating sacrilege.

Jesus said ‘my kingdom is not of this world.’ The Evangelicals who have opted for power through politics are not disciples of the crucified and Risen Lord. And they will reap judgement for it.

This is What Happens When Theological Ignoramuses and Exegetical Dilettantes Lay Hands on Scripture

No– on every level.   No, you do not have the right to ‘discipline’ your wife.  She is your partner, your equal, not your child.  The Bible gives you no such power and theological accuracy demands you think otherwise than that about your spouse.

You people need to stop talking.  Indeed, you, of all people, should be ‘silent in the church’.

New from TVZ

Ein Dutzend «normale» Frauen und Männer, jüngere und ältere, kirchennahe und kirchenferne, Katholik/-innen und Protestant/-innen, haben zusammen mit dem bekannten Schweizer Neutestamentler Ulrich Luz das Neue Testament gelesen und ihre kritischen Fragen und Einwände an seine Textentwürfe gestellt.

Entstanden ist ein originelles, «leser-geprüftes» Büchlein: Es informiert Nicht-Theologinnen und Nicht-Theologen in verständlicher Sprache über Jesus, das frühe Christentum und die Schriften des Neuen Testaments.

The Book of Jeremiah: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation

New from Brill, and sent for review:

Written by leading experts in the field, The Book of Jeremiah: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation offers a wide-ranging treatment of the main aspects of Jeremiah. Its twenty-four essays fall under four main sections. The first section contains studies of a more general nature, and helps situate Jeremiah in the scribal culture of the ancient world, as well as in relation to the Torah and the Hebrew Prophets. The second section contains commentary on and interpretation of specific passages (or sections) of Jeremiah, as well as essays on its genres and themes. The third section contains essays on the textual history and reception of Jeremiah in Judaism and Christianity. The final section explores various theological aspects of the book of Jeremiah.

The link above allows potential readers to access the front matter of the volume.  Having done so, readers will see straightaway that the volume is occupied by some of the leading scholars of the Book of Jeremiah have taken part.  Of note are the contributions of  Wing So, Lundbom (all of his), Lange, and Fretheim.  Shead’s on the text of Jeremiah in the LXX is quite a brave work since the topic he chose is so incredibly difficult.  Especially to discuss in so narrow a format as difficult a subject.

But the best contribution of the lot is that of Leuchter, which with the volume commences.  He starts out

In 1970, James Muilenburg penned an influential article entitled “Baruch the Scribe.”  In that article, Muilenburg emphasized the paramount role played by Baruch b. Neriah in the production of the book of Jeremiah, noting that Baruch lived in what he termed a “scribal age.”  That is, the book of Jeremiah (and Baruch’s great contribution to it) emerged from an era when scribes had emerged as figures of tremendous prestige and numinous power. To refer to the late seventh–mid sixth centuries BCE as a “scribal age,” however, is somewhat misleading. Surely it was, but so too was every era among the centers of power in the ancient near east from roughly the mid-third millennium BCE down to the rise of Hellenism in the fourth century BCE and beyond.  Archaeology enables the scholar to recover some sense of an ancient society’s economy, population density, and even their ritual world to some degree, but is only through the written artifacts of scribes surviving from these periods that we are privy to the intricacies of their intellectual and social worlds, value systems, religious beliefs, concepts of history, and other traditions enshrined in the textual record. We know what we know of these ages because they were all, in a way, scribal ages.

After setting the stage for his argument to follow, as one must do in such times, Leuchter closely and carefully examines a few relevant texts from the Book of Jeremiah and comes to the conclusion that

The book of Jeremiah itself therefore transforms the scribal artifacts it preserves by reproducing them and calling attention to their place within its own textual boundaries. A scroll submerged in the Euphrates river is also submerged within the text through the process of redaction; the colophon to a transaction document-turned prophetic sign itself becomes a portent for written prophecy; and the Urrolle read in the ears of the scribes and the king in Jerusalem is reproduced within the rhetorical expanse of the written Jeremiah tradition (e.g., the דברי ירמיהו of Jer 1:1/51:64b that must have opened and closed an early version of the book similar to the MT).

And then

While there is little doubt that a robust oral tradition persisted during the era of the Babylonian exile, textual works like the book of Jeremiah became the only material objects that Jewish audiences in exile could approach to encounter the sort of writings that were once so vital to Israelite sanctuary spaces. Entering sacred sanctuary space was replaced by an entry into the texts, where the sources once used by priests to empower their own revelatory proclamations were now embedded in texts that modelled how revelation could be facilitated in the absence of temple structures and faculties.

The book as a whole is technical and demanding, as one would expect from an academically aimed collection of essays.  But it is not so technical that graduate students and their Professors will find it incomprehensible.  With a little effort, the volume can be absorbed and digested (much like Ezekiel’s famous scroll) but rather than being tasty in the mouth and bitter in the gut, this volume is satisfying throughout.  Your research library should obtain a copy for its reference section.

Uplifting Thoughts from Luther

Let this generation of vipers prepare itself for unquenchable fire!  — Martin Luther

Quote of the Week

‘Constructive criticism irritates me. I don’t object to being denounced, but I can’t abide being school-mastered by men I regard as imbeciles.’ – H.L. Mencken