Saturday, October 30, 2010


All Hallow's Eve Eve

It's already Halloween Night in Oklahoma, thanks to the declarations of the Oklahoma City Council and other local authorities out to keep Sunday sacred.

What the hell. Here's a Halloween rerun!

My ghost story.

Happy Halloween Eve!


Thursday, October 14, 2010


Travelin' mercies!

For the next week, Oct. 15-22, I'm going here (Nogales, Mexico) and here (Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation) with these guys (Borderlinks).

Keep me in yer prayers, y'all.


Friday, October 08, 2010


The Canon is as dated as the slide rule

The historical fact of Constantine's forced creation of the biblical Canon was rocked by the discovery of the Nag Hammadi texts, especially the complete Gospel of Thomas, and is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

I did not say the contents of the closed Canon are becoming irrelevant, just the "closing" of it.

Recent acquisitions:

"The Trouble with Resurrection," brand new, by Bernard Brandon Scott.

"Q, the Earliest Gospel: An Introduction to the Original Stories and Sayings of Jesus," by John S. Kloppenborg, a textbook for my Intro to New Testament class underr Bernard Brandon Scott.


Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Resurrection, resurrection, the Body of Christ and the Body of Christ.

From my seminary discussion board for Intro to the New Testament ...

On the different concepts of resurrection from Paul in 1 Corinthians (the community is the Body of Christ, that is, the community IS Christ, resurrected, metaphorically, and the resurrection of individuals is in the future in spiritual bodies, like Christ's) and pseudo-Paul in Colossians and Ephesians and 1 Timothy (where Christ, in heaven, is the head of the Body of Christ remaining on earth, but the resurrection of individuals is seen variously as already having occurred, thus members of the community already have resurrected, spiritual bodies).

Why the differences between Paul and pseudo-Paul, a generation, perhaps, or less, later? Paul wrote in the 50s. ...

Me: Colossians and 1 Timothy were written after the fall of Jerusalem (circa 70 A.D.), which had to have affected not only their sense of timing for the end, but their theology.

If resurrection is future, and God saving them from Rome was future, then both gave them hope. With Jerusalem having been sacked, and Rome, presumably, cracking down in general, and the end having been delayed and Jesus having not returned, it makes sense to me that in their making Paul's practical plans into something more abstract, seeing themselves as having already been resurrected with Jesus would be a source of hope for strength, or perserverence or something, for the long haul.

(Later) Strike my reference to 1 Timothy, which does not see the resurrection as having occurred. My bad.

Perfesser: You are right in seeing Colossians and 1 Timothy as different. And you're also right to focus on the post destruction of Jerusalem situation. The delay of the parousia clearly impacts the belief in both cases. The question is how and why?

Me: The parousia has not just been delayed, but has been delayed through and past the fall of Jerusalem. So the apocalyptic Christians find themselves living in a post-apocalyptic world -- one that would be dark and grim and would require some fundamental rewiring of assumptions. Being the Body of Christ is one thing when living in hope. But once hope was dashed, they had to have been fairly determined to shore up their theology; envisioning Jesus in heaven as head of the body extends them into the cosmos, and into a reimagined future, in a way that mere metaphor couldn't after the end of their world as they knew it. Or something like that.

Perfesser: Makes sense. What is interesting about apocalyptic is that it appears to have died down after the destruction of the temple, but then flaired up again at the end of the first century. And it has continued the flair up over and over again in the history of Christianity.



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