Friday, April 29, 2016
Toward the absence of being
Thursday, April 28, 2016
God's ongoing creation
We might possibly wish to raise the discussion a notch and transpose this image into the philosophical categories of being. In that mode the sea represents non-being, literally no-thing. Read this way, the world in itself tends towards non-being, but God, through his Logos, is investing it with the powers of existence. God’s ongoing ordering of the sea then speaks of the world’s moment-by-moment dependence on God.— The Biblical Cosmos, page 202 (emphasis original)
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
When people pray
1. A case of actual distress in which a man, on account of the difficult circumstances he is in, addresses himself to a god in an emotional way.
2. A wish arising from the existing situation. The circumstances, however, are not so extreme as to occasion great emotion in the prayer uttered.
3. A general wish, which does not usually originate from the existing situation. In this case, the human being does not ask for a single definite action, but for a repetition of actions, or for a lasting state.—The Greek Imperative, page 99
Center or periphery?
It all a matter of perspective, isn't it? We think the center is the most important, but they didn't. The most important place was where God was/is. That's still true, but we don't acknowledge it...
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Kiss it good-bye
Throw it all out!
Monday, April 25, 2016
Present imperative in Koine
Hmmm...this one is testable. What do you think? Is it true in the NT? Could this be why Paul starts out with the theological justification of his imperatives? And sometimes starts out with aorist ones, as well?
Makes sense. But what of 3rd person imperatives? Is that a more polite version of a 2nd person imperative? That's what I think, anyway...
Stars as connectors to the divine realm
The linking function of stars meant that a complete disjunction of heaven and earth was impossible because the stars, existing in different modes on both sides of the firmament, blurred the dividing line. The stars reminded people of the duality of heaven and earth—that there is more to creation than can be seen with the eye—but countered any tendency towards dualism: the thought that God’s heaven is some self-contained world disconnected from the visible creation. The “space” and “light” of heaven are connected to the space and light of the visible cosmos, and the light of the sun, moon, and stars represent that connection.— The Biblical Cosmos, pages 192–93
Sunday, April 24, 2016
BHQ Megilloth for $20!
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Provision still flows
Friday, April 22, 2016
Imperatives of motion
Thursday, April 21, 2016
When do I use which?
Mind you, he means Classical when he says Ancient. Things change in Hellenistic/Koine; stay tuned...
A second naivete
What do you think? I've heard about second-naivete before and it's an attractive idea. I guess my hesitation is because I believe too much of the supernatural realm (which we as Westerners throw away) is real.
Am I mixing apples and oranges here? Is this a different issue from second-naivete? Help!
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Temple writ large
The final vision in the book of Revelation now makes a little more sense. Not only was the temple the biblical cosmos writ small, the biblical cosmos was the temple writ large. In other words, in the world of the Bible the cosmos is God’s house. As Philo put it, “The whole universe must be regarded as the highest and, in truth, the holy temple of God” (Spec. 1.66). As such the biblical cosmos is a sacred place indeed.— The Biblical Cosmos, page 150 (emphasis original)
The world comes full circle in Revelation. What God intended in the garden gets fulfilled.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Netherworld or night sky?
Here and now
Don't sell yourself short
I recently taught a two-day class on the ANE backgrounds to the OT. This is one of the things I mentioned to them, but I don't think they fully understood the import of it (not that I fully understand the import of it either!). This is radical stuff, mind-boggling in its ramifications.
Monday, April 18, 2016
Yet more Greek imperative fun
Well, let's just throw up our hands in despair then! But at least he's honest; not every situation fits his categories.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
I dare you to prove him wrong!
"Not even a case series of a small number of individuals on a Paleo, or animal protein-based, diet has ever shown a reversal of advanced heart disease. Even though hundreds of books are written, lots of big words are thrown around, and lots of claims are made to the contrary, it is all just hot air. These meat-based diets are the problem not the solution."—Joel Fuhrman, The End of Heart Disease, 188
Saturday, April 16, 2016
About that submission thing...
The scripture is clear that there was an alliance between Heber the Kenite and Jabin (Judg 4:17). That being so, by killing Sisera, Jael was being rebellious against her husband! She should be up for discipline, not praise!
Something isn't right there...and I sincerely doubt that it is the scripture!
Friday, April 15, 2016
El Shaddai versus YHWH
More on that pesky Greek present imperative
Unless they aren't...which is the problem I'm having with this book. He is seeking an overarching theory, but there are so many subpoints that don't fit, so he creates little categories for them. In the end, we have a list of things the imperative can mean. Is that an overarching theory?!
Don't misunderstand, the book is very helpful and has good stuff. But, how do you decide which category that particular imperative fits? And is that really what we want to do? That's going back to the decoding form of language learning...
Is he there?
The paradox of God’s dwelling in the temple in Jerusalem captures in a scaled-down way this same tension. The Bible holds together the idea that God dwells in the Jerusalem temple with a resistance to the idea that God’s presence can be contained there. God’s presence is everywhere, even outside the Promised Land, even to the ends of the earth, and even in sheol! More than that, God’s presence is in heaven, while the temple is on earth. So while God’s presence is in the temple, it is not there in quite the same way that it is in heaven.
Some texts speak obliquely of the temple as “the place that Jehovah your God will choose to make his name dwell” (Deut 26:2). This way of speaking beautifully captures the balance. It speaks of God’s real presence in the temple (for in ancient thinking the name of a person is profoundly connected to the person; it was no mere label) while at the same time pushing against a simplistic understanding of that presence. There is a subtle distance inserted between God and the temple in the very words that speak of his dwelling in it—he causes his name to dwell there. Israel’s theologians are seeking to speak of the reality of God’s presence but also of the way in which God’s presence is unlike any other presence. Words fail when God is the topic under discussion.— The Biblical Cosmos, page 135 (emphasis original)
I've been gone for the last week (in case you didn't notice!); we were visiting kids and grandkids. I also had the privilege to teach for two days on the ancient Near Eastern backgrounds to the Old Testament. This excerpt from Robin's book nicely encapsulates much of what I was trying to teach.
Thursday, April 07, 2016
Use the present imperative—Now!
Remember, this is for Classical, not Koine!
Rule number one
Indeed! That is the most essential element of biblical theology!
Wednesday, April 06, 2016
It's the speaker!
Remember, we're talking about Classical Greek here, not Koine/Hellenistic. He'll get to those in a bit. He gives numerous examples to defend the position; I'm moderately convinced—tentatively. How's that for equivocating? : )
What about those stars?
Tuesday, April 05, 2016
Negative commands and choice of tense
About that post title: Yes, yes, I know. It isn't tense, it's aspect. But every now and then I drop back into traditional labels. What can I say? It got your attention, didn't it? : )
OK, we've got that taken care of, so what about the contents of the post itself? Bakker is in the process of making the case that the choice of stem in Classical Greek depends strictly on the perspective of the speaker. He will go on to argue that this has changed as Greek evolved, to the point that in Modern Greek, the present imperative has virtually disappeared. The present tense is used only when both sides agree on the reality of the situation. (Snide remark: then it certainly would never be used in the U.S. today! We can't agree on anything—not even on whether we agree or disagree!)
The question becomes, how far along that continuum in Koine? Ah, that's the rub—especially with translational Greek such as that found in the LXX. That, of course, is the substance of many articles and dissertations : )
Re-creation and the exodus
Monday, April 04, 2016
What about that imperative?
I'm not so sure but what he isn't finding what he wants to find, but some of his ideas are fascinating. He makes a distinction between Ancient Greek, by which he means Classical, Koine, and Modern Greek—yes, he follows the imperative all the way to 1950s Greece. We'll start with the Classical instances. Here's the first:
Generally said, by means of the present stem the speaker wants to make it clear to the hearer that, in view of the nature and content of the action he is performing, he wishes him to stop it, and that “right now.” When using the aorist stem, however, he only says that the action should be discontinued.—The Greek Imperative, page 40
Away with you!
Which is why the Akkadian exorcist spells and Hittite scapegoat ritual, to say nothing of the Day of Atonement in Israel, sent the evil spirit into the wilderness. It was their natural home.
Friday, April 01, 2016
Yamm, take two
[Note] Moses’ activity with the staff at the “Red Sea” might suggest otherwise. However, note that Moses simply “stretched out his hand over the sea [follow a direct divine command to do so], and Jehovah drove the sea back . . .” (Exod 14:21).— The Biblical Cosmos, page 47