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Boston excitement

November 23rd, 2008 No comments

As usual, it’s been far too long since my last update here. There’s a lot of excitement going on in my life at this point. Allow me to share it with you.

We arrived in Boston for the SBL conference on Friday afternoon after a drive totaling 19 hours. I don’t think I’ll ever do that again when it comes to SBL conferences–next year’s is in New Orleans and I will be perfectly content to fly.

Among my colleagues are Chad Brooks, Chuck Meeks, Benji Overcash and, of course, Jason Jackson. Yesterday was the first “real” day of the conference, and boy was it busy! I enjoyed listening to several top German scholars present (their names are too long and German for me to type here) as well as some that I knew. This included one Paul Cook, an Asbury graduate now a Ph.D student at Harvard University. I was provided a Hebrew Bible by H.G.M (Hugh) Williamson. I’m never washing these hands again.

Anyway, that’s aside from the point. Paul did an excellent job, with a most interesting interpretation of the composiotion of the book of Jeremiah. At the end of the presentation another British scholar (whose name I was not able to catch–I couldn’t see his name tag from where I was sitting) picked an argument with him, saying that he could not accept “bad editing” when it comes to Jeremiah. Paul’s response was good, simply asserting that “bad editing” was a relative term, and he did not consider the insertion of that particular verse bad editing; rather, in his eyes, it was a purposeful insertion designed to serve as a literary device in preparation for the Egypt oracles.

There were some other presentations, but this was by far the most notable. As I said, I’m not washing my hands again…oh, wait–I already did. Damn.

Jon

Categories: Miscellaneous Tags:

A Revelation

April 19th, 2008 No comments

I was talking with my room mate the other day, and we started talking about Jesus’s crucifixion. I talked some about how, if someone redefined my religious tradition (as Jesus did for the Jews iin that day), I’d be just about as pissed off as the Pharisees were. But then I had a revelation.

Dying on a cross did not begin with the Romans. It was a Jewish custom to put shamed criminals to death by hanging them on a tree by their hands and feet until they suffocated to death. In Deuteronomy, there is a verse that says “Cursed is the man who hangs on a tree.” This brings an entirely new dimension to the crucifixion accounts.

When Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, I don’t believe he was saying this merely because he “felt” forsaken, but he WAS forsaken. In hanging on the cross, Jesus became a curse, not merely because he took on our sin, but because of the manner in which he was killed.

The especially gut-wrenching part is that the people who condemned Jesus were very aware of this. This must have been the worst kind of death that a Jew could die–one who dies, cursed by his own kin, separated from his God.

Just something to think about
-Jon

Categories: Miscellaneous, Theology Tags:
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