Thursday, September 30, 2010

Follow up 9/30 Class : Final 3 Worlds Assignment, Mid-Term and alternatives

Great class today..remember we caught a mistake in the hard copy of the student guide...the next   (and last!)Three Worlds assignment (which is due next Thurs, 10/7) is to turn in notes for the historical world AND the literary   world(not one or the other) world of a section of your choice chosen from Matt 8-13.  So, one page for each world, but use the same section of Matthew for both pages .  Remember to reread the instructions, noting that you are required to use your textbooks, and to choose a specific section (you may want to choose a fairly small section).   You may (not required, but strongly recommended) use other  resources, but it is recommended that you stick to the sources linked here on the website (on right, under helpful resources).  Two additional resources are EXCELLENT,but only in the library, not online:
Michael Green's "Matthew For Today"  (well, some of it is searchable online here)  and the "New Bible Dictionary."
Also note the instructions clearly say to show some independent thought, not just copy info from sources..
-----------------
NOW ONTO THE REAL NEWS YOU ARE LOOKING FOR...


>>>>Today in class, we presented these options below  for the midterm, choose one.  In other words, options 2 and 3 below are alternatives to taking the midterm exam.  Deadline for options 2 and 3 would be the same as for those taking the midterm: 10:45 am Oct. 19.








1)Take the midterm....Note: as the syllabus states, you are allowed to use  a full one-sided sheet of paper with notes  during the exam, and we will be very clear about exactly what is on the exam..In fact, that will be posted in a couple days on the "exam" tab at top of website.


2)Write a 3-5 page paper  (longer OK)   or turn in a power point or video addressing: "What would have been the 'historical world' background that came to mind if you mentioned the concept of 'bodies of water'  to a Jewish/Hebrew person of Jesus day?  What kind of Old Testament/Tanak Scriptures would come to mind?  What kind of images, emotions and cultural backstories would  be part of the reaction?  Mention at least one biblical   (OT/NT) events that happened near or on bodies of water   (Jordan, Red Sea, Sea of Galilee etc) and discuss relevance and meaning..
Here are some places to start:
Here are some notes from the two videos we watched in class today. which will help if you choose the paper on "bodies of water":"When Storms Come (Sea of Galilee)"  and"Piercing The Darkness (Decapolis on the Other Side of the Lake",


 Here is a significant VanDer Laan article on the Sea of Galilee which touches on its symbolism.
Here also are  notes on Jordan River, and  Living Water and  They Left Their Nets Behind.
You will also find Bible Dictionaries  helpful,   as well as commentaries on Matthew (or other books)  and VanDer Laan website linked at right under "helpful resources" or in the library.  Perhaps also your "Three Worlds" textbook.

3)Write a 3-5 page paper (longer OK) or  power point or video on Bethlehem Bible College.   Give findings about what the school is: history, emphasis,  how they serve the community, etc.  Give special attention to what it feels like, and what daily life is like for a school staffed by Palestinian Christians to train Palestinian Christians in a very politically/religiously charged environment (see my photo of the bullet holes in their  old sign! )   What problems exist with the security wall that surrounds the city?  How is their relationship with Israel?  With American Christians? How should we pray for BBC?
Note: Do your best to actually talk to someone there (even if via email). Feel free to email, call or Skppe Webcam (free) the president (Bisahra Awad), his brother Alex Awad, the dean, or any of the staff , students or faculty..You can drop my name with either Alex or Bishara, they may remember me  (I went to seminary with Alex, and Bishara spoke at our church).
Here are some places to start:
the school's  website,      video overview,      several articles, and a video interview with the president
the school's facebook page,     and  Alex Awad's website (which includes a downloadable copy of his book, several articles, etc)


------------------------------------------------------------------------
You'll note, and we called attention today, to a helpful literary arrangement of the book of Matthew.
We've become familiar with the five teaching blocks (chapter 5-7: Sermon on Mount, chapter 10: mission, chapter 13: Kingdom parable, chapter  18: church life, chapter 24-25: end times).
But if you look at the way Hauer/Young outline the book, and my slight adaptions, you'll note that preceding each teaching block, there is a narrated section which picks up (and expands on) the theme of that block.
See the class schedule for this month   and next  (section two of course outline) to see how i have labeled these sections...and then follow the references to bodies of water in the section we are currently studying..
Whats up that?  What do you learn from our discussion today?

>>ALSO:
Note the cross-cultural implications of Jesus' two feedings of the multitude:

see:

(diagram below by John Stevenson, see 2nd link above)

Feeding of the 5,000
Feeding of the 4,000
Mark 6:34-44
Mark 8:1-9
Took place after the multitude had been with Jesus for one day.Took place after the multitude had been with Jesus for three days.
The multitude was mostly Jewish.The multitude would have been mostly Gentile.
Took place near Bethsaida Julias on the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee.Took place in the Decapolis on the southeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Jesus used 5 loaves and 2 fish.Jesus used 7 loaves and a few small fish.
There were 12 small baskets of leftovers.There were 7 large baskets of leftovers.



 see:
Piercing The Darkness (Decapolis on the Other Side of the Lake"

------------
BONUS: Here's the cheap home movie clip of mine we showed some of today, showing the scenes around the Sea of Galilee, inclucing Decapolis, which we studied today ...also including the infamous Sea of Galilee McDONALD'S...(note: the clip concludes at some war bunkers in the Golan Heights, and the synagogue Jesus taught in in Capernaum):


  Speaking of water... check out these fish in the Jordan River, who nibbled at my feet (or somebody did(:...)as a pastor from Africa and I baptized some folks in the Jordan River:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Follow up 9/23 Class Session: Matt 3-7, Elevated Righteousness

..






As we plan to get into Matthew 3 and 4 today, I think you will be amazed at how much "historical world" and "literary world" items you recognize as we read through..



  • Here's a Vander :Laan article on Jesus' baptism.
  • Here's a Vander Laan article on Jesus' wilderness temptation.
  • Here is my list of "shocking" Scriptures: "God's Devil"
  • Here is Henri Nouwen on Jesus' "temptation to be relevant" (Remember that Nouwen equates to  the temptations as the temptation  to be relevant ("Turn these stones to bread."), to be spectacular ("Throw yourself from the temple."), and to be powerful ("I will give you the kingdoms of the world.")

Most people reading Matthew 3:10-12 (especially preconditioned to believe "baptism with fire" is a good thing ..the fire of passionate faith, "on fire for God")..but as you can see, catching the context and CHIASM makes the intended "literary world" meaning  pretty obvious and opposite.


Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  "I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His  winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

Here below is a chart by Tony Shaw, click here to read his explanation.



A - Trees with fruits saved and trees without fruits thrown into fir  
B - He will   baptize you with    water
B' - He willbaptize with the     Holy Spirit                         and with fire.
A' wheat into barns and chaff he will burn with                      fire.
--------------------------------------------
As we continue to talk about culture, biblical culture(s) and ours:

  • Here is a slidwshow I've added to the wesbite tabs at top (Greek vs. Hebrew thinking)
  • Here is a recent article I wrote summariazing Leonard Sweet's EPIC acrostic
  • Here is the Paul Hiebert "Gospel and Culture survey that our volunteers took in class  Tues. 
  • Here is the slideshow summary of the  Vander Lann video we'll show, "Gates of Hell"  (Jesus and disciples confronting, and being counter-cultural to culture)
  • Here is the slideshow summary of the   Vander Lann video we'll show, "Language of Culture"             (Jesus and discioles finding what is redemptive in culture)
Since we have spent so much time discussing the various "parties" of Jesus day, it is helpful to our discussion of culture to hear how one writer views succinctly characterizes each group's approach to culture:
"Pharisees  separated from culture, Sadducees blended into the culture, Zealots ruled over culture, and the Essenes ignored culture....
The Pharisees were sectarian, developing an unending number of laws to seperate themselves from the common people. The Sadducees were syncretists, compromising their beliefs in order to blend into the culture. The Zealots misused culture as they attempted to usher in God’s kingdom through the use of force. The Essenes ignored culture altogether, retreating from society where they could seek mystical encounters with God in monkish privacy...
And so we see that sectarians love God but fail to love their neighbors, while syncretists love their neighbors but fail to love God."
---------------------
As we begin our conversation on the  "Elevated Righteousness" section of Matthew (chapters 3-7)..

  (BY THE WAY, be prepared to find the terms "elevation" [see below] and "righteousness" [see glossary of Hauer and Young] on the MidTerm)

..here is my example  of   the U2 song "Elevation,"  which is about a Jewish mode of prayer
which accepts sexuality as a gift of God, but at the same time sees the need to "elevate" it into what Hauer and Young call "higher righteousness."
My comments, and those of the rabbi we quoted in class, are here  This same post includes the "Jesus Loves Righteous People" clip (as it was might by a church called "Elevation Church".

(PS: Don't miss the U2 class Tim Neufeld teaches in the fall).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Follow up from 9/21: The Four Gospels, Matthew's center, Essenes

 Here are today's two videos by Brian McLaren that seemed to he helpful:

1)The Narrative (seeing Jesus through Jewish background before we see him through later interpreters):


(Note, click here to see a short video (the bottom one on that page) in which  I had  a class act out the "line-up" McLaren talked about...if you liked the McLaren videos, the rest of them can be viewed at this same click)
---
2)Jesus as Center of Scripture:


------------
Here's today's video devotional, "Teenage Affluenza," and as

you'll remember when I asked for comments on the form/genre of this documentary, we also used that list to define the concept of "parable": terms like subversive, comparison, metaphor, shock value, juxtaposition, dramatic, sarcastic came up in discussion.

Oh, remember Peterson's definition of parable/metaphor:


". ..a loud fart in the salon of spirituality" (
- Eugene Peterson, "Answering God: The Psalms as Tools For Prayer"page76)

We talked about parables, because as we are getting an overview of Matthew, before spending several weeks walking through it, we couldn't help but notice that structurally and thematically  it seems to be the center of the book ...So, there is something so central about Jesus' parables of the Kingdom that Matthew wanted  to point it out in a number of ways.  We looked at a literary way in class (2 of the 5 teaching blocks on either side of it, forming inclusios and parallelisms.  Click be low to see an excellent short summary of this by Michael Green:


----------------------

Here are six literary charts of Matthew's structure we drew in class, and what answer to the "Who is Jesus?" question they might address.  Be prepared to explain these for the midterm:
OOPS, forgot one above..looking at 4:17 and 16:21 implies that the large center section in between those two markers is all about THE KINGDOM.  There the answer to "Who is Jesus?" would be the King of the Kingdom.
------------------------------------

Also, here is another "literary world"   way that the Kingdom parables of chapter 13 are made central:
By chiasm  (We didn't do these in class):



While many smaller chiasms are obvious and indisputable,
several wider chiasms may well be truly present as well.
It is not unlikely that a whole book of the Bible (or check this out: the whole Bible)
is chiastically arranged.
Here are some possible ways to chart out Matthew's gospel.  As you weigh the evidence, remember that chiasms call attention to the center as the most important...central (literally) point/theme.

1)
  • A. Genealogy (past), 1:1-17
  •  
  • B. First Mary and Jesus’ birth, 1:18-25














  • C. Gifts of wealth at birth, 2:1-12
    D. Descent into Egypt; murder of children, 2:13-21
    E. Judea avoided, 2:22-23
    F. Baptism of Jesus, 3:1–8:23
    G. Crossing the sea, 8:24–11:1
    H. John’s ministry, 11:2-19
    I. Rejection of Jesus, 11:20-24
    J. Gifts for the new children, 11:25-30
    K. Attack of Pharisees, 12:1-13
    L. Pharisees determine to kill the innocent Servant, 12:14-21
    K’ Condemnation of Pharisees, 12:22-45
    J’ Gifts for the new children, 13:1-52
    I’ Rejection of Jesus, 13:53-58
    H’ John’s death, 14:1-12
    G’ Crossing the sea, 14:13–16:12
    F’ Transfiguration of Jesus, 16:13–18:35
    E’ Judean ministry, 19:1–20:34
    D’ Ascent into Jerusalem; judgment on Jews, 21:1–27:56
    C’ Gift of wealth at death, 27:57-66


























  • B’ Last Marys and Jesus’ resurrection, 28:1-15



























  • A' Commission (future), 28:16-20 


























  • SOURCE: part 2 (several other chiasms in Matthew)
     --------
    2)see page 9 here,  or below. a chiasm making chapter 13 the center of book:



    A. Demonstration of Jesus' Qualifications as King (chaps. 1—4)
     B. Sermon on the Mount: Who Can Enter His Kingdom (chaps. 5—7)
        C. Miracles and Instruction (chaps 8—9)
            D. Instruction to the Twelve: Authority and Message for Israel (chap. 10)
               E. Opposition: The Nation's Rejection of the King (chaps. 11—12)
                               F.  Kingdom Parables: Kingdom Postponed (chap. 13)
               E.' Opposition: The Nation's Rejection of the King (chaps. 14—17)
            D.' Instruction to  Twelve: Authority and Message for the Church (chap.18)
       C.' Miracles and Instruction (chaps. 19—23)
     B.' Olivet Discourse: When the Kingdom Will Come (chaps. 24—25)
    A.' Demonstration of Jesus' Qualifications as King (chaps. 26—28)"32

    ------------------------------
    3)Evaluation of possible chiasms of whole book (centering chapter 11 or 13),,scroll to pp. 36-45  here  (David Bauer's excellent book)
    --------------
    ALSO:
    If Matthew 13 is indeed the chiastic center, note that Matt. 13 itself is chiastic:
    --


    : According to The Expositor’s Bible Commentary vol.8 p.10, David Wenham was the first modern scholar to recognize that Matthew 13:3-52 is a chiasm. However, it is not a perfect chiasm though.
    13:1-2 Jesus came
    -  13:3-9 Parable of the sower, addressed to the crowds
    --   13:10-12 The disciples ask and Jesus answers
    ---      13:10-17 The purpose of parables (for outsiders)
    ----           13:18-23 Interpretation of the parable of the sower
    -----                    13:24-33 Three more parables addressed to the crowd-digressions


    ---           13:34-35 The purpose of parables (for disciples)
    ----        13:36-43 Interpretation of the parable of the wheat and the tares
    end of digression
    -                ----13:44-48 Three more parables addressed to the disciples "The kingdom of Heaven is like…" (treasure, pearl, net)
    -      --- 13:49-50 Explanation
    -       - 13:51 Jesus’ asks and the disciples answer
    -    13:52 Parable of new treasure and old
    13:53 Jesus left
    Within this structure, Matthew 13:13-17 is also a chiasm.

    ---------------
    We introduced Gospel Parallels, Gospel Harmonies, and other resources that help us compare the  three synoptic gospels (that word is on the midterm, see hauer/Young definition) or allfour gospels.
    When one..gospel writer includes a story, and the others don't; or when all four tell a story, that itself is telling.
    And how does each writer redact and personalize the story?  What might such changes say about each writer's theme. audience and historical world.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Having summarized the Zelaots, Pharisees and Sadducees, we today watched a video of the Essenes, "The Time Had Fully Come"  Here is a brief slideshow summary..For now, the points to remember about Essenes: 1)had a community.communal life in Qumran  2)wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls  3)interesting ideas, in some ways similar to Jesus
    --

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Follow up posts from 9/16 Class Session: Conversion and Christmas (Matthew 1, 2)

    "Devotional" we watched today, anyone remember what it had to do with the theme?:
    video

    We began "converting" to the New Testament today..

    What do you remember about our discussion of the "literary world" and "historical world" of Jesus' genealogy?
    (that question will be on the midterm)
    Here's some help from Uncle Ray.


    Here's "The True Christmas Story" video we watched (complement to his other video on Jesus and Herod, we showed a few weeks ago here):



    Oh, how many shopping days until Christmas?  Check here.

    (a few less days til final exam)


    Here are the slideshow and notes from Ray Vander Laan's visit to the synagogue at Gamla.
    Note that he suggested that Jesus "style" of Messiah, and the kind of rabbi he was, contrasted with the zealousness, capacity for political violence of the Zealots:
    'Jesus' message differed greatly from that of the Zealots. He offered freedom—but not in earthly or political ways. Instead, he offered spiritual freedom and lived a humble lifestyle with little earthly power."

    How do you see Jesus' method or message similar to/contrasting with that of the Pharisees? Sadducees?

    If you didn't catch the definitions of:
    Zealots, Pharisees, Sadducees, and Rabbi
    ..they are all in the glossary of Hauer/Young.

    The mid-term will say "Say everything you can about the _________"
     for each group above..

    Here's more info on Zealots ,

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    possible chiasms that encompass all of Matthew's gospel

    While many smaller chiasms are obvious and indisputable,
    several wider chiasms may well be truly present as well.
    It is not unlikely that a whole book of the Bible (or check this out: the whole Bible)
    is chiastically arranged.
    Here are some possible ways to chart out Matthew's gospel.  As you weigh the evidence, remmber that chiasms call attention to the center as the most important...central (literally) point/theme.

    1)
    A. Genealogy (past), 1:1-17
     
    B. First Mary and Jesus’ birth, 1:18-25
    C. Gifts of wealth at birth, 2:1-12
    D. Descent into Egypt; murder of children, 2:13-21
    E. Judea avoided, 2:22-23
    F. Baptism of Jesus, 3:1–8:23
    G. Crossing the sea, 8:24–11:1
    H. John’s ministry, 11:2-19
    I. Rejection of Jesus, 11:20-24
    J. Gifts for the new children, 11:25-30
    K. Attack of Pharisees, 12:1-13
    L. Pharisees determine to kill the innocent Servant, 12:14-21
    K’ Condemnation of Pharisees, 12:22-45
    J’ Gifts for the new children, 13:1-52
    I’ Rejection of Jesus, 13:53-58
    H’ John’s death, 14:1-12
    G’ Crossing the sea, 14:13–16:12
    F’ Transfiguration of Jesus, 16:13–18:35
    E’ Judean ministry, 19:1–20:34
    D’ Ascent into Jerusalem; judgment on Jews, 21:1–27:56
    C’ Gift of wealth at death, 27:57-66
    B’ Last Marys and Jesus’ resurrection, 28:1-15

    A' Commission (future), 28:16-20 













    ---------
    2)see page 9 here,  or below. a chiasm making chapter 13 the center of book:



    A. Demonstration of Jesus' Qualifications as King (chaps. 1—4)
     B. Sermon on the Mount: Who Can Enter His Kingdom (chaps. 5—7)
        C. Miracles and Instruction (chaps 8—9)
            D. Instruction to the Twelve: Authority and Message for Israel (chap. 10)
               E. Opposition: The Nation's Rejection of the King (chaps. 11—12)
                               F.  Kingdom Parables: Kingdom Postponed (chap. 13)
               E.' Opposition: The Nation's Rejection of the King (chaps. 14—17)
            D.' Instruction to  Twelve: Authority and Message for the Church (chap.18)
       C.' Miracles and Instruction (chaps. 19—23)
     B.' Olivet Discourse: When the Kingdom Will Come (chaps. 24—25)
    A.' Demonstration of Jesus' Qualifications as King (chaps. 26—28)"32

    ------------------------------
    3)Evaluation of possible chiasms of whole book (centering chapter 11 or 13),,scroll to pp. 36-45  here  (David Bauer's excellent book)
    --------------
    ALSO:
    If Matthew 13 is indeed the chiastic center, note that Matt. 13 itself is chiastic:
    --









    : According to The Expositor’s Bible Commentary vol.8 p.10, David Wenham was the first modern scholar to recognize that Matthew 13:3-52 is a chiasm. However, it is not a perfect chiasm though.
    13:1-2 Jesus came
    -  13:3-9 Parable of the sower, addressed to the crowds
    --   13:10-12 The disciples ask and Jesus answers
    ---      13:10-17 The purpose of parables (for outsiders)
    ----           13:18-23 Interpretation of the parable of the sower
    -----                    13:24-33 Three more parables addressed to the crowd-digressions


    ---           13:34-35 The purpose of parables (for disciples)
    ----        13:36-43 Interpretation of the parable of the wheat and the tares
    end of digression
    -                ----13:44-48 Three more parables addressed to the disciples "The kingdom of Heaven is like…" (treasure, pearl, net)
    -      --- 13:49-50 Explanation
    -       - 13:51 Jesus’ asks and the disciples answer
    -    13:52 Parable of new treasure and old
    13:53 Jesus left
    Within this structure, Matthew 13:13-17 is also a chiasm.




    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Follow up posts from 12/14 Class Session: Exile and Temple Tantrum

    We are wrapping up our Old Testament/Tanak "backstory" to the "Who is Jesus (in Matthew)?" question.
    What everything we have studied so far has to do with  New Testament/Jesus   will continually come into sharper focus as the course progresses.

    In today's class, we'll focus on  exile...see Vander :Laan's article:

    Seventy Reasons for Seventy Years: The Exile


    It addresses an intriguing "literary world" question that is hardly ever asked: Why 70 years?
    See also "Exile and Punishment and Hope" .


    We'll spend time on the hope in midst of exile, and the rebuilding of the temple upon return. See Isaiah 40-66, especially  Is, 53:3-6, which Jesus quotes during his "temple tantrum."  We'll see how crucial that literary world  reference was.

    And regarding the "historical world":


    Most think Jesus' "temple tantrum" was due to his being ticked off about folks "selling stuff in church.". But he didn't say "Quit selling stuff in church" , but "My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations," quoting Is 56:6-8, whose context is all about letting foreigners and outcasts have a place..hmmm. He was likely upset that not that Dovesellers and money changers were doing business selling and changing , but that they were doing so in the "outer court,"  (AKA the "Court of the GENTILES"), the only place where "foreigners" could have a pew at "attend church." They were making the temple area "a den of thieves" not (just) by overcharging for doves and currency exchange, but by robbing folks..'all nations'... of a place to pray..and to "access access" to God.

    Could it be that Jesus' temple anger was targeted at racism/prejudice more than (instead of) commercialism?
    (I think you'll enjoy next month's  readings from Kraybill's "Upside Down Kingdom"  on this passage; he has a chapter called "Fumigating the Temple,"....which you might skim now, to help supplement today's discussion....Yeah, right..like you have TIME (:..)


    More on this topic, click:

     

     Here  and here are helpful  Ray Vander Laan teachings on the temple courts.

    --------------------
    Here's something I learned on one of my Israel trips; this one with a group of only North Americans:

    Ask a busload of American Christians, while they are in Israel,

    "What continent are we on right now?"

    You get several wrong answers ("Europe"), and several "deer in the headlights" looks.
    Some were sure, but wrong: Africa.

    Thanks for playing, anyway.

    You know the answer.

    But it is still shocking to us.

    Which is why I love these two video clips:
    ------------------

    1)Wolfgang Simson says "Jesus, being an Asian..."


    2)Dan Nainan: "My father is Indian, and my mother is Japanese. And people say, 'How neat, you are half-Asian.' ....Where do they think Asia IS, Antarctica?! ...Half of American schoolchildren can't find Earth...on a map OF Earth!":

    ----------------------

    On a lighter note, our "devotional" video..which (as usual) has quite a bit to do with our theme:

    If you  haven't seen this yet,   before you watch, fill in this blank quickly in your mind:
    "In England, they drive on the _________ side of the road.":





    Related: my article in Salt Fresno magazine

    --

    Oh, trivia from last week:
    How long did the Israelites "wander in the wilderness?"
    Everyone "knows" the answer is supposed to be 40 years.
    Indeed Deuteronomy 2:7 says so.
    But Deuteronomy 2:14 implies it was 38 years. 


    (articles  here)

    Follow up posts from 9/12 Class Session: Bride at Sinai

    THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AS A WEDDING:


    The two Ray VanderLaan videos we showed from Mount Sinai were new, so there are no online versions of them yet.. excerpt for this short YouTube excerpt below( We didn't show this section, but it was filmed on the way up the mountain):
    The episodes are on this DVD.


    THANKFULLY, though, here are (by popular demand) the wedding videos of the Laughing Bride...You'll remember these actually applied to our "historical world" conversation comparing the giving of the commandments to a wedding imagery:



    ---------------
    BONUS:  some of the bride's laugh attacks we didn't show in class:




    Bacsktory:


    ---PS Here is my wedding and funeral book story:

    CLick:"It happens every time you officiate a wedding"


    Check out this card I was handed at the wedding:


    Luke 14:8-11:

    8"When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, 'Give this man your seat.' Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. 11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

    ---






    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Follow up posts from 9/4 Class Session (Sinai and Prep for Amos Assignment)

    Great class session today...and  let me say again, you exceeded expectations with your "Jesus and My World" Assignments!

    1)The funny opening "devotional" from Colbert (interviewing the congressman about the Ten Commandments)
    turned out to have several helpful serious points about the "literary world" of   today's topic (Moses on Mount Sinai and the Ten Commandments).  Here it is:
    The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
    Better Know a District - Lynn Westmoreland Update
    www.colbertnation.com
    Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News
    2)We introduced a new (and final) set to "set theory":
    the fuzzy set  (see week post for the other two).
    Here below is some help on Fuzzy Sets (these readings will help, but if you missed class today, you may want to talk to a classmate about some of the biblical and other examples to get a handle on this):




    We also noted that sometimes a "centered set" seems to have a moving center....especially if it's Jesus.  Guess which center dot is bigger in this diagram at right>....









    ..

    Optical illusion of the center:  It is the blue point of left which is in the center.

    <Guess which dot here at this diagram is the center..





    ...Then click this title to read more:

    centered sets with moving center





    3)We also introduced a new "literary world"  device today,  one that was helpful for studying the Mount Sinai account.
    You can call it:
    "intertexuality,"

    or

     "hyperlinking"...

    or as Vander Laan called it in our video today, "story shaping story."

    You can also visualize it via this Chris Harrison chart "Visualizing the Bible" that we showed (or tried to show) in class.  You can see how the "cross-references" or hyperlinks work out by clicking here, but the basic idea is that this timeline of the Bible is created by color-coded arcs that appear wherever one story shapes or references another story elsewhere in the Bible (note some arcs or "bows" of the rainbow are shorter than others...this shows the distance from beginning of Bible to end).

    4)The video for today is not online (though available as episode 4 on this DVD),
    but some of the connections/intertexting that was done between Old Testament   (Passover/Exodus/Ten Commandments) and New Testament (Pentecost) are drawn out in this  brief article.

    You'll probably never forget how important (and funny) the simple scriptural phrase "And Moses went up to God," now that you have seen re-enacted the all-morning climb...by an elderly man!

    5) You will need to know (for test)  why Jewish people reading Matthew would say "Oh, I get it.  Matthew is trying to tell us that Jesus is the New Moses (or the fulfillment of Moses)!"  The answer has to to with the obvious intentionality of the 5 "teaching blocks" in Matthew..Five being a hugely significant  number for Jews...it's the number of books in the Torah, AKA the Five Books of Moses, AKA The  Pentateuch "(Five Books in One.")  See page  269 of Hauer and Young (if you have a different edition than the class edition, it's the section called "Matthew: A Higher Righteousness" in the chapter called " The Proclaimer Becomes the Proclaimed.")

    6) HOMEWORK: next Tuesday, your first "Three Worlds" Assignment is due.
      This first one is to be a page of notes (not a formal research paper, but notes or outline as if you were to make a class presentation; do cite your sources, but no big deal on format: APA etc   You can write this in legible handwriting, Word Doc or Google Doc...or present it on power point or video.).  Choose a section of the book of Amos (read it all...or listen to it on audio or podast here that makes sense for you.  It can be short (We have by now seen a couple examples where even one verse or sentence is loaded with meaning) or
    a bit longer (maybe a paragraph or chapter, but remember chapter divisions in the Bible are not always the best marker of when a unit/story/section begins or ends). but it should represent one literary unit or story.  Then  choose to study and research EITHER the literary world  OR historical
     world of that passage.

    I forgot to mention this in class, but you should include information in your textbooks  (definitely Hauer/Young and Grimsrud, but maybe also Kraybill (use index)  that relate (info about the
    "Three Worlds" theory, or about the book of Amos),
    Other possible resources, available online by clicking the title (or part number) below (or finding  in library), would (you do not have to use any of these, but these are among the most helpful bits) include the below:
    (NOTE:after clicking these links, sometimes you;'ll need to click again to magnify)




    Also excellent, but not online (though several copies in our library), a book by one of our own former faculty:


    REMEMBER TO RE-READ THE COMPLETE INSTRUCTIONS UNDER THE "ASSIGNMENTS" SECTION OF THIS SITE..

    Follow up posts from 9/2 Class Session: Exodus, Beach Party and Kingdom

    Today's video on The Exodus and the "Dance Party on the Beach" is not online in any form (though you can buy it as episode 5 on this DVD.    The points to remember are how this was the seminal/foundational/formative microcosmic event of   (perhaps all) Scripture, in that:

    1)It presents a pattern and prototype of any deliverance from bondage/slavery; and every "way out" (Ex-Odus)
    from an old way/world to a new way/world.  We had some good discussion about "in-between times" in our lives that we recognized  (maybe only in retrospect) as pivotal  and formative.  Crossing the sea is often meant to call to mind crossing a barrier (remember the Jordan River video from Week One) into a while new world, creation  or order; from allegiance to forbidden gods to The One God.

    2)It is really the first time God's people are formed/forged into a community; they have "been through stuff together" and are inevitably bonded and changed through a corporate experience.

    Also, remember  (for the test) that Jewish tradition that the Kingdom of God functionally, and for all practical purposes began (or landed in a foundational way on earth) when God's people there on the beach danced and sang, "The Lord is reigning" ( Exodus 15:18 )...remembering that "reigning" could be translated "King" or "Reigner".  Thus, God's Kingship "began" when God's people publicly recognized it after seeing God in action in dramatic way as King.  Vander Laan: "The Kingdom begins when God acts":


    • "The Lord is   reigning from this point onward."
    • "The Lord is   King      from this point onward."