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Posts tagged "Old Testament"

The Promise of Scripture “to Come”: Qumran, Derrida, and Unfulfilled Desire, Part 2

Here’s the second part of Caitlin Hubler’s essay. For part one, start here. For too long, conceptions of scriptural authority have become identical with notions of scripture’s immutability and containment. However, as surprising as it might be to modern sensibilities, the scriptural text of late Second Temple Judaism was both open and sacred. Jews living in […]

The Promise of Scripture “to Come”: Qumran, Derrida, and Unfulfilled Desire, Part 1

Thankful for this one from Caitlin Hubler. “The” Old Testament does not exist. That is, there is no one version of the text. Although most of us encounter it in the form of a single, neatly bound book alongside the New, behind this veneer of simplicity lies a complex process of transmission, selection, and reconstruction. […]

The Top Ten Reasons the Lectionary Sucks and Five Half-Assed Solutions

This one comes to us from Sarah Hinlicky Wilson: A lectionary is a collection of readings for Sunday worship, ordered according to the seasons of the church year. The version most widely used by mainline Protestants is the Revised Common Lectionary, though others such as the earlier Common Lectionary and the Roman Catholic Lectionary for […]

Hopelessly Devoted: Second Samuel Chapter Nine Verse Thirteen

Happy Monday! Here’s your daily supplement of Gospel juju, coming at you piping hot. This one comes from DZ.

And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table, and he was crippled in both feet. (2 Samuel 9:13, NIV)

Try saying “Mephibosheth” five times in row—it’s a mouthful! But it’s also a name that should conjure up only the most positive associations. To set the scene: After David becomes king of Israel (following Saul’s defeat and suicide), his first order of business is to find any surviving relations of his late, beloved friend Jonathan, Saul’s son, so that he might show them kindness.

r15David soon finds out that Jonathan’s sole living heir, Mephibosheth, is “crippled in both feet” and not exactly regal material. Mephibosheth seems to have internalized his disabilities, referring to himself in front of David as “a dead dog” (9:8). Yet without any hesitation, David restores to him all of his family land and issues the command that Mephibosheth is to dine at the king’s table at every meal, henceforth.

This is a touching example of grace in the Old Testament. An unworthy person receives love and favor on account of something that someone else has done. Even more, there is a deep security to the new situation—Mephibosheth will always eat at David’s table, like one of his sons. What is the result of this radical decree? We are told that Mephibosheth himself has a son. That is, hope springs where there was once desperation and life where there once was death. (Of course, the feet remain crippled…)

Sometimes we get to witness grace like this, and occasionally we even get to experience it. Even though acts of grace astound us, it is only a shadow of the real thing: the grace given by God on account of the death of Jesus.

Have you ever felt like a dead dog? Or perhaps there is something in your life that feels (or looks) like a dead dog? That’s where the voice of the King is to be heard, the voice of unconditional love that makes dead things alive and brings hope to the hopeless. The voice that says, “Because of My beloved son, you will always eat at my table.”

Why Then The Law? Part 3: Letter, Spirit and Life

In our last installment, the argument was made that in an attempt to shore up appreciation and respect for the Old Testament—replete with its necessary connections to the history of Israel–by asserting that its importance was found in the fact that it contained the “moral law,” actually ended up helping to marginalize its truly radical claims. By […]

Why Then The Law? Part 1: A Lawful Mess

Throughout the history of the church, the question of the role of the law in the Christian life has been of paramount importance. Indeed, as witnessed to by the writers of the New Testament themselves, the issue was of pressing concern to all involved. In the prologue to John’s Gospel, we hear the radical profession that “the […]

Hopelessly Devoted: Numbers Chapter Fifteen Verses Thirty Two through Thirty Six

To tide you over until our regularly scheduled blogging resumes post-Memorial Day, i.e. tomorrow, here’s a devotion from Mbird’s own Alex Large: While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day.  And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron and […]

“Wake me up inside…” (part 5b): Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Reconciliation (iv.1.58)

(iv.1.58.4 cont.) In the doctrine of reconciliation humanity is not only confronted with the positive side of the truths in Jesus Christ, but also the negative side of the truth of sin in the world initiated by humanity and its victim. By Jesus’ atoning work, God reconciles covenant breaking humanity to Himself by Himself. Consequently, […]

When Is A Steak Not A Steak?

When it’s a value judgment! A news story of Old Testament (and Luke 15) proportions, via Nothing To Do With Abroath (ht JD): It was a bizarre case of sibling rivalry on Monday night, when Victoria B.C. police had to break up two brothers fighting over who got the bigger piece of steak. At around […]

It’s Not God Who Needs Saving–It’s Us

I ran across a review by John Cottingham–Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Reading and an Honorary Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford–over at Standpoint entitled: “It’s Not God Who Needs Saving–It’s Us,” that adds to the long line of arguments and counter-arguments about the verticality of Dostoyevsky’s operating thesis: If God does […]

You Want Me To Do…What?

There are two messages coming from some pulpits today that I personally don’t like. I’m sure there are plenty of things being said from plenty of pulpits that could be addressed, but these two things have become so ubiquitous that I’m simply fed up, and feel I must say something. The first of these is […]

A Couple of Quotes on Paul’s Interpretive Method from Francis Watson

I’ve been trying to take advantage of the winter break between classes (with varying degrees of success) to make a dent in the ever-growing “must-read” reading list. I did manage to get through Francis Watson’s Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith the other day. (For those who aren’t familiar with the book, a quick summary […]