Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Living Spiritual Rhythms - July 31

Many believers assume the fixed absolute authority of the Bible, so I’m aware that what follows doesn’t often happen, but I think it should. Adopting a version of authority for the biblical text ought to be tentative, not complete. Here’s why. Authority has to take into account an ANE, Jewish and Greco-Roman setting, the natural world, the theological environment, and the literary context if it’s to have credibility. In the hope of understanding and explaining the text better after engaging with these informers, the plausibility of ‘authority’ can only then be assessed. On this account, I’d wager that the outcome should be that authority is going to be in motion and will have to be open to the emerging and unfolding information available to us as time goes on.


carter said...

Several years ago, Biblical Archaeology Review had an article about how the Western culture misreads the parable of the talents: that the only servant who did what was Levitically correct was the one who buried the talent. In the entire context of Luke 19, I read that the parable comes on the heels of the Pharisees condemning Jesus for eating with tax collectors and sinners (Zacchaeus) and the disciples own conjecture that the kingdom was going to appear at once. Jesus may even be referring to himself as the servant with the one talent.

In an historical context, one of the Herods had died and Herod Archelaus entrusted the throne to several underlings and went to Rome to get his appointment secured by Caesar. The reference to the noble who went to a distant country to have himself appointed king. My history may be off a bit, but the context is totally lost without a knowledge of the time, customs, and locale as well as history.

Greg said...

Thanks Carter for these helpful insights.