Thursday, March 3, 2011

Week 1: Texts, Worlds, Sets/Creation and Community

Thanks for a great first class!
As you heard, everyone takes a version of this class..that's been true since at least 1982 when this dude took it>>

Here's some summary and follow up.  We talked about
  • TEXTS
  • WORLDS
  • SETS            and introduced our first theme:
  • CREATION AND COMMUNITY
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TEXTS..

.every text..from a text message to the Bible needs context.



I had one students text me (cell phone) a random text message during class to illustrate that texts need contexts. 

Like this one:GODISNOWHERE:  is it GOD IS NOWHERE  or GOD IS NOW HERE?

How you read  (and ineterpret) the text changes as much as everything.

Spaces matter.

Like this:

Professor Ernest Brennecke of Columbia is credited with inventing a sentence that can be made to have eight different meanings by placing ONE WORD in all possible positions in the sentence: 
"I hit him in the eye yesterday."


The word is "ONLY".
The Message:

1.ONLY I hit him in the eye yesterday. (No one else did.)
2.I ONLY hit him in the eye yesterday. (Did not slap him.)
3.I hit ONLY him in the eye yesterday. (I did not hit others.)
4.I hit him ONLY in the eye yesterday. (I did not hit outside the eye.)
5.I hit him in ONLY the eye yesterday. (Not other organs.)
6.I hit him in the ONLY eye yesterday. (He doesn't have another eye..)
7.I hit him in the eye ONLY yesterday. (Not today.)
8.I hit him in the eye yesterday ONLY. (Did not wait for today.)
                              -link 

Like this 'text message' from Jesus:
I SAY TO YOU TODAY, "YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.'
or is it,
I SAY TO YOU, " TODAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE."

The original manuscripts of the Bible not only run all letters, all caps, together, but include no punctuation.

Punctuation matters.

Everything is  context.
Context is everything.

(By the way, that last statement was a chiasm..more on that later)

I won't even mention the "but cheeks" story (: 

WORLDS:
We became familiar/reacquainted with the "Three Worlds"  concept which comes from your Hauer/Young Textbook, see especially chapters two and three, and see class notes.
Here  below is how one student summarized the worlds (she has more detail here)


Literary World--The literary world of the Bible is simply the text itself, apart from anything outside the text.  We mean the world (or, better, worlds) created by the text; the words on the page, by the stories, songs, letters and the myriad other types of literature that make up the Bible.  All good literature (and the Bible is, among other things, good literature) creates in readers' minds magnificent, mysterious, and often moving worlds that take on a reality of their own, whether or not they represent anything real outside the pages (Hauer and Young ch 2).




Historical World--The historical world of the Bible is the world "behind the text" or "outside the text".  It is the context in which the Bible came to be written, translated, and interpreted over time, until the present.  In studying the historical world of the Bible, we look for evidence outside the text that helps us answer questions such as, who wrote this text, when was it written, to whom was it written, and why was it written.  We also probe the text itself for evidence that links it to historical times, places, situations, and persons (Hauer and Young 2)..



Contemporary World--The contemporary world is the "world in front of the text" or the "world of the reader."  In one sense, there are as many contemporary worlds of the Bible as there are readers, for each of us brings our own particular concerns and questions to the text.  They inevitably shape our reading experience.  We are all interested in answering the questions of whether the Bible in general, or particular texts, have any relevance to our personal lives (Hauer and Young  ch3).
-Brolin
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We highlighted the LITERARY WORLD BY INTRODUCING CHIASM AND INCLUSIO
as  "literary world" devices:

Chiasm(definition) and inclusio (definition).. once you are attuned to seeing them in Scripture (and most ancient literature) it seems they are everywhere.

Sometimes they are.
Who can argue that "the first shall belast/
the last shall be first" is a chiasm?
A-B-B-A, X pattern.


(and this one, because it's in Matthew [20:16], will be important
for our class.
But often the chiasm is wide enough to spotlight and intended embedded theme in between the endpoints.

And to really help us get what the Spirit is saying...structurally.




People remember how to perform a piece of music by using musical notations on scale. A similar solution to the problem of remembering how to perform a piece of dance has been solved with the use of Labonotation. In antiquity, it seems most written documents were intended to be read aloud, hence to be performed. The purpose of writing was to facilitate remembering how the document went when one read it aloud. But how did one make paragraphs or mark off units in a document read aloud? It seems that the main way to mark off a unit was to use repetition of words and/or phrases at the beginning and end of a unit, either alone (as in Matt 5:3, 10,"...for theirs is teh kingdom of heaven) or in parallel bracketing fashion (as John 1:18). The Greeks called such parallel brackets a chiasm, after one half of the letter "chi" (our 'X"), thus ">."-Social Science Commentary on the Gospel of John, p. 295, emphasis mine.. a free read online here. 



 here are some links to these literary devices we talked about:

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To get the power of HISTORICAL WORLD..
We looked at  Matt. 2:1a, and the historical world image of the Herodian fortress, in whose shadow was  Jesus).  YOU CAN WATCH our VanDer Laan  "In the Shadow of Herod" video HERE in two parts:


    video
    video
VanDer Laan writes
















THE MASTER BUILDER
There was another side to Herod. His visionary building programs, his ingenious development of trade with the rest of the world, and his advancement of the interests of his nation are legendary. Many of his building projects were designed to strengthen the loyalty of his subjects, a goal he never achieved. Most seem to have been built to strengthen his relationship with Rome and to establish himself as the greatest king the Jews had ever had. Herod built on a magnificent and grandiose scale. His building projects included:
The Herodion: This mountain fortress overlooked the town of Bethlehem. Standing on a high hill, the upper fortress was round and more than 200 feet in diameter. Originally, it was seven stories high, with an eastern tower that stood more than 40 feet higher. Packed dirt covered the first four stories, giving the upper fortress a cone shape. Inside were a peristyle garden, reception hall, Roman baths, and countless apartments. The lower palace included an enormous pool, a colonnaded garden, a 600-foot-long terrace, and a building more than 400 feet long. The Herodion was the third-largest palace in the ancient world....

....The visitor cannot help being impressed with Herod's vision and ingenuity. However, all that remain are spectacular ruins, because Herod lived for Herod. By contrast, another builder, a humble carpenter born in Bethlehem, used a different material than did Herod (Matt. 16:18; 1 Peter 2:4-8). Jesus' buildings continue to grow because He built for the glory of God. Like David (1 Sam. 17:46), Elijah (1 Kings 18:36), and Hezekiah (Isa. 37:20), He lived so that the world may know that Yahweh, the God of Israel, is truly God. His construction projects will last forever because He built for the glory of God the Father.  -link                                        


VanDer Laan's website is a great resource..it's here.
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SETS
Articles on set theory:














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Theme for week 1: CREATION AND COMMUNITY:

The second Ray Vander Laan video we showed is not online yet, but Is available on this DVD

The video on The Exodus and the "Dance Party on the Beach" points to  what 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 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 "cohortness" experience of community.


Also, remember  the 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."

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REVISED SCRIPTURE READINGS AND QUIZ:

Scripture readings (the others listed in the syllabus will NOT be required:


  • Week2: Matthew 5-7
  • Week3: Matthew 18
  • Week4:Proverbs 10 – 15
  • Week5 Psalms  1, 22, 23, 137, 139  (replaces the psalms in syllabus)
  • Week 6:  Philemon





QUIZ terms to study for Week 5 (this replaces page 9 of syllabus):

  1. EXODUS
  2. PHARISEES
  3. SADDUCEES
  4. ZEALOTS
  5. ESSENES
  6. TORAH
  7. BOUNDED SET
  8. CENTERED SET
  9. CHIASM 
  10. INCLUSIO

------------quiz prep:
(click each group's name for a short article)



Sadducees














Essenes



                               Zealots

    2 comments:

    1. Is this a chiasm? John 10:10 The thief's purpose is to steal, kill, and distroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.
      What about these? You have to give in away in order to keep it.....Let go and let God

      ReplyDelete
    2. St. Virginia, you really rock.

      You made my day!

      Great observation..those items you noticed are so close to chiasm, they are a close cousin called "anithetic parallelism" More examples are in your book

      John 10:10 is an ABAB, as oppposed to ABBA.

      The chiastic persons (Jesus and thief) are parallel, not crossed. But the thought itself is chiastic as there is a reversal.

      ReplyDelete