April 5, 2012 ©Homer Kizer
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Mirrors of Uncertainty
PART TWO OF TWO
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. (1 Tim 2: 5–15)
The author of the Epistle to Titus wrote, “One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’ This testimony is true” (1:12–13) … what is written has about it a sense of meanness that is uncharacteristic of Paul in his epistles to Galatians and the holy ones at Corinth.
The Pastoral Epistles—1st & 2nd Timothy and Titus—as mentioned in PART ONE have been suspected of being productions of an unknown writer claiming to be the Apostle Paul since the 2nd-Century … how does Paul know that Cretans are liars? How does Paul know the works of Cretan prophets is perhaps the better question? Has he read the writings of this prophet before his calling? And to what Jewish myths were the holy ones at Ephesus devoting themselves? Or for that matter, what endless genealogies were being taught at Ephesus (1 Tim 1:4)? Apparently the author of the Pastoral Epistles has considerable information about what is happening far from wherever he is, including knowledge that all in Asia had turned away from Paul (2 Tim 1:15). But should this widespread familiarity with heresies, myths, and the teachings of pagan prophets come as a surprise? The meanness is a surprise but perhaps shouldn’t be; for Paul did approve the stoning of Stephen, and he says of himself that he hates the things he does (Rom chap 7). Would he not hate what he does for cause? Has Paul let his public-face mask slip just a bit so that endtime disciples can see the outer man that Paul’s inner self fights against?
Because the Pastoral Epistles are received as part of Holy Writ, Paul gets credit for them even if he didn’t write them, with their authorship questions forming an obstacle that must be addressed by faith. But historical criticism’s case against Paul being the true author of the epistles to Ephesus, Colossians, Timothy, Titus, and the Hebrews, or for that matter, James, Jesus’ brother, being the author of the Epistle of James, or the Apostle Peter being the author of 1st & 2nd Peter, or the Apostle Matthew being the author of the Gospel of Matthew, or the Apostle John being the author of the Gospel of John—historical criticism’s case rests on absolutely meat-headed readings of Holy Writ, unbelievably poor readings that have caused translators to add words to Greek passages to make the passages say what they think the passage ought to say, with Matthew 26:17 being a prime example, and to twist passages around so that they say the opposite of what is written with Matthew 24:4 being an example, as well as to not grasp the significance of missing articles as in John 1:1, where arche (without a definite article) has been translated as “beginning” instead of the more logical English word “primacy.”
So, could Paul have known what a Cretan prophet said about his own people? Just how much did Paul know?
Luke records in Acts,
Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, "What does this babbler wish to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities"—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean." Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new. So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: "Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, 'To the unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, In him we live and move and have our being; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.' Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead." (Acts 17:16–31 emphasis added)
Paul apparently also knows Greek poetry …
The argument Paul makes on Mars Hill is more sophisticated than I have heard anyone explicate: it is the juxtaposition that Paul makes that Epicurean and Stoic philosophers would’ve recognized that is here of most importance. Paul sets in place the relationship of metal and stone to living persons as typifying the relationship between philosophers and the unknown God that is the creator of everything made. The philosophers are to this God as gold or silver statuary is to them. And as a lifeless stone sculpture cannot think the thoughts of its sculptor but involuntarily submits to the chisel to be whatever the sculptor chooses to make from the stone, so too is man to this Creator God.
What Luke records Paul saying is if a person that has substance and indwelling life is as lifeless stone, then God cannot have substance while having indwelling life of a sort that is not found in a human person. Paul denies life to an indwelling soul; for gold, silver, or stone have no life of any sort. A person has life. Now moving this relationship upward from physical to spiritual: a human person has no indwelling spiritual life as a stone has no indwelling physical life, but God has indwelling spiritual life as a human person has indwelling physical life. Only when a person is a son of God, the offspring of God, will the person have indwelling spiritual life such that he can be raised from death alive. So all men are now commanded to repent for the times of ignorance have passed: the world will be judged in righteousness by a man whom God has appointed for this purpose, with God having given certainty to this judgment by raising the righteous man from death.
In 1 Corinthians 9:20–21, Paul writes, “To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.” … To Stoic philosophers, Paul became as a Stoic philosopher arguing after death fortune reversal—the righteous man shall live—as he uses their ability to reason as his means of advancing his gospel; as he uses their love for equivocation to transform stone into flesh, and flesh into spirit, and death into life.
Some scholars have questioned the validity of the Book of Acts for Paul seems to be using the philosophers’ ignorance as an excuse for their idolatry; whereas Paul writes in his treatise to the holy ones at Rome,
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Rom 1:18–20)
In his treatise to the Romans, Paul doesn’t acknowledge ignorance as a justifiable excuse for idolatry; so why does Paul give the impression on Mars Hill that it is a justifiable excuse? … If Greek philosophers have been worshiping the unknown God all along, have they not been worshiping God? That is Paul’s logic imbedded in telling them that they are religious. Paul said to them that he was there to declare the unknown God to them, thereby establishing a hard link between the Father and the unknown God that these Greek philosophers have been worshiping all along. So how were these Greeks not worshiping the Father? Certainly they were not worshiping the Father in truth and in spirit, but then, neither were the Jews of Herod’s Temple, or the Samaritans on their mountain. So these philosophers were, by the logic Paul employed, no worse idolaters than Jews in Jerusalem were, and no more guilty before God than his own people were.
Step out of your comfort zone and consider a modern example: if a Muslim who is not under the Law and who only acknowledges Jesus as a great prophet, does those things that the Law requiring in loving brother and neighbor, will this Muslim not be saved according to Paul’s gospel?
For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. (Rom 2:12–16 emphasis added)
There is no preaching or Christ or Christ crucified here, or of professing that Jesus is Lord. There is, according to Paul only one criterion for salvation, doing what the Law requires, which is having love for God, neighbor, and brother. And do not Muslims worship the God that created heaven and earth even if they worship Him in ignorance? Both premises are correct: Muslims worship the deity that created all that is physically, and they worship Him in ignorance. Therefore, by the juxtaposition Paul established when addressing Greek philosophers, these devout pagan philosophers were not farther from God than are devout Muslims today, or devout Jews today, or devout Christians today. None are where they ought to be because of their ignorance at which God has in past times ignored.
Did ignorance of what the oracles of God had to say about a suffering Messiah disqualify Jews of Herod’s temple from being the people of God? No. And the Greeks in Athens had poets who had said that men are God’s offspring, so were not these philosophers who were not under the Law to be judged by whether the works of the Law (i.e., to have love for God, neighbor and brother) were manifested in their lives thereby disclosing that the Law was written on their hearts even though they didn’t have the Law?
What scholars and critics, again universally poor readers of Holy Writ and men and women who would not fair well in a discussion with Stoic philosophers, have failed to understand is that post-Calvary Herod’s Temple was no more the House of God than was any temple dedicated to a Greek god. The Church was the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27) and as the Body of Christ, the Church was the temple of God (1 Cor 3:16–17; 2 Cor 6:16). There was no other temple of God. Thus, first disciples worshiping in Herod’s temple was analogous to a disciple worshiping in the temple of Artemis at Ephesus—yes, it was! But there probably wasn’t a disciple in the 1st-Century who would make this connection. This is an awareness that comes from being an endtime disciple, from telling the story from the perspective of knowing what happened to the first disciples. This is an awareness that comes with spiritual maturation.
To review: because Paul made the hard link between the statue to the unknown God and the Father, Paul made himself one with Greek philosophers as was his custom in being all things to all men. Therefore, Paul argumentatively elevated Greeks to the same status as being sons of God as Jews of Herod’s Temple had; thus, he could be no more critical of these philosophers than he was of his own people for there were none righteous, no not one (Rom 3:9–10). There can now be no double standard (because of what Paul did in his hard link) in what Paul told Greek philosophers and what Paul preached to his fellow Jews when “he cried out in the council, ‘Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial’” (Acts 23:6).
Critics who find in Acts that Paul preached one thing to Greek Philosophers but wrote the opposite thing in his treatise to the Romans simply haven’t grasped the argument Paul made at Athens, or grasped his gospel which has the disciple coming under the Moab covenant, with circumcision of the heart being the defining circumcision of who is and who isn’t a Jew. This means that for Paul, the inner self when born of spirit (i.e., born from above through receiving a second breath of life) was Israel, not the fleshly body; hence outward circumcision—never part of the law—was without meaning and might well keep a person from entering the kingdom if importance was placed on the flesh.
Returning to the Pastoral Epistles, if Paul had enough familiarity with Greek poets and poetry that he could reason with philosophers concerning what was written in texts that the sons of Aramaic-speaking fishermen probably did not even know existed, then most likely Paul could use the Greek language in ways that endtime scholars cannot appreciate … for Old Norse Literature, I had a professor, D.A. Bartlett, whose doctorate was in Old French from University of Oregon if I remember correctly. Dr. Bartlett once observed that Percy Shelley with only 6th-grade Latin knew the language better than someone with a Ph.D. in Latin in the late 20th-Century. And it is this observation I want to address: Paul would have known Greek and Greek texts better than a Koine Greek scholar in the 20th-Century regardless of the institution in which the scholar studied. For a scholar to speak with authority about 1st-Century Greek texts is presumptive at best. None of them know enough to make and support claims that are made, and neither do I — I’m trying to recover a mere portion of what has been lost to the pens of scribes and translators that don’t understand the significance of a short line versus a long line of prose.
In the past three Endnotes and now in this one, I have included unpublished essays written at various times over the past thirty years and at least one poem … I’ll include another within a paragraph or so. What I have tried to show is that my narrative voice remains consistent but has changed (not an oxymoron) as I matured inwardly and outwardly. And this is what’s seen in Paul’s epistles, with the Pastoral Epistles being Pauline enough to satisfy most 2nd-Century believers. And the odd statements in the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas actually make sense if read from the perspective of the mediator of the Moab covenant going from Moses whose face shone with glory to the glorified Christ Jesus whose face will obviously shine with glory—and what are we to make of that?
For a decade I have ignored scholars practicing historical criticism: their scholarship hardly seemed worth me wasting my time addressing, such is their inability to closely read Holy Writ. I suspect these scholars and critics inability to read is rooted in them not keeping the Sabbaths of God, including the Feast of Unleavened Bread, so they simply do not understand how these Sabbaths work together to produce a whole. And rabbinical Judaism has been no help to them; for rabbinical Judaism has been unfaithful in keeping the oracles of God even though these oracles were entrusted to them … any people that assign numerical singularity to linguistic plurals are ideologically dishonest. Any people that start a year in the fall when they are commanded to start the year in the spring are willfully disobedient and far from God, but so too is the person who lives with another as man and wife without being married. Transgressions are in degrees, with these degrees bearing little on the penalty for them but affecting considerably the ease or difficulty of repentance. After all, it is easy to get married, but extremely difficult to reject the idol of monotheism imprinted on the minds of Israel before Jesus the Nazarene came to reveal His God and His Father, the God of the dead ones to His disciples, with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob being the God of the living ones (Matt 22:32) and now the judge of the living.
The idol of monotheism—yes, Judaism transformed its worship of the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob into an idol so that it could not and to this day cannot accept the possibility that what this people long worshiped as one was two that functioned as one, with the one whose backside Moses saw being the God of the living that entered His creation as the man Jesus the Nazarene and who surrendered his primacy so as to bridge the gap between heaven and earth. Thus, when the God of the living surrendered primacy to the God of the dead ones, there is now only one deity holding primacy, and rabbinical Judaism denies His existence as does Islam.
When a naïve Christian such as the former poet laureate of Idaho leaves the hinterland and enters an accredited university, with this young Christian having no preparation to do battle with alleged discrepancies and some real discrepancies in the Bible, the young Christian is as a lamb surrounded by a pack of coyotes: it will only be a matter of time before blood is shed and a life is lost as was case for the former poet laureate.
In the fall of 1998, I wrote the following after watching the incident from the kitchen table:
ALONG A SAGGING FENCELINE
ALONG A SAGGING FENCELINE ALONG A SAGGING FENCELINE
in silence & fear
a doe surrounded
but not killing
she carried close
to her heart
& in dark memories
hears ageless howls
of hunter & hunted
as she feels warmth
gush from now cold flanks—
I lower my binoculars
when only two forelegs
& a stain of blood
remain above a fencepost
& for a moment
feel less guilty
about a deer wounded
(from Upriver, Beyond the Bend)
Naïve Christians entering prestigious universities have about as much chance of graduating with their faith in tact as that doe had when one coyote hazed her along a barbed wire fence line to where two coyotes lay in wait … the short lines place emphasis on words as words not as signifiers conveying a sense of what happened across Highway 12, across the Clearwater River, and up the hill beyond the railroad tracks. The coyotes were in rifle range, and I would have shot them if I did not have to shoot across the highway, the river, and the tracks: it was illegal to shoot across roadways. My instincts were to come to the doe’s rescue, as my instincts today are to come to the rescue of spiritual lambs about to be slain by historical criticism. But as was the case on that Sabbath day when I watched the three coyotes gut and begin to eat the doe while she was still alive, I really cannot help the naïve Christian in the Land on the Wrong Side of the River, with Sabbath observance represented by the River Jordan.
Bill Johnson, whose performance of Beowulf still awes me, lost his faith when he encountered the fangs of historical criticism. He simply wasn’t prepared for what he encountered. Nor were faculty members from the former Worldwide Church of God’s Ambassador College when they went to get graduate degrees so that the Bible College could obtain accreditation: none of them retained their naïve faith even though they should have matured sufficiently intellectually to throw historical criticism’s really bad readings of Paul’s epistles into the trash cans in every classroom.
I have told the story before: with daughters ready to go to college and with no money—and having recently lost my right knee which ended a budding career as an outdoor writer (not the cartilage but the joint itself)—I returned to the university Fall semester 1988. Since 1982, I had an invitation to join University of Alaska Fairbanks’ graduate writing program even though I had a total of 33 undergraduate semester hours completed more than two decades earlier, with most of those hours coming from Oregon Tech’s gunsmithing program. I was invited to join on the strength of my novel Shelikof. So loading everything I owned that wasn’t still in Dutch Harbor into a 1969 LTD, along with two daughters and all they owned, I journeyed from Kodiak north, not knowing what to expect.
Beginning graduate level English classes without an undergraduate degree but with years of engaging in business, I about choked on the thinly veiled Marxism of the English program, which wasn’t anywhere near as bad at Fairbanks as at Idaho State where I would go after completing the coursework for a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing.
At this same time, Ambassador College was sending faculty members to various graduate theological programs to get terminal degrees--and I knew what would happen to these faculty members, for I felt the authority of academia to compel conformity. However, I had been in business too many years to succumb to that pressure, and when I was given a draft of an unpublished paper from BYU’s linguistics program about Charles Peirce, I had my rebuttal to all things Marxist. It had been there all along. I had sensed it, but I hadn’t expressed it in writing. But once I grasped what the Prague Linguists were describing, I had the ammo I needed to rout Marxist professors, ammo I have since fired at Christian orthodoxy and now at historical criticism: I have one of those magical six-shooters of 1950s Westerns that never ran out of ammo.
Scholars and critics question whether the Epistle to the Ephesians was authored by Paul, same for the Epistle to the Colossians and 2 Thessalonians. Their contention is that the New Testament is a very human book by human authors and because of questionable authors producing works in apostles’ names, the entire concept of a fixed biblical cannon needs to be reexamined not that it will ever be. And their questions about Ephesians and Colossians are anchored in the author[s] use of Greek syntax and sentence length, plus the greater sophistication of theological perception than in the epistles that Paul identifies as spiritual milk, scholars’ so-called Pauline corpus.
Again, indulge me for a short while as I restructure the long sentence in Ephesians 1:3–14 as I might have structured the same words:
+K7?'/I?G ? 1+?G 5!3 A!I/C I?K 5KC3?K /9S; [Blessed the God and Father of the Lord of us]
3/E?K OC3EI?K ? +K7?'/E!E /9!E [Jesus Christ the one having blessed us]
+; A!E/ +K7?'3! A;+K9!I35/ +; I?3E +A?KC!;3?3E [in every blessing breathing in the heavenlies]
+; OC3EIS 5!1SE +=+7+=!I? /97E [in Christ even as He chose us]
+; !KIS AC? 5!I!#?7/E 5?E9?K +3;!3 /9!E [in Him before foundation of cosmos to be us]
!'3?KE 5!3 !9S9?KE 5!I+;SA3?; !KI?K [holy and blameless in sight of Him]
+; !'!A/ AC??C3E!E /9!E [in love having predestined us]
+3E K3?1+E3!; )3! 3/E?K OC3EI?K +3E !KI?; [in sonship through Jesus Christ to Him]
5!I! I/; +K)?53!; I?K 1+7/9!I?E !KI?K [after the desire the will of Him]
+3E +A!3;?; )?=/E I/E O!C3I?E !KI?K [to praise glory the grace of Him]
/E +O!C3ISE+; /9!E +; IS /'!A/9+;S [that is He favored us in the beloved one]
+; S +O?9+; I/; !A?7KICSE3; )3! I?K !39!I?E !KI?K [in whom we have the redemption through the blood of Him]
I/; !M+E3; IS; A!C!AIS9!IS; 5!I! I? A7?KKI?E I/E O!CI?E !KI?K [the forgiveness the trespasses after the wealth the grace of Him]
/E +A+C3EE+KE+; +3E /9!E [that He lavished on us]
+; A!E/ E?M3! 5!3 MC?;/E+3 ';SC3E!E /93; [in all wisdom and understanding having made known to us]
I? 9KEI/C3?; I?K 1+7/9!I?E !KI?K [the mystery of the will of Him]
5!I! I/; +K)?53!; !KI?K [after the desire of Him]
/; AC?+1+I? +; !KI/ [that purposed in Him]
+3G ?35?;?93!; I?K A7/CS9!I?G IS; 5!3CS; [for stewardship of the fullness the times]
!;!5+M!7!3SG!G1!3 I! A!;I! +; IS OC3GIS [to sum up all things in the Christ]
I! +A3 I?3G ?KC!;?3G 5!3 I! +A3 I/G 'SG +; !KIS [the things on the heavens and the things on the earth in Him]
+; S 5!3 +57/CS1/9+; AC??C3G1+;I+G [in whom also we were made an inheritance having been predestined]
5!I! AC?1+G3; I?K I! A!;I! +;+C'?K;I?G [after plan of the one all things working]
5!I! I/; #?K7/; I?K 1+7/9!I?G !KI?K [after the counsel of the will of Him]
+3G I? +3;!3 /9!G +3G +A!3;?; )?=/G !KI?K [for this to be us to praise glory of Him]
I?KG AC?/7A35?I!G +; IS OC3GIS [the ones having previously hoped in the Christ]
+; S 5!3 K9+3G !5?KG!;I+G I?; 7?'?; I/G !7/1+3!G [in whom also you having heard the message the truth]
I? +K!''+73?; I/G GSI/C3!G K/S; [the good news of the salvation of you]
+; S 5!3 A3GI+KG!;I+G +GMC!'3G1/I+ [in whom also having believed you were sealed]
IS A;+K9!I3 I/G +A!''+73!G IS !'3S [with the breath of the promise the holy]
? +GI3; !CC!#S; I/G 57/C?;?93!G /9S; [which is earnest of inheritance of us]
+3G !A?7KICSG3; I/G A+C3A?3/G+SG [to redemption the possession]
+3G +A!3;?; I/G )?=/G !KI?K [to praise the glory of Him]
First draft—with some rethinking of line breaks, I suspect what would be seen is a pattern that suggests at one time this single long sentence was written in short lines, with the line breaks used as punctuation, as rolling stops that place emphasis on <us> or <him> even though the sentence continues. But was Paul a poet? Well, was he? If he knew Greek poetry, then he probably understood at some level how poetry functions in its movement of focus from things to words, ephemeral signifiers.
When this epistle was initially written in uncials without aspiration marks or punctuation, the end of the line functioned as punctuation that tipped the reader’s attention upward, toward Christ Jesus and us in Christ. In the above restructuring of the long sentence, line length provides structure that truly discloses meaning that would be lost if the line breaks or similar breaks were not retained, the point I attempted to make in the block form of the poem “Feathers.”
The pattern that seems to have emerged places emphasis on “us” and “Him” through ending many lines on these pronouns, which is really the focus of Christendom, Christ in us in the form of the indwelling of the breath of the Father in the breath of Christ. I’m not going to argue that Paul was a poet although I will argue that he had enough familiarity with some Greek poets and poetry that he should have been able to use the breakage of lines into ideological feet..
If the person copying the epistle were to have received the epistle with a block of short lines that didn’t seem to have a purpose—we don’t know how the epistle initially appear when it was written—then it isn’t likely that the line breaks would have been retained. Besides, Paul wasn’t known for his poetry. No one would necessarily expect unmetered short lines to have significance even though in writing short lines the author consciously causes the reader to focus on the words on the page, not on what the words mimetically, metaphorically, or metonymically represent … again, short lines turn the focus of the reader from the things of this world that the words described to the words themselves, and when those words are “us” and “Him” then the focus moves from physical to spiritual in a way beyond what can simply be expressed by words within blocks of prose.
Scholars and critics have observed that the theology in Ephesians is more sophisticated [developed] that in, say, 1st Corinthians in which Paul tells the holy ones at Corinth that he only fed them milk because even when he wrote his epistle to them, they were not ready for solid food … were the Ephesians ready for solid food? If they were, then we as endtime disciples should expect to find a theological presentation in much greater sophistication than is found in the so-called Pauline corpus. And the use of short lines to emphasize the ephemeral nature of speech coming from deep breath [B<,Ø:"] would be appropriate for a work of greater theological sophistication.
But there is no evidence that Ephesians initially contained passages written in short lines—any such evidence would have been destroyed within a few copies of copies being made. So on the basis of Ephesians representing a greater degree of theological sophistication than in Paul’s milk epistles I will argue that the long sentences of both Ephesians and Colossians are the result of later scribes not understanding what they were transcribing and committing a similar travesty as King James translators committed when they rendered Hebrew verse—thought-couplets—as prose, thereby causing the text to lose meaning by taking from Holy Writ the structural movement from physical to spiritual found in the poetic presentation. And as Senator Harry Reed (D-Nevada) famously said, Because there is no evidence, we must investigate this matter.
Two weeks ago, I was addressing the scribes of Israel losing the ability to recognize linguistic determinatives found in proto-Semitic and proto-Hittite languages as well as in Egyptian hieroglyphs, with Moses having been trained to use determinatives for purposes of disambiguation, but with Hebrew scribes apparently not understanding what determinatives were when Hebrew went to being a fully phonetically inscribed language, thus producing text that concealed what had been revealed—and now I’m suggesting that the long sentences found in the so-called Deutero-Pauline epistles were probably written in short line prose with the intent being to focus the readers attending on the relations of “us” and “Him.” … A little presumptive? Perhaps, when considering that I was called to reread prophecy in a manner similar to how Paul was called to know the will of the Lord according to Luke in Acts: I wasn’t called to make disciples or to teach scholars. But the poor readers of Holy Writ found among historical criticism’s advocates have done more harm to naïve believers than the Adversary himself; thus, my calling to reread prophecy seems to have expanded beyond reintroducing typological exegesis into Christological discussions and seems now to circle back to when, in graduate school genre workshops, I suffered through discussions of poetry is and doesn’t need meaning, doesn’t need to tell a story. I wrote the sonnet cycle At Abby Creek to show that with every unit of fourteen short lines a story could be told. And I’m employing what I was taught and what I have learned since in an attempt to bind the wounds made by truly bad readers of text—anyone who finds a disagreement between what Matthew records Jesus saying and what Paul teaches needs to return whatever diplomas have been awarded to the person. Anyone who would have Matthew having Jesus crucified on a day different from when John has Jesus crucified needs to ask for a refund of the person’s tuition costs; for to not go to the Greek of Matthew 26:17 and read the words there, without adding any words, is a theological felony. Then for the person to not go to Deuteronomy 12:22 and read that Israel on the night that the Passover lamb was sacrificed was not to leave its dwellings until dawn, that it was on the following night that Israel left Egypt, the person commits a crime punishable by the person having to bear his or her own sins.
The problem all along is the people of God have been destroyed for lack of knowledge, with this lack of knowledge actually being inscribed in Holy Writ as received by endtime disciples. Thus, with Passover 2012 now only hours away, I have to pause not to reload, but to remove leavening. I will resume in another piece of work that will go on some website when the holy days have passed. And I will return to the battle for faith that was temporarily lost in the 1st-Century CE.
"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."
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