May 24, 2009

Let's Explore Your Passages!

The format I inherited here, and followed for a very long time, waiting for participation to please rise above zero, has proved itself utterly deadly.

New plan:

If there is something in the Christian and/or Hebrew scriptures that puzzles you, or strongly speaks to you, or just plain feels like a rich source for group consideration, please comment here and say what that is.

You may find it in the archives, which are partially mine but include much more from previous members. You may want to comment on anything there; if your comment opens something fresh to consider, I'll repost the passage and we can go from there.

But let's take up something that moves somebody!


At 10:16 a.m., Blogger Diane said...

If you'd like, I'd like to look at John 1.9: There was the true Light which, coming into the world, elightens every [human].

Similar verses:
Joel 2.28: And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. ... Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit....

John 12.46: Jesus says, I am come a light into the world.

Gal 4.19 ... until Christ is formed in you, ...

Comment: This seems to recognize the central moment that changed, for everyone, the way in which humans communicated with that which we call G-d, or the Divine, the One, via the Spirit Within (or Holy Spirit, or Atma-Buddhi). The challenge is to listen and discern the meaning of the voice. I see this as very universal in human spiritual evolution.

At 1:15 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

Welcome! And a good suggestion, too! Actually too rich for my blood, but all the better. (I may concurrently plog on through Exodus as a sort of counterpoint, because something in those stories also appeals to me!)

You might call this the central Quaker passage! George Fox stretched it into ~"Christ enlightens everyone who comes into the world," meaning naturally: not just Christians, not only people who had ever heard of Jesus, not excluding people born long before Jesus. Hmmm. It would be nice to know Greek (which Fox considered unnecessary) because his reading and your readings seem equally consistent with a literal rendition; it would take some knowledge of grammar for me to know which the author meant: "He was the light the true who lightens all man coming into the world." And if he meant that the light, not those people, was coming into the world, did he see it as entering the world for the first time, or merely continuing to come in as always!

Our predecessors went through John in a different manner (if you read the Housekeeping post at the top of the December 2004 archives), everyone reading through the book alone, then working together on sections. They were pointed toward an interesting intro:

but mainly they seem to have been working out of different notions & orientations than either of us (I think.) (Plus it's somehow disorienting, following their progress from the bottom!)

Hmmm. That John 12 reference brought me to 12.44: So Jesus cried aloud: "When a man believes in me, he believes in [the One] who sent me rather than in me; seeing me, he sees [the One] who sent me."

An interesting thing about that: Marcus Borg's aside that until a few hundred years ago, "believe in" was something you did to a person, not to an idea. It was akin to "belove."

At 7:16 p.m., Blogger Diane said...

Just found this response (after I already responded to the other) ... you've given me some things to follow up. Thank you.

I visit both the and, so I guess I pick and choose my versions pretty loosely. I have an email friend who has concordance and can look up the Greek words, but I haven't asked her yet. She strictly stays in the interpretation of her study bible, so I don't really expect her to respond to my take on it. She doesn't.

Belove/believe ... interesting.

At 9:25 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

The New English Bible had a way of undercutting some of the easy pitfalls of popular interpretation.

But we're dealing with poetic language, particularly with parts of other gospels that must have started out as oral Aramaic. And even the Greek was without capitalization or punctuation. So I tend to shop around for what 'sounds true.' Sometimes that may conceivably be a mistaken choice--or someone else may find more truth in some other--but God is here to set me straight, if need be!

At 10:21 a.m., Blogger Diane said...

Greek has no punctuation?! That can make a big difference. hmmmm...

I meant to say that only allows me to look up one verse at a time, and then it gives not only a good parallel versions (and related verses), but it also often shows the Geneva Bible, which is what I understand George Fox to have used.

I haven't found that extremely enlightening but I do enjoy it sometimes.

At 11:54 a.m., Blogger forrest said...

The Greek of the early Christian manuscripts was allruntogetherifirememberthisright!


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