Sunday, June 24, 2007

Talking about the OT...

...always brings its share of comments.

So, today was another house church day, where I got to be priest and parishioner at the same time. Lady R also got to be priest for awhile as we finished up Judges.

Granted, this book is very enigmatic. It tells of a time when the people of Israel were so far away from their Hebrew traditions. They had forgotten their God completely. Granted also, it is the Old Testament, but being a child of the Enlightenment as well as a child of the Light through the Spirit, I believe I can understand something of what it says. Granted still, women did not have the same rights as they do in the Western world. Despite all this, surely the Old Testament, and specifically here the book of Judges, has something to say to the community of faith.

Now, that I have all the preface words written, I can get to the heart of what I want to say (important or not). haha

Sometimes there are failures, even when God has put his hand of favor on the project. But eventually a victory will occur. (see Judges 20 -For the entire context you may need to go back to ch 18).


drlobojo said...

Perhaps the lesson to be learned is in the next chapter, Chapter 21 and the last verse:

"In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes."

But then again they did go directly to God for advice by approaching the Ark:
"And the Israelites inquired of the LORD. (In those days the ark of the covenant of God was there, with Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, ministering before it.)"

But they also stole a man's gods and his priest to take along with them in their attacks: Judges 18:18-20 " When these men went into Micah's house and took the carved image, the ephod, the other household gods and the cast idol, the priest said to them, "What are you doing?" They answered him, "Be quiet! Don't say a word. Come with us, and be our father and priest. Isn't it better that you serve a tribe and clan in Israel as priest rather than just one man's household?" Then the priest was glad. He took the ephod, the other household gods and the carved image and went along with the people."

And for this Jehova was not even pissed?

As for the guy who cuts up his dead chattel and then uses the pieces of her to start a war against his own kindred for destroying his property, that leads to another war against his other kindred that didn't participate in the first war, etc., well I have no understanding. Maybe the midrash has something on it.

I don't know, maybe some stories in the OT are just stories. After all not every OT story is a metaphor, and perhaps not every metaphor even in the OT is a message from God.

pecheur said...

I would agree that the overall message of the book of Judges is that they did right in their own eyes.

"this Jehovah". Was he ever called that? Isn't that a made up name? Despite this, as for him being ticked off, I am sure he was. Just like he's ticked off at me and you when we do stupid stuff and worship our own little idols.

Did the man not have a right to start a war over injustice?

Yeah I am sure the midrash (as well as the rabbis) have a ton to say as well as my local Roman Catholic priest. Which begs the question who has the right to an authoritative interpretation? If one exists.

Oddly, I have only rarely been accussed of metaphorical interpretation. Possibly pietistic (in this case) even perhaps pre-modern, but rarely metaphorical.

If they are just stories, not arguing they are or not, what do stories do? Do they not function to stregthen, refute, or subvert worldview? I am always up for a good story especially worldview subverting ones.

drlobojo said...

Cyberworld ate my previous post. I'll try again.

All lanuage is based in metaphor.

Yep, Jehova is a made version of the unspeakable Yahewe or Elohim.

"Did the man not have a right to start a war over injustice?"

Does an individual have a right to start a war involving nations over a personal property loss or affront? I note also that he wasn't worried about sending the concubine out to be assaulted and raped, and only got rage when he found her to be dead and have no further value. Now that make it a good story.

We all live by stories. We may even be living a metaphor.

I do not denie that God inspires people to write stories or leters or homolies or sermons etc.. But I do not believe that God edits them.

The midrash is useful in that the rabinical tradition did actually have access to the tribal oral histories that allowed them to create useful backstories on occasion.

Nothing I post here should ever be considerd a personal afront. It is just a grumpy old man arguing possibilities.

drlobojo said...

By the way, today is Day 50 of days and nights with rain in Oklahoma City.
Know any good ark plans available?

pecheur said...

Dr. Lobo.

I hate it when the stupid urchins of the cyberworld attack. But thanks for rewriting your comment.

Individual rights to start war. I'll have to concede. I wonder if it was just an instrument, a ploy, maybe from God to punish Benjamin?

BTW I love stories. I am serious. Not sure God edits them either. But if he has something say, it will come through. (I hope I am not being recorded, incase some wants to call me on the carpet) =)

My little ears perked up when you mentioned "access to the tribal oral histories" It is cause for further investigation.

No offense taken. I just thought you were mad at me or something. =)

We're all rowing this boat together.

Peace to you too

pecheur said...

Dr. lobo,

Day 50. What in tarnation! Don't know any good ark building projects. Sorry. Do you have a Evinrude?

And I now I know more about where you are. Not that it matters. It's just fun to know geographically where everyone is!