Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

In Retrospect: Shepherds, Sheep and Rodents

The lowly shepherds were the first to greet the Christ child in the manger. Rodents were also present. They are common in barns and farm settings attracted by the food made available for the livestock. We know all about the shepherds or do we? The Lucan shepherds, of course, remind us that David was also a shepherd. Was there something special about these shepherds and the flock of sheep they were tending near Bethlehem? My friend, Tom thinks that this flock was attached or some how connected to the Temple.

The adorable little rodents played no role in the manger scene nor for that matter are they mentioned in any Biblical passage. However the flea is mentioned. The rodents do have their own history. Rodents have lived with plague for millions of years. It remains endemic in wild rodents worldwide and continues to be transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected flea. Stark notes that there were at least two great plagues in the first three centuries. I am currently reading The Great Influenza of 1918 and How Germs Travel.

Yearend is often a time of reflection and Jim West has invited us to . Adorable little rodents have new meaning for me this year that did not exist last year. I have also thought about blogging and what if anything I have accomplished blogging this past year but not for the purpose of writing any New Year’s resolutions. I wrote nearly 300 short articles, close to 6 articles a week and nearly all of them on topic and, in my humble opinion, more than one good article every month. As my wife has commented, a number of my articles have had a very long gestation period.

The ones I enjoyed writing and rereading the most in no particular order:

Rewriting Sacred Scriptures, March 27th wherein I demonstrate the of Josephus on Luke;
Idle Tale, March 8th;
The Purpose of Acts, December 31st;
Luke and the Census, January 11th;
Transference and the Day of Atonement, April 30th;
Luke Remembered the Poor, May 19th;
The Reaction to Papal Infallibility, May 10th;
No Room at the Inn, July 13th;
Luke has No Theology of the Cross, August 28th;
Thinking Outside the Box, September 10th;
Origin of the Christian Doctrine of Atonement, September 2nd;
Paul’s Collection for the Poor, February 28th and
Lucan Priority, November 29th.

As you might suspect I did place one of my favorites first.

My favorite:
A Photo my friend sent me, December 23rd. Thank you.

I started to prepare a list of memorable articles on other blogs but having no criteria of selection I decided to mention only one, Michael Turton’s Chiastic Structure of the Gospel of , actually a series of articles.

Maybe, I will have my own carnival, wherein I note good biblical blog articles, but unfortunately this would distract me from my objective of writing good articles dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Of course, you the reader could nominate your own favorite!

Copyrighted 2005


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Richard,

I just wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading you blog throughout the year. You've posted some very interesting items. Keep up the good work.

Peace, John McBryde

8:14 AM

Blogger Jim said...

I agree with John. Good work Richard.

12:06 PM

Blogger Anne and Mike said...


I'm posting about the Sheperds in Luke Story 5 (2:1-20) which is a post-resurrection Story.

The Sheperds (Peter,James, John...Paul) have "encountered" the risen Christ, who is the suffering servant, the bread of life. They bring back to their flock, with praise and thanksgiving, the things they have seen and heard from Jesus, that is, his words and how he has put them into practice. Following the literary form in which Luke's Story 5 has been written, this is how and why the lambs have responded to Jesus' words and have received Jesus' baptism and the outpouring of the Spirit--and God's favor! This is why peace is with them. "Peace be with you," was a resurrection greeting to his disciples.

Luke has been written in a well-defined literary form, The Literary Form of the Parable. Recently is has been identified that one of the narrative traditions in the Hebrew Scriptures, now named The Literary Form of the Parable, is well-defined and invariable. The scribes who became disciples of Jesus wrote the Scriptures using this literary form.

1:26 AM


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