Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Kelo the Commandments

The Ten Commandments are in the news again. It is not so hard to understand the reasons why. Since movies tickets sales have plummeted, there is also a need for a remaking of the movie, The Ten Commandments.

Years ago a juvenile court judge observed that those who appeared in his courtroom more than once did not know the Ten Commandment. This was before Charleston Heston appeared as Moses in the Biblical Epic that was a smashing success at the box office. The judge soon remedied the situation and reduced the rate of juvenile recidivism in his courtroom. The judge told his fraternity brothers in the Fraternal Order of Eagles and soon there were hugh monuments containing the Ten Commandments throughout the land.

Some politicians in Kentucky recognized the judges were also in need of learning the Ten Commandments. So they posted the Ten Commandments in courthouses and courtrooms throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky. These politicians also took credit for educating our judges. As Stephen Carlson noted in his blog,, citing the Sermon on the Mount, this was wrong.

Now word comes from the High Court in an nuanced but not confusing opinion that it is okay for the government to take land from poor people and give it to rich condo developers. I can think of five places in need of condo developments. The reaction was quick. A jury in Alabama cleared a former CEO of charges of accounting fraud totaling $2.7 billion.

Now we all know that stealing is wrong. It says so in the Ten Commandments. Since posting in Commonwealth[1] courthouses is unconstitutional, I am urging my fellow Americans to demand that Hollywood remake the classic so that we can reduce recidivism among our judges.


Susette Kelo, whose riverfront house in New London's Fort Trumbull neighborhood is set to be razed, said she's glad politicians in Washington are working against the decision. "I think the people in this country are outraged in this decision, and rightly so," she said. "Everyone in this country has just lost the right to own their own property."

[1] Not all states are commonwealths.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

When Women Were Priests

In order to understand the role of women in the early church, it is necessary to consider and review the possibility that women occupied positions of leadership. The church at Philippi was not only founded by women but its leadership continued in the hands of women. In Paul’s Letter to the Philippian Church, he addressed three women leaders. Priscilla instructed Apollos, a new arrival in Corinth, in the Christian interpretation of the prophets.

The women prophets in Corinth were part of the leadership of the Corinthian community. The four daughters of Philip who were prophets were no doubt part of the leadership of the Christian community in Caesarea. When Prisca and Aquila returned to Rome, they organized and supervised a house church. Phoebe, the minister of the congregation at Cenchreae, carried Paul’s letter to the Romans. Among the leadership of the Roman Christian community were many women. In fact of the 28 prominent persons Paul greeted in his letter, 10 were women. Paul identified Junia as “foremost among the apostles.” Apphia presided with two others as leaders of a house church in Colossae, Nympha in Laodicea, Lydia in Thyatira and Phoebe in Cenchreae.

Women in positions of leadership were a widespread phenomenon in the early Christian churches.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Preaching in the marketplace

My post office is a busy place. Several times a week there are people handling out literature. Last Saturday, a group of young people handled out containers of bottled water that I suppose was particularly refreshing on a hot day. But this group also had a message and their handout included directions to their church. Since these groups are generally chased from the malls, the post office becomes their protected refuge. I suspect that the handouts this coming week will be protesting the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court expanding the eminent domain powers of the government.[1]

When Paul arrives in Athens, Luke has him preaching in the marketplace. This marketplace served as a first century equivalent of my post office, a place where there was an opportunity to discuss the ideas of the day. The marketplace in Athens was the location of the famous Painted Colonnade where Zeno, founder of the Stoics, had presented his teachings and where Socrates taught his students. Epicurus had established his community nearby at the Garden. It is therefore not unexpected that Paul encountered “some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers.”

This pericope has attracted more scholarly attention than any other passage in Acts. I will return again to add my thoughts on Paul’s mission speech in Athens.

[1] Kelo v. New London, see Michelle Malkin’s website for details.

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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Return of the Pharisees

Scot McKnight begins an interesting series at Jesus Creed,, called “Return of the Pharisees”

The second installment appeared yesterday at

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The Augsburg Confession

Today is the 475th anniversity of the Augsburg Confession.

In 1530, Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, called together the princes and cities of his German territories in a Diet at Augsburg. He sought unity among them to fend of the attacks of Turkish armies in Eastern Austria. He called upon the Lutheran nobility to explain their religious convictions, with the hope that the controversy swirling around the challange of the Reformation might be resolved. To this end, Philip Melanchthon, a close friend of Martin Luther and a Professor of New Testament at Wittenberg University, was called upon to draft a common confession for the Lutheran Lords and Free Territories. The resulting document, the Augsburg Confession was presented to the emperor on June 25, 1530 by seven Lutheran princes and two municipal governments at Augsburg.

The Augsburg Confession is the first of the great Protestant Confessions. All orthodox Lutheran church bodies base their teachings upon this treatise because they believe that it is a faithful to Word of God. To this day, Lutheran churches around the world are identified by their adherence to the Augsburg Confession. The ELCA Constitution states:

2.05. This church accepts the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel, acknowledging as one with it in faith and doctrine all churches that likewise accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.

For me this is a milestone document. People have assembled 100 milestone documents of American History,
I would be interested in a similar collection of milestone religious documents.

Friday, June 24, 2005

More Reading

Jim West,, posted yesterday a link to the most recent issue of SBL. In looking at the prior issues, I noticed two articles of interest to me that I will be reading more closely this weekend.

One, Brotherly Love and the High priest Christology of Hebrews, in the 2003 summer issue,, by Patrick Gray deserves a brief comment. The focus of the article is upon this verse: “He therefore had to become like his brothers in every respect so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in God’s service.” Gray concludes his article stating, inter alia, “Hebrews weaves together a wide range of concepts related to the role of brothers in the Hellenistic world—inheritance, affection, trustworthiness, sympathy, moral uprightness, accountability, guardianship—to develop the image of Jesus as high priest.” Gray then asks, “What originally inspired the author to merge these two disparate roles to make sense of the Christ-event?”

Both James, brother of Jesus, and John, the beloved, had close attachments to the Temple and John, according to Eusebius, even wore the vestments of the High Priest. Perhaps, the unknown author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, whom I consider to be Luke, was looking to the extended family of Jesus rather than the Hellenistic world to develop his image of the high priest when he wrote his epistle.

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Ancient garbage turned into gold mine

There were a flurry of news stories last month that there had been a major breakthrough in decoding of Oxyrhynchus Papyri. In reality as reported by the Tribune “relatively new technology called multispectral imaging is turning a pile of ancient garbage into a gold mine of classical knowledge, bringing to light the lost texts of Sophocles and Euripides as well as some early Christian gospels [Gospel of Thomas] that do not appear in the New Testament.” None of the articles indicated what new information this discovery will add to our understanding of the Gospel of Thomas or the New Testament.

See the following clippings: Classics in Contemporary Culture

and the Chicago Tribune,1,6312107.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true

For a thousand years the people of Oxyrhynchus, about 100 miles south of Cairo, dumped their trash in the desert. In 1896 Oxford archeologists Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt began excavating the area. “There were plays by Sophocles and Euripides, poems of Pindar and Sappho, and some of the earliest documents recording Christianity's spread to Egypt. The Gospel of Thomas, for example, records the "Sayings of Jesus" in a manner that some scholars of early Christianity believe is more authentic than the Gospels in the New Testament.”

Now the results of the application of multispectral imaging is allowing scholars to read writing previously invisible to them. In the next several months, several volumes will be published.
For more information on the Gospel of Thomas, see
Stevan Davies’ excellent website:

POxy: Oxyrhynchus Online

The story is not new but in an effort to understand the bits and pieces published elsewhere on the internet, I decided to investigate further. It is new to me and because the new material may assist us in understanding the spread of Christianity I decided to mention it on my blog. I will mention it again if there is anything remotely related to my interests.

Also, I know it is unrelated but, I already been asked this question by clients, there is no 4th Amendment protection of what you discard!

Copyrighted 2005

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

No Longer Be Silent

In my blog on the Prominence of Women in Luke’s Gospel,, I suggested that Luke may have used Pseudo-Philo, also known as Biblical Antiquities, as a source. I have now had the opportunity to read No Longer Be Silent: First Century Jewish Portraits of Biblical Women (1992) by Cheryl Anne Brown.

Brown studied the portrayal of women in 'Biblical Antiquities,' attributed to Philo, and 'Jewish Antiquities' of Josephus, two documents that characterize women differently from their biblical prototypes. Brown states, “on the whole, Pseudo-Philo portrays women more positively than does Josephus.”

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Sunday, June 19, 2005

When Life Is Cheap

With apologies to Jim West

When life is cheap, there are some very interesting consequences that are important. Let us use abortion as an example. The early Christians prohibited abortion and infanticide. More women joined the Christian community at a greater rate than men because they were more respected in the Christian community than the society at large. A church that prohibits abortion holds its women in higher regard than a church that does not. At least this was true in the early years of Christianity. I suggest it could be true today. In the early church, women were permitted to control their own wealth and were not forced to remarry when their spouse died. Women held church office and were influential in the early church community and because of their status, were also influential in the community at large.

Some of those who oppose abortion today claim that that they are also concerned about children born out of wedlock. Now a new study demonstrates that “Tough Child Support Laws May Deter Single Men from Becoming Dads” “States that are strict in enforcing child support have up to 20 percent fewer unmarried births than states that are lax about getting unmarried dads to pay, the researchers found.” “The main purposes of child support enforcement, of course, are to improve children's wellbeing and cut public welfare costs, but the researchers concluded that a reduction in unmarried births was an overlooked side benefit.” It will be interesting to see whether or not this study influences policy decisions in states with lax enforcement of child support laws. I mention this because the emphasis ought to be on the quality of life not the question of pro-choice or pro-life.

My interest in the subject is related to the position of women in the early church, their quality of life and what that may mean for the rise of Christianity. Because life was not cheap in the early years of Christianity among Christians, the birth rate among Christians was higher than the birth rate for the general population. In addition, Christian women were not forced to marry at an early age.

I will be blogging the role of women in the growth of the Christian Church.

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Saturday, June 18, 2005

What have I been Silently Reflecting?

I have been thinking about an interesting phenomenon: the rise of Christianity and what actually may be a good model for studying the rise of Christianity: blogs!

There are a number of entities measuring the blog world: Technorati,, The Truth Laid Bear,, BlogPurse, and Alexa,, are four that come to mind. Today Technorati tracks over 7.5 million weblogs worldwide up from 100,000 two years ago with two-thirds in languages other than English. Technorati indicates that there are 12,000 new blogs every day. The Truth Laid Bear tracks approximately 29,000 blogs but my cursory review indicates that this 29,000 sample of English language blogs is a surprisingly representative sample. How this sample was selected is not known.

Many blogs are inactive yet because of catchy titles or unusual material still receive numerous visitors. kinja,, is rated at 100 by The Truth Laid Bear but when I visited the site today, it said, “We’re sorry there’s nothing to show you” and ranked at 105,, “The page can not be found”. Asymmetrical Information,, last posted May 14, 2004 but is ranked by The Truth Laid Bear at 133. There are also many blank blogs where the name was reserved but nothing has been posted, for example, The Book of Enoch, BlogPulse reports the number of active blogs, those that posted within the past thirty days, was 3.5 million as of May 1, 2005.

On May 26, 2005, Carl Bialik of the Wall Street Journal published a very informative article about measuring blogs. Bialik noted the conflicting numbers reported on the total number of blogs: NY Times and USA Today, 10 million while Ottawa Citizen and the Ann Arbor News reporting 31.6 million blogs.

How are blogs are rated has been a puzzle to me! Bialik states that The Truth Laid Bear and Technorati “evaluate blogs on how often they are linked to other web sites.” However, advertisers are interested in the number of unique visitors each day, not the total number of visitors. Both sets of numbers are available for the indexed blogs.

Rodney Stark, using his solid background in the sociology of religion, has shown that the principle of cultural continuity and the principle that “Social movement grow much faster when they spread through social network”[i] does provide a partial explanation for the explosive growth of Christianity. The network growth rate exhibited by Christianity has been confirmed by the Mormon example.[ii] Stark has shown that “Christianity offered twice as much cultural continuity to the Hellenized Jews as to Gentiles.”[iii] Stark stated, and his conclusion is well documented, “that not only was it the Jews of the diaspora who provided the initial basis for the church growth during the first and early second centuries, but that Jews continued as a significant source of Christian converts until at least as late as the fourth century and that Jewish Christianity was still significant in the fifth century.”[iv]

In subsequent chapters, Stark described the role of epidemics, women, urban chaos and virtue in the growth of Christianity. Furthermore, Stark demonstrated how successful networking occurred by comparing the expansion of Christianity in large urban areas with a significant Diasporan Jewish population with large urban areas with no significant Diasporan Jewish population. “There is a powerful, positive correlation (.69) between synagogues and Christianization.”[v] Trebilco and others have documented the existence of these communities.[vi]

Although my findings are preliminary, it appears that the rise of Christianity and the success of a blog are both related to the success of networking. I do plan to blog further on this fascinating subject.

[i]. Stark, 55.
[ii]. Stark, 18, 56.
[iii]. Stark, 59.
[iv]. Stark, 49.
[v]. Stark, 139.
[vi]. Paul R. Trebilco, Jewish Communities in Asia Minor, (Cambridge, England, 1991).

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Silently Reflecting


thanks for your encouraging comments which you posted on June 15th. I have had to really work this week and have a spent a lot of time trying to solve what I consider, and I have told my clients, impossible problems.

Anyway since I have not had time to work on my blog I have been silently reflecting but will return shortly.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Roman Archaeology

Mary Harrsch has posted at Roman Archaeology a spectacular mosaic discovered in Libya.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

What were Greeks doing in Jewish synagogues?

Part 2 in the series, Success in the Cities

Iconium was a town located on the Via Sebaste, the main Roman road of the region, about 90 miles southeast of Antioch in south Galatia. Iconium was a Greco-Asiatic town proud of its Greek heritage.

In the intertestamental period, the Jews were dispersed throughout the Roman Empire and lived mostly in the cities. As people of trade and commerce, they were highly networked. Wherever the Jews settled, they established synagogues, which were open to Gentile inquirers and proselytes. According to Esther 8:17, many people of other nationalities became Jews.

The synagogues of the Diaspora used the Septuagint. The fact that the Hebrew Bible had been translated into Greek made the Septuagint an instrument for Jewish missionary efforts and the synagogues an attractive alterative for Greek speaking residents receptive to a message attacking idolatry, polytheistic worship and immoral practices.

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Saturday, June 11, 2005

Success in the Cities

Meeks correctly notes that Christianity “was predominantly an urban phenomenon after the first beginnings in Palestine.” Thus in Luke’s Gospel, the Greek term, polis, is used 39 times versus only 8 occurrences in Mark. When the communities of the followers of Jesus emerged in the thirties in the Mediterranean societies of the Roman Empire, it is noteworthy that we basically find them only in urban areas and for the most part along major trade routes.

Peter Lampe can state: “The Christian presence in Puteoli and Rome correlates with a twofold background. (a) Jews had lived in Puteoli since Augustan times. Rome and Puteoli accommodated the only pre-Christian Jewish settlements in Italy known to us. This is one confirmation that earliest Christianity spread along routes that Judaism had already followed: the synagogues were the setting for the first Christian mission. (b) The Jewish as well as the Christian “axis” Puteoli-Rome has a particular economic-historical background. The stretch Puteoli-Rome was the main trade route between the East and the city of Rome in the first half of the first century. The road of Judaism and Christianity from the east to Rome followed in the footsteps of trade.” Luke confirms this.

The fact that the movement was successful is explained by one additional fact, which is also confirmed by Luke and Lampe. The house churches established by the followers of Jesus were located near synagogues. Thus we read in Acts 14:1 that Paul and Barnabus went as usual into the Jewish synagogue where they spoke so effectively that “a number of both Jews and Greeks became believers.”

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Prominence of Women in Luke’s Gospel

Women are mentioned frequently in all four of the New Testament Gospels, but they are especially prominent in the Gospel of Luke. Since this prominence is a radical departure from the ancient androcentric view of society, what literary source could have influenced Luke?

Pseudo-Philo also provides a remarkable amount of attention to women in the narrative who are honored, with the exception of Delilah and Mican’s mother. Pseudo-Philo’s interest in women is truly noteworthy.

I mention Pseudo-Philo in connection with the Gospel of Luke because Luke may have utilized it as a source. Pseudo-Philo was composed in Palestine in Hebrew using a Palestinian biblical text current in the area before the destruction of the Temple.

Certain themes are important to Pseudo-Philo including God’s covenant with Israel, idolatry, slaves and servants, women and angelology. Since these themes are also important to Luke, I have concluded that Pseudo-Philo may have been a possible source for Luke. Eckhart Reinmuth and P.M. Bogaert have also pointed to striking similarities between Luke-Acts and the Liber biblicarum antiquitatum of Pseudo-Philo which I believe has important implications for understanding Luke-Acts in its Jewish context. I will be exploring this further.

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Monday, June 06, 2005

Luke the Physician in Recent Studies

In the age of biblical skepticism, scholars have challenged all the traditional assumptions, including the tradition that Luke was a physician. Albert Schweitzer had warned that the historical study of the Bible originally had nothing to do with a genuine interest in history but appeared “as an ally in the struggle against tyranny of dogma.”

Nearly 100 years ago Cadbury demolished the author and his book asserting that Luke's useage of medical words proved that he was a physician. I doubt if any one is brave enough to make the same assertion today. However, Cadbury only challenged one finding and left unchallenged all of the other findings made by Hobart and his predecessors. In fact all that Cadbury demonstrated was that other Greek writers contemporary to Luke, but not other NT writers, used medical words as frequently as Luke and were not physicians. Cadbury did not consider a wealth of other evidence. Recently Annette Weissenreider, Images of Illness in the Gospel of Luke, has surveyed all of the medical texts available to Luke and concluded that his usage of the medical words and medical concepts is consistent with Luke being a physician.

Annette Weisenreider cited Lars Rydbeck as did Robert Doran, Temple Propaganda: The Purpose and Charcter of 2nd Maccabees. Doran, in his study of literature contemporary to 2nd Maccabees, stated: "Where possible, I have also made use of the technical prose of this period, i.e., the prose written not by litterateurs but by medical men such as Dioscorides. Rydbeck has shown that their unadorned style and syntax have much in common with those of the NT." But Weissenreider said of Rydbeck: "In his outstanding study published in 1967, L. Rydbeck ascertained a connection between the language of Luke and scientific prose of his time." In 1993, Loveday Alexander extended this finding to Luke's preface. Luke did not copy his style and syntax from Mark.

Preliminary Bibliography

Alexander, L.C.A., The Preface to Luke's Gospel: literary convention and social context in Luke 1.1-4 & Acts 1.1, Cambridge (1993).

Cadbury, Henry J. - The Style and Literary Language of Luke, (1919).

Doran, Robert, Temple Propaganda: The Purpose and Character of 2 Maccabees, (1981).

Harnack, Adolph von, Luke the Physician, (English ed., 1907).

Hobart, William K. - The Medical Language of St. Luke. (Dublin: Hodges, Figgis, & Co. 1882; reprint, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1954).

In Hobart's work, The Medical Language of St. Luke, he identified 400 terms that were either used exclusively by the author of Luke-Acts in the New Testament, or were used much more frequently by this author than any other. These particular terms, Hobart argued, were also found in the works of those who wrote Greek medical literature. All of this evidence was used to point to Luke the physician as the author of Luke-Acts.

Ramsay, William M. - Luke the Physician and Other Studies in the History of Religion, (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1908; reprint, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979).

Weissenrieder, Annette, Images of illness in the Gospel of Luke: insights of ancient medical texts, (Tübingen, Mohr Siebeck, c2003).

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Saturday, June 04, 2005

That New-Time Religion

I am sure you have heard the words of the Negro Spiritual, “Get me that old time religion it’s good enough for me.” I was thinking about the words of the Negro Spiritual as I was reading the article in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer with the title, “That New-Time Religion” and the attempt of churches and synagogues to redo the script, so to speak, in an effort to get young people to attend the services. Some of these efforts include the use of old time favorites. My own church hold two contemporary services every month as part of its efforts to entice new people to attend.

Give me that old time religion
Give me that old time religion
Give me that old time religion
It’s good enough for me

It was good for the Hebrew children
It was good for the Hebrew children
It was good for the Hebrew children
And it’s good enough for me

It will bring you out of bondage
It will bring you out of bondage
It will bring you out of bondage
And it’s good enough for me

It will do when the world’s on fire
It will do when the world’s on fire
It will do when the world’s on fire
And it’s good enough for me

There are a number of versions to this song first copyrighted in 1891 by Charlie D. Tillman from folk sources, the most famous being the adaptation by Woody Guthrie.

The thought occurred to me that the same kind of thing must have happened in the early days of the new religion as the Jewish followers of Jesus experimented with different approaches to appeal to Jews and Gentiles. I am also wondering if the insights of Alexis De Tocqueville contained in Democracy in America, his classic treatise on American way of life, would help us understand this phenomenon. Since I am just thinking out loud while blogging, these random thoughts are preliminary.

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Elijah and the Fiery Chariot

Every weekend Joe Carter at the Evangelical Outpost
post a different work by a Christian artist. The work "hangs" on his blog so that viewers may have an opportunity to reflect, comment, and discuss the work. Carter believes art should be important to evangelical Christians. Today he has posted Elijah and the Fiery Chariot by Edward Knippers. Pay a visit.

Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!

Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, when he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was approaching cried out: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” This cry was repeated. Mark has expanded the account found in Luke while Matthew changed it to have two unnamed blind beggars. This Lucan pericope contains the only instance where Luke has employed the phrase, “Son of David.”

The real clue to understanding the phrase, “Son of David,” is provided by Matthew who has used this phrase in seven passages in his Gospel and six of these are healing stories.

Did Bartimaeus consider Jesus to be someone like King Solomon, son David, who possessed miraculous powers of healing? Was the phrase, “Son of David,” a messianic title used by Bartimaeus?

And the people were amazed and said, “Is not this the son of David?”

Since I am only blogging, these findings, although interesting, are only preliminary. I have been meaning to check, Jesus the Healer: Possession, Trance, and the Origins of Christianity by Stevan Davies, Continuum Press, New York, (1995) to ascertain whether or not Davies identified King Solomon as the “Son of David.” I do plan to review all healings in Luke-Acts for further clues and to investigate the origin of the legends and traditions of Solomon as a healer. I am also interested in researching the phrase, “I am the Lord, your healer.”

update 7-6-2005
The tradition concerning the healing powers of Solomon may be based upon Chapter 7 of the Wisdom of Solomon which recounts Solomon's request to God for wisdom (cf. 1 Kings 3) and God's response. Solomon says:
For it was he who gave me unerring knowledge of existent being,
to know the structure of the universe and the operation of the elements;
the beginning, and end, and middle of times,
the changes of the solstices and the vicissitudes of the seasons;
the cycles of years and the positions of the stars;
the natures of living creatures and the tempers of beasts;
the violent force of spirits and the reasonings of men;
the species of plants, and the virtues of roots. (7:17-20)

There is also some evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls that Solomon's name is linked with control of demons within the Qumran community. (11QPsAp)

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Friday, June 03, 2005

Different Views of Conversion

Luke provides us with interesting insight on the different views of conversion in this pericope wherein Paul is interrogated by King Agrippa and the Roman Procurator Festus in Acts 26:24-29.

And as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, "Paul, you are mad; your great learning is turning you mad." But Paul said, "I am not mad, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking the sober truth. For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak freely; for I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe." And Agrippa said to Paul, "In a short time you think to make me a Christian!" And Paul said, "Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am--except for these chains."

Abraham Malherbe has indicated that the wit, irony and sarcasm in this passage depend very much on our understanding the differing communities’ definitions of conversion. In Judaism, conversion was characterized by long training such as that provided by Jesus to his disciples over the course of his ministry. Therefore, we should consider that Agrippa is criticizing Paul for thinking to make converts too quickly.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Why I Blog

I especially enjoyed this answer by Leo Wong at Notes.