Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Concept of Time

Many years ago I wrote a retirement speech for someone that began with the word of Hebrew scripture: “there is a season and time for everything under the heavens.” Friends and close relatives were present as I started writing. The people praised the clergyman for his great speech and questioned the timing of his retirement. I had written there is a time to plant and now is the time for to retire. The people questioned the timing because they viewed time chronologically which is a cultural trait. The idea that there was a “right” time had not occurred to them. Biblical time is not necessarily chronological.

The Book of Ecclesiates, the preacher, also reminds us that God “has put eternity into man’s mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” It further reminds us that “God will judge the righteous and the wicked for he has appointed a time for every matter and for every work.” The preacher provides this example: “For man does not know his time. Like fish which are taken in an evil net, and like birds which are caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.” It is true that “For every matter has its time and way, although man's trouble lies heavy upon him.” The Book of Job tells us “He has not appointed a time for any man to go before God in judgment.”

The Hebrew concept of time is different.

The real question is whether an examination of the writings of Luke will reveal his view of time. One would not normally ask such a question of a “Gentile” but there are several Lucan examples such as these things “will be fulfilled in their time" and “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority.” Furthermore, Luke has used expressions that require that Theophilus would know what was meant by the time of incense; the day of Unleavened Bread; day of Preparation and time of visitation.

This is a project to work on when I have more time!

Copyrighted 2007


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