Tuesday, November 29, 2005

More on the Jesus Creed

I'm preparing my devotional for chapel tomorrow and I'm basing the talk (indeed a whole series) on studies from Jesus Creed.

In Mark 12.28-34, I was initially struck by the co-location of the shema of Dt. 6.4-5 and the commandment in Lev. 19.18 which look alot like a form of "prophetic criticism" (see works by James Sanders and Craig Evans on this). In prophetic criticism, competing interpretations of scripture are undermined, not by forcing a new interpretation onto the same text, but taking a disputed text and combining it with another text so as to produce a whole new meaning through the creative juxtaposition of two biblical passages. A further example would be Luke 4.16-30 where Luke depicts Jesus as combining Isa. 61.1-2 with the Elijah and Elisha narratives giving a whole new interpretation to the issue of the identity of the people of God and God's relationship to those normally regarded being outside the covenantal relationship.

Getting back to Mark 12.28-34, Jesus redines what it means to be loyal to Israel's God and how to live obediently as the renewed Israel. As Mcknight suggests, loving God meant living Torah, but Jesus' prophetic criticism shows that living Torah also means loving others.

Wright also makes a good point in his Mark for Everyone Commentary, do Christian churches look like a community fixated on loving others? Are Christians concerned or content merely in saving their own souls/hides from the flames of eternal torment; or are they concerned with loving God and loving others as Jesus suggests and making that a manifesto for their lives?


Jim said...

Sorry to mail this way Michael- but you remember our conversation at the book stall about the Talmud? And the funny little dictum in it about the foot?

Here ya go


13b in particular, 4th paragraph.

Scot McKnight said...

Sounds like a great series. I'm struck by the elevation of Lev 19.18 among early Christians, and I see it in Paul 2x and James -- brother of Jesus (in my judgment).

Maybe I told you this already.

Didache, right up front.

Ted Gossard said...

Thanks for your thoughts. We're reading "Jesus Creed" for our family "devos" and I'm on Scot's book, "Embracing Grace" for the second time around. That's a great book as well. Will be interested on your take on that also.

Ted Gossard said...

Since you mention N.T. Wright, I want to say that Wright changed my theology (via the gospel of the kingdom and him building on that, especially through Jesus) forever. Or so I thought.

But it was waning, as I just couldn't buy into everything he was saying after awhile. Not that I now can.

Along comes Scot McKnight and his "Jesus Creed" blog, plus other of his writings I get into. And my theology change was revived and solidified. My appreciation for Wright is also revived and I'm looking forward to getting into his "Everyone..." series.