Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas and Other Things

After the Christmas and Boxing Day break several things should be noted:

First, Michael Pahl's blog Stuff of the Earth is one year old. Congrats to the tall, lanky, puck-loving, Canadian!

Second, what I got from Christmas. A Star Wars Light Sabre, Star Wars III DVD, the complete works of Shakespeare, and a pair of Homer Simpson socks (I also have Robert Gundry's Matthew commentary and Terence Donaldson's Paul and the Gentiles in the mail).

Third, Christmas service was good with much worship and rejoicing.

Fourth, I've been compiling my list of quotes and Take-home points from Hurtado. It was a good book, I learned much from it:

Philo, Embassy to Gaius, 118: “Sooner could God change into a man than a man into God” – in context of criticizing Gaius Caligula’s purported apotheosis.

On Q and diversity in the early church: “Furthermore, often (perhaps characteristically) within each group was a variety or repertoire of christological beliefs, emphases, and modes of expression. The particular repertoire may have varied somewhat from group to group, and within a given group likely varied across the decades of the first century too. Therefore, we should avoid simplistic notions that 'diversity' in first-century Christianity necessarily means multiple groups of relatively monochrome character in beliefs, rhetoric, and the kinds of text they produced. There were divisive differences. But, perhaps more characteristically, they were various groups of varying polychrome character engaging in a lively interchange with one another.” (Larry Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ, p. 244).

On Jewish and Gentile fellowship: “First, although some Jews refused any meal with Gentiles under any circumstances, for many, probably most religious Jews in the Hellenistic-Roman period, eating ordinary meals with Gentiles was not an insuperable problem; any claims by scholars to the contrary are simply misinformed. In principle, so long as the food on the table fell within what was permitted for Jews to eat under Torah (e.g. no pork), and so long as eating did not implicate a Jew in participating in a feast in honor of a god (e.g. no libation of wine or consecration of meat to a god), there was no major problem. Second, Jewish Christians’ objections to eating with Gentile Christians in Acts (11:1-18) and Galatins (2:11-21) were not about what food was served, but about having meal fellowship with Gentiles whom they regarded as incompletely converted. This issue was not 'purity laws,' but the requirements for treating Gentiles as fully converted to the God if Israel.” See further Bockmuehl, Jewish Law in Gentile Churches, 56-61; 71-75; Peter Tomson, Paul and the Jewish law, 222.-58; John Painter, James the Just, 67-73. (p. 162, n.18)

On the Gospels: “In short, this all amounts to a shared programmatic effort to locate Jesus in a specific historical, geographical, and cultural setting. It represents an insistence that the Jesus whom the writers and intended readers of these Gospels reverenced (who include Gentile and Jewish believers in various locations in the Roman world), and were to see as linked with God’s purpose in a unique way, is quite definitely Jesus of Nazareth. He is not some timeless symbol, not a mythical figure of a 'once upon a time,' but instead very specifically a Jew whose life and activities are geographically and chronologically located in a particular place and period of Jewish history in Roman Judea.” (p. 266).
Thus, contra Bultmann and friends, the Gospels are not commentaries on a post-Easter Kerygma, but have an interest in the person of Jesus in his historical setting.


Chris Tilling said...

Hi Mike, I just sent you my e-mail about those papers, but I got a 'failed delivery' notice back a few minutes later. Did you receive it OK?

Chris Tilling said...

Hi again. Still no joy. I've sent it twice, and both times I get the same error report back. I'll post my comments on an earlier post here on your blog, then you can simply delete it from the webpage.