God is Light III: The Situation

This is the third in a series of posts that will, at some point before Final Judgment, culminate in the exegesis of a selected section of 1 John. I will try to avoid the War and Peace effect this time but, my goodness, it is such fun to think about!The bottom line is this: The community that had originally formed around the Beloved Disciple and the Fourth Gospel has now broken into at least two factions. The Elder writes to those who yet remain in his camp to confront and correct the errors … [Read more...]

God is Light II: Literary Relationships

This is the second post in a series on 1 John. The point of this series is to illustrate how exegesis is done by “doing” a bit of exegesis in a rather step-by-step fashion. The first post dealt with author and genre. This one deals with the literary relationships between the Johannine Epistles and the remainder of the Catholic Epistles, the Gospel of John, and the rest of the NT.Although I neglected to mention it in the first post, the content of the first four or five posts will cover what … [Read more...]

God is Light I: Genre and Author

Some time ago, quite some time ago, actually, Eric asked if I’d do a bit of exegesis of a passage in 1 John to illustrate the activities involved. I don’t remember quite what passage we agreed on, but I think it was the first substantive section of the First Epistle of John, 1 John 1:5-2:17.So here we go…GENREThe first stop is genre. A literary genre is a group of texts that exhibit a coherent and recurring pattern of features, usually further defined in terms of form, content, and funct … [Read more...]

A Special Day at FPR (Updated)

Today we mark two important milestones at FPR. First, May 9th, 2008 is the third anniversary of our creation. Second, this composition is the 500th post. In light of this, we thought it proper to do something a bit special to mark the occasion.Our founder, the illustrious John C., has posed a question and invited the rest of us to respond in 150 words or less. His response leads the roll; we follow in no specific order.You may note that our number is not quite complete. We find … [Read more...]

Julian of Norwich and the Atonement

I don’t know if you have ever heard of Julian of Norwich. She’s a 14thcentury mystic, an anchoress, really, in Norwich, England. When she was thirty years old, she became so ill that her local priest came to administer the Last Rites. As she fixed her eyes on the crucifix, she experienced a series of sixteen visions (shewings), beginning with a vision of the blood running down Christ’s face as the crown of thorns was pressed home. She produced one version, called the Short Text, quite soon af … [Read more...]

One Eternal Nightmare

It was kind of odd that anyone even found her that day. She was alone, in the bed in the handicapped area off the main women’s dressing room at the temple. Her face was pale, and she was sweating, in tears, and sick to her stomach. Her home was some distance away but her stake had a meeting that afternoon. She’d fallen the day before and re-injured her back, causing muscle spasms and making her unable to sit, stand, or walk without pain.Her new husband had given her a blessing after the acc … [Read more...]

A Note on a Footnote in Mt 28:20

Last Sunday as I was preparing to teach GD I noticed an odd footnote associated with the word "teaching" in Mt 28:20.  This verse is part of a larger passage, the Great Commission of the First Gospel.  The speaker is the resurrected Jesus and the occasion is his departure.  This is the text in the AV: 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsover I have command you: and lo, … [Read more...]

The Matthean Judas

One of the key differences between the story of the death of Jesus in Matthew and that of Mark is the narration of the fate of Judas in Mt. 27:3-10.  This story plays a variety of roles in Matthew's story.  It's another of Matthew's famous fulfillment citations.  It fills a narrative gap in the Marcan version, which mentions the perfidy of Judas but not his fate.  And along with the story of the dream of Pilate's wife, it also affirms the innocence of Jesus. There is, however, more to the story … [Read more...]