Of Lawyers, Language, and Learning

jesus-questioned-by-lawyer04

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” Luke 10 ESV

From the Kings James Version till today’s English Standard Version, the common translation of “lawyer” has been used for nomikos (“according to the law” Kittel). In King James’ day, Christians understood what that meant. Today, most Christians are clueless. We must not neglect the details.

Other versions, like the NIV, have helped some with “expert in the law.” But the unknown in most minds today, is ‘to what does “law” [nomos] refer?’ “It normally denotes the Pentateuch.”–Kittel

Thus, Jesus’ interrogator was one “learned in the Law” of Moses. Then, we come to two of the major characters of the parable, the priest and the Levite. We are, now, set up for the shock (in Jesus’ day) of the despised Samaritan.

Becoming Zacchaeus

Fr. Ted's Blog

Great LentThe Gospel lesson of Luke 19:1-10 is about a very short man, Zacchaeus, who wanted to see Jesus.  In the current lectionary of the Russian Orthodox tradition, this is the last Sunday Gospel lesson before the pre-Lenten Sundays (and the Lenten triodion) begin their cycle of scripture pericopes.  (This is one point at which the Russian and Greek Orthodox lectionaries differ resulting in the fact that during the course of the year not all Orthodox read liturgically the same Scriptures every Sunday).  In current practice for those who read the Zacchaeus pericope it has become already associated with the beginning of Great Lent.  This was made certain due to the popular writings of the liturgical theologian, Fr. Alexander Schmemann.

Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.  Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.  And he…

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How the West Is Killing Christianity

News and Information

Foreign wars and conflicts launched and promoted by the United States and its allies since 2003 have led directly to the widespread persecution of Christians in Africa and the Middle East.

The ongoing slaughter of Christians, followed by the exodus of upwards of 1 million of them from war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq, where Christianity flourished for nearly two millennia, has encouraged many observers to warn of the death rather than decline of Christianity in that part of the world.

The great irony of the plight of Christians is that Western leaders, who profess to be Christian, were the ones who launched the wars that have torn the Middle East apart and created the most toxic sectarian nightmare in which Christians have become victims, often portrayed as supporters of Western interventionist policies. Some of the oldest Christian denominations, with links back to the time of Christ and his disciples…

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Three Passages that Prove Jesus was Violent (or not)

Excellent, succinct presentation of three misused NT passages. Fuller discussion of Two Swords here.

dave stimers

Most people who have investigated Jesus even a little bit would agree that Jesus taught peace.  His ethic of enemy love, praying for those who persecute you, and blessing those who curse you are not hard to find.  But that hasn’t stopped people from debating how far this nonviolent teaching should be pushed, and how widely applied.  There are many layers to this, but in this post (and the next) I want to take on a couple of objections to deep and wide applications of Jesus’ nonviolent teaching.

The first objection is a biblical one: “Jesus taught peace, but also acted violently himself at times.  There are a number of passages that seem to prove that Jesus, at least sometimes, acted violently.  So, we shouldn’t take his ethic of nonviolence to apply to certain situations, just as Jesus didn’t.”

Let’s take a closer look at some of the common passages that…

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