Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Palm Sunday (RCL and NL)

This upcoming week is Palm Sunday.  Churches do a variety of things.  Here are some links:

Triumphal entry in Matthew's Gospel:
http://lectionarygreek.blogspot.com/2011/04/matthew-211-11.html
εσεισθη  ("shake" in 21:10; aorist form of σειω)  This word comes into English as "seismic."  The events of Holy Week shake the city and their aftershocks still continue to reverberate around the world two millennia later.


Philippians 2 reading:
http://lectionarygreek.blogspot.com/2010/03/philippians-25-11.html
μορφη ("shape" or "form"; 7, 8)  If you look up this word, you will find it appears twice in Philippians, once in verse 7 and once in verse 8.  Jesus had the form/shape of God; took the form/shape of a human.  Sounds good.  However, later on in Philippians, Paul comes back to this word, but using it with the prefix συν (the -n becomes a -m...see note below) .  First, in verse 3:10 where he says that he is being συμμορφιζομαι-ed into Christ's death and later when he is  being συμμορφος with Christ's resurrected body (3:28).  Paul moves from talking about the form of Christ to the co-formation of the believer, both into suffering, death and then resurrection.  I think the word μορφη can be used to guide one's reflections on the whole letter:

Triumphal entry (really aftermath) in John's Gospel
http://lectionarygreek.blogspot.com/2012/03/john-1220-33.html
And from vs 19:
ωσαννα:  From the NET Bible:
"The expression hosanna, (literally in Hebrew, "O Lord, save") in the quotation from Ps 118:25-26 was probably by this time a familiar liturgical expression of praise, on the order of "Hail to the king," although both the underlying Aramaic and Hebrew expressions meant "O Lord, save us." As in Mark 11:9 the introductory hosanna, is followed by the words of Ps 118:25, "blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord."  ... In words familiar to every Jew, the author is indicating that at this point every messianic expectation is now at the point of realization. It is clear from the words of the psalm shouted by the crowd that Jesus is being proclaimed as messianic king. See E. Lohse, TDNT 9:682-84."
 
If there is a particular text for Palm Sunday someone would like me to look at, I would glad review this.  It is just strange because there are so many possibilities for churches this day.

Blessings on your ministry in the next two weeks.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Narrative Lectionary for March 22: Matthew 25:31-46

Here is a link to an updated blog post and a little tid-bit

Matthew 25:31-46
κληρονομήσατε (from "κληρονομεω" meaning "inherit"; 25.34)  This word can mean receive, but it really involves inherit.  An inheritance means two things:  First, that someone died.  Second, that there is a gift.  The kingdom given to us is a gift in Jesus Christ and his death.

RCL for March 22: Psalm 51 and John 12:20-33

Here are two links and some tidbits:

Psalm 51
רחמים ("rakamim" meaning "compassion", 51:2) The origin of this word רחם meaning is womb.  In the plural it means compassion; this is clearly feminine way of thinking about God's love; it is like a woman's care born in her womb. 

John 12:20-33
εκλω ("drag"; 12:32) The word for "draw" here means to forcibly draw, as in draw ships out to see; drag in oar in water, drag to court. It can mean draw as in attract, but it seems to have a more forceful image. This word will come back at the end when Peter casts out his nets at Jesus' command and he draws in the fish. Interestingly, Peter will also draw his sword in the Garden. Jesus will drag us up to him.  I guess here is the question:  Is this a word of universal salvation or universal judgment?  If you continue the argument to 12:48, you've got to wonder, does Jesus draw men up to judge them

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

RCL for March 15: John 3:14-21 and Ephesians 2:1-10

I offer three posts for the RCL readings for this Sunday:

John 3:1-21
Little tidbit:
ο διδασκαλος ("the teacher", vs 2)  Nicodemus calls Jesus "a" teacher; Jesus calls Nicodemus "THE teacher."  Obviously Jesus is catching Nicodemus in his words!
A laser focus on John 3:16
A little tidbit
εχη :  STOP.  read carefully: This is a present tense verb.  This means that we HAVE the eternal life, not we will have, but we HAVE the eternal life.  In John's Gospel life begins here and in as we, through faith, live in the son.

For those who want to work with the lovely Ephesians passage:
http://lectionarygreek.blogspot.com/2009/03/ephesians-21-10.html

Narrative Lectionary for Mar 15: Matthew 25:1-13 and Matthew 25:14-30

This week the narrative lectionary offers two choices.  For both I've updated my previous posts.


Parable of the Talents
Tidbit:
ταλαντον ("talent", a measure of gold weight worth roughly a million dollars or 20 years worth of a standard persons wages, 25:15).  While this parable may produce guilt and anxiety in us that we don't do enough, it is worth remembering that anyone who gives away 5 talents to his slaves (not friends, slaves) doesn't value money they way the rest of us do.  5 talents would be 5-10 million dollars; 100 years worth of human labor entrusted!

Parable of the Bridesmaids
Tidbit: 
A long explanation of why Bridesmaids is a better translation than virgin for παρθενοις.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

RCL March 8: Exodus 20 and John 2:13-22

Here are links to the OT and Gospel passage for this week:

John 2:13-22
Tid-bit:
οικος του εμποριον (house of market; 2:16)  German has a nice word:  Kaufhaus, in which the word for shopping center contains the word house.  Since we don't in English, the writers drop it and say, "market" instead of the literal "house of market."  While our churches today may not be a house of market, I wonder if this really is the alternative to church:  a few more hours to purchase things on TV, at the mall or on the internet; a few more hours to work; a few more hours to pay bills.

Exodus 20
Tid-bit:
אנכי ("anocki", meaning "I", 20.2)  The first word of the ten commandments have nothing to do with rules, but God affirming his role as their savior and Lord.

Narrative Lectionary March 8: Matthew 22:1-14

For this week's passage, I updated significantly a former post:
http://lectionarygreek.blogspot.com/2008/10/matthew-221-14.html

Tid bit:
ενδυω/ενδυμα ("clothe" as verb; "clothing" as noun; 22:11, 12).  Matthew's Gospel talks about clothing a few times (more than any other Gospel, incidentally).  We learn that John the Baptist is clothed in Camel's hair (3:4); we learn not to worry about our clothing (6:25-28); we meet the angels wearing white (28:3).  Which leads to the question -- what should one wear to the heavenly banquet?

When looks at the New Testament passages that describe the heavenly banquet (which I included), one will inevitably conclude:  our Baptism.