May - Reading 22

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, May 22, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening once again -

    Perhaps the most significant occurence in our reading of 2Samuel tonight is the death of Absalom. The subtle irony of this story is that when we meet Absalom in his return to Jerusalem after Amnon's murder, he is described as quite handsome and having a thick head of hair. It is this handsome head of his that brings him to his doom. The fact that he gets hung up in a tree but still lives until Joab stabs him to death with a spear indicates that it may have been his hair that entangled him.
    Perhaps one of the most powerful, emotional moments in the Bible is when David mourns his rebellious son. The wording, even in my NIV, conveys such a poetry that it makes one's soul stir. (18:33)
    The return of David to Jerusalem is not a smooth maneuver. There is bickering at every level of the kingdom: Joab to David, Ziba to Mephibosheth, Israel to Judah.

    We also read Mark's account of the Crucifiction. The mocking of the soldiers seems much more pronounced in this Gospel. Notice in verse 15:29 that the charge of "tearing down the temple and rebuilding it in three days" is never once uttered by Christ in the Gospels. However, it seems to be an obvious allegory to the death and ensuing resurrection to come.

    In Galatians it should be noted that the analogy that Paul makes to Sarah and Hagar does not discount the story as a true historical account, but rather Paul uses a story that would be well known to the Judaizers to show the difference between the Old and the New Covenants.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School Lecture - 6/29/03

    Despite the simplicity of the message in today’s lesson, we encounter a number of problems within the text characteristic of many of the Pauline Letters.

    The first problem we will address is the digression to which Paul is often prone. When one reads, studies, translates, interprets, or prepares Sunday School lessons on the Pauline Letters, they become accustomed to this style. I believe that this occurs because Paul had what he wanted to say already in his head and his mouth just couldn’t keep up with the thoughts. One can almost imagine some poor scribe furiously writing on brittle parchment trying to keep up, Paul asking him to read it back and interrupting him saying, “Wait, add this…”

    Last week we left off with Paul’s argument that we are adopted by God as heirs to the promise made to Abraham. In chapter 4, verses 8-10 address the encroaching threat of Judaism and the fear that Paul has that this may lead to paganism. Verses 12-20 are perhaps the most personal part of the entire Letter containing a fair amount of autobiographical, if somewhat obscure, information. In verse 21, Paul picks up the original train of thought with the story of Abraham making an allegory of the new Spiritual revelation of the Gospel vs. the law to the two women who bore Abraham’s sons, Hagar and Sarah. It is at this point that I wish to begin today.

    The story of Sarah and Hagar is found in Genesis 16. This was a story that was certainly familiar to the Judaizers and, from the context of the Letter, must have been familiar to the indigenous Galatians as well. Part of the strength of this allegory, to my thinking, is that we see in the first few chapters of Genesis 15 that when God made His Promise to Abraham (Abram at that time), Abraham was disheartened that he had no sons to inherit this blessing. God informs him that he will indeed have an heir. Abraham, the man of faith, and his aged barren wife did not leave this fate, this promised heir, to the workings of God, but instead, sent in Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian servant, to mate with Abraham. In other words, Sarah and Abraham tried to claim the Promise through their own works!

    It should be noted that Paul is not denying the real historical existence of these figures but is speaking allegorically, that is to say, drawing a greater truth from their story.

    I’m sure you’re familiar with the rest of the story. Sarah did indeed become pregnant 11 years later and bore Isaac. To the Judaizers, Isaac was a hero (for lack of a better word) and Hagar’s son, Ishmael, the villain. So when Paul claims that the Judaizers are the spiritual descendants of Hagar, this was probably not very well received by that group.

    Now let’s look at the allegory of Sarah and Hagar in relation to the lesson of the Justified man from last week. We learned that the Holy Spirit dwells within the believer and that the works that we do are a manifestation of that indwelling presence. However, this is not a possession as demons would do. Rather, the Holy Spirit persuades us into action. The role of free will is still critical within the believer just as it was when he first responded with faith.

    This chart, which I modified from the 1971 Broadman commentary, crystallizes the contrast between the two child bearers of Abraham.

    [​IMG]

    One further note is that our various versions of the Bible will read differently in verse 25. This is another difficulty we experience when studying the Pauline Letters, the antiquity and possible corruption of the text. Interpreters wrestle with the wording at this point as the meaning is somewhat obscure. Some scholars believe that this may be a “scribal gloss” that was added after the original (unattainable) Letter. The obvious intent, however, is to reinforce the concept that Hagar is representing the Sinaitic Covenant.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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