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"I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you."
Welcome to our inner sanctum ( Information intermediation) where your studies are served up each day
Note: All Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Coptic translations are my own unless noted otherwise.
To our new readers:
In order to appreciate the ongoing studies you need to know how to follow my wee writings. Since some of these tend to be bookish in length at times and if I put them in book form to sell on Amazon or Barns & Noble it would cost you which is not my purpose for sharing these studies. I’d much rather you read them for free and save your money for that once in a lifetime trip to Ireland. But I digress. Since we have currently more than 1,500 articles you may need directions (or as we like to say bread crumbs to follow the study). You will find on the left side of your computer screen a list of subjects, under the title Archive you can click on this and it will take you to the articles listed by date from the current post written and going backwards. Also if you note I do most of the time list the posts as Part 1, 2, etc. so it becomes easier to go back at the beginning to follow my train of thought. I also allow one to follow at their own pace, and will explain terms or concepts if I feel that they are not commonly understood. For the more casual reader you will find between the "serious" stuff Irish humor or observations about life, politics, and or Irish perspective as an Expat ( from Ireland). So enjoy.
Part 26 Worship of Jesus as Evolutionary Development
Part 25 To Live and Die for Jesus: Social and
Political Consequences of Devotion
to Jesus in Earliest Christianity
Part 24 Early Jewish Opposition to Jesus-Devotion
Part 23 The Change of the Ages
Part 22 The Wandering Paul
Part 21 A Thirst for the Irrational
Part 20 How we came to religion
Part 19 the Son and the Saviour
Part 18 "Christianity"
Part 17 Class is in session (Part One)
Part 16 Was Christ real?
Part 15 Could have Jesus been divine?
Part 14 Some recent thoughts to consider
Part 13 What you thought you knew because someone else said so!
Excursus-"Grandmother read to me"
Part 12 "but wait there are two sides to a pancake"
Part 11 Did Jesus claim to be God?
Part 10 "Who was Jesus ?"
Part 9 Caesar's Messiah
Part 8 Jesus of Nazareth
Part 7 Jesus God or merely man (part 1)
Men and Gods (Part 6) Myths or mysticism?
Finding your story How Myths begin (Part 5)
Anyone lose a continent? (Part 4)
Part 3 The Irish Island that wasn't there (or was it?)
Part 2 Mysticism a part of the fabric of Myth
Part 1 the search begins mythology fact or fiction?
The Mythological Matrix Paradigm
Part 5 The Divine Feminine
Part 4 the Divine Feminine
Part 3 The Divine Feminine
Part 2 continued the Divine feminine
(Part 2) a new look at ( The Divine in feminne terms)
Our One story "As above so below"
Recent Blogs (in case you missed something)
See the Archives...
The Blood Sport we call in America, Politics (Parts 1-10)
The Tomorrow people parts 1-9
The Apocalypse (The First Gospel) 40 part series [ Nov 2012-Sept 2013]
There are 20 less angels on earth tonight The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight. They're our students and our teachers and our parents and our friends. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels, but every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless We add our prayers to all of yours for the 20 angels we lost ... Three Years past and no help in sight!
The Change of the Ages
Given the Christian view of the imminent transformation of the world and the establishment of God's kingdom, an apostle like Paul should have looked back to the life and ministry of Jesus as a milestone, a crucial point in the ongoing pattern of salvation history which would culminate in the Day of the Lord
The Jewish conception of history and time was fairly simple. The period
stretching back through known history was the "old age," an age of sin and evil and darkness, when God had permitted Satan to rule, when the righteous were persecuted and divine justice was delayed. The "new age" would begin with the arrival of some heavenly figure or messianic agent of God who would direct the overthrow of Israel's enemies and the forces of evil generally. This would be preceded by a build-up period in which woes and natural disasters would be visited upon the earth, to test the faithful.
In some apocalyptic pictures, an archetypal evil figure, Satan himself or his lieutenant, would direct all this final mayhem, but he would ultimately be overthrown and the kingdom would dawn. Later, in Christian thinking, this figure would be known as the Antichrist. (He had a predecessor in Jewish thought known as the "man (or son) of lawlessness"; he surfaces in 2 Thessalonians and the Apocalypse of Elijah.) Still, the pattern of salvation history, stretching in a line from past through to future, fell into two sections: the old age and the new. Scholars refer to this pattern as "two-age dualism."
According to the orthodox picture of Christian origins, however, a radical new dimension has been added. The Messiah had come, but not the kingdom with him. Christ had died and been resurrected, but still the new age had not dawned. That was to be delayed until his return, this time in glory and as judge at the Parousia. Between the two comings of Christ, as brief a period as that might be, the gospel message had to be carried to as many as possible and the world had to be made ready.
If this was indeed the scenario faced by the first few generations of Christian preachers and believers, we would expect to find two things. First, a significant recasting of the two-age pattern; the coming of Jesus would have been seen as a pivotal point in the ongoing scheme of redemption history. Second, that very failure of expectation would have required explanation. For no one could have anticipated—and no one did—that the arrival of the Messiah would not be accompanied by the establishment of the kingdom. We would expect to find an
apologetic industry arising within the Christian movement to explain this strange and disappointing turn of events.
But do we find either of these two features in the epistles?
We have seen several passages in the Pauline letters which speak of the long hidden divine "mysteries" which God has revealed to "apostles and prophets." There was no sign of Jesus' ministry there, no indication of a distinctive stage between the primal event of God's promise and the present apostolic movement heralding the new age (as in Titus 1).
But the revealing passages are those in which Paul expresses his
eschatological (End-time) expectations. The first to look at is Romans 8:22-3: Up to now, we know, the whole created universe groans in all its parts as if in the pangs of childbirth. Not only so, but even we, to whom the Spirit is given as firstfruits of the harvest to come, are groaning inwardly while we wait for God to make us his sons and set our whole body free. [NEB] Here Paul's orientation is squarely on the future. The whole universe is groaning, waiting. Where is the sense of past fulfillment in the life and career of Jesus? Were some of the world's pains not assuaged by his coming? "Up to now," says Paul, has the universe labored to give birth, leaving no room for the dramatic pivot point of Christ's own birth and acts of salvation. Moreover, when
Paul does refer to present or immediately past events, what are they? Only the giving of the Spirit, the revelation by God which has enlisted men like Paul to preach Christ and his coming. We have here no deviation from the traditional two-age picture.
To be continued...