How to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

P.OSTOST

2 Feb 2023

This is an odd two-part post. I came across Cleanthes’ “Hymn to Zeus” in Mike Bird’s Jesus among the gods: Early Christology in the Greco-Roman World. It’s an outstanding early example (third century BC) of the pagan instinct to identify a supreme god who created and now manages the cosmos rationally, by means of his “word.” “In the Stoic sphere,” Bird says, “the Logos was the ubiquity of divine rationality that holds all things together” (131).

The Greek text, with a translation and commentary can be found in E. H. Blakeney, The Hymn of Cleanthes, but I took the trouble of translating it myself, in my usual sub-literary fashion, keeping as close to the flow of the Greek as I reasonably could.

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I asked in the previous post about blaming Bathsheba, “If it was a rape, why isn’t it presented as a rape?” James McGrath asks to the contrary, if we call Amnon’s assault of Tamar “rape,” why do we not apply the same category to David’s sexual encounter with Bathsheba? “Where in the story is… (21 Jul 2022 | 3 comments)
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In response to the last post asking whether David raped Bathsheba a couple of online commentaries defending the rape interpretation were flagged up on Facebook: David’s Rape of Bathsheba and Murder of Uriah (2 Samuel 11-12) by the Theology of Work Project, and Restoring Bathsheba, a sermon by Wil… (18 Jul 2022 | 3 comments)
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I have two preliminary points to make from a biblical perspective. First, the story of Jesus and the early church as told in the New Testament is not a departure from the story of Israel. On the contrary, we must insist that it is much closer in presuppositions, outlook, and expectations to… (6 Jul 2022 | 1 comment)
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What did Christ smell like? Paul says that the apostles—he has in mind at least himself, Timothy, and Titus—are the “fragrant aroma of Christ to God among those being saved and among those perishing” (2 Cor. 2:15). Careless readers of scripture that we are, we happily assume that the goal of… (16 Jun 2022 | 0 comments)