On Grief and Eschatology

Concerning Paul’s words in 1 Thess 4:13–18, Linda Bridges says “Paul’s words are intended to create a space for comfort for his grieving friends, not a millennial event chart for eager sky watchers.”1

  1. Linda McKinnish Bridges, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary (Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys, 2008), 118.

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On Revelation and Empire

Stephen Moore writes,

Parody of the Roman imperial order permeates Revelation, reaching a scurrilous climax in the depiction of the goddess Roma, austere and noble personification the urbs aeterna, as a tawdry whore who has had a little too much drink.

Stephen D. Moore, “The Revelation to John,” in A Postcolonial Commentary on the New Testament Writings, ed. Fernando F. Segovia and R. S. Sugirtharajah (London: T&T Clark, 2009), 436.

Boom.

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Caird on Sin

I like G. B. Caird and I think his synopsis of the evil in the world is spot on. This quote come from his commentary on Revelation, specifically his discussion of the locusts of chapter nine and their human-like faces (p. 120). He writes

Evil may take many sinister forms and ramify far beyond the immediate implications of individual sin; but in the last analysis it has a human face, for it is caused by the rebellion of human wills against the will of God.

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Stephen Cook Again

Another quotable bit from Cook (The Apocalyptic Literature):

“Many Bible readers today awkwardly find themselves kindred spirits of the wayward Corinthian recipients of Paul’s letter. They treat the resurrection of the body as a metphor for spiritual transformation rather than something concrete. They comfort the bereaved with the notions of ethereal, heavenly joys, whitewashing the cold, hard tragedy of the grave. Such thinking fits ancient Hellenistic dualism well, but not the witness of biblical literature. (174)

Yep, I’m pretty sure he’s right on.

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Thought for the Day

In The Apocalyptic Literature, Stephen L. Cook writes

“Misconceptions about Paul’s theology often hamper today’s readers from properly appreciating and interpreting his apocalypticism. One long strain of interpretation–stretching from Augustine through Luther to Bultmann–has overemphasized the theme of individual salvation in Paul’s thinking. This effectively underplays Paul’s emphasis on cosmic redemption.” (170)

I’d say so!

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