Monday, November 19, 2007

List 'em!

Lots of work to do... so i thought i'd post early this week and hit y'all up again on Friday or something. but here's some Head off the Neck Revelations:

TaNaK not settled in Jesus time. The TaNaK and C.A.T. were pretty settled as of the 4th Century. so the Scriptures and Testaments were settled around the same time! sorta.

The Jewish People have been ruled by another empire through most of their culture's history. There were a handful of independence periods between being ruled by the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. This is the foundation that the Scriptures are narratives of identity not a "history" as we would think of it.

After the second Jewish Revolt around 132-135 C.E. Jerusalem was sacked. It would not be the center of religion until the 20th century, and this was a christian idea to restablish it! Not saying that the Jewish people didn't hold the area in high esteem, as every passover they pray for the return to Jerusalem... but it was the Christians who began to investigate the region around WWI. and those reasons were mainly looting dig sites as only christians can do... ;-)

After WWII, the area was resettled for the nation of Israel. The Palestinian/Israeli conflict is not ancient grudge war, but very recent! Now i still side with Israel as they've legally owned the land and have defeated many nations attacking them and to the victor go the spoils. but this is not an ancient conflict by any means.

and finally.. the Pharisees held all writtings sacred of the TaNaK. The Saducees held only the Torah as sacred. The Pharisees therefore believed in the messiah and in the ressurection of the body and soul and the Saducees didn't. So Jesus would have been a Pharisee!!! who woulda guessed

also i'm beginning to take a whole other look at the Bible and Jesus and such. if you take the historical context of when something was written, you get a much deeper meaning from the texts. like leviticus (that book everyone loves to hate!) was not written by moses! it's dated in the post-exilic Babylonian times so around 5 or 6th century BCE. that sheds a whole new meaning on these texts!

also Jesus tends to be more politically active than at first glance.. like His death for example. ppl try to say pilate was trying to get Jesus off the hook and it was the Jews that killed Jesus.. but if the Jews would have they would have stoned Jesus.. Crucifixtion is a Roman way of killing and humiliating POLITICAL enemies and pilate never hesitated to kill ANYONE! there is a historical report of pilate sending in roman centurions on a peacful sit in protest of orthodox jews. all of the protesters were tortured and their heads were put on pikes on the city wall. so when jesus says "And Jesus said to them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were amazed at Him." in Mark 12:17.. He was prolly saying "Give praise to God and a Knife to Caesar" hense the reason ppl were amazed at Jesus's audacity to proclaim such a thing... and don't get me started on LUKE 8:30!!!! that is nothing but a political rant!

anywho.. more later!


Anonymous said...

Could you explain how this is a political rant?
Luke 8:30 And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Legion"; for many demons had entered him.

Luke said...

well taken that LEGION is a roman unit of the army.. and that the place they meet legion at is a roman outpost.. and a large herd of pigs is there, and what would jews have to do with pigs anyway?!

i would argue this is a guised message of do not profit from your oppressors when read with a liberation mindset. i guess i was refering to the whole story, not just that passage. sorry for the miscommunication.

Anonymous said...

Who is profitting and who is oppressing? Thank you for your time.

Luke said...

the bible doesn't actually say. one can assume two things from it.

1. jews don't eat pork so why then: 32A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission. 33When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

2. then next verse is 34When those tending the pigs saw what had happened...
who are these people? if they are jews we can assume that they are selling pigs for profit to the roman army stationed at Gerasenes.. therefore there are people profiting from oppression of their own people. isn't this happening now? the diamond smugglers and traders in africa benefiting from the enslavement and torture of their own people. or thos people in south america who join a drug cartel and benefit from the destruction of their own people? or in afganistan with the poppie plants? Jesus just destroyed their source of profit! wouldn't that be great if Jesus showed up one day in africa or south america or afganistan and destroyed those things that destroy others? that's some grand liberation there!

or if those pig keepers who ran to the town are romans, they see the power of Jesus and as it says in verse 37 "Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear." so the romans were afraid of what Jesus could do! that there still points to a liberation mindset.

the message "Return home and tell how much God has done for you." is something we all should be doing anyway.. so the short answer is:

romans are oppressing the jews. it is unclear that jews are either profiting from this or the romans themselves are profitting. Jesus undercuts their food source. People are set free by this act and they are called to return home and tell how much God has done for them.

i could be way off here, but this helps me explain why Jesus would harm a bunch of pigs just doing their thing in a pasture... i've also been reinforced in my own church and also my liberation theology class here at seminary. this is just one way to read it and that's why i think the bible is such a great thing! the more you look at it and study it the more lessons and teachings you unlock!

that's my two cents, what do you make of it?