p {text-indent: 12px;}
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, con
cerning the word of life -- the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it ...." I John 1:1-2 (RSV)

"After his resurrection the disciples saw the living Christ, whom they knew to have died, with the eyes of faith (oculata fide)." Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, III, 55, 2 ad 1, as quoted in D. M. Stanley, Jesus in Gethsemane (New York, Paulist Press 1980).

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Richard Hays - First Corinthians

I’m enjoying Richard B. Hays’ fast-paced commentary on First Corinthians.  The text of Paul's letter offers excellent support for Hays’ comments on the “conversion of the imagination,” as this passage illustrates:

            But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the human heart conceived,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—

1 Cor 2:9  (NRSV).  In First Corinthians Paul challenges the believers to see with the "eyes of faith" realities which appear foolish to the people of that day.   Hays states, for example, “The scandal of this message is difficult for Christians of a later era to imagine. To proclaim a crucified Messiah is to talk nonsense.”   Here from Hays’ comments to chapters 1 and 2 are beautiful remarks on what First Corinthians opens with and promises to deliver:

“By the end of the first nine verses [of ch. 1], Paul has sketched a sweeping picture of the Corinthian church’s calling: They have been called by God to participate in a movement, along with others all around the known world, to extend the destiny of Israel by living as a covenant people set apart for the service of God. God has lavished upon them spiritual gifts that enable their mission of bearing witness to the grace of Jesus Christ, and God supports and strengthens the community during the present age, while they await God’s final judgment of the world.”
Consequently, to enter the symbolic world of the gospel is to undergo a conversion of the imagination, to see all values transformed by the foolish and weak death of Jesus on the cross.”

Hays, Richard B., First Corinthians: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Westminster John Knox Press 2011). 
Richard B. Hays  Credit:   Duke Divinity School