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"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).

Friday, February 26, 2016

Richard Hays - Conversion of the Imagination

Here is a portion of Colin James Smothers' blog post review of  Richard B. Hays' book,  The Conversion of the Imagination: Paul as Interpreter of Israel’s Scripture (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2005), describing St. Paul's method,  which has been helpful to my study of First Corinthians: 

In Chapter 1, Hays turns to the book of 1 Corinthians to examine the question of the eschatological identity of the church of Corinth in Paul’s correspondence. He begins by looking at the direct quotation of Isaiah 45:14 in 1 Corinthians 14:25. Via the concept of metalepsis, Hays analyzes the context of Isaiah 45, which is alluded to in Zechariah 8:20-23 and Daniel 2:46-47, to point out that in their original contexts these passages are about the Gentile outsider being brought to worship Israel’s God after having recognized God’s presence with Israel (3). Hays argues that Paul has intentionally placed the predominantly Gentile church into the theological shoes of OT Israel by identifying the church not simply with OT Israel but as OT Israel. Hays calls this Pauline reading of these texts “apocalyptic,” since it makes use of an “eschatological hermeneutic” that has been shaped by the revealed event of the cross (4). According to Hays, this was “Paul’s missionary strategy in his confrontation with pagan culture … [to] draw[] upon eschatologically interpreted Scripture texts to clarify the identify of the church and to remake the minds of his congregations” (5). Hays sees this “hermeneutical move” deployed by Paul elsewhere—this time typologically—in 1 Corinthians 10:1-22. Here Hays argues that Paul describes the Corinthian church in terms reminiscent of the wilderness generation, which again identifies the church as occupying the theological space of OT Israel. Hays argues for the same church-Israel re-identification in 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 and 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, and from all of theses passages taken together Hays makes the case that Paul intentionally connected the NT church with OT Israel in order to effect a “conversion of the imagination” in NT believers, an imagination that allows the NT church to read Israel’s history as their history, and even to read themselves into Israel’s history.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

James Dunn

I like this from James Dunn:
The Spirit opened up a whole new vista for the first Christians, and they were brave and bold enough to follow where the Spirit showed the way. If we are to fully appreciate Paul the apostle, Paul the theologian, Paul the church founder, we must take full account of this vital aspect of his gospel. Having been converted by the Christ to recognise that God’s saving righteousness reached out to embrace Gentile as well as Jew, Paul was also quick to recognise that God’s Spirit was breaking away from the old patterns established by scripture and sanctified by tradition. This is why Christians need to rediscover Paul and to let him provide a fresh challenge to our own traditions where they no longer express the life of the Spirit, and to restore to us a fresh vision of how the initiative of the Spirit may once again be taking us in unexpected directions.
Jesus, Paul, and the Gospels(William B. Eerdmans 2011) by James D.G. Dunn