19 July 2010

Jul 19

Reference links:
Old Testament

Not a list! Hurrah!

That said, reading this is downright bizarre. If I switched up the names in the characters involved, I don't think I would recognize this as the same story of succession told in 2 Samuel. There is no sibling rivalry, no sick bed declaration of Solomon's kingship, no instruction to Solomon to kill the enemies that David has spared, no violent consolidation of the throne. Instead, we just have a well orchestrated succession with a focus on the temple and religious observances.

It's one thing to tell the story of a past from a different viewpoint. It is another and much more annoying thing to completely rewrite the past to fit an agenda.

New Testament

Today's whole reading, and especially the first passage, demonstrates that Paul is writing for believers.
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
In fact, the Bible as a whole seems to be written for an audience of believers. In the Old Testament, that is people who believe that the Israelites are God's chosen nation. In the New Testament, that is people who believe Jesus is the Messiah.

Now, there's nothing wrong with writing for a particular audience. Often it's the only way to get into any real depth. That said, over and over again I have been told that if only I read the Bible, I will see how obvious it is that it is true. I will see how clear the arguments of the Biblical authors are. But that's most distinctly false. The Biblical authors are writing for an audience that already agrees with their basic premises and trying to convince them of the details.

And because of that, readings like today's are about as interesting to me as discussing the right way to groom a unicorn.

Psalms and Proverbs

Nothing of particular note.