08 October 2010

Oct 8

Reference links:
Old Testament

Much of today's reading consists of a rant against idols. It makes me wonder, how would Jeremiah respond to a world where three major world religions (including his) do not worship images of their Lord (well, Christianity is questionable on that point). Would he find some other equally straw man way to dismiss the claims of Christianity and Islam? Or does he really believe that it is the worship of idols which makes the other religions of his time so obviously false?

Jeremiah, like most of the Biblical authors, clearly misunderstands what idols stood for (they were understood to be symbols of the gods they represented, not the gods themselves). However, he could at least claim that his religion was unique amongst those he was familiar with in not worshiping an image of their God. Modern religions are on much more equal footing when it comes to their claims. (And that, in my opinion, weakens the claims of all of them.)

New Testament

Today we get the Colossians version of the passages on submission. This version has less detail, so it's easy to see why this isn't the version that's commonly quoted.

Whoever divided the New Testament books into chapters choose an odd place to put the split between chapters 3 and 4 of Colossians. The split occurs just after slaves are admonished to obey their masters. The first verse of chapter 4 tells masters to treat their slaves well. This clearly goes with the previous material.

After that, Paul gives some encouragement and then closes the letter. Tomorrow, a new letter!

Psalms and Proverbs

Some good advice:
Don’t testify against your neighbors without cause;
don’t lie about them.
And don’t say, “Now I can pay them back for what they’ve done to me!
I’ll get even with them!”