Posts Tagged ‘early Christians’

The Hebrews’ Book

July 21, 2011 Leave a comment

It seems that so much of biblical interpretation in the early church was an attempt by Christians to find themselves in the Hebrew Bible. To prove it a mirror in which their reflection was clear, a prophecy of self, a validation of their belonging. What does a relationship with this text look like if that’s not your attempt? Do you still belong if you allow it to be only itself? Can you have a friendship with someone and still let them have their own life? Must you continue to tell them that only in having become your friend have they fulfilled their identity in this world?

I am interested in a friendship of freedom.


Whose Scriptures Are They?

July 12, 2011 2 comments

Reading this article – “Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church” (Oxford Study Bible, pages 129-140) – I’m struck by how hard these particular early Christians were working to justify the cognitive dissonance engendered by the fact that they had appropriated the heritage of the Jews without actually converting, submitting, to Judaism. The points that get me are these: Read more…

My New Family

March 30, 2011 Leave a comment

When early Christians called one another “brother” and “sister,” they weren’t just being pious. That language of piety didn’t exist yet, then. They talked that way because they were in a culture grounded in kinship, and because converting had in many cases disrupted their personal relationships. They were building a new sense of kinship to fill the gap. When they used those words, “brother, sister, children of God,” they weren’t just being spiritual. They meant them.

Radical Disciples

February 22, 2011 Leave a comment

According to the Oxford (pages 83-86), life in the first century hinged, in part, on the poles of honor and shame. The rich man would erect a monument as a demonstration of his honorability, and as for shame, the social pressure to avoid it governed the people. In such a society, here come the disciples proclaiming a God who made himself nothing – unthinkable – while they themselves rejoiced in moments that tested their resolve to abandon allegiance to their own sense of Read more…