Autism Card; All Twelve Tribes; Sanitized Vs. Non-Sanitized; Sensus Plenior or Just Plain Sensus?; LXX Families

1.  Zosia Zaks, Life and Love: Positive Strategies for Autistic Adults, page 112:

Zosia suggests handing people an explanation card if you need to answer a question and don’t feel comfortable going into a long explanation about your autism, which hinders your ability to answer questions.  Here’s a sample:

When it is too hard to answer an official’s questions:

My name is __________.  I understand you need me to answer your questions.  I am autistic.  Answering questions is sometimes overwhelming for me.  (I need extra time to answer/I need to answer in a quiet area/I can talk, but I need to write down my answers/I need you to repeat the question a few times before I answer/I can answer your questions but I need to close my eyes while I talk so that I can concentrate.)  Thank you for your understanding.

2.  Sara Japhet, The Ideology of the Book of Chronicles and Its Place in Biblical Thought, page 273.

…1 Kings 12:23—“Say to Rehoboam…and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people.”  The passage refers to the men recruited by Rehoboam in his war against Jeroboam.  According to Kings, they include Judeans, Benjaminites, and others, called “the rest of the people”; in I Kings 12:17, they are termed “the people of Israel who dwelt in the cities of Judah”.  In other words, they are descended from the other tribes, residing in territories controlled by Rehoboam, who join forces with him in the war.

Armstrongites believe in British-Israelism, the notion that the United States and Britain were two of the lost tribes of Israel, which fell to Assyria in the eighth century B.C.E.  Unlike white supremacists, Armstrongites acknowledge that the Jewish people are Israelites—they just hold that there are other people-groups who are Israelites, also.  Some who disagree with British-Israelism contend, however, that we shouldn’t look outside of the Jewish people in our search for Israelites.  For them, when the Bible talked about “Israel” in a prophetic sense, it was referring to the Jewish people, or the nation of Israel that was born in 1948, not the United States, or Britain, or certain countries in Europe. 

“But don’t the prophets predict the restoration of Northern Israel, and not just Judah, the tribe of the modern-day Jews?”, one could ask, having in mind such passages as Isaiah 11:13, or Ezekiel 48.  The response of the anti-British-Israelists—and I’m thinking of ones who are from the Church of God (Seventh-Day)—is that the Jewish people and the nation of Israel of today contain Israelites from the northern tribes.  People from the northern tribes went to dwell in Judah in the time of Rehoboam and at the Assyrian destruction of Northern Israel.  That’s why Luke 2:36-38 refers to Anna from the House of Asher: there were Israelites from other tribes who were dwelling among the Jewish people by the time that Christ came to earth.  So, in a sense, the Jewish people and modern-day Israel are all twelve tribes of Israel.

I’m not sure if I’m convinced by this argument, for Ezekiel 37 predicts that God will unite the North and the South into one, depicting the two kingdoms as two separate sticks.  This was written after the fall of Northern Israel to the Assyrians, so I don’t think it’s referring to the mesh of Northerners and Southerners that occurred in the eighth century B.C.E., or before (such as the time of Rehoboam); rather, it’s talking about a return of Northern Israelites to the Promised Land, where they will be united to the Jewish people—at a date after the time of Ezekiel (or whoever wrote Ezekiel 37).

Does that mean that I buy into British-Israelism?  Not necessarily.  For one, Ezekiel 37:21 depicts the exiled Northern Israelites as dwelling among the heathen.  It doesn’t say that they became nations, but rather that they dwell in nations.  And, second, I wonder how Armstrongites deal with Ezekiel 37.  Do they believe that every American and Brit will move to Israel?  The country doesn’t have that much room!  Or do they handle that problem by saying that the population of the United States and Britain will be dramatically reduced in the tribulation?

3.  D.A. Russell, Criticism in Antiquity, page 89:

In Books II and III [Plato] illustrates the kinds of topics which are unsuitable, being both untrue to the real nature of the gods and unconducive to virtue.  Since God is assumed to be good and unchanging, stories in which divine action appears to be weak or ill-intentioned must be false.  But Plato does not condemn these myths solely because they are false (378A); the decisive point against them is a moral one, for he believes they ought not to be disseminated even if they are true.  Nor is it any use, in his view, using the defense of allegory…because ‘the young’ cannot recognize this when they hear it.

I wonder if Christian parents are like Plato when it comes to teaching their children the Bible.  Do they present their kids with sanitized versions of Bible stories—the kinds without all the objectionable passages about rape and slaughter of children?  Or do they present their children with the full deal?  I’ve seen both. 

4.  R.P.C. Hanson, Allegory and Event, page 77.

When St. Paul says that God spoke to Abraham about Christ (Gal. 3.16) or that Christ was the rock that followed the children of Israel in the Wilderness (I Cor. 10.4), or that when Moses turned to face the Lord in the tabernacle, the Lord was the Spirit of Christ (II Cor. 3.7-17), or that Moses wrote in Deuteronomy about justification through faith in Christ (Rom. 10.6-9), he is moving in a world where the appearance of allegory sooner or later is almost inevitable.

I wonder if Paul thought he was seeing a non-literal, non-contextual, “hidden meaning” in these verses when he applied them to Christ, or if he believed they were about Christ in their literal, contextual, historical sense.

5.  N.F. Marcos, The Septuagint in Context, page 74:

[Frank Moore Cross’ theory] is the only theory claiming to explain in full the history of the biblical text.  It postulates, at least for the Pentateuch, the existence of three textual families, which Cross identifies as Egypt (Vorlage of the LXX, from a full text, though not always, related at its oldest stage to the Palestinian text), Palestine (which is an expansionist text), and Babylonia (with a short text, where preserved).

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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