How Do You Feel?; Many of Them Stayed; Parts of a Speech; Barnabas on the Land Promise; Jewish Beefs with the Septuagint—Before the Christians Used It

1.  Zosia Zaks, Life and Love: Positive Strategies for Autistic Adults, page 135:

If you feel as though you can discuss your inner emotional states with another person and that doing so would help you see yourself in new ways, learn new ways of expressing yourself, or otherwise improve your sense of getting along in the world, therapy can be very useful for you.  However, some people on the spectrum may find the talking and self-reporting that traditional therapy relies on to be too overwhelming or too abstract.  They sit in the therapist’s office wondering what to say or do.  They don’t know why the therapist is asking them to interpret problems through the lens of subtle feelings.  The social dynamic of therapy can be too taxing, negating any therapeutic value.  The reflection of the inner self through the therapist’s eyes may be too indirect for someone on the spectrum to benefit much from.

If talking therapy doesn’t work for you, consider alternative forms of therapy that can be just as useful in sorting out your problems.  Short-term therapy of a few weeks’ or months’ duration that focuses on one specific problem might be easier.  For example, you could find a counselor who would be willing to spend eight weeks working with you on improving your way of dealing with anger.  Others on the spectrum have tried art or drama therapy.  Therapy that provides concrete behavioral exercises, emphasizes concrete plans of action, or otherwise assists you in discovering information about yourself without you automatically having to know what to talk about may be more useful than traditional therapy models.

Good stuff.  All I will say here is that I absolutely hate it when therapists ask me, “What do you feel about that?”  Remember Star Trek IV: “How do you feel?  How do you feel?”  Spock: “I do not understand the question.”  Me: “I don’t know, and I find the question annoying.”

2.  Sara Japhet, The Ideology of the Book of Chronicles and Its Place in Biblical Thought, pages 328-330:

According to the testimony of 2 Kings 17 and Ezra 4, all the Israelites were exiled from their land (2 Kings 17:20-23), and their cities came to be inhabited entirely by foreigners, the descendants of people deported to the land by Assyrian kings.  In spite of the fact that they worshipped Israel’s God, they were considered aliens both by the returned exiles and by their own definition.

What is Chronicles’ view of these facts?  We see the book’s outlook in its description of the population’s composition during this period: the entire historical narrative, from beginning to end, makes no mention of the presence of foreign peoples in the land of Israel.  Hezekiah’s reign is particularly significant because of its historical conditions and the period’s singular importance in Chronicles.  According to biblical and extra-biblical historical sources, members of foreign nations, deported by the kings of Assyria, already inhabited the land in the time of Hezekiah.  There is absolutely no sign of their presence in Chronicles: only Israelites live in the northern region.  The book’s lengthy account of the Passover celebration during Hezekiah’s reign depicts the time after the fall of Samaria and the deportation of her inhabitants.  Hezekiah sends messengers throughout the land of Israel, calling for the Israelites to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem (2 Chr 30:1, 5, 6, etc.).  The couriers travel the length of the country; in the “country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun,” they actually go “from city to city” (2 Chr 30:10), trying to persuade people to make the pilgrimage.  The account portrays a clearly Israelite settlement in the North.  According to the Chronistic outlook, the population’s composition remained completely unchanged following the downfall of the northern kingdom and the exile: members of Israel’s tribes lived throughout the region “from Beer-sheba to Dan” (2 Chr 30:5), and Hezekiah calls upon them to once again worship YHWH in Jerusalem.   In his effort to cleanse the land, Hezekiah also demolishes the altars “throughout all Judah and Benjamin, and in Ephraim and Manasseh, until they were all destroyed” (2 Chr 31-1).  The very regions that, according to all the other evidence at our disposal, were centres of foreign population are described by Chronicles as inhabited only by Israelites, members of the northern tribes.

3.  D.A. Russell, Criticism in Antiquity, page 121:

There are always five main parts to a speech: exordium to conciliate the juryman, narrative to instruct, proof to establish your case, refutation to overthrow that of your opponents, and peroration to refresh the memory or excite the appropriate emotion—pity or indignation, as the case may be.

I have to look some words up!  “Exordium”: says that means the beginning of a speech.  “Peroration”: says that’s “the concluding part of a speech or discourse, in which the speaker or writer recapitulates the principal points and urges them with greater earnestness and force.”  I probably could’ve guessed the meaning of these words by their context!

4.  R.P.C. Hanson, Allegory and Event, page 98:

Barnabas interprets ‘the good land’ of Ex. 33.1, 3 to mean Christ in the flesh.

I took a look at Barnabas 6, which is the reference for this passage.  I can’t say that I understand all of it, but Barnabas seems to be saying that we have been refashioned through Christ’s incarnation, which remakes humanity.  Barnabas states that we (presumably Christians) have been led to a land flowing with milk and honey.  That may relate to other things that Barnabas mentions in the chapter, such as Christ dwelling within as, as if we’re a temple.  The milk and honey are interpreted in Barnabas 6 as our faith in God’s promise, which makes us alive.  And, while we’re promised dominion over the earth, Barnabas acknowledges that this has not yet been fulfilled, but it will be when we have become perfect.  Somehow, Barnabas ties the land promise of Exodus 33 to the incarnation, the Christian life, and the future reward of the believer.

5.  N.F. Marcos, The Septuagint in Context, page 109:

 Aquila made a Greek translation of the Bible in the second century C.E., one that was a literal translation of what has come down to us as the Masoretic Text.  Scholars have argued that the Jews rejected the Septuagint because the Christians used it, and so Aquila produced a Greek translation that conformed more to the Masoretic Text, which Jews preferred.  But Marcos doesn’t buy this.  First, he notes that Jews rejected the Septuagint prior to the second century C.E.  Second, he refers to the Twelve Prophets scroll at Nahal Hever, which is earlier than Christianity.  It tries to correct the Greek text “to fit it to the Hebrew text then current.”  So Jewish rejection of the Septuagint and attempts to produce a Greek translation that was closer to the MT were not necessarily the fruit of Jewish-Christian polemics.  They date before that.

Marcos says that he shows at the close of Chapter 3 that Jews prior to the second century C.E. (the time of Jewish-Christian polemics) had issues with the Septuagint.  I took a second look at Chapter 3 to see where he says this.  I found a few statements.  On page 44, he refers to a view that the Letter of Aristeas (second century B.C.E.) was written to defend the Septuagint against the attacks of Palestinian Judaism, which said that the Alexandrian Jews used “an inaccurate translation of the Pentateuch [(the LXX)] and were were not fulfilling the Law” (44).  Second, on pages 46-47, Marcos refers to fears among Jews about profaning the Torah.  For some, translating it into Greek did precisely that.

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.
This entry was posted in Asperger's, Autism, Bible, Greco-Roman, Movies, Religion, Star Trek. Bookmark the permalink.