November 9, 2012 ©Homer Kizer
[The following is Section 2 of the “Introduction to Volume Five” of APA]
When canonization of a text occurs—any text in any canon—the text, in the words of Michael Holquist, editor and translator of M.M. Bakhtin’s The Dialogic Imagination, Four Essays (University of Texas Press, 1981), hardens its generic skeleton and elevates the existing norms to a model that resists change. “Canonization is that process that blurs heteroglossia, that is, that facilitates a naïve, single-voiced reading” (Glossary 425). Biblical canonization of the four Gospels and the Book of Acts has fossilized these texts and left their skeletons museum specimens at which students gawk in awe and disbelief; for the curators have misassembled the bones.
The opening passage of Matthew’s Gospel—the passage that should “teach” readers how to read the text—claims there are three fourteen generational epochs between Abraham and the Christ, with these epochs concluding with King David, Israel’s deportation to Babylon, and birth of the Christ. But what the author of Matthew’s Gospel claims isn’t true. Any person with access to a copy of canonical Hebrew texts would have known from the 1st-Century onward that the claim of three fourteen generational epochs wasn’t factual by simply counting the named generations; yet the claim is made and on its surface seems to be true.
If the opening passage in the canonized New Testament seems to be factually true but isn’t when compared with a close reading of Judges, Kings, and Chronicles, then Matthew’s Gospel cannot be “literally” true, with <literally> being an ennobled word by having placed it in quotation marks. I have just made a word a museum specimen through hardening its surface so that it resists change, decay, deterioration.
Matthew’s Gospel is “true” for gawking schoolboys on fieldtrips to museums of natural history, and it’s true for the Elect who wade the Pool of Despair and arrive on the other side. Permit me, who long ago went on school fieldtrips; permit me to stand before the fossilized skeleton of New Testament canonical texts and describe what I see before being herded along to the next exhibit.
If a person were to physically deconstruct Matthew’s Gospel and “pin” the pieces back together, flattening out John the Baptist’s and Christ Jesus’ ministry (chapter 3) then laying Jesus sending out the Twelve two-by-two (chapter 10) over the top of the initial two (John and Jesus) witnesses being sent out by the God of Abraham and under the “great commission” to make disciples of all nations (chapter 28), what is seen looks a lot like Moses and Aaron under the endtime two witnesses who are types of Moses and Aaron, with the two witnesses being under the Lamb whom the 144,000 follow (Rev 14:1–5) and the Remnant (from Rev 12:17) whom the Adversary goes after, the last two witnesses to be sent forth to make disciples of all nations. What is seen is three Passover exoduses, the first being of natural Israel from physical slavery; the second being of spiritual Israel from indwelling sin and death; and the third being of all humanity from the reign of the Adversary, the spiritual king of Babylon.
Matthew’s Gospel is a miniscule of the entire plan of God.
Once the ministries of John the Baptist and Christ Jesus are flattened out, a second pin or pole can be inserted through the temptation of Jesus (chapter 4); the temptation that will engulf disciples (chapters 24–25); and the Passion narrative (chapters 26–27) … pinning these three together will require placing Jesus’ 1st-Century earthly ministry under His 21st-Century ministry first as the invisible one who stands between the two witnesses during the Affliction, then as the Lamb whom the 144,000 follow wherever He goes during the Endurance. And this will have the First Unleavened (Matt 26:17) representing Jesus’ earthly ministry and the seven day long Feast of Unleavened Bread representing the seven endtime years of tribulation, with the three days that Jesus lay dead in the Garden Tomb representing the ministry of the two witnesses and the last three and a half days when Jesus was resurrected to life representing the Lamb whom the 144,000 follow.
And once a disciple—a Christian—realizes that Matthew’s Gospel is not factually true (i.e., cannot be taken literally) and seems to have been written as a response to Mark’s Gospel in a similar way as how the living inner self of a disciple genuinely born of God “responds” to Christ Jesus and becomes a fractal of Christ, the Christian cannot return to reading Matthew’s Gospel as a literally true biography of Jesus the Nazarene. The perception of the Christian is changed in ways that prevents the Christian from returning to the mindset he or she had prior to finding discrepancies in Matthew’s Gospel that must be explained or the Gospel rejected as fictional.
It is not possible for anyone, especially an American, to return to the mindset of fifty years ago, that is 1962, when the Cold War was a real threat to the survival of humanity. We know that the Cold War was won, not with a nuclear missile exchange but with economic initiatives that resulted in the fiscal collapse of the former Soviet Union. Regardless of whether we liked America’s spending binge on programs such as “Star Wars” (the proposed anti-ballistic missile umbrella), we live with the results of the Soviet Union attempting to match America’s defense spending in the 1980s, and not being able to do so. The world seemed a safer place for a while, perhaps merely an illusion, but by simply knowing that the Soviet Union is no more, that a Russian Federation replaced the former Soviet Union, Americans never again can return to the mindset of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
In a similar manner, Christian disciples post Calvary could never again return to the mindset of disciples who were with Jesus before Calvary. The moment and the mindset passed into history.
The Gospels are fossilized skeletons of the heteroglossia of post-Calvary disciples, not pre-Calvary disciples. They are as my writing now is about the 1960s—and my writing about the 1960s will seem quaint, odd, not really understandable in another half century. A reader fifty years from now will not understand why not having rattlesnakes on the Oregon Coast is a “big deal,” not realizing that it isn’t the presence of one rattlesnake in Sometimes a Great Notion that is the problem; it is the attitude assigned by the author to the people of the Oregon Coast that is the problem. The rattlesnake merely serves as a representative of the problem.
Along the central Oregon Coast, there was in the early 1960s (not mid or late portions of the decade) a common scenario that is no longer seen: kids left in a car parked in front of a tavern while parents drank for hours at a time. The kids routinely had to entertain themselves for two, three hours while resisting the temptation to honk the automobile’s horn. And there wasn’t much to do in a car but fight with a brother or sister. … Today, to leave an unattended child in a car is child abuse. Such a parent will be prosecuted, convicted, and sent to jail. But fifty years ago, with an occasional exception, kids managed to quietly entertain themselves while parents drank beer. However, it is not really now possible to think of leaving an unattended child in a vehicle without considering the act child neglect and by extension, child abuse.
I cannot think of leaving an unattended child in a vehicle without the deed being child abuse; yet I was left in the car while parents shopped (neither of my parents drank) for groceries. I was left for what seemed like an eternity, and left to keep peace between brothers and sisters but not allowed to really do that task. And I know plenty of individuals who were as kids left in cars while their parents were gone: Darrel Strickler with whom I hunted in the 1960s spent much of his young life in a car parked in front of a tavern on Toledo, Oregon’s Main Street. He was one of ten kids. All survived. However, to present an honest narrative, it must be said that most of the time his parents weren’t in the tavern for more than two hours—they didn’t have money enough to drink for longer.
Before being herded along to view the next fossilized exhibit, permit me to say that “heteroglossia” [from Russian raznorecie, raznorecivost] as a word expresses the realization that at any given moment and location, a determining set of conditions guarantee that a word from this location and from this time will mean something different from the same word uttered at any other location or at any other time, with the exact meaning of the word at a particular location and time not being fully recoverable; therefore a text—any text—cannot be truly understood by non-contemporary readers. And this is to say that you, a Christian living more than nineteen hundred years after the Gospels were written, cannot retrieve externally the meaning embedded in canonized New Testament texts. Only by the disciple truly born of God as a son hearing the indwelling Parakletos can a Christian even approximate the heteroglossia of 1st-Century Judea. And then, this approximation will necessarily be a new text, a hypertext that is outside of canonized Scripture; that is a living specimen of the fossilized exhibit.
Darrel Strickler would tell you that being left alone in a car on Main Street Toledo did him no harm, but what he would say to you was his adult perspective on what happened to him as a child. And as an adult, he was unable to return to his mindset as a child. He could engage his younger self in dialogue, but he couldn’t mentally go back to the same mindset he had when he was alone or with brothers in a car not knowing when his parents would return.
For me, the potential harm done to Darrel is less important than Darrel as an adult not being able to view being left alone as he had when a child. Through memories, he could “talk” to his youthful self, but because he had lived through the period when he was regularly left alone in a car as a small child, being left alone didn’t seem all that bad. Thus, by having lived through the neglect, Darrel “reconceptualized” and reframed what happened to him as a child by those things that had since happened to him. And so it is with an infant son of God: the Jesus Movement was necessarily rethought and rewritten through disciples surviving Judea’s rebellion against Roman rule and the scattering of disciples into lands far from Jerusalem. It wasn’t possible for a disciple after 66–70 CE to think of Rome and Roman soldiers in the same way that the first disciples of Christ would have thought of Rome in the two decades immediately after Calvary; nor was it possible for the first disciples to think of Rome in the same way after Calvary as they thought of Rome prior to Calvary. For good or for bad, Christian converts’ perception of Rome was forever altered by living through the decade of the 60s CE. And the same pertains to Jews and Judaism.
If the author of Matthew’s Gospel desired to call attention to a Second Passover liberation of Israel, the Passover liberation of Israel that will see all uncovered (by the blood of the Lamb of God) firstborns of man and angels in heaven and on earth suddenly slain—approximately 2.4 billion people perishing in a day—he makes this Passover evident but he didn’t make his declaration of there being three Passovers evident to all, an oxymoronic declaration on my part that begins to re-voice in dialogue the fossilized New Testament skeleton.
John’s vision [the Book of Revelation] was needed before the chronological progression from the 1260 day long Affliction (Revelation chapters 5–11) to the 1260 day long Endurance (chapters 13–19) could be easily seen, with the transition of the kingdom from being ruled by the Adversary to being ruled by the Son of Man standing between the Affliction and the Endurance as John reveals: John is the endtime partner and brother of disciples in the Affliction and Kingdom and Endurance of Jesus (see Rev 1:9 in Greek). And the bifurcation of the space-time trope that is seen in John’s vision, with one time and space location (the 1st-Century Isle of Patmos) being outside the vision and with a second time and space location (the end of the age and in heaven) being inside the vision, brings into Christian discourse the relative relationship between the dead inner self (soul) and the living inner soul that has life in the heavenly realm.
Israel’s first Passover exodus—the exodus of a physical nation from a physical land and physical bondage to a physical king—forms the shadow and copy of a Second Passover exodus of Israel (the nation that is to be circumcised of heart) from being consigned to disobedience through the indwelling of sin and death. This Passover to Passover relationship is repeated in the Affliction forming the chiral image [mirror image] of the Endurance. This means that the third part of humankind killed in the Second Woe (the sixth trumpet plague) when the four angels bound at the great river Euphrates are loosed (Rev 9:13–21) is the right hand image of the Second Passover liberation of Israel that occurs immediately preceding the Affliction … the Passover to Passover relationship is seen in reverse in the relationship between Matthew’s Gospel and Mark’s Gospel.
The chronological timeline for the Second Woe has the third part of humankind, selected randomly (with the exception of Philadelphia), slain in the thirty days preceding when the kingdom of this world is taken from the four demonic kings and given to the Son of Man, a one time event that occurs on a specific date (cf. Dan 7:9–14; Rev 11:15–19). This suggests that the thirty days between the Passover and the Second Passover liberation of Israel in the chronological year in which the seven endtime years begin can be likened to the Second Woe, making the Second Woe a “third” Passover liberation.
Before being herded along to view the next fossilized exhibit, I want to make the observation that it is understandable why Luke would have Jesus, the Passover Lamb of God, born in a manager as if He were livestock, and there attended by shepherds. The author of Luke’s Gospel, however, doesn’t seem to comprehend the significance of what he writes. Rather, Luke inscribes what others have said about Jesus. Luke inscribes as best he can the heteroglossia of the Jesus Movement a half century or so after Calvary, thereby giving to endtime disciples a snapshot of the way it was when the spirit ceased to be given to additional Christian converts. And in Luke’s Gospel, an endtime Christian can see what went wrong in the 1st-Century. In a similar way to how I could see the damage done to Darrel Strickler by how he was reared and could see his strengths from how he was reared, endtime disciples can see why the Body of Christ had to die with the last of the first apostles.
Darrel and I hunted together at night; we never hunted together during the day. Thus, when I quit spotlighting deer (1970), we went our separate ways. I quit spotlighting when State Troopers charged with enforcing game laws finally got four-wheel-drive vehicles and could get into the areas where Darrel and I had hunted with impunity. There were too many deer available to be taken during the day to risk hunting at night, but Darrel liked the risk, both when hunting and in his married life, another story but one that brought him close to being killed by his wife for he had been with all four of her sisters. Darrel had grown up taking risks, getting out of the car when told not-to.
What’s wrong with Sometimes a Great Notion is Kesey’s failure to truly understand what it means to stand beside an old growth fir, glance up at its lean, then ignore the risk when falling the stick, something Darrel, following in his dad’s footsteps, did until he went to work in Georgia-Pacific’s pulpmill and he took his routine acceptance of risk-taking in other directions without risk-taking being an addiction. It is the mindset of 1960s coastal Oregon that Kesey failed to grasp while striving to capture it. It is, in reality, the title of his novel that escaped him: Sometimes a Great Notion. It is everything embodied in the word “sometimes” that Kesey never fully grasped when he was at Stanford University. It was why Darrel and I ate a pecan pie his wife had made in the middle of a dreary night on a Long Prairie hillside after killing a four-point (western count) buck and a doe we had spotlighted and loaded into my Bronco.
With still bloody hands, we ate pecan pie and drank coffee as we looked out into the rainy and foggy darkness sitting heavy over the creek valley, knowing that fording the creek and getting through the mud holes on the other side would take everything I could pull from the Bronco. We ate pie, content with the world as it was. The year was 1968. There were no viable bridges out of the dozens over the creek to get into Long Prairie even though there were three roads into the valley that had once been populated by loggers, one of whom was Darrel’s dad. There were no Vietnam War protests, no drug usage, no law but that of ourselves. Instead, there were once clearcut hillsides coming back in brush, fields overgrown by ferns and young alders, neglected orchards, and darkness that hid from the world “great notions” in a way that distance hid similar notions when I was tied to the old Sub Dock at Dutch Harbor in 1979.
Kesey may have driven a crummy for a summer, ferrying loggers to job sites, but he never truly understood what it meant to accept risk as a way of life. He tried illegal drug usage as a substitute for pecan pie and coffee with a poached buck and doe in the back of the rig as a Zeitgeist of rebellion against authority swept the world. His rebellion was that of California, not that of coastal Oregon in the late 1950s and early 1960s. His rebellion was that of a rattler biting its tail.
I can write about that night when Darrel and I ate pecan pie on a dark hillside, but I cannot capture the moment in after-the-fact words as I experienced it; for the pecan pie was a peace offering by Darrel’s wife after she nearly killed him for coming home drunk: she took out years of frustration on him for she knew her sisters and knew what had transpired between them and her husband. She and her sisters had been left alone in unattended cars while growing up. There was a residual effect, a feeling of abandonment. And in baking the pie for us to take along, she told Darrel that she approved of him going with me. There would be no drinking, no chasing skirts; we would come home with meat. The pie meant much more than the contents of its crust. And it is this “much more” that is captured in “sometimes a great notion”—the pie was a “great notion,” but not one that was uttered or that can be expressed in an utterance, and one that has lost considerable meaning through the marketing of frozen pies that need only be taken from a box and baked. The pie was made from scratch with pecans being expensive. And in his wife intending that Darrel share the pie with me, she spoke to me in unuttered words. It is this unuttered communication that forms so much of the heteroglossia of a moment that is encapsulated in <sometimes>.
It is my feeling that Kesey betrayed the title of his novel in not first having fallen timber and worked as a choker setter in the rigging before writing about those who do, who have.
Returning to the New Testament canon: if Joseph were from Bethlehem, it would have made no sense for Jesus to have been born in a manager as if He were a literal lamb. So only by Joseph and Mary needing temporary quarters in Bethlehem could Luke get Jesus born in a manager. But consider what it is that Luke writes:
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. (Luke 2:1–3)
When did this registration for taxation occur? Why isn’t it better noted in the annuals of Judea? And why would Joseph, living in Nazareth, have to journey to the city of his ancestor of a thousand years earlier to be taxed?
For narrative reasons it is important for the author of Luke’s Gospel to place Jesus’ birth as the Passover Lamb of God in a literal manager: the symbolism of birth in a manager is too great to pass up (Luke’s Gospel), as is the symbolism of being called forth from Egypt, the representation of sin (Matthew’s Gospel). But Jesus as an infant cannot be living in Nazareth after He is redeemed according to the Law and living in a house in Bethlehem at the same time. Although it is not impossible for Mary, Joseph, and Jesus to return to Nazareth after Jesus was redeemed, then relocate to a house in Bethlehem a short while later (maybe they found a real estate bargain when they went to be taxed), it isn’t likely. It is far more likely that Luke invented where Joseph lived so he could get Jesus born in a manager as if He were a literal lamb.
But it wouldn’t have been Luke who invented this story. Luke was merely doing his best to inscribe the heteroglossia of his time, not understanding that the task he set himself was beyond the potential of words … I could have written this entire Volume Five of APA without mentioning Darrel Strickler, and even if I mentioned Darrel and told of eating pie with bloody hands, I could have not expanded the incident by giving a little explanation for why we had a pie along with us. Attempting to recreate the heteroglossia of a moment requires more than a literary skeleton of what occurred historically. Too much is left out. Too much is unavailable to a person fifty years later, let alone nineteen hundred years later. And what is omitted is what gives context to the text.
For henceforth, readers of my writings will know that a person named Darrel Strickler lived in Lincoln County Oregon in the 1960s, and they will know what I have written about Darrel. They won’t know that Darrel ran away from home when a young child, or know that Darrel was living in a logging camp near Alsea’s Five Rivers when a fellow got hurt—disemboweled—and carried to his bunk, the fellow was sewn back together with black sewing thread. The incident happened Friday night. Darrel said he laid in his bunk all day Saturday thinking about having bowels shoved back in and belly muscles and skin being sown together with regular sewing thread, and he packed up his duffle bag Sunday morning and hiked out of the camp, quitting the job when jobs were scarce; for he knew what to expect if he were hurt on the jobsite.
I heard Darrel tell of the fellow being sewn together with black thread, but the story didn’t affect me the way it did Darrel; it couldn’t. The heteroglossia of when the incident occurred, the many voices heard in the bunk house, the tension, the urgency of the moment—all where absent from the story as Darrel told it. They were a thing of the past, a thing lost to the passage of time. And so it would have been for stories of Jesus’ crucifixion told by both eyewitnesses and by others such as the author of Luke’s Gospel who wrote as a compiler of stories.
I suspect the Passover Lamb motif that would have been embedded in the heteroglossia of mid or late 1st-Century Christianity had produced a narrative logic for a symbolic lamb-like birth the author of Luke’s Gospel couldn’t ignore—and didn’t fully understand. Endtime Christians see this type of historical literalism being attached to earthly Jerusalem by carnally-minded disciples.
When the bifurcated space-time trope isn’t understood—no one who argues for Sola Scriptura understands the bifurcated trope—a writer (an author) will not have a lamb, even the Lamb of God, born in a house, but born in a manger or in a sheepcote or in the fields of Judea. When inscribing the heteroglossia of the 1st-Century Jesus Movement, there is no reasonable way for a carnally-minded biographer to get a human child representing the Son of God logically born in a field, or in a sheep pen; thus the biographer is limited to birth in a manager.
Inscription of the star and manger birth narrative lends this motif to natural parodies, one such being the knighting of Don Quixote [the birth of the knight] who in Part 1, Chapter 2 of Don Quixote, traveled all day and found himself and his inseparable companion Rosinante tired and almost dead with hunger. Looking around to see if he could discover a castle or a sheepfold to which he might retire, the literary figure perceived that not far from the road was an inn “which was as if he had seen a star directing him to the porticoes, or palace of his redemption” (D.Q., Charles Jarvis translation). What happens to the old gentleman should be read for oneself.
When parodies of a narrative appear, the narrative has necessarily returned to being multi-voiced; for the parodies require both widespread familiarity with the text as well as textual irreverence. Islam still has cultural problems when the Qur’an is mocked; thus, regardless of whether Islam wants to admit its insecurities, Islam collectively doesn’t truly believe its holy book. This is seen in the realization that it isn’t old men who are blowing themselves up as jihadists, but young persons who are today as American GIs were during WWII, older teenagers who charged into the teeth of machinegun nests when commanded to do so. It is young persons still living in a black and white world—the mentally and emotionally immature—who do not yet value life enough to challenge groupthink that would have the living becoming martyrs for the politics of parents and grandparents.
A canonized text resists being parodied by being single-voiced. One reading is “authentic.” All other readings are false, heretical. It is not “okay” to find discrepancies in the canonized text. Discrepancies must be explained away … is this not what I did in Volume Four of APA? But note, I didn’t explain why a Sophist novel (The Book of Acts) was part of the canonized New Testament.
The point will be missed if I’m accused of justifying discrepancies: a canonical text cannot be reread, re-voiced until its monoglot status inherited by canonization is broken by the heteroglossia of the moment.
Although candidate Obama in 2008 declared America’s national debt immoral, President Obama in his reelection campaign is spurring his supporters Forward over a fiscal cliff as if they were financial jihadists who will leave no heirs. For President Obama, the national debt is no longer immoral. Declining to pay for women’s reproductive healthcare is, however. And America trudges ever farther away from God, and ever closer to the Second Passover liberation of Israel. At some moment in space and time, the world will be as far from God as it can get, and the spiritual midnight hour will be upon the nations of this world. What happened in ancient Egypt will again occur, but at one level higher in hierarchal order. The firstborn of Egyptian livestock will equate to the firstborn of common humanity; the firstborn of Egyptians equate to the firstborn of uncovered greater Christendom; the firstborn of Israel in Egypt equate to the firstborn sons of God, those Christians who are foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified through receiving a second breath of life, the breath of God [pneuma Theou] in the breath of Christ [pneuma Christou], that gives life to the inner self of these human persons.
The Christian Bible has become fair game for parodies and parodying—and why shouldn’t it be? Christians routinely mock Christ Jesus by attempting to enter into the kingdom on the day after the Sabbath. Christians mock Jesus by denying that He was really three days and three nights in the heart of the earth; by denying that Jesus was in the grave all day the 15th of the first month, the High Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, all day the 16th of the first month, all day the 17th of the first month, the weekly Sabbath, and was gone from the grave before daylight on the 18th day of the first month, one day after the Sabbath. Christians mock Jesus when they refuse to walk in this world as He walked. And when Christians mock Christ Jesus, the mocking and parodies of non-Believers are hardly worth mentioning.
In order to destroy the fossilization of New Testament texts, life must be returned to these texts through re-voicing them, rereading them, adding to them the context that was lost through their calcification—adding to them the reason why Darrel and I had along a pecan pie while we were spotlighting deer on a November night in 1968, the pie being his wife's attempt to “speak” into existence a “great moment.” And for Darrel, it was a great moment: I had killed the doe and had put the crosshairs on the buck but didn’t see its horns (we didn’t have that much light) and didn’t shoot. I told Darrel to shoot the buck. He did. The buck had the nicest rack of any deer he had killed in two decades. Yet neither of us saw the rack before he killed the buck. Neither of us saw what was there to see, not even the reason for the pie before eating it, dividing the ten-inch pie right down the middle. It was while drinking coffee and gazing off into the soft blackness that connections were made. And so it is with rereading canonized New Testament texts.
President Obama mocks Christ by claiming to be a Christian while his brother by birth dwells in a hut in Kenya.
With so many Christians mocking the glorified Christ Jesus—and with Him hating to be mocked—what should be the fate of greater Christendom …
As a schoolboy on a fieldtrip, I want to pin Jerusalem atop Jerusalem, thereby cleaning up the clutter remaining from Paul declaring that Christians are the Body of Christ and the temple of God … if Christians are the temple of God (1 Cor 3:16–17; 2 Cor 6:16) as well as the Bride of Christ (Rev 21:2, 9), then New Jerusalem is the Body of Christ after marriage. But Christians truly born of God are the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27) before marriage. Thus, there is the earthly city of Jerusalem, the city of earthly King David, in which Solomon built the earthly temple of God. And there is the temple of God in heavenly Jerusalem (Rev 11:1–2) in the days of the two witnesses. Plus there in New Jerusalem there is no temple (Rev 21:22), for its temple is God and the Lamb that together function as the living inner self of a disciple, which makes New Jerusalem itself the personified temple.
When New Jerusalem is “pinned” atop of spiritual Jerusalem which is aligned with earthly Jerusalem, why would a Sabbatarian Christian ministry that will celebrate the Passover by taking unleavened bread and wine on the dark portion of the 14th day of the first month as the symbols representing the body and blood of Christ Jesus look to earthly Jerusalem or to rabbinical Judaism to determine when the first month of the sacred year begins?
If the oracles of God have been entrusted to the Jews (logic from Rom 3:2), then the Christian should not be taking broken unleavened bread and wine as symbols of the Passover Lamb of God, but should be sacrificing a bleating lamb. Only by rejecting the single voicing of Judaism’s Moses will a Christian take bread and wine as the Passover sacraments—
If the Sabbatarian truly believes that the oracles of God were entrusted to unfaithful Jews, then this Sabbatarian needs to be sacrificing and roasting whole (without disemboweling) a male lamb of the first year as its Passover sacrifice. Any other sacrifice doesn’t come from Moses or from less-than-faithful Jews.
If the Christian truly believes the oracles of God were entrusted to unfaithful Jews, the Christian needs to become another unfaithful Jew.
Evil as defined by God is mingling the sacred with the profane.
Earthly Jerusalem is a profane city. A Seder service is a profane service just as sun worship is profane worship. Thus, the Sabbatarian Christian who refuses to acknowledge that Jesus determined when the first month shall begin through His death on the 14th day of Aviv and resurrection at the beginning of the 18th day, the day after the weekly Sabbath—this Sabbatarian Christian condemns him or herself as an evildoer worthy of death in the lake of fire.
By Jesus’ determination, the first month of the sacred year ALWAYS begins with the first sighted new moon crescent following the spring equinox regardless of where the disciple lives. Thus, the Christian who walks in New Zealand as Jesus walked in the Roman province of Judea will take the Passover sacraments on the dark portion of the 14th day of the first month of the year, with this month beginning with the first sighted new moon crescent following the spring equinox in New Zealand. The same is true for the Christian who walks in 21st-Century Canada as Jesus walked in 1st-Century Judea. Both will take the Passover sacraments of broken bread and wine on the dark portion of the first month, six months apart. The physical bifurcation of the space-time trope forms a shadow and copy of the spiritual bifurcation of this trope that has ancient earthly Jerusalem being a shadow and copy of endtime spiritual Jerusalem, that is in turn a shadow and copy of New Jerusalem.
When a narrative lacks historicity, the narrative is not history, is not biography, is not what it would seem to be historically. Thus, the writings of Moses are not “history,” but are of a differing genre for which endtime disciples do not have a ready word. The same applies to the Gospels except for Luke, which seems to be historical but falsely so as will be seen in Chapter Nine.
Understanding Luke’s Gospel requires an endtime reader to understand that when the author of Luke’s Gospel wrote, he could not return to the heteroglossia of April 23rd [Julian], 31 CE; he could not recreate the set of social, historical, and physiological conditions that Jesus experienced before crucifixion. What the author of Luke’s Gospel wrote expressed the linguistic noise and conditions of a half-century later. Likewise, what I write about the 1960s today, fifty years after I was a 15-year old high school senior at Taft High School, Lincoln City, Oregon, isn’t what I would have written then, before the Vietnam War blossomed to divide a nation against itself. Even if I use the same words now as I would have used then, the words would not mean the same thing to either you or me. Thus, in the same words used then and used now—and used to represent the same things—I engage in dialogue with myself and with you; for the same words do not mean the same thing. Consider as an example, the naming phrase <Cold War> as Soviet missiles this time of year fifty years ago were aimed at the United States from the island nation of Cuba, and capable of reaching all of the nation but for the Northwest Coast where I then dwelt without fear of the Russians, or of Russian missiles in Cuba.
Today, fall 2012, the Cold War is a historical fact, not a living reality. It is no longer threatening. It has lost the embedded fear present fifty years ago whenever any aspect of the former Soviet Union was vocalized. Likewise, homosexuality has lost the stigma it had fifty years ago. Abortion has lost its negative stigma. To speak of aborting a baby no longer is to speak of murdering a living person.
There is no way for a person living in 2012 and speaking the words of ancestors to attach the same meaning to the linguistic icon <abortion> as was attached to this icon prior to Roe v. Wade. We simply cannot erase from our minds all that has occurred to change us and the culture in which we dwell since the murder of unborn infants became first legal with guilt, then legal without guilt, then fashionable, and now an electioneering asset.
For the first ten years after Darrel and I ate pecan pie on a darkened Long Prairie hillside, I would not have spoken or written anything about the incident. After all, we were poaching deer, and successfully so. In the following ten years, I would have only used the incident as the basis for a fictionalized scene; I wouldn’t have admitted that I was spotlighting deer. Too much of the heteroglossia of the moment remained. However, in the next ten years, I would speak a little bit about having killed two dozen deer a year for year after year. The stigma of being labeled a poacher had lost its sting; however, I still wasn’t ready to write about incidents. Now forty-five years after the fact, recovering the moment becomes a teachable opportunity—not about hunting—but about language and how language works. I don’t poach; haven’t poached for years; don’t have any fear of being exposed as a poacher; don’t have concerns about being labeled a poacher. Yes, I lived off the land in a way that Ken Kesey can never understand. I lived with an acceptance of risk that ultimately characterized the generation of Americans who as school children practiced “ducking and covering” under desks in case of a nuclear attack. What was a person to do if there was no acceptance of risk? Spend the person’s life as a drunk, a pothead, high on LSD? And it is acceptance of life as a dangerous thing that undergirds “great notions” versus notions of greatness.
Humankind has journeyed far from God in fifty years, but apparently we still have a ways to go before we arrive at that spiritual midnight hour when the Second Passover liberation of Israel occurs. But by attaching importance to the surface of things and not to the substance behind the surface, Americans have supermarkets filled with strawberries that look like nearly perfect strawberries but are without enough taste to even consider purchasing … I truly was in Kodiak when a woman shopper at Mark-It Foods said in passing, “I buy fruit for my kids so they will know what it looks like.”
The words of an American President seeking reelection mean more than the record of the President … words are a mask that can conceal goodness or inner stench. The appearance of a thing or a person masks the substance of the thing or the content of the person’s character, neither of which matter considering how far from God the world overall has gotten. Thus, when life is nothing more that physical breath, no person will mistakenly believe he or she was born with an immortal soul from God.
If a text that has been accepted as historical has no solid event-timeline references, is the text really a history? Did not more happen to the tribes of Israel than is recorded in Joshua, Judges, the four books of kings [1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings] and the two books of Chronicles? If the numbers of men fielded by the kings of Israel and kings of Judea are real numbers, then millions of Israelites went “somewhere” without having their exodus recorded by scribes. More history of Israel has been excluded from Scripture than included, which places Scripture in a genre other than history.
Again, who was Pharaoh when Moses left Egypt? This question might be answerable at the beginning of the 21st-Century CE from archeological evidence, but not from Hebrew texts.
* * *
[This “Introduction to Volume Five” will be continued in Sections 3–7.]
* * *
"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."