Monday, January 30, 2017

Week 4

Remember this sign that I had you research in class to discover what it was?
It's the soreq that was posted outside the Jewish temple.
Read the two links below to learn what it was and to learn what it says. This will help you in your Moodle assignment on the Temple Tantrum.
  • Song as Text
  • Moodle results: TV post/Peter Popoff
  • Timelines and Testations
  • Temple Tantrum
  • Review, View, Preview
  • Philemon
  • Song as Text: "Sleep Like a Baby"

Note: if videos don't play on this page, click the very left-hand side of the video title'

Peter Popoff. Great discussion on this, as followup to your TV assignment:


What an inspirational time it was as we all put our life timelines on the board. Here they are:

timelines from other classes

(found this online)
It has been hugely productive, revelational and (even) fun to, as part of a class that several others and I teach, have students plot out (on the whiteboard) their timeline.

As Pastor/Trucker Franks suggests below, sometimes it's "more about the journey than the destination."  See also  "What if Torah/ מלכות השמים, is more 'journey  than 'doctrine'?"

We then take time to interweave/intertext our personal timelines with the timeline/trajectory of Jesus' life in Matthew's gospel (the thrust of the class).

Especially helpful is the suggestion by Donald Kraybill ("The Upside Down Kingdom") and Ray Van Der Laan (  video)  that throughout  his earthly life, Jesus was revisited by remixes of the original three temptations ("testations" ) of the devil"in chapter 4.

Kraybill provocatively proffers the following taxonomy of the temptations; suggesting that any later temptation Jesus faced (or we face) is at heart in one of these three spheres:

1=  Bread into stones: Economic 

2=Jump from temple and test God:Religious 

 3=Own all kingdoms: Political

So, it may be useful to plot out various temptations along your life timeline, and ask which of Jesus' temptation are each is  tied to.

SO..if every temptation can be filed under one of the three categories:

Economic    Religious   Political..


How might virtually all temptations (the three Jesus faced, or others you could name) be fundamentally economic?  Kraybill, you'll remember, calls the bread temptation "economic," but how might any/all others temptations trace to this root/'garbage"?
HINT: We noted that he term economics comes from the Ancient Greekοἰκονομία (oikonomia, "management of a household, administration") from οἶκος (oikos, "house") + νόμος (nomos, "custom" or "law"), hence "rules of the house(hold)".[1]   



Sonya Wainscott's Fundraiser : Healing From Cancer

My wife Sonya's fundraiser page is here


We only had time for the first version of this U2 song.

We will do the second version nect week (Alternative Version).  Fantastic job trying to interpret what it was about.  If you missed class, try it. Read the lyrics, and play the music, to the first version (not the alternative one which we'll do next time. Use some Three Worlds skills to interpret it. Here are some of your thoughts during class:
"Sleep Like A Baby Tonight"
Morning, your toast, your tea and sugar
Read about the politician’s lover
Go through the day like knife through butter
Why don’t you
You dress in the colors of forgiveness
Your eyes as red as Christmas
Purple robes are folded on the kitchen chair
You’re gonna sleep like a baby tonight
In your dreams, everything is alright
Tomorrow dawns like someone else’s suicide
You’re gonna sleep like a baby tonight
It’s a dirty business, dreaming
Where there is silence and not screaming
Where there’s no daylight, there’s no healing
You’re gonna sleep like a baby tonight
In your dreams, everything is alright
Tomorrow dawns like a suicide
But you’re gonna sleep like a baby tonight
Hope is where the door is
When the church is where the war is
Where no one can feel no one else’s pain
You’re gonna sleep like a baby tonight
In your dreams, everything is alright
Tomorrow dawns like a suicide
But you’re gonna sleep like a baby tonight
Sleep like a baby tonight
Like a bird, your dreams take a flight
Like St. Francis covered in light
You’re gonna sleep like a baby tonight



Song 2

Sleep Like A Baby Tonight" version 2 (Alternate Perspective Mix) 
In the morning when you wake up
You won’t have much
But you’ll have enough
When you are weakest
I’ll be strong enough for you

Yeah, the ones where you are fearless
Can’t break what’s broken
You are tearless
Steal back your innocence
That’s what they stole from you

You’re gonna sleep like a baby tonight
Not everything can be so black and white
There are demons in the broad daylight
But you can sleep like a baby tonight

Where you stand right now
Just stop
Don’t think or look down at the drop
The people staring from the street
Don’t know what you’ve got

You’re gonna sleep like a baby tonight
No, not everything can be so black and white
There are demons in the broad daylight
But you can sleep like a baby tonight

Hope is where the door is
When home is where the war is
Where nobody can feel no one else’s pain

You’re gonna sleep like a baby tonight
Not everything can be so black and so white
There are demons in the broad daylight
You’ve got to sleep like a baby tonight
Sleep like a baby tonight
Where you stand
Where you fall is where I kneel
To take your heart back to where you can feel
Like a child, a child


Temple tantrum

In Matthew 21, Jesus angrily came into the temple and overturned the tables of the moneychangers.  Most people assume he was angry at their overcharging, but your moodle forum this week will make the case that reading this text in context as an apple, and through the Three Worlds, will suggest his anger was for a different reason.  Usually I have another class interrupt class unannounced, yell angrily and overturn a table to illustrate how surprising and subversive this act was.  Here is a video we watched in class of one of these events that you may not be able to rewatch on facebook due to privacy serttings:

It would as surprising as going to the drive-thru and finding David Letterman working there.  We watched the Taco Bell video in class, but not the McDonald's one, which is here:


NT Wright on the temple:
Jesus as New Temple:

Three thought experiments.
  • -Think if I offered you a drivers license, claiming  i had authority to issue it
  • -Think if someone destroyed all bank records and evidence of any debt you have owe
  • -Think  what would happen if you pointed at something, hoping your dog would look at it.
If I talk to your name sign, it's not really you.
What do you remember about signs and signposts?

Remember, part of your prep reading for next week is Psalm 22.

 We will talk about  PSALM 22 in class next week..AND you may choose it as an alternate text for your signature.. you may do it instead of Philemon!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 3

Note: if videos don't play on this page, click the very left-hand side of the video title'

Trucker Frank video: What did you learn about the Kingdom? Apples and Oranges video; We watched in class; there is a Moodle forum on this: >br>


part a)Take this quick test to see how well you will do on mechanical errors on signature paper.  Remember,  if the teacher finds there are mechanical errors on a signature paper in every paragraph, the paper will flunk, and  teacher will call for a rewrite.  So try this  below and see how you might fare.   Remember the big rules: no contractions and no "you" language, but most of these errors are something other.
Read this sample signature paper excerpt below, and either copy it  into comments, making corrections in red, or noting them and correcting them. On Friday, Dave will add a post below with this section corrected.
Don't look at part b until done.

Not since Moses’s day had there been a leader like Paul.  In a sense, Paul was the most important leader mentioned in the bible.  Not only was he an Apostle, but the most prominent  and clear headed one ever mentioned by God in his Word.   Maybe the most prominent character in Christianity’s history.  Due to his special calling, his ability to face prosecution and abuse, his status as an Elder and his great Faith, he ranks highly, even though he is not one of the original 12 Disciples, and wasn’t even mentioned in the Biblical texts that discuss Jesus’s earthly days.

In a way, you could compare him to today’s Pope, or the President of the United States—or more appropriately, the Senior Pastor of a large church or the Bishop of a denomination.  Think of him like a modern Saint, a person that has great Spiritual courage and skill.  A person that  loves God and His ways.  Which makes him all the more remarkeable in the way he treated Onesimus’s owner, Philemon.  Philemon was a humble man, that had a Church in his house, and that owned Philemon as a slave.    In its own unique way, the paradox of Paul the great leader being kind and compassionate to people of lower Economic status like Onesimus (a lowly Slave) shows that he was also a great sheperd not one who would Lord it over people.  He had no allusions of being the King.

Let's examine in detail the world of Paul, Philemon and Onesimus--the 3 key players in a story with abundent  lessons for our day.  In a funny verse, the Bible says "a dog returns to it's own vomit."     Thinking about an animal being attracted to there own vomit is a strong image and thought provoking. This remind's me of  the religous leaders Jesus confronted in the Temple.  One Sunday, my Pastor preached on this.  Matthew 11:15, " Jesus said, "My house shall be a House of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers."  When people think they're more imporatnt then others based on Religion or Race,  the affect is  divine anger.  I have thought alot about why Followers of God would ever think they are holier then other people.   Or how they could justify hating a person that was innocent or poorer then them.  It's a mystery to me, and a headscratching one at that.   I sometimes literally loose my mind over things like these.

Think about someone that dessecrated the Alter of a Church, or think's it's alright to have a prejudist attitude.  What an extordinary embarassment for priviledged people to act that way; witholding grace from a person that is in need.  Our professor talked about this one day when we did a practise for this signature assignment.


Click here for a complete signature paper, which would flunk due to mechanical errors alone.  They are all noted in red and corrected.

Here are the "13 Commandments"--that is the most common mechanical errors in signature papers over the years


2)clauses and fragments that are not full sentences
3)commas where they don't belong (or no commas where they do)
4) CAPS: a)words like king, president, pastor, apostle are NOT capitalized unless used as a title.  "Barrack Obama is the President" is  not correct.   "President Obama says.." is.
b)often students capitalize words because they are important: faith, prayer,altar.. Incorrect
c)"Bible" is capitalized; "biblical" is not  Some formats allow Bible to not be capitalized; if you choose that, be consistent throughout paper
5)Careful with plurals, possessives, apostrophes etc.  Google if you need help.
This sign is all over the country, but dead wrong!
6)For historical figures whose name ends in 's, you write  "Jesus' disciples," not "Jesus's."  Note you have a lot of these who may appear in your paper: Onesimus, Moses, et al
7)Traditions and translations vary as to whether or not "He" "Him" "His" are capitalized when referring to God or Jesus.  Either way you choose, be consistent thought the paper.
8)"Their"  vs "they're" type errors
9)It's vs its.  Read this for help.  Think in your mind about our textbook title:
 "How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth"

or is it

"How to Read the Bible For All It's Worth"
Answer and the look.  Most students guess incorrectly, This is even explained in the preface.

10)singular and plural disagreement across sentences  Google for help
11)Departments vary in this. For biblical studies, spell out numbers under 100.
12)HUGE: "who" for people; "that" for things.  "A person that likes cookies" is wrong
13)miselanyaous speling errrors

This sign in a church is incorrect:



We watched this, so you could practicing interpreting a text:
Set theory:

set theory::






Think about how you made your choices abut where to stand tonight during the exercise pictured below.
We will follow up on this.  How did you feel being forced to pick a bounded set either/or), without opting fo a fuzzy set (Both/and) or centered (headed towards one option)?

Remember we did a class exercise standing on one side or the other?:



Remember how Paul..the same Paul who wrote Philemon..used the "S" word in Philippians 3?  In the original Greek he used the word "skubala," which your class Bible translates "rubbish,"  but the word is much close to the English S-word.  More on that word use here

Oh, here's a link to buy the T shirt (or bib or hat..or)


This week';s "COMMUNITY"  topic is Greatness

Jesus came to serve.
             The last shall be first.
                         That's who is great in the Kingdom  economy:

Jesus said in it yet another chiasm:
But those who exalt            themselves will be               humbled, 
and those who humble     themselves will be                exalted
(Matt 23:12)


My Dack Rambo story?  Click here  to read all about it, and for the sequel click:
" I Deny the Resurrection and I am not straight."dackrambophoto1.jpg (1116×1416)
(uh, better click that title and get the context!) 

 we apply some "Three Worlds" theory to Matthew 18 and the topic of "Who is great?"

As we study, apply as many literary world symbols as you can

A video on that chapter featuring Keltic Ken: 

Related outtakes:


  • -There is a hyperinked account in Matthew 16, there only Peter receives power to bind and loose, here all the disciples do.  Remember 'ustedes va"?
  • -The  sheep parable hyperlinks to Luke 15, but with a different context
  • Structurally, the last section of chapter 17 is connected
  • Two inclusios place this section in the middle of a unit about taxes/rights  and children.  Implications---

If you have your computer tonight, Scriblink some diagrams with me:

Of Historical World note:

    • What did you learn about a millstone from tonight's video clip?: Half the clip is below, and notes from complete video here: 

    • Faith Lessons by Ray Vander Laan: The Weight of the World

      “Gethsemane” means olive press. The film shows an image of an ancient olive press at Capernaum. The olive press symbolizes the crucifixion.
      There is a synagogue in Capernaum from the 3rd or 4th century, which is likely along the same plans as was used in the First Century.
      Jesus was asked to heal a centurion’s servant. The centurion had built the synagogue and was highly esteemed by the people.
      (Luke 7:2-5)  There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.”
      Jesus was amazed at the faith of the centurion.
      In Matthew 11, Jesus pronounces a curse on Capernaum for failing to repent.
      (Mat 11:20-23)  Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.
      RVL: We’ve been taught the miracles of Jesus. Therefore, we will have no excuse. The most severe curses in the Bible are against those who knew better — not those who sinned in ignorance.
      Olive oil was used for lubricant, for fuel, for lamps, for cleaning, as a preservative, and in cooking. Olive oil production was a major industry.
      A massive stone rolled over the olives to produce olive oil. The crushed olives were then placed in another container and a massive stone column crushed the rest of the oil out of them. The olives were repeatedly crushed to get all the oil out.
      Only the wealthy, typically the aristocrats, could afford the equipment needed to press the olives, and so they had control over local agriculture.
      The Messiah is the “annointed one,” which refers to annointing with oil — olive oil.
      Every few hundred years, an olive tree will stop bearing fruit and so must be cut down, and a new tree will grow from the stump.
      (Isa 11:1)  A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
      The Jews taught that the new “shoot” was the Messiah — the shoot or branch out of Jesse.
      Paul teaches that the Gentiles are grafted into the stump, meaning that out roots are Jewish.
      And if God will cut down the natural tree for not bearing fruit, what will he do with the grafted-in tree?
      “Nazareth” means shoot. Hence, Jesus is from “shoot” or “branch.”
      Parents of children brought children to be blessed by the rabbi Jesus. Jesus insisted that the children come.
      (Mat 18:2-6)  He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
      5 “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6 But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
      Children had no status in that culture. To become like a child was to give up status and rights.
      Jesus felt strongly about those without status, who are unimportant. These are the “little ones.” If we don’t care about the little ones, the unimportant, the unloved, we’ll be tossed into the Abyss with a millstone (from an olive press) tied around our necks.
      The column or pillar of stone used to squeeze the last of the oil out of a crushed olive was a “geth semane.” After telling the disciples to take on the gates of hell, he led them to Jerusalem, and then he went to the Garden of the Olive Press. There he felt the weight of the olive pressed — to the point of sweating blood.
      The burden of carrying our sins was enormous. The “olives” are Jesus. The “weight” is us — we are the weight that squeezed the blood out of Jesus.   by Jay Guin

    • NOTE A RECURRENCE OF the phrase "little one."


      this (click)

      video, "Weight of the World," and be prepared to discuss what these two items are


      Remember Jesus said a lost sheep was great,  Wow.

    Page 22 of Syllabus,Matthew 18 Outline
    (by Greg Camp/Laura Roberts):

    Question #1: Who is Greatest?

    2-17 Responses (each are counter proposals):

    2-10 Response #1: Children
    2-4 Counter Proposal: Accept children
    5-9 Threat: If cause scandal
    10 Show of force: Angels protect

    12-14 Response #2: Sheep
    12-14 Counter Proposal: Search for the 1 of 100 who is lost

    15-17 Response #3Brother who sins (counter proposal)
    15a Hypothetical situation: If sin
    15-17 Answer: Attempt to get brother to be reconciled
    17b If fail: Put him out and start over

    18-20 Statement: What you bind or loose

    21-22 Question #2How far do we go in forgiveness?

    23-35 Response #1Parable of the forgiving king/unforgiving servant
    ----------------Read verses 15-17 and then ask yourself:
    "What did it mean in their historical world to treat  people like

    "tax collectors and sinners?"
    Two answers

    1)Don't allow them in your bounded set.

    2)How did Jesus treat  tax collectors and sinners? In a centered set way. Tony Jones writes: 

    but because anyone, including Trucker Frank, can speak freely in this  church, my seminary-trained eyes were opened to find a truth in the Bible that had previously eluded me.”...That truth emerged in a discussion of Matthew 18's "treat the unrepentant brother like a tax collector or sinner.":
    "And how did Jesus treat tax collectors and pagans?" Frank asked aloud, pausing, "as of for a punchline he'd been waiting all his life to deliver,"....., "He welcomed them!""




    John Knox (at Univ of Chicago) thought Archippus (not Philemon) was the slave-owner and that Paul publicly shamed Archippus into forgiving Onesimus (see Col 4:17)… link

    Knox offered a completely different reconstruction of the occasion for the letter identifying the master as Archippus who was the host of the church mentioned in verse one, and Philemon as the one to plead reinstatement of Onesimus. He considers the epistle of Philemon to be the letter from Laodicea in Colossians 4:16, and the exhortation for Archippus to “fulfill his God-given ministry” (Col. 4:17) to be the request of Paul concerning Philemon (see John Knox, “Philemon” in The Interpreters Bible, vol. xi [New York, 1955], pp. 555ff; Knox,Philemon among the Letters of Paul: A New View of its Place and Importance; Guthrie, NTI, pp. 635-638; Bruce, Paul: Apostle, p. 401-406; O’Brien, Philemon, pp. 267-268).  link