Archive for the ‘Word of the Day’ Category

The Church & Israel — How Much Does Romans Say?

Friday, August 14th, 2009

I’m still discussing Romans 9-11 with Bob in the comment section of the last entry.  I may take some of that and make a new entry.  In the meantime, I had already written out this fourth post in the series.  Just a quick thought on how much Romans 9-11 actually addresses.

I think it’s pretty clear that Paul is pointing forward to a future spiritual renewal of ethnic Israel, in which many many Jews will find the Messiah.

But I don’t think Romans 9-11 says anything else about the end times.  It doesn’t say anything about the role of Israel in the end times.  If you only read these chapters, you don’t find anything about Israel’s role in the kingdom of God.  You don’t find anything about the millenium.  You don’t even find anything about the land of Israel.

Not directly, anyway.  Paul does say, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (v. 29).  And he does seem to think that the bloodlines still matter for something.  But we have to read other parts of the Bible in order to find out what exactly are “the gifts and calling of God”.

It might still turn out that some of the promises & prophecies were typological, or “spiritual” in some sense.  Not face value.  (When they’re fulfilled, it might not turn out like you would think at first glance.)  But like I said in the last entry, we have to be careful with that.  If you want to claim that’s what will happen, you should have good exegetical reason for doing it.  (Just because you can think of some way that “This promise about Israel is fulfilled in Christ & the Church”, doesn’t mean you’re reading it the way it was intended.)  Especially the further you move away from taking it at “face value”.

Theology Word of the Day – Homoioteleuton

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

And the word of the day is: Homoioteleuton (ho-mee-oh-te-loot’-on)

Roughly, “same ending”.  A homoioteleuton is two lines of text in which the ending is the same. For example:

1  The very tall man was walking
2  down the well-lit city street
3  where the woman was talking
4  to a little girl.

During the copying of manuscripts, this can result in recognizable kind of copying error: Skipping a section of the text.

In this example, if you’re copying the text, it would be easy to skip lines 2 & 3.  You copy line 1, and when your eyes go back to the page, you accidentally go back to the end of line 3 instead of the end of line 1.  You end up with “The very tall man was walking to a little girl.”

This can be very useful to textual critics, trying to figure out which manuscript has the original reading.  If you have two manuscripts (A and B), and A reads 1,4 while B reads 1,2,3,4, you can be pretty sure what happened.  “Oh,” you say, “the scribe skipped those lines because of the similar ending homoioteleuton.”

Theology Word of the Day – Prolegomenon

Friday, September 12th, 2008

There are lots of words used in theology that are somewhat obscure but very fun.  I would like to share one:

Prolegomenon” — Roughly, “first things”

It’s pronounced like it’s spelled.  Which will take you a second to figure out.  Pro-leh-gah-meh-non. (The plural is prolegomena.)

The prolegomona of a topic are the things you have to talk about first, before you get into anything else.  For instance, “This systematic theology text will begin with the prolegomena of  theology: How we come to know anything, where we should get our theology, and how we can go about learning theology from the Scripture.”  Your initial training for a new job could be called the prolegomenon, too.

It’s a great word.  I’m sure you’ll start using it in every-day conversation.