Monday, 30 November 2020

Monday quote

Lies by omission are far more pernicious and damaging than people think. It’s like, ‘Oh, I just won’t pay attention to that’. Anything that you don’t pay attention to turns into a dragon.

Jordan Peterson

Monday, 23 November 2020

Monday quote

He, I apprehend, does the best service to truth, who hinders it from being supported by falsehood. To use a weak argument in behalf of a good cause, can only tend to infuse a suspicion of the cause itself into the minds of all who see the weakness of the argument. Such a procedure is scarcely a remove short of pious fraud.

Richard Porson (1759–1808)

Monday, 16 November 2020

Monday quote

Although sexual pluralism has no rational grounds-theologically, historically, or scientifically-it might be useless to resist with rational argument. For a view which rises to prominence by abandoning reason can hardly be defeated through the use of reason.

Jim Spiegel.

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Paul's call to self emasculation

In Leviticus and Deuteronomy God commands that those who have deformities of their genitals are not be part of God's assembly. Now this was likely related to the concept of clean and unclean, holy and profane. As part of the Mosaic Law it was important for Israelites to make a distinction between such things, in part to appreciate God's holiness.

In Leviticus the command is to the priests
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to Aaron, saying, None of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God. For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand, or a hunchback or a dwarf or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles. No man of the offspring of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the LORD’s food offerings; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. He may eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy and of the holy things, but he shall not go through the veil or approach the altar, because he has a blemish, that he may not profane my sanctuaries, for I am the LORD who sanctifies them." (Leviticus 21:16-23)
The priests interceded to God for the people. They were to be without blemish to represent holiness. As such, the reference to crushed testicles, while an absolute requirement, appears to relate to accident and disease; compare to the other blemishes listed.

In Deuteronomy the context may be distinct.
No one whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off shall be admitted to the assembly of the LORD.

Those born of an illicit union shall not be admitted to the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of their descendants shall be admitted to the assembly of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 23:1-2 NRSV)
The second paragraph refers to banned relationships (such as incest, or possibly cultic prostitution). Thus the context here may relate to disobedience. The next command forbids the involvement of the Moabites and the Ammonites because of their refusal to treat Israel well and their desire to curse. While it is not mentioned specifically here, note that the Moabites also enticed Israel into disobedience through sexual sin.

So the reference to crushed testicles here may imply eunuchs, and the mention of an amputated penis could refer to pagan practices for some men involved in temple worship.

The construction of verse 1 is
No one (lo') whose testicles are crushed or whose penis (shofkah) is cut off (karath) shall be admitted to the assembly of the LORD. (Deu 23:1)
In the Greek it says
Neither a eunuch nor one who has been castrated (apokoptō) shall enter into the assembly of the Lord.
"Apokoptō" is a verb meaning to "cut off" or "amputate" with the implication of "cutting off genitals" in the appropriate context.

Compare this with Galatians
But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate (apokoptō) themselves! (Galatians 5:11-12)
The similarity in terms raises the possibility of an allusion here to Deuteronomy. The immediate connection within Galatians is the hyperbolic comparison of circumcision to penile amputation. However a possible allusion of amputation in Galatians to ritual amputation in Deuteronomy suggests that such persons are similar to the pagan worshippers. In the same way that such persons were barred from the holy assembly in Israel, so those who add earning salvation to grace are denied fellowship with Christ.

Monday, 9 November 2020

Monday quote

'If bad things were true of her, and I knew it,' said Curdie, 'I would not hesitate to say them, for I will never give in to being afraid of anything that's bad. I suspect that the things they tell, however, if we knew all about them, would turn out to have nothing but good in them; and I won't say a word more for fear I should say something that mightn't be to her mind.'

George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie

Monday, 2 November 2020

Monday quote

If you ever catch me being passive aggressive toward you, please alert me so that I can clarify my intentions and remove the passive part.

Jane Dunsworth.

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