Archive for February, 2013

The Reading List – Feb 18-24

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

1) David Tsumura’s Creation and Destruction: A Reappraisal of the ChaosKampf Theory in the Old Testament. Man, am I glad I read this book. Essentially, through some timey-wimey linguistics (many references to, for example, Ugaritic, Akkadian, morphology, etymology, …) and showing how much everyone else has been wrong, more or less, Tsumura shows that Chaoskampf is an outdated theory. Genesis isn’t referring to chaos-waters, and everywhere else is probably just straightforward metaphorical poetics. If anything, those other references are probably Divine Warrior type references, or references to how powerful God is, etc.

2) The Old Testament Pseduopigrapha, by D.R. Russell. A short introduction to some of the content of these texts. Many of them seem to follow the formula:
- take Biblical character
- make them more like Chuck Norris

3) A Brief Guide to Islam By Paul Grieve. This would be easier to read if the guy stopped comparing Islam to Christianity. I really just wanted to read something like this to get a better understanding, but the slightly polemical edge (he appears to be an agnostic or atheist) is somewhat irritating.

A brief theory about the spirits in 1 Pt 3

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Firstly, some context.  Peter talks about suffering for doing good, referring to Isa 8, and then telling people to always have a apologia on hand about they hope they have.  I think Peter envisions a Christian getting beat up by local authorities, at which that Christian continues to talk about Jesus.  Then Peter draws on the example of Jesus and his righteous suffering.  In chapter 4, Peter resumes on the point about Jesus’ suffering.  So in many senses what’s in between is a tangent.  That’s not my theory.

My theory is that the keruxing to the imprisoned spirits is Peter showing Jesus ‘giving an answer’, drawing on whatever cosmological precursors these imprisoned spirits might be, e.g. 1 Enoch, as the audience.  I’ve got nothing but context to make this theory, and I’m not even sure it works, but it attempts to give some cause as to why Pete even started mentioning this in the first place.

The Reading List – Feb 11-17

Friday, February 15th, 2013

A new thing I’m doing this year is to take full advantage of continuing library membership and regularly reading stuff. I will chronicle this adventure with frequent posts about what I’ve been reading, frequency depending on whether I made it to the library that week.

On to this week’s stuff then.

1) John Day’s PhD in book form about Chaoskampf in the Old Testament. This is part of my ongoing interest in the associated typologies surrounding the ‘millennial’ section of Revelation, and general interest in Old Testament theology. Since it’s a published version of a PhD, it’s fairly dry. It’s also a little old, so the next book on this subject will probably be David Tsumura’s more recent volume on the same subject. For those of you who don’t know or can’t read German, Chaoskampf refers to the imagery of a god versus the sea monster/sea/dragon/dragon-type monster. This imagery is found in Canaanite mythology (various references in Ugaritic texts, for example), Babylonian (like the Enuma Elish), and in various places in the OT, like Job and some Psalms. An understanding of this helps to illuminate the meaning of the imagery in these texts.

2) Pitkanen’s Joshua commentary for the Apollos series. Fairly straightforward and relatively easy to read, much like the rest of the series. Has good coverage of all the issues involved. I’m interested in Joshua because I think the conquest of Canaan is the type behind the battle in Revelation 19.

3) Michael Gilmour, Gods and Guitars: Seeking the Sacred in Post-1960′s Popular Music. This is my ‘random category’ book of the week. That is, I like to read something a bit different to just keep things interesting. Whilst the book offers some insights in lyrical criticism especially with regard to how religious symbols and language are used, abused, subverted, challenged, or exalted, it’s otherwise not all that exciting. I think the book might have worked better if he didn’t go from ‘theory’ to ‘example’, but rather, started with interesting examples that actually give an idea of what the heck he’s going to talk about, with longer lyrical excerpts, and then explored ‘theory’. Not particularly recommended.