lundi 23 février 2009

Good and bad news

Father Stephen tells the good news that the Bible is all about

St Peter tells part of the bad news that parts of the Bible are about

Father Stephen may have been in fear about the flood. The fearful thing is not if it were incorrect, but if, it being correct, we should merit even worse things. Which is why I believe in both flood and baptism as believed by 2000 years of Holy Church.

A commenter (David) wrote:

Since I’m not a scholar, I have to trust other posters that say prefigurment = patristic and patristic = only valid interpretation, end of story. I just don’t see it.

Thing is, yes, patristic interpretation is only valid interpretation, but no, prefigurement is not all there is to patristic interpretation. Every event throughout history (including Life of Brian, the movie, and the holy life of Fr Bryan Houghton, centered on Holy Liturgy; including the Mosaic rites for Iôm Kippûr that prefigure Crucifixion as well as the new ones introduced after the destruction of Jerusalem that postfigure baptism) has some connection with Christ, this being especially true for those deigned to be recorded in either Patriarchal, Mosaic, priestly/royal and of course Apostolic traditions. But this does not mean they are not events that are in the prosaic way of seing things other than the christology they prefigure or post-figure. And patristic interpretation knew this. St Augustine of Hippo wrote that it is heretical to believe the flood only as about Noah's time or only as about the Church outside which there is no salvation, but Catholic to believe it as about both. Here is another part of what he wrote too, but scroll down to chapter 27.

Same David:

If there was a real human being Jonathan and we actually have a reasonable facsimile of his actual words and deeds, to say that he’s some prefigurment of Christ is to deny, in part, his personhood.

Well, no. Being persons means being created in God's image. In image of divine persons. So prefiguring Christ does not take away personhood from King David, who was meek with his enemy Saul, who reigned among gentiles before getting his own back with the Jews, who killed lions to protect his lambs, et c.

Father Stephen wrote:

The same fear drives the concern for the Flood of Noah and the age of the planet (not to mention any possible hint of evolutionary science). Thus the earth must be young, the flood must be literal (with perhaps a still existing Ark on Mt. Ararat). Science has an answer that it must prove, rather than a question to be answered. The agenda of such fundamentalist science is set by the need to refute anything that possibly undermines a peculiar view of Scripture. One flaw and the entire house of cards comes tumbling down.

It makes for bad science and even worse Biblical interpretation.

The problem about nervousness, trying to prove an answer and bad science is not unique to the fundamentalist side. Indeed, if, as I think, Darwinian side is anyway obliged to prove what is false, their science will by that suffer even more than by people trying to prove what is correct.

See my post, number 6 of series: (urls in remake) (full series index see comment)

Father Stephen, in a previous post quoted St Irenaeus:

And for this reason, when at this present time the Law is read by the Jews, it is like a myth, for they do not possess the explanation [exegesis] of all things which pertain to the human advent of the Son of God: but when it is read by Christians, it is a treasure, hid in a field, but brought to light by the Cross of Christ, and explained ...

Myth in that epoch meant simply story. St Irenæus was not saying that Jews were wrong about history, only that they lacked the key to history. As is still the case. Romulus and Remus would agreably have been called a myth back then, but Romulus and Remus were taken as historical. History meant research, as in comparing different versions, myth was any version just accepted - in Aristotle's Poetics it means both traditional story and story-line/plot of a tragedy. Chronicle, as in writing down the most indubitable events as soon as one knows they happened is yet another thing. Point is: myth is not opposed to true history, but true historic events can be known by chronicle, myth or "history" i e historic research. From Jewish as well as Christian perspective, Pagan myths about creation and flood appear as more or less right in story line but not a clue about the meaning. In St Irenæus, it is all historic events other than Incarnation that need exegesis to be truly understood. Jews are not so much more privileged than Pagans, after all. At least not after their rejecting Christ, who is the keystone of all created reality. When it comes to the banal question "did it happen or not happen" neither Jews nor Pagans, neither OT or Pagan myths, need be seen as totally off the hook. To St Augustine, their was no doubt Romulus and Remus lived, problem is the Pagans thought their luck came from descending from Venus through Æneas and Romulus from Mars. To St Irenæus, talmudic or rather closely pretalmudic thought about OT events is about as worthless as paganism.

In comments to that earlier post, David wrote:

but I’d love to see someone offer up an extremely challenging passage (pick a favorite time where Israel is told to commit genocide or something equally offensive to a modern mind like the destruction of Sodom) and view it in it’s liturgical and/or Christ prefiguring context.

Why not take destruction of Egyptian army? The drowning soldiers of Pharao "are" the drowning demons at Gadara, which prefigure baptismal exorcism. As for Sodom's, why not pick up St Augustine's De Civitate Dei (XVI, scroll down to chapters 29 and 30)? In his De Trinitate, the two angels (out of three that had visited Abraham) were the Son and the Holy Spirit. Though that work contains a conclusion that differs from St Photios about a more closely trinitarian matter.

5 commentaires:

Hans Georg Lundahl a dit…

from "Father Stephen wrote: The same fear drives ..." was added today, down to "Though that work contains a conclusion that differs from St Photios about a more closely trinitarian matter."

Hans Georg Lundahl a dit…

Here is a third post of Father Stephens

Hans Georg Lundahl a dit…

Here is another guy who has no clue about History, another pagan believer in Mars and Venus, by the way ...

Hans Georg Lundahl a dit…

Somewhere St Augustine argues against the existencer of antipods.

Antipods of Milan (where he studied under St Ambrose), those of Hippo Regia - a city further south - being obviously further north.

Hans Georg Lundahl a dit… is the new index post to this series.