Monday, January 30, 2006

Interlinear Septuagint has an interlinear Septuagint. The Septuagint, for those that may not know, is the Greek Old Testament. The Septuagint is actually older than the Hebrew Old Testament. I think I got that fact from Margaret Barker, correct me if I'm wrong. I'll have to check the reference. I'm sure there is some debate about the dates they were both written.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

James Alison Interview

Here's a short interview/introduction with James Alison. Apparently Trinity Church/Institute in New York City has a conference coming up. The Anatomy of Reconciliation - From Violence to Healing.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Margaret Barker

I found this introductory article about Margaret Barker. It goes through some of the issues she's working on and why her work is so important and interesting.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Genesis 1:1 - "With the Torah"

Doing some research on Genesis 1:1-3. Here's a quote from wikipedia. Apparently the midrash Genesis Rabbah supports one of my observations. Here's the pertinent quote from Wikipedia:

Similarly, midrash Genesis Rabbah (1:1) actually opens by declaring that the first word of the verse means "with the Torah" and it suggests that the Divine Architect used the Torah as a blueprint. (Cf. Philo, De opificio mundi 17-20 and John 1:1)

War and Sacrifice

Richard Koenigsberg has been writing some interesting things regarding war and sacrifice. He's also involved in a website called Ideologies of War and Terror. Quite a few papers on both websites to go through.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Genesis, Creation, Light and Yahweh

The translation of Genesis 1:2 poses problems. Creationism vs. Evolution. I’m not going to get involved in the particulars of that power struggle, but a certain subset of Creationists called the “Gap Theorists” has happened upon something very interesting. They have noticed a problem with the traditional translations of Genesis 1:2 They contend, “A second “proof” put forth to substantiate the gap theory is the declaration that the word “was” in Genesis 1:2 should be translated “became.”. Might the correct translation of Genesis 1:2 be “And the earth became without form and void…”. Jeremiah, in his time, saw the earth become without form and void. (Jeremiah 4:23)

The beginning of Genesis is not about the creation of the world, in the Intelligent Design sense, but about God entering into relationship with humanity.

So this is my hypothesis regarding Genesis 1:1-2. I realize it will need quite a bit more documentation and expansion.

Proverbs 3:19-20 says:

19The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. 20By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

In light of Proverbs 3:19 should Genesis 1:1-2 be translated “With/By/In wisdom Elohim created the heaven and the earth. The earth became chaos and vacant and darkness was on the surface of the deep/chaos and the spirit of Elohim moved upon the face of the waters.”

Okay I’m on a roll here. On to Genesis 1:3. With the help of John 1:1-5 I think we might be able to translate this differently. Of course this is all being done with my handy interlinear bible software from Scripture4All. What we learn from John is that in the beginning was the Word. All things were made by him. In him was life; and the life was the light of men and most importantly, the light shineth in the darkness. What I’m going to propose isn’t original as evidenced by this Google search. I propose that Genesis 1:3 could be translated as “And Elohim said, Let him be light: and he was light.”

I need to do quite a bit more work on this. The symbolism in Genesis is incredible. I’m collecting quite a bit of evidence regarding all this. Give me your thoughts.

Hell and Skandalon

In this excerpt Gil Bailie gives us insight into the Biblical idea of Hell.

Background on the Biblical term "Skandalon". Keep in mind Bailie's "Gehenna" when reading the below on "Skandalon"

Girard and Skandalon
Skandalon in the N.T.
Satan and Scandal
James Alison
Scandal Must Come
Skandalon in Matthew

All via Girardian Lectionary

I think I'll have to refer back to this material in upcoming posts. Especially Gil Bailie's insights into the meaning of Gehenna.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sacred Violence in Early America

Interesting article titled Sacred Violence in Early America. Briefly mentions Girard.

Margaret Barker and the Bible

Text and Context is a chapter from Margaret Barker's book The Great High Priest. It discusses the canon and the formation of the Bible. Here's a quote:

An unacknowledged problem at the heart of Western Christian biblical study is that the Church, and especially the Western Church, has as its Scriptures the Jewish canon and text of the Old Testament, when the evidence shows clearly that the earliest Church used very different Scriptures.

Still doing research on the implications of the possible translations of the Greek word "katabole".

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Greek Word "Katabole" and the Foundation of the World

Followup to my previous post. This is a word study on "katabole". I might have to write more on this later. Some very interesting implications for Girardian theory and Margaret Barker's research into the Atonement ritual.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Frustration and Bible Translation

This whole Biblical Interpretation thing is tough work. I like to do some research before I present my theological observations to the world. Sometimes when studying Biblical passages I get the feeling for whatever reason that a verse may not have been translated correctly. I don't know Greek or Hebrew, but I do have what I think is some really good, free interlinear Biblical software. It's from some outfit called Scripture 4All. It hasn't provided me with a lot of answers, just a lot more questions, which isn't a bad thing.

So here's the situation. I'm doing research regarding the phrase "foundation of the world" and I discover that the Greek word translated "foundation" could be translated as "disruption", "casting down" or "overthrow. This isn't the first time Biblical translation has troubled me. I'm referencing the translations of the phrase "wrath of God". The Girardian Lectionary has a page regarding the mistranslation of the "Wrath of God" in Romans. I just wish I had studied Greek in college, it would be a whole lot easier. Has anybody else noticed these translation problems? It seems everytime I pull up my interlinear software I find more controversy and problems.

The Girardian Lectionary

If you haven't checked it out yet, go over to Paul Nuechterlein's Girardian Lectionary, it just might be the best theological/religious website out there.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Reading Stendhal's Scarlet and Black

Between crying baby boy and rambunctious almost 4 year old girl I'm trying to read Stendhal's Scarlet and Black. Only about 100 pages into it and I can already see why it's so important to Girard's mimetic theory.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Again this post isn’t complete, there is a lot of further research to do.  Margaret Barker has done quit a bit of work regarding Genesis 1 and how it corresponds to the Temple.
  • The Holy of Holies was Day One of Creation.  The Holy of Holies was eternity within creation.

  • Day One the basic structure of the tabernacle was set up.

  • Day Two the firmament was created.  The Ark was screened from view by the Veil.  The Veil was the boundary between Earth and Heaven.

  • Day Three God created dry land and vegetation.  This was where the bread was offered.

  • Fourth Day was created sun, moon and stars.  The seven branch lampstand symbolized the sun, moon and stars.

  • On the Sixth Day Adam was created as the High Priest.

This is all just speculation on my part, but I think the Genesis creation story may relate to what happens on the Day of Atonement.

Revelation 13:8, “…the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

Creation proceeds from the Holy of Holies.  On the Day of Atonement the Blood/Life of the sacrificed goat, who represents Yahweh, carried by the High Priest who also represents Yahweh, emerges from the Holy of Holies renewing Creation/Temple.  As you can see the implications for Girardian theory are amazing.  Everything proceeds from the Holy of Holies outwards.  From Heaven to Creation.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Full-text articles for the first three volumes of the Girardian journal Contagion are online.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Creation and the Waters

According to Margaret Barker people in the first temple period understood creation as the Lord’s triumph over the waters of chaos to establish dry land. Just a couple observations here, I’m not really presenting this as any kind of finished thought. In Psalm 29:10 it says “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood…

In Girardian terms the words flood and waters can symbolize violence, mob violence and scapegoat violence. Nuechterlein describes Psalm 69 as “classic psalm of the scapegoat crying out for help”. Particularly of note for our purposes “I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me…More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; many are those who would destroy me…”. In mythology the image of waters and floods can be a symbol for human violence.

To finish up, Barker notes that “Jerusalem and its temple, the center of the whole creation, had been established as dry land in the midst of the watery chaos.” She recounts an interesting story from the Babylonian Talmud. According to the story, as she retells it, “waters under Jerusalem were a threat which King David averted by throwing into the waters a potsherd inscribed with the Name.” A potsherd is a piece of broken pottery. I’m seeing images of virgins being thrown into volcanoes here. So taken literally this is a piece of broken pottery with the ineffable Name of the Lord written on it thrown into the deep to push back the waters. Psalm 31:12 mentions broken pottery. Also Psalm 22:15. Apparently the waters subsided 16,000 cubits, and the city was left without a water supply, so King David sang the fifteen Songs of Ascent and brought them back up to 15,000 cubits.

Barker notes that the idea of these “cosmic waters” subdued by the Name underneath the city reappeared in the Book of Revelation as the great harlot seated on many waters. In Revelation 17:15 it says “the waters that you saw, where the harlot is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.”

I don’t have the time for extended analysis on most of this stuff. As the wall on the Walker Art Center says, “bits and pieces put together to present a semblance of a whole.”

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

James Alison's "Staggered Vision" and Accident Clearinghouse Doing a George Jones Classic

This is a great sermon, entitled "Staggered Vision" (Quicktime), which James Alison delivered at the House of Mercy. Accident Clearinghouse with a George Jones classic.