So Lent got away with me, due to some busyness in my schedule and a health concern I took a break from commenting every day. Hopefully now I am getting back into it. Way to keep it up while I was gone.
Here is what we are doing each day.
Monday: Salvation History
Tuesday: Historical Criticism
Wednesday: Reader Response
Thursday: Law and Gospel
Friday: Textual Criticism
Saturday: Sabbath—just read and pray
May11FriMay 11, 2018
[Mar 16:1-20 RSV] 1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Mag'dalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salo'me, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?" 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back;--it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. 6 And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you." 8 And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid. 9 Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. 12 After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. 13 And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them. 14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they sat at table; and he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover." 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen.
[1Ki 12:1-31 RSV] 1 Rehobo'am went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2 And when Jerobo'am the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was still in Egypt, whither he had fled from King Solomon), then Jerobo'am returned from Egypt. 3 And they sent and called him; and Jerobo'am and all the assembly of Israel came and said to Rehobo'am, 4 "Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke upon us, and we will serve you." 5 He said to them, "Depart for three days, then come again to me." So the people went away. 6 Then King Rehobo'am took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, "How do you advise me to answer this people?" 7 And they said to him, "If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants for ever." 8 But he forsook the counsel which the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. 9 And he said to them, "What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, 'Lighten the yoke that your father put upon us'?" 10 And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, "Thus shall you speak to this people who said to you, 'Your father made our yoke heavy, but do you lighten it for us'; thus shall you say to them, 'My little finger is thicker than my father's loins. 11 And now, whereas my father laid upon you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.'" 12 So Jerobo'am and all the people came to Rehobo'am the third day, as the king said, "Come to me again the third day." 13 And the king answered the people harshly, and forsaking the counsel which the old men had given him, 14 he spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, "My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions." 15 So the king did not hearken to the people; for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the LORD that he might fulfil his word, which the LORD spoke by Ahi'jah the Shi'lonite to Jerobo'am the son of Nebat. 16 And when all Israel saw that the king did not hearken to them, the people answered the king, "What portion have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David." So Israel departed to their tents. 17 But Rehobo'am reigned over the people of Israel who dwelt in the cities of Judah. 18 Then King Rehobo'am sent Ador'am, who was taskmaster over the forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death with stones. And King Rehobo'am made haste to mount his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day. 20 And when all Israel heard that Jerobo'am had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. There was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only. 21 When Rehobo'am came to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, and the tribe of Benjamin, a hundred and eighty thousand chosen warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to restore the kingdom to Rehobo'am the son of Solomon. 22 But the word of God came to Shemai'ah the man of God: 23 "Say to Rehobo'am the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, 24 'Thus says the LORD, You shall not go up or fight against your kinsmen the people of Israel. Return every man to his home, for this thing is from me.'" So they hearkened to the word of the LORD, and went home again, according to the word of the LORD. 25 Then Jerobo'am built Shechem in the hill country of E'phraim, and dwelt there; and he went out from there and built Penu'el. 26 And Jerobo'am said in his heart, "Now the kingdom will turn back to the house of David; 27 if this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn again to their lord, to Rehobo'am king of Judah, and they will kill me and return to Rehobo'am king of Judah." 28 So the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, "You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt." 29 And he set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. 30 And this thing became a sin, for the people went to the one at Bethel and to the other as far as Dan. 31 He also made houses on high places, and appointed priests from among all the people, who were not of the Levites.
[Hos 14:1-9 RSV] 1 Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. 2 Take with you words and return to the LORD; say to him, "Take away all iniquity; accept that which is good and we will render the fruit of our lips. 3 Assyria shall not save us, we will not ride upon horses; and we will say no more, 'Our God,' to the work of our hands. In thee the orphan finds mercy." 4 I will heal their faithlessness; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them. 5 I will be as the dew to Israel; he shall blossom as the lily, he shall strike root as the poplar; 6 his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon. 7 They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow, they shall flourish as a garden; they shall blossom as the vine, their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon. 8 O E'phraim, what have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like an evergreen cypress, from me comes your fruit. 9 Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.
From Pastor Tim Textual Criticism
Ok we will get to the text in a moment, but before we get there, I need to point out that today we read one of the most mentioned sins of the Bible—we will hear I a lot, do you remember what it was? Take a moment and think, that’s right, the sin of Jerobo’am, making these two other temples that people then worship at. Take a moment and commit that sin to memory because it will come up a lot in the next days.
To the text, here is one of those times where the text really matters because there are actually 3 endings to Mark and Biblical scholars try to figure out which is the original ending. I should say that Mark is a very impressing book, that is put together well and so when we are making this choice it is not random but there are arguments both from the text and from sources.
1) The first ending is just stopping after verse 8. In this ending the reading just ends with, “So they [the woman] went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”
2) The second ending has that but then adds, “And all that had been commanded them they told briefly to those around Peter. And afterwards Jesus himself sent out through them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.
3) The third ending is as you have read it in the text.
So at this point we research which of these are in the oldest copies of the text that we have. From the sources I read, the best evidence comes to suggest the first reading is the earliest. However this doesn’t make it right necessarily because it is possible that we have an earlier copy of a bad copy. For example if you make a copy of my sermon by hand as I preached it and then 100 years later someone took a copy of my computer—even though your copy was much earlier the other copy would be the better copy, however it is true that the earlier the copy, the more likely it is to be better.
The second thing to consider is which is more likely to have occurred to end up with the variants. If we assume that one of the longer endings is correct than it would make sense that at some point those last lines were deleted either because of the loss of a paper copy of the scroll or because someone deleted them on accident or purpose. If this is the case the alternate ending would make sense if someone saw that it was deleted and added something to show the women carried on the testimony.
However if the first ending is the original—with the women saying nothing to anyone then it is very probable that at two different times different scribes as they were copying it said to themselves, “it cannot end like that because obviously other people know if we know.” These same scribes then filled in the “missing text” with explanations or stories from the other gospels. These scribes would not be mean spirited but trying to assure people that the story doesn’t end with no one preaching the gospel.
This theory also matches the theme of Mark, after all in Mark we encounter quite often the “messianic secret” that is that Jesus tells people not to tell of his deeds. The more he tells them the more they proclaim. At the end then, the secret is told to you through the book of Mark, and the witness are all silent, so it is up to you to spread the gospel, because if you do not, who will?
Based on all the evidence I believe the shorter ending is preferred.
We are reading through the Bible in order to celebrate the anniversary of the reformation, we would invite you to join us where ever we are, or you could just start reading daily. Remember Luther wanted to get Scripture into the hand of everyone so they would grow to know God better. Join us!