Saturday, December 27, 2008

A New Way of Doing This Blog: Less is More?

Okay, back in September I set out to blog every day. I get up at 4:30 most mornings and I determined that I would spend at least an hour writing- partly because I had things to say and partly because I needed the discipline of writing. But, I've discovered that I need that morning time for other things. I usually spend Monday and Tuesday mornings translating the text for the upcoming worship services on Sunday- a discipline I value a lot. And, I spend other morning working on articles or lesson plans, depending on what's next in the hopper. Anyway, I have decided that I will not be blogging daily- as many of you have noticed.

Here is what I propose to do: I'll post every Monday and Thursday. When I do, I really invite you to use this google site for discussion. If this site is unweildy and not what we want, I could set up a facebook group or a chat room or what have you to meet our needs.

The topic for the upcoming posts will be the book of Revelation. Of course, many people have undertaken to write about this glorious, yet perplexing book. I do not pretend to have anything better to say about it than others (well, it'll be darned better than some others, I hope). What I do want to contribute uniquely, however, is this: I want to be as 'above board' as possible about the method, assumptions, and process that I am using to study the book of Revelation. And here it is.

You've seen that I am devoted to 'intertextuality' as a hermeneutical (interpretive) method. What I propose is simple: Using the Greek translation that I have, I will simply go through a few verses each day, sequentially, and then list alongside of them all of the Scriptural references that this version of the Greek New Testament lists beside each verse. Some of these references will be direct quotes, others will be obvious allusions, other will be more subtle. We will be dependent on the judgment of the editors of my Greek NT for their direction, but, of course, I will encourage you to chime in along the way. You may offer other intertextual references that are appropriate for us to consider.

I do not know exactly where this will lead us week after week. I do not have a particular ending point where I think the book of Revelation must end up. I just want to hear this book anew, and to use this method of intertextuality as a means of hearing it freshly, with the assumption that the writer of this Revelation got his bearings from the texts we know as the Old Testament, and from the oral tradition of early Christianity.

I'll start on Monday with some of the historical context of Revelation, before jumping into the text. If you have any input/questions, I'd love to hear them.

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