Analyze these!

A summary of Grammatical-Structural Relationships from Klein, Bloomberg, and Hubbard’s Introduction to Biblical Interpretation

In this portion of the book the authors’ Klein, Bloomberg and Hubbard’s note the indispensable place of grammatical study in Bible interpretation as Scriptures also finds its place in a copious communication process where the study of grammatical rules that field includes morphology and syntax play a vital role in understanding the written text.

Looking at it in this light reminds me of this experience during church services where I could no longer count how many times I’ve heard the term: ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’ especially at youth services where the minister would make a call for personal piety in the congregation, via the use of 1 Corinthians 6: 19. However, it is safe to say that as far as being true to Scriptures the such an interpretation falls short of its actual meaning if it were to be looked at in its original context –since the use of the pronoun: ‘you’ in the passage has a very different function in the grammatical structure of its original Greek.

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Philippians 1:21 | So help me God…

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

These words from the Apostle Paul scares me deeply.

After all, who wouldn’t be?

Personally, I find the prospect of my death and the idea of facing my mortality head a terrifying concept to grasp. Especially since the context of such speaks of Paul’s imprisonment, is something that is far-fetched from my complacent urban life, and to be totally honest I am far from ever becoming the person that Paul was. I am still well underway on my journey: I tend to stumble. I tend to fall into temptation. I tend to fail. I tend to look after myself first. I would always to fall short.

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Solidarity!

A review of Gustavo Gutierrez’s We Drink From Our Own Wells

Publication information
Title: We Drink from Our Own Wells: The Spiritual Journey of a People
Author: Gustavo Gutierrez (Translated by Matthew J. O’Connell)
Publisher: Maryknol, Orbis Books, 1983
Pages: 181

Gustavo Gutierrez is probably the best-known liberation theologian as he has written what remains to be the classic exposition of this movement, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, Salvation[1] the book that has permanently altered our modern theological landscape, by challenging us to hear the Gospel message from the “underside of history,” from the perspective of the poor and the oppressed[2].

Born in Lima, Peru, Gutierrez is of Native American heritage, being of mixed Quechua descent he earned degrees in psychology and philosophy (Leuven), and obtained a doctorate at the Institut Pastoral d’Etudes Religieuses (IPER), Université Catholique in Lyon. Ordained as a Dominican priest in 1959, he lives and works in a poor slum in Lima, dividing his time between pastoral work and teaching at the Catholic University[3]. He holds the John Cardinal O’Hara Professorship of Theology at the University of Notre Dame and has been a professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and a visiting professor at many major universities in North America and Europe.

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For the sake of consistency

A summary of Historical-Cultural Background from Klein, Bloomberg, and Hubbard’s Introduction to Biblical Interpretation

This may come as a shock to many –but the Bible is not written specifically for us.

In the duration of our study in Hermeneutics it has been ingrained in us that  biblical interpretation is the process of carefully studying the biblical text in order to understand its meaning and relevance, first of all in the past, and secondly in the present.

Accordingly the process of analyzing the biblical text in its original context in order to clarify or understand what it means implies that the task of the exegete is to allow the text to speak for itself. Exegesis then focuses on the then of the text rather than the now of contextualized meaning. For that reason, Jeannine Brown writes: “exegesis is the task of carefully studying the Bible in order to determine as well as possible the author’s meaning in the original context of writing.[1]” Therefore engaging in biblical interpretation means that the exegete is to be engaged in a cross cultural task, as it involves bridging gaps or distance of time and location, language and culture.

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Romans 12: 1-2 | Recovering God’s Story

“Well, for one thing, the culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own.” – Morrie[1]

We live in a lonely world in spite of the fact that recent communication technology boasts that loved ones can now be reached with a few clicks of a mouse or dial of a phone. The sad truth remains that it seems implausible that the number of solitary deaths have been on the rise in countries like the UK and Japan in recent years. Alienation, dubbed the “great emotional sickness of our era” by Italian filmmaker Michaelangelo Antonioni, remains a disease that even email, cell phones and online networking has been powerless to remedy[2].

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There is always room for you at the table

The icon of the Trinity painted in 1410 by Andrei Rublev

I am and will always be thankful for the fact that mealtime in our household is a family affair. My parents never failed to see to it that we drop whatever it is that we’re doing in order to sit and eat dinner together –sharing a common meal, sharing our lives in the company of those whom we love.

It only just occurred to me that this common scene at our house is a theological-goldmine-of-sorts as this portrays a very vivid picture of God, salvation and the fullness of life that God intends in Christ, that only dawned to me after reflecting on it for a couple of days after listening to a lecture on the spirituality of sleeping, eating and drinking.

In order to better appreciate this theological construct we must first come to a realization that life in itself is already a gift.

Writing about the apparent meaninglessness of life in today’s commodified society Craig Gay proposes that: “indeed, the single most subversive and ultimately redemptive idea that we can set loose within the capitalist world today is the simple recognition that life is a gift.[1]” For me this implies that life in all its facets and its utilization are to be conjured up on the things really matter in life –and that is life in the context of community –that can be found in the web of human relationships.

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Bridging the continuity gap

A summary of Sidney Greidanus’ Textual-thematic preaching from The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text: Interpreting and Preaching Biblical Literature

I speak from experience when I say that I often end up with a confused understanding of a certain bible passage after hearing it preached in a sermon. I gather that it is perhaps because of the fact that contemporary preachers when doing an exegesis on a passage often do not have a framework on recognizing the passage’s theme and not to mention have a systematic method of formulating the passage’s theme that they’ll be delivering in a sermon –thus leading to a muddle up preaching that confuses both the preacher and the congregation that hears the sermon because the preacher failed to bridge the historical-cultural gap and show how the ancient text is relevant to its modern audience.

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Passport Realizations| reflections on the Filipino diaspora oversea

Had this paper been scheduled to be submitted last week, the contents of this reflection would have been different…

But, alas!

Over the weekend life along with all its apparent tragedies and unrealized triumphs happened, and shaped the way I see life and faith from a Filipino perspective differently – consequently forcing me to revise the reflection on the concept of, MABUHAY: Life considered from the innermost of the Filipino people as pondered in light of the Word.

I would spare you the intricate details of what transpired during the weekends but instead would like to focus my reflection on the realization that I had while renewing my passport.

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