My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Luke 11

Did anyone say Halo 3? No? Anyone? Must be just hearing things...

Jesus taught them the Lord's prayer, and about how they would get things if they asked, because God is good and our friend.

Some accused Jesus of casting out demons by Satan's power, but Jesus said that that would mean Satan was fighting himself! If you're not careful demons can return and be even worse.

The crowd was worse than old Nineveh. At least Nineveh repented.

Shine like a lamp to the world.

Jesus went nuts at the Pharisees for following all these stupid little rules, but forgetting about what's important. They only care about appearances!

Key verse:
35. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.

My thoughts:
It's wouldn't be light at all in that case!

An interesting practical point about demons is in there. Of course, if you don't believe in demons, then the concept of a practical point will be lost on you. Anyway, the point is, you can't cast out a demon and just leave a person. The gap has to be filled with something else before the (a?) demon returns. I suggest with the Holy Spirit.

This chapter reminds me of Halo 3. Though most things do these days...


59 days to Halo 3!


Anonymous Deane said...

If you're not careful demons can return and be even worse

"The single-minded person does not covet gold, does not defraud his neighbour, does not long after manifold dainties, does not delight in varied apparel, does not picture to himself to live a long life, but only waits for the will of God, and the spirits of error have no power against him"
- Testament of Issachar, 4.

3:46 pm

Blogger Pete W said...

Is your point that this disagrees with what I said? Well, in the case that my statement is a good representation of what Luke means, then it's not hard to find something that disagrees with what I said in all ancient spiritual literature. If you found something in the Bible, that might be more interesting...

The Oskan Armenian Orthodox Bible doesn't count.

5:02 pm

Anonymous Deane said...

Is your point that this disagrees with what I said?

No - the quote from the Testament of Issachar is in fact in full agreement with what you said.

The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs is another Christian text from about the same time as Luke. And it's also frequently concerned with guarding against the attack of demons. It stresses the need for ongoing purity for a Christian, which is necessary to ensure that evil spirits will have no power or foothold over such a person.

Christ’s victory over demons is mirrored and continued by the defeat of demons in morally obedient and pure Christian lives, allowing the righteous person to ascend to heaven with Christ at death. The Christian who lives in purity and submission to God makes demons flee away from the Kingdom of God that is in him, which, as a part of the Church, thereby causes the gradual vanquishing of the demonic realm from the world.

"I am persuaded that an important factor in the Christian success in the Roman world was the promise which it made of deliverance from demons. Greco-Roman paganism was quite demon-conscious ... A religion which offered victory over the demonic would have had a powerful appeal—especially if that religion could offer convincing evidence of its power over demons."
- Everitt Ferguson, Demonology of the Early Christian World, Symposium Series, 12. Lewiston, Queenston and Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, 1980: 129.

3:59 pm

Blogger Pete W said...

fair enough...

But about that text. I think it would be more accurate to say that it is a Jewish text preserved and possibly redacted by Christians. It has no explicit mentions of anything specific to Christianity. It is an interesting Jewish text, like 4 Enoch, maybe from the first century, but it is not a Christian text, per se.

2:05 pm

Anonymous Deane said...

I think it would be more accurate to say that it is a Jewish text preserved and possibly redacted by Christians.

The Testaments used to be thought of as a Jewish text with Christian bits added. This was quite a prevalent way that people viewed a number of early contemporary Christian texts until the last third or so of last century (the Ascension of Isaiah is another one). But increasingly, people are viewing these texts as essentially Christian compositions. The old way of viewing them, as Jewish works with Christian bits added on, derives from a general bias against the Jewishness of early Christian texts, which involves these early Christian texts being evaluated against the later, more distinct and differentiated third or fourth century Christian texts.

It has no explicit mentions of anything specific to Christianity.

You think? Remember, it's set in the times of the Patriarchs of Israel, so the predictions about Jesus don't name him. But these are fairly explicit:

"God hath taken a body and eaten with men and saved men"

"For the Lord shall raise up from Levi as it were a High-priest, and from Judah as it were a King: God and man, He shall save all the Gentiles and the race of Israel."

"your ungodliness and transgression, which ye shall commit in the end of the ages against the Saviour of the world, Christ, acting godlessly, deceiving Israel"

"our father Israel is pure from the transgressions of the chief priests who shall lay their hands upon the Saviour of the world"

It is an interesting Jewish text, like 4 Enoch

"4 Enoch" doesn't exist. You might be thinking of 4 Ezra.

The Testaments is a "Jewish text" in one sense, in that it is a Jewish text which is a Christian text (Christians being one sect of Jews).

11:54 am

Blogger Pete W said...

Yes, I meant 4 Ezra sorry. Whoops.

I won't pretend I've done a full study on it, but I don't see any reason to think that this is more than a Jewish text which has edited by Christians.

11:57 am


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