Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Maṣṣah and Paul’s continuing scholarly incompetence

Jewish date:  19 Nisan 5772 (Parashath Shemini).

Today’s holidays:  Ḥol hamMo‘edh Pesaḥ (Judaism), Day 4 of the ‘Omer (Judaism), Wednesday in the Octave of Easter (Roman Catholicism), Annual $30 Donation (Church of the SubGenius).


It has been far too long since I last posted.  A lot of this is due to preparation for Pesaḥ (Passover), though I have had other things keeping me busy, and I hope this post will be a step in the direction of getting caught up.  Towards that, I present two topics today:

1) Relevant to Pesaḥ, some articles on the symbolism of maṣṣah (unleavened bread):  “A new look at Hametz, Matza and everything in between”, “Deconstructing Matzo”, and “Leavened or Unleavened: A History”.  To summarize:  At the time, Egypt was the only place at the time where people made ḥameṣ (leavened bread).  Thus eating maṣṣah, even before leaving Egypt, was a symbolic rejection of Egypt and what it stood for.  This strikes me as a very elegant explanation.

2) My notes on the last chapters of Romans, following up on my notes on chapters 1-4 and 5-12:

Romans 13:1-7—Paul preaches submission to authorities.  This includes the government, which he claims are “God’s servants”.

Romans 13:8-14—Paul preaches love, claiming it is “the fulfillment of the Torah”, glossing over that at best just the moral commandments can be subsumed under the rubric of love.  Cites Exodus 20:12-13 in scrambled order are presented as subsumed under love.  Leviticus 19:18 is given as the source for the commandment of love.

Romans 14:1-23—Paul seems to be preaching that one who is strong in faith should not act in an antinomian way such to cause someone who is weak in faith to stumble, in particularly bringing up food and drink.  (Paul still brings no valid justification for antinomianism.)  Cites fragments of Isaiah 49:18 and Isaiah 45:23 dishonestly as if they were a continuous quote.

Romans 15:1-13—An attempt to back up the previous section.  Cites Psalms 69:10, a botched version of Psalms 18:50, a botched version of Psalms 32:43, Psalms 117:1, and a botched version of Isaiah 11:10 as if they had anything to do with Jesus.

Romans 15:14-22—Paul proclaims himself minister to the Gentiles, appointed by Jesus, trying to back up his appointment with his allegedly having performed miracles.  (Miracles are not actually valid proofs of prophecy when proclaimed by a heretic.)  Cites Isaiah 52:15 as if it had anything to do with Jesus.

Romans 15:23-33—Paul plans to visit Rome.

Romans 16:1-27—Paul sends greetings to various people.

Please note that this is entirely in keeping with Paul’s intellectual dishonesty and scholarly incompetence in the previous chapters.  I am not optimistic about the rest of his letters.

Peace and happy Pesaḥ.