Jewish date: 21 Shevaṭ 5773 (Parashath Yithro).
Today’s holidays: Friday of the Third Week of Ordinary Time (Roman Catholicism), Feast Day of St. Chronos (Church of the SubGenius), Candlemass/Festival of Light (Ritual of the Elements) (Thelema), Imbolc (Neopaganism).
I really need to find more time to work on my blogs…
Progress on reading the New Testament is slow. Koinē Greek is a complex language, and Paul loves to wax poetic in it. Included below is my latest installment on the New Testament, my notes on 2 Corinthians, for what they are worth. Paul has not gotten any more rational or lucid. If I can tie this in my series on Neopaganism, I get the impression that while Paul was a monotheist, he was thinking a lot like a Neopagan. As recorded in Acts, Paul had a vision of Jesus, and the emotional effect on him was so powerful that he was an instant convert. The emotional effect was so powerful that it took days for him to recover enough to interact with other humans. By virtue of his vision, Paul believed himself an apostle, and he went off on his own vision of Christianity, one different from that the people who knew Jesus believed and practiced. Very much like Neopagans, Paul put an emphasis on having a strong emotional experience over following formal rules.
Peace and Shabbath shalom.
2 Corinthians 1:1-2—Introduction. Paul maintains that he is a God-chosen apostle of Jesus.
2 Corinthians 1:3-11—Comfort from Jesus. Subtext of persecution.
2 Corinthians 1:12-2:4—Paul seems to be attributing a change in plans to God and Jesus, as well as not grieving the Christians of Corinth. Emphasis on faith.
2 Corinthians 2:5-11—Paul preaches love and forgiveness of sinners. Paul seems to think of himself as an authorized forgiver.
2 Corinthians 2:12-17—Paul went looking for his brother Titus. He also waxes poetic about those preaching Christianity having the “aroma” of Jesus.
2 Corinthians 3:1-6—Paul uses the metaphor of people being letters from Jesus written with the Spirit. Paul promotes antinomianism, claiming “the letter kills”.
2 Corinthians 3:7-18— Paul continues promoting antinomianism, claiming the Torah as bring death and his antinomianism of the spirit as bringing righteousness. (As if YHWH did not want us to do what He actually told us to do.) Exodus 34:34 might be cited, misquoted and ripped out of context.
2 Corinthians 4:1-18—Paul uses the metaphor of unbelievers being in darkness. He cannot understand that they might have good reasons for doubting that there is anything special about Jesus and claims that “the god of this age has blinded” them. Paul complains about persecution, casting the persecuted Christians (persecuted even unto death) as working in the same mode of the persecuted Jesus. Cites Genesis 1:3 (botched) and Psalms 116:10 under the delusion that they are relevant.
2 Corinthians 5:1-10—Paul mixes metaphors, talking about being clothed with a heavenly building. He seems to be talking about an eagerness to go to Heaven.
2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2—Paul speaks about living for Jesus rather than oneself and becoming reconciled to him. Cites Isaiah 49:8 in botched form and out of context.
2 Corinthians 6:3-13—Paul readily accepts persecution.
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1—Paul encourages separation from unbelievers, identifying the believers with the Temple. Cites something which might be a botched version of Leviticus 26:12, Jeremiah 32:28, or Ezekiel 37:27, a fabricated quote, and a botched version of 2 Samuel 7:14.
2 Corinthians 7:2-16—Paul seems to be happy, because the believers in Corinth are such wonderful people.
2 Corinthians 8:1-15—Paul promotes love and generosity, citing Exodus 16:18, which is completely irrelevant.
2 Corinthians 8:16-9:5—Paul praises Titus and notes him being sent.
2 Corinthians 9:6-15—Paul encourages the believers to “sow” and “reap” generously, citing Psalms 112:9 unbelievably and incorrectly.
2 Corinthians 10:1-18—Paul defends his ministry, somewhat illucidly, but seeming to think that he has some sort of authority and power. Cites something which might be a botched version of Jeremiah 9:23 irrelevantly.
2 Corinthians 11:1-15—Paul seems to be encouraging his followers to form a strong emotional relationship with Jesus, drawing on the frequently sexual symbolism for the relationship between YHWH and Bene Yisra’el in the Hebrew Bible. Paul thinks of himself as equal to the apostles. He accuses at least some of his opponents of being “false apostles”, bringing up Satan as a precedent.
2 Corinthians 11:16-33—Paul boasts about all the suffering he has undergone.
2 Corinthians 12:1-10—Paul relates someone who had an ecstatic vision. He also talks about having a thorn in his flesh and interpretting it completely in theological terms rather than as something to be dealt with by removing it himself.
2 Corinthians 12:11-21—Paul asserts again that he is not inferior to the apostles and expresses concern for the Corinthians.
2 Corinthians 13:1-10—Paul cites Deuteronomy 19:15 in slightly botched form and irrelevantly to try to add more authority to his visits. Paul claims that Jesus is “in” the Corinthians and encourages people to strengthen themselves in faith.
2 Corinthiatns 13:11-14—Paul sends his final greetings.