Reception history is a big fat joke.
What? Were you expecting subtlety from a West Sider whose dad grew up in the Egypt of Gamal Abel Nasser? Ok. Let me start over.
Reception history is the last breath of a dying school of the humanities desperately trying to prove its value from within a colonial framework of self-importance that was already headed to the dustbin of history the moment Aristotle penned his first memo to Alexander, whom the small decided to call great, because, well, every fool imagines they are better than their parents.
Look how that turned out.
I am not a big deal. You are not a big deal. Moreover, our modern civilization is not a big deal. It is not a factor, cannot be factored in, and is not within the purview of Scripture.
I hate to scandalize all the self-loving postmodernists out there pontificating about the intersection between their ego and the text, but the Bible was written before you, existed and still exists without you and your personal narrative, and when humanity is long gone, could easily be read by space aliens, and, who knows, some other form of intelligence—and probably will be. You and I are not needed—and any meaning we supposedly “create” or try to add to it is not from Scripture and, therefore, has nothing to with the God of Scripture. So all this talk about your history, which is about you and your reception of it, is worse than vain talk. It is blasphemy. You are taking something irrelevant—something that is not a subject matter, and using it to supplant the God of Scripture as the premise of Scripture.
To all who hear these words, be it known to you, we are not interested in worshiping you, your gods, your narratives, or your empty human histories.
According to Paul, Psalm 78, and the Biblical story itself, your ancestors are evil. So why are you talking about them or how they received the Bible? We know why. Because, ultimately, you want to talk about yourself. But your ancestors clearly had no clue, which is why, as Paul thundered, “God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.”
“These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you do not fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to the human race. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.” (1 Corinthian 10:11-14)
Richard and I discuss Luke 4:40-41. (Episode 502)
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