Monday, May 30, 2011

Jesus as priest in the gospels?

Someone asked me last night whether Jesus referred to himself in priestly terms. I'm pretty sure the answer to this is no, but I'm wondering if the gospels protray that aspect of Christ's work in any particular passage. Nothing has come to my mind yet. Thoughts?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sneaky sneaks and gender in Bible translation

I don't really like to get into arguments about gender in Bible translation. I just want some honesty in debates. And the honesty I want is for people who are arguing for gender inclusivity to recognise that the Greek (that's where my interest lies here) uses masculine language in a way that is inclusive of feminine objects. This is not unique to Greek, it doesn't (in my opinion) reveal some deep-seated masculinist program of the Greek language, it's just a feature of grammatical gender linked to real gender.

So, for example, αδελφοι does not 'mean' "brothers and sisters". It would be more accurate to say it 'means' "brothers" (when referring to a group of exclusively male siblings), and "brothers and sisters" (when referring to a group of mixed-gender siblings).

It's no problem to recognise this, just as it shouldn't be a problem to recognise that historically in English "Man" and "Mankind" have been gender-inclusive terms. The fact that contemporary English-speakers now regard them as gender-exclusive terms shouldn't blind us to the fact that this is a shift in our own language.

Insisting that αδελφοι means "brothers and sisters", and ανθρωπος always means "human being" with no gender marking, is misrepresenting the Greek language, even when these are accurate translations of the contextual meaning of the words.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Truly last mention of the sermon podcast

I've set it up to automatically post a sermon through virtually all of May, thus getting through past sermons, and new content should then appear afterwards. So, the links are at right for the blog and the podcast subscription through itunes, otherwise you can just click through here, and this is the last time I'll mention it or post sermons to this blog, leaving us all free to think more about biblical texts, patristic exegesis, and important matters like learning Gaelic and lifting heavy objects.