Monday, July 18, 2005
The second ponderable came from the Vestry meeting at St. Luke's tonight. The passage in question is 1 Kings 3:3-15. This is the sequence in which Solomon asks God not for riches and military victory, but for a wise and discerning heart. Because he asks this, and not for the other things, God is pleased and grants to him that which he asked, plus those things for which he did not ask. Then, we find out (in verse 15) that Solomon awoke, and, the NRSV renders it, "it had been a dream". So, the question posed as the meditation tonight was, "Did Solomon actually get these things? Or was it just a dream with no actual consequences and Solomon gets all that stuff through his own saavy?" Interestingly enough, the Hebrew here leaves us a bit short and translation is left to fill the gaps, as it so often is. The words in Hebrew say that "Then Solomon awoke. Behold/See/Now, a dream." The phrase "it had been" is included to make grammatical sense in English that the Hebrew does not require. My answer to the question is that Solomon did receive all these things. The immediate textual evidence is the subsequent passage wherein he displays his newfound wisdom in the case of the two prostitutes arguing over motherhood rights. Then, throughout Kings, we see the wealth of Solomon displayed, his military victories are decisive, and he has more wives than he knows what to do with. The word for dream used is cholem, which is divided up into subcategories, and the editors of the lexicon place this usage under "prophetic dreams". I think they are justified and right in so doing. What is your opinion? Did Solomon actually receive these qualities as a gift from God because he asked for them in a dream? And, if so, as I think he did, what does that suggest to you about what goes on in your dreams, as well as having the courage to actually ask God for what you want and need? This is a courage I often lack.
Ryan, perhaps your education in OT has covered this imponderable: How did Adam "sin" when he had no knowledge of good and evil? Or is disobedience somehow not evil?
I'm not sure how this connects to what I posted, unless you're just posting something else to ponder about or you're picking up on what I paraphrased out of the Pascha Nostrum. But, to quickly reply: Disobedience against God constitutes sin. I'm not sure I'll equate good and evil with non-sin and sin, either.
Here's the connection: you said, quoting from [?], "By the will of one man sin entered into humanity, thusly, by the will of one man, sin will be defeated."
Wikipedia's version of the Pascha Nostrum is, "For since by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead."
I didn't know if you were trying to extract a parallel there, or going off in a different direction.
My EFM seminar got bogged down on the good-evil-sin-disobedience question. Other than dogma, I can't find a rational link. That was the question. Maybe you can catch AKMA in a moment of repose and see what he thinks?
I was paraphrasing from the Pascha Nostrum and what I was saying was that it seems to me willingness is an important part of the salvation narrative. The second Person of the Trinity willingly became human to suffer and die for the forgiveness of sins, thereby defeating sin's power, which is death. Likewise, Mary had to willingly consent to being the Theotokos. Like I said earlier (I can see why your EFM seminar got bogged down on that question) I wouldn't want to equate those things. AKMA's email address is posted at his blog, I'm sure he'd be happy to field your question; but, with all due respect to my friend and professor, this blog is a venue for primarily my thoughts, not his.
For some deeper answers to your questions, you and maybe your EFM seminar could consult Birch, Brueggemann, Fretheim, and Petersen in A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament, pp. 53-59.
Glad to see you are pondering...
By 1:26 PM, at