Dave Sim's blogandmail #370 (September 16th, 2007)
Sunday September 16 -
It's true, at some point Margaret L asked about the possibility of
my running more scripture commentaries here on the Sunday edition.
I'd be happy to oblige, but there are some problems with that. I
can't really run the Mark Commentaries yet since the beginning part
is either what needs fixing or at least what needs looking at now that
Chester has pronounced it "hard slogging". I'm not sure that's
really the case: I think Chester tends to overestimate the extent to
which he took to the Torah Commentaries in LATTER DAYS like a duck to
water. I seem to remember more than a few pointedly doubting questions
after he had read them for the first time. That might be the case here.
If he re-reads the Mark Commentaries a few months from now he might find
that a lot of his objections have disappeared. But, be that as it may,
it's not really on my front burner right now.
Then I thought about just running whatever my latest commentaries are.
Unfortunately, in this case that would be Luke chapter 12 which I just
finished my preliminary commentaries on last night (September 2).
Commentaries on 53 verses that runs 25 pages and, as far as I can see,
it is a single discussion through proxies between God and YHWH on the
role and nature of materialism in the proto-synagogue or New Tabernacle
(that is, the Christian Church in vitro – I've been calling it
the proto-synagogue up to now but happened to read about the
inauguration of the Tabernacle in Exodus 30 to 40 – my Torah reading
from yesterday – and thought that New Tabernacle is probably a more
accurate designation). So, it's very difficult to figure out what I
could run here. Any random excerpt is probably going to need to be
supported by ten pages of lead-in and then leave the curious reader (if
there is such a thing) hanging on Where does the discussion go from
there? So, I thought maybe I could just run what I see as the crux or
the turning point of the discussion, which to me comes at 12:13.
< Said ___ (however someone out of the crowd) to him, "Teacher say to
the brother of me to divide with me the inheritance." >
The single blank signifies that it is a ___ of no exceptional
importance, although I think whoever the ___ was, he got a nudge from
God to say what he did. It still functions on the two levels both as a
surface request from a wronged party in an inheritance dispute and as an
assertion reviving the "elder brother/younger brother" metaphorical
construct of the on-going debate between God and YHWH (i.e. Ishmael and
Isaac, Esau and Jacob, Aaron and Moshe, etc.) indicating that if the
Synoptic Jesus' teaching prevails, YHWH will have sole command of
the inheritance, that is the proto-synagogue.
< The ___ (however ____) said to him, "Man who set me down judge or
divider upon you [plural]?"
It's the question posed to Moshe in Exodus 2:14 by a contentious
Hebrew whom Moshe has asked, "Wherefore smitest thou thy fellowe?"
< And he said, who made thee a man, a prince and a judge over us?
Intendest thou to kill me as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moshe
feared and said, Surely this thing is knowen >
Presumably it's an inadvertent remark on the part of the YHWH, an
emotional outburst because an attempt is being made to divert he/she/it
from indoctrination into arbitration. The problem comes in because of
the nature of that indoctrination which presupposes that the Synoptic
Jesus IS just such an arbiter and judge, telling people to follow his
commands and to trust in the Spirit Holy rather than God, the religious
authorities in the synagogue, government officials and all other
authorities. The voice in the crowd jumps to the implication of that
teaching just as the Synoptic Jesus has jumped to the anxiety-causing
implications of following his teaching. If the "double blank"
reply/question isn't treated as rhetorical (and presumably it
wouldn't be by the more devout and insightful listeners), the
question cuts to the heart of the teaching itself: Who DID set down the
Synoptic Jesus as Judge or Divider "upon you"? Counselling them to act
blasphemously, seditiously and rebelliously UPON synagogues, UPON
government officials and "the authorities"? And why would the Synoptic
Jesus ask the question when he has already led everyone to the inference
that the answer is God? If it is any other answer, then he's
The double blank signifes a high level ___. My guess would be YHWH using
the words of the unnamed Hebrew in Exodus 2:14 to signal that a
comparable situation is in effect. Just as the unnamed Hebrew didn't
know he was addressing the one who would bring The Law to the Chosen
People, so the inquirer didn't know that he was addressing the New
Lawgiver, the Synoptic Jesus. The fact that the inquirer was a single
blank and the response came from a double blank level would presumably
add weight to the response on the ___ level [i.e. I am comparable to
Moshe in my authority but I'm not here to judge your piddling little
affairs as Moshe did before he appointed the Judges (Exodus 18:25-26)]
Even the awkward syntax points toward high level self-anointing and can
be just as easily read as
< "Man, who (me) set down judge or divider upon you?" >
which is forensically accurate since the idea for the Judges in the
first place came from Moshe's father-in-law, a priest of Midian and,
presumably, another "front man" for YHWH. So it would probably have the
inner resonance of truth to both ask and answer the question from the
double-blank level. "Man, who set down judge or divider upon you?" "It
was me who set down judge or divider upon you." The two merge into "Man,
who (me) set down judge or divider upon you?"
Okay, we're really hitting the outer boundaries of what polite
Marxist-feminists will tolerate even on the Sunday Edition, but I'll
go one verse further:
< He said, however, toward them, "Be you [plural] seeing and be you
[plural] guarding yourselves from all covetousness, because not in the
to-be-abounding-to-anyone the life of him is out of the ___s existing to
Having undermined the thrust of the question and its potential to force
the YHWH away from indoctrination and into endlessly distracting
arbitration (and having done so on the human and ___ levels) the YHWH
now needs to amplify the teaching in a way that distracts from the core
question he/she/it has just raised about the source of the Synoptic
Jesus' authority and onto a less contentious avenue of thought.
He/she/it does this by addressing the question that has been raised
which provoked the response, again answering the question on the human
and ___ level. Rather than arbitrating a dispute about an inheritance,
he/she/it instead denounces the covetousness which is the root of the
dispute. The point isn't to find a way to divide material prosperity
equitably, it is to recognize that genuine prosperity has nothing to do
with the material. He/she/it goes even further in suggesting that
existence itself is merely ostensible (presumably on the human and ___
levels) and that in the human and ___ contexts "to-be-abounding" to
ANYONE (NO exceptions) the life of him (again, human and ___) absolutely
nothing "is out of the ___ existing to him."
It's a potentially disastrous train of thought for the YHWH to
pursue. Genuine awareness that all existence is merely ostensible limits
the number of subjects that can be taught to those focused exclusively
on super-existence (for humans, the ___ level, for those on the ___
level, the double blank level). That leads directly to the knowledge
that only spirit (or ___ if you prefer) is actual and that God is the
ultimate spirit. Ultimately, that excludes YHWH which is, in fact, what
ultimately happens in Christian theology where God becomes divided
between Father (God) Son (Jesus who is God) and the Holy Spirit. At
best, YHWH manages to retain a slight identity as another way of saying
"God" which is very different from the usurpation of God's stature
which was the underlying purpose of the proto-synagogue, New Tabernacle
for the YHWH.
Okay, that was two verses. I've got 51 more here in the chapter 12
commentaries. Flood my mailbox with postcards demanding it and I'll
run some more, but I really think this is about the outer boundary of
what people will put up with (Margaret and Steve Peters aside).
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