Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Hebrew Monster reads the Former Prophets

The mischievous chicanery of the Hebrew monster has perhaps reached an apex. He has noted my pursuit of theological education and surreptitiously used my own resources against me. Over the last several months he has been clandestinely breaking into my study at night. During his fiendish nocturnal visits he has been pilfering the pages of my copy of the Hebrew Bible. He has taken his latest military tactic straight from the pages of Joshua. He has perused Joshua's conquest of Ai in Josh 8 and has commandeered the tactical maneuvers that he has observed there. Yes, he has maliciously executed a feigned retreat. A feigned retreat is the "act of faking a withdrawal or rout in order to lure an enemy away from a defended position or into a prepared ambush" that has been used by armies since ancient times (via).
Now, I have previously recounted a glorious victory over my arch nemesis during finals week of last semester. That encounter ended with him "bolting around the corner" after I had tamed his gargantuan spirit and bent his will to serve my purposes. Alas, as it turns out, this was only a seeming retreat. Just as Joshua instructed his men to pretend to flee before their enemies, only to turn on them at the critical moment, so too the Hebrew monster has drawn me out of the city and away from my defense system. The first semester he pretended to fall helplessly at my feet in shame and sorrow. I could successfully predict his vocabulary questions, his parsing riddles and his syntactical queries. Even into this semester, I could track with the tense stems and parsing guides. What I didn't know was that this was all part of his wretched plan to slay me with weak and irregular verbs. I had taken his bait. He had won this round.

I now stand miles from the city watching the smoke billow toward the heavens. In my hubris, I thought that I could vanquish my ancient foe in the middle of my second semester. I was mistaken. Nevertheless, the stakes have been raised. I have detected a fatal flaw in his methodology.

The Hebrew Monster has attempted to beat me by hastily contextualizing a Old Testament passage with little regard for its original context in order to use it to serve his own malice driven interpretive end. He has used historical-critical method to lift the forms and source materials behind the event of the Joshua narrative. The hermeneutic of the Hebrew Monster will be his final downfall. He has failed to see that the meaning of the Joshua narrative lies within the text. Canonically, the Joshua battle narratives reveal that Joshua's power in battle clearly comes from the fact that the "Lord was with [him]" rather than his military ingenuity (Josh 6:27). Therefore, though the aforementioned semantic situation is dim, there is still hope that the Hebrew Monster will fall by the tip of the sword in my lifetime.

To this hope I prayerfully and tenaciously cling.

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Says Simpleton is (c) Ched Spellman
2006-17

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