Old Testament

They're all the same really

Wed, 26/05/2010 - 17:11 -- James Oakley

In the next week or two, The Well, the magazine that the church produces and distributes free of charge to all 5000 residents of our two parishes, will land on people's doormats.

As usual, page 4 has a letter from me:

Dear friends,

We’ve just come through the most unpredictable General Election for many years; people are talking not only of there being a new government but of a whole new way of doing politics. Time will tell what difference these changes will make, and whether they are great or small.

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Exodus 1:1-7:7

Mon, 04/01/2010 - 11:41 -- James Oakley

Re-reading Exodus 1:1-7:7 a few times in preparation for next Sunday's sermon, I have been struck again by just how well-crafted the book of Exodus is.

Here are a handful of details that I observed in those chapters, that are reproduced here in the hope that they might intrigue a few people to read the book of Exodus again. What, I think, we need is to read the whole book (because it functions and speaks to us as a whole), but to combine that with close attention to the details.

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Hairy goats

Tue, 22/09/2009 - 14:37 -- James Oakley

Peter Leithart makes a wonderful observation about Jacob, Esau and Joseph.

He says this:

Esau is a “hairy man” (sa’iyr), something we learn only when Jacob dresses himself in goat hair to approach his father (Genesis 27:11, 23). Jacob becomes a hairy one, subbing in for his brother. The only other use of the word in Genesis is in 37:31, where it describes the “kid” killed to fool into thinking that Joseph has died. Both passages involve substitution, and both involve deception of a father.

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1 Samuel 25 seems to be very important

Tue, 15/09/2009 - 09:48 -- James Oakley

I think this has struck me before. Re-reading 1 Samuel, we find that:

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Mark 6:14-29 and the book of Esther

Tue, 07/07/2009 - 09:26 -- James Oakley

I thought the reference in Mark 6:23 to "up to half my kingdom" sounded familiar. Sure enough, the phrase also occurs in Esther 5:3 and Esther 7:2.

That got me thinking.

In the book of Esther we have a king with an extravagant party who makes an oath to depose his queen, which would be (for her) a kind of death. He promises a girl up to half of his kingdom, and then executes somebody because it is effectively what that girl asked for. We have someone (Haman), who has the king's ear, asking for the people of God to be put to death. Sound familiar?

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Psalm chants

Wed, 03/06/2009 - 17:05 -- James Oakley

Anyone wanting to learn how Anglican Chant works as a musical style for the Psalms could look at a couple of introductory webpages.

There is a helpful one on the BBC website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A15716595.

There is a helpful one on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglican_chant, where I particularly like the example given - with a colour-coded musical stave that can be matched up to the text of part of the Magnificat printed in the same colours. Nice.

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