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Re: Jesus singing

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  • John E Staton
    Mark 14: 26? Given the use of Psalms in contemporary Jewish worship and Pliny s reference to Christians singing hymns to Christ as a god , along with all the
    Message 1 of 5 , May 23, 2009
      Mark 14: 26? Given the use of Psalms in contemporary Jewish worship and
      Pliny's reference to Christians "singing hymns to Christ as a god",
      along with all the Pauline references, why would anybody doubt that
      Jesus sang and that Jesus followers dd so from the earliest times. Not
      sure that this evidence can bear all the weight that Gordon seems to be
      putting on it, but far be it from a good Methodist to deny that singing
      is a very important part of the faith!! :-)

      Best Wishes

      --
      JOHN E STATON (BA Sheffield; DipTheol. Bristol)
      Hull, UK
      www.christianreflection.org.uk

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    • Gordon Raynal
      Hi John, ... Glad to be on the same or at least similar page about one key facet of the story of Jesus and friends. And yes, those Wesley boys provided some
      Message 2 of 5 , May 23, 2009
        Hi John,
        On May 23, 2009, at 4:45 AM, John E Staton wrote:

        > Mark 14: 26? Given the use of Psalms in contemporary Jewish worship
        > and
        > Pliny's reference to Christians "singing hymns to Christ as a god",
        > along with all the Pauline references, why would anybody doubt that
        > Jesus sang and that Jesus followers dd so from the earliest times. Not
        > sure that this evidence can bear all the weight that Gordon seems
        > to be
        > putting on it, but far be it from a good Methodist to deny that
        > singing
        > is a very important part of the faith!! :-)

        Glad to be on the same or at least similar page about one key facet
        of the story of Jesus and friends. And yes, those Wesley boys
        provided some fine hymns that Presbyterians like to sing as well. If
        you mention Martin Luther and music, then surely one hymn above
        others stands out. (and which one would that be?) Likewise for John
        Calvin (although there is some dispute over whether Calvin wrote the
        hymn). Denominational hymnals are a good source to check out changes
        in community. The maroon hymnal (as it is called) that came out in
        my youth, very typically continued to the tradition of beginning with
        hymns that start with the theological affirmation of the sovereignty
        of God, key to Reformed/ Calvinistic theology. The new hymnal of
        1990 (the blue one) shows the rise of the Liturgical movement and is
        ordered by the Liturgical calendar to go with lectionary preaching
        that has come with the Liturgical renewal movement. Around America
        in the last 2 decades, as well, there are all these new, huge "non-
        denominational" and denominational followers that have brought in
        very large crowds based on the use of "Praise" music with electric
        guitars and drums. Notably, in the last campaign and at the
        inauguration it was a pastor (Rick Warren) who was included to reach
        out to that segment of the Christian community. In our Presbytery a
        couple of the larger, conservative churches have added this new music
        and have started what have become large services and music is an
        essential part of this. Music is powerful (nearly a 100,000,000
        votes were cast for the latest American Idol decision!), to say the
        least, and as genres and styles define groups, such an understanding
        can help us understand the developments in communities. And this
        includes Christianity. Consider the differences between Mark and
        John based in the differences between "the kenotic" hymn that we find
        in Philippians and "the WORD" hymn we find in John:

        for Mark Isaiah 52/53 and Psalm 22 are really important (what's
        behind "the kenotic" hymn). In Mark Jesus is viewed as an exorcist
        healer in a hurry. He casts out furious demons. He zips around in
        the north and then has one fateful trip south. Mark starts with
        fiery rhetoric from JTB and he himself is shown to use increasingly
        fiery rhetoric. Mark's PN closes with a heavy focus on suffering and
        Jesus on the cross speaks the words of Psalm 22 in agony, "My God, my
        God, why hast thou forsaken me." This story goes with "an emptied
        out" Jesus. Story tone very much exemplifies the tone of Psalm 22/
        Isaiah 52/53.

        for John? It is quite different. We begin with the far gentler
        wisdom hymn (see Genesis 1/ Proverbs 8:22ff for what resources this
        hymn). John the Baptist story is wrapped up amidst that hymn and JTB
        becomes a confessor who says, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away
        the sins of the world." Jesus does no exorcisms in John and the
        shared wonder stories are all cast as "Signs." Jesus' speech pattern
        is entirely different. Gone is the fiery rhetoric and it is replaced
        by these double and triple entendre, elongated conversations with
        others and serene "I am..." statements. He's in no hurry and he goes
        to Judea/ Jerusalem more than once across three years. And John's PN
        is quite different. There's no Psalm 22 "My God, my God..." speech.
        Jesus chats about his mom's care on the cross. Story tone here very
        much parallels the serenity of Proverbs 8 poetics.

        To be clear, I did not say and do not think music and singing is the
        only thing that went into table fellowship and the produce of the
        messaging. To be sure there was reading and study and debating, as
        well. But I do think music/ song and poetic verse recitation were
        profoundly important.

        One last note about Jesus. In the redaction of Q we find Jesus
        dealing with the question of comparison between JTB and himself. In
        the sayings cluster there is a musical/ singing (and dance) notation
        as part of the metaphorical speech. I simply note it, because of
        this subject line... and to go with the greater thread we've been on
        and my point about table fellowship, notice how Jesus himself talks
        about how he is seen by others. In ancient banqueting poetic
        recitation, music, song and dance were featured parts of celebration
        meals. This saying by Jesus about John, himself and how they were
        understood is most telling, in my view. It is found in Luke 7:31-35:

        "To what then will I compare the people of this generation, and what
        are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and
        calling to one another, 'We played the flute for you, and you did not
        dance; we wailed (sang a dirge) and you did not weep.' For John the
        Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say,
        'He has a demon;' the Son of Man has come (I have come) eating and
        drinking, and you say, 'Look a glutton and a drunkard, a friend os
        tax collectors and sinners!' Nevertheless wisdom is vindicated by
        all her children."

        Jesus... banqueting... music... song (and dance)... socially dicey
        company... wisdom. Yep! That gives us a glimpse about Jesus and
        friends and what they were up to in the late 20's of the first
        century of the Common Era. And the singing went on!

        Gordon Raynal
        Inman, SC
      • RSBrenchley@aol.com
        Message 3 of 5 , May 25, 2009
          <<Mark 14: 26? Given the use of Psalms in contemporary Jewish worship and
          Pliny's reference to Christians "singing hymns to Christ as a god",
          along with all the Pauline references, why would anybody doubt that
          Jesus sang and that Jesus followers dd so from the earliest times. >>

          Does anyone have the Latin of Pliny? I'm trying to check whether it's
          'God' or 'a god' in that quote.

          Thanks,

          Robert Brenchley

          Birmingham UK



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Ed Tyler
          You can find the Latin text on the excellent Early Christian Texts site: http://www.earlychurchtexts.com/main/plinyy/01_pliny_letter_to_trajan.shtml It is hard
          Message 4 of 5 , May 25, 2009
            You can find the Latin text on the excellent Early Christian Texts site:

            http://www.earlychurchtexts.com/main/plinyy/01_pliny_letter_to_trajan.shtml

            It is hard to say just what is meant by carmen here, as it can mean a song, incantation, or several other things. I'm inclined to see it as "song," but other options are certainly plausible. I would translate "quasi deo" as "as if to a god."

            Ed Tyler
            Baton Rouge, LA




            ________________________________
            From: "RSBrenchley@..." <RSBrenchley@...>
            To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, May 25, 2009 6:21:10 AM
            Subject: [XTalk] Re: Jesus singing





            <<Mark 14: 26? Given the use of Psalms in contemporary Jewish worship and
            Pliny's reference to Christians "singing hymns to Christ as a god",
            along with all the Pauline references, why would anybody doubt that
            Jesus sang and that Jesus followers dd so from the earliest times. >>

            Does anyone have the Latin of Pliny? I'm trying to check whether it's
            'God' or 'a god' in that quote.

            Thanks,

            Robert Brenchley

            Birmingham UK

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]







            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • John E Staton
            Robert, As Latin has no definite article, it is up to the translator to choose between the two renderings. Most would choose as Ed has done because Pliny
            Message 5 of 5 , May 26, 2009
              Robert,
              As Latin has no definite article, it is up to the translator to choose
              between the two renderings. Most would choose as Ed has done because
              Pliny embraced a polytheistic culture. It is highly unlikely he thought
              Christ to be *the* God. He could, of course, have been representing the
              views of the Christians, but it would appear unlikely he should give
              their views that much respect. But you pays your money and you takes
              your choice.

              Best Wishes

              --
              JOHN E STATON (BA Sheffield; DipTheol. Bristol)
              Hull, UK
              www.christianreflection.org.uk

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