My Blog List

People I Know

Eclectic Folks

Media Blogs

Politics, Policy Blogs

Page Rank

Check Page Rank of your Web site pages instantly:

This page rank checking tool is powered by Page Rank Checker service

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The tongue or the ear?

I was asking someone who reads the Bible voraciously whether Pentecost, from Acts 2 , where suddenly people start hearing the Gospel in their own language, is a miracle of the tongue or a miracle of the ear? He said it was the tongue, though he dismissed notion that people will just start spouting gibberish, as some religious folks portray the event in modern times.

As someone who has - once - been part of a service where people actually seemed to spontaneously start speaking in tongues, I nevertheless believe in the possibility of the miracle of the ear; that is, that people began comprehending as though the words were in their own language. Isn't it true that sometimes, if we really listen, we can understand what would seem to be incomprehensible?

And did not the church, based on its understanding of Genesis 1, long believe that the sun went around the earth? It was heresy to think otherwise. Yet our greater understanding of the universe does not diminish the awesomeness of creation, however it came to be.

I've long believe that AN explanation, not necessarily THE explanation of the feeding of the 4000 or 5000 in the New Testament was based on the notion stone soup. Many people had a little of this, a little of that, but when they shared, it created a magnificent feast. And it was a miracle: the miracle of open hearts.

In the Acts 2 reading for Pentecost, it cites a reading from Joel about the "last days". It's pretty clear that the early Christians such as Paul took the scripture to mean that the Lord was coming back in their lifetimes. Evidently, it didn't. Or maybe the Joel reading was a reference to the Holy Spirit that was promised after the resurrection of Jesus. By that measure, we've been in the "end times" for about 1980 years. If that's true, we'd better hurry up and feed the hungry, etc., because the "end times" might be a little while longer.
YouTube video: Gay scientists have isolated the gene they believe makes people Christian.


1 comment:

Daniel W. Van Riper said...

I'm currently reading a book called Misquoting Jesus, a readable explanation of the textual inconsistencies of the New Testament. The author is Bart D. Ehrman, who explains in the introduction that he was born and raised a hard core midwest Fundy. But after he grew up and became a scholar of biblical textual criticism he abandoned the notion of Biblical literalism, simply because he realized that it is completely impossible to know the original text.

Here's the problem. The only reference to speaking in tongues (and handling snakes) that shows up in the four books of the Gospel is in the final 12 verses of Mark. Unfortunately, there is solid incontestable proof that those last 12 verses are not original, they were added either by scribes or someone with an agenda hundreds of years later.

If speaking in tongues is referred to in Acts, then it is a tradition that was grafted on to Christianity, like Xmas trees. There really is no textual basis for speaking in tongues, unless one considers Paul of greater importance than the guy from Nazareth.