[reaction OYB’s Nov. 9-11 readings]
Today’s reactions is for mature audiences only.
First, Ezekiel has just flipped out with his Israel is a whore motif. He tells the story of a parable about these two prostitutes, Oholah and Oholibah. In the parable, “Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.” Ezekiel 23:4. A bit later, describing how badly the women betrayed God, he writes this, “Yet she became more and more promiscuous as she recalled the days of her youth, when she was a prostitute in Egypt. There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.” Ezekiel 23:19-20. One, there are not that many passages in the Bible that I think people would really be upset to have their children read, but this and the rest of chapter 23 probably fits the bill. Two, this stuff actually bugs me. It is hard to read it as not promoting violence against women at some point. Metaphor after metaphor of Israel as a women being attacked.
Second, Hebrews caused me to continue my suspicion that initially Christians like Paul were looking for a Second Coming, and when it didn’t happen, the Christians who said Jesus had already returned won the argument, and that view was supported in the Gospels. In Hebrews, the author explains, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:27-28. So, this is weird because it seems to not be aware of Jesus’ return in the resurrection. Furthermore, we have the earlier quoted condemnation from Second Timothy for false teachers. “Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.” 2 Tim. 2:17-18. And, you might think that the resurrection discussed there was the resurrection of the dead along with Jesus. But, remember from Matthew 27:52-52 that when the Gospel writers about resurrection it included the dead. When Jesus was crucified, “[t]he tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” So, obviously a heresy, right? But I really wonder. It also answers the question of why the Gospel writers would have Jesus says that they would see his return in the lifetime of those listening.