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joelgillespie.org

January 28th, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Not Opaque

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an intro to some reflections I intend to share about the writing and theology of NT Wright. I was trying to get my mind around what appears to me to be obvious which is that many folks who review Wright don’t seem to be hearing what he is saying. I referred to his writing as opaque. I think I’d like to take that back. It really isn’t a good choice of words.

Wright’s longer books are pondersome. He is very thorough and it can be hard to keep one’s attention. Plus, as I said before, the way he is trying to help us read the New Testament requires a lot of us. Why? Because we as children of the Reformation have had 500 years of reading certain texts the same way, and in my view, wrongly. We have failed to read the New Testament on its own terms and in its own historical context. How much of this can be blamed on Martin Luther reading Galatians through the grid of his personla crisis of conscience I don’t know. I do know that it is hard not to read Jesus’ interactions with the Pharisees or Paul’s interactions with the Judaizers apart from the standard grid once you’re twenty years into readign it that way.

I wrote about three simple changes in perspective that would make the reading of Galatians never the same. With these three changes in view go back and read through Galatians. At once the book will make perfect sense, but then, your mind will keep defaulting back to the standard line and before long you’re tryign to read it two ways at once.

That makes it seem opaque. Bu it isn’t really.

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