Friday, April 20, 2007

A link and a question

A link: Shane Clifton has written a couple of interesting posts on the potential elitism of the Pentecostal doctrine of the baptism in the Spirit here: part 1, and part 2. Personally, I don't subscribe to the Pentecostal doctrine of the baptism of the Spirit, at least not as it is precisely formulated; I've been too influenced by my supervisor, Max Turner, on this front to think otherwise! However, of course I don't want to deny the worth of the Pentecostal impulse to seek for 'more of God' in that which they call the baptism of the Spirit. Whatever we call it, zeal in seeking God is in itself a good thing, and those of us who are theologians or (would-be) biblical scholars ought not to get too proud about our knowledge if we remain as spiritually arid as a sundried cowpat ('Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord' Rom 12:11). Either way, whether we speak with charismatic or Pentecostal language, elitism is a problem in these circles, and so I appreciated Shane's posts.

A question: In 2 Cor 3:15-16 it states: 'Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed' – at least according to the NRSV. The implied subject of the verb translated as 'turns' is actually not clear, yet I tend to think that the personal pronoun in the previous verse ('a veil lies over their minds') should function as the subject. Coming closer to this is then Luther's translation of v. 16 which runs: 'Wenn Israel aber sich bekehrt zu dem Herrn, so wird die Decke abgetan'. It makes more sense to me, when the subject is not clear, to simply use the nearest personal pronoun to clear matters up. Is that faulty reasoning?



At 4/20/2007 12:36 AM, Anonymous volker said...

@ your question: I think Paul indeed has Israel in mind, but as he uses the verb "turn" in the singular, he probably has the individual Israelite in view.


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