Skip to main content

Modules 11 & 12: Class Notes

Here's my last set of notes from my first DMin class - I really loved it! Now I just have to complete my project! I'm working on a project on Unity/Body of Christ and the Sacrament of Holy Communion. I'll keep you posted ;) 
Question from student –

1 Cor. 6: Malakoi – the weak ones – sexually, the penetrated one. One who submits his (usually male) body to penetration by a stronger partner for money, advancement, etc.
Arsenokoitai – male/those who sleep – those who sleep with men

Romans 1: Worshipping humans, birds, animals, reptiles. God hands them over to their desires.
Worshipped creature rather than creator.

References to Leviticus 18 holiness code.

Krister Stendahl “Good exegesis begins with the distinction between what the text meant and what the text still might mean.” If you skip over first, you can’t determine second.

What did this mean to Paul’s first readers?
Homoeroticism in the Biblical World – Martti Nissinen (best book on topic)

Same sex relationships that Paul knew were consistently between a more powerful, wealthier, older male and a younger, weak, attractive, slave boy. Petronius’s Satiricon, Suetonius, Life of Nero: pederasty. Paul never experienced, no evidence he knew of adult, consensual, same-sex, committed, long-term relationships.

Not just homosexual relationships were different – heterosexual were too. Changes, over time, culturally.

Paul’s condemnation today would apply to pederasty, not adult, mature, same-sex relationships. Mistake to apply them to same-sex relationships today. Anachronistic.

Welborn’s own “Sin in First Century Rome” article. Read this passage in context of Nero’s Rome, Nero’s practices of pederasty.

Dale B. Martin, Sex and the Single Savior  


Module 11: Life: Partnership/Hospitality


Believe this is three letters, redacted, but all written by Paul.

Note of thanks for a gift Philippians sent to Paul.
J. Paul Sampley, Pauline Partnership in Christ: Paul has a relationship with this church that he doesn’t have with any other churches.

Koinonia – not fellowship/community, but a legal term that would be better translated as partnership – Latin – societas

Philippians 4:10 – revived is literally anethalete – “bloomed up again out of the darkness” – implies when there was a time when their concern was dormant, not evident. ἠκαιρεῖσθε – from Kairos – “right season”

4:11 Autarkes – self-sufficiency – top of list of virtues – totally confidence in self/gait

(Vincent Harding)

:14 Ple^n – cancel that – “you did well becoming partners with me in affliction.” (Paul’s in prison.)

Food not provided for you in prison. Hygiene is nil. Need someone on the outside.
Craig Wansink, Chained in Christ

Although Acts says Paul is a Roman citizen, but Paul himself never mentions this, beaten with rods, not something to do with a citizen.

:15 No church partnered with me
:18 apecho^ - “paid in full”

Taubenschlag, Law in the Greco-Roman Papyri  

Paul is acknowledging gift delivered by Epaphroditus, and also his services (his person on the outside) – this is sort of a receipt

Chapter 2 (last letter) :25 Epaphroditus

Mutual obligation, mutual benefits, consensual partnership

Paul’s partnership model has possibilities for today – this is the third way between patronage and tent-making, neither of which have worked for Paul.

Paul also has this relationship, partnership, with Stephanos, Phoebe, Philemon

4:15 Eis logon – not translated! – Paul preaching? Economic mutualism practiced.
Justin Meggitt, Paul, Poverty, and the Bible


Romans 12:13 Is Paul just talking about the “welcome wagon?” We equate hospitality with courtesy, friendliness.

We’re missing something.
Abraham Malherbe, Social Aspects, “The Inhospitality of Diotrephes” 3 John v. 10
John Koenig

12:13 – Economic radicalism, “chase after with hospitality”

Xenos – Stranger, alien, but also guest – the process by which an ‘other’ is transformed into a guest, brother/sister ultimately. Chase after person to do this.

13:8 Unplug from the patronage system. The one who loves “ton heteron” – the other person (Leviticus 19:18)

Jacob Taubes, The Political Theology of Paul

Whole law can be fulfilled by loving the neighbor

Claudius expels Jews from Rome because of “tumult” they caused because of Christ. Most Jews just move out of city limits. (49 AD) Most just move back in after Claudius dies. Living in docks.

Paul is writing to a divided church in city of Rome. On West, slaves, poor, Jews, in tenements. On other side of river, 2 house churches, wealthy, villas, Gentiles.

This is context where Paul lays down rules for hospitality.

1) Welcome without conditions (Romans 14:1 – Welcome weak in faith/convictions, but not to dispute over opinions with them.)

2) No despising, no judging! (Romans 14:3-4, 13)

3) No basis for judging in culture/law (14:14)

4) So, criterion is welfare of brother or sister – don’t grieve them! “The criterion is not your damn Book of Order . . . or your church’s statement on this or that. The only criterion is the welfare of your brother or sister.” (14:15, 14:23)

5) Strong must bear the weak. (15:1 – “bear up”)

6) Let each please the neighbor for up-building/edification (15:2)

7) Christ bore the insults. (15:3)

Conclusion: Welcome one another as Christ welcomed you. (Receive one another.) (15:7)


Module 12: Ritual

How did Paul use ritual (certain patterns of liturgical behavior) to create the one body?

Ritual as a form of communication. Ritual as kind of language. Interpreting ritual is like discovering grammar/syntax of community. Ritual communicates fundamental values. But doesn’t just express, it also shapes and creates in communities.

Mary Douglas. Ritual forms not only as transmitters of culture but as creators of social reality. (Like when we know something, but can’t articulate it at first, and have ‘a-ha!’ moment through ritual.)

Baptism, Eucharist are major. But others.
Exhortation as ritual. (Parakaleo^) 1 Thess. 5:27 Read letter to all community. Col. 4:16-17, similar.

Singing. Order of Worship – 1 Cor. 14:26: A hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Colossians 3:16

Hodayot – Mary Douglas

Philippians 2:6-11 – “The Christ Hymn”

Colossians 1:15-20, 1 Timothy 3:16, Ephesians 1:3-14 (Student of Paul)

Ephesians 5:19 Singing to the Lord and each other – community oriented function

Preference for worship things that are “for building up” – hymns over tongues.

Nils Dahl, “Preaching Patterns in Paul”
* Revelation Pattern – “You know now something that has been hidden”
* Soteriological Contrast Pattern – “You once were, but now you are something different/no longer are”
* Conformity Pattern – “Just as Jesus _________, so should you _________”
* Teleological Pattern – “So that . . . 2 Cor. 8:9”
* Simple Appeal – “I appeal to you by the name of Jesus: ________”

1 Cor. 14:13-15 Combination of planned/spontaneous
Doxologies, acclamations, etc.

Nowhere in letters do we get a straightforward description of baptism. Used it as a metaphor. When Paul construes baptism as a symbolic burial to be raised to new life in Christ – def. immersion.

Hippolytus (2nd century) gives account of baptism. He says three-fold immersion. Naked. Artistic representations though show pouring, with people standing.
Didache, 1st century Syria, water scarce, speaks of pouring water three times.
Intensely local, depended on where you were.

“no longer Jew/Greek” as baptism liturgy.

Baptism as cleansing/washing.

Difference between Jewish baptism (mikvah) and Christian baptism – Jewish baptism, you were unclean again. Christian baptism is a permanent transition. Marked a permanent threshold between the messianic community and the rest of the world.

Baptism creates a new community: dying and rising (Romans 6) The new person who lives in no longer ego^, but Christ who lives in me.

We’ve already discussed. 


Popular posts from this blog

re-post: devotional life for progressive Christians

I posted this a while back before anyone was really reading this blog. Now that more people seem to be stopping by, I thought I'd put it out there again with some edits/additons since it's been on my mind again... Do you find it difficult to have any sort of devotional time? When I was growing up, I was almost compulsive about my personal Bible Study, devotion time, etc. Somewhere along the way, I got more and more sporadic. In part, I found myself frustrated with the devotional books that I considered theologically too conservative. I find it hard to bond with God when you're busy mentally disagreeing with the author of whatever resource you're reading. My habit was broken, and I've never gotten it back for more than a few weeks at a time. So, a disciplined devotional/prayer/bible-reading life - is it something I should be striving to get back, or something that is filled by other ways I am close to God? This is a debate I have with myself all the time. On the

Sermon for the First Sunday in Advent, "Hope: A Thrill of Hope," Mark 1:1-8

Sermon 11/26/17 Mark 1:1-8 Hope: A Thrill of Hope             Are you a pessimist or an optimist? Is the glass of life half empty, or half full? My mom and I have gone back and forth about this a bit over the years. She’s wildly optimistic about most things, and sometimes I would say her optimism, her hopefulness borders on the irrational. If the weather forecast says there’s a 70% chance of a snowstorm coming, my mom will focus very seriously on that 30% chance that it is going to be a nice day after all. I, meanwhile, will begin adjusting my travel plans and making a backup plan for the day. My mom says I’m a pessimist, but I would argue that I’m simply a realist , trying to prepare for the thing that is most likely to happen, whether I like that thing or not. My mom, however, says she doesn’t want to be disappointed twice, both by thinking something bad is going to happen, and then by having the bad thing actually happen. She’d rather be hopeful, and enjoy her state of

Sermon for Second Sunday in Advent, "Peace: All Is Calm, All Is Bright," Isaiah 11:1-10, Mark 13:24-37

Sermon 12/3/17 Mark 13:24-37, Isaiah 11:1-10 Peace: All Is Calm, All Is Bright             “Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright. Round yon’ virgin mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace.”             This week, I read news stories about North Korea testing a missile that perhaps could reach across the whole of the United States.             This week, I spoke with a colleague in ministry who had, like all churches in our conference, received from our church insurance company information about how to respond in an active shooter situation. She was trying to figure out how to respond to anxious parishioners and yet not get caught up in spending all of their ministry time on creating safety plans.             This week, we’ve continued to hear stories from people who have experienced sexual assault and harassment, as the actions, sometimes over decades, of men in positions of power have been