Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Mark 1:1 ‘The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ’
Ἀρχὴ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ

“εὐαγγέλιον in the imperial cult. This is the most important usage for our purpose. Note must be taken of what is said concerning the θεῖος ἄνθρωπος (→ 712), τύχη and σωτηρία. The emperor unites all these in his own person. This is what gives εὐαγγέλιον its significance and power. The ruler is divine by nature.30 His power extends to men, to animals, to the earth and to the sea. Nature belongs to him; wind and waves are subject to him.31 He works miracles and heals men.32 He is the saviour of the world who also redeems individuals from their difficulties (→ σωτήρ). τύχη is linked up with his person; he is himself τύχη.33 He has appeared on earth as a deity in human form. He is the protective god of the state. His appearance is the cause of good fortune to the whole kingdom. Extraordinary signs accompany the course of his life. They proclaim the birth of the ruler of the world. A comet appears at his accession, and at his death signs in heaven declare his assumption into the ranks of the gods.34 Because the emperor is more than a common man, his ordinances are glad messages and his commands are sacred writings. What he says is a divine act and implies good and salvation for men. He proclaims εὐαγγέλια through his appearance, and these εὐαγγέλια treat of him (→ 713). The first evangelium is the news of his birth: ἦρξεν δὲ τῶι κόσμωι τῶν διʼ αὐτὸν εὐανγελι[ων ἡ γενέθλιος] τοῦ θεοῦ.35 “The birthday of the god was for the world the beginning of the joyful messages which have gone forth because of him.” TDNT 2:724″

Ched Myers ‘ He [Mark] is serving notice that he is challenging the apparatus of imperial propagation……Mark is taking dead aim at Caesar and his legitimating myths. From the very first line, Mark’s literary strategy is revealed as subversive. Gospel is not an inappropriate title for this story, for Mark will indeed narrate a battle. But the ‘good news’ of Mark does not herald another victory by Rome’s armies; it is a declaration of war upon the political culture of empire.’ (Binding the Strong Man, 124)


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I hope to be able to offer some tasty quotes from Alan Storkey’s Jesus and Politics: Confronting the Powers over the next few weeks. A short review can be found here. These postings are not attempting to be a review, critique or summary but merely a collection of tasty quotes.

In Chapter 1 Storkey sets Jesus in contrast to the ruthless Herod the Great. Jesus birth and life are tied in with Isaiah Ch 40.  Here is todays quote (page 24-25)

Isaiah 40:10-11 (ESV)
10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

“These are strange words. Is God a ruler like this? Rulers demand taxes, slaves, soldiers, but here is a ruler who rewards. Rulers govern by fear and conquest, but here is a ruler who is gentle to the young and those who are pregnant. You cannot a cradle a lamb and be harsh. Rulers rely on armies, but here is one whose arms hold his subjects clsoe to his heart. Is it possible that all this conquest, domination, rape, and pillage are necessary when we live on God’s terms? Is it unthinkable in terms of usual world history, but here it actually begins to unfold. There could be another King.” 24-25






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