Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sophie & Kesi

Sophie & Kesi

Tuesday morning Bible Seminar gathers today, has been meeting two terms a year, fall and spring, since 2009 I think. We’ve read and discussed lots of things, Bible books Old Testament and New. My favorite Old is Genesis, New is Mark, Revelation may be third favorite though it only comes round Easter Season of Lectionary Year C. We do the whole thing, all 22 chapters, and if we don’t finish this morning we probably will do next week. 

We’ve also done several books of the Apocrypha, Ecclesiasticus, Bel & the Dragon, and non-canonical books, GThomas, Acts of Paul & Thesla, GPeter, and some odd things that catch media interest like GJudasIscariot. I’ve really enjoyed all this and always learn more than anyone in the seminar group.   

Were we not ensconced in Revelation and the end of our 2016 Spring Term at hand, I’d take advantage of our first reading for Trinity Sunday Year C and explore Proverbs again with the group. We’ve done it before, but these things keep coming round. Sunday’s reading is from Proverbs 8, about Wisdom (LXX Sophia), who claims “The Lord (LXX Kurios, Hebrew יְהוָה YHWH) created me at the beginning of his work .. before the beginning of the earth.” At least a couple of theological issues present. One is that Wisdom, although from the beginning, was created not begotten, and so was not before Logos the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son; also that Wisdom is not God, not divine but a creature, counter to the shaky assertions of the “re-imaging” or “re-imagining” feminist movement of the 1980s who acclaimed Sophia instead of Christ. In sympathy with all or most things feminist, I don’t like arrogant stupidity, which I say hesitantly because one of the leaders was a renowned Episcopal priest who was a professor at Yale Divinity School.

There’s lots more about Proverbs to like and to explore. The main thing for me is that anytime Sophia, Wisdom raises her head and voice, we may expect to search around and find that Folly, Kesiluth (kes-eel-ooth’ - כְּסִילוּת) also is offering her enticements. Kesiluth is a feminine noun for stupidity, personified as Folly. What she offers is quite clear, sneak in and get it while her husband is away, and the end is disgrace and death.

I’m not ready to put Proverbs as my fourth favorite Bible book. Not yet. But I do love the evil twin and her prudish sister.


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