Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 262

The scriptures read are Jeremiah 50-51, Psalm 65 and 1 Peter 3.

Jeremiah 50-51. When it's time for Babylon to face God's judgement, they will get what they deserve. What they did to God's people will be done to them. Persia will defeat Babylon.

Psalm 65. Here's a chanted version of the Psalm from a group of Greek Orthodox monks. The video features views of Mt. Athos, which is entirely populated by monastics. If you wish, you can compare it with this example of the Western tradition, from King's College Cambridge.

1 Peter 3. Peter gives general advice to wives and husbands. He tells wives to submit to their husbands. He tells husbands to honor their wives and while he does call them "weaker vessels" he says they are joint-heirs with their husbands. That can only mean heirs of Christ, and so falls within Paul's principle that male and female are one in Christ.

After some general advice about avoiding evil and doing good, Peter tackles the problem of innocent suffering. It's better spiritually, he points out, to suffer for doing good than deservedly suffering for doing wrong. After all, Jesus did the former. So we're in good company.

Peter then mentions Jesus preaching to the spirits in prison. This odd and isolated reference is where some traditions get the doctrine of the harrowing of hell. All the Old Testament saints standing around in shadowy Sheol were released by Jesus between his death and resurrection. I like the image of that but, unfortunately, this is the sole slender thread on which that teaching rests.

Peter makes a connection between Noah's flood and baptism and in an oblique way with the resurrection of Christ. Did he crib the linkage of the last two from Paul or was this a common theme in the early church?

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