Saturday, 31 January 2015

Parresia and Prophets

#freespeech #charliehebdo #parresia #satire #greek #classicalculture #prophets #bible #socialjustice

On Free Speech and (Dis) Honoring Prophets


Freedom of Speech is a Greek word thought to be a compound of πας and ῥῆσις.
An more accurate but awkward in translation or definition in English  might be “Allspeak” or “anyspeech” .

Some people define it as the freedom to say anything they like however silly  irrational paranoid hateful blasphemous obscene or absurd.

Others point out several of the ancient orators pointed out it should be counterbalanced by KAIROS καιρός propriety or rather the sense and knowledge of when and what is the right thing to say or do.

Some people in the Islamic world have been claiming the Western concept of Free Speech is actively Anti-Islamic. 

Some people in the Western World abuse the right of free speech to spread conspiracy theories homophobia racism and worse.

So when is Satire Appropriate?

There's no Biblical guice for this or is there? 

One thing you see again and again in the Books of prophecies in the Old testament is Social Justice as a theme.

Satire and Comedy in Attic culture and drama also often had popular issues as a theme as well the Tragedies often had the conflict between justice and revenge as a theme.

I think the Charlie Hebdo editors made a serious error by NOT making the first issue after the attack on their offices a special guest issue inviting cartoonists from all over the Islamic world to comment on social justice issues whether their target was the Western World Israel Saudi corruption ISI Boko Haram the USA or whatever.

I must sat I have noticed the sort of people who post claims and complaints about blasphemy and lack of respect for dead prophets  do not seem to be commenting on current events that do  dishonor the prophets ... all of them Islamic and back to the Old Testament.

I'ld like to see more discussion of Boko Haram or ISI or genitial mutilation or forced conversions.

I'ld like to see less obsessing on gay marriage or the insistence by Christian conservatives and less claims private charity will cover all health care needs  or condemnation of the sheer waste of money by Superbowl type sports events!

Lets really focus our rights of free speech on SOCIAL JUSTICE issues.

Anyone know if Aristophanes has been translated into Arabic?

Honor Prophets but not by obsessing on blasphemy but by reminding cartoonists to focus on CURRENT events that are worthy targets.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Healing and Salvation

#biblestudy #greeknewtestament #whatjesussaid

A common theme though Chapters 8 and 9 of the #gospel of #matthew is healing by faith but not just of physical illnesses.

Chapter 8 A leper is healed and notice Jesus says not to boast about the miracle

then the centurion's servant and Peter's mother in law and various mentally ill "demoniacs"

Chapter 9 the paralytic is healed physically and spiritually.

Then he rebukes the Pharisees after meeting with tax collectors and sinners.

Actually the Greek word used means sinful and may refer to people who had trouble keeping all of the many points of mosaic law however minor.

Jesus states literally

Not need they have the strong of a healer but those who are in a bad condition / state

Again the concern for the anxious and troubled the lowly and poor and children.

Then comes the archon perhaps a Hellenized Jew given his title - archon can mean ruler or magistrate  secular not religious.

By his way to the ruler's house he encounters the woman who had a flowing of blood for 12 years whatever that means ... most people presume a disorder of the uterus or vagina but equally it could be a skin disease or something else?

Like others she asked and prayed to be healed. Literally to be made safe or saved and protected from a recurrence of her illness. Soozoo. Save keep protect

After waking the girl form a deep coma or near death condition Jesus heals two blind men. Now he had recently rebuked the Pharisees by quoting a verse from Hosea about " I desire mercy and not sacrifice" and the blind men called on him to have mercy on them.

The RSV translates the Hosea verse 6:6 as

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,
the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings.

Salvation is healing. For those of us who can not work miracles by practical acts of compassion not rituals only. Healing has to be for mind body and soul.
For a rich man's daughter or disabled street beggars or the sinful.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Healing Faith and Forgiveness

#Matthew Matt 9:1-7
#gospel #biblestudy #jesus #healing

After descending from the Mountain Jesus performed several acts of healing of the mentally ill and physically disabled. I want to focus on one particular one in chapter 9 the healing of the paralytic.

Now whatever the disability or illness of this young man actually was the first thing Jesus tells him is this

Tharsei teknon aphientai sou hai hamartai.

Be brave / positive / confident young one forgiven  to be free let go  of you  the errors / sins.

His first concern is the boy or young man's mental state.
Perhaps he was depressed or had what we might call post traumatic stress.
Perhaps he'd done or felt he had done something that caused or contributed to whatever accident or illness had made him a paralytic?

Notice this is not just faith healing. Jesus is not saying his sins caused the paralysis but focusing on tending to the boys spiritual and emotional well being? Then finally he tells him after rebuking the scribes to rise up take your bed and go home.

Faith can contribute to healing but a confident attitude helps.
however that doesn't mean we should rely ONLY and SOLELY on miracles of healing!

Tharsei has been translated as Be of Good cheer but the word also means be confident brave courage bold or to have a positive attitude in Modern English?

Note also the forms of the verb aphieemi  let go free release send away an important "irregular" verb you should learn.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Matthew Chapter 8 Verse 7

Matthew 8:7

I coming I will help is a literal translation.

Most translations render Therapeusoo as heal.
 Quite reasonable  and sensible given the events described.
However consider this. Therapeuoo also means attend to serve care for like a servant at a healing shrine or a courtier or valet?

He's not just saying he will heal the official's son.
Jesus is saying he will give the man's son his personal attention.
And its after he makes this promise that then he lauds the father for his faith and trust in him.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Saturday, 3 January 2015


Back to Basics for a few posts!

The Greek ABC

#greek #greekabc #greekalphabet