Sunday, April 10, 2005

"They knew that innovation was another word for heresy."

I bought a florescent green polo shirt yesterday. I like to be noticed from a distance.

I spent some time researching more on the "Son of Man" tradition for Asher's Historical Jesus seminar yesterday. Studying the Bible is actually hard work, at least like this. Apparently the Son of Man figure as Jesus seemed to speak of him(self?) is an interesting conflation of several Old Testament traditions: the Davidic king, Isaiah's suffering servant, Daniel's "one like a son of man," and so on. A good bit of the tradition Jesus seems to be working from is found not in any canonical scriptures, but is produced in the book of 1 Enoch. And the funny thing is, there are 2 groups that count it as part of their scriptures: the Ethopian Church, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Now that's an odd pedigree
.

I got out my crayolas to tell the tale of the other Kyle's secret origin. If I'm inclined, I might post the story come summer. I've been rolling around in my head a piece for Pentecost on the gifts of the Spirit. Yes, I am a charismatic Christian. Don't tell anybody. But first, two more essays on Community. I think that's fitting for Eastertide.

We're still doing the Apostolic Fathers at Schola today, so I thought I'd offer this bit I found somewhere. Enjoy, now.

"The Reformation is an argument not just about the Bible but about the early Christian fathers, whom the Protestants wanted to claim. This is one of those things that is so obvious nobody has paid much attention to it - then you look and you see it everywhere.
. . .

Calvin and Melanchthon both believed it was a very strong argument against a given theological position if you couldn't find authorization for it in the Fathers.
. . .

"The Protestants did this because they were keen to have ancestors. They knew that innovation was another word for heresy. 'Ours is the ancient tradition,' they said. 'The innovations were introduced in the Middle Ages!' They issued anthologies of the Fathers to show the Fathers had taught what the Reformers were teaching.

- David Steinmetz, Duke Divinity School, in Christian History and Biography, August 2003

2 comments:

CRC said...

Having been LDS I question your statement; "....1 Enoch. And the funny thing is, there are 2 groups that count it as part of their scriptures: the Ethopian Church, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints"

I don't think the LDS claim that book as part of their scriptures. They do have a book entitled the Pearl of Great Price which contains some translated records and one of them has information about Enoch, it may even agree and add some validity to the apocraphal book mentioned above, but to say that LDS include it in their scriptures is not accurate.

Kyle said...

Hm, I really don't remember what source suggested that, but it's surely wrong. In addition to CRC's actual Mormon experience, if I remember correctly (!) 1 Enoch was not translated into English until circa 1870.

Cheers.