Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Totally awesome Christmas special

This being a Bible theory blog, and it being almost Christmas, I’d better come up with something really groovy to say, something that nobody in 2000 years of exegesis has said before.

Sure, got that.

Most elements of the Biblical narrative have buddy-elements, so that one explains the other. God’s Spirit hovering over the waters in Genesis 1, for instance, is form-wise neatly repeated in Noah’s ark, containing the entire biosphere, bobbing about the flood waters, and again in Christ walking on water. If you want to know more about any of these scenes, then simply look at the others and see what you can learn.

Another example of this element & buddy-element is studied in a kind of Scripture theory called type-theology. Solomon, for instance, is an obvious “type” of Christ-as-king. If you want to know more about the kinghood of Christ, look at the kinghood of Solomon and start taking notes.

However, it sometimes happens that an element of Scriptures just sits there and has no buddy, meaning that the event or situation is nowhere repeated in Scriptures, which makes interpretation difficult. Such elements are called orphans. We don’t know where they come from, we don’t know what they’re doing there.

Finding a buddy for an orphan is really quite jolly.

One persistent Scriptural orphan is something that’s on display these pre-Christmas days in all corners of the Christian world, namely baby Jesus laying in the crib. All very romantic of course, but, cry Scripture theorists, what’s the Son of God doing laying in a crib? Why is that so important that it gets such prime Scriptural screen time?

Some have tried to tie the image of Christ in the crib to the Passover lamb introduced in the book of Exodus, but even in Exodus, no lamb is ever put in a crib. Then why is the Word In The Flesh put in a crib? The answer may lay in the book of Judges, in the nimble hands of arch-hooligan Samson.

But before we call on Samson, you need to know about an important principle in Scriptures called gender-inversion. That sounds rather invasive, and it probably is. Gender inversion is employed when an individual (male) turns into a group (female). Take Christ, for instance. He started His life out as a male, but now He’s incarnated in His people, which form the Body of Christ, which is feminine.

Another example is Jacob (male) who turns into Israel, which is a group and feminine. This particular gender inversion is described in gruesome detail in Genesis 32, where the English translations gingerly speak of the angel touching Jacob’s thigh, but the Hebrew reports that the angel whacks him on the membrum virile, and Jacob limps henceforth.

In Judges 14 Samson encounters a lion and rips it in half. When he returns to the scene he notices that a swarm of bees have nestled in the carcass. Samson uses this peculiar event to try to wing the Philistines out of their wardrobes, but this peculiar event is also a notorious Scriptural orphan. There is no other even that looks remotely like bees in a lion. That is, until the Christmas story was penned down.

The Hebrew word for bee is deborah. It’s a feminine noun from a root that means to speak, or rather to convey a formal message. A masculine derivative of this same root is the noun dabar, meaning word, as in the phrase Word of God.

One of the few Hebrew words for lion is ary. That’s a masculine noun from a root that means to gather up or gather around. The feminine derivative of this same root is aryeh, which means crib. In Hebrew both the lion and the crib were seen as entities that gathered, or around which a gathering occurs.

Ergo, the bee in the lion is the gender inverted equivalent of the Word in the crib.

Ho-ho-ho! Merry Christmas, everyone!

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