Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Good news
Tonight I ate Thai food with Cap'n Sacrament. When the good captain isn't wearing his colorful tights and Eucharistic cape, he is also known as Kyle. I walk into the restaurant and there he is with a plate of spring rolls and he's sporting a t-shirt that reads "I'm Blogging This..."

Good drunken noodles. Good conversation about life 'n' stuff.

Kyle got to be Alan's guinea pig over at Conversatio Fide, as he is the first Vine & Branches community interview there.

"Jesus transforms us together in relationship," he says. Remember that. That's good stuff.

I'm switching gears from Romans to New Testament Interpretation. I've spent much too much time this evening toying with some Photoshop and HTML, so here's a little tidbit that I've learned.

The Greek word euangellion, from which get our words "evangelism" and "evangelical", etc., at the time of the biblical writers carried a blatant political connotation absent from our current cultural context. Today we seem to have Christian-ized this word that gets translated "good news" or "gospel." Who has ever heard the word "gospel" in a secular context? It has not always been so.

This from "The Relevance of Greco-Roman Literature and Culture to New Testament Study" by Loveday C. A. Alexander (as found in Hearing the New Testament):
In the public propaganda of the empire, "good news" was associated with the emperor's birthday, adopted by decree as the basis of the civic calendar for all the cities of Asia in a decree from 9 BCE: "The birth date of our God signalled the beginning of Good News for the world because of him."* Far from expressing a craven subservience to the Empire, it may be argued, Luke's careful choice of language here is part of a political strategy that identifies Jesus as "the Superstar of superstars," in direct competition with the saviors and benefactors proclaimed by imperial propaganda (124).

No wonder Herod, and later the Emperor himself, got his panties in a twist over this Jesus and the "good news" proclaimed by his followers.

*from the Priene inscription, lines 40-41.

posted by Peter at 12:47 AM
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