rexhowe

I am a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and the pastor of West Lisbon Church in Newark, IL. Wordpress design and site building is a hobby that I enjoy!

Homepage: https://rexhowe.wordpress.com

Cigarettes and Metal

Vague recollection

Early morning detection

Eyes are clouded, thin

Ears not yet dialed in

A familiar scent wafts

Reaches, breezes into lofts

Where a young man wakes

At his father’s exiting gait

4am to Maysville

Cigarettes and metal

Driving far for that paper

Safety cautious labor

Pull down the hood

Strike ‘at arc good

Bond to the base

Weld it like lace

A familiar aroma blankets

Hourly worker wages

5pm up the Double A

Cigarettes and metal on the way

Car resting on gravel

Aches accompany the rattle

Chevette no gas remaining

Golden Arm now finds resting

A familiar fragrance returns

Post dinner cigarette burns

Polka dot cap on its hook

Jeans & shirt find their nook

9pm the aura of dad

Cigarettes and metal ain’t so bad

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Signs of Life Episode 6: Pay Phone

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Signs of Life Episode 5: Nursing Homes & School Buses

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Signs of Life Episode 4: Kanye & Conversion

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Signs of Life Episode 3: Elevator

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Signs of Life Episode 2: New Needs New

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Signs of Life Episode 1: Road Work

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Up to Six

Up to Six: A Poem
Up to six
To get our fix
Sometimes you
Sometimes me
Shaking off sleep
Taking that leap
Into the day
Into the fray
“God’s kingdom come
His will be done”
We offer in prayer
Gasping at that hair
Depression creeps
Loneliness peaks
Faith awakens
Hope beckons
Drinking at the well
Joy begins to swell
Brew is ready
Strong and heady
Smelling, walking
Searching, looking
A vessel worthy
Alas, all dirty
A silent meme
Turns a teeming stream
Activity bustles
Everyone hustles
Into the fray
Into the day
Better get that fix
Up to six

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The Battle Cry of the Reformation and the Surrender of Greek and Hebrew

A timely word for theological students from Dr. Daniel B. Wallace:

Daniel B. Wallace

One of the great ironies and unnecessary casualties of the Protestant Reformation is shaping up in America today. The battle cry of the Reformation was ad fontes—“back to the sources!”—which meant going behind Jerome’s Latin Vulgate and reading the original Greek New Testament. This was coined by Erasmus, the man responsible for publishing the first Greek New Testament in 1516. He was a Roman Catholic priest who was swimming against the current of much of 16th century Catholic scholarship. It was especially the Protestants who latched onto Erasmus’ Greek New Testament. During his lifetime, over 300,000 copies were sold! A few years after his death, the Council of Trent banned many of his writings.

The Reformers also went beyond the Vulgate and translated the Bible into modern languages.

Reformation

Now, half a millennium after Luther nailed his theses to the door of the great Schlosskirche in Wittenberg, theological seminaries…

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Identifying the πνεῦμα in John 4:23–24

In preparation for Sunday’s sermon, I encountered difficulty translating and interpreting the term πνεῦμα in John 4:23–24:

“ἀλλ᾿ ἔρχεται ὥρα καὶ νῦν ἐστιν, ὅτε οἱ ἀληθινοὶ προσκυνηταὶ προσκυνήσουσιν τῷ πατρὶ ἐν πνεύματι καὶ ἀληθείᾳ· καὶ γὰρ ὁ πατὴρ τοιούτους ζητεῖ τοὺς προσκυνοῦντας αὐτόν. πνεῦμα ὁ θεός, καὶ τοὺς προσκυνοῦντας αὐτὸν ἐν πνεύματι καὶ ἀληθείᾳ δεῖ προσκυνεῖν” (John 4:23-24 GNT28-T). https://accordance.bible/link/read/GNT28-T#John_4:23

Regarding the first and the third usages, Leon Morris concludes that the term references the human spirit, that is, the inner being (The Gospel According to John, 270–71). Andreas Köstenberger seems confused in his attempt to interpret the term. He jostles back and forth between the Holy Spirit and the inner person (“the heart”). He understands the syntax of ἐν πνεύματι καὶ ἀληθείᾳ to function epexegetically, “in spirit, that is, in truth.” For this reason, he sees an allusion to the Spirit of truth revealed later in John’s Gospel, but Köstenberger feels that such a clear reference to the Holy Spirit may have been “too advanced” for the Samaritan woman (John in the BECNT, 156–57).

BDAG concurs with Morris, identifying πνεύματι as “the source and seat of insight, feeling, and will . . . the representative part of the inner life . . . The pure, inner worship of God that has nothing to do with holy times, places, appurtenances, or ceremonies.”

The human Spirit or the Holy Spirit? With these two contradictory interpretations in mind, I decided to investigate primary sources for interpretive insights. Specifically, I wanted to discover whether the early Christian use of nomina sacra may shed any light on what the early scribes thought about the term. Here are my findings thus far:

  • πνι, πνα, πνι in P66, P75, 01, 032S, 13, 33, 1424
  • πνι, Πνα, πνι in 02, 04
  • No NS for πνεῦμα or πμεύματι in 03
  • πνι, πνεῦμα, πνι in 05

In the first pattern, the scribes made ready use of the NS for πνεῦμα; however, I am not well enough read on the range of meaning for this particular NS to know if usage = Holy Spirit every time. The second pattern includes Codices Alexandrinus (02) and Ephraemi Rescriptus (04) and the distinct capital pi at the beginning of verse 24.

The scribe of Vaticanus (and therefore, the scribe of P75 too) may have provided some interpretative insight, as it is thought to share a heritage with P75 (see The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis, Second Edition, by Ehrman & Holmes, 19, n. 52). If it is true that these two mss are related, then why did one scribe continue or create the NS for πνεῦμα (i.e., P75) and the other scribe continued the absence of the NS or discontinued the NS for πνεῦμα? On the one hand, we may have a case of scribal interpretative decision, and on the other hand, we may have a scribe who abstained from such scribal interpretation.

I find the pattern of 05 most interesting! The NS is specifically (strategically?) used for the first and third, but not used for πνεῦμα ὅ θς in 4:24. Perhaps, it is possible to say that the scribe understood the Holy Spirit to be the referent of each use of πνι, but not at the beginning of 4:24.

In conclusion, if the use of NS for the term πνεῦμα always implies the Holy Spirit, then the majority of mss, which I searched, conclude that we are to worship the Father in Spirit (not spirit) and truth. Codex Vaticanus alone is the aberration from the pattern. However, before this conclusion can be too firm, I need to understand the full range of use in these mss of the NS for the term πνεῦμα. For example, is the NS used when there is no doubt that the human spirit is the referent?

Until further research is completed . . . thanks for reading!

*UPDATED 06.25.2018: It appears I made an error in the initial posting of this article. I had the GA numbers of Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus mixed up! Forgive me! It is corrected above.

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