Sunday, 11 March 2018

"T.L.:D.R." DAVE SIM (YAWN) ON JOHN 19!" Part 3

Hi, Everybody!

Anyway, From Dave Sim:
17 Feb 18

Hi Matt!  
Since you were asking about Biblical commentaries, I thought I'd send this to you.  It's part of my RIP KIRBY COMMENTARIES which hit a religious off-ramp requiring a lengthy digression (about a year or so now) into the "Song of Deborah" (Book of Judges) with the November 8, 1950 strip.  Which then dovetailed with John's Gospel, which then dovetailed with my commentaries on Gertrude Stein's THE WORLD IS ROUND and BLOOD ON THE DINING ROOM FLOOR, finally circling back to John 19. So this is, really, the 17-page punch-line.
I can't imagine anyone would be interested, but you did ask about Bible Commentaries. 
You could maybe run it a page a week on sequential Sundays.  "T.L.:D.R."

Grab a Bible and follow along!

 Part 1, Part 2, and now Part 3:
13 Feb 18 pg.3

Unlike John himself, the Revelation couldn't be ignored because it was obviously both eschatological and Apocalyptic in its character. It was, arguably, the most eschatological and Apocalyptic monotheistic revelation that would ever exist, way, way beyond John's -- or anyone's (but particularly John's, again, I'm getting to this) -- personal capacity for invention. That is, it was literally unimaginable, comparable and directly analogous to and resonant with the Book of Ezekiel, the momentous capstone of the Major Prophets in Orthodox Judaism (particularly noteworthy for the attribution of much of its text  to Lord GOD as opposed to the YHWHistic LORD God) while having its own unique character and definitive prophetic force.  All of which, it seems self-evident, would have been readily apparent to the -- presumably dumfounded -- Patmos Church authorities charged with sheltering and sequestering John when he presented them with it. 

The fact of the Revelation couldn't be explained away, certainly not by the authorities of a marginalized outlier "boonies" church on Patmos.  All they could do was have their scribes make copies of Revelation and deliver it -- as the document itself instructed them to do! -- to the seven primary, larger, more potent and more influential Asian churches. 

Which, I infer, made John's Revelation even more theologically inescapable because -- although John, I assume, had no direct knowledge or awareness of or, in fact interest, in what the "seven ecclesias" were doing -- the denunciations were succinct and exactly appropriate to the YHWHist corruptions that were setting in in the critical first decades of Christianity.   For the churches, it would have been like getting a letter direct from God.  For the very good reason that, I infer, that's pretty much what it had been.

That is, it hadn't been coincidental, I don't think, that John had lived to the (for the time) impossibly old age that he had. That, I infer, had been God's plan all along: that John and his undying fealty to the Johannine Jesus would endure several decades into the first Christian century...

This requires, I think, a lengthy digression to elaborate:

[The YHWHist structure of the first Christian century, I infer, had been analogous to and patterned on the "super-suns" created in the early millennia after the Big Bang. The Great Unity, God, incarnates -- through the process of the Big Bang -- multiple Proxy Immensities who then enact themselves as differently-nuanced models of Reality, hurled outward by the Big Bang's centripetal and centrifugal force.  These seminal YHWHs -- each misconstruing his/her/its self as God -- then expand and proliferate, procreate and gestate outwards.  They physically incarnate as stars, galaxies, solar systems, planets, asteroids, etc. each, like our planet, thinking themselves to be God. This is, I infer, God's Grand Comedia.  All of them hatching out lifeforms "formed of the dust of the ground" and then, (partly, I infer) in tandem with them and (mostly, I infer) in opposition to them, strutting and fretting he/she/it's hour upon the cosmological slapstick stage, repeatedly delivering cosmological custard pies to his/her/its own faces over the course of billions of years because that's what happens when you aren't God but you pretend to be God.]

13 Feb 18 pg.4

[Fidelity, faith and endurance in God, loyalty to God, I infer, being The Way Out and The Way Back to God]

[As the Big Bang's relationship to the "super-suns" so -- I infer, in YHWHist frames of reference -- had been the relationship of the Synoptic Jesus to his disciples, particularly Peter. "Upon this rock I will found my church."]

[Set against this multi-faceted triune metaphysical he/she/it tidal wave, I infer -- according to God's purpose and according to God's plan  -- was the potency of faith and endurance in God's Johannine Jesus Christian incarnation. Said incarnation now in the lone custody of and housed solely within the person of a single individual: John.]

[A critical necessity, I infer, from God's perspective, reinforcing the primary lesson of physically-incarnated life that abiding faith in God will overcome and prevail over even the most insurmountable-seeming adversary and adversity.]  

[John was physically and irrefutably, hurled outward to Patmos by (and on) the theological tidal wave of the Petrine Church of the Synoptic Jesus. From the YHWHist perspective, theological collateral damage and (happy coincidence!) the imminent elimination of what had once been he/she/its primary rival and which appeared now to be a microscopic, microcosmic guttering theological candle-flame soon-to-be extinguished.]

[The exponentially rapid expansion of Christianity across the civilized world had been, I infer, directly analogous to the centripetal and centrifugal outward expansion of the universe from the Big Bang.]

[A foundational component of which and its motivating force is, I infer, "If any of you are actually God, enact your own Big Bang."  The plain fact that there has been no Big Bang since the Big Bang serving as a q.e.d that there is only One God.]

[Metaphysically unprecedented in our physically-incarnated world, Christianity's expansion would eventually dwarf and then engulf its nearest competitor, the Roman Empire. But it was Petrine, YHWHist, Synoptic. It was derived from monotheism but it was not, per se, monotheistic.  And, I infer, that was one of its larger purposes: a YHWHistic enactment co-engineered by God in such a way as to create a YHWHistic theological tidal wave that was seemingly unstoppable. Certainly one that appeared to be unstoppable from the perspective of any higher-natured entity contemplating Christianity's first few decades of progress late in the first century. The only comparable enactment/analogy would have been the Big Bang (with which, I infer, all higher-natured beings are familiar although interpreting it differently depending from which of the "super-suns" they had issued). And that, I think, had been one of God's major theological points behind Synoptic Christianity: it had been, according to all appearances, structurally, unstoppable.]

End of lengthy digression.
Also, the end of 13 Feb 18, join us next week, for 14 Feb 18 pg. 1 (and maybe pg. 2 too).

Next Time: I LITERALLY just told you. Literally.


Michael Grabowski said...

Hey, Matt,


Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

This is an example of what I mean when I say that Dave doesn't know how to think. He feels that Revelation couldn't be imagined, so that proves it's true. Iron-clad logic there!

As usual, whenever Dave uses the words "self-evident", you know to be prepared for stupidity ...

-- Damian

Tony Dunlop said...

Agreed, Damian...these pieces give a new dimension to the word "incoherent." Not all that uncommon among autodidacts like our comic genius. And I speak as someone who does believe the Revelation was actually experienced by St. John in the cave at Patmos. (I've been to and prayed in that cave. Nanner nanner boo boo.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this.

Tony---anything you'd be willing to share on here about your trip to Patmos?

A Fake Name

Tony again said...

Sure. First, full disclosure: I went as a tourist, not a pilgrim; my wife and I were on a package tour of Greece, which included an island hopping cruise of the Aegean. (We also saw the amphitheater in Ephesus where St. Paul got attacked by the locals defending their local goddess Artemis.) Patmos was one of the ports of call, and we went to the 10th century Orthodox monastery there (still active - we saw some of the monks, and one smiled at me). I had converted to Orthodox Christianity 4 years earlier so I was familiar with their chapels and iconography. About halfway down the small mountain on whose summit the monastery sits is a cave, long thought to be the cave where St. John received his Revelation while in exile from Ephesus, which is just a few miles away on what is now the Turkish coast. The cave has been made into a small Orthodox chapel, with icons and an altar for preparing Communion. I did not attend a service there; my tour group just filed through. I said the customary prayer upon entering a church ("I was glad when we entered the house of the LORD") and venerated the icons (make the sign of the Cross; bend down to the ground, say the appropriate short prayer; kiss the icon).

Very few of those in our party were Orthodox, just a few Greeks, some of whom stuck around to give their confession to one of the monks; the tour bus had to wait until they were all done!

After we returned to the little port-village, I had the BEST LAMB DINNER OF MY LIFE. Unspeakably delicious. Unfortunately I do not remember the name of the restaurant.

Tony again said...

Found it! You gotta love Google Maps.

Loukas is the place. Best blessed lamb in Greece, if not in the world.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Having been raised Orthodox Christian and read some of a translation of Revelation I'm sure it would an interesting and powerful experience to be there.

I always thought it a bit odd or off when people would use the word Lord on its own and that stuck out with me when I got to Dave's take on that.

And speaking of Dave's take, it's not quick reading, and with some things I'm not sure what he's saying but perhaps it will all make sense to me when all of these articles are published.

Thanks for sharing that Tony.


A Fake Name