Blog commentary concerning
in response to
[Blog Host Commentary noted in brackets] and “unique” formatting added to help convey the concepts as clearly as possible.
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About these guys and their penchant for trespassing outside their own KJB reservation:I suspect that some Protestant sects are going the way of the Catholic Church...
- by which I don't mean
that they're going the way the Catholic Church is going now
- but the way the Catholic
Church was going back
in the 17th century
As we all know, the impetus for translating the Bible into German and Dutch and English (and so forth) [the Protestant Reformation] was the belief that each individual man (if not each individual woman) ought to be able to act as his own priest and enjoy an unfettered relationship with God [the doctrine of the Priesthood of All Believers]. And the project was successful, which means that in any devout Protestant community most community members, men and women alike, now know the Bible most of the way through — though that's only the official, acknowledged Bible (whichever version of it the community happens to be using).
So, if you want to separate the interpreters of the Bible from its readers and to give the former power over the latter, it's no longer sufficient for the former group merely to stick to the interpretation of whatever version of the Bible they employ. No, they've got to go outside those boundaries and start citing Scripture their parishioners don't know about and have never heard of, because only that can give the kind of power they're after –
– which is the kind of power the Catholic priesthood had back in the 16th century and earlier — the power over the Holy Words which the laity can access only by means of the priesthood. (Which is kind of like having a corner on a commodity.)
In fact, the power the Protestant ministers who engage in this strategy stand to gain is even greater than the power of the priesthood because while a priest was-and-is answerable to his superiors a Protestant minister — especially of a non-mainline, runaway sect — need not be accountable to anybody.
If everyone read the Targum [the Aramaic Bible] and the Midrash [Rabbinic writings which “fill in the gaps in Scripture based on oral tradition] the way everybody reads the Bible (though of course I'm only talking about the kind of people who read the Bible in the first place) these guys probably couldn't get away with this stuff, because somebody would show up and tell them that their interpretation was off. (Somewhat in the same way Orthodox Jews have already appealed to Michael Pearl to stop quoting them and have told him that he doesn't understand their writings correctly, not that he listens to them.)
But that day is as of yet far off, and for the time being it looks like they have the field to themselves. I guess we'll have to wait to discover how it all works out in the end.