Thursday, March 20, 2008

Passion Interview with me in Christian Today

Christian Today have been running a big feature on The Passion and they have added a couple of interviews done on the evening of the première, the first with Frank Deasy and the second with me:

Interview: Dr Mark Goodacre, The Passion's Historical Consultant

Interview: Frank Deasy, writer of The Passion

There are lots of other materials on their BBC Passion page, with more being added regularly.


Geoff Hudson said...

Rather than 'driving' out those that were buying and selling, it is more likely that the prophet began driving out what was being bought and sold in the temple, namely the animals to be sacrificed for sins. The prophet's gripe would then not have been with those conducting business in the temple, but with the ineffectiveness of sacrificing animals as a means of cleansing sins. So there was no turning over tables of moneychangers or driving out people. And as he drove the animals out, he could have quoted a text very applicable to his cause of proclaiming the Spirit - something like: "is it not written: 'My Spirit will be poured out upon the house of Israel' (Ez.39:27), but you have made Israel a house of sacrifice." The prophet's point was that animal sacrifice was not making Israel more moral or pure before God. Israel was acting pure when it was not, and our prophet was in the mould of every other prophet before him.

Geoff Hudson said...

Did Israel’s innovative prophet tell two of his fellow prophets to ‘go into the city’ (Mk.14.16) and prepare ‘the Passover’ (Mk.14.16)? I suggest not, but that he did instruct the two to go into the temple and prepare the sanctuary. The altar of incense had to be kept burning and the lights had to be lit. This would have been immediately before the sunset that started the last great day of The Feast on a Sabbath. The so-called ‘guest room’ or ‘large upper room’ was the sanctuary. Our prophet had an authority comparable to that of any previous prophet of Israel.

The two prophets were to meet a fellow prophet carrying a jar of water (Mk.14.13). This was for an oblation when water would be poured out into the earth, symbolic of God pouring out the Spirit. It was a daily ritual during The Feast.

There was no last supper as such. But when the prophets gathered at the sanctuary, the water of the New Covenant was poured out by the prophet, not for ‘the many’, but for Israel. (Mk.14.24). A remanent clue to what the prophet was proclaiming is in the anachronistic extant text of Jn.7.37-39. On the last and great day of The Feast, the prophet stood (no doubt on the steps to the sanctuary) and proclaimed loudly, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come and drink. Whoever obeys the Spirit, streams of living water will flow from within him”. ‘Living water’ or ‘pure water’ referred to the continual obedient actions of those cleansed by the Spirit.

Of course the editor’s of John tell us that up to that time, the Spirit had not yet been given, implying in effect, the Spirit would be given after the Jesus of their story had risen. In another sense, the Spirit wasn’t yet given to Israel, because most of the priests rejected it, preferring the status quo of the temple cult of animal sacrifices for sins.