Friday, April 3, 2020

Matthew's Final Narrative (Matthew 26-28): Part One

The final section of Matthew’s Gospel begins at 26:1 and ends at 28:20. In 26:1 we are told for the fifth and final time that Jesus “finished all these sayings”, which is a literary marker indicating to the reader that we are about to begin another narrative section. I have shown elsewhere how Matthew has structured his entire Gospel, punctuated with five discourses by Jesus that are sandwiched between a variety of historical narratives. Below is what the structure of this final narrative structure looks like from a birds-eye view:

A)  26:1—35  (Preparation for Death & Burial)

B)  26:36—56  (Jesus on Trial)

C)  26:57—75  (Derision & appointment of King Jesus)

B’)  27:1—37  (Jesus on Trial)

C’)  27:38—56  (Installation & Derision of King Jesus)

A’)  27:57—28:20  (Preparation for Burial & Resurrection)

Below is a breakdown of each section with its shared concepts, words, phrases, and themes. As each section is combed through carefully, be sure to remember the literary parallels between each matching section (A & A’, B & B’, C & C’). They will become important for part two of this post (among future posts in this series) where I will break down this larger governing literary structure into smaller pericopes and comment upon each section’s unity:

A)  26:1—35
> Assembly of Chief Priests: They plot together (26:3)
> Judas receives bribe money (26:14-16)
> Jesus speaks to disciples: My sheep will be scattered (26:31)
> The “Twelve” disciples are mentioned, among whom Judas is one (26:14)
> The first day of the feast is mentioned (26:17)
> “When evening had come” is mentioned (26:20)
> Jesus is to drink καινός (“new”) fruit of the vine (26:29)
> Jesus will “go before” his disciples “to Galilee”: προάξω ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν  (26:32)
> Jesus’ body is prepared for burial (26:6-13)

A’)  27:57—28:20
> Assembly of Chief Priests: They plot together (27:11-15)
> Guards receive bribe money (27:12)
> Jesus speaks to disciples: Go and make disciples of all nations (28:18-20)
> The “Eleven” disciples are mentioned, without Judas being numbered among them (28:16)
> The first day of the week (after the Sabbath feast) is mentioned (28:1)
> “When evening had come” is mentioned again (27:57)
> Jesus is laid in a καινός (“new”) tomb (27:60)
> Jesus is “going ahead of” his disciples “into Galilee”: προάγει ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν (28:7)
> Jesus’ body is prepared for burial (27:59-61)

B)  26:36—56
Jesus goes into a place called (ἔρχεται … εἰς χωρίον λεγόμενον) Gethsemane: meaning ‘oil press’ (26:36)
> Jesus is seized by guards & Judas betrays Jesus

B’) 27:1—37
Jesus goes into a place called (ἐλθόντες εἰς τόπον λεγόμενον) Golgotha: meaning “a skull”  (27:33)
> Jesus is delivered to Pilate the Governor & is not betrayed by Pilate

C)  26:57—75
> “Scribes” are mentioned along with the Chief Priests and Elders  (26:57)
> Jesus is accused of speaking βλασφημέω (“blasphemy”) by High Priest  (26:65)
> Peter “follows” Jesus “from a distance” to the Courtyard of the Sanhedrin:  ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ ἀπὸ μακρόθεν  (26:58)
> Jesus is accused of saying, “I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days”  (26:61)

C’)  27:38—56
> “Scribes” are mentioned along with the Chief Priests and Elders  (27:41)
> Jesus has βλασφημέω (“insults”) spoken to him by those who pass by  (27:39)
> Many women “followed” Jesus from Galilee and gathered together, observing his crucifixion “from a distance”: ἀπὸ μακρόθεν θεωροῦσαι, αἵτινες ἠκολούθησαν  (27:55)
> Those who passed by Jesus were saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, if you are the Son of God…”  (27:40)

The Virus

You don't want this
It could kill you
It's best to shut everything down
Stay at home where it's safer
Where they can track submission
Stabilize fear
Divide and conquer the enemy

You don't want this
You could get it touching anything
A shopping cart could have it
A bad apple or playground swing
You don't know what is or is not safe
No one knows anything for certain
That's how deadly this one is

You don't want this
Even if you don't die from it
Even if you test positive but don't suffer
Even if your symptoms go away in a few days
You can't evade your guilt once you've got it
You could have spared others more vulnerable than you
You should be more considerate and less selfish

You don't want this
There are hospitals flooded with sick people
Morgues are filled with corpses
It's a war zone out there
If you spread this virus to the elderly or vulnerable
They could surely die
The real danger is with people who think they're immune 

You don't want this
I saw a friend tweet something dangerous
It said that world health organizations and the media are lying 
It said Big Pharma and Big Tech are taking advantage of this crisis
It said our rights are being tested and possibly taken away
It said vaccines are more dangerous than getting the flu
Thousands of people are dying while idiots like them share fake news

You don't want this
It could kill you
It will kill your grandparents and their grandchildren
It will kill your neighbor with emphysema and Hashimoto's disease
To be safe, it's best to stay six feet away from them all
Love like Jesus but wash your hands like Pontius Pilate
And pray that Bill Gates runs campaigns against Trump for POTUS

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Stay in Your Cell

The dog barks; the caravan passes

We can see you breathing
It's not good
... Pause ...
... Pause ...
Like a dog, only with fewer rights

Stimulate each I with your pound sign and tweet
I can't protect my family with collective idiocy
Am I safer at home?
The best askesis is staying in your cell
May I please move along?
I can't without a fine or imprisonment
I'm tired of waiting

We just want you to stop
... Just pause ...
... Heal ... 
Like a dog, only with fewer rights

Silence is the canvas, not the painting

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Iota Haiku

Obey them, we must
Help save us from plague, they must
Stay inside, we must

Masks, hospitals need
Prevent cough mist contagion
Germ sweatshops, they are

Covid nineteen, bad
Fast forward to the fifth Gen
Must track pandemic

Make stats big they must
Trusting agency's reports
Truth it cannot be

Germs and viruses
Everyone with smartphone knows
Science tells us so

FCC needs more
Accelerate deployment 
Good bandwidth, no more

The gospel, they say
Stab arm to eradicate
To argue, no time

Allow them, we will
Get away with it, they will
Deserve it, we will

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Umbrella Corporation and its Crowning Influence

There are many things that we don't know and have yet to discover
How long will this pandemic last?
Every one feels the test, and most know they'll survive; it's the elderly we don't want to put in harm's way
Yet their owners added a bandwidth between 24 and 28 gigahertz regardless of the harm

A lot more information can be carried on them
Radio waves will be supplemented with millimeter waves
Enabling data to be transmitted in larger amounts and faster speeds, with shorter lagging

Low latency enables near instantaneousness communication
Yellow buses won't need drivers for long
In less than ten years we will achieve the fourth industrial revolution prophesied back in 2017
No one can stop their plans to roll out more and more big tech & big pharma
Global economic output is banking on an estimate of at least 250 billion dollars more annually by 2025

That is only five years from now, and most won't receive education about it's health risks
Once the infrastructure is up and running, we won't be able to opt out

Ushering in a new era of computer-assisted living is the goal
Smart cities will be reaching into every living cell, containing every virus

Monday, March 2, 2020

Lenten Symbols

The true lamb ate the paschal lamb;
the symbol hastened to enter the belly of truth.

For all the types in the holy of holies
dwelt and anticipated the one who fulfills all.

And when the symbols saw the true lamb,
they tore the curtain and stepped out to meet him.

Ephrem the Syrian
Hymn 6, verses 9-11

[Translated by J. Edward Walters. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2012]

Sunday, March 1, 2020

No one enjoys you

The last time was when she died
A piece of me died with her
And the life I now live is
by loyalty to the one who raised her

You miserable and rotten soil
Nothing blossoms in you
Nothing grows in your darkness
Shitting and pissing on it is fit for graveyards, not gardens

This is what you expect us to work with
Instead of tending your garden
Miasmas of despair rise out of your pettiness
Your refuse and dick outpourings dug up and dumped from buckets onto our laps

Where is the encouragement and joy?
Where is the love and understanding?
Where is the gratitude or compassion?
Where is your sincere interest in others and their gifts?

You're just fucking rude
You're suspiciously insecure, too
No one here enjoys you, and you sure don't seem to enjoy us either
No one sees you look into their eyes, unless you're being crotchety to their faces
You're aloof to everything we need
You're just not a pleasant person

Why are you immensely tolerant of that eponymous fluffy canine's negative approval rating?
Why are you immensely patient with the maintenance man's guesstimates and deafness?
Why are you immensely disinterested and uninvolved in our concerns, opinions, and advice?
Why do you disregard our voices yet expect us to memorize every mumbled, haughty breath released through your trachea?

Here we are again, praying for miracles
from the God of heaven and earth
skies and land, above and below
to have this puny little rod of yours bud

Let my prayer rise like incense before you
And the lif.... "STOP!"
What? Why?
"If you would just shut up and stop asking questions, I'll explain why."

Here I am again
Another piece of me has died
and you don't seem to care
Please interrupt me again so I can send you to her