Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Graham Beynon, Elijah, Elisha, and best of all Jesus

I enjoyed reading the BT Briefing Chariots, Whirlwinds And Jesus - 2 Kings 2v1-25 by Graham Beynon recently. It was a really good discussion on the passage narrating the departure of Elijah from earth and his handing over to Elisha. It was like what all biblical studies should be. It stuck closely to the text, interacted with opinions going around but without discussing the interpretations to the extent that no interpreting was done. It drew the canonical connections, and so put Jesus at the centre. I encourage you all to read it.

It was not groundbreaking for me but I still learnt a lot. He drew canonical parallels as follows.

Moses-Elijah-John the Baptist

Although they were to differing extents outside the scope of the article I would have loved him to say something about:

  • The miracle working ministries of the six. Moses was one of the most publicised miracle workers of the bible, Joshua and Elijah a little less so. John the Baptist famously did no miracles (John 10:41), but both Elisha and Jesus did lots of miracles, and very similar ones at that. What are the connections we are meant to draw here. Particularly for Jesus' original audience, in what way were they meant to recall Elisha?
  • Similarly are we meant to draw any particular connections when Moses and Elijah are chosen to appear with Jesus at his transfiguration?

No doubt much has been written on this subject by various people but I've missed them all. Maybe I should spend less time blogging and more time reading; there is probably something in one of my commentaries. Then again they probably have too narrow a focus to make much of these connections. Graham Beynon mentions a few books but he does not seem overly impressed by any of them. hmmm...


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