One Man's Web

Feasting on Jesus' Sandwich02 July 2024

20240714 Mark Codex

In my Bible there's a heading above this week's RCL reading which says, "The Death of John the Baptist." But that heading isn't in Mark's Gospel. Mark doesn't call it that. In fact, in the early manuscripts of Mark there are not even spaces between the words, much less paragraph headings!! (Codex Alexandrinus – end of chapter 6:27-54)

This is actually important, because that heading The Death of John the Baptist, which some twentieth century editor inserted into my Bible affects the way we interpret the story. It might even direct us away from some of what Mark is trying to tell us about Jesus. Was Mark's main purpose with this story really to tell us about John's death? And... wouldn't we be more accurate to call it The Murder of John the Baptist?

In Mark's world they put "headings" into the text by the way they arranged stories. One way to do this was to put particular stories alongside each other. So, we have today's reading starting at what we now call Chapter 6:14—and those verse numbers were not in Mark either, and then, straight after today's reading, beginning at Chapter 6 verse 30 there is another story. Those two stories are meant to be read together, and if we were to give them a heading, we might call today's reading Herod's Feast,  because Mark contrasts it with what follows, which we could call Jesus' Feast. Read on >>>>

Hatred, fear, and grace09 June 2024

From the text
: As endemic as the hate, shame, and desire to flee has been in my life, an unavoidable observation for me is the paradox that these things have increased in their intensity during fifteen years which have been a period of intense learning and personal growth. This to the point that I needed to retire early for the simple reason, at base, that I was utterly exhausted. I cannot remember not being tired. To make this clear: as I have learned what was unconsciously driving me, and gained some freedom from that; as I have been given the ability to be a gentler, less judgemental and abusive person; as I have learned some wisdom; and even as I have been astonished at my relief from anger and self-hatred for much of the time, some variation of that hatred seems to have condensed into a well of pain and grief which is deeper than ever. I am not able adequately to express the contradiction of that, even to myself... Read on >>>>

Round the Lakes in a Day09 April 2024

Clayton Bay

In Melbourne, they have a great cycling event called  Around the Bay in a Day. It's 210km for the basic route around Port Phillip Bay, and 2024 will be the thirtieth year of the ride! Us poor cousins here in Adelaide don't have a bay we can ride around; indeed, we no longer even have a community ride as a part of the Tour Down Under. But we do have some lakes. So, I went "round the lakes" in a day... Read on >>>>

Memory Lanes - March 202424 March 2024


On this trip, I was able to ride some of the roads of my youth. It was a bit of an ambitious weekend. given that I hadn't had much road time in January and February, so I was very pleased to pull it off. I left Melrose before dawn on Saturday morning and rode the Survey Road down to Port Germain Gorge. I last used this road 54 years ago, walking with a bunch of school mates on the last day of a bushwalking long weekend. It's no wonder I remember that as a hard day. That whole walk was uphill! ... Read on >>>>

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