Held in Suspense

For those of you who maybe haven’t picked this up, I’m a Church nerd.  I rarely read for pleasure, but give me a good book on liturgical history and theology or send me down an exegetical rabbit hole?  That’s reading for pleasure to me.  So, it was with great anticipation that I read this in my GChat yesterday.
JKT (a well educated, interested, involved layperson who happens to be the son of my Rector, TKT):  http://classic.studylight.org/desk/?query=joh+10:24&translation=nsn&st=1&new=1&sr=1
JKT:  very interesting question the Jews asked this week…
me:  I’m actually writing a blog post on the second half of that verse right now.  “Tell us plainly” is a very universal desire.
JKT:  Ahh…
but “Suspense” is translated from “Psuche” in the greek from this verse – The Breath of Life
followed by an inflection to show “levitation, elevate, lift up”
almost like they are not in suspense, but in suspension.
me:  very interesting
JKT:  Even if Jesus told them plainly… they might not be able to comprehend.
yeah… it’s the only time Psuche is translated that way.
me:  what an odd way to translate that.  I need to dig deeper.
JKT:  They must have been asking about the time of the 2nd coming
me:  The KJV says, “How long dost thou make us doubt?”
Young’s literal – being very literal to its name says, “Till when our soul dost thou hold in suspense?”
JKT:  Young’s a good man
I’d go with that.
me:  We might say, “How long will you hold back our souls?”
JKT:  And Jesus says he’s already told them….
where?
me:  John 5.17-43, 8.12, 8.24, 8.58
JKT:  In context, I bet they meant – How long will we spend in Sheol?
How long is the period of purification / punishment?
me:  Right.  How long will we continue to be oppressed?
How long will we be exiled in our own city?
How long will we be unable to live fully into the dream God has for us?
JKT:  I think it’s more literal, how long after we die must we wait for “the world to come” (Olam Ha-Ba)?
Because the psuche is the living breath within us… and it’s suspension is between leaving these shells and being brought into the recreated world.
TKT and I were actually talking about this Saturday.
me:  That could be.  But I think the placement during the Feast of Dedication makes it a more immediate question.
staff meeting is getting underway.  More to come.  Thanks for pointing this out.
JKT:  I just see John 10:28 as the “don’t worry, I got this” reassurance to their question.
You will be suspended in my hand… and in my hand you are safe.
But then again, you’ve got the degree. :)
There are a dozen things I love about this conversation.  First and foremost, and the ethos that underlies this blog, is that we don’t have to agree.  Intellegent, thoughtful Christians disagree on just about everything after “Alleluia, Christ is Risen!”  That’s OK.  I also love the JKT digs into the Scripture; he’s interested in learning, not just passively receiving information in 12 to 15 minute weekly intervals on a Sunday morning.  I also love that it made reread about the Feast of the Dedication.  Finally, and back to the beginning, I love that maybe there is some double entendre in this lesson.  Perhaps it is about both the here and now of Israel’s situation AND the eschatological great by and by.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Scripture is alive.  Its meaning is ever changing as we who engage it are ever changing.  Some need comfort today, and John 10:22-30 offers that.  Some need hope for the future; John 10:22-30 offers that too.  Depending on where you are and what you need, Scripture can say a lot of different things.  I give thanks to God for random GChat conversations and for his living presence in holy writ.
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