Tuesday, February 5, 2013


X is the traditional unknown in Algebra. X as Chi is also an abbreviation for Christ.

I am going to write a series of blog posts on X. If you already know the value of X and have solved the infinite number of possible algebraic problems concerning X, or have a clear coherent and comprehensive theology of X, you might still want to read these to see if I approach any different questions for which X has a solution but perhaps not so obvious as answers allow.

I am reading Isaiah in Greek - sort of. See this Facebook group for the threads. We are about chapter 11 this week.  Reading Isaiah in Greek!  Yes - we are reading what Martin Hegel calls
 'the first complete and pre-Christian commentary on the Old Testament'. 
That is the Septuagint (LXX = 70, a penny-rounded approximation to the 72 scholars who translated the Hebrew into Greek) version of Isaiah. (I did a little matching of the Hebrew to the Greek here and here - but this process is long and neither my Greek nor my database is ready for such an exercise.)

So X is the Hebrew of the OT (or TNK) per Hengel in The Septuagint and Christian Scripture.  Look at that! LXX already has two X's in it.

Does that make The LXX X? or is it 2X. 2X will do. What then is 3X? 3X = NT of course, the second major commentary on TNK in the light of the experience of X Jesus by the Apostolic communities.  We will have a post on 3X - perhaps several, because each of the Gospels and the letters etc use the LXX and sometimes the Hebrew in diverse ways.

Who then is 4X? - I will pick Justin Martyr and his dialogue with Trypho.
5X? - Irenaeus and his struggle against heresies.

If you read the table of contents of Brevard Childs' The Struggle to understand ISAIAH as Christian Scripture, you will find the rest of my sequence right through to the post-modern Bruggemann. That should get us to 19X with Childs as 20X. At least twenty posts and probably several sub-sections.

These are the rest of the unknowns which Childs examines in his quest for the struggle of Christendom to accomodate Isaiah as 'Christian': Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius of Caesarea, Jerome, John Chysostrom, Cyril of Alexandria, Theodoret of Cyprus, Thomas Aquinas, Nicholas of Lyra, Martin Luther, John Calvin, 17th and 18th Century Interpreters, The 19th and 20th Centuries, Postmodern Interpretations and Hermeneutical Implications.

Then will we know the value of X? or the person of X?  Stay conscious... heads up for some meditations on reception history and the book of Isaiah.

Stand firm in your refusal to remain conscious during algebra.
In real life, I assure you, there is no such a thing as algebra.
- Fran Leibowitz

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