Saul Among the Prophets

What was Israel’s worship like outside the Temple? Some intriguing clues are seen in the bands of prophets and their ecstatic worship. I wish we knew more about it. I read a bit on the subject lately, as follows:

In the Westminster Theological Journal, 56:2, John W. Hilber writes:

The function of prophetic bands is also unclear. The description in 1 Sam 10:5–13 portrays a group descending from worship at Gibeah and prophesying with musical accompaniment, whom Saul joins as the Spirit of God comes upon him and initiates him into the prophetic band. Later, Saul would again be inducted into a band, located this time at Ramah, and fall naked prophesying (1 Sam 19:18–24). Perhaps in a similar way, David led the worship of Yahweh when he danced naked before the ark (2 Sam 6:5, 12–20). Thus, the prophetic worship established by David had precedence in the prophetic bands of his day. In 1 Kgs 20:35 the formal title “sons of the prophets” designates such bands.18

As in the days of Samuel, such groups were associated with specific locations (Bethel, 2 Kgs 2:3; Jericho, 2 Kgs 2:7; 6:1; Gilgal, 2 Kgs 4:38) and often served under the ministry of a master prophet (2 Kgs 2:15–16; 4:1, 38; 6:5; 9:4). Even though they were subordinate to a master prophet of greater authority, they were agents of formal prophetic oracles, received revelation of future events, and themselves spoke with great authority (e.g., 1 Kgs 20:35–42; 2 Kgs 2:3, 5; 9:1–13). Amos’ disclaimer presumes that either a prophet or a son of prophet could be expected to speak an oracle from God (Amos 7:14). The number of these subordinate prophets was at times considerable. The remnant alone after the slaughter by Jezebel numbered 100 (1 Kgs 18:4).

The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 9:3 (Summer 1966) says:

Lack of information also shrouds the example of Saul and his messengers in 1 Sam 19:18–24. Saul’s falling prostrate day and night suggests an element of involuntary control. But this was probably only part of the prophetic behavior, since the text is silent regarding any prolonged prostration of Saul’s messengers who also prophesied, and since their behavior mimicked that of Samuel and his band (1 Sam 19:20). If the prophetic procession of 1 Sam 10:5–11 is a similar phenomenon, then music and dancing might be a partial description. Music and prophecy are regularly associated, although whether that constitutes ecstatic behavior remains to be seen. David’s leaping and dancing before the ark may be called ecstatic, yet it appeared to be at his own volition (2 Sam 6:21–22). It is significant that ecstatic prophesying on this occasion did not exclude verbal praise.  So, the phenomena in Numbers and 1-2 Samuel may have been exuberant praise, more or less spontaneous, the emotive energy and verbal content of which was sponsored by the Spirit.

The second is I Sam. 10:1–13. This instance concerns similar prophesying activity by Saul following Samuel’s indication to him that he would be Israel’s new king. Samuel also told him of several events in which he would be involved on his home-ward journey after leaving Samuel. Among others, Saul would meet a “band of prophets” coming down from “the high place with’ a number of musical instruments, and they would “prophesy” (mithnabeʾim); also that “the Spirit of Jehovah” would then “come mightily upon” him so that he too would prophesy (hithnabbitha) and be “turned into another man.” These events occurred as predicted.

The third is I Sam. 19:18–24. This instance also concerns prophesying by Saul who was now king. He had recently sent three different groups of messengers to apprehend David who had fled from Saul and gone to Samuel at Ramah.  All three groups met Samuel standing head over a band of prophets who were prophesying, and the result was that the messengers, each time, joined with these in this activity. Finally Saul himself went. But while yet on the way, he experienced the “Spirit of God” coming upon him and he “prophesied” (yithnabbeʾ) also. Later, after coming to where the others were, he further removed some of his clothing and lay in an apparent stupor the rest of that day and the following night.

 18 Observing that this is the first occurrence of the phrase “sons of the prophets,” E. J. Young suggests that the switch to this title implies a closer tie with a spiritual father than existed in the days of Samuel (My Servants the Prophets [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1952] 92). However, the question about Saul’s being the new “father” to the prophetic band in 1 Sam 10:12 (cf. 2 Kgs 2:12) and Samuel’s presiding over the band in 1 Sam 19:20 implies continuity between the phenomena in the days of Samuel and Elijah.

23 This is not to say that all participants in a procession were the source of oracles. For example, if even one individual among the group served as a source for verbal content and the rest followed antiphonally, then all might be said to prophesy. Someone joining this band through the impulse of the Spirit might be said to prophesy because he acted and sang with the band. There is no evidence for this, but these speculations should demonstrate that the possibilities are broader than usually admitted in the discussions.

5   The text says that David came to Samuel at “naioth in Ramah.” Naioth means “dwelling.” Since Samuel’s group of prophets also was there, this “dwelling” may have been the building in which the school of these prophet’s met.

 

Ventrella on Sovereign Grace’s Deficient Cultural Engagement

I just ordered, and look forward to reading, Jeff Ventrella’s new book Church and Culture. The synopsis says:

Full-orbed response to a proposed statement on the church’s responsibility in culture by Sovereign Grace Ministries — and a valuable resource in elucidating a Faith that champions a comprehensive Gospel amid a church culture that all too often reduces the Gospel to personal salvation.

Sovereign Grace reflects a typical Annabaptist take on culture, so it’s good to see it called out in a public way.

Modern Life is Rubbish

Modern life is the rubbish of the past. We all live on the rubbish: it dictates our thoughts. And because it’s all built up over such a long time, there’s no necessity for originality any more. There are so many old things to splice together in infinite permutations that there is absolutely no need to create anything new.

– Damon Albarn

Fruits of M23

This article illustrates the horrors of M23 in the Congo:

On July 25, when the shells started exploding, Penina Mukandaysenga was playing in her back yard with her three children in Kiwanja, a small town five minutes’ drive from Rutshuru. Her husband had gone to Goma for medical treatment.

“I just saw my child’s head blown away by the first bomb,” she said at Rutshuru government hospital.

The hospital, although still under the control of government authorities, is kept running and supplied by Doctors Without Borders.

As she ran toward 18-month-old infant Noelina Kisubizo, her youngest child, she said a second shell exploded in the garden. It tore away half her right arm — she is right-handed — and shrapnel cut into her left arm, leaving it momentarily useless.

Mukandaysenga barely opened her swollen lips as she listlessly described the nightmare.

Other injured people at the hospital said the shells were fired from a hillside above Kiwanja, from M23 rebels attacking Congolese soldiers.

Father Kevin Donlon and Plagiarism IV

In approximately August 2006, Father Kevin Donlon contributed a paper to the Global South Anglican website that he called “The Challenges of Covenant and Canons for the Future of a Ius Commune Anglicanae.” The paper was subsequently pulled from the website when the AMiA rebellion against Rwanda was in full swing.

A close examination of the paper shows that it borrows heavily from an article by Dr. Lewis J. Patsavos, Ph.D. called, “The Canonical Tradition of the Orthodox Church,” available here. Donlon did a bit of editing and rephrasing, but the ‘borrowing’ is obvious. Donlon’s article does not list Patsavos as a reference.

Donlon

Patsavos

It is from the earliest biblical times that covenants and canons were developed in response to the needs of the ecclesiastical community.

The law which emerged from the earliest times developed in response to the needs of the ecclesiastical community.
Throughout church history, they have been rendered to adapt to the circumstances throughout the generations. During both good and bad periods of the Church’s history, her law has adapted itself constantly to the circumstances of the time, up to the present day.
As the church is an institution of divine purpose composed of imperfect human beings, As an institution of divine origin composed of human beings,
canons and covenants reflect a certain imperfection They reflect a certain imperfection;
Should acceptance of a local Church’s custom as law be acceptable providing it allows for the spiritual well-being of the members? The overriding consideration in the acceptance of a local Church’s custom as law is the spiritual well-being of the members of Christ’s Mystical Body.
As a church that has adapted well to Canon 39 (“For our God-bearing fathers also declared that the customs of each church should be preserve”) of the Quinisext Synod/Synod of Trullo recognizing the right of any local church to have its own regulations, Canon 39 of the Quinisext Synod or the Synod of Trullo, held in 691, recognized the right of a local Church to have its own special laws or regulations: “For our God-bearing fathers also declared that the customs of each church should be preserved…”
That unity in Anglicanism has primarily focused on how people in various ages and places could best serve and worship God What is of importance is how people in any age or place may best serve and worship God.
it must not be supposed that any local custom automatically establishes itself as part of the canonical tradition. it must not be supposed that any local custom automatically establishes itself as part of the Church’s canonical tradition.
For that to occur it must evolve with the conviction of the ecclesiastical community expressing a long and steady practice of the custom recognizing that in that practice there is a consensus of that takes on the force of law. For that, certain conditions must be met. In the first place, it must be the conviction of the ecclesiastical community concerning a certain act repeated in the same way for a long time. Therefore, two main conditions are necessary for the acceptance of the custom as law: it must have enjoyed a long and steady practice, and the consensus of opinion must be that it has the force of law.
Additionally for Anglicans in order for custom to be accepted as a source of the canonical tradition, it must be consistent with scripture, tradition and reason. In order for custom to be accepted as a source of the Church’s canonical tradition, it must be in full harmony with the holy tradition and scripture, as well as doctrine.
The ius commune ecclesiarium Orientalum tends to be corrective in nature (responding to a situation once it has occurred) and not prescriptive the canon law of the Orthodox Church… is corrective in nature, responding to a situation once it has occurred.
great importance is attached to the local legislation of each autonomous jurisdiction. great importance is attached to the local legislation of each of these Churches.

Father Kevin Donlon and Plagiarism III

In 2011, Father Kevin Donlon published an article that he called “Liturgical, Catechetical & Conciliar Considerations for a Johannine Awakening” in The North American Anglican, a short-lived magazine. In it, he plagiarized the “Ravenna document” published by the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church on October 13, 2007. He spliced in some words relating to the Anglican situation and altered some statements a bit:

Donlon 

Ravenna Document 

the Anglican ecclesiological and canonical imperative flows from the Trinitarian nature of the Church the ecclesiological and canonical consequences which flow from the sacramental nature of the Church.
Since the Eucharist, in the light of the Trinitarian mystery, constitutes the criterion of ecclesial life as a whole, the time has come to ask how we as Anglicans will authentically reflect the mystery of this … (koinonia katholica). Since the Eucharist, in the light of the Trinitarian mystery, constitutes the criterion of ecclesial life as a whole, how do institutional structures visibly reflect the mystery of this koinonia?
The one and holy Church is realized both in each local Church celebrating the Eucharist and at the same time in the koinonia katholica of all the faithful in the National Provinces. Since the one and holy Church is realised both in each local Church celebrating the Eucharist and at the same time in the koinonia of all the Churches…
…the proclamation of the Church’s faith in Christ Jesus and the clarification of the norms of Christian conduct is theirs! In proclaiming the Church’s faith and in clarifying the norms of Christian conduct…
as successors to the Apostles;  they are responsible for communion in the apostolic faith, for fidelity to the demands of a life in keeping with the Gospel As successors of the Apostles, the bishops are responsible for communion in the apostolic faith and for fidelity to the demands of a life in keeping with the Gospel
In our heritage lies an essential episcopal structure of authority and leadership, which is first and foremost the faith professed and the sacraments celebrated, ever aware of the apostolic deposit of faith and succession. To this essential structure belong the faith professed and the sacraments celebrated in the apostolic succession.
linked structures exercised and regulated by the liturgical tradition along with the canons and norms of a conciliar church. Authority in the ecclesial communion is linked to this essential structure: its exercise is regulated by the canons and statutes of the Church.

Father Kevin Donlon and Plagiarism II

After a bit of what seems to be original content, Donlon returns to taking text directly from the Informative Dossier:

Donlon

Informative Dossier

In ancient times and in the Middle Ages, to make good for the lack of manual copies, the system of “tablets” was used; on these ” tablets ” the truths of the and the prayers were inscribed and were put in a place in the house or Church where they could be easily seen, so that everybody could understand their content. In other times, they were “illustrated catechisms” which served not only the illiterate but also the whole community as didactic aids. The entirety of this journey formed a deep and abiding Christian mythic consciousness. However, once the RCIA fell into disuse this mythic consciousness was very difficult to recapture. In ancient times and in the Middle Ages, to make good for the lack of manual copies, the system of “tablets” was used; on these “tablets” the truths of the faith and the prayers were inscribed and were put in a place in the house or Church where they could be easily seen, so that everybody could understand their content. In other times, they were “illustrated catechisms” which served not only the illiterate but also the whole community as didactic aids.
By the Fifth Century, St Augustine of Hippo at the request of a catechist, writes Twenty Seven chapters in which he tries to help deepen the faith of those Christians who, though educated in profane knowledge, were “rude” in the religious one. In the beginning of the V Century, an exceptional author, St Augustine, on the request of a catechist, writes 27 chapters in which he tries to help deepen the faith of those Christians who, though educated in profane knowledge, were “rude” in the religious one.
This work is entitled De Catechizandis Rudibus. He begins with the history of salvation which culminates in the charity brought by Jesus Christ, who through his Resurrection gives joy to the catechist and the one being catechized. Thus he entitles his work De catechizandis rudibus(5). He begins with the history of salvation which culminates in the charity brought by Jesus Christ, who through his Resurrection gives joy to the catechist and the one being catechized.
In the Ninth century, Alcuin of York, the great promoter of the cultural Renaissance during the time of Charles the Great, is attributed the redaction of Disputatio Puerorum Per Interrogationes et Responsiones (an exposition for children in questions and answers). It includes sacred history and the doctrine on the Sacraments, the Creed and the Our Father. The title indicates already its method and is a forerunner of modern catechisms as the vernacular language was used for the catechesis. In the IX century, Alcuino, the great promoter of the cultural Renaissance during the time of Charles the Great, is attributed the redaction of Disputatio puerorum per interrogationes et responsiones (an exposition for children in questions and answers). It includes sacred history and the doctrine on the Sacraments, the Creed and the Our Father. The title indicates already its method and is a forerunner of modern catechisms. It was widely used until the XII century. The vernacular language was used for the catechesis of this period.

Donlon appears to make a copy / paste error in the next selection, which mangles the Catholic text to read “In the York…”:

In the York there was used published what was known as a Lay Folks Catechism, which included the Creed, the Sacraments, the two precepts of charity, the seven capital sins and the seven cardinal virtues. For the first time the name Catechism was explicitly used. It was published in two languages, Latin and English, for popular use. Already several other times catechetical works were written in the vernacular language for those people who did not normally use Latin. the vernacular language for those people who did not normally use Latin. In the XIV Century (1357), the Archbishop of York published the “Lay Folks Catechism” which included the Creed, the Sacraments, the two precepts of charity, the seven capital sins and the seven fundamental virtues. For the first time the name Catechism was explicitly used. It was published in two languages, Latin and English, for popular use. Already several other times catechetical works were written, in the vernacular language for those people who did not normally use Latin.
On the eve the Reformation, Martin Luther, in 1529, using the material of his catechetical sermons wrote his first catechism as a guide to those who would preach and teach the goals of his reform of his reforms. This was followed by one he authored for “children and simple people”, which he even called Enchiridion. Martin Luther, in 1529, using the material of his catechetical sermons wrote his Catechismus Maior, as a guide to the preachers of his reform. Later he wrote another one for “children and simple people”, which he even called Enchiridion. 

A bit more creativity is shown with this borrowing:

There were also other reformers, such as John Calvin, who made use of this genre to teach people their new doctrines and whose influence would be felt catechetically. When the Reformation dust settled, most reformation traditions had some example of a catechism, as did the Roman Catholic Church in response. Irrespective of where one found one’s self on the theological fault line, few could dispute the efficacy of these “books in the effective dispensation of religious information/propaganda at all levels. Also other reformers, among whom Calvin, made use of this genre to teach people their new doctrines. The efficacy of this “book” had already been proved and thus all employed this indispensable aid for the religious formation at all levels.

Father Kevin Donlon and Plagiarism I

Last year during the heat of the AMiA meltdown, I was reading through a paper by AMiA Canonist Kevin Donlon entitled “Catechisms: More than Remembering.” You can find the paper here. Another paper I referred to was pulled from the site, this one wasn’t. I had occasion to re-read the paper last night, and I was quickly able to find some glaring cases of borrowing in it.

The first few paragraphs of the paper are lifted wholesale from a Vatican document called “Informative Dossier” by the Editorial Commission of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Some of the phrases are cobbled together in different places, but they are still there. Judge for yourself:

Donlon Informative Dossier
a word which the ancient Greeks used in reference to the theatre and which means “to make resound like an echo”. This word, which does not appear in the Old Testament a word which the ancient Greeks used in reference to the theatre and which means “to make resound like an echo”(1). This word, which does not appear neither in the Old Testament
as there is some usage of the Greek word “didaché” which is given the meaning of “transmitting the Word of God as a teaching of life”. In the Old Testament the word “didaché” – teaching – is found. It is given the meaning of transmission of the Word of God as a teaching of life.
Thus, in Deuteronomy 4:10 (“Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children so” and in Deuteronomy 11:19-20: “And you shell teach them to your children, talking of them… And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house”.) Thus, in Deut 4:10 we read: “Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children so”. And in Deut 11:19-20: “And you shall teach them to your children, talking of them… And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house”.
In the New Testament Gospels one could argue that the Gospels are the first great “Catechism” which was transmitted orally and eventually put to writing containing the essentials of all that Jesus “teaches” and “preaches” (Matthew 9:35; Mark 1:21; Luke 21:37). In the New Testament, the Gospels are the first great “Catechism” which was transmitted orally and then put to writing. Jesus “teaches” and “preaches” (Matt 9:35; Mark 1:21; Luke 21:37). The Sermon of the Mount (Matt 5,2) speaks of the “teaching to the disciples”.
taken up by the nascent Church to indicate the primordial duty to make disciples (cf. Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline Letters). taken up by the nascent Church to indicate the primordial duty to make disciples (cf. Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline Letters).
The proclamation of salvation was to be consolidated into the words and deeds of Christ, so as to provoke an “echo” in the mind and in the heart of the listeners, and transform their lives. The proclamation of salvation was to be consolidated, the deeds and the work had to provoke an “echo” in the mind and in the heart of the listeners, to transform all their life.
by the end of the first century, the “Didaché” or “Doctrine of the Apostles” was compiled. It was a guide to instruct those who were preparing to be baptized as well as to inform about the nature of the life in the community. In Syria, at the end of the first century, the “Didaché” or “Doctrine of the Apostles” was compiled. It was a guide to instruct those who were preparing to be baptised as well as to dispose all the life of the community…
fundamental Christian truths, formulated in a clear way so that understanding, apprehension and application could be appropriated. fundamental Christian truths, formulated in a clear way so that their understanding, apprehension and lively reception are made easier.
As time went by, became the normal aid for this duty was called Catechism. as time went by, became the normal aid for this duty was called Catechism.
This failure of attribution is noticeable in Donlon’s footnotes, which make no mention of the Vatican document, but say:

1 Stuart G. Hall., Doctrine and Practice in the Early Church.,(Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmanns Publishing Co.,1991)p.29-31
2 William Harmless., Augustine and the Catechumenate., (Collegeville: The Liturgical Press/Pueblo Books,1995) p.24-25
3 Joseph Christopher., (trans,) St. Augustine The First Catechetical Instruction., (New York :Newman Press, 1966)
4 T.F. Simmons and H.E. Nolloth (ed) The Lay Folks Catechism or The English anl Latin Versions of Archbistop Thoresby’s Instruction for the People, (London : The Early English Texts Society, 1901) Series N. No. 118
5 B.Lohse.,, Martin Luther: An Introduction to His Life and Writings., (Philadelphia: Fortress Books, 1986)
6 Ian Green., The Christian’s ABC., p.93-94
7 Ibid., p.66
8 Alexander Nowell, A Catechism ( Cambridge: The Parker Society Series, 1840) p.143
9 Edward Cardwell., Canons of 1604 (London : Synodalia, 1842) vol. 1, p.281

This is a serious breach of academic integrity and bears further investigation.
UPDATE: The original post mentioned a paper pulled from the Global South website. That is a different paper, and I will look into it as time allows.