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  1. Allusion Examples (Bad) • Biblical Reference: Genesis 25:33 – “…and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils.” • Example: The phrase “Mess of Pottage” means a poor trade between two or more people. Poor trading is usually seen in major sport leagues when teams pass around athletes. One example of one of the poor trades that have occurred is between the Cleveland Naps and the Chicago White Sox.

  2. Allusion Examples (Bad) • Biblical Reference: Exodus 13:17: “Now when pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines…” • Example: According to Wikipedia Cuban America, because of Fidel Castro’s communist reign of terror, over 25,00 Cuban children immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1980’s, and over 125,000 Cubans by the late 1980s. The Cubans were in absolute exile.

  3. Jonah • Jonah is written as a third-person narrative • Jonah’s audience is Nineveh, the capital city of wickedness, and the heart of the Assyrians (Israel’s oppressors) • Jonah was reluctant to follow the will of God; he was not interested in saving Nineveh, wich was a brutally militaristic nation, much like Hitler’s Germany

  4. Jonah • Rather than carry out God’s command, Jonah took matters into his own hands and jumped aboard a ship heading in the opposite direction (from Nienveh to Tarshish).

  5. Jonah • This action alone should indicate how unhappy Jonah was about his mission – the desert-dwelling Israelites feared the powerful ocean more than anything else in the natural world. • An intense storm struck, and the ship Jonah was on began to sink. The captain called Jonah on deck, and the sailors cast lots to determine who was responsible for the problem.

  6. Jonah • This action alone should indicate how unhappy Jonah was about his mission – the desert-dwelling Israelites feared the powerful ocean more than anything else in the natural world. • An intense storm struck, and the ship Jonah was on began to sink. The captain called Jonah on deck, and the sailors cast lots to determine who was responsible for the problem.

  7. Jonah • Just when Jonah was on the point of drowning, a big fish scooped him up. There is no mention of a whale in the book of Jonah, the image developed after repeated telling of the story. • Jonah offered up a prayer of thanksgiving to God for saving him from death. His gratitude was increased by the fact that he deserved to die, but God showed him mercy.

  8. Jonah • Jonah was then purged on to dry land by the big fish at the command of God. Now Jonah had to honor a second command from God, so he went to Nineveh to proclaim the message God had given him. • Ironically, after the Ninevites repent, Jonah is concerned with the fact that the Israelites are God’s chosen people and yet, God wants to reform all. The hypocritical attitude is rare in the Old Testament.

  9. Jonah and Literature • Herman Melville’s story of the captain of a New England whaling ship, Ahab, is the most obvious allusion of Jonah’s tale in western literature. • “Call me Ishmael.”

  10. The Hymn – as seen in Moby Dick When I could scarce believe him mine, He bowed his ear to my complaints – No more the whale did me confine, With speed flew to my relief, As on a radiant dolphin borne; Awful, yet bright, as lightning shone The face of my Deliverer God. The ribs and terrors in the whale, Arched over me a dismal gloom, While all God’s sun-lit waves rolled by, And lift me deepening down to doom, I saw the opening maw of hell, With endless pains and sorrows there; Oh, I was plunging to despair. In black distress, I called my God,

  11. Social Justice in the Bible • The book of Amos and Micah announced that because of the Israelite’s social injustice and religious arrogance, God would punish them • But let justice roll down like waters; and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. - Amos 5:24 • These words were adopted by many contemporary political activists, and are featured on the wall of The Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama.

  12. Connection http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1L8y-MX3pg Two connections – one to Moses, one to the gospel of Matthew

  13. Humble Beginnings • The first major event in the Gospel of Matthew is Jesus’ birth, which scholars call an infancy narrative. Matthew describes Mary’s unusual pregnancy and follows it in chapter 2 with the wise men from the East who are sometimes referred to with the Latin term magi. The wise men were all Gentiles, so despite the fact that Jesus was of Jewish descent, the first people to honor him were Gentiles.

  14. Literary Connection • T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Journey of the Magi” is narrated by one of the wise men who, years after the experience, is reflecting on the night he met Jesus.

  15. John the Baptist • Life/mission: Matthew 3 • Death: Matthew: 14:1-12

  16. Disciples • Matthew 4:18-22

  17. Bridesmaids • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Pzg2AOpT9M • Matthew 25:1-13

  18. Cultural Connection • Two parables in Luke’s gospel have left a trail in everyday language. The first is the story of the good Samaritan. Anybody who takes a risk to help others is labeled a good Samaritan. Some states even have good Samaritan laws to protect people who help out at a scene of an accident, for example, from being sued should something go wrong.

  19. Good Neighbor/Samaritan • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaO_i3IG5sI • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOo-Q980h7M • Luke 10:25-37

  20. The Prodigal Son • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cacAlQ3TG64 • Luke 15:11-32

  21. Treasure in a Field • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmj_iipqPIQ • Matthew 13:44

  22. Seed and Sower • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI1hVutjTbY • Mark 4:2-20; Luke 8:4-15

  23. Transfiguration • In Mark 9, Jesus goes up to the a mountain with three of his closest followers (Peter, James and John) and “he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. From the heavens, a voice spoke: This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!...As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.”

  24. Transfiguration Imagery • Cloud • Glowing Face • Mountain top • Elijah/Moses • Returning from the dead • No proof of death (Deuteronomy 34, 2 Kings 2:1) • Beginning of Passover (spotless lamb)

  25. To Jerusalem • Shortly after his transfiguration, Jesus began foreshadowing his betrayal, death, and resurrection. According to Mark, Jesus’ disciples did not understand, and as they went into Jerusalem, Jesus made a third and very specific prediction of his death, “See we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles; they will mock him, and spit upon him, and flog him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise again” (Mark 10:33-34)

  26. The Betrayal • Jesus was viewed as a revolutionary in his time – encouraging people to have faith while at the same time undermining the power of the authorities of his day. • Because he was teaching, healing, and performing miracles, Jesus was a wanted man.

  27. The Betrayal (Matthew 26:14 – 56; Mark 14:43-50) • Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ disciples, went to the chief priests and asked what kind of reward he would get for turning Jesus in. He agreed to do the task for 30 pieces of silver. • This was considered to be blood money – money given to someone at the price of another’s life. • If someone is said to have sold something for thirty pieces of silver, it indicates that they betrayed someone/something and ended up hurting themselves in the process (Judas hung himself after realizing the consequences of his actions).

  28. The Betrayal • Judas had such an impact on western culture that many nations, even to this day, do not allow the name Judas to be given to children.

  29. The Last Days (Mark 11 – 16) • In the last few days of Jesus’ life, Mark emphasizes the fact that although he is teaching and guiding the people, he is clashing with the authorities in Jerusalem. • There is a great deal of apocalyptic (end of days) language and foreshadowing in chapter 13 (as part of his predictions, Jesus said his followers would suffer a great deal – Mark 13:9-13)

  30. The Last Days • In chapter 14, a woman anoints Jesus’ feet with expensive oil, and he defends her actions because he says she is preparing him for burial. • After the last supper, Jesus and his disciples went to the Mount of Olives and into the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus pointed out to them that they would all deny him. There is a subtle reminder of the Garden in Genesis.

  31. The Last Days • After being accused of blasphemy, Jesus is brought before Pontias Pilate in chapter 15. The crowd has an option of releasing one prisoner (it is clear that Pilate thinks that Christ should be freed). The crowd, however, chooses to release Barabas, a convicted criminal. The crowd urges Pilate to crucify Jesus, and he agrees to do so, saying he is washing his hands of the matter (he will not take the blame).

  32. The Last Days • After Jesus is selected for crucifixion, a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, was forced to carry the cross. • Mark notes that Jesus was put on the cross at 9:00, and at 3:00 in the afternoon, Jesus called to God in Aramaic, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthanai?” which translates into “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” The words were taken from the first verse of Psalm 22.

  33. The Last Days • Scholars have often commented on the fact that it appears that Chapter 16 has two different endings – one short one that ends with verse 8, and a longer ending that goes all the way to verse 20.

  34. Cultural Connections • The common phrase turn the other cheek is derived from the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says: “If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also” (Matthew 5:39). To turn the other cheek has come to mean being patient with wrongdoers rather than seeking revenge

  35. Cultural Connections • Another passage from the Sermon on the Mount is the salt of the earth which refers to a person with solid, traditional values. • Give the shirt off your back is a modern variation of Matthew 5:40. • Go the extra mile is from Matthew 5:41. • Cast your pearls before swine is from Matthew 7:6.

  36. Cultural Connections • The expression a house divided will not stand (Mark 3:25) was used by Abraham Lincoln in a speech presented in Sprinfield, Illinois, on June 16, 1858, at the Republican State Convention, which nominated Lincoln for the U.S. Senate. In it, he opposed the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision, which prevented Congress from excluding slavery in the new U.S. Territories.

  37. Cultural Connections • Ernest Hemingway’s last published work was The Old Man and the Sea. Many gospel images can be found in the final pages of the book. The image of the fish recalls the ancient Christian symbol (the Greek word for fish is ichthus, and it was a visual acronym for Jesus). The Od Man’s bleeding hands recall the nails in Jesus’ hands. The way the Old Man holds the line across his back is reminiscent of Jesus carrying the cross. The Old Man collapses carrying the mast and boom (shaped like a cross) in much the same way that Jesus fell on his way to crucifixion.

  38. Cultural Connections • Additionally, the Old Man lies on his bed with is hat cutting into his head. That suggests the crown of thorns that Jesus wore. The Old Man’s name is Santiago, Spanish for Saint James – an apostle and a fisherman. Finally, the fish itself ends up a mangled and hideous sight – a parallel to how Jesus looked on Golgotha.

  39. Cultural Connections • Simon of Cyrene appears in Mark’s gospel as the man selected to help Jesus carry the cross. Because of his origin, he is often considered to be of dark complexion. • Countee Cullen was an African American poet who was part of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s. In the poem, “Simon the Cyrenian Speaks,” Cullen imagines what Simon’s sentimetns might have been as a black man who suffered.

  40. He never spoke a word to me; and yet He called my name; He never gave a sign to me, and yet I knew and came. At first I said, “I will not bear His cross upon my back; He only seeks to place it there because my skin is black.” But He was dying for a dream, and He was very meek, And in His eyes there shone a gleam men journey far to seek. It was Himself my pity bought; I did for Christ alone What all of Rome could not have wrought with bruise of lash or stone. - Countee Cullen

  41. Cultural Connection • The other phrase is the Prodigal son. The phrase is used to both to describe someone who wastes the family’s money or resources as well as someone returning to the fold of the family. When the long estranged uncle comes home for a wedding, he might be greeted with, “Well, the prodigal son returns!”

  42. Cultural Connection • The Beatitudes, as seen in Luke 6:20-26, is a collection of blessings which Jesus confers on all his followers regardless of their social standing or position. He reinforces that possessions should not be the aim of existence. Many social action figures, such as Gandhi dedicated their lives to reinforcing such messages. There are also many orders of monks, such as the Franciscans, who avoid owning material possessions, as they believe the possessions soon come to own you.

  43. Cultural Connection • The Matrix is filled with biblical allusions which suggest the parallel between the main character (Neo) with his ability to save the world, and Jesus. There are several overt comparisons (one character tells Neo: “Hallelujah. You’re my savior, man. My own personal Jesus Christ.” ). The theme is reinforced with the repeated message “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32).

  44. Cultural Connection • John’s gospel tells the story of the apostle Thomas, who was not present when Jesus first appeared to the disciples. He refused to believe their reports unless he got to touch the wounds in Jesus’ hands, feet and side. The following week Thomas was given the chance to do just that. He responded, “My Lord and My God!” (John 20:28). This apostle has been memorialized in everyday language; anyone who is incredulous or refuses to believe something is called a doubting Thomas.

  45. Biblical Numbers: 3 In Biblical tradition, it is always on the third day that God saves. The angel intervened to stop Abraham from sacrificing Isaac on the third day. After three months in the desert, God gave the commandments to Moses. The prophet, Hosea, said, “On the third day he will raise us up to live in his presence” (Hos. 6:2). Jonah emerged from the fish on the third day, and Paul regained his sight on the third day. Exodus states, “Go to the people…make them wash their garments and be ready for the third day…there were loud trumpet blasts and all the people trembled, for the Lord came down upon them in fire.” Peter also did not realize that he had betrayed Jesus until the cock crowed the third time. Clearly, the number 3 is the day that God always intervenes; 3 suggests completeness and unity.

  46. Biblical Numbers: 6 • The number 6 tends to represent incompleteness. Noah was 600 years old when the flood came. Pharaoh sent 600 first class chariots to chase after the Israelites. God worked for 6 days to create the heavens and the earth, but blessed and made holy the seventh day for rest. Of course, in the book of Revelation, the “beast” is represented by the number 666. Technically, since 3 is a good number representing completeness, and 6 represents incompleteness, three sixes would be complete incompleteness.

  47. Biblical Numbers: 7 • Seven tends to represent fullness or perfection. God rested on the seventh day. Noah took seven pairs of all clean animals aboard the ark. The walls of Jericho came tumbling down after seven days of trumpet playing. Jesus tells Peter to forgive his brother seventy times seven times. The book of Revelation speaks of the seven churches. The same book also tells us that the seventh trumpet will signal the end of the world.

  48. Biblical Numbers: 12 • Twelve tends to represent God’s people and followers. Twelve symbolizes the fullness of the people of Israel, with it’s twelve tribes. The people of Israel discovered an oasis called Elim with 12 streams of water. Jesus, of course, had 12 apostles. Multiples of 12 are often used in Revelation to describe the people who will be saved at the end of the world.