Monday, 19 June 2017

Block, technical issues, faith kick

Hi. Apologies for the slow-down on the journey into Hurtado first century Christian binitarian worship territory. I felt like I was on a real charge doing a post every day or every other day, then a few things happened.

Like anyone, I sometimes experience "block": just that inability to engage my mind with the same clarity I enjoy at other times. I am also going through a period in my life when my mind actually totally saturates as well, which increases this effect when it occurs. This effect was either caused or worsened by learning that although SPCK found my book proposal interesting (it definitely sounded from their personalised response that it had been discussed between several members of their editorial staff), they weren't going to be able to pursue it further. So that was a downer.

Then, I had this really weird technical issue with Kindle notes. I don't know if you have tried it, but kindle notes and highlights are a great way of interacting with a book. Kindle have recently decided to revamp their online interface and call this new area simply "notebook", with a nice thumbnail of the cover of each book to hit to see your highlights and notes. For some devilish reason, all my Hurtado notes and highlights on which I was relying for this first century blog cruise we're on are present on their old system and totally absent on the new one. With my wife we probably have a couple of hundred of books on Kindle, and Hurtado's Lord Jesus Christ is the only book that this glitch is affecting. And to make matters worse, the old site where all the content is intact will die on July 3rd. Oh, and I'm getting nowhere with Amazon.

Urggh. This all leads to feeling a bit down about it to be honest, and in a world and market which frankly is just not as interested in trinitarian theology as I have been, I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth carrying on.

Sorry for such a depressing post - I'll also share one more thing about faith. From time to time I read or hear something that makes me really question my faith. I'm delighted about that because it means I am engaging with the criticisms out there and have usually bounced back. My research into first century expressions of proto-trinitarianism led me at various points to the Gospel according to Matthew, which time and again seemed late to me, by which I mean late first century. This actually is another small series of blog posts I need to write, and very important with respect to Matthew's relationship to baptism and John the Baptist in particular. Suffice it to say that there are others that share this view, and that Matthew had access to Luke (it's sometimes called the Matthean posteriority hypothesis, MPH) - one of these proponents made some analyses on this basis about the synoptic burial narratives that stung me. So that hasn't helped either.

Looking forward to a more upbeat post soon, and especially a solution to resume the Hurtado cruise.


  1. Thank you very much to the Jonathan who informed me about the difficulty to leave comments. No I did not know that it required signing in. Having enabled that now seems to have removed your comment, frustratingly. You had some interesting questions, Jonathan, especially about the Triune Hub model said anything really that different to what is already out there. Please feel free to re-post it, and also tell me which Jonathan you are (I know one Jonathan B here in the Marseille area, but don't think that's you).

  2. Hi John

    No, I'm not the Jonathan from Marseille, I'm a French guy who lives in the UK.
    I didn't save my comment unfortunately.

    I was basically saying that I'm on a similar journey, huge fan of Hurtado's thesis and not entirely comfortable with 4th century ontological speculations.

    My question was:
    How is your 'Triune Hub' fundamentally different from the lower case 'trinity' of the ante-nicene fathers? (at least the basic framework)

    Isn't it simply another name for a subordinationism that would remain faithful to the triadic shape of the NT?

    Jonathan B.


Thanks very much for your feedback, really appreciate the interaction.