A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
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I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Kenneth E. Bailey (1930-2016)

Kenneth Bailey, a research scholar and lecturer in Middle Eastern New Testament studies has died. He was an authority on the cultural background and literary forms of the New Testament.

I was first introduced to his work as a young seminarian. His book, Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes is a must-read. In this book he writes,
Christian faith is fact, but not bare fact; it is poetry, but not imagination. Like the arch which grows stronger precisely by dint of the weight you place upon it, so the story of the Gospels bears, with reassuring strength, the devotion of the centuries to Jesus as the Christ. What is music, asked Walt Whitman, but what awakens within you when you listen to the instrument? And Jesus is the music of the reality of God, and faith is what awakens when we hearken.
It is also in this book in speaking of the wisdom of the past he states, " All the intelligent people were not born in the twentieth century."

More information about Bailey's life and work as well as details about funeral arrangements can be found on his website.

RIP. Well done, good and faithful servant.

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