There is nothing like a cup of Turkish Coffee. That’s not an opinion. It’s an observation of fact. The local Starbucks does not serve Turkish Coffee.

That’s why I never buy Starbucks for Fr. Paul before his lectures. Why would I? Why would anyone who cares about anything important, meaning Scripture, do something so foolish? I am pretty sure there is a “Stars and Bucks” somewhere in the Middle East (and like any industrious knock-off, I bet they serve Turkish Coffee), but not the local Starbucks. 

This week, Fr. Paul even mentions the importance of his Turkish Coffee in the morning (with lots of water) before tackling the authorship of the Hebrew and Septuagint texts. 

Of course, his view goes against scholarly consensus. 

He also discusses his novel stance on the Book of Sirach, which goes against scholarly consensus.  

And his view on the choice of Greek over Latin, which goes against scholarly consensus.
And the importance of the Latin Vulgate, which goes against Orthodox consensus, which is not scholarly. 

And the function of grammatical gender, which goes against, well, everybody but especially theologians. 

Why, my daughter asked me, is the Bible so negative? 

The Bible is humorous, I answered. The Bible is ruthless, even cruel. But negative?  

I, myself, am a man of optimism. 

The many puny human gods, I explained, are like tiny cancerous tumors. 

The Bible, on the other hand, is hopeful, like a doctor who prescribes chemotherapy to a person covered with many tumors. 

When these puny, toxic little gods are attacked, ridiculed, dismantled, and poisoned by the text of the Bible, the pain is unbearable—but the doctor goes to work against the cancer anyway because he has hope—hope against all hope when there is clearly no hope—that the treatment will bring hope.

I call that insane optimism like a Gazan who just lost everything but somehow finds the strength to lift his hands in prayer—like the Olive Tree—which gives thanks only to God. 

You do not need a Seminary degree to unpack that puzzle. 

(Episode 319)
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