Patterico's Pontifications

6/10/2018

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 76, Part 2

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 9:59 am

It is the third Sunday after Pentecost. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes” (The heavens are telling the glory of God). This half-hour cantata provided the music for last Sunday as well, with Part 1 heard last Sunday, and Part 2 heard today:

Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 3:20-35.

Jesus Accused by His Family and by Teachers of the Law

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”

So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

The text of today’s piece is available here.

Love, Christians, through your deeds!
Jesus died for his brothers,
and they die again for each other,
since He has bound them together.

Happy listening!

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

47 Responses to “Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 76, Part 2”

  1. What a coincidence. This waa exactly the subject of todays sermon but out of luke 11

    Narciso (d1f714)

  2. A difficult passage, but worth close attention.

    And it gave rise, albeit somewhat obliquely but with attribution, to Lincoln’s “House Divided” speech in the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates, whose them he frequently repeated.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  3. Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

    It has always struck me as odd that God’s mercy, often described as infinite, does, in fact, have a limit.

    Dave (445e97)

  4. It is not merely enough not to do evil. But one must do good so as to prevent the evil from returning.

    narciso (d1f714)

  5. I don’t know if this would qualify as blasphemy but it misleading:
    https://mobile.twitter.com/nytimesbooks/status/1005898678735982594

    narciso (d1f714)

  6. Dave (445e97) — 6/10/2018 @ 1:58 pm

    If you understand that the limit of God’s mercy is the limit of one’s own acceptance of God’s mercy, then it all becomes clear. Blasphemy of the Spirit is doubting God’s mercy. It is we who limit God’s mercy to us. He respects our choices – even if we outright reject His mercy.

    felipe (023cc9)

  7. Dave @3
    I think the “sin against the Holy Spirit” is usually interpreted as refusing God’s mercy: not so much God refusing to forgive the sinner and more the sinner refusing to be forgiven

    kishnevi (5b662e)

  8. Crosspost by felipe…and as usual better explained by him.

    kishnevi (5b662e)

  9. I think its more than that, it is denying gods presence in our life, if we continually refuse to acknowledge Him he will ultimately not acknowledge us.

    narciso (d1f714)

  10. Narciso@5
    Still it was the Church which invented the idea of crimethink (heresy) being an actual crime.

    kishnevi (5b662e)

  11. So what would you being thrown to the lion, which Notre dame professor Candida moss, denies btw

    narciso (d1f714)

  12. 11
    They were killed for the act of refusing to worship the idols or refusing to worship Ceasar.
    They weren’t killed for thinking the pagan gods were not real.
    Executing people for what they thought was a Christian innovation.

    kishnevi (4777d8)

  13. To profess christianity was heretical, it was denial of the enperors divinity.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  14. Yes but anyone who worshipped the statue was let go.
    You got killed for not worshipping the idol.
    You did not get killed just for saying Ceasar was not divine.
    The Donatist controversy started off as an argument on how to treat Christians who crumpled under pressure, worshipped an idol, and then wanted to be accepted back into the Church.

    kishnevi (4777d8)

  15. And when the man of 2 thessalonians comes and demands the same. What shall be said?

    Narciso (d1f714)

  16. Don’t ask me. We Jews have no concept that is equivalent to the Antichrist.

    kishnevi (4777d8)

  17. Don’t ask me. We Jews have no concept that is equivalent to the Antichrist.

    kishnevi (4777d8) — 6/10/2018 @ 7:11 pm

    Who is and who isn’t Christian is based strictly on belief. Perhaps this accounts for the difference.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  18. That seems an unusual reading of scripture, do they threw out Romans and other texts:
    https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/donatism

    narciso (d1f714)

  19. Narciso, sorry, I’m not familiar enough with Romans to know how it was relevant to Donatism.

    kishnevi (916796)

  20. It restates that we are runner, we don’t so what we need do, and vice Versa they put too high a standard.

    narciso (d1f714)

  21. Thanks.

    Totally offtopic, but I’m listening to some Beethoven now. And I will opine that while 5 and 9 get all the press, 4,7, and 8 are his best symphonies.

    kishnevi (916796)

  22. Yes. It diesnt have the pomp of some of the others.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  23. And let me recommend Askalon Arack.
    It’s made in Israel so if you buy it you have the extra merit of sticking it to the BDSers.
    But it’s good even if you don’t care about BDS.

    kishnevi (916796)

  24. Just throwing this out there, but our church is covering the Book of Exodus and today’s lesson was on Chapter 20, the Ten Commandments.

    Paul Montagu (c66aed)

  25. Yes there is ‘the finger of god’ moses manifestation of power. That humbled pharoah

    Narciso (d1f714)

  26. And the giving of the Decalogue occurred on Pentecost. Which is why the Apostles were praying on Pentecost, because its the Feast of Weeks.
    What most people don’t realize is that Sinai was merely one of a series of theophanies, the greatest of which was that of the Red Sea “when even a maidservant saw more than Ezekiel saw”.

    kishnevi (916796)

  27. And of course there are 603 other commandments that are equal to the Decalogue…

    kishnevi (916796)

  28. True but they are the essential and yet even 1100 years later. They could not kerp the law and found themselves under iccupation despite elijah and jeremiah..

    Narciso (d1f714)

  29. Thank you for sharing the beautiful music.

    color picker (aab1bc)

  30. “… whose themes he frequently repeated,” I meant to write in #2 above.

    FWIW I’ve heard from a Disciples of Christ pulpit essentially the same explanation of the “blasphemes against the Holy Spirit” line as kish & felipe sketched out above, and before reading their comments, in refreshing my recollection (for it is a distant one), I quickly came upon this commentary which seems consistent as well (NB: I know nothing of this website’s denomination or other particulars, and in no way vouch for its typicality)(italics & bold in original):

    He who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness: Many people wonder what the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is, and some wonder if they have committed this sin. The warning of Jesus makes us recognize the terrible danger of the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and our need to avoid this sin at all cost. At the same time, we guard our hearts against the unwarranted accusation of this sin.

    i. We understand what the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is by first understanding what the ministry of the Holy Spirit is all about. Regarding the ministry of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8), and that He will testify of Me (John 15:26).

    ii. Therefore, when we persistently reject the work the Holy Spirit wants to do in us and when we have a continued, settled rejection of what He wants to tell us about Jesus, then we blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

    iii. The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven – not because it is a sin “too big” for God to forgive, but because it is an attitude of heart that cares nothing for God’s forgiveness. It never has forgiveness because it never wants forgiveness God’s way.

    iv. “These words were never intended to torment anxious souls honestly desiring to know Christ, but they stand out as a blazing beacon warning of the danger of persisting in the rejection of the Spirit’s testimony of Christ, until the seared conscience no longer responds to the gospel message.” (Ironside)

    The entire chapter is dense, a great subject for close analysis — and thus easy to build a sermon upon for those so inclined.

    Mostly I know this verse from its “House Divided” reference in Lincoln’s speeches.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  31. So (I meant to finish): This post and its commenters have taught me something new, and prompted further independent research, the results of which I’ve spent time reflecting about. Thanks.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  32. I learned, too. Thank you, felipe, kishnevi and Beldar.

    DRJ (15874d)

  33. The entire chapter is dense

    Heh! I could tell from the excerpt. Although “more filler than a daytime soap” might be more accurate.

    and thus easy to build a sermon upon for those so inclined.

    That was my first thought, too. 😉 That it was a sermon for a pastor who simply needs to fill in those last fifteen minutes of the service. For parishioners who don’t mind if they haven’t understood a single thing they heard and, more likely, were tuning it out and wanting nothing more than for it to be over.

    nk (dbc370)

  34. But I do have a question for kishnevi. My daughter asked me what the Jewish concept of the Devil is (and I don’t even know the Christian one).

    nk (dbc370)

  35. Perhaps it is a translation issue, but the quoted passage:

    Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.

    seems to me to say clearly that, having committed the sin Jesus called blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, even one who later sincerely repents will never be forgiven. The very words explicitly emphasize that this is a unique exception.

    Dave (445e97)

  36. But I do have a question for kishnevi. My daughter asked me what the Jewish concept of the Devil is (and I don’t even know the Christian one).

    A Jewish friend once told me that in their faith, hell (and the devil) is synonymous with estrangement from God.

    Dave (445e97)

  37. It did lend itself to a sermon, but its really about unbelief and where it leads, they were accusing Jesus of being in league with Satan, is there anything so
    patently ridiculous.

    narciso (d1f714)

  38. Impossible summit looking rather possible.

    Oh well…at least the h8ers can dump on Trump by setting the bar for success at “East Germany wall going down” levels.

    That’s not how diplomacy and engagement works. But who cares. These people are about sound bites versus process. Most of them have never been deployed in WestPac. US centric talking heads.

    Anonymous (2cfb2a)

  39. We’re trying to stay on the theological, but even then with clear evidence of his power, they were denying it, because what it meant for them.

    narciso (d1f714)

  40. Yeah, Anonymous, lots of interesting events going on here at home, in Canada, and in Singapore. Yet, curiously there’re no current posts around which debate could center. Perhaps our host is under the weather.

    ropelight (2bf7f3)

  41. It is the nature of modern media and academia, to
    deny faith and its works, well a certain type anyways.

    narciso (d1f714)

  42. narciso, it’s only previously existing faiths the media and academia deny. Yet they flock to worship on bended knee to the false prophets of Collectivism, Climate Change, Globalism, Multiculturalism, and Transgenderism.

    ropelight (2bf7f3)

  43. nk asked about the Jewish concept of the Devil.
    It’s not simple because several different ideas coexist.

    There are evil spirits and demons, as individual entities.
    There is the kabbalistic concept of the klippoth and the “Other Side” opposed to holiness and goodness. But it actually has no independent existence.
    There is the Angel of Death or Satan, who tempts men and then “prosecutes them before the Heavenly Tribunal”
    There is the Evil Inclination which everyone has along with the Good Inclination. (Think of those cartoons with a little devil on one shoulder and a little angel on the other.)
    The latter two however operate as part of God’s plan–you can’t be rewarded for choosing good unless there was a real possibility of choosing evil. Satan is a servant of God just like all the other angels. (The idea of a rebel angel is paradoxical: angels have no will, they do God’s will because they can’t choose not to do it.)
    There is however no Lucifer presiding over Hell in a constant state of “war” with God

    kishnevi (85dd8d)

  44. really where does it say that, clearly he chose to do evil, and tempted man (and woman) to do likewise,

    narciso (d1f714)

  45. Thank you, kishnevi. I will show your comment to my daughter.

    Speaking for myself, I also have a problem with an Angel, however Fallen, having the free will to rebel and set himself as an adversary to God. Or an eternal anti-God, like the Zoroastrian formulation of Ahriman and Ormuz.

    On the other hand, evil non-human but sentient creatures who torment mankind, like the Muslim Iblis (Satan); or the Greek daemons and cacodaemons, which exists inside peoples’ minds as guides and instigators; are within my box.

    nk (dbc370)

  46. why is that, because God allows free will, and in that category, sin does fall, what is so crazy about that. that he gave us an out if we follow some simple rules, but we think ourselves beyond such primitive notions, and what world had resulted from such sentiments,

    narciso (d1f714)

  47. seems to me to say clearly that, having committed the sin Jesus called blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, even one who later sincerely repents will never be forgiven. The very words explicitly emphasize that this is a unique exception.
    Dave (445e97) — 6/11/2018 @ 6:13 am

    I can see that you are stuck on “…having committed the sin…” as being the necessary and sufficient condition. But you are wrong. It is the blasphemy – the obstinate, eternal, refusal of mercy – that is both necessary and sufficient. That is why they are eternally unforgiven, that is, “never forgiven,” because they obstinately refuse forgiveness.

    even one who later sincerely repents

    “…shall not be forgiven, even if he should sincerely repent unto the Lord…” 6:66 beelzabub

    Yeah, ’cause that ain’t in the Holy Scriptures.

    felipe (023cc9)


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