Thoughts on Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.1I2

[The Jews always knew they had a destiny.  Otherwise, the imperial Persian would not have miraculously allowed them to return to establish the second temple. Otherwise, Abram would not have received that crazy message: I will make of you a great nation.  A universal has always hidden beneath the robes of Jewish particularism.  For centuries, the question was: If it came out, what would it look like?

To the dismay and joy of many, it looked like a carpenter from Nazareth, pointing out something that no one had ever thought, revealing the pinnacle of what anyone had thought before.

What did the carpenter say?

Everything you know is thinkgroup3.  And look, your thinkgroup does not live up to the expectations expressed in your own Scriptures.   You miss the mark, even though, from your own perspective, your aim true.]


Thoughts on Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.1I1

I comment on the text.  Pages 2-6. Comments on the text will appear in square brackets.

[How would “sin” as “opposed to God’s will” fit into the intersecting nested forms?

The New Testament delineates more explicitly than the Old Testament, the normal context of thinkgroup3 and the potential of consciencelacking1.

As seen in blog 1.1D, the Old Testament Hebrew words for “sin” captured the dynamic of one category emerging from the next lower category, along both the natural philosophic and the moral religious axes.

The parallel nested forms of the vertical axis, were not so apparent, even though the first commandment warned against other religions.  The OT revealed the “sins” of kings and subjects, kingdoms and peoples, not a “sin” that is the principle of it all.

I suppose that Jews began to recognize the Christ when Jesus pointed to “sin” as a principle – or relation – between thinkgroup3 and thinkdivine1.]


Thoughts on Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.1H

I comment on the text.  Pages 2-6. Comments on the text will appear in square brackets.

[“Sin”, transliterated from the Greek as “anomia” or “a – nomos”, “without law”, emptied of the reference to “law” through the many, many configurations that “sin” can take, becomes “without —-“.

At first, I said that “—“ was “order”, but now I think that “—“ points to the buttonhole that sets the mark; the buttonhole that our self-aggrandizing buttons cannot secure.]


Thoughts on Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.1G2

[Someone may fashion a button that fits into a buttonhole through deception.  A thinkgroup3 is born.  The symbolic order of that thinkgroup expands, so that the reality outside its symbolic order seems to shrink out of view.  The thinkgroup boldly proclaims that it holds the “truth” at the moment when the button begins to slip the buttonhole.  Thinkgroup, “deception that is truth itself”, is, from the perspective of thinkdivine3, false.

It is easy to imagine that is how we learn what thinkdivine is.]


Thoughts on Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.1G1

I comment on the text.  Pages 2-6. Comments on the text will appear in square brackets.

[The New Testament shifts perspective on the Old.  The OT Hebrew words for “sin” applied to individual kings and subjects, kingdoms and peoples.  The NT singular dissolved the focus, looking short-range and long-range.  The singular “sin” “misses the mark” by removing “—” from “whatever is before you”.

Imagine entering an empty town, abandoned in a hurry, where did everyone go?  You walk into a house that was once a home.  The door is open.  The television is on with the 6 o’clock news hour.  Nobody is there, but the broadcast continues, as if it had been recorded days, months, years, decades, centuries, millennia before.

When “anomia” lost the core association to the word “nomos”, it went from “without law” to “without —“.  The word “order” is close but does not suffice for “—“.

You realize that the news report tells of a crisis being resolved by the anointed leaders.  Stay calm.  There is nothing to worry about.  You are not responsible for whatever happens.  Everything is in control.

Such is the “sin of the world”: a hollow broadcast that absolves you of responsibility even as it falters and triggers the sudden demise of “everything you have, imagine you have, or pretend to have”.

As noted in An Archaeology of the Fall, the “truth” is the opposite “deception” and the “truth” is the opposite of “false”.]


Thoughts on Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.1F

This Greek work for singular “sin” in John’s gospel, which I transliterate as “anomia”, contains the root word “nomos”, standing for “law”.

The word could be translated as “lawless”, “denying the law”, or “violating the law”, except for the historical twist: The connection to “law” faded over time.  I depict this fading by the empty slot “—“.  Anomia became “—less”, “denying the —“, and “violating the —“, where “—“ concerned “order itself”.

A related word, with slightly different spelling, took on an eschatological (end times) character.  This word labeled the “iniquity” and “wickedness” of those who went against God’s will, that is, the “truth”.


Thoughts on Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.1E

I summarize the text (pages 2-6).

For the New Testament vocabulary on “sin”, consider the Lord’s Prayer: Forgive us our … sins, debts, transgressions.

These plurals differ from the singular “sin” that is eternal, important, and translated using a particular Greek word, transliterated anomia.

Schoonenberg explored this singular “sin” that comes to the fore in the New Testament.  Christ saves us from “sin”.  This “sin” points to Ecclesiastes (27:10) where “sin” is personified as “someone lying in wait, ready to ambush”.  The same goes for what God said to Cain in Genesis.

Paul wrote that we are “sold into sin” and “slaves of sin”.  Also, “sin dwells in the flesh”.  “Sin” entered the world with Adam, at the beginning.

The Gospel of John describes the singular “sin” in the same fashion: The Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world.

This singular “sin” is both in us and bigger than us.


Thoughts on Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.1C

Comments on text are in square brackets.

[How would these words fit into the intersecting nested forms that were developed while reviewing Menninger’s book?

I have started using subscripts to denote thirdness, secondness and firstness.  This should help clarify

The Hebrew word “anon” (twisted situation, something amiss, a burden that should be taken away) sounds, to me, like “lawessential3(missing the mark2(_1))”.  That is, “twistedness” contextualizing “missing the mark”.

The Hebrew word “pesa” (hostility, rebelliousness, resistance, among men and with God, rebellion and offense against God) seems, to me, like “(missing the mark2(disposition1))”.  That is, “sin” situating a “disposition”.

Thus, “anon3(2())” and “pesa2(1)” capture the transition from one category to another on the natural philosophical axis.

The Hebrew word “ka’as” (challenging, provoking, embittering, hurting the feelings of Yahweh) call to mind, to me, “thinkdivine3(missing the mark2(_1))”.

The Hebrew word “na’as” (scorn, revile, disdain, spurn, revile) sounds, to me, like “missing the mark2(consciencelacking1)”.

Thus, “ka’as3(2())” and “na’as2(1)” capture the transition from one category to another on the moral religious axis.]


Thoughts on Man and Sin by Piet Schoonenberg (1964) 1.1B

Chapter 1 is titled “The Essence of Sin”.  This chapter is divided into seven sections.  The first section is “The Vocabulary of Scripture”.

I summarize the text (pages 1-3).

The Hebrew word for “sinning” literally means “to miss” as in “to miss the mark”.  Who sets the mark?  Answer:  Not you, nor your friends, family, tribe, nation … only God does.

“Missing the mark” implies rebellion or offense against Yahweh (on the outside) and inner injustice or guilt (on the inside).

The words, “anon” and “pesa”, flesh out these implications.  “Anon” points to “something amiss or twisted”, like guilt or iniquity, that ought to be carried away and expiated.  “Pesa” indicates an attitude of rebellion against God.

These words were used in Exodus to describe the obstinacy, infidelity, and apostasy of the tribes of Israel.  The prophets also used the word “pesa” to describe unfaithfulness and rebellion.

Later writers mixed in the Hebrew words “ka’as” and “na’as”. “Ka’as” describes Yahweh’s jealous and provoked wrath.  “Na’as” is translated as “scorn”, “revile”, “disdain”, “spurn” and “embitter”.  “Na’as” was translated into Latin as “offendere”.