Saturday, October 29, 2005

Robert Jenson on Song of Songs 6:10

Jens is at it again, this time with a great commentary on the Song of Songs, the Songliest of Songs. In a comment on the poem fragment chapter 6 verse 10, he writes:

"God's bride [Israel] is terrible, a heavenly host and ranked army. And since her suitor is God, it must be first of all he to whom she is terrible, whom she appalls and with whom she must be reconciled. An entire theology of atonement, of the mean of the crucifixion and resurrection, could be built around the terror that God's people poses for her Bridegroom: "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me!""

mysterium fascinosum et tremendum indeed!

On a side note, we're exploring new ways to organize Lutheran churches in our synod, not as area ministries but as clusters. The current proposal is to cluster based on shared interests. I'm encouraging the idea that whatever we do it needs to re-emphasize our sacramental life together as a church of churches. How do y'all do this in your various synods and denoms?


  1. I have to admit that I chuckled, but was not entirely surprised, that Jens wrote the Songs commentary. Two reasons: First, Jenson gave the "no adultery" lecture at the CCET conference on the Ten Commandments, and it was most certainly inspired by the work he had been doing on Songs. Second, he strongly supports a kind of "theological exegesis" that places the Bible soundly within the Church -- and no where else -- for its reading. As such, he promotes theologians' involvement with exegesis. (Incidentally, the CCET conference this spring -- at Duke, I'm sorry to say because of the distance from us here in the Midwest -- will be on theological exegesis in prepration for proclaiming the Gospel. It should be really good.)

    I am surprised, however, that a major house would choose a theologican with virtually no reputation in scholarly exegesis to write a commentary in its series of commentaries which features, for the rest of the books, Bible people.

    Do you have any insider knowledge?


  2. My insider knowledge on this comes from reading Jens himself. He is an exquisite student of the Bible, and has written a lot on Scripture and hermeneutics, and so writes very well about the Song.