It is time to have ‘the talk,’  its been long overdue. We blame your father and his one-sided, paranoiac love of Apollo for putting it off for so long. But you are right, part of the responsibility of delaying this talk lies on our shoulders as well. Perhaps our inner Luther has kept us back? But before we get in a fight over the different names of the father, or who’s was the strongest, let us articulate the question that has been bothering you for some time now.

Where did the Bible-texts come from?

Well, you see, texts are questions and responses to problems, rhizomatic problems. Texts are never answers. We don’t believe in answers. The great Nietzsche sort of killed those, once and for all. Bergson then elaborated on this by telling us that not only answers can be true or false, questions must by put to the test too. Yes, you must stand up to your teachers or they will keep you in slavery. True freedom is not to answer correctly, it is the power to constitute problems themselves since when a speculative problem is properly stated, the solution already exists. What remains is to uncover it.

Nothing is more meaningful than to have a true problem, to live in the problematic. To affirm the problematic is to live a meaningful life in which thought is allowed to have precision. Hence we place ourselves on the edge of chaos in order to confront our innate tehomophopbia.

Sorry, we are preaching.

Let us talk about the history of the New Testament text. When the living tradition of the Jesus movement was ready, it reproduced and begot a lot of different offsprings. It unfolded in a multiplicity of ways. Actually, from the manuscripts (MSS) that have been preserved (a lot of them were destroyed or lost) we can see that the Jesus movement tried to conserve the tradition, but that also inscribed its interpretations and desires, in the MSS. The copyists did a great job of transmitting the tradition, according to textual critics. However, the common view of an original Edenic manuscripts, untouched by difference in the form of the fall of copying, is harmful to the tradition and the MSS.

The experience of transmitting the Jesus tradition is preserved in the multiple MSS, seen in their difference. To posit a pure source, directly from the mouth of Jesus (as if storks delivered babies) is very degrading to the human and to the incarnation, in extension. As Deleuze and Guattari puts it, to attribute a book to a subject is like positing a beneficent God to explain geological movements, and as previously noted, that God is now decomposing.

So, yes. Texts are like sex. There are no storks. Amen.

  • Andrès

    Interesting article that I easily can relate to and sympathise with. Left me with some questions…

    How do You guys view the traditional post reformatic (Luther, Calvin and Zwingli) view on reading and understanding The Holy Scripture? Did later ramifications violate the teaching on “Sola scriptura”?

    Do you see a risk with having a sacred scripture and no final authority to interpret tricky and vague passages? Or is it an asset to have the freedom to read it and interpret it as You “feel” that the text “speaks” to You in Your own chamber? Pax!!

  • Joel Kuhlin

    Thank you for your comment Andrès. We are not trying to do away with truth or the necessity of interpretation (hermeneutics). To answer the last questions then; yes there is a risk, but the risk we see is not of a reading outside of “truth”, but rather reading as an instrument of oppression.

    The first question is one I do not have an answer to at the moment, since I (Joel) mostly think about 1st Century CE. Josef have written a bit about the reformation, so please search for the reformation above and a couple of texts will appear.

    All the best//