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Sunday, June 08, 2014


- Hanging Gardens of Babylon with the Tower of Babel in the background

I like John's version of the Pentecost better than the Acts version, which seems constructed as a "save" for the Tower of Babel story. James Alison writes in Knowing Jesus ...

At the beginning of Acts, Luke tells the story of Pentecost. The story of the tongues of fire which came down and permitted the apostles to preach in all languages is not simply a description of what happened, it is at the same time the un-telling of another story, the story of Babel. That story, which occurs in Genesis 11, is about the human attempt to construct unity, and about how it led to chaos, separation, and breakdown of communication ...... The arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was the arrival of the crucified and risen Lord and the undoing of Babel .....

You can watch the Johannine version in this clip from the film, The Gospel of John (start watching at about 3:32 minutes in) ...


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