Quote of the Day: The Faith of Jesus

 

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/0d/Po...And Jesus please tell me if you can recall
Just where you were when this sparrow did fall.

I doubt whether more than one or two (if that) members of Savatage/Trans-Siberian Orchestra are orthodox Christians.  Still, I think “The Rumor” by Savatage is a better Christian song than some worship songs.

Savatage is the more heavily metal precursor to Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  TSO is the reason we used to hear that lovely “Carol of the Bells” on electric guitar at Christmastime, although the same song started off on a Savatage album.

The music of Savatage and TSO normally deals with questions about G-d and the meaning of life.  The question above uses the sparrow as a metaphor, drawn from the Gospel of Matthew, for every instance of seemingly pointless suffering.  Right before asking that, the singer asks Jesus why some particular very sad things are still happening.

And yet even though the singer wonders “Could you have died in vain?,” he has heard the rumor that “Your hands they still bleed.”  And at the end of the song, the singer observes that Jesus has more faith than we do, and he reflects that maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

That last bit is weird. Jesus has faith . . . in what? In himself? In God the Father? In us?

I think the song leaves us with that question, not the answer.  I could suggest a safe answer: Despite all the suffering, Jesus still trusts in God the Father and in the Scriptures that prophesy his death AND his resurrection.  Or we could go with the parallel sense of the New Testament word PISTIS/FAITH–Jesus has faithFULNESS, no matter the suffering. And of course, he has more of that than we do!

I think I’ve started reading Savatage the way Augustine reads the Psalms.  (I suppose there are weirder and worse things that can happen to a person.)

Anyway, here are the lyrics to “The Rumor” by Savatage.  Here’s a URL to a YouTube version of the song, and here’s another in case one of the links doesn’t work.

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  1. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Saint Augustine:

    Jesus has faith . . . in what? In himself? In God the Father? In us?

    I think the song leaves us with that question, not the answer.  I could suggest a safe answer: Despite all the suffering, Jesus still trusts in God the Father and in the Scriptures that prophesy his death AND his resurrection.  Or we could go with the parallel sense of the New Testament word PISTIS/FAITH–Jesus has faithFULNESS, no matter the suffering. And OF COURSE he has more of that than we do!

    Turns out this question is a big topic in New Testament studies.

    In Galatians 2:16 Paul talks about the faith “of Christ Jesus.”  What’s up with that?  Well, one old, simple, safe answer is that it’s an objective genitive, which is basically NT Greek talk for “It means faith that takes Jesus as its object, faith aimed at Jesus.”  You can see here how that interpretation is worked into a lot of the English translations.

    Another interpretation is that this is a subjective genitive, which is NT Greek talk for “Yeah, this means it’s actually Jesus doing the faith here!”  That doesn’t have to seem weird if we remember that faith/pistis means trust and faithfulness, and that Jesus is portrayed in the NT as the most faithful human ever.

    Here’s the Greek if anyone cares.   They key phrase is “διὰ πίστεως Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ,” “dia pistehos Christou Iehsou” “through the faith/faithfulness of Christ Jesus.”  (“Through” is the preposition dia, but “of” is contained in the grammatical form of Christou Iehsou.)

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Saint Augustine:

    Anyway, here are the lyrics to “The Rumor” by Savatage.  Here’s a URL to a YouTube version of the son, and here’s another in case one of the links doesn’t work.

    Better than most of the genre.

    EDIT: The second link is the one that works here.

    Could He have died in vain? That is up to each one of us.

    • #2
  3. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    Well, Jesus is God as well as having been human, so I think he might have a bit of an edge when it comes to faith.

    • #3
  4. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I’m not sure it is relevant to the quoted passages, but I’ve often thought that Jesus, and/or therefore God, was trying to say, just by his being here, that he had faith in us. 

    • #4
  5. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine:

    Jesus has faith . . . in what? In himself? In God the Father? In us?

    I think the song leaves us with that question, not the answer. I could suggest a safe answer: Despite all the suffering, Jesus still trusts in God the Father and in the Scriptures that prophesy his death AND his resurrection. Or we could go with the parallel sense of the New Testament word PISTIS/FAITH–Jesus has faithFULNESS, no matter the suffering. And OF COURSE he has more of that than we do!

    Turns out this question is a big topic in New Testament studies.

    In Galatians 2:16 Paul talks about the faith “of Christ Jesus.” What’s up with that? Well, one old, simple, safe answer is that it’s an objective genitive, which is basically NT Greek talk for “It means faith that takes Jesus as its object, faith aimed at Jesus.” You can see here how that interpretation is worked into a lot of the English translations.

    Another interpretation is that this is a subjective genitive, which is NT Greek talk for “Yeah, this means it’s actually Jesus doing the faith here!” That doesn’t have to seem weird if we remember that faith/pistis means trust and faithfulness, and that Jesus is portrayed in the NT as the most faithful human ever.

    Here’s the Greek if anyone cares. They key phrase is “διὰ πίστεως Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ,” “dia pistehos Christou Iehsou” “through the faith/faithfulness of Christ Jesus.” (“Through” is the preposition dia, but “of” is contained in the grammatical form of Christou Iehsou.)

    I am pleased to report that my years-ago engagement with Machen’s Grammar of NT Greek and my more recent engagement with Ross’s textbook on that same subject seems to have stuck in that I could identify the genitive on sight. 

    • #5
  6. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    But as for the text, I have long noted that he does not say that no sparrow will ever fall. Only that the Lord knows and …good grief just as I wrote that sentence a singer at IHOPKC said “his eye is on the sparrow”. Not kidding at all. 

    • #6
  7. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):
    But as for the text, I have long noted that he does not say that no sparrow will ever fall.

    And “In this world you will have troubles.”

    • #7
  8. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I’m not sure it is relevant to the quoted passages, but I’ve often thought that Jesus, and/or therefore God, was trying to say, just by his being here, that he had faith in us. 

    Well, there is the end of John 2, which seems to weigh against that. (A version of the Greek verb that accompanies pistis/faith/faithfulness is used there.)

    But something like that, phrased very carefully and orthodoxly–yes.  (Titus 2 might be a good place to start; he is quite confident that some number of faithful humans will result from his work.)

    • #8
  9. kylez Member
    kylez
    @kylez

    I did not know that, but I recently heard some of Savatage’s first album and learned about the TSO thing. This is from watching videos with author Martin Popoff and Pete Pardo on Youtube. 

    • #9
  10. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    kylez (View Comment):
    I did not know that, but I recently heard some of Savatage’s first album and learned about the TSO thing.

    I like Edge of Thorns. (Is that the first one, or just an old one?)

    I’ve probably missed out on a lot of Savatage, actually.  But I’ve listened to some serious Edge of ThornsStreets, Dead Winter Dead, and Wake of Magellan in my time.

    • #10
  11. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    But as for the text, I have long noted that he does not say that no sparrow will ever fall. Only that the Lord knows and …good grief just as I wrote that sentence a singer at IHOPKC said “his eye is on the sparrow”. Not kidding at all.

    Completely off the subject, but my daughter’s sixth-grade school chorus sang the hymn about the sparrow. My daughter played the flute solo. It was just beautiful. The kids in the auditorium were blown away by it. I was sitting with her class. Her teacher, Mr. Norton, had a tear running down his cheek, and the other kids said, “Way to go, Kate,” when it was over.

    I went to get her, and I said, “That was amazing, honey. You were a brilliant sparrow.” 

    “I was the sparrow?” 

    She didn’t know. 

    Somehow through all of those little squiggly notes on the paper, the composer had communicated with the flutist a full range of emotion. And I knew then she was truly a gifted flutist. I think we all did. She played through college but gave it up her junior year and joined the chorus because the orchestra conductor was driving her nuts (musicians are very opinionated people!), although these days she does play from time to time for her violinist son. :-)  I think if I had been a stronger parent, she would have been Galway’s successor. 

    But that moment in that auditorium is the most vivid memory I have from a lifetime of experiences. 

    • #11
  12. kylez Member
    kylez
    @kylez

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    kylez (View Comment):
    I did not know that, but I recently heard some of Savatage’s first album and learned about the TSO thing.

    I like Edge of Thorns. (Is that the first one, or just an old one?)

    I’ve probably missed out on a lot of Savatage, actually. But I’ve listened to some serious Edge of Thorns, Streets, Dead Winter Dead, and Wake of Magellan in my time.

    Sirens.

    • #12
  13. davenr321 Coolidge
    davenr321
    @davenr321

    True Metal.

    hall of the mountain king I like.

    • #13
  14. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Haven’t heard Sirens at all I think. I did buy “Prelude to Madness” from Hall of the Mountain King. Terrific song indeed.

    • #14
  15. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Saint Augustine:

    I think the song leaves us with that question, not the answer.  I could suggest a safe answer: Despite all the suffering, Jesus still trusts in God the Father and in the Scriptures that prophesy his death AND his resurrection.  Or we could go with the parallel sense of the New Testament word PISTIS/FAITH–Jesus has faithFULNESS, no matter the suffering. And of course, he has more of that than we do!

    I think I’ve started reading Savatage the way Augustine reads the Psalms.  (I suppose there are weirder and worse things that can happen to a person.)

    Specifically, in suggesting one or two safe (i.e., orthodox Christian) answers, I’m being a bit Augustiney with Savatage.

    Now if I were really going all Augustine on Savatage, I think I’d have to say something like “This is Jesus speaking for the Church, with whom he is united as Head is to Body, making one Person out of the two, who speak in one voice.  And the Church, learning from Christ how to trust G-d, trusts G-d absolutely, which is what Jesus expresses here.”

    • #15
  16. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator
    • #16