This week in Walsh and Keesmaat’s study of Colossians, called Colossians Remixed, they once again move into the territory of targumizing — or updating — Colossians 2:8–3:4, but this time they discuss first the “hermeneutical method” and view of “biblical authority” at work when they make such a move.
How to do this?
First, W-K update Tom Wright’s well-known 5-Act play to have a 6-Act Play on the stage of history.
2. Crime: Gen 3
3. Story of Israel
4. Story of Jesus
5. Story of Church, with Act 5, part 1 (Pentecost/early Church) and part 2 (ever since then)
“Our task is to keep the drama alive and move it toward Act VI” (134). Our task is to finish Act 5, part 2. Our task is more than just quoting the earlier script; we are to continue it. We need an imaginative improvisation. We are free for historical innovation.
Second, we do this by double immersion — knowing biblical world and knowing our world — and dynamic analogy — finding analogies to the biblical world and our world. These are dynamic equivalents; they are not final; they are not certain. They are discernments.
Here is Colossians 2:8-9:
TNIV: Col. 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Col. 2:9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness.
W-K Targum: Make sure that no one takes your imaginations captive through a vacuous vision of life rooted in an oppressive regime of truth that parades itself as something other than a mere human tradition, as if it somehow had privileged access to final and universal truth about the world apart from Christ. You see, in Christ there is a radical presence of Deity, fully instantiated and situated in the particularities of history. And you have come to partake in that presence; that fullness is yours in Christ, who is the very source of every rule and authority that purports to have sovereignty over your lives.
TNIV: 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your sinful nature was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
W-K Targum: In him you find your legitimacy, your entrance into the covenantal community, because in relation to him your real problem-a deeply rooted sinfulness manifest in violence and self~protective exclusion-is addressed and healed. The symbol of legitimacy is not the size of your stock portfolio or the number of hits your website gets daily, but that ancient rite of baptism in which you die with Christ to all these pretentious symbols of self-aggrandizement and are raised with him through a trusting and believing faith in the power of God, who raised Jesus from the dead.