Jesus Creed

Colossians 3:5-8 (see below) partakes in the discourse of violence according to Walsh and Keesmaat in their Colossians Remixed.Today we look at this passage.\
Col 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Col 3:6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. Col 3:7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. Col 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
Economic brutality leads to sexual brutality and that leads to image-denying brutality.
Is the language of 3:5 “bourgeois passivity and middle-class politeness”? No, they say.
This is the discourse of violence against humans and against selves. And they contend that the violent language of 3:8 simply passions and coarse language and unacceptable dispositions.
W-K do something here that surprised me; they see this language as critique of the empire’s use of violence against humans and they find an analogy in the advertising culture that seeks domination in our world through its rhetoric. They see this as violent language. Violent language is sanitizing the language of a culture of death. They find critique here of the predatory nature of an economy without checks.
From this we need to secede.
I think 3:9 cuts against the grain of this interpretation of violent language; there I see Paul condemning language one Christian with another.

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus