Monday, June 8, 2009

Bailey's Prayer

Part 3- The Lord's Prayer

Some issues with this part as well.

First off, Bailey seems much too casual about Hell- when he refers (93) to airport noise as being the "first circle of hell". Sounds like a rock star whining about life 'on the road'.
Does he "examine each word with the care it deserves", as he exhorts us in the following paragraph? At least grant this place a capital for Hades sake.

And what's with Bailey obsession with rocks anyways. Seems he thought Mary shoulda got rocked in Part 1. Now he thinks Gomer shoulda got rocked in this part (111). Am I wrong in thinking that they stopped throwing legal rock parties when the priestly theocracy was held in contempt by Israel (1 Samuel 8)? When the Lord conceded to allow Israel a monarchy to DJ their parties? Were they not then in subjection to this new authority (Romans 13) as we are today?

Bailey does some good textual criticism on the reason for Jesus using the plural Our Father. He might have added that it was grammatically correct since he was addressing a multitude of disciples. He might have added that we are in fact addressing and invoking a plurality. That the Spirit intercedes for us in our prayers as well as the mediator who grants us a hearing. What a marvelous plurality!

Bailey does some good textual criticism regarding the fourth prayer request of the Lord's Prayer. Resolves his "dilemna" by appealing to a "second century Syriac text". Oddly enough, we have no Syriac texts till at least the fourth century. He would have done better to appeal to the clear to resolve the obscure. Plenty of clear passages to appeal to (Exodus 16:21, Proverbs 30:9).

I have a problem with his summary as well when he says that, "The central goal of the Christian faith is not preparing people for heaven when they die... (123). Seems to me he is denying his Presbyterian heritage which says, "Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever".

I have a much greater problem with Bailey's concept of forgiveness. Seems he thinks we ought to forgive "even when there is no confession of guilt [italics in original]".
I don't think that is the model that Jesus subscribed to.
I don't think that is the model that Jesus prescribed to us.
I don't think that is the model that Jesus pleaded to His Father.

Jesus subscribed to the model presented in Leviticus. Forgiveness was based on repentance/sacrifice.
The model Jesus prescribed in Bailey's prooftext (Matthew 18) refers to brothers in the faith. Why would Bailey ignore this detail?
The model that Jesus pleaded from the cross (Luke 23)- probably wasn't pleaded at all. All bibles with footnotes note that this pleading is not in the earliest and best manuscripts. Why would a scholar like Bailey ignore this footnote in his prooftexting?
For that matter, why should anyone subscribe to Bailey's model if repentance is unnecessary for forgiveness?
Why bother? Why bother being a brother? Why even bother with a heavenly Father?

This whole Bailey model renders the first word of the Gospel as foolishness.
Anyone here know the first word of the true Gospel model?

What were the first words of John the Baptist, Jesus and the disciples?
Read Matthew 3:2, 4:17 and Mark 6:1.

Or ignore these at your peril!


  1. Way to go Andrew!
    You win the prize.
    The pearl of great prize :)

    A typo on the Mark reference- should be Mark 6:12.

    Can you include another Andrew?

  2. Isn't repentance (unto forgiveness by God, thereby finding salvation) different than OUR forgiveness of others here, in our community-- whether brother in Christ and Faith, or not? methinks this is quite a different kettle of fish.