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Ray’s Views Online

Voices in the Wilderness of Time and Space?

“Welcome to planet Earth – a place of blue nitrogen skies, oceans of liquid water, cool forests and soft meadows, a world positively rippling with life. In the cosmic perspective it is poignantly beautiful and rare; but it is also, for the moment, unique. In all our journeying through space and time, it is, so…

The Exodus times Three

In its final form, Exodus, like the Bible’s other opening books, was a well-crafted compilation using a variety of oral and written source materials. These had originated, and then been expanded upon, for at least five centuries, in different locations, at diverse times, by numberless story tellers and writers. The final editors had exemplary respect…

A ‘Renegade’ Bishop and God

The recently deceased Bishop John Shelby Spong stayed in the Episcopal Church, though no longer able to accept many traditional teachings at face value. To be true to themselves, people must either leave, or seek change from within. Choosing pursuit of change, Bishop Spong wrote the book “Unbelievable” in which, like the reformer Martin Luther,…

The Enigmatic Moses

Was there a Moses? The most likely answer is, yes ! All the Hebrew Bible sources, from the earliest onwards, while often reflecting different perspectives, are in agreement here. Since there are details in their contributions which are rather ‘awkward’, this makes it unlikely that Moses was ‘custom built’ by the writers/editors, and more likely…

Exodus – the Burning Bush

In these Exodus blogs, I’m exploring some of the ways in which the writers/editors crafted their work. In my view, they were writing neither straightforward history, nor fiction, but what might be called ‘religious literature’, which they shaped into an inspiring eye, ear and imagination catching, ‘national epic’. I think of it as being mythicised…

“The Great Mystery”

“The Great Mystery” rightly says the also great physicist and thinker, Albert Einstein. But there are still too many people who imagine they alone know everything about it. That’s a hubristic folly, that can sometimes discount and even menace the rest of us. A lot more humility, width of receptiveness, and open-mindedness would better serve…

Was Moses an Egyptian?

We noted, last time, that Moses enjoys an ‘exceptional’ birth story. His parents are humble but Moses, escaping death, becomes a grandson of the Egyptian Pharaoh once adopted by his daughter. It’s an incredible tale, and a famous Jew, Sigmund Freud, had things to say about it ….. He observed that in this story’s most…

Moses and the Exodus

The Book of Exodus mentions a Pharaoh who appointed Joseph to high office; a later Pharaoh who “did not know” him; a Pharaoh who ordered the death of all male Hebrew babies; a Pharaoh who tried to kill Moses, and the Pharaoh of the Exodus itself. There are thus possibly five Pharaohs who aren’t named,…

Elgar the Enigma

This is an invitation to revisit two sublimely beautiful and meaningful pieces of Elgar’s music. One is mostly misunderstood, while the other is uniquely revelatory.  First is “Nimrod” from his ‘Enigma Variations’. Let’s un-attach it, briefly, from the November Cenotaph observance, where It seems ‘custom-built’ to fit the remembrance of Great Britain’s part in two…

A Still Not Answered Question

After the Nativity stories, a bit of philosophy for a change. Socrates was loved by those who enjoyed seeing know-alls, in public, tied in infuriating knots by his probing questions. He wasn’t loved by those on the receiving end. One day, he met a young man, called Euthyphro, on his way to court to accuse…

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