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10:30 a.m. - April 06, 2007
Bible Bracketology - The Finals
Itís time! Itís time! Time to finish off the Sweet 16 and the finals ofÖ

THE BIBLE BRACKETOLOGY

SWEET 16:

Genesis vs. Exodus - The first book of the Bible may have some cache because of itís place in the Holy Book, however, itís part allegory, part myth, and part history. Characters jump in and out all the time, and thereís no way someone could live to be 969 years old. 969 months, maybe. Exodus is a fairly simple, straightforward story that shows the power of God to the extreme. Plus, it has plagues, and you canít beat a bunch of frogs hoppiní around Egypt, can you? Exodus moves on with surprising ease.

Deuteronomy vs. Ezekiel - This one went into overtime. Should the book of dense, though well written prophecy move forward, or should the last book from the Torah? Decisions, decisions. Thereís a lot of good stuff in Deuteronomy, but some of the laws are dense and hard to slog through, not that Ezekiel isnít either. But I have to give it to the book that inspired a Journey song. The wheel in the sky for Ezekiel keeps on turning.

Daniel vs. Isaiah - Quality over quantity? Daniel is one of the best written books of the Bible, but Isaiah has both heft AND quality writing. Both have fantastic visions and prophecies, but the sheer bulk of Isaiah wears down Daniel in the end. Isaiah to the Elite Eight.

Psalms vs. Job - This isnít much of a contest. When you are singing, you want a songbook. When you are reading, you want a story. This is about the Bible as literature (for the most part). Job coasts to the next round.

Matthew vs. Mark - Both books are worthy Synoptic Gospels but Liz says that the Sermon On The Mount trumps almost everything in the Bible, and I have to agree with her, like normal. Matthew moves forward in a close battle.

Luke vs. John - Another all-Gospel battle, Luke is Synoptic, and affirms the historical works and deeds of Jesus. Even though John has some passages that may be construed as very hostile to Jews (well, considering the time and who wrote it, thatís totally understandable) but most of John concentrates on Jesusí mission to redeem us and I think that trumps the Synoptics. Iím giving this one toJohn.

Revelation vs. Peter - The upstart Peter meets his match in this contest. Revelation (thanks to my buddy Shawn for pointing out my error) has so much imagery that you could sit and discuss it for days and weeks at a time. Plus, there was a film (The Rapture) that starred Mimi Rogers based on it. Mimi Rogers, people. Revelation goes onward and upward.

Philippians vs. Romans - Another easy contest. Throughout history, many have considered Romans one of the finest works in the New Testament, and in fact, in all of Christian (and other) literature. And who am I to argue with that at this time. Romans steams forward with great vigor.


THE ELITE EIGHT

Exodus vs. Ezekiel - History or allegory? Well, the history also has plagues, burning bushes, a golden calf, and a body of water swallowing a whole army. Plus, Bob Marley titled a song and an album after it as well. Movement of Jah People! Exodus punches its ticket to the final four.

Isaiah vs. Job - This is definitely a heavyweight battle. You have diving prophecy versus one of the hallmark works of ancient Jewish literature. I know Isaiah was pretty well dead on for what he said, but at times his book takes some labor to get through, whilst Job is a breezy, yet insightful, read even in the King James version (which I read). Put on a sackcloth Isaiah, Job is the winner here.

Matthew vs. John - This comes down to what kind of Gospel you prefer. Matthew has parables and teachings and miracles, but to me John more defines the essence of Christ as the son of God and that we can all have life in His name. I donít mean to be preachy, but the message in John resonates more clearly than the other Gospels, and in this contest, that matters. John to the final four.

Revelation vs. Romans - Do you want hellfire and brimstone, or do you want messages of love and grace? The apocalyptic visions meet their match in this contest, where the message of Paul resonates over the metaphors written by John. Romans carries forward. You can hear their fans chant ďSPQRĒ now.


THE FINAL FOUR

Exodus vs. Job - Oh, this is a classic battle of Old Testament heavyweights. This battle hinges on the middle parts of Exodus, where the weaknesses of the Torah are shown. Itís hard to slog through the instructions on building the temple, but there are no dead spots in Job. Sure, you want the three friends to shut up, only because you want to find out what happens next. And, while Exodus spawned a few movies, in high school I read Job and read the play J. B. by MacLeish. That play trumps the movies. Job powers on to the finals.

John vs. Romans - Both are classic New Testament works, well written and full of positive, uplifiting language. The difference is that John is part of the story of Christ himself, while Romans is a ministry about Christ and the gospel. Iím going with the story of the man. I say John advances to the championship.


THE FINAL MATCHUP:


Job vs. John
- Two heavyweights of ancient literature and theology do battle here. It is hard to overlook the importance of John, not only in the life of the early Church, but in todayís life, as the words contained are relevant to us all. But so is Job, as we see bad things happen to good people all of the time. Plus, when bad things happen, itís very plausible that three friends and that person will try to get comfort at a watering hole and the friends arenít much comfort, giving all kinds of wrong advice, and then a nosy stranger ambles by and puts his two cents in, and the very wise bartender sets everyone straight, and all is fine in the end, and good things happen in the end, like a beer on the house. It could happen. Job takes the title.

I hope you have enjoyed this classic battle of Bible Bracketology. I hope everyone has a happy weekend full of friends and family.

 

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