Dr. Tom Butler, author of Let Her Keep It: A New Approach to the Study of the Gospel According to John through its use of Mosaic Oracles, is offering a 10-week online study of three stories in John 11, 12, and 13. The course is offered through the United Methodist Communications (UMCom) Online Learning Center under the auspices of the California-Nevada Annual Conference, and its completion of will earn three continuing education credits (CEUs) from the Board of Ordained Ministry Continuing Education Committee.
Butler (in red shirt, in photo at left) calls the three stories – the raising of Lazarus (in chapter 11), the anointing of the feet of Jesus by Mary of Bethany (in chapter 12), and the washing of the feet of the disciples by Jesus (in chapter 13) – the Ordination Trilogy of the Gospel According to John. He contends that Jesus not only had female disciples, but that He ordained (by the laying on of hands) all of His disciples, both male and female.
This assertion is made visible using Mosaic oracles, symbolic language borrowed directly from the Greek version of the Torah (the Septuagint), Butler says. He adds that this trilogy is but one part of a larger picture presented by the use of Mosaic oracles in the Gospel According to John. That larger picture, according to Butler, reveals how Jesus replaced the Temple, the Festivals of Sacrifice, and the Priesthood in the Mosaic system of worship with His own body, His own ritual (the Eucharist) and His disciples.
Those who complete the course, Butler says, "will learn to use the spiritual language of metaphors to discern the meaning of words, names, and symbols found in the Mosaic texts (Genesis through Deuteronomy) and used intentionally to reveal a hidden storyline only to those who can 'see' the oracles and signs as they read the Gospel narrative."
The study is open now and ends on November 18. Registration ends on Sunday, Sept. 23.
Editor's Note: This article was just submitted this week.