It’s no secret that I am obsessed with the ABC Family show “Pretty Little Liars”, constantly theorizing about the identity of the mysterious “A”. But does the show have any deeper meaning – any deep structure, perhaps? And what does the deep structure of PLL mean for the way we read other texts? Can the deep structure of PLL help us start to build a theology of literature? Of course, spoilers unless you’re caught up.
Daniel 3 is presented as a false Babylonian Liturgy.
Some thoughts on the Ten Words as presented in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. This post is not comprehensive, but a beginning of a discussion dealing with apparent contradictions between the two lists. Here is another example where biblical theology can teach us how to read the Scriptures better and explain away supposed contradictions.
I’ve written on this before, but with my friend Seraphim pointed out an eight step process to the Day of Atonement. It is crucial to understanding Esther:
1. High Priest takes off robes of glory and beauty, puts on linen garments.
2. High Priest kills bull as purification offering, ascends with incense to the Most Holy, cleanses the Covering with blood (Mercy Seat).
3. The High Priest kills the goat marked for the Lord (symbolizing the people), ascends with the incense to the Most Holy, and cleanses the Covering with blood.
4. The blood of the bull and the goat together are then used to purify the Courtyard Altar.
5. The goat marked for destruction is sent away to destructon.
6. The High Priest is reinvested with robes of glory and beauty.
7. An ascension offering is made.
8. The fat of the purification offering is burned up to God.
Esther follows a similar pattern:
1. Queen Esther takes off her royal robes that signify her status as queen and puts on sackcloth and dung (Esther 14:1-2)
2. Esther ascends in an incense cloud of the prayers of her handmaidens to the throne of the King and has a banquet for him as a way to earn his trust for herself. She sacrificially offers herself
3. Esther then ascends again to beg for the lives of her people.
4. Israel is purified when the King accepts Esther’s request to save her people.
5. Mordecai is killed on the device he set up to destroy the Jews
6. Queen Esther retakes her seat with the King
7. The Jews are allowed to fight back and sacrifice the Gentiles to Lord
8. This point is actually connected to the last point. In Mordecai’s dream, he sees that the righteous are exalted and then “consume” those held in honor.
For fun: The books of the Harry Potter series generally track with the days of creation.
Peter Leithart shares a portion of Lazlo Gallusz’s monograph “The Throne Motif in the Book of Revelation”, where Gallusz breaks the book of Revelation down into seven components, each starting with a vision of the temple. Neither Leithart nor Gallusz do, but these seven sections can be linked thematically with the seven days of creation: