(Transfiguration A 2 Peter 1:16-21)
I began this blog by saying research would be a sign of desperation, but that's not strictly true. Sometimes there is a passage for which I am lacking context, and I want to know more. This passage from 2nd Peter is a testimony to the Transfiguration, and the whole book is filled with Hellenistic rhetorical flourishes that scholars doubt would have been part of the patois of a Galilean fisherman.
This reminds me of the idea that some people think Shakespeare could only have been a nobleman, not a guy from Stratford. Some people have no belief in genius.
But I suppose it's likely that Peter would not have received a Greek education, and it is more likely that this letter was written to tell his story and in his name by a later follower who wanted to make the excitement of the Transfiguration both palpable and certain for other Christians.
Which is what I do all the time, though I do it in my own name. I retell the stories of intense encounters with the holy and hope that my storytelling transmits some fraction of their unreal reality, not only to those who are listening, but to myself. I need to hear the stories, fresh, too.
As I've been thinking about Peter for the past few weeks, I realize that he must have been quite a talker even if he wasn't a writer. How else would have have transmitted the stories of Jesus? How else would he, along with others, have built the church and been the rock on which it stood and stands, the human foundation laid alongside the cornerstone of Jesus Christ?
Peter, for all his failings, his cycling in and out of courage and faith, must have had people skills.