Conceptual Redundancy

I presented a lesson at the Ashland Lectures on the assigned topic, “Jesus: The Christ.” The word Christ means anointed. It is equivalent to the Old Testament term, Messiah. The study led me to conclude that the emphasis in the Bible is on Jesus being anointed as King.

In the beginning, God ruled over Israel as a King. Israel rejected Him from being King (1 Sam. 8), but through Jesus God rules and reigns as King once again.

Shortly after the lesson, Don Ruhl, privately asked me if I knew that Cliff Sabroe, the other speaker, was assigned the topic: “Jesus: The King.” I knew it early on when the assignments were handed out. But the fact of the matter is, to cover the material adequately, there was no other way to address the topic.

In any given lectureship program, there is bound to be some overlapping of material. Speakers do the best they can to minimize repetition. I apologized to Cliff for having trampled all over his topic, but as things played out, Cliff did not cover the topic the same way at all. His emphasis, as assigned and spelled out, was on the kingdom. The final splash screen of his Keynote presentation identified Jesus as the King of the kingdom.

I have spelled all this out to quote brother Steve Thorpe. Steve was a professor at Southern Oregon University (SOU) for years. When he heard what happened, he said that in education this is referred to as “conceptual redundancy.” Both lessons addressed the same basic topic of Jesus as King; Cliff’s through the concept of the kingdom, and mine through the concept of Jesus being anointed as King.

It may very well be said that the entire lectureship in Ashland was an exercise in “conceptual redundancy” because every lesson centered on Jesus. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it is a great way to teach and learn.

Can you think of any conceptual redundancy in the Bible?


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