January 29, 2008

Psalm 52

Category: Bible - OT - Psalms :: Permalink

A reminder: I’ve prepared these psalms for our liturgy, trying to be as accurate in my translation as possible. The alternation between plain text and bold is for responsive reading. I invite feedback on the translation!

For the director.
Maschil.
By David,
When Doeg the Edomite came and reported to Saul, and said to him,
“David came to the house of Ahimelech.”

Why do you boast in evil, mighty man?
The loyalty of God last all the day.
Calamities your tongue devises,
Like a sharpened razor, working deceit.
You love evil more than good,
A lie more than speaking righteousness.  Selah.
You love all devouring words,
Deceitful tongue.

Likewise God will tear you down everlastingly;
He will take you away and tear you out of the tent;
And he will uproot you from the land of the living.  Selah.

The righteous will see and fear,
And at him they will laugh:
“Look, the young man who does not make God his strength;
And he trusts in abundance of riches;
He is strong in his calamities.”

But I myself am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the loyalty of God forever and ever.
I will praise you forever because you did it,
And I will wait on your name (because it is good) before your loyal ones.

A few comments about the translation of this psalm:

(1) In line 7, “devouring words” is literally “words of swallowing.”  In other words, these are words by which a person swallows you up and destroys you.

(2) In line 16, when it says that this man is “strong in his calamities,” it is referring to the ones that he has been devising (see line 3).  In other words, he thinks that because he has plotted calamity against the psalmist and others, he will be strong himself.

(3) The last line of the psalm is a bit complex, at least in English.  It appears to mean that David will wait on Yahweh before the ones who are loyal to Yahweh.  His waiting appears to be public, and he’s waiting on Yahweh’s name (which implies calling on Yahweh by name, I suspect) because his name summarizes his whole character and his name is good.

[ canadain viagra india | chinese herbal viagra | canada viagra generic | cialis dose | cialis next day | viagra expiration date | buy viagra in canada no prescription | buy viagra without a prescription | generic cialis in india | getting cialis from canada | viagra dose | buy viagra germany canadian meds | canada viagra pharmacies scam | cialis kanada | viagra problems | viagra prescriptions | viagra substitute | mexico pharmacy cialis | viagra chemical structure | sildenafil plant | counterfeit viagra | get cialis | women viagra | what is better than viagra | where can i purchase cialis | viagra herb alternative | how to get cialis in canada | get cialis | cheap less viagra | buy cialis once daily | copycat viagra | cialis price in canada | viagra instructions | buy discount viagra | price check 50mg viagra | internet viagra pharmacy | cialis india | problems with viagra | female equivalent of viagra | viagra reviews | canada meds viagra | what is better viagra or levitra | buy viagra now | soft gel viagra tablets | sildenafil citrate omnigen | buy cialis online canada | generic viagra safe | canada online pharmacy viagra | viagra 50 mg | cialis 50 mg | viagra dose | viagra reviews | should i chew cialis | online viagra sales ]

Posted by John Barach @ 4:22 pm | Discuss (0)
January 28, 2008

Political Speeches

Category: Politics :: Permalink

It’s election year here in the United States, and I’m sure some of my readers are already tired of the speeches, campaigns, phone calls, and so forth to which they have been subjected.  On this subject, as on so many others, G. K. Chesterton had something to say.  (The Buffs and the Blues to which he refers, by the way, were the two political parties in the town of Eatanswill in Charles Dickens’ novel The Pickwick Papers, though here they represent any two political parties.)

A party meeting is frequently a machine for the cooling of party ardour.  A man comes to a Buff meeting already an enthusiastic Buffer; if he were not an absurdly enthusiastic Buffer he would not come.  The first three speeches, let us say, increase his Buff enthusiasm.  The great eternal Buff verities can bear being said at least three times.  When said the fourth time they detain and worry him.  Said the fifth time they bore him.  Said the sixth time they enrage him.  By the seventh or eighth time the Buff verities have been said he does not believe in the Buff verities at all.  He has, in every sense of the word, gone over to the Blues.

This is a psychological perversity which it would be well for practical politicians and wirepullers to realise much more seriously than they do.  Tell a man the enemies’ opinions as often as you like.  The more often he hears them, the more monstrous and bizarre they will appear to him.  Tell a man the absurd opinions of his opponent again and yet again, if you will.  But beware of often telling him his own opinions.  When he has heard his own opinions for the nine hundred and ninety-ninth time, he may suddenly scream and adopt some other opinions.  State the wrong views, but be a little afraid of stating the right views.  Exaggerations, fallacies, false statements are in their nature vulgar, and grow familiar every time they are mentioned; as does the vulgar refrain of a music-hall song.  But the truth is sacred; and if you tell the truth too often nobody will believe it. — G. K. Chesterton, “On Long Speeches and Truth,”  Collected Works 27: The Illustrated London News 1905-1907, pp. 130-131 (paragraph break added).

[ mail order viagra | online viagra sales | popularity of viagra | indian cialis generic | viagra uk purchase | viagra india | how much cialis | overnight delivery cialis | pc100 viagra | viagra scotland | herbal alternative viagra | viagra cookies | brand name cialis overnight | generic viagra lowest prices | buy cialis online uk | 5 mg original brand cialis | who can take viagra | cialis express delivery | 5 mg original brand cialis | best viagra | alternative female viagra | professional cialis online | viagra price comparison | vigor 2000 | viagra discount | viagra movies | viagra discount | cheapest prices on viagra | viagra gay | cheap cialis levitracom viagra | viagra prescription drug | sildenafil citrate warnings | sildenafil citrate voltammetry | cialis online sales | uk pharmacies cheap viagra | non pescription cialis | cialis canadian pharmacy | buy viagra now | generic viagra blue pill 25mg | can young men take viagra | cheapest cialis | sildenafil citrate tablets | original use of viagra | cialis price | viagra description | viagra fast | paypal viagra | viagra 25mg | viagra alternative | x cite herbal viagra for woman | cialis alternatives | viagra for woman | cheap canadian viagra | generic cialis next day shipping ]

Posted by John Barach @ 4:00 pm | Discuss (0)
January 23, 2008

Rowdy Christians

Category: Miscellaneous :: Permalink

This afternoon, I was in Starbucks, as I frequently am, and overheard a conversation at a nearby table, where a couple of guys were interviewing people to work for their security company.  They were making the point that the use of force was rarely necessary and that it was more important to be able to talk with people in a way that calms them down.

In that connection, one of them said something that jumped out at me:  “We have three cage fights a month and we’ve never had a problem.  We have more problems at Christian concerts, to be honest.”

“Huh,” I said to myself.  What do you make of that?

[ gnc viagra | viagra affects on women | viagra pfizer | buying cialis soft tabs 100 mg | 50 mg viagra | sildenafil citrate voltammetry | buy viagra alternative | who can take viagra | viagra blister 4 | overseas viagra | viagra uit india | what is viagra used for | x cite herbal viagra for woman | cialis alternatives no prescription | buy viagra woman | cheapest online viagra | get viagra | cialis professional | buying generic viagra mexico rx | cialis pharmacy generic | viagra cost | drug viagra | how do you use viagra | cheapest cialis overnight delivery | cialis brand | soft viagra | viagra sales u.k | what is viagra made of | discount phentermine viagra | alternative female viagra | cheapest viagra online | what is better viagra or levitra | ladies viagra | canada pharmacy viagra pfizer | generic viagra canadian | viagra online without a prescription | cheap less viagra | viagra store in canada | does generic viagra work | viagra substitute | truth about cialis | viagra uk purchase | viagra injectable | buy levitra online viagra | get viagra avoid prescription | cialis endurance | online url viagra | map | cialis 20 mg | what is better than viagra | can i get viagra in mexico | price cialis | viagra online store | canada cheap viagra ]

Posted by John Barach @ 7:03 pm | Discuss (7)
January 21, 2008

Psalm 51

Category: Bible - OT - Psalms,Uncategorized :: Permalink

A reminder: I’ve prepared these psalms for our liturgy, trying to be as accurate in my translation as possible. The alternation between plain text and bold is for responsive reading. I invite feedback on the translation!

For the director.
A psalm.
By David,
When Nathan the prophet came to him,
As he had come to Bathsheba.

Be gracious to me, O God, according to your loyalty;
According to the multitude of your mercies blot out my rebellions.
Thoroughly wash me from my liability
And from my sin cleanse me,
For my rebellion I myself acknowledge,
And my sin is before you continually.
With regard to you, to you only, have I sinned
And what is evil in your eyes I have done,
In order that you may be righteous when you speak,
And be pure when you judge.

Look, in liability I was born,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Look, trustworthiness you desired in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part you will make me know wisdom.
You will purge me with hyssop and I will be clean;
You will wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
You will make me hear gladness and joy;
The bones you crushed will shout for joy.
Hide your face from my sins,
And all my liabilities blot out.
A clean heart create in me, O God,
And a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Do not cast me away from before you,
And your holy Spirit do not take from me.
Return to me the gladness of your salvation,
And with a willing spirit support me.
I will teach rebels your way,
And sinners to you will return.
Free me from bloodguiltiness, O God, God of my salvation,
And my tongue will celebrate your righteousness.
Lord, my lips you will open,
And my mouth will declare your praise,
For you do not desire sacrifice, or I would give it;
In Ascension offering you do not delight.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A heart broken and crushed, O God, you do not despise.

Do good, in your favor, to Zion;
You will build the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with righteous sacrifices, Ascension offering and Whole offering.
Then they will make bulls ascend on your altar.

A few comments about the translation of this psalm:

(1) In line 3, the word for washing is the normal word for washing clothing, not the human body.  Liability stains us.  Question: Would “launder me” get the idea across?

(2) In line 15, the word translated “purge” has to do with freedom from sin.  It’s related to the word for bringing a sin-offering.  Hyssop was used for sprinkling those who were unclean.

(3) I’ve followed J. A. Alexander in rendering the verbs in lines 14-17 as future (“You will….”) instead of as imperatives, as most translations have them.  More accurately, most translations render the verb in line 14 as a future and then translate all the rest of them as imperatives.  It’s certainly possible to translate all of these verbs as imperatives, and, given the context, they doubtless do express David’s desire and prayer.

But the imperatives that start in verse 18 all have a different form.  If the previous verbs were all imperatives, then I wonder why the psalmist switched to use a new form.  Why not just stay with the form he has been using for imperatives?

So for now, I’ve rendered these desires for the future as simple futures, hoping that the context makes it clear that they aren’t statements about what God is going to do regardless of what David asks, but rather are the future as it will be if God grants David’s pleas.

(4) In line 29, the word translated “bloodguiltiness” is actually “bloods,” but it’s the term that is used when murder and the guilt for committing murder is in view.

(5) In lines 34 and 39, the psalm mentions “Ascension offerings.”  Line 39 adds, for emphasis, “Whole offering.”  The “Whole offering” is likely another name for the Ascension, which was the offering in which the entire animal went up on the altar and was turned to smoke, which ascended to God’s presence.  That is also the explanation of the last line.  Making bulls ascend on the altar means presenting them as Ascension offerings.

[ indian viagra | how to make viagra | cialis online sales | cialis canadian cost | get cialis online | 0rz.tw 762c3 generic viagra | cheapest viagra in the world | natural viagra substitutes | viagra store in canada | female viagra cream | viagra chemical structure | viagra online | canada viagra | fx.blogspot.com generic viagra | canada viagra | cialis canadian pharmacy | buy viagra without a prescription | viagra available in india | poker viagra | canadian generic cialis | brand viagra professional | canadian pharmacy viagra | buy cheapest cialis | generic viagra mexico | cheepest cialis | viagra on line order | viagra herb alternative | buying generic cialis | viagra non prescription drug | cheap robert.up2.co.il viagra | viagra young men | how much is viagra from canada | viagra price | cialis prescription | online cheap viagra | get cialis online | uk deals cheap viagra | viagra stamina | when will viagra be generic | when do i take viagra | viagra purchase | statistics on viagra | viagra gay | imitation viagra | best way to use cialis | cialis neutropenia leukopenia | buy pfizer viagra | cialis dosagem | viagra through canada | cheapest viagra anywhere | cialis for less 20 mg | viagra cartoons | cream female viagra | generic viagra india ]

Posted by John Barach @ 4:22 pm | Discuss (0)
January 18, 2008

Medical Myths

Category: Medicine :: Permalink

Several years ago, I blogged about the myth that says that we ought to drink the equivalent of eight glasses of water a day.  Now here is an article on that myth and a bunch more.  (HT: Pete Scholtens)

[ mexico pharmacy cialis | cialis vs levitra | viagra discussion | purchase cialis overnight delivery | viagra generic | get online viagra | viagra propranolol | cheapest generic viagra | purchase cialis next day delivery | death by viagra | mexico pharmacy generic viagra | buy viagra 50 mg | online pharmacy cialis | who should not take viagra | womens viagra | p2 pharmacy uk | alternative to viagra | chinese herbal viagra | viagra cialis | who sells generic viagra | canada pharmacy viagra pfizer | free consultation viagra | viagra how it works | what is viagra made of | viagra soft tabs 100 mg | cialis angioplasty | buy online order viagra | viagra pay after delivery | online cialis | viagra dose | generic viagra made in india | viagra dosage | viagra online 50mgs | cialis dosage | viagra prices | order viagra online | counterfeit viagra | cialis india pharmacy | viagra young men | pfizer viagra | free sample pack of viagra | counterfeit viagra | free viagra sample | viagra prescriptions | where can i purchase cialis | drink alcohol with viagra | get viagra avoid prescription | cialis endurance | viagra soft | buying viagra online | where can i buy real viagra | female herbal viagra | baby on viagra | buy cheap viagra online uk ]

Posted by John Barach @ 1:51 pm | Discuss (2)
January 17, 2008

Cleaning House

Category: Sin :: Permalink

An old blog entry by Doug Wilson:

Once there were two homes, and there were the same number of children in each household — I think it was around four or five. But beyond this, the similarities in the households disappeared. One of them was clean and tidy, and the other was just a few steps short of a disaster. Now what was the difference between the two homes? It was not that in the first home, the children never spilled or dropped anything. It was not that the second home was the one that had all the accidents. Rather, in the clean home, when a mess was made, it was dealt with right away. In the messy home, the motto was always “tomorrow.”

Now we can understand something about confession of sin from this. Christians whose lives are not cluttered and messy are not Christians who never sin. They are rather Christians who pick it up right after they spilled it. They do not wait for a mess to fix itself. They do not postpone doing what they know needs to be done. But a Christian whose life is in spiritual shambles is one who drops something, and then drops something else to cover the first thing up. And pretty soon, the living room of his heart overwhelms him with its clutter. He does not know where to start.

But our parable has another twist. While physical cleanliness provides us with a good illustration of this principle, what are we to make of a perfectionist neatnik, one who makes all his roommates miserable through his insistence that all the Campbell soup cans in the cupboard be stacked with all the labels facing the same way? What are we to make of the mother, who fiercely corrects her children’s manners at the dinner table, and does so in a way that shows that she has the worst manners in the family?

The legalist loves to live by rule, and not by understanding. Many times, a dirty room is the sign of a dirty heart. This is a great trouble. But far greater, and far harder to deal with, is the situation when a spotless home is the sign of a filthy heart.

[ female equivalent of viagra | pfizer viagra cheap | purchase viagra | cheap kamagra viagra | directions for viagra use | get cialis online | cialis diarrhea | hysterectomy libido viagra | viagra en gel | alternate to viagra | cheapest viagra online | cialis cheap | overnight canadian viagra | viagra by online | hysterectomy libido viagra | viagra soft tabs | one day delivery cialis | woman testimonial of cialis | sildenafil citrate 50mg | best viagra | viagra soft | death by viagra | viagra movies | buy discount viagra | viagra cost | viagra online deals | viagra prescription | cheapest viagra | viagra affects on women | cialis alternative | pfizer viagra | viagra buy now | cialis generic levitra viagra | make your own viagra | female viagra viagra woman | sildenafil citrate voltammetry | cialis arterial fibrillation | viagra overnight | indian cialis canada | drink alcohol with viagra | cheap viagra | brand viagra without prescription buy | obtain viagra without prescription | viagra through canada | buy cialis canada | viagra stories | ordering viagra overnight delivery | viagra 25mg | sildenafil citrate voltammetry | buy and purchase viagra online | cialis tablets | cheapest sildenafil citrate | usa cialis | when was viagra released ]

Posted by John Barach @ 3:37 pm | Discuss (0)
January 15, 2008

Psalm 50

Category: Bible - OT - Psalms :: Permalink

A reminder: I’ve prepared these psalms for our liturgy, trying to be as accurate in my translation as possible. The alternation between plain text and bold is for responsive reading. I invite feedback on the translation!

A psalm.
By Asaph.

The Mighty One, God, Yahweh speaks and calls the earth
From the going forth of the sun to its coming in.
From Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine.
Our God will come and he will not keep silent.
Fire before him will devour,
And around him it will be exceedingly stormy.
He will call to the heavens above
And to the earth, in order to judge his people:
“Gather to me my loyal ones,
Who have cut a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
And the heavens declare his righteousness,
Because God, He is Judge.  Selah.

“Hear, my people, and I will speak,
Israel, and I will testify against you.
God, your God am I!
Not for your sacrifices will I reprove you,
And your Ascension Offerings are before me continually.
I will not take from your house a bull,
From your folds a ram,
Because to me belongs every beast of the forest,
The cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird of the hills,
And the moving thing of the field is with me.
If I were hungry I would not tell you,
Because to me belongs the world and its fullness.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls
And the blood of goats do I drink?
Sacrifice to God a Thanksgiving,
And pay to the Most High your vows.
And call upon me in the day of trouble.
I will deliver you and you will glorify me.”

And to the wicked man God says,
“What right have you to recount my statutes,
And to lift up my covenant on your mouth?
And you have hated instruction
And you have cast my words behind you.
If you saw a thief, you made friends with him;
And with adulterers is your portion.
Your mouth you have sent out with evil,
And your tongue attaches to evil.
You sit; against your brother you speak;
The son of your mother you slander.
These things you do and I kept silent;
You thought I was exactly like you.
I will reprove you and lay things out before you.
Consider this, please, forgetters of God,
Lest I rend and there be no deliverer.
The one sacrificing a Thanksgiving, he glorifies me;
And to one who sets his way, I will show the salvation of God.”

A few comments about the translation of this psalm:

(1) In line 2, the “going forth” (or “shining forth”) of the sun is sunrise or east; the “coming in” (or “going down”) is sunset or west.  The whole earth is included here.

(2) In line 3, there’s no way in English to capture the play on words between the word for beauty and the word for shining.  They’re related words, but there’s no way to show that in a translation.  Or is there?  You tell me.

(3) In line 4, the word translated “keep silent” is used of God staying silent when people cry out to him.  God is not going to turn a deaf ear and say nothing; he’s going to speak up in response to our cries.  This verb here appears later in the psalm, though in a different form.  I’ve translated them both “keep silent,” but I wish I could show the difference somehow.

(4) Line 42 is literally closer to “Against the son of your mother you give a fault” or “stain.” It probably has to do with finding fault, staining the man’s reputation.  I’ve paraphrased a bit (“slander”), simply because I don’t know how to make a smooth translation.  Suggestions?

(5) The last two lines may be “he glorifies me and sets a way.  I will show [him] the salvation of God.”  In either case, “sets a way” refers here not just to taking a journey, but to taking the right course.

[ real cialis | viagra effects on women | viagra capsules | viagra 50 mg | alternate to viagra | cheepest cialis | brand name cialis overnight | cheapest viagra online | best cialis price | death by viagra | female herbal viagra | free trial of viagra | when do i use cialis | overseas viagra | viagra use | buy inurl viagra viagra | viagra how much | canada viagra pharmacies scam | mexico viagra | buy viagra online | cialis kanada | buy cialis online canada | drink alcohol with viagra | cialis online without prescription | super viagra | generic viagra made in india | viagra effects on the penis | viagra pfizer online | cialis for less 20 mg | viagra forums | viagra tablets | canadian generic cialis | pfizer viagra | cialis refractory | viagra use | can young men take viagra | viagra effects on women | pink viagra | buy cialis once daily | lowest price viagra | viagra facts | cialis samples | viagra online deals | canadian viagra | canada generic viagra | generic cialis in india | viagra faq | buying viagra with no prescription | pfizer viagra canada | buy viagra in great britain | herbal viagra | cialis levitra sales viagra | discount canadian cialis | viagra oral gel ]

Posted by John Barach @ 4:47 pm | Discuss (1)
January 14, 2008

Handwriting on the Wall 1

Category: Bible - OT - Daniel :: Permalink

For Christmas, my in-laws gave me a copy of James Jordan’s new commentary on Daniel, The Handwriting on the Wall.  (Thanks again!)  Jordan has been working on this commentary for the past seven years (how very symbolical!), and it’s finally here.

I usually end up reading only commentaries that directly relate to the sermons I’m preaching, and I wouldn’t want to read most commentaries straight through, dry and technical as they often are.  This commentary is an exception on both counts.  I’m preaching Mark’s Gospel, not Daniel, and yet I’m reading this commentary and reading it from start to finish.  I’ll likely end up sharing chunks of it with you.

I finished the introduction about ten days ago. Here are a few things I appreciated:

* Jordan’s discussion of Daniel as a second Joseph (pp. 1-2).  It’s very helpful when we see that what God did earlier through Joseph is being recapitulated in many ways, but on an even larger scale, in Daniel.  History, after all, is not one thing after another; it’s a unified story by one author, and like a great symphony it repeats certain themes again and again.

* Jordan’s observation that Belshazzar must have been pretending not to know Daniel (in Daniel 5), since Daniel would have been ruling under Nebuchadnezzar when Belshazzar was growing up (p. 2n2).

* Jordan’s rejection of the idea that the book of Daniel (and in particular the parts that say “I” and claim to be by Daniel) might have been written by someone pretending to be Daniel:

By baptism and by faith, Christians are settled in union with Jesus Christ. They are to think what He thought. If Jesus was wrong about who wrote Daniel and when, then I am happy (indeed, compelled) to be wrong right along with Him. But certainly it is an abomination to suggest that the Father and the Spirit left Jesus Christ in the dark about the very Word of God that He believed He had come to fulfil! … It is not acceptable to suggest that Jesus, as the very Incarnate Word, did not understand the Written Word (pp. 6-7).

* Jordan’s discussion of the various parts of the book of Daniel and their historical context, and in particular his observation that Jeremiah and the Jews in Jerusalem ought to have known that Daniel was in a position of authority in Babylon and that Nebuchadnezzar was acknowledging Yahweh, the God of Israel, as the true and only God.

After all, Nebuchadnezzar sent out the declaration which is Daniel 4 to his entire empire (“To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth”: Daniel 4:1). That would certainly have included Judea, which means that when Jeremiah was telling the king and the people to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar, they should have known that Nebuchadnezzar was a professing believer with Daniel at his right hand. Surrendering to him was surrendering to someone God had prepared in order to help them. But their refusal to surrender was sheer rebellion (pp. 11-12).

More on this theme later.

* Jordan’s brief treatment of the statement in Daniel 5:32 that Darius the Mede was “about” 62 years old when he conquered Babylon, 62 being a number that’s significant when Daniel talks about the seventy weeks (7 weeks + *** 62 weeks *** + 1 week: Daniel 9:25ff.) (p. 17).   I’m sure he’ll discuss the significance of this echo between Daniel’s weeks and Darius’s age at the appropriate place in the commentary.

* Jordan’s discussion of how the various events in Daniel 1-6 should have instructed God’s people about what they ought to do during the seventy weeks (p. 17).  After all, Daniel 1-6 isn’t just some history (“This happened and then that happened”).  It is preached history, history with a point, an application for Israel and, by extension, for us as well.

All of that struck me as particularly helpful stuff, and that was only in the introduction. I haven’t read any other commentaries on Daniel, so maybe this is all common knowledge, but it was news to me.

[ viagra cialis | how do you use viagra | soft viagra | cialis dose | viagra in spain | viagra blog | cialis at real low prices | order viagra now | mexico pharmacy generic viagra | herbal viagra | sildenafil citrate 100mg plus | cialis online canada | effect of cialis on women | pharmacie canadian viagra | buy kazazz shopping viagra | viagra purchase | cialis alternatives no prescription | viagra online shop | add buy online url viagra | viagra for recreation | how long does viagra last | buy viagra online | viagra women | canadian generic viagra online | what is cialis | viagra femele | buy viagra on the internet | viagra australia | viagra pills | viagra in philippines | order viagra online | viagra cialis cheap | viagra blister 4 | cialis daily canada | map | buying cialis on line | viagra prices | uk deals cheap viagra | soft cialis | buy viagra woman | cialis diarrhea | discount viagra | viagra cialis | generic cialis in india | buy cialis viagra | directions for viagra use | soft gel viagra | generic viagra canada | active ingredient in viagra | how often can you take viagra | viagra fast | viagra 50 mg tablets | what is cialis | buy gel viagra ]

Posted by John Barach @ 3:31 pm | Discuss (3)
January 12, 2008

Yeats on the Victorians

Category: History,Literature,Miscellaneous :: Permalink

In one of his letters to his brother, C. S. Lewis talks about having met William Butler Yeats, whose poetry he had once admired.  The first meeting, Lewis says, was very strange.  A few days later, however, Lewis visited Yeats at his home again, and this time Yeats “was almost quite sane, and talked about books and things, still eloquently and quite intelligently.”

Lewis summarizes something Yeats said about the “great Victorians,” which I found interesting for the light it sheds on that period:

The most interesting thing about the Victorian period was their penchant for selecting one typical great man in each department — Tennyson, THE poet, Roberts, THE soldier: and then these types were made into myths.  You never heard of anyone else: if you spoke of medicine it meant — (some ‘THE Doctor’ whose name I have forgotten): if you spoke of politics it was Gladstone (in Lewis, Collected Letters, 1:534).

[ viagra for women | how much does cialis cost | does generic cialis work | when do i take viagra | no prescription viagra | generic viagra lowest prices | online pharmacy cialis | levitra vs cialis | cheap robert.up2.co.il viagra | buying cialis next day delivery | viagra wholesale | buy viagra 50 mg | cialis kanada | cialis by mail | viagra online stores | mexico pharmacy cialis | buy viagra on the internet | viagra dosage | viagra st | cialis compare levitra viagra | canadian pharmacy viagra | buy viagra pill | cialis canadian | low price cialis | uk alternative viagra | viagra on line order | cialis diarrhea | viagra tablets | price check 50mg viagra | brand name cialis overnight | purchase cialis cheap | buy real viagra online | viagra rx in canada | generic viagra online | viagra online pharmacy usa | buy viagra 50 mg | viagra expiration date | cialis canada illegal buy | new drug for women viagra | generic viagra uk supplies | cost of viagra | viagra sale | sildenafil citrate 100mg plus | cialis for women | viagra premature | buy cheap viagra | heart attack viagra | female ingestion viagra | female viagra alternative | how does viagra work | viagra generic | viagra history | viagra usage | how to get viagra ]

Posted by John Barach @ 5:26 pm | Discuss (0)
January 11, 2008

Monsters

Category: Miscellaneous :: Permalink

One of the anticipatory criticisms on Mr. Stephen Phillips’s “Nero,” a criticism in a daily paper, says, among other things, the following: “Mr. Phillips has not drawn him as an inhumn monster, mad with the lust of blood, and fiendish in his cruelty.  Inhuman monsters do not really exist among men, but only in fairy-tales and folk-lore.”

Of all sentences I have ever read, that seems to me the most astonishing.  And yet it is more astonishing still in that it comes in a daily paper.  In the police news on the other side of the page you might read every other day of an inhuman monster.  You may read of a man who marries a long catalogue of women, destroying them with poison like rats.  You may read of a man who invents new tortures for his own infants as a man might invent new metres or new combinations in music.  But it is the comfortable doctrine of the paper that we are all inevitably mild.  We cannot be monsters of vice.  We need not be monsters of virtue.  And everyone loses sight of the true and terrible and inspiring doctrine — the old doctrine that unless we strive every instant to be monsters of virtue, we ourselves may easily be monsters of vice.  There is nothing nearer to us than madness; as every man knows who recalls some one moment of his life.

“Inhuman monsters do not really exist, except in fairy-tales”!  There are plenty of inhuman monsters in the modern world; inhuman monsters control commerce and rule continents.  The only real difference between fairy-tale and modern fact is this: that in fairy-tales the monsters are fought.  That is one of the very many superiorities of fairy-tales. — G. K. Chesterton, “Plain-Speaking in Elections; Art and Artists,”  Collected Works 27: The Illustrated London News 1905-1907, pp. 119-120 (paragraph breaks added in spite of Chesterton’s preference for writing everything in one long paragraph).

[ viagra prescription | brand viagra without prescription buy | cialis samples | cialis tablets foreign | buy cialis online viagra | viagra prescription for woman | cialis sales | viagra sample | buy generic viagra | viagra in ireland | where can i buy viagra | swiss oats a111 | best prices on viagra | viagra canadian scam | cialis prices | how to buy cialis in canada | viagra doses | cialis 30 mg | 50 mg cialis dose | cialis low price | overseas viagra | canada meds viagra | purchase cialis overnight delivery | viagra 25mg | canadian pharmacy cialis | viagra prescription uk | viagra cream | similar cialis | women does viagra work | purchase cialis | cream female viagra vigorelle | fx.blogspot.com generic viagra | safe for females to use viagra | is vigrx available in stores | get online viagra | performance anxiety viagra | viagra 6 free samples | best cialis price | buy herbal viagra | viagra suppositories | generic viagra online | cialis delivered overnight | viagra discount uk | baby on viagra | generic cialis next day delivery | prescription viagra | viagra purchase | united healthcare viagra | cialis online without prescription | buy cialis doctor online | does generic cialis work | viagra capsules | drug sample viagra | viagra women ]

Posted by John Barach @ 1:05 pm | Discuss (1)
January 10, 2008

Lewis on Reading Old Books

Category: Bible,Language,Literature :: Permalink

Here’s something from a letter, dated October 18, 1919, from C. S. Lewis to his friend Arthur Greeves:

I am not very fond of Euripedes’ Media: but as regards the underworking of the possibilities which you mention, you must remember that the translation has to be rather stiff — tied by the double chains of fidelity to the original and the demands of its own metres, it cannot have the freedom and therefore cannot have the passion of the real thing.  As well, even in reading the Greek we must miss a lot.  We call it “statuesque” and “restrained” because at the distance of 2500 years we cannot catch the subtler points — the associations of a word, the homeliness of some phrazes [sic] and the unexpected strangeness of others.  All this we, as foreigners, don’t see — and are therefore inclined to assume that it wasn’t there. — C. S. Lewis, Collected Letters, 1:467-368.

What Lewis says here may be obvious, but it jumped out at me in this letter as it hadn’t before.  We must miss a lot of allusions and subtle hints, a lot of surprises and a lot of the richness of ancient literature.  Perhaps we think some things are strikingly beautiful when the original audience would have found them rather dull, or vice versa.  Perhaps we think that a conversation in an ancient play is straightforward when an ancient audience would have been able to “read between the lines” and hear how that superficially straightforward conversation operates on several levels at once.

What Lewis writes about here is part of the challenge we face as interpreters of the Bible, too.  We read passages and they mean very little to us, or we conclude that their meaning is very slight and all on the surface, in part because we’re reading these passages thousands of years after they were written.

So, for instance, we read the line in Exodus 15:27 — “Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the water” — and we think that Moses must have suddenly felt the urge to provide a bit of color, a bit of description.  Or, at most, perhaps he’s simply emphasizing how well the Lord provided for Israel after the hardships at Marah.  But that’s it.  Most commentaries simply skim over this verse or provide a pious comment (which is not wrong) about God’s provision.  If we’re reading the text as people of our own day, this verse means little to us.

But to someone who was steeped in the Scriptures, the references to twelve and seventy, to trees and water, would stand out.  He might see those twelve springs of water as a symbolic reference to the twelve tribes of Israel, for instance, and the seventy palm trees as a reference to the seventy nations of the world (Gen. 10).  He might think about the connotations of water and trees, going back to the Garden (Gen. 2).  His imagination, shaped by the Scriptures, might run forward to the Temple with its bronze sea and garden imagery, to Ezekiel 47 where the water flows out to the world, to Revelation 22, and so forth.

Here’s another example.  When Mark starts his Gospel, he writes, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”  We read through that verse and barely notice the words.  But all of the words are significant.  What’s the “gospel” here?  Reading this verse superficially, we might think that it’s a reference to the book Mark is writing.  Or we might take it simply as referring to how the good news about Jesus began with the coming of John the Baptist.

But if we were steeped in the Scriptures, we might think back to the prophecies of Isaiah where “good news” is proclaimed (e.g., Isaiah 40), which is, in particular, the good news that Yahweh is returning to rescue and rule His people.  And if we were citizens of the Roman empire, as Mark’s original readers were, there might be another connotation, as well.  A “gospel” was the announcement of the birth or the victory or the rise to power of an emperor.  Mark’s Gospel is a “gospel” in the Isaiah 40 sense, but it’s also a “gospel” in this Greco-Roman sense, since it is the story of the coming of the King.  But it’s easy for us to miss those connotations. 

What Lewis writes may incline us to give up: We can’t understand all the meanings of words, the subtle allusions that a contemporary of Euripedes would have caught, and so forth, and therefore our understanding and appreciation of ancient literature (including the Bible) are always diminished.

I don’t believe that’s necessarily true of the Bible, though.  Perhaps we will struggle to understand some things.  Perhaps certain words won’t jump out at us the way they would to, say, Mark’s contemporaries.  But I do believe that God has given us enough to understand His Word.  That isn’t true of Euripedes, but it is true of Scripture.

We may learn new things as we study the ancient world, and that may help us understand Scripture.  There are words we can’t translate because they appear only once in the Hebrew Bible.  For now, we make intelligent guesses.  But maybe someday we’ll discover something that helps us get the right translation of those words.  But we still know enough to understand God’s Word.

But what is most important is that we be saturated in Scripture so that we catch more of the allusions, so that we know the flow of the story, and so forth.  Will we ever fathom all of Scripture’s depths?  No.  Will our understanding always be that of foreigners who can’t grasp the richness of the story?  Perhaps in some sense.  But not in another.  Scripture wasn’t addressed simply and solely to people of one generation.  It was addressed to us also, and if we are followers of the Word then nothing in the Word can be completely foreign to us.

[ adviser finance order viagra | viagra fast delivery | cheapest prices for viagra | cialis professional 100 mg | viagra in canada pfizer | generic viagra canada | buying viagra | buy viagra mexico | viagra samples | h h order script sec viagra | non prescription viagra canada | derph generic tablet viagra | viagra blog | cialis price | viagra use | copycat viagra | cheapest viagra world | cheapest cialis overnight delivery | cheapest sildenafil citrate | cialis alternative | types of viagra | viagra facts uk | viagra available in india | buy online pharmacy viagra | buy pfizer viagra in canada | picture viagra pill | viagra generic | viagra capsules | low cost cialis | cialis online sales | suppliers of viagra in uk | problems with viagra | long term effects of viagra | generic viagra in mexico | cheapest prices on viagra | women who take viagra | cialis no prescription | viagra fast delivery | swiss oats a111 | keeping a hardon | viagra in ireland | viagra online deals | where to buy cialis | lowest cost generic viagra | keeping a hardon | cialis daily canada | viagra and alcohol | viagra sale buy | pal pay pill viagra | buy in vancouver viagra | viagra no prescription | h h order viagra | viagra blister 4 | cialis no prescription ]

Posted by John Barach @ 3:15 pm | Discuss (0)
January 9, 2008

Man

Category: Miscellaneous :: Permalink

Most of the modern controversies arise out of a complete inability to grasp the idea of human fraternity.  We talk a huge amount of rhetoric about mankind and manhood and man as man; but we always contrive to forget the manhood of anybody who can contrive to get mentioned under any other special description.

We constantly say for instance, that So-and-So will certainly be exact, impartial, and veracious because he is a man of science . But we only remember the word “science” and forget the word  “man.”  In so far as he is of science he will doubtless be exact, impartial, and veracious.  In os far as he is a man of science he will be loose, partial, and a liar.

So in the same way we speak of a military man, and say that if he is a military man he will be firm, masculine, and indomitable.  In so far as he is military he is liable to have these merits.  In so far as he is a man he is liable to run away.  So again we speak of a medical man, and do not adequately reflect that he is a man, however medical.

Even of the more attractive word “gentleman” the same principle is true.  The man is inside the gentleman as certainly as the word “man” is inside the word “gentleman.”  The gentleman means only the man who is gentle.  And the man is not always gentle.  — G. K. Chesterton, “Ladies, Women, and Human Beings,” Collected Works 27: The Illustrated London News 1905-1907, pp. 110-111 (paragraph breaks added in spite of Chesterton’s preference for writing everything in one long paragraph).

[ is viagra legal | getting cialis from canada | viagra on line order | homemade viagra | pc100 viagra | viagra generic | viagra faq | is viagra safe for women | fun with viagra | buying viagra in canada | viagra free trial pack | buy cialis | hydrochlorothiazide cialis | viagra warnings | when will viagra be generic | search herbal viagra | female version viagra | where can i purchase cialis | women viagra | cialis iop | cheap generic overnight viagra | how to get viagra | can i get viagra in mexico | cialis usa | cheap kamagra viagra | cialis strenght mg | buy real viagra online | heart attack viagra | viagra prescription uk | viagra problems | what color is viagra | drug sample viagra | cialis no prescription | united healthcare viagra | viagra online store | spain female viagra | buy viagra line | buying cialis soft tabs 100 mg | buy viagra low cost | buy viagra | effects alcohol viagra | zip viagra | can i get viagra in mexico | cialis india | purchase viagra | low cost cialis | viagra expiration date | cialis 30 mg | gel tab viagra | paypal viagra | cialis refractory | viagra price list | real viagra without prescription | cialis professional no prescription ]

Posted by John Barach @ 2:54 pm | Discuss (0)