Category Archives: Bible

Wizard’s Resources

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I was listing (eh hem, bragging) to someone today of my numerous resources. And I had forgotten this little gem sitting on one of my bookshelves.

It is a beautifully illustrated book covering many mystical and visceral creatures of meadows, forest sand dark corners. It is divided into two sections: part one is elves and part two is goblins and other little creatures.

Many a creature one will meet in these pages, some familiar, some obscure. Most of us have heard of Puck, the Drac, sylphs or the will-o’-the-wisps. But there be others not so known, the Asrai, Patupaiarehe

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You get dwarves, goblins, elves, sprites, creatures of the ponds and lakes and the rivers, of the meadows and the garden, the sea and the coast, of the mountains, heaths and hills, and of the shadows and many others besides. And they are from all over the globe and from every culture.

Funny thing to observe. It is observed that religion is ubiquitous to man in all times and all places. And so are these class of creatures. A modernist would shrug off such an observation as man is an idiot in all times and all places. And while I do not discredit wholly that assertion, I do not agree that religion and faerie are the result of idiocy.

I am quite willing to go on record and claim the exact opposite. I am even prepared to go on record and say both are to the glory of man.

But this wasn’t to be about a single book. I wish there was an equivalent book on monsters.

I had laid out (the bragging I had referenced at the beginning) to this person my general reference material: Sisson’s Synonyms (that’s a new acquisition though) complete OED, Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern Usage, and some picture dictionaries that I find indispensable.

But I then dove into my digital reference material which is mainly religious (Catholic really) in nature. It is pretty impressive. And I am leaving out my complete collection of Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene Fathers collections, my complete Summa Theologica and other related things.

Why am I writing about it though? Because it was shortly, pretty damn shortly too, after acquiring all this that I went into school and haven’t had much occasion to even glance at it until now.

  • Vatican II documents
  • Saints and Feasts of the Liturgical Year
  • The Roman Missal, The Roman Martyrology
  • The Book of Saints, The Book of the Popes
  • Catholic Pocket Dictionary and Cyclopedia, Collins Thesaurus of the Bible
  • Dictionary of Latin Forms
  • Dictionary of the Vulgate New Testament
  • Great Quotations
  • An Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin
  • Manual of the Councils of the Holy Catholic Church

I left out I don’t know how many pictorial/maps to the ancient biblical world books. Aramaic, Greek and other such dictionaries and bibles. Several books on the Council of Trent, Vat I, etc, etc.

All that and more, plus I still have in my possession the entire Durant history series.

I am going to be playing for a long time now!


Richard Dawkins Baffled by 99% of Reality

This clip is hilarious. I could also have titled this Stick to Your Profession. Forget about the first part of the clip where they ask a guy if he believes in the story of Lot and he says yes because Jesus believed it (I really don’t know how he knows Jesus believed it – did anyone ever ask Jesus, “Hey, you believe that story about Lot and his daughters and his wife turning to salt?”).

At around 1:48 a Jewish woman to Dawkin’s left tells him, according to her, what the moral of the story is. And Dawkin’s response is so typical of a certain modern mentality who thinks all truth as mere relating of facts.

“Why not just say “Argue about it?” he asks, “Why wrap it up?” Yes, Dawkins, perhaps we should just go through all poetry, all stories, all art through all of time and strip the plain text message out of it and we can dispense with the art itself.

Why write a story about never giving up and keeping your hope in X alive? Why not just say “Don’t give up.” You just saved thousands of words.

All of art, of philosophy, of theology is beyond Dawkin’s ability to comprehend. He does not understand the basic functioning of the human mind. We are not moved by formula, nor by memes (which don’t even exist as he thinks they do) nor by mere plain injunctions.

I used to be a very staunch atheist up until a few years ago. I say staunch, but I was no creature like Dawkins who I find uncouth. But I knew never to argue outside my ken. I would never argue about the crucifixion of Christ knowing almost nothing about it theologically.

As Dawkins does at 2:57. This betrays a staggering lack of sophistication, reading comprehension and/or laziness. Dawkins trick is to always present the religious story from the point of utter ignorance and present that as the truth of the story. If you are going to argue against the story of man’s redemption through the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, at least be familiar with the material.

People worship this Dawkins guy like some sort of atheist crusader hero. When I was an atheist, I considered this guy an embarrassment.

The Jewish lady at 5:55 explains why the Bible is not The Cat in the Hat. Dawkins represents the distortion, the temporary oasis from the real hardships of life that a good portion of westerners have been able to enjoy for so long.

Again demonstrating his complete lack of understanding of human nature at 7:25 he asks, “Why bother with the Bible at all when we can go straight to moral philosophy?”

We do not ingest morality from the philosophers. We ingest morality through art. Anybody ever seen a mother blundering through Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics when choosing how to instruct he son on right behavior? Or how about Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals? How about a little Hegel?

9:35 he begins to expound on the Ten Commandments, well, the first few anyway, and then has to have their meaning explained to him. I believe this man’s problem is arrogance. He does not even bother to know his material first. It’s not like this stuff flew off the shelf last Tuesday.

Again, you can disagree with the meaning of the commandments, but you have to get the meaning right first. There are philosophers that have objected to the actual meaning of those commandments. Dawkins, unable to see past his ego, presents his complete lack of comprehension as the challenge.

At 11:05 Dawkins, seeing he is not winning any points goes for the insult to the ancients. See, when I mentioned Aristotle’s Nicomachean ethics I forgot to mention that Dawkin’s would not have meant that as moral philosophy. Those people were ignorant. No, what he would mean by moral philosophy would be something that is written within the last twenty years. Something with an eye to science, a bowed knee to science. He is deservedly booed for this remark.

I truly think the man is simply not worth listening to. I think it is simple rabble rousing and ego stroking. Listening to the piece you will here him waver repeatedly between the Bible is terrible, why read it. To he respects is as literature. To it was written by ignorant people so why bother.

The Jewish lady sitting next to him belts him a real good one at 11:50. At 12:35 he lists other people we could listen to such as Confucius and Buddha… eh… what? Did they not also live in the ignorant era? If we’re not going to pay attention to ignorant Jewish scribes, as he puts it, because they lived long ago, why would we listen to other people from just as long ago?

And who says a Jew or a Christian couldn’t get something from Buddha or Confucius? Apparently he’s never heard of Thomas Merton the Trappist monk.

If you want to hear real atheist arguments go read St. Thomas. Dawkins is just a fool. But a fool for the modern mind hence his drone followers.

In exactly the same vein, Neil deGrasse Tyson wants all you bitches to stop saying the poem Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to your kids – cuz that ain’t how the shit works, man. Get on the science train people. You’re going to permanently fuck your child’s brain if you recite that poem to them and not a scientific description to them from an astronomical textbook.

Just kidding. He does sort of say that, but only because I didn’t have the whole context of the interview. I don’t mind Tyson, he keeps his foot out of his mouth pretty well. His commentary on dark matter and the God of the Gaps is spot on.

 


Modern Translations

Last week, during my vacation, I made it over to Alleluia! Catholic Book Store in Kent and bought a little hand held Bible. As I’ve stated before I am turning into a little bit of a collector of Bibles. This one is the NAB translation. I also purchased one of those “read it in a year programs” that breaks down reading voluminous works as the Bible into small, daily pieces. I got as far as Joshua before in the OT (and through Acts in the NT) but life (if it be called) comes in, stirs it around, and three weeks later I’ve lost what I was doing. Companion to reading the Bible in a year in this thingamabob is, parallel, reading the CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church).

So I’m reading Genesis (4:1) in the NAB translation and came across this verse:

The man had intercourse with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain,

which, in the past was more commonly, probably universally, worded thusly in the English,

And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain,

What is the next translational iteration of this verse?

Adam mounted Eve and ejaculated, and she…

or

Adam fucked Eve…

or

Adam got it on with his bitch… [this would be the hip version, for those that want a little urban mix in their Book]

or

Adam performed the act of coitus on Eve…

The man had intercourse with his wife…

Who did this translation? James Patterson? John Grisham? Such ugly language. I don’t mean offensive, but non-poetic, sterile. The television show The Big Bang Theory commonly has one of its characters refer to sex as “coitus” a clinical word lacking entirely in expression. The show has the character using that word as a joke because he is the type of character that would use such a word to refer to sex (a phenomena the character has not any interest in).

I brought this sort of thing up before when I saw that the expression “… the quick and the dead..” had been rendered “… the living and the dead…” That was the Douay-Rheims translation, and it is shared by most of the others.

But this is even worse. Intercourse is equally a clinical word, sterile in its physical description. It takes the subtly of the old translation away and replaces it with a compound word no poet would use unless under the greatest duress.

So why? Because people don’t understand what “knew” means? Learn. It is quite easy to infer what “knew” meant in the old translations. It is not the case the “knew” was a cover up because it is quite easy to infer as I said.

It seems only the KJV version is, so far, immune to such modern butchery of the language.

I also notice in Matthew 1, the NAB manages to not use the same language,

He had no relations with her until she bore a son,[l] and he named him Jesus.

It has a sort of “Clinton-esque” feel to it, “…I did not have sexual relations with that woman!” I suppose perhaps they thought using the word intercourse in regards to Mary would be in bad taste. I mean, I guess. Why wouldn’t they use the same ugly word as they used for Adam and Eve?

Also note that “relations” does not denote sexual relations specifically, so it is not even a good substitute. Did Joseph also not speak to her? No relations.

 

The KJV uses the term “knew” for both Adam and Eve and Mary and Joseph. One of affirmation of the act, the other denying the act. But it has a consistency of language that the newer translations violate.