Saturday, 7 January 2017

"What Does That Mean?"

Today's entry was a handwritten letter that Dave faxed to me on September 9, 2008, regarding the Hort and Westcott Translation of John's Gospel. It being, now, eight years and three months later, I don’t have much recollection of having asked about the H&W Translation or what my "health woes" were, but I clearly got better:

Hi Jeff,

Forgot to answer your question re: writing commentaries on the Hort and Westcott Translation of John's Gospel. It wouldn't be necessary. It reads just fine on its own... In fact, I read it aloud in its entirety over Christmas and Easter. There are a couple of interesting points in the narrative I might jot a few remarks on (and I might do that this Christmas) but basically it's just a cleaner and more direct form of the King James version.

It was the fact that I couldn't read the H&W synoptic gospels aloud...

(Well, I could but I had to stop every five words to go... "What does that mean?" or, more often, "There are five different things that could mean")

...that led me to start writing commentaries on them.

If you can get ahold of a copy or get Billy [B.] to send you one, give it a try... I think you’ll see what I mean.

Good luck with your health woes.



Tony Dunlop said...

Thanks, Jeff - a chance to expand on a couple of weeks ago. Dave is absolutely right when he says that far better than reading commentaries on Scripture is to, you know, read Scripture for oneself! I see very little point in reading anyone's commentaries until one is intimately familiar with the actual texts - which means, if you don't read the original languages, reading multiple translations, and ideally, being at least somewhat aware of the various manuscript variations that exist.

Beyond that, even, I see little point in reading a commentary unless one is immersed in the life witnessed to by Scriputure - at minimum, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and some form of communal worship with fellow believers. Scripture isn't some dry, academic text, but an invitiation to live a particular life; nay, to participate in the Source of life Himself. The question, "What does this mean?" can have only dry, academic answers unless this kind of life is at least being attempted on the part of the reader.

Tony again said...

Oh - and in the unlikely event that any AMOCers are Old Calendar Orthodox - Merry Christmas!

Mike Battaglia said...

I found that picture of Cerebus in heaven to be weirdly cathartic. I'm going to go with the "all stories are true" idea and strip this image of its narrative and apply it directly to canonical Cerebus: Cerebus flitted around screaming "Dave, help... the light has got Cerebus... help...", and then some weird alien-gray hands molested him, but before they could get him... 'poit'... God intervened, took Cerebus out of Dave's hands entirely, and placed him in heaven. So the answer to the question "Cerebus in Hell?" is: NOPE. He's in heaven, as evidenced by this picture right here. In fact, he's in heaven tromping around with an equally and eternally ecstatic Jaka. <3

/end debate.

Dave Sim said...

Mike - Well, we'll all certainly find out in the next life but I think it would be distinctly unlikely that Jaka OR Cerebus -- if they were real people -- would go to a heavenly reward.

She was MARRIED to Rick, so, in the unlikely event that they both "went to their reward" I would figure that a) they would have the first option of being with each other and b) Rick would have gotten a close look at who and what she actually was/had been/would always be and have done a quick "shuffle off to Buffalo".

But, then, I'm just the guy who WROTE CEREBUS. What would I know?

And you're certainly entitled to your OPINION, but "end debate" is a whole other thing. You can LEAVE the debate, as you've clearly done but -- unfortunately for those who mistake opinion and fact as being the same thing -- that doesn't end ANY debate as long as there's a contrary viewpoint interested in expressing itself. Which, in this case, there is: even if it's ONLY mine.

Dave Sim said...

Tony Dunlop - Right with you, except on the issue of "fellow believers". In my experience Orthodox Jews insist on you "letting go" of Christianity and Islam; Orthodox Christians insist on you "letting go" of Judaism and Islam (or, rather, inferring Judaism as they do); and Orthodox Muslims insist on you "letting go" of Judaism and Christianity. So, while I'm willing to visit with people IN all three faiths and FAMILIAR with all three faiths, I can't say that I think of them as "fellow believers".

I think that Scripture is inherently efficacious which is why I recommend reading it aloud, because that way you're engaging with it ocularly, vocally and audibly, whereas if you're just reading it you're only engaging with it ocularly. My inference is that the soul engages with Scripture in a way unknown to us as conscious incarnated beings.

Dave Sim said...

Tony II - Also, as gratifying as it is that you think I'm "absolutely right" about reading Scripture, no, that's just an opinion we both share. In the next world I could find out that reading Scripture in isolation is THE WORST POSSIBLE THING THAT YOU CAN DO! and I'll have to pay the price for a) doing it and b) advocating it.

The bottom line for me, however, is: it's YOUR soul that's at stake, so make your own decisions based on that.

Mike Battaglia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tony one more time said...

Yes, I knew Dave didn't share my commitment to "communal worship with fellow believers" - because (and I mean this as a simple statement of fact, not any kind of judgement) Dave doesn't have any fellow believers.

Mike Battaglia said...

Thank you, God, for this day of life, and for my awareness of You. Please forgive me for my sins -- the ones I am aware of and the ones I am unaware of. If my will cannot be Yours, then please show me the path that will bring me as close as is possible to being good in Your Eyes, and please let me have the strength and wisdom to recognize that path and remain true to that path to You, my Father, my Creator, my Savior, the One True God, Holiest of all that is holy in all that is.

Tony again said...