Monday, December 31, 2012

What can I say - it's a carnival

Read all about it here and note - keep coming back.  That's what carnival is about. And Abram KJ gets it.

Happy New Year

Happy new year , friends and readers. Click the cool fractal on the right.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Isaiah 6 LXX Hebrew - learning to read

OK here's chapter 6 - it proves I am reading!

Look at an English translation (if necessary) and see: does the Greek compare favorably with the Hebrew? Are there additions? subtractions - bold the Hebrew? conflations? free translation? etc. For an explanation of these terms and more see here. (Though I wish that book was in sequence by verse instead of by concept or that it had an index!)

Note this Greek is being 'read' by a novice. Did I make mistakes aligning the words? I am forging ahead a bit - I will fall behind again since I am going to Hawaii for a week after New Year's day. For analysis of recurring words for verses 1-5 see here. (Figured out what δυσὶν means.)

I am unsure of the grammatical function of ἑνὶ and αὐτοῦ in verse 2 - I will get it eventually but if someone wants to tell me, please go ahead.  There's lots of other stuff I am unsure of...


ChVsTextTranslation
6:1בִּשְׁנַת־מוֹת֙
הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ עֻזִּיָּ֔הוּ
וָֽאֶרְאֶ֧ה אֶת־אֲדֹנָ֛י יֹשֵׁ֥ב
עַל־כִּסֵּ֖א רָ֣ם וְנִשָּׂ֑א
וְשׁוּלָ֖יו מְלֵאִ֥ים אֶת־הַֽהֵיכָֽל
καὶ ἐγένετο τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ οὗ ἀπέθανεν
Οζιας ὁ βασιλεύς
εἶδον τὸν κύριον καθήμενον
ἐπὶ θρόνου ὑψηλοῦ καὶ ἐπηρμένου
καὶ πλήρης ὁ οἶκος τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ
6:2שְׂרָפִ֨ים עֹֽמְדִ֤ים ׀ מִמַּ֨עַל֙
ל֔וֹ שֵׁ֧שׁ כְּנָפַ֛יִם
שֵׁ֥שׁ כְּנָפַ֖יִם לְאֶחָ֑ד
בִּשְׁתַּ֣יִם ׀ יְכַסֶּ֣ה פָנָ֗יו
וּבִשְׁתַּ֛יִם יְכַסֶּ֥ה רַגְלָ֖יו
וּבִשְׁתַּ֥יִם יְעוֹפֵֽף
καὶ σεραφιν εἱστήκεισαν κύκλῳ
αὐτοῦ ἓξ πτέρυγες τῷ
ἑνὶ καὶ ἓξ πτέρυγες τῷ
ἑνί καὶ ταῖς μὲν δυσὶν κατεκάλυπτον τὸ πρόσωπον
καὶ ταῖς δυσὶν κατεκάλυπτον τοὺς πόδας
καὶ ταῖς δυσὶν ἐπέταντο
6:3וְקָרָ֨א זֶ֤ה אֶל־זֶה֙
וְאָמַ֔ר
קָד֧וֹשׁ ׀ קָד֛וֹשׁ קָד֖וֹשׁ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֑וֹת
מְלֹ֥א כָל־הָאָ֖רֶץ כְּבוֹדֽוֹ
καὶ ἐκέκραγον ἕτερος πρὸς τὸν ἕτερον
καὶ ἔλεγον
ἅγιος ἅγιος ἅγιος κύριος σαβαωθ
πλήρης πᾶσα ἡ γῆ τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ
6:4וַיָּנֻ֨עוּ֙ אַמּ֣וֹת הַסִּפִּ֔ים
מִקּ֖וֹל הַקּוֹרֵ֑א
וְהַבַּ֖יִת יִמָּלֵ֥א עָשָֽׁן
καὶ ἐπήρθη τὸ ὑπέρθυρον
ἀπὸ τῆς φωνῆς ἧς ἐκέκραγον
καὶ ὁ οἶκος ἐπλήσθη καπνοῦ
6:5וָֽאֹמַ֞ר אֽוֹי־לִ֣י
כִֽי־נִדְמֵ֗יתִי
כִּ֣י אִ֤ישׁ טְמֵֽא־שְׂפָתַ֨יִם֙ אָנֹ֔כִי
וּבְתוֹךְ֙ עַם־טְמֵ֣א שְׂפָתַ֔יִם אָֽנֹכִ֖י יוֹשֵׁ֑ב
כִּ֗י אֶת־הַמֶּ֛לֶךְ יְהוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת
רָא֥וּ עֵינָֽי
καὶ εἶπα ὦ τάλας ἐγώ
ὅτι κατανένυγμαι
ὅτι ἄνθρωπος ὢν καὶ ἀκάθαρτα χείλη ἔχων
ἐν μέσῳ λαοῦ ἀκάθαρτα χείλη ἔχοντος ἐγὼ
οἰκῶ καὶ τὸν βασιλέα κύριον σαβαωθ
εἶδον τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς μου
6:6וַיָּ֣עָף אֵלַ֗י אֶחָד֙ מִן־הַשְּׂרָפִ֔ים
וּבְיָד֖וֹ רִצְפָּ֑ה
בְּמֶ֨לְקַחַ֔יִם לָקַ֖ח
מֵעַ֥ל הַמִּזְבֵּֽחַ
καὶ ἀπεστάλη πρός με ἓν τῶν σεραφιν
καὶ ἐν τῇ χειρὶ εἶχεν ἄνθρακα
ὃν τῇ λαβίδι ἔλαβεν
ἀπὸ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου
6:7וַיַּגַּ֣ע עַל־פִּ֔י
וַיֹּ֕אמֶר הִנֵּ֛ה נָגַ֥ע זֶ֖ה עַל־שְׂפָתֶ֑יךָ
וְסָ֣ר עֲו‍ֹנֶ֔ךָ
וְחַטָּֽאתְךָ֖ תְּכֻפָּֽר
καὶ ἥψατο τοῦ στόματός μου
καὶ εἶπεν ἰδοὺ ἥψατο τοῦτο τῶν χειλέων σου
καὶ ἀφελεῖ τὰς ἀνομίας σου
καὶ τὰς ἁμαρτίας σου περικαθαριεῖ
6:8וָֽאֶשְׁמַ֞ע אֶת־ק֤וֹל אֲדֹנָי֙
אֹמֵ֔ר
אֶת־מִ֥י אֶשְׁלַ֖ח
וּמִ֣י יֵֽלֶךְ־לָ֑נוּ
וָֽאֹמַ֖ר הִנְנִ֥י
שְׁלָחֵֽנִי
καὶ ἤκουσα τῆς φωνῆς κυρίου
λέγοντος
τίνα ἀποστείλω
καὶ τίς πορεύσεται πρὸς τὸν λαὸν τοῦτον
καὶ εἶπα ἰδού εἰμι ἐγώ
ἀπόστειλόν με
6:9וַיֹּ֕אמֶר
לֵ֥ךְ וְאָֽמַרְתָּ֖ לָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֑ה
שִׁמְע֤וּ שָׁמ֨וֹעַ֙ וְאַל־תָּבִ֔ינוּ
וּרְא֥וּ רָא֖וֹ וְאַל־תֵּדָֽעוּ
καὶ εἶπεν
πορεύθητι καὶ εἰπὸν τῷ λαῷ τούτῳ
ἀκοῇ ἀκούσετε καὶ οὐ μὴ συνῆτε
καὶ βλέποντες βλέψετε καὶ οὐ μὴ ἴδητε
6:10הַשְׁמֵן֙ לֵב־הָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֔ה
וְאָזְנָ֥יו הַכְבֵּ֖ד
וְעֵינָ֣יו הָשַׁ֑ע
פֶּן־יִרְאֶ֨ה בְעֵינָ֜יו
וּבְאָזְנָ֣יו יִשְׁמָ֗ע
וּלְבָב֥וֹ יָבִ֛ין
וָשָׁ֖ב וְרָ֥פָא לֽוֹ
ἐπαχύνθη γὰρ ἡ καρδία τοῦ λαοῦ τούτου
καὶ τοῖς ὠσὶν αὐτῶν βαρέως ἤκουσαν
καὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν ἐκάμμυσαν
μήποτε ἴδωσιν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς
καὶ τοῖς ὠσὶν ἀκούσωσιν
καὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ συνῶσιν
καὶ ἐπιστρέψωσιν καὶ ἰάσομαι αὐτούς
6:11וָֽאֹמַ֕ר עַד־מָתַ֖י אֲדֹנָ֑י
וַיֹּ֡אמֶר עַ֣ד אֲשֶׁר֩ אִם־שָׁא֨וּ עָרִ֜ים
מֵאֵ֣ין יוֹשֵׁ֗ב
וּבָתִּים֙ מֵאֵ֣ין אָדָ֔ם
וְהָֽאֲדָמָ֖ה תִּשָּׁאֶ֥ה שְׁמָמָֽה
καὶ εἶπα ἕως πότε κύριε
καὶ εἶπεν ἕως ἂν ἐρημωθῶσιν πόλεις
παρὰ τὸ μὴ κατοικεῖσθαι
καὶ οἶκοι παρὰ τὸ μὴ εἶναι ἀνθρώπους
καὶ ἡ γῆ καταλειφθήσεται ἔρημος
6:12וְרִחַ֥ק יְהוָ֖ה
אֶת־הָֽאָדָ֑ם
וְרַבָּ֥ה הָֽעֲזוּבָ֖ה
בְּקֶ֥רֶב הָאָֽרֶץ
καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα μακρυνεῖ ὁ θεὸς
τοὺς ἀνθρώπους
καὶ οἱ καταλειφθέντες πληθυνθήσονται
ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς
6:13וְע֥וֹד בָּהּ֙ עֲשִׂ֣רִיָּ֔ה וְשָׁ֖בָה
וְהָֽיְתָ֣ה לְבָעֵ֑ר
כָּֽאֵלָ֣ה וְכָֽאַלּ֗וֹן
אֲשֶׁ֤ר בְּשַׁלֶּ֨כֶת֙ מַצֶּ֣בֶת

בָּ֔ם זֶ֥רַע קֹ֖דֶשׁ מַצַּבְתָּֽהּ
καὶ ἔτι ἐπ᾽ αὐτῆς ἔστιν τὸ ἐπιδέκατον
καὶ πάλιν ἔσται εἰς προνομὴν
ὡς τερέβινθος καὶ ὡς βάλανος
ὅταν ἐκπέσῃ
ἀπὸ τῆς θήκης αὐτῆς

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 Top 10 Posts at Dust

In 2012, these are my top 10 posts. Two of these top the list by some distance. The November Carnival at around 800 views and a 24 hour holiday at around 500. The rest are in the 100 to 200 range. There are some who read and lots who get here by accident.

O my black soul, on translating nephesh

Revisiting Jonah, the 8 word summary

Dilige et quod vis fac, loosely translated Love and do what you wish

How hard it is to write a book, - yep so it is

My easy cheat-sheet for the te'amim, a quick summary of the deciphering key of Suzanne Haik-Vantoura

Limits to conversation, the role of scholarship, my reaction to feeling that I was being forced into a mold

Carnival - Analysis and reflection, musings on how the carnival emerged

Dynamic equivalence sucks, on how many hermeneutical moves are made to force a particular reading.

Posts from far away coming soon to a place near you

Hey - all ye of the Victoria deanery - pass this one around, and get on twitter and Facebook so you can begin to see this new player in BC.

Alastair McCollum is the new appointee as rector of the parish of St John the Divine. Here is his letter of farewell to his five-point parish.

Say hello to him at @revdal  - become friends with him on Facebook. He comes from Axminster.

Male and female

I don't usually write about this subject or about creationism or about other things. What a relief. But There are some who study and write well about these issues. And I am grateful to them that I don't need to. I left a comment here this morning, however, that relates to this important religious subject.  So I am going to tidy it up a bit - remove the typos! and republish it. But it is still quite thick - add water and stir.

Kurk Gayle ponders the potential domineering aspects of patriarchal culture, but besides the Father image for God there is also the
pervasive and governing image in the Bible of God as husband, and of Israel as bride. Rashi is clearly aware of it in his interpretation of the image of the lilies (see the Song of Songs and certain Psalm inscriptions such as 45 and 69) as students of Torah. Father and son, like husband, are metaphorical. It’s a double wedding: Father marries Israel, Son marries Church. But both are one since it is Zion, the holy city, Jerusalem, that carries the image of bride (Isaiah 54:5, Revelation 21:2). Father does not marry son; father loves son and gives all things into his hands. That love is expressed as Spirit. God is Spirit (John 4:24). We are drawn to worship is in spirit and in truth. Truth is painful – bloody per the image of Zippora as Moses wife (Exodus 4:25). Israel is married to Torah – and released and remarried through the death of Torah incarnate (Romans 7). That God seeks such to worship him is a placing of Spirit in time. This is itself incarnation. 
Under all this is the theme of obedience – the obedience of faith (Habakkuk, Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews). He is your Lord (Psalm 45). In some sense that is paradoxical since such obedience is neither slavery nor a submission to a domineering power. It is instead a release into dialogue and interaction, an interaction that sees God learning. Who is this that comes up from the desert, leaning on her beloved? (Song 8:4) Who is this, looking forth as dawn, beautiful as the moon, pure as the sun, terrible as those of great intensity? (Song 6:10).
Jesus question 'Who do people say that I am?' may reflect these questions in the Song. Do the people fast when the bridegroom is with them? 
Given the sin of humanity, the second Adam, (who is actually primal – for the one who comes after was before), the second Adam completes the betrothal. Who is it that is complete? The answer – extensive and endlessly generative of further questions – is in the story of the Psalter of which I have written in my own intense way these past 7 years. (E.g. Psalm 7, the invitation to be judged ‘for the completeness that is in me’, Psalm 15:2 הֹולֵךְ תָּמִים, walking in completeness, a phrase expanded on in Psalm 18:20-37, the first time that complete is used as a frame in the Psalms. Note how ‘Torah is complete’ (Ps 19:8) and its mirrored use in 19:14 – then I will be complete. Note the completeness of Psalm 26 reflecting Psalm 1, the lament of Psalm 38 – framed by lack of completeness and so on.) 
So much as I concur with the egalitarian view, there is, through this imagery, a serious set of problematic paradoxes. But the imagery will stand a great deal of tension and intensity. These images reveal and capture and include all our gendered being. They will not support coercion without tenderness, or self-seeking without self-giving, or violence without also absorbing the same. They are all demanding yet all submitting. All powers eventually bow the knee (another metaphor) in adoration (the story of the Magi) and so our powers which (as I pointed out here) we raise to idolatrous use, are submitted to the non-power of this child. Metaphor carries reality and is itself incarnated in the one who receives its tenor. (I always knew there was possibility in being a tenor). 
All joy for those who are the complete of the way (Psalm 119:1).

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day

Merry Christmas to all blog posters, Tweeters, Google plussed, and face-bookies on my many lists.

I pick my post of the day from James McGrath here.  Twelve cellos in the snow - alone yet playing together.

Messiah part 1 is playing in the background on CBC, our CD of the Christmas Oratorio, on hold. Family will arrive for dinner in this blustery part of the world sometime this afternoon. Some will have to brave the Malahat - but it is still snow-free at the moment.

Grey dominates the upper half of my view over the straits of Juan de Fuca, roofs dominate the lower half. With a little imagination, I can remember that the trees are green - but blowing black is their true colour at the moment against the grey and through the rain spattered window.

The world has not ended for some. The end is truly desirable, like the birth of a child. All creation groans - you can hear it in the injustice and violence and coercion and invidious desire that pollutes our gold, frankincense and myrrh - unoffered to the child.  What is this domination that we should submit - to be ruled by a child? Or will it be that a little child, dominated, will lead them.

Friends - the child is not carrying a gun. The myrrh represents his own fragility and mortality. The child has neither silver nor gold. He is wholly exploitable. The child seeks no power but has been given that name that is above every name. Frankincense, adoration, worship, religious power is a slight turning to the left or the right or the centre. It is a small step, a slight turn to return. The great response is quite unexpected. Woe is me says the prophet. For my eyes have seen and my ear hears. Go to them and say - hear, see. And be deaf and blind no longer. You know that was not the immediate answer. The way back from the idolatry that is injustice, exploitation, deadly force, the opposites of gift, is long and tortuous, narrow, with dangerous cliffs, landslides, falls... but it is a way.  A slight turn, a treacherous way? no longer?

How can there be a longer in the now?

There is light on the eastern horizon. A strong east wind blows the clouds along.There is white in the grey upper half of my view. The drops on the window shine in anticipation. Messiah plays on as do Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Blog servers.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Isaiah 3

I think I will only do bits and pieces of this since at the moment it is too hard for me. I am attempting to make an interlinear of Isaiah, comparing the Greek of the LXX with the Hebrew. Two problems, I read Hebrew slowly - but this is a good way to improve the speed of muttering, and I read Greek hardly at all and at the moment I have no dictionary.

So here is verses 1 to 8 of chapter 3. I am way behind - and every now and then I need to go to the kitchen and stuff a squash or grind some nuts for a cheese ball. (or arrange for some picture show or other.)

If anyone out there gets where I think I'm going, feel free to help me fix these first stabs at the gigantic cloak that is Isaiah. I wonder how those ancient translators thought - and whether they were using the same text as source as we have today. (Sometimes they don't seem to be translating what I see in the Hebrew.)

ChVsTextTranslation
3.1כִּי֩ הִנֵּ֨ה הָֽאָד֜וֹן יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֗וֹת
מֵסִ֤יר מִירֽוּשָׁלִַ֨ם֙ וּמִ֣יהוּדָ֔ה
מַשְׁעֵ֖ן וּמַשְׁעֵנָ֑ה
כֹּ֚ל מִשְׁעַן־לֶ֔חֶם
וְכֹ֖ל מִשְׁעַן־מָֽיִם
ἰδοὺ δὴ ὁ δεσπότης κύριος σαβαωθ
ἀφελεῖ ἀπὸ τῆς ιουδαίας καὶ ἀπὸ ιερουσαλημ
ἰσχύοντα καὶ ἰσχύουσαν
ἰσχὺν ἄρτου
καὶ ἰσχὺν ὕδατος
3.2גִּבּ֖וֹר
וְאִ֣ישׁ מִלְחָמָ֑ה
שׁוֹפֵ֥ט
וְנָבִ֖יא
וְקֹסֵ֥ם
וְזָקֵֽן
γίγαντα καὶ ἰσχύοντα
καὶ ἄνθρωπον πολεμιστὴν
καὶ δικαστὴν
καὶ προφήτην
καὶ στοχαστὴν
καὶ πρεσβύτερον
3.3שַׂר־חֲמִשִּׁ֖ים
וּנְשׂ֣וּא פָנִ֑ים
וְיוֹעֵ֛ץ וַֽחֲכַ֥ם חֲרָשִׁ֖ים
וּנְב֥וֹן לָֽחַשׁ
καὶ πεντηκόνταρχον
καὶ θαυμαστὸν σύμβουλον
καὶ σοφὸν ἀρχιτέκτονα
καὶ συνετὸν ἀκροατήν
3.4וְנָֽתַתִּ֥י נְעָרִ֖ים שָֽׂרֵיהֶ֑ם
וְתַֽעֲלוּלִ֖ים יִמְשְׁלוּ־בָֽם
καὶ ἐπιστήσω νεανίσκους ἄρχοντας αὐτῶν
καὶ ἐμπαῖκται κυριεύσουσιν αὐτῶν
3.5וְנִגַּ֣שׂ הָעָ֔ם
אִ֥ישׁ בְּאִ֖ישׁ
וְאִ֣ישׁ בְּרֵעֵ֑הוּ
יִרְהֲב֗וּ הַנַּ֨עַר֙ בַּזָּקֵ֔ן
וְהַנִּקְלֶ֖ה בַּנִּכְבָּֽד
καὶ συμπεσεῖται ὁ λαός
ἄνθρωπος πρὸς ἄνθρωπον
καὶ ἄνθρωπος πρὸς τὸν πλησίον αὐτοῦ
προσκόψει τὸ παιδίον πρὸς τὸν πρεσβύτην
ὁ ἄτιμος πρὸς τὸν ἔντιμον
3.6כִּֽי־יִתְפֹּ֨שׂ אִ֤ישׁ בְּאָחִיו֙
בֵּ֣ית אָבִ֔יו שִׂמְלָ֣ה
לְכָ֔ה קָצִ֖ין תִּֽהְיֶה־לָּ֑נוּ
וְהַמַּכְשֵׁלָ֥ה הַזֹּ֖את תַּ֥חַת יָדֶֽךָ
ὅτι ἐπιλήμψεται ἄνθρωπος τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ
ἢ τοῦ οἰκείου τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ λέγων
ἱμάτιον ἔχεις ἀρχηγὸς ἡμῶν γενοῦ
καὶ τὸ βρῶμα τὸ ἐμὸν ὑπὸ σὲ ἔστω
3.7יִשָּׂא֩ בַיּ֨וֹם הַה֤וּא ׀ לֵאמֹר֙
לֹֽא־אֶהְיֶ֣ה חֹבֵ֔שׁ
וּבְבֵיתִ֕י אֵ֥ין לֶ֖חֶם וְאֵ֣ין שִׂמְלָ֑ה
לֹ֥א תְשִׂימֻ֖נִי קְצִ֥ין עָֽם
καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ἐρεῖ ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ
οὐκ ἔσομαί σου ἀρχηγός οὐ γὰρ ἔστιν
ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ μου ἄρτος οὐδὲ ἱμάτιον
οὐκ ἔσομαι ἀρχηγὸς τοῦ λαοῦ τούτου
3.8כִּ֤י כָֽשְׁלָה֙ יְר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם
וִֽיהוּדָ֖ה נָפָ֑ל
כִּֽי־לְשׁוֹנָ֤ם וּמַֽעַלְלֵיהֶם֙ אֶל־יְהוָ֔ה
לַמְר֖וֹת עֵנֵ֥י כְבוֹדֽוֹ
ὅτι ἀνεῖται ιερουσαλημ
καὶ ἡ ιουδαία συμπέπτωκεν
καὶ αἱ γλῶσσαι αὐτῶν μετὰ ἀνομίας τὰ πρὸς κύριον
ἀπειθοῦντες διότι νῦν ἐταπεινώθη ἡ δόξα αὐτῶν

And here are the words that repeat in the Hebrew - or so I think so far. This section is bound by Judah and Jerusalem.

Selected recurring words (1 to 8)
Word and gloss * first usage1234567891012345678920VsRoot
מירושׁלם καὶ ἀπὸ ιερουσαλημ
1ירושׁלם
ומיהודה ἀπὸ τῆς ιουδαίας
1יהודה
משׁען ἰσχύοντα
1שׁען
ומשׁענה καὶ ἰσχύουσαν
1שׁען
כל
1כל
משׁען ἰσχὺν
1שׁען
לחם ἄρτου
1לחם
וכל καὶ
1כל
משׁען ἰσχὺν
1שׁען
ואישׁ καὶ ἄνθρωπον
2אישׁ
מלחמה πολεμιστὴν
2לחם
וזקן καὶ πρεσβύτερον
2זקן
שׂר --
3שׂר
ונשׂוא καὶ ... σύμβουλον
3נשׂא
נערים νεανίσκους
4נער
שׂריהם ἄρχοντας αὐτῶν
4שׂר
ותעלולים καὶ ἐμπαῖκται
4עלל
העם ὁ λαός
5עם
אישׁ ἄνθρωπος
5אישׁ
באישׁ πρὸς ἄνθρωπον
5אישׁ
ואישׁ καὶ ἄνθρωπος
5אישׁ
הנער τὸ παιδίον πρὸς
5נער
בזקן τὸν πρεσβύτην
5זקן
בנכבד πρὸς τὸν ἔντιμον
5כבד
אישׁ ἄνθρωπος
6אישׁ
בית ἢ τοῦ οἰκείου
6בית
שׂמלה [λέγων] ἱμάτιον
6שׂמלה
קצין ἀρχηγὸς
6קצה
תהיה γενοῦ
6היה
והמכשׁלה καὶ τὸ βρῶμα
6כשׁל
ישׂא καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ἐρεῖ
7נשׂא
לא οὐκ
7לא
אהיה ἔσομαί
7היה
ובביתי ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ μου
7בית
אין
7אין
לחם ἄρτος
7לחם
ואין οὐδὲ
7אין
שׂמלה ἱμάτιον
7שׂמלה
לא οὐκ
7לא
קצין ἀρχηγὸς
7קצה
עם τοῦ λαοῦ τούτου
7עם
כשׁלה ἀνεῖται
8כשׁל
ירושׁלם ιερουσαλημ
8ירושׁלם
ויהודה καὶ ἡ ιουδαία
8יהודה
ומעלליהם μετὰ ἀνομίας
8עלל
כבודו ἡ δόξα αὐτῶν
8כבד

Monday, December 17, 2012

Keys to reading the Bible for the first time

Bible? which one? I really mean mostly the TNK or what Christians in a different order call the OT. But the process applies equally well to the NT.

What is the purpose of reading the Bible? It is not to get smarter than everyone else around you so you can have power. And though some knowledge may protect you from those who desire power (and who doesn't), it is not to figure things out as if to explain the world away. It is not even so that you individually might be saved - even if you are lost (and who isn't lost at various times and places - the only place we got lost in Israel was in Nazareth - The one who sits in the heavens was laughing - I could hear it when I backed the rental car into a telephone pole). So why? It seems there is an invitation in the air. Maybe there's a good story there. Maybe some carefully researched poetry. Maybe some sense of age or some observations that fit with our own.

I didn't expect to deal with that question, why. I wanted to ask more how rather than why. Several people have asked me 'um.. what should I read first' - and like many, they tend to start at the beginning and plough through. Few make it past Leviticus. Most get stopped by or before the 10 chapters in Exodus on the Tabernacle. And if they get to the end of Deuteronomy, they are thoroughly confused by the variations in forms of law. Leviticus is a great place to start - at least one verse: love your neighbour as yourself. Deuteronomy has the first great commandment and the formative Hear O Israel.  But you aren't likely to find these by hunting and pecking.

What did I do? I ploughed through from the beginning. It was frequently painful. And I didn't know that I had no idea what I was doing. It's not actually important to read in sequence. It's not a cover-to-cover type book. It's more like a library. In neither testament is the sequence of the books related directly to chronology.

I put the question 'reading the bible for the first time' into Google and an Inter-varsity page came up first. It's not bad advice. The best part of it is the suggestion that you read the Psalms concurrently with everything else - one a day.  But would I start with Mark and then read John?  Would I even start in the NT?

In my current state, I think I would do this if I were starting over - and repeat randomly: I would use RSV or NRSV or JB or KJV if I were feeling archaic. (I read too slowly in Hebrew or Greek to do more than a few verses at a time. I always check the original language for related words. It's just not possible in a translation.)

Start with short books and bits and pieces of books and let a question arise from each book - don't necessarily answer these questions.
  • read Ruth - good story - four chapters, 1 hour - read it out loud. Why is this in a different place in TNK from the place it has in the OT?  Who are these Moabites?  (Check them out with a reference search engine in your language of choice.) Now you have a bit of knowledge of Torah, Prophets, and Writings - and you know there is no way this question is going to go away for some time.
  • read Jonah - good story - four chapters - 1 hour - read it out loud. Why is this one called a prophet when there's a thinking ship in it? Who are these Ninevites?  Enemies everywhere (Psalm 3:1)! And they get a mention in Matthew. In Jonah, you can summarize the story with 8 words. 
  • skim Genesis 1-5 - a multiplicity of stories - and your introduction to a long genealogy. (There was a short one in Ruth). I don't think you can read Matthew without recognizing the tradition he is coming from - a tradition that begins with 'these are the generations of ...'. There are enough questions on Genesis to sink Jonah's thinking ship. (Say that quickly.) Anytime you want you can reread these stories - especially read chapter 1 to 2:4 often - and learn to sing it or at least listen.
  • Now you are ready for some serious stuff about creation. Leviathan is not mentioned in Genesis 1 - how come? Find all the places where Leviathan occurs and examine how this creature relates to the created order. So you now are reading Job 3 and 41, Psalm 74, and 104, and Isaiah 27.
  • skip back to Isaiah 1, just one chapter. Then read Psalm 49. What's going on with blood and ransom?
You can see if you do a search on this word (carelessly glossed in the KJV) that it would rapidly move you into several possible directions. Blood - to covenant - to sacrifice - to atonement.
  • OK read Leviticus 16.
  • Ransom - and you are ready for the Gospel of Mark.  Allow 2 hours for a read-out-loud performance.
  • And this word for cover-price is also the flower Camphire, the henna plant - so you could read the Song for the first time. 
  • or you might follow up with Job. Allow yourself to do this one over several days or even weeks. But do enjoy Leviathan and the eyelids of dawn.
  • read Qohelet, just to make sure you keep the questions coming.
  • You need a lot more introduction to poetry before you tackle the Gospel of John.  
  • So do read a psalm every day - start with the paired Psalms 1 and 2. (Warning - self-serving link: If you use my book, you will find it points you to nearly every part of the Bible from a Psalm).  
  • You need several more Psalms (2, 5, 10, 14, 18, 19, 32, 36, 44, 51, 53, 69, 94, 106, 117, 120, 122, 140, 141, 143) before taking on Romans. Paul models his opening argument in chapters 1 and 2 on Psalm 50.
  • But do read Romans - out loud from start to finish - give yourself 2 hours. What does Paul mean by the obedience of faith? Romans will carry you to Galatians, Hebrews, and Habakkuk.
Then as an antidote to rhetoric and argument, find the songs in the Bible. If you have a Bible that distinguishes poetry from prose, this will not be too difficult.
  • For examples: Genesis 49, Jacob's blessings
  • Exodus 15, the song of the sea
  • Numbers 23 and 24, the oracles of Baalam
  • Then Deuteronomy 33, Moses' blessings
  • 1 Samuel 2, Hannah's song
  • Luke 1 and 2. Magnificat - Mary, Benedictus - Zechariah, Nunc Dimittis - Simeon.
  • Where do we find the new song? (In the Psalms of course 33, 40, 96, 98, 144 and 149, also Isaiah 42 and Revelation 5 and 14).  
  • You have to read Revelation someday. Hint - it's about the Lamb.
Notice - you are meeting people and places and hearing testimony.
  • Don't forget Lamentations. What is the relationship of Israel and their Scriptures to the message to the churches? Who is the speaker of chapter 3? Compare Psalms 42-4 and 89.
As far as the NT is concerned, I have my prejudices. It's got some horrible places (and Revelation is not one of them) that need a very well-oiled question-generating soul to read them. Don't believe every written condemnation or order that you read in the letters in the NT. Consider that you might be mis-reading it. What tone of voice is in use? Isn't that strange - most people warn you off the Old Testament, but I have warned you off parts of the New. Why does God require such a need for judgment?  Be careful you don't misread the loveliness of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. When Jesus says - judge not lest you be judged, he is not talking about remaining in a state of naive ignorance and stupidity. See Psalms 7, 26, 35, and 43 and invite the judge to judge you.)

If you complete the above, I expect you will be hooked. But be hooked for love and not for power. There's so much more. One could live in the Psalms and all they reference for a lifetime. How would you answer Jesus question: who do people say I am? (Mark 8:27) The questions should keep arising in you - refining and developing as you mature into this fascinating collection so carefully preserved for us. Don't lock yourself in with answers. As R. Akiva teaches, be able to return from Paradise with your sense intact.
---------------
Bob - what would you do now? There are large chunks of the Bible I don't know particularly well. Chronicles for example, and Ezekiel, Ezra-Nehemiah, eleven of the Twelve, in fact there's about 3/4 of the TNK that I have not read closely. And even what I have read and translated for myself, I forget.

Recently - in the last 2 years or so, I covered Samuel with a group. I found it a tough read - it seemed quite disjointed in places, as if there were bits missing. I didn't have time to do 3 or 4 chapters a week in Hebrew so I had to work with my usual translations and squirm when others were reading translations that I think are too generous with their paraphrases.

I am at the moment following my nose. I hope to stay with the Isaiah Facebook group for the year. I expect that will cover a lot of ground. I don't read to hear the word of God. I think God teaches me always whether I am reading or not. The Bible pointed me to God, but the Bible is not God.  I am not going to try and tell you how that works or how it happens. That would be to lock the doors that are yours rather than mine. But let me be clear: I am not conservative. I am not a literalist, but I pay attention to every jot and tittle when I am reading. That does not mean I take them at their surface value. The Bible is full of complexity and contradiction (and so is every other book, institution, tradition, or person who claims otherwise including science.)  There are things we don't know and will never know in the sense of being able to control and describe.

So why bother? That's the question we started with.  It's a bit circular.

Lord, who will guest in your tent?
who will dwell on your holy hill? (Psalm 15)

The submission of the powers

I know - it's not yet Epiphany - but sometimes all things flow together. We had our St Barnabas Christmas Pageant yesterday - 40 children and 160 onlookers and stage managers. The hall was bursting at the seams.

The setting was of a story of the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. [adapted from Gunhild Sehlin's book "Mary's Little Donkey"] The three wise men were three robbers. Angels and birds mixed their dancing metaphors. Joseph and Mary visited the shepherds on their way. (All accompanied by excerpts from J. S. Bach.)

The contrast between lush Nazareth and dry Bethlehem - between Galilee and Judea - between Israel and Judah - seemed to me to suggest geography and politics in this tale. Also striking was the repentance of the three robbers. The gifts were different from the traditional and obvious sense, but here gold could mean economic power through theft, frankincense could be priestly power through collusion, and myrrh could be mortal power through force and violence.

A pageant by children and later with this background - (not mentioned in the pageant, but heard by me in a new way while singing in the evening service of the nine lessons and carols at the neighboring parish of St John the Divine) - with this backdrop of pageant fresh in my mind, I heard that "Herod was troubled and all Jerusalem with him".

Jerusalem, the Place of the Name, the Place of the Holy, the heavenly bride - troubled? You better believe it.
------------
Because of the current readings in the Isaiah reading group, I hope to post an analysis of Isaiah 2 in Hebrew and Greek.  I haven't started it yet, but the ancient languages are not required to examine the circles in the text - and this is what is surrounded by them, (verses 12-16), even in an 'old' translation:

Yes, this will be the day of Yahweh Sabaoth
against all pride and arrogance
against all that is great, to bring it down
against all the cedars of Lebanon
against all the oaks of Bashan
against all the high mountains
   and all the soaring hills
against all the lofty towers
   and all the sheer walls
against all the ships of Tarshish
   and all things of price
[JB 1962]

Repetition in the text does not indicate a 'chorus' but rather it is a marker that what is surrounded is the significant message.

Then note how these verses above refer back to the pride of Jacob, a land full of soothsayers, sorcerers, silver and gold and treasures beyond counting, horses and chariots without number, his land full of idols. They bow down before the work of their hands...  (verses 6-8). Do you see the three gifts here?

Why is Jerusalem (never mind Herod - he's just the symbolic figurehead) - why is all Jerusalem troubled at news of the arrival of their king, at the sight of the terror of Yahweh, at the brilliance of his majesty (verses 10 and 21)? [There are two significant concentric circles in this passage 9-10 and 18-21, surrounding 11 and 17.]

Because Jerusalem (New York, London, Ottawa, Moscow, Melbourne, Pretoria, Rio) - all that is desirable - all that desires - is complicit in using the gifts of economy, priesthood, and war on their own behalf, and for their own protection, and not for the care of the poor, the hapless, the marginalized, the afflicted and the exploited. Read the psalms.

Jerusalem is not alone in this - either in Isaiah's day, nor in Luke's day.  This is what is meant by idolatry. Pure and simple - it is injustice.

Is it only Yahweh who can judge the world with equity (Psalm 67 among others)? Is it not the children of God who must judge rightly (Psalm 82:2)? Yahweh asks these beni Elohim, Until when will you judge with injustice?

Until when, O Lord,  עַד־מָתַי (Isaiah 6:11) - you know the answer...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

the dust, the fishes and the twelve

This morning I was reading our 1996 newsletter after our eldest son's near fatal accident. I used two of James McAuley's poems in that letter. Here is verse 3 of his Jesus:
And when a dove came to his hand,
He knew that hell was opening behind its wings.
He thanked the messenger and let it go;
Spoke to the dust, the fishes and the twelve
As if they understood him equally,
And told them nothing that they wished to know.
Our 1992 letter uncovers the growing realization that our fourth child was disabled from birth. So little we knew.

There is no place to stand that can be spoken of lightly as if the weight of loss, mental illness, or disability were easily borne. No disability is or can be borne alone. It is and will always be borne by the whole community. Violence, whether of economics or weapons, is an insufficient price for self-protection.

The fences enclosing the vine are breached. All may forage who pass her way and the wild creature of the field shepherds her.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Annual Christmas Letter 2012

Yes - it's done at Christmas and our fleshly lives are reflected in the written word over the past 45 years, a kind of incarnation in reverse. We have notes online but only back to 1978. I am not sure when we started the annual letters - probably about the time we moved from Toronto to Calgary. The very old ones are buried somewhere if they are not lost.

All the Christmas files have had to be moved - should now be accessible here.

Recently I converted some baby pictures from 1969! One of my retirement projects is to convert all our pictures to digital and reconstruct the family history. Facebook does a very nice annual summary - great for the young but not yet where I can use it to organize my 6 cubic feet of negatives and the thousands of digital pictures already in 5 differing copies of Picasa!

So here's the Christmas letter - some will get hard copy but not more than a couple of dozen. Some will find out through Twitter and some through Google+ and some through Facebook, and some through direct email.

Enjoy

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A little Greek puzzle

I don't read Greek, but a couple of hundred people have followed the suggestion from Abram K-J that we read Isaiah in the LXX.  Am I ready finally to learn a little Greek? I have a dozen books around the house that have sat for 50 years waiting for me to pick them up. Well, I'm in - and I will listen.  At about 5 verses a day, perhaps I will get the hang of it sometime over the next 6 months.

In the meanwhile I thought about putting together one of my usual pictures of Isaiah 6:1-5.  In this I am ahead of the group. But I will go back, having done the first five verses and catch up a bit - at least at a conceptual level.  This is the origin of the Sanctus of the Ordinary of the Mass.  The music of verse 3 is like this:
For those who don't read music there's a quick rendition below.
 
Original audio source (here)

And here are the words that repeat in Isaiah 6:1-5, following my usual strategy of spotting similar sounds in the Hebrew - but this time the Greek is in the gloss.  I have to say this was very difficult to do for a blind and deaf person.  But the coherence and framing of these five verses is nevertheless obvious based on the words that repeat.

If anyone sees this - can you tell me if I got the interlinear sort of right?  It was hilarious trying to get glosses out of Google translate. It is difficult enough doing a manual interlinear in English!  What is this δυσὶν?

Anyway - I now have these five verses in a database where I can manipulate them somewhat (in raw form since my psalms software is somewhat specific to psalms... mea culpa).

Incidentally - I am doing the online reading with the polyglot Bible. I can't read the Greek yet - but I am OK with the Hebrew and Latin and I can frequently guess the Greek. This link has an easy to use dictionary - but it doesn't define δυσὶν either.

Selected recurring words (1 to 5)
Word and gloss * first usage12345678910123456VsRoot
המלך ὁ βασιλεύς
1מלך
ואראה εἶδον
1ראה
ישׁב καθήμενον
1ישׁב
מלאים καὶ πλήρης
1מלא
שׁשׁ ἓξ
2שׁשׁ
כנפים πτέρυγες
2כנף
שׁשׁ ἓξ
2שׁשׁ
כנפים πτέρυγες
2כנף
בשׁתים καὶ ταῖς μὲν δυσὶν
2שׁנים
יכסה κατεκάλυπτον
2כסה
ובשׁתים καὶ ταῖς δυσὶν
2שׁנים
יכסה δυσὶν κατεκάλυπτον
2כסה
ובשׁתים καὶ ταῖς δυσὶν
2שׁנים
וקרא καὶ ἐκέκραγον
3קרא
זה ἕτερος
3זה
זה ἕτερον
3זה
ואמר καὶ ἔλεγον
3אמר
קדושׁ ἅγιος
3קדשׁ
קדושׁ ἅγιος
3קדשׁ
קדושׁ ἅγιος
3קדשׁ
צבאות σαβαωθ
3צבא
מלא πλήρης
3מלא
הקורא ἧς ἐκέκραγον
4קרא
ימלא ἐπλήσθη
4מלא
ואמר καὶ εἶπα
5אמר
טמא ὢν καὶ ἀκάθαρτα
5טמא
שׂפתים χείλη
5שׂפה
אנכי ἔχων
5אנכי
טמא ἀκάθαρτα
5טמא
שׂפתים χείλη
5שׂפה
אנכי ἐγὼ
5אנכי
יושׁב ἔχοντος
5ישׁב
המלך βασιλέα
5מלך
צבאות σαβαωθ
5צבא
ראו εἶδον
5ראה
The meaning of the holy - what is that - and why is this passage here? 

Friday, December 7, 2012

The importance of the Psalms

In the carnival I emphasized the Psalms as th'essentiall in the words of John Donne.  David Koyziz this month is sharing psalms in a way that begins to hear the singing of psalms from around the world.

If anyone is troubled, ... let them sing a psalm James 5:13. Or more specifically  perhaps Ephesians 5:19.

David has posted psalms today (with words) from Korea to Hungary. He also posts quite a few without words - from his Geneva psalms collection.

I wonder in how many countries I could find psalm singing, and in how many languages?  There's a lot of noise in a Google search - I am going to have to be shrewd.

Of course there are all those recordings of the interpretation of the te'amim according to Suzanne Haik Vantoura. I suspect there are about 50 online - but all in Hebrew.  That's OK, but not achieving much of a worldwide audience.

Then there are polyphonic and classical snippets of psalms from Weelkes to Rutter. In the Western tradition these are largely English, Latin, German, and other European languages.

What could be found and shared with a useful result? I have recovered first all the utube posts that I could from my prior posts over the last 6 years. I will do some more research - if you have favorite psalm settings, please let me know in a comment. [the list below has empty links - only click the ones with a name following.]

1 SHV 2 Handel 3 Purcell 4 Clemens non Papa 5 Wesley (Oxford) 6+7 Der Universitätschor Innsbruck 8 Mt Athos 9 in Dutch 10 James Faux - film+score 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 SHV 20 21 Boyce 22 23 Bernstein 23 SHV 24 SHV 25 26 27 SHV 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 RVW 35 36 37 38 39 Greene 40 41 42 Howells 43 44 45 Handel 46 47 Gibbons 48 McKie 49 50 AC 51 Allegri 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62-SHV 63 Purcell 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 Monteverdi 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 Brahms 85 86 87 88 89 Handel 90 Bairstow 91 AC 91 SHV 92 93 94 95 96 SHV 97 98 SHV 99 100 SHV 101 102 Purcell 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 Handel 111 112 Vivaldi 113 SHV 114 AC 115 Mendelssohn 116 117 Bach 118 119 120 121 AC 121 SHV 122 Parry 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 SHV 131 132 Weelkes 133 Pop rock 134 135 136 137 SHV 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 SHV 149 150 Rutter

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The one day of creation and redemption

Time, hurry up please, it's time. The pub is closing. The day is at hand. (And always has been and always will be).

So merrily blogging along on my reading cycle, and Biblioblogs are working again for me today - bravo Steve, I came across this question: Does God send storms?

I copied my comment. Can you see how it gets around the problems with both taxonomy and syllogism?
I hope this comment gets through - I am sending it - and God is too. Technology being what it is, a bug might interfere or a spam blockage, and that might be God's fingers as well (Psalm 8). 
This item you have is for me tightly tied up with the figure of Leviathan and the presence of the story, the myth of past ages, in our lives by grace. 
The 7 days are 1 as the poet George Herbert declares (Easter, I got me flowers) - "there is but one and that one ever". This is the day of resurrection, the day the Lord has made, the day of grace (to cite AKMA's post this morning). Each of these days is present to us - Leviathan enters on day 1 and stays till day 6, maybe even day 7. 
Leviathan (a little crocodile also in a post this morning) is us in a parable, we, the beni elohim of Job, are also the accuser, accusing each other. We are in the midst of the tohu vebohu of creation and also in the day of grace. We have been taught what to do. Time is more mysterious than we give it credit. 
I was just fooling with Google translate and a Hebrew prayer over creation turned into this: Welcome you gentlemen who write about our work
ברוך אתה אדוני אלוהינו מלך העולם, שכותב על היצירה שלנו
Now - about God and sending. Send - occurs in 34 verses in the psalms. It is a high usage word, according to BLB, it is used 847 times in the canon they have in their database. (Much as I dislike the Strong's numbering scheme, it is an early 19th century stab at an identifier for data, predating Wittgenstein and Codd, and it's what we have available in this very compact site at BLB in spite of its limitations.)

So what does God send? Well, we won't go into too much detail or the blog would collapse, so here's just the first two instances from Psalm 18.
וַיִּשְׁלַח חִצָּיו וַיְפִיצֵם
וּבְרָקִים רָב וַיְהֻמֵּם
18.15and he sends his arrows and disperses them
and lightnings he multiplies and confuses them
direct object, arrows, for the mystifying of syllogism and taxonomy
יִשְׁלַח מִמָּרוֹם
יִקָּחֵנִי
יַמְשֵׁנִי מִמַּיִם רַבִּים
18.17He will send from on high
He will take me
he will draw me out from many waters
send - no direct object, but indirect location.
draw, משׁה (mshh) Moses, unique in this form in the Psalter.
Send is a polyvalent word. It includes subject, direct object, several possible indirect objects from, to, and potentially more objects in relation, e.g. for a purpose. The first send that God does in the psalms is in Psalm 18:14 (h15).

Now how do we 'make sense' of a verb when the subject is God. Carefully - since we do not know the subject perfectly nor do we understand as if we were in charge. So first, he sends his arrows. Arrows and lightnings are not all lined up in a row but dispersed and confused.  This is the arrow that penetrates (sticks fast KJV) the subject in Psalm 38:2 (3h).

You will note that the first two uses of send are framing something: verse 16 (e15) is in the middle: the "discovery of the foundations of the world".  An important insight. And this whole passage (8-19) - a storm scene, a theophany, is a response to the prayer of one who is passionate, verses 1-7 (2h):
אֶרְחָמְךָ יְהוָה חִזְקִי I am passionate about you, Adonai my courage.

Verse 16, the framed verse, is full of possibility.
Then seen are channels of waters
and discovered are the foundations of the world
at your rebuke יהוה
at the breath of the wind of your nostrils

or perhaps - at the panting of the spirit of your anger(!) - so much for gloss selection.

The image of the channels of water reflects the water of Psalm 1, anticipates the desires of Psalm 42 and the judgments of Psalm 69. The drawing out from the water reflects the story of Moses in Exodus 2:10. The verb for breathing (panting as in giving birth) is used (in the Psalter) only here and in the last verse of Psalm 150, suggesting this theophany has to do with or anticipates a birth.

What will humans allow to come to fruition and maturity as the result of a storm that discovers the foundations of the world?  

We've here just touched this poetry lightly. It has so much to offer. It will create a response in us that will perhaps even help us manage real-life storms and confusion. 

So time - we are in that first day, Genesis 1:2 - when there was darkness, and formless void. Our Leviathan is fighting and producing turmoil. Will it learn as Job learned?

There is still a month of 20% discount available on my book.  You could put the prepaid order under the Christmas tree or give it on one of the 8 days of Hanukkah in an envelope with a promise of delivery at the end of January. Place your orders here.

Disappearing comments

My comments seem to just disappear on some blogs - even those I consider friends :(

Suzanne has posted on my favorite error in the KJV. This raises for me all the 'work' = 'play' I did with translating Job in 2009. So I commented re "Leviathan and his fluttering eyelids and dawn form a frame for chapters 30 to 41" with a bunch of other things that got lost.

It disappeared into the ether. It seems to me that this happened frequently last month too.

Anyway it was one of the old posts on whether God answers Job. And it's clear he does - in this parable.

So when comments just disappear - is it a bug or is it a bug? [fixed - but who knows!]

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Carnival - analysis and reflection

In the work done last month, I wondered what would arise from it as I proceeded. I have to admit some apprehension, some excitement, fear, and some difficulty afterwards letting it go. (You can see a bit of the emotion in that I hardly blogged at all apart from the carnival, 8 of 11 posts, in November.)

I began on day 1. I was reasonably sure that if I did not work every day, I would fail to finish with an adequate product. I worried about the delays in the October Carnival. I wondered if I could fit everything into one post. (I kept independent back ups on a test blog, and I tested on various devices like handhelds, laptops, etc to ensure it was technically OK - shows quite well on my Blackberry for instance). The columns, incidentally, which allow just a little more juxtaposition, are simply an extra table. They were not particularly easy to manage - so I am not sure I recommend it. I just worked with a simple editor and notepad where necessary.

Mid month, I had scanned roughly 2000 posts and selected about 10%. (low signal to noise ration). We ended up with about 350 posts contributed by about 90 persons.  The art and commentary also just appeared.

I had vague goals: how many posts written by women would I find?  How many different languages could I unearth?  Could there be representation from several religious traditions?  Are all continents represented?  And I am biased towards the aural and oral these days (except in posts like this one) so I was glad to include some music.

Then there was how to organize the thing - by book? - no, too much detail. By major section and century? - eventually, this emerged.

Then the content - the month began and ended with such trouble that by the end I realized I could have created a litany instead of a carnival. The idea of using John Donne just appeared - and with le Donne as mentor, it stuck. Mid month, I went to a lecture on the anniversaries and was utterly delighted with the summing up of my history from childhood to liturgy in these poems.

So instead of  Torah, Prophets, Writings, NT, various related extra-canonical items, archaeology and the usual dose of polemics and current events that simply cannot be ignored, I arrived at the Patriarchs, Prophets, 'waters' for the whole Bible. Apostles, Martyrs, and Virgins - and I left out Confessors and Doctors - though there's hay to be made here.

The idea sets the carnival in the 16th century. I bet some earlier and later settings (medieval, 19th C) might also be a challenge to other creators.  Anyway, it was a good month for reading John Donne again even if occasionally out of context.

So - did I represent all continents? Yes, almost:

  • North America dominates with about 65 (25% female) of the approximately 90 persons represented. 
  • South America - only 1 from Brazil. 
  • Asia, a couple from India, 
  • Africa - 4 I think (but I guess a couple - the Arabic fundamentalist, and one from Malawi, and maybe 2 others). 
  • Australia/NZ had 5 persons represented, 2 female.
  • Europe - Britain, 7 of which 2 are female, Continent, 7 or so, none from Germany, but Italy, France (at least Languedoc for content), the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, were represented. I know several scholars from Denmark, but they don't blog I suppose...
What do you think?  Could something more than Noyse emerge from the Biblioblogs, heading toward that equal music?

Some belated early fall colours

A random collection of spices and flowers. The cyclamen always make me smile.
The sage, thyme, rosemary, etc get regular use in the kitchen.