Re: My Collected Wisdom

1

which moved me to pick up the bible again.

Oh, HRC's favorite book?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:15 AM
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I always liked Ecclesiastes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:21 AM
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And then there's the old testament with its series of "and then we conquered and enslaved our neighbors and it was totally awesome!" episodes.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:22 AM
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Please, AcademicLurker. "Hebrew Bible".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:23 AM
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I was going to read the bible but then somebody spoiled it and told me the main character dies in the middle.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:23 AM
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...and everyone dies in the end.


Posted by: mike d | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:24 AM
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...and everyone dies in the end.

Also a little bit of that right at the beginning, confusingly.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:25 AM
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God! What a shit God is!


Posted by: Randolf Churchill | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:26 AM
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And then there's the old testament with its series of "and then we conquered and enslaved our neighbors and it was totally awesome!" episodes.

Although in fairness, those are occasionally interrupted by "and then our neighbors conquered and enslaved us and it totally sucked!" episodes.

Lots of conquering and enslaving all around.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:30 AM
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The Song of Songs is all right. Rather a nice love poem, and it doesn't mention god at all.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:35 AM
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Tell me about it. Karl Barth's book on Romans is goddamned beating me to death.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:40 AM
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I keep on meaning to make the kids read the Bible, just for general cultural literacy. Maybe I'll make bible reading a summer project.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:44 AM
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I don't think "your hair looks like sheep on a mountain, babe" would work as a line anymore, in most places.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:44 AM
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You could read the Book of Job, which provides the important life lesson, "Stay the fuck away from omnipotent beings on a power trip."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:46 AM
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"Your breasts are like two young roes that are twins" might work as a conversation starter, along the lines of "I'm thinking of buying a wallaby." The natural question is "How? My breasts are like hoofed mammals? Fastmoving and agile? Characterized by long, graceful legs? You want to explain this one?" And then the conversation is off and running.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:47 AM
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Much like the two young roes, in fact. Or, presumably, the breasts of the woman being approached.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:48 AM
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14: It's good to have the wife and kids read that one. That way they don't get so much into the idea they aren't replaceable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:48 AM
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Let's not forget the occasional "and then we conquered our neighbors and systematically killed all of them".


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:50 AM
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15-16: Doe roes make for good eating?


Posted by: Anneid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:50 AM
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Why ask if shad do it, waiter bring me shad roe.


Posted by: Cole Porter | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:52 AM
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19 Let's ask Suarez.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:53 AM
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Most of the venison you can buy here is roe, I think. So yes.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:54 AM
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Reasons to read the Bible:

1. Rather influential plus useful for understanding allusions in art and literature.

2. The KJV has some very pretty poetry. I'm with LB on Ecclesiastes as my favorite book for that reason.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:55 AM
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I thought roe were fish eggs and the line was put red nipples.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:55 AM
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"put" probably shouldn't be there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:56 AM
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I'm with LB on Ecclesiastes as my favorite book for that reason.

It's not the poetry -- Psalms has pretty poetry. It's the futility - it's like a shorter version of TFA.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:00 AM
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If you put roe on nipples they'll get all grey and slimy and fishy and tasty.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:00 AM
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I don't think "your hair looks like sheep on a mountain, babe" would work as a line anymore, in most places.

Have you listened to Shakira?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:02 AM
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Roe.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:03 AM
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No, I haven't.


Posted by: Opinionated Hips | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:03 AM
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Ecclesiastes is definitely the best. Leviticus can be skipped over without losing much of anything. Kings is good for the tolchoking and general mass slaughter. If you only read one gospel make it Mark.

Also a good book to read alongside the Bible is "The Unauthorized Version" By Robin Lane Fox. Highly recommended for making sense out of some of the contradictions and general weirdness.

And second reading it in the KJV. There are better translations but the prose of the KJV is just awesome.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:04 AM
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I really really hate the dependence in Amazon, and lord knows e-books have all sorts of other drawbacks, but my book-reading has increased dramatically since I got a Kindle. Being able to carry all my books with me, and switch from one to another when I need a break, makes a big difference.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:04 AM
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Everyone is talking about the Bible, and ignoring the much superior Misplaced Massacre. I also highly recommend it.

But in case you don't have time to read it I'll give you the moral in brief -- no matter how hard we try we'll never agree about what happened in the past. The important thing to know about history is that it already happened, and it's best to just let it go and not think about it.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:06 AM
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33.2: Also, Colorado is full of assholes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:11 AM
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Entirely endorse 33.1. Excellent book. But I'm not convinced that 33.2 is the whole of the thing.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:13 AM
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Along with Ecclesiastes and Job, a few of the prophets are pretty interesting, straddling poetry and history. Ezekiel and Isaiah are both OK, in the same way that reading Gilgamesh is OK. Ezekiel has some great visions and also an extended architectural detour.

I am looking forward to reading AWB-recommended Adam Smith next. Aside from Capital, I'm reading a light book by a young author that I like a lot, The Golem and the Jinni. Reminds me of the Behemoth & Woland bits of Master and Margarita.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:19 AM
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46.2: I think Trapnel recommended that one to me and I enjoyed it. I like real books better than e-books and really need to pay my library fine so I can go back to hauling bags of books around. If you carry two or three, it's easy to switch as needed and that way you're safe if you accidentally finish one sooner than you'd expected.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:22 AM
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38
I realize I'm preaching to the choir at this blog, but man, the bible mostly sucks in totally predictable ways, doesn't it?

My fondness for the Unitarians is partly a result of having sat through a sermon titled "A Defense of Jesus." It was good! Really persuasive.

I wish I remembered it better. Part of it was based on the idea that the Church-approved gospels made Jesus out to be an asshole in a way that other, equally legitimate gospels did not.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:22 AM
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37 to 36. I need to stop messing around on the internet and go to bed.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:23 AM
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39: Up all night?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:25 AM
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41

If you only read one gospel make it Mark.

I have to go with Luke, but that's more of a political judgment than a literary one. The anti-semites favor John.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:28 AM
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42

38.Sounds a bit selective. The Infancy Gospel of James makes him out to have been a juvenile delinquent.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:28 AM
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43

41: I think Luke and Acts together form a pretty decent introduction to the NT.

As far as John goes, I think it's hard to beat Matthew 27:25: "Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children"


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:35 AM
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44

Who needs that Roebuck anyway?


Posted by: Richard W. Sears | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:45 AM
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Per others am partial to Ecclesiastes. Most of the rest is tl;dr. Although I will say that the Book of Revelation was bold attempt to put the lie to "nothing new under the Sun." Disruptive!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:49 AM
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9: it's funny that, with all that happening, they never found time to decide "Slavery = bad". Just "slavery = bad when it's happening to us".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:54 AM
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Speaking of which let me reiterate my recommendation that if you are someone willing to go with the stupid, This is the End is worth a watch.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:56 AM
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48

43: Ah - I wasn't familiar with that one from Mark. I was thinking of John's habit of referring to the enemies of Jesus as "the Jews."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 8:59 AM
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47 is correct. Stupid is key, though.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 9:03 AM
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48: Robin Lane Fox goes into detail about why John does that. It's very interesting stuff.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 9:06 AM
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Luke/Acts is OK as an intro to the NT, but it's the Gospel according to St Paul. ho gets enough of a say with all those epistles. Matthew or Mark offer at least a hint of the views of the other tendencies in the early proto-church.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 9:07 AM
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Ironically Matthew and John were written by Jews and Mark and Luke by Gentiles. The narcissism of small differences.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 9:12 AM
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If you really want a contrast to Paul, there's also James which is explicitly anti-Paul. It's really weird that it ended up in the bible.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 9:13 AM
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54

Its a shame that the minutes of the Bible's editorial committee are lost to history.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 9:22 AM
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54: I don't know, but I bet they're not completely -- I wouldn't be surprised at all to learn that there were records of the early church councils that decided which books were and were not canonical.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 9:26 AM
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50: I'm not familiar with Fox, and in Googling around, I'm finding that I'm not as familiar with John as I thought I was. (John doesn't mention the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem? Really?)

But Google tells me that Fox believes the apostle John was the author of the Gospel. That makes Fox a crank, doesn't it?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 9:32 AM
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54. I am always baffled about how Job and Ecclesiastes got to stay in.

Judith, Esdras, and the Gospel of Thomas are all worth reading IMO-- Judith is a good story, Esdras is crazy, and Thomas is interesting.

The tension between classical tradition and the bible for people who wrote and cared about learning when there wasn't much to read is interesting-- Boethius and Origen shouldn't just be for specialists.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 9:33 AM
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The weird thing is that the Gospel of John doesn't even actually claim to be written by the beloved disciple (presumably, but not necessarily, John), just that it's based on the testimony of the beloved disciple.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 9:34 AM
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59

I believe the process of selecting canonical books is fairly well understood. It went on over a long time and there are still differences depending on which sect you favour.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 9:36 AM
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60

Useful tables here.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 9:40 AM
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61

Is 59 true for the old testament?

I would be very interested to read about I Kings and II Kings, since there is basically no physical evidence that David existed or that Israel and Judah were unified that early.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 9:44 AM
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Please, people. "Hebrew Bible".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 9:45 AM
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63

Or "Jews Before Jesus."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 9:50 AM
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59 is right in a way, but might also be misleading. We certainly understand in broad strokes what the process was like (messy, long, and mostly informal). But for specific questions like "How could James and Romans both have ended up in the cannon?" my impression is we know very little at all.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 9:52 AM
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Having not read any of the "Very Short Introduction" series, I have to ask: are they really worth $11.95 when you can read Wikipedia for free? Or $6.15, since ogged is buying the Kindle editions.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 9:54 AM
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When I was a kid, I used to go the library and read the encyclopedias rather than doing my work. The internet has improved my life so much.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:04 AM
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67

Please, people. "Hebrew Real Bible".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:10 AM
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68

61. No, the Hebrew Bible (Septuagint, mostly) was inherited by the Christians as it stood, although various sects edited it round the edges. I have no idea how or when it was put together, although I believe there are people who do. It didn't all happen at the same time.

"How could James and Romans both have ended up in the cannon?"

Why not? They were both widely read and copied, they were both plausibly attributed to important figures from the earliest days of the proto-church. I think an obsession with consistency is a rather more modern habit. After all, the gospels are full of contradictions, and so is the Torah.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:11 AM
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65: I've read three (The Great Depression and the New Deal, Eric Rauchway; Economics, Partha Dasgupta; Chaos, Leonard Smith). I liked the Rauchway and the Smith, the Dasgupta not so much. Worth three big cups of coffee? Probably.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:12 AM
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I found the WWI VSI worthwhile.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:14 AM
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I ultimately find Paul much more congenial (and less demanding! maybe related!) than James, but 1 Romans is pretty much the absolute worst place in the New Testament for a contemporary US liberal to start reading, especially without context other than the 30 year campaign on the part of assholes to make Christianity about nothing more than anti-contemporary-feminism.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:16 AM
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68 -- the Gnostics (or some of them) were very into consistency; Marcion, for example, rejected all gospels except Luke. Taking 4 gospels in was a kind of deliberate argument against consistency. And the attributions to the apostles were part of a kind of circular logic of legitimacy*; it was legitimate if it came directly from the apostles and if it seemed legitimate it must therefore have come from the apostles, which is why John (after some controversy) got in and was attributed to the apostle John.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:21 AM
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73

It's not primarily that they're inconsistent as that James appears to be written to rebut Romans.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:26 AM
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74

Anyone know of good recent writing about the dead sea scrolls?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:32 AM
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75

Or $6.15

At this price, I find it an easy call. 100 pages written by an expert for an educated lay audience is a very different thing from a wikipedia article. For twice the price, I'd be more selective about which ones I read.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:37 AM
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I think 73 is maybe a little strong, but it's true that "James" and "Paul" were also stand-ins for clearly competing tendencies within the early church (broadly speaking, the connection with Mosaic law v outreach to the Gentiles) that the choice of attributing the epistle of James to James is a deliberate signal that it's something different than Paul.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:40 AM
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And then there's the old testament with its series of "and then we conquered and enslaved our neighbors and it was totally awesome!" episodes.

I wish I could figure out exactly what my bar mitzvah Torah portion was because as I remember it, it was this totally hateful "KILL EVERYONE" screed. (I would also be curious in a cringey way to read my sermon, which probably for the best is not extant.)

Oh but yeah, I have tried to read the Bible on various occasions and found nothing to love. Maybe I tried the wrong parts, or the wrong translation. I get that people are really into it.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:42 AM
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78

"Your breasts are like two young roes that are twins"

The first neg?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:43 AM
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79

I get that people are really into it

What ever gave you that idea?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:45 AM
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80

I have a weak spot for Isaiah because I studied that during my year in public school in Israel. I still remember one line in Hebrew which roughly translates as "Sons I have raised, and they risen up against me." God -- what a whiner!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:48 AM
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80: Sorry, God! I'll fix it.

"Sons I have raised, and they have risen up against me."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:49 AM
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When I was a kid, I used to go the library and read the encyclopedias rather than doing my work

I read the entire 1972 World Book. It formed the foundation of all my other knowledge.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:52 AM
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In my pre-teens I inhaled most of the even-then-elderly 12 volume encyclopedia on my grandfather's shelves. I my mid teens I realised that it was full of inaccurate and egregiously offensive bullshit. An important part of growing up.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 11:05 AM
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re: 74

Yeah, I'd be very interested in a recent book on the state of biblical scholarship. Someone, Kotsko maybe? Recommended one of the earlier Jaroslav Pelikan volumes on the emergence of doctrine, a few years back. But I'd be very interested in stuff on specifically textual scholarship. I have a feeling it's a topic that moves pretty quickly, and that 'pop' accounts on TV and in newspapers aren't great.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 11:08 AM
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I tried to read one of the Pelikan books a few years ago and it was too heavy for me, and I have a pretty high tolerance for heavy books. The Henry Chadwick book on the early church is great and readable and informative, probably outdated but I don't think (not the certification of an expert) "wrong."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 11:11 AM
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It's ... really hard for me not to say (and so I say) that I'm with Smearcase in 77.last.

As for reading lists, I berate myself for still having on the list Perlstein's Before the Storm, on Barry Goldwater and, well, what was going on at that time. Saw the new PBS American Experience program "Freedom Summer" last night, and was just reminded what a fascinating and critically important period in American history it was.

Books: occasionally interesting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 11:12 AM
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87

I read Gary Willis's book on Paul. It was fairly brief and I recall that I learned much, but I can't recall what I learned exactly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 11:17 AM
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88

"A complicated political process spanning centuries decided that God said, I believe it, and that settles it!"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 11:35 AM
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In my pre-teens I inhaled most of the even-then-elderly 12 volume encyclopedia on my grandfather's shelves. I my mid teens I realised that it was full of inaccurate and egregiously offensive bullshit. An important part of growing up.

My bullshit encyclopedia story.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 11:37 AM
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88: +it


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 11:40 AM
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91

I have read a bunch of those short introductions.

This one on the cold war was my favorite:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Cold-War-Short-Introduction/dp/0192801783


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 11:45 AM
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One vote for the Book of Esther. Nudity! Sex! No God! Two strong female characters who stand up to men (even if one is beheaded for it)! Spies! Armies! It's got it all. Set in Ogged's homeland, too.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 11:55 AM
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92: How many books of the bible pass the Bechdel test?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 11:58 AM
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94

I had an ancient encyclopedia that described the pre-plate-tectonics theory of mountain formation, which is pretty mysterious. When I later learned about the plate tectonics theory, I was very confused.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 12:25 PM
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I had an ancient encyclopedia that described the pre-plate-tectonics theory of mountain formation

John McPhee's not *that* old!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 12:48 PM
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95: I don't think I understood that what I had learned was the pre-plate-tectonics theory until I read that book.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 12:54 PM
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My early Encyclopedia escapade (a 1950s edition of Encyclopedia Americana) was to attempt to complete a map of how all the individual articles linked to each other (there were explicit "see abc, xyz, etc. links at the bottom of each article). You can imagine the tangled multi-page web that quickly resulted. I abandoned the project fairly early on and went on to not invent hypertext (or anything else).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 1:30 PM
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How many books of the bible pass the Bechdel test?

The Book of Ruth does. Also Exodus, under a sufficiently generous standard.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 1:41 PM
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99

Sure about Ruth? Most of Naomi and Ruth's conversation is about the departed son/husband. (or are you referring to "where you go, I will go?)


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 1:44 PM
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100

99.Last: yes.

BTW, that line is a prime example of the mellifluous prose in the KJV ("Whither thou goest, I will go...") that goes missing in more recent translations.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 1:54 PM
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101

I was reading the Book of Nehemiah a year or so ago, and man, is that a bunch of bullshit! The first part is just ridiculous -- the Persian rulers are all like "hey, you're a good guy, why don't you go be a satrap and rebuild the walls around our subject city?" And then he gets there and goes around to the first families, and they're all "Oh, yeah, cool, let's spend a huge amount of money on this project, just because we love Yahweh so much!"

I think the real story would have involved much more intricate politicking.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 2:03 PM
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102

To the OP, Anesthesia: A Very Short Introduction should just start out "Count backwards from 10: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6..."


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 2:06 PM
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103

Also, where's Hobbits: A Very Short Introduction?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 2:07 PM
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104

Hold on, the Hebrews have a bible now?

Is it like a reboot of the real one, or one of those things where they sort of riff off the same ideas but it's basically original?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 2:56 PM
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105

Surprised no one has mentioned Jonah, which is a major FU to pretty much every non-universalist part of the Bible.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 2:57 PM
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When I was a kid we had this set of Junior Encyclopedia, bound in red. They weren't especially dumbed down; I think it was more that they were written for an audience without background*. Anyway, a few months back I was at the recycling place** and saw a complete set in the dumpster. Obviously I wasn't going o grab the whole thing, but I did grab a couple, for sentiment.

I haven't seem them since, and suspect that AB quietly did away with them as nothing more than dust-collecting nostalgia.

*that is, the prose was decent, and the facts presented weren't bowdlerized or simplified to inaccuracy; they just started with basics that any adult would already know.

**We have curbside recycling, but for paper and such, I prefer to drop it off at the place, since it's convenient to my regular rounds, and I don't have to deal with twining stacks of papers or dumping junk mail into paper bags or intermingling paper and glass, which seems just stupid.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 3:05 PM
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107

Another VSI joke: I'll take Swiss soccer players scoring hattricks for 500, Alex.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 3:16 PM
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108

How many books of the bible pass the Bechdel test?

Elizabeth and Mary in the book of Luke, although of course some might consider God to be a man.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 3:16 PM
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76: I wish I could find the paper that made this argument, but I was pretty convinced that the author of James was specifically replying to Romans 4 in James 2. There's certainly room for disagreement on this point though.

James uses the exact same examples and quotes the exact same scripture. It's especially weird because the scripture quoted isn't a good example for James unless he's rebutting Romans 4. Furthermore, there's a possible smoking gun in that both James and Romans both spell Abraham's name Αβρααμ instead of Αβραμ like it's written in the septuagint of Genesis that they're quoting. So the author of James may be copying out of Romans at that point. Of course, one letter is hardly conclusive.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 3:49 PM
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110

I just noticed that you read my book. Or at least started reading my book. Either way, thanks!


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 4:01 PM
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111

I got the copy I read from the library.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 4:02 PM
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112

You owe me a few bucks. I take checks.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 4:12 PM
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113

I signed an agreement to buy a copy of the book, but then I just took it anyway.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 4:57 PM
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114

It only cures cholera if you buy it. Or so I'm told by medical doctors who know.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 5:36 PM
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Or so I'm told by medical doctors who know.

I have been advised by my lawyer and my publicist to be a little more circumspect in my endorsements for the next little while, until things blow over.


Posted by: OPINIONATED DR. OZ | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 6:14 PM
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108.last: In this context, I think she counts as one.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 6:25 PM
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On the subject of the bible, allow me to put in a plug for Robert Alter's "Genesis: Translation and Commentary." Really strong commentary, with a focus on literary aspects of the text.


Posted by: Chris | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:04 PM
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Chris!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 7:09 PM
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lw: If you have JSTOR access (or physical access to a good university library, I guess), there are a lot of articles on the sorts of things you're asking about in journals like Vetus Testamentum and the Journal of Biblical Literature. I keep meaning to read up on some of this stuff, which I also find interesting, but haven't yet. My general impressions is that there's a lot of recent research, but little consensus. A lot of it is in book form, of course, and much of it is still in German.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 10:49 PM
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I keep meaning to read up on some of this stuff, which I also find interesting, but haven't yet.

Still waiting for your come to exegesis moment.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-25-14 11:56 PM
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Yeah, and given my religion, I'm not holding my breath.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 12:36 AM
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Well, if James is responding to Romans 4, then I'm on his side, having been dragged up Anglican. Bollocks to sola fide say I; read Matthew 25.

If the Epistle of James is accurately attributed to James the Just, the first leader of the church in Jerusalem after the exit by whatever means of Jesus (and putatively Jesus' brother), then at an earlier date he had strongly supported Paul in a meeting to decide whether gentile converts had to be circumcised (Acts 15 - tl;dr, no they didn't).

These things weren't fixed by then. Everybody had their own take. But a letter from the first bishop of Jerusalem, and you're going to exclude it from the canon? I don't think so.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 2:19 AM
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110: Are you really the author of Misplaced Massacre? What are doing hanging around us misfits?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:37 AM
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124

Everybody but you has published at least one award-winning book.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:40 AM
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124: Yeah, and I can't even ask a simple question without leaving out a word. I should probably focus on my job -- brain surgery. But you know, all brains pretty much look the same, and I just get bored.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:46 AM
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It's not rocket science. God, this rocket science is so dull.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-26-14 6:54 AM
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