Looking to TV for Cues; Priestly King?; Script Art; Name You, Claim You; Lucian

1.  Zosia Zaks, Life and Love: Positive Strategies for Autistic Adults, page 277:

I hear over and over again from autistic people that they have taken cues from TV and movies, especially when it comes to romance and dating.  It is true that certain TV shows and certain movies can provide you with useful social information and visual examples of how people interact in different scenarios.  But to somebody with a literal mind, concrete thinking, an inability to generalize, and trouble with abstraction, TV is just about the worst place imaginable to pick up your dating lessons.  People on TV have affairs, lie, and hurt each other all the time—sometimes with no consequences.  Love on TV seems so easy—meet, fall in love, live happily ever after.  Romance is exciting and dramatic.  Family life is condensed and simple.  Nothing on TV can really prepare someone for the reality of dating, relationships, and family responsibilities.

I think TV and the movies can be a little more nuanced than that, for characters do struggle with their relationships.  That’s the stuff of comedy and drama!  But, granted, real life is more complicated than an hour or two-hour story.  Plus, there are probably fewer happy endings in real life than on television.  (I should point out, though, that Frasier almost always had an unhappy ending in terms of his romantic life!)

2.  Sara Japhet, The Ideology of the Book of Chronicles and Its Place in Biblical Thought, pages 442-444:

A few believe that the king was actually considered the high priest, and others that he received cultic functions by virtue of his position as head of state.  Yet the book of Chronicles reserves the right to perform ritual tasks for the priests and excludes the king from this right.  His exclusion is declared outright in the story of Uzziah’s leprosy (2 Chr 26:16-21): “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense (v. 18).  The Chronicler transmits the general principle found in Numbers [18:1-7]—“any outsider…who enroaches shall be put to death”—by means of a story.  In his version, the king is also considered an “outsider”…

According to Japhet, there are places in which the Chronicler lessens the king’s priestly role.  II Samuel 6 presents David dancing in a linen ephod, offering sacrifices, and blessing the people.  I Chronicles 15, by contrast, states that David wore a robe (instead of an ephod) of fine linen, and that “they” (not “David”) sacrificed.  II Chronicles 7 also deletes Solomon’s blessing at the end of his prayer for the Temple (I Kings 8:54-55).

Yet, Japhet states that the Chronicler’s ideological recasting of the Deuteronomistic History is incomplete, for I Chronicles 15:27 says that David wore a linen ephod, and I Chronicles 16:2 affirms that David offered sacrifices and blessed the people.  Did the Chronicler change his mind about conforming DtrH to his own view that the king was a king only and not a priest?  Japhet says that the Chronicler may have understood the sacrifices to be offered in the king’s name, “not actually sacrificed by the king…”

I’d have to do more study on this when I feel up to it, but Leviticus 1:3 states that the worshipper is the one offering the sacrifice.  Sure, the priests burn it on the altar and scatter its blood, but the worshipper is the one who is said to offer it.  So was the king believed to perform a priestly role, just because he is said to offer a sacrifice?

3.  R. Pfeiffer, History of Classical Scholarship, page 24:

In the archaic period which followed the epic age the Greeks’ first aim was at beauty of script; for evidence we have only to look at the early inscriptions on stone still preserved.

I don’t think too often about how a script looks, though I will say that I prefer Times New Roman to block script or script that looks like it came from an old typewriter (the script of some of the dissertations I read—not Japhet’s, though).  My second grade teacher was once going on about different Cinderella books, and she said that one may have print that makes our imagination go wild.  Interesting thought.

4.  R.P.C. Hanson, Allegory and Event, page 206:

‘”Name”,’ [Origen] says, ‘is a summary title of the very nature of the person named.’  One of the objections to the theory that John the Baptist was a re-incarnation of Elijah was, in Origen’s eyes, the fact that this would have involved a change of name given to the same soul, yet no reason for this change is given in Scripture, as it is in the cases of Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, and Peter.

That sounds somewhat superstitious—your name determines the type of person you are or will be.  Is it biblical?  Esau in Genesis 27:6 says that Jacob is rightly named Jacob (supplanter), for Jacob took away Esau’s birthright and blessing.  In I Samuel 25:25, Abigail says that her husband Nabal acts according to his name: foolish. 

But this may not mean that everyone named Jacob is going to supplant.  The Bible may just be saying that, in some cases, a person lives up (or down, as the case may be) to his name.

But God did give people new names, not so much according to their internal nature, but according to his plan for them.  God planned for Abraham to be a father of many nations, so God called him “Abraham.”  The same was true with Sarah, and Peter.

Or God may change a person’s name according to something that person has done.  Jacob struggled with God, and so God called him “Israel.”

Joel Osteen once gave a sermon about a man named “Joe.”  Joe’s wife couldn’t have children (I think), so Joe told all his friends and family to call him “Joseph,” which means “he will add.”  By walking around with the name of “Joseph,” Joe was expressing his faith that God would add to his family, by enabling his wife to have a child.  And that’s what happened. 

The Gospel of “Name it, claim it” or “Word of Faith” may not always work, but there are biblical passages that talk about God rewarding faith.  And one act of faith—of acknowledging the reality of a blessing that is not-yet—is to name yourself according to what God promises.

Of course, I don’t plan to change my name, which (like Jacob) means “supplanter.”  The apostle James had it, and he was a decent guy!  One thing many people do is to get an Internet name according to how they see themselves, or what they want to be.

5.  N.F. Marcos, The Septuagint in Context, page 223:

Lucian was born in Samasota in Syria c. 250 CE…[F]or reasons that are not quite clear he was for many years in the shade, cut off from Church communion…[H]e took Arius as one of his disciples.  In his final years he returned to the Church and died a martyr under the emperor Maximian (311-12).

On Sunday, I’ll be reading more about his recension.  But, as a teaser, here’s what wikipedia says:

Lucian is also commonly credited with a critical recension of the text of the Septuagint and the Greek New Testament, which was later used by Chrysostom and the later Greek fathers, and which lies at the basis of the textus receptus.[7]

Jerome mentions that copies were known in his day as “exemplaria Lucianea” but in other places he speaks rather disparagingly of the texts of Lucian.[8] In the absence of definite information it is impossible to decide the merits of his critical labors.[9]

He believed in the literal sense of the biblical text and thus laid stress on the need of textual accuracy. He undertook to revise the Septuagint based on the original Hebrew.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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