Wednesday, April 13, 2022

"Why a C. S. Lewis Bible?"

Well, if you want absolute orthodoxy, not the best choice - but for modern (post-1950) study Bibles, it's also far from the worst.

I just noted there exists such a thing as a C. S. Lewis Bible:

The C. S. Lewis Bible*
1st of Nov. 2021 | Bible Buying Guide

There are three introductory essays about C. S. Lewis and this study Bible project, and the first is by his son Douglas Gresham.

The second paragraph is a very good answer. It's a good choice because C. S. Lewis while a good Bible scholar in fact was too humble to think of himself as a Bible scholar, citing only sentences 2 to 4 of it:

This is the case of the understanding of a man who never regarded himself as a theologian, but always regarded himself as as rank amateur in such matters, and yet is now, more than forty-five** years after his death, regarded as one of the leading theologians of his day. This is a man who never presented himself as any kind of psychologist*** and yet is now thought of as a man who understood human thinking and humanity better than any other writer of his time. This is a man who never imagined himself to be a biblical scholar and yet a man who read and memorised a chapter of the Bible every single day.°

Now, the first paragraph would be misleading if applied to the Haydock Bible.

It seems to me that many annotated Bibles are exercises in one man, or one committee of men, presenting their own wisdom and the results of their own biblical studies to the public at large, and while I ascribe to them the very best motives in the world, there still seems to me to be a touch of arrogance attached to such an endeavour. After all, what is being said is "I/We have studied the Bible for years and I/we have achieved such wisdom therefrom that you need to read my/our comments in order to understand the Bible as deeply and as well as I/we do, which is of vital importance for you to do."

Why is this not a valid criticism of the Haydock Bible? To be fair to Douglas Gresham, he never said (here at least) he was thinking of the Haydock Bible. But still, why does this not apply to it?

First of all, a bishop exposing the Bible is acting on God's command. If he is a bishop of the Catholic Church that is. It's a bit like why L'Histoire d'une âme is not conceited on part of St. Therèse Martin : she didn't chose to write it, she was ordered to, by her Carmelite prioress°° who represented to her the bishop of Lisieux, who represented in the see of Lisieux the authority of God the Father, like a priest represents that of God the Son, like a deacon that of God the Holy Ghost.

Similarily, when a bishop like Witham or Challoner (often cited in the Haydock comment) for instance comments on the Gospel to counter Protestant misrepresentation of it - Witham on John 4:23 for instance:

Ver. 23. Now is the time approaching, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth, without being confined to any one temple or place; and chiefly in spirit, without such a multitude of sacrifices and ceremonies as even the Jews now practise. Such adorers God himself (who is a pure spirit) desires, which they shall be taught by the Messias. Wi. ...

... he is not presenting his understanding as his own, but as a gift of God, like St. Paul told St. Timothy: That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work. (II Tim 3:17) Since, you see, a bishop is a "man of God" (like St. Timothy was).

Now, George Leo Haydock was not a bishop. But he cited on occasion bishops Witham (as here) or Challoner (who is also regularly cited in the Douay Rheims, which he revised) and saints who were bishops (like St. John Chrysostom) or saints who were not bishops (like St. Thomas Aquinas) or bishops who were not saints (he does on occasion cite Jansenius, a work of whom was condemned by the Pope after his death). He even applied a non-saint and non-bishop's work to the pages, since more than one passage of Genesis and Exodus is supplemented with the Ussher year (given both as Anno Mundi and as BC). However, he does also give his own comments. Here is a good one:

Concerning the transactions of these early times, parents would no doubt be careful to instruct their children, by word of mouth, before any of the Scriptures were written; and Moses might derive much information from the same source, as a very few persons formed the chain of tradition, when they lived so many hundred years. Adam would converse with Mathusalem, who knew Sem, as the latter lived in the days of Abram. Isaac, Joseph, and Amram, the father of Moses, were contemporaries: so that seven persons might keep up the memory of things which had happened 2500 years before. But to entitle these accounts to absolute authority, the inspiration of God intervenes; and thus we are convinced, that no word of sacred writers can be questioned. H.

It's the last words he added as comment on Genesis 3. From same chapter in the C. S. Lewis Bible, I saw a disaster:

We do not know how many of these creatures God made, nor how long they remained in the Paradisal state. ...

Yes, we do. Trent, Session V, makes it clear that the sin we all bear the consequences of was committed by one man, precisely as St. Paul also made clear, so we have a Bible text telling us, God created exactly two of these creatures. And we know they fell before they conceived Cain.

I am an ex of those who took C. S. Lewis as the utmost orthodoxy, I am now a Catholic. And I am very glad this allows me to be unabashedly a Fundie.

However, Haydock had, like Homer, moments of nodding:

It is not material whether the sun turn round the earth, or the contrary. H.

From the Josue 10:12 comment. Yes, it is, since the words "Move not, O sun, toward Gabaon, nor thou, O moon, toward the valley of Ajalon," are not simple narrative, where a phenomenal language could be used, but the words of a miracle worker, where he must be assumed to adress the entity that shall miraculously change normal natural behaviour.

But I am thankful I had C. S. Lewis rather than John Shelby Spong and rather than an Adventist as a teacher about orthodoxy before I turned to Catholicism for it. There are worse examples of praeparatio evangelica.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Wednesday of Holy Week

* I watch the video with French automated translation, impossible to get rid of, but suppose the title "La revue biblique de C. S. Lewis" means "The C. S. Lewis Bible" or perhaps "The C. S. Lewis Study Bible".
** 1963 + 45 < 2008 or early 2009, which would be when the first edition is from.
*** Certain people would differ : if you ditch Freud (as he did), you obviously think you are a better expert in psychology than Freud, they would say. I judge that after how they deal with me.
° He may not have used the "Apocrypha section" when doing so, but if he did, this would land him at 1184 days with lectio continua, as that is the number of chapters in a Catholic Bible. 3.24 years. He probably started over again, time after time and used different languages (King James, Vulgate, LXX with Greek NT) - as far as I know, Hebrew was not among his languages, Latin and Greek most certainly were.
°° I think Carmelites are a mendicant order and as such have no abbotts or abbesses.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Listes de Rois Pictes

Frédéric Kurzawa, les Pictes (à l'origine de l'Écosse, éditions Yoran, 2018) nous dit :

Ces listes indiquent, que le premier roi des Pictes s'appelait Cruithne mac Cinge. Il aurait eu un règne de cent ans, ce qui confirme le caractère légendaire de sa notice biographique. Quant à son père, Cinge, il est présenté comme fils de Luchtai, fils de Partholon, fils d'Agnoin, fils de Buain, fils de Mais, fils de Fathecht, fils de Japheth, fils de Noé. Cette généalogie fantaisiste qui relie Cinge à un ancêtre biblique, le patriarche légendaire Noé, confirme le peu de crédit qu'on peut accorder aussi bien à l'identité du personnage qu'à sa filiation.


Après le récit du roi Cruithne et de ses sept fils, la liste des rois pictes mentionne environ soixante monarcques avec la durée de leur règne.

Regardons un peu ... 60 + 2 générations = 62 + 7 = 69 générations après Japheth, c'est à dire après le Déluge - jusque'à, environ, 550 AD.

Le Déluge lui-même en 2957 avant Jésus Christ. = 3500 ans pour 69 générations. 50 - 51 ans par génération. Même avec les expectations de vie* modernes, une telle distance entre générations est faisable. Mon grand-père maternel avait un grand-père paternel né environ 100 ans avant lui-même.

Ajoutons que l'époque juste après le Déluge, les expectations de vie* n'étaient pas modernes, mais plus longues. Avec 50 ans par génération, Cruithne aurait dû être né vers 400 après le Déluge, en même temps que Phalec. Celui-ci vécut 239 ans, on peut supposer le même pour Cruithne. Donné qu'il règne 100 ans, il doit arriver à l'âge de 139 ans. En 2418 avant Jésus-Christ.

Quelle en serait l'âge carbonique? Regardons mes tables (ou un extrait) :

2422 av. J.Chr.
0,557737 pcm/100, donc daté comme 7272 av. J.Chr.
2399 av. J.Chr.
0,570291 pcm/100, donc daté comme 7049 av. J.Chr.

Ah, oui ... 7000 avant Jésus-Christ. Carboniques, bien entendu. Là quand la population de l'Écosse commence à se mettre en place. Asseze réaliste, somme tout, d'un côté imprévu par les présumés poëtes de légendes, car ils n'avaient aucune connaissance de nos datations par carbone 14.

Et Kurzawa est théologien catholique ... ? Il aurait dû savoir mieux./HGL

* Espérances de vie, pardon.

Friday, April 1, 2022

English Attorney's General

Attorney General for England (and Wales) - Wikipedia

The list only gives years of service, from which the year of birth is always excluded, and since the office may be left before death, the death year could be excluded as well.

This means, the following only covers the ones that have articles of their own. From these I have copied the following, and the ones that only give death year are not part of the statistics. But the majority have both years.

13th C
William Inge (judge) (c. 1260 – May 1322)
Hugh de Lowther (died 1317)

14th C
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster (6 March 1340 – 3 February 1399)

15th C
Sir William Babington (c. 1370 – 1454)
Sir William Hussey (or Huse or Husee) of Sleaford, Lincolnshire, SL (1443 – 8 September 1495)
Sir William Huddesfield (died 1499)
Sir William Hody (born before 1441, died 1524)

16th C
Sir John Ernley (or Ernle) (1464 – 22 April 1520)
Sir John Fitzjames (c. 1465/70 – c. 1542)
Ralph Swillington (died 1525)
Sir Richard Lyster (c. 1480 – 14 March 1554)
Sir Christopher Hales (died 1541)
Sir William Whorwood (c.1500 – 28 May 1545)
Sir Edward Griffin (died 1569)
Sir Gilbert Gerard (died 4 February 1593) ... Gerard was born by 1523.
Sir John Popham (1531 – 10 June 1607)
Thomas Egerton, 1st Viscount Brackley, PC (1540 – 15 March 1617)
Sir Edward Coke SL (1 February 1552 – 3 September 1634)

17th C
Sir Henry Hobart, 1st Baronet SL (1 Jan 1560 – 29 December 1625)
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, PC (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626)
Sir Henry Yelverton (29 June, 1566 – 24 January, 1630)
Thomas Coventry, 1st Baron Coventry (1578 – 14 January 1640)
Sir Robert Heath (20 May 1575 – 30 August 1649)
William Noy (1577 – 9 August 1634)
Sir John Bankes (1589 – 28 December 1644)
Sir Edward Herbert (c. 1591–1658)
Thomas Gardiner (1591–1652)
Sir Oliver St John (c. 1598 – 31 December 1673)
William Steele (bap. 19 August 1610, Sandbach – 1680)
Edmund Prideaux (died 1659)
Sir Robert Reynolds (1601–1678)
Sir Geoffrey Palmer, 1st Baronet, SL (1598 – 5 May 1670)
Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Nottingham, PC (23 December 1620 – 18 December 1682)
Francis North, 1st Baron Guilford, PC, KC(22 October 1637 – 5 September 1685)
Sir William Jones (1631 – 2 May 1682)
Sir Creswell Levinz (1627–1701)
Sir Robert Sawyer, of Highclere Castle (1633–1692)
Sir Thomas Powys (1649 – 4 April 1719)
Sir Henry Pollexfen (1632 – 15 June 1691)
Sir George Treby JP (1643–1700)
John Somers, 1st Baron Somers, PC, PRS (4 March 1651 – 26 April 1716)
Sir Edward Ward (1638–1714)
Thomas Trevor, 1st Baron Trevor, PC (8 March 1658 – 19 June 1730)

45 51 52 55 56 57 57 58 59 59 60 61 61 61 62 63 65 65
45 50 52 55 56 57 57 58 59 59 60 61 61 61 62 63 65 65
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

67 70 70 70 72 72 74 74 74 75 76 77 77 77 77 82 83 84
67 69 69 69 71 72 72 73 74 74 75 76 76 77 77 82 83 84
19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

Minimum, 45, LQ 59, Med 65-67, HQ 74-75, alt 74, Max 84.* For Sir William Babington (c. 1370 – 1454). Note, none of his successors from 1500 to 1700 survived his age. Unless some whose age I could not know from the wiki.

Median 65 to 67 is somewhat higher than usual for non-military** occupations, but not by much. 65 is more usual.

Hans Georg Lundahl
St. Hugh of Grenoble

PS, it seems that Russia was having a lower life expectancy in the Soviet years and in the early post-Soviet years:

Among the most serious findings is a four year drop in life expectancy among Russian men since 1980, from 62 years to 58.

Life expectancy of Russian men falls to 58
James Ciment | BMJ. 1999 Aug 21; 319(7208): 468.
doi: 10.1136/bmj.319.7208.468a

However, one must keep in mind, this statistic, while all male, presumably includes new born men, while the statistics I glean from wikipedia systematically ignore and have to ignore child mortality./HGL

PPS, even so stats would be to the detriment of Russia, if life expectancy were counted from conception : it has had one of the highest abortion rates in Europe and in the world./HGL

Gratianopoli, in Gallia, sancti Hugonis Episcopi, qui multis annis in solitudine vitam exegit, et miraculorum gloria clarus migravit ad Dominum.

* 36 is divided into these quarters, meaning, each except minimum and maximum is from two place values, those of places 9 and 10, of places 18 and 19 and of places 27 and 28. When the value for both numbers is the same, only that one is given. When it's different, either you make a medium by (a+b)/2 = m, or you give both values, which I do. With "alt" I mean that in the lower alternative for nonunivocal ages, both 27 and 28 read 74, while the higher alternative gives the span 74-75.
1 - 9:10 - 18:19 - 27:28 - 36
** Royal families have military occupations.