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June 02, 2006

Comments

Rich Leonardi

There's some interesting speculation as to whether Shakespeare helped write the KJV, specifically the translation of Psalm 46. Dwight Longnecker addressed it earlier this year in a letter to the National Catholic Register:

I wonder if any scholars out there could explain this mysterious riddle. In the year the King James Bible was published, William Shakespeare was 46 years old. If you go to Psalm 46 in the King James Bible and count 46 words from the beginning, the word is "shake." If you count 46 words from the end, the word is "spear."

Psalm 46 is all about the tumult of the nations and how God is a rock in the midst of terrible changes. Was Shakespeare a secret translator of the King James Bible? Did he plant his own name in the midst of a Psalm that points shiftless, warring nations to "the rock" of Peter?


didymus

A truly fascinating, complex man.

Dan LaHood LMC

After reading Shadowplay, Clare Aisquith's fascinating, almost unbelievable depiction of Shakespeares genius at coding messages, creating multiple messages to different groups in the same play amid the incredible tensions he lived with it's easy to believe he could have left such a clue in the Psalms.

Blind Squirrel

Nah. Everybody knows the KJV was written by Francis Bacon.

Liz

I think Shakespeare was married to Mary Magdalene, actually.

mulopwepaul

Also, St. Mary Magdalene wrote the plays and sonnets, and Shakespeare stole and published them and tried to frame the Earl of Oxford for the crime.

PVO

Christopher Fotos

If you go to Psalm 46 in the King James Bible and count 46 words from the beginning, the word is "shake." If you count 46 words from the end, the word is "spear."

So Dark The Spear of Shake.

Michael Tinkler

Well, 46 from the end ONLY if you exclude the "Selah."

*sigh*

some people have WAY too much time on their hands.

Jeff H.

"Selah" is where the Psalmist took a drag on his cigarette.

Jeff

I thought "Selah" was West Indian for the person the "Buyah" is supposed to beware of.

And ANYWAY...what in the name of Servant David has any of this got to do with the fact that ol' Hitch is inching his way forward, kicking and screaming, toward Christ?

Cause for celebration, I'd say. You get the same wages if you start work at one minute to midnight, or so I've heard tell.

Dan Crawford

The Shakespeare Code?

Richard

Hello Rich,

Nice try, but all educated men know it was the 17th Earl of Oxford.

P.S. In all seriousness, one thing the KJV translators had over their much more knowledgable modern successors was a real sense of literature. For all its flaws, the KJV is beautiful and prosaic; most modern translations are dry, pedantic, or worse, relentlessly colloquial.

Kevin Jones

How much poetry, and what quality of poetry, do modern Bible translators-in-training have to read?

Shawn Anthony

I totally agree with Hitchens. Knowing and understanding the bible is necessary for a holistic understanding of Western Civ. I think it can be studied well without devotion.

A question was asked too: "How much poetry, and what quality of poetry, do modern Bible translators-in-training have to read?"

LOL. I have a BA in Theology and three years of Greek. I did it all at a private, Christian undergraduate institution. The only training I received in literature was that which I initiated myself. Otherwise, I would have had zero.

Maureen

I hear wrestling with God gets you a blessing.

Emma

I heard from a reliable source that Christopher Hitchens was appointed by the Vatican to be Devil's Advocate for Mother Theresa's cause.
I wish I could have that verified.

Rich Leonardi

For all its flaws, the KJV is beautiful and prosaic; most modern translations are dry, pedantic, or worse, relentlessly colloquial.

In the book God's Secretaries, Adam Nicolson describes how the effect of oral recitation was the final arbiter for conflicting translations. The "Secretaries" settled upon this standard because they believed the Bible to be an essentially liturgical, and therefore oral, document.

Samuel J. Howard

"I heard from a reliable source that Christopher Hitchens was appointed by the Vatican to be Devil's Advocate for Mother Theresa's cause.
I wish I could have that verified."

Sort of.

He was called as a witness in the canonization proceedings.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/10/09/60minutes/main577394.shtml

"There isn't as much room for dissenting opinions as there once was. The 1983 streamlining of canonization eliminated the traditional position of Devil's Advocate, whose job was to make the case against a given candidate. Nevertheless, the people who were handling Mother Teresa's cause wanted to be as thorough as possible, and decided to call as a witness her harshest critic.

“'Somebody in the world had to represent the Devil pro-bono. And I was perfectly happy for that to be me,' says author Christopher Hitchens, who recalls being thunderstruck when he was called to testify in Mother Teresa's case.

"Hitchens, who specializes in the slaughter of sacred cows, wrote a book that took the 20th Century icon to task for perpetuating poverty with her militant opposition to family planning, and preaching that poverty was a blessing.

“'I met her. My impression was that she was a woman of profound faith, at least in the sense that one can say of anyone, who is a completely narrow-focused single-minded fanatic, that they are a person of faith,' says Hitchens.

"Did he meet her before or after he made up his mind about her?

"'It was by talking to her that I discovered, and she assured me, that she wasn't working to alleviate poverty,' says Hitchens. “She was working to expand the number of Catholics. She said, "I'm not a social worker. I don't do it for this reason. I do it for Christ. I do it for the church."'"

"And the church listened to Christopher Hitchens, but decided that his argument was irrelevant. "

Donald R. McClarey

I have rarely agreed as frequently with someone I find personally, spiritually and intellectually odious, as I have with Christopher Hitchens.

Tom Piatak

The sympathy for Christopher Hitchens is strange. He is bitterly anti-Catholic, and has openly praised Communist efforts to forcibly suppress Christianity:

http://www.amconmag.com/2005/2005_10_10/article3.html

http://www.vdare.com/piatak/051227_christmas.htm

PMC

Agreed, Donald McClarey. I attended a debate between Hitch and Wm Donohue in NYC a few years ago on the proposition that the American intelligentsia is hostile to Catholicism. While Hitch apparently came to stake out the con position, Donohue obviously had come to brawl--er, debate a different proposition -- something like Chris Hitchens Has Said A Lot Of Outrageous Things. Poor Hitch tried gamely to stick to the topic but was thrust on the defensive most of the evening. I actually felt a little sorry for him, and I thought he'd won the debate. (And I'm a card-carrying Catholic League member.)

Donna V.

I agree with Donald McClarey that Hitchens is right about the war and the dangers of radical Islam and generally wrong about everything else.

Hitchens has the same problem other secular writers who are concerned about the Western elites' tendency toward self-destructive appeasement in the face of a serious threat. Hitchens cannot, or will not, admit that the end of "the lost period of faith" has had dire consequences for the West, not least of which is the loss of civilizational self-confidence needed to perservere in the face of a determined and patient enemy. His own militant atheism keeps him from drawing the obvious conclusions.

Hitch can write like nobody's business, but I prefer Mark Steyn because Steyn, a practicing Christian, recognizes what Hutchens refuses to see - that lack of religious faith is not a sign of a healthy society, but of a sick and decadent one and that Europe's advanced secularism is exactly what makes it so vulnerable to collapse.

Tom Piatak

Hitchens is as wrong about radical Islam as he is about everything else. Islam, by itself, can never conquer the West. The principal danger Islam poses to the West is mass immigration, which is a danger only if the West chooses to accept mass Islamic immigration. Hitchens has never written anything about the need to restrict Islamic immigration, preferring instead to support a pointless war against a country that never posed any threat to the United States, and which has had as one of its effects the displacement of a large number of Christians from their homeland.

And describing Hitchens as "secular" conjures up false images of, say, the ACLU. Hitchens is more accurately compared to his heroes Lenin and Trotsky, who brought "secularism" to Russia through a campaign of terror, murder, and cultural devastation, a campaign of which Hitchens continues to approve.

Donald R. McClarey

"Hitch can write like nobody's business, but I prefer Mark Steyn because Steyn, a practicing Christian, recognizes what Hutchens refuses to see - that lack of religious faith is not a sign of a healthy society, but of a sick and decadent one and that Europe's advanced secularism is exactly what makes it so vulnerable to collapse."

Agreed Donna! Steyn is what Hitchens could be if got off the liquor, started going to church and developed a sense of humor.

KH

Hey, PMC, my husband was at that same debate! And he barely remembers, so I've always wanted to ask someone else who was there: Did you remember Hitchens admitting that he was, in fact, now pro-life? Something *like* that was said, but my husband can't remember the details. Otherwise, he pretty much agrees with you as to how it went. It could've been less, ah, bull-dog-like.

amywelborn

Yes, KH, Hitchens is opposed to abortion in some sense. I think he even mentions it in this interview.

Paul

I am not a great fan of Christopher Hitchens (I suspect he plays the "enfant terrible" for commercial purposes)however for those who are interested,there is an interesting debate between Hitchens and Stephen Fry regarding "Blasphemy" currently online.It can be found at :

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/culturevulture/archives/2006/05/08/listen_to_steph.html

PMC

KH, I confess that I don't recall Hitch describing himself as 'pro-life," but, as Amy says, I know he has on occasion written critically about abortion (tho' I think he may fall into the "necessary evil" camp).

BTW, you can find Hitch's take on that debate I mentioned here: http://snipurl.com/rbme. Although his description is pretty accurate, I wouldn't buy into his conclusions.

TSO

I think [the Bible] can be studied well without devotion.

True, but there also truth in what C.S. Lewis said of atheism: be very careful what you read since you might read yourself out of it. One of the Russian novelists, Tolstoy or Doestevsky, tried to read himself into faith (via the Scriptures) and with God's help he more or less succeeded.

Tom Piatak

With respect to abortion, Hitchens has indicated that he is "squeamish" about it, but he has also said that those who oppose contraception have no moral basis to oppose abortion, and he opposed the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court because, as the fourth Catholic justice on the Court, he might follow Vatican doctrine and outlaw abortion. Hitchens is no pro-lifer, even in the most attenuated sense.

And Hitchens continues his campaign of vilification against the Church. Speaking at Georgetown in April, he charged that Mother Teresa "helped kill millions of people"
http://www.thehoya.com/news/042506/news6.cfm
Of course, Hitchens said similar things about John Paul II when he died.

What makes these slanders even more repulsive is that Hitchens continues to admire mass murderers who did kill millions, Lenin and Trotsky. But since those millions were killed in an effort to destroy Chrisianity in Russia, they meet with Hitchens' approval.

juan jesus

JUAN JESUS PEREZ FRONTELA (United States)
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juan jesus

JUAN JESUS PEREZ FRONTELA (United States)
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FOR :One CHURCH ;GOD TO SEND (AROUND OF WORLD)
LD ),YEAR 2006 OF THE RAPT OF BODY OF ... Site Mailing
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YOU IDENTIFY WITH Church;HOLINESS MINISTERY THANK YOU/DANIEL10:3THE
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juan jesus

JUAN JESUS PEREZ FRONTELA (United States)
Score : 10/10

FOR :One CHURCH ;GOD TO SEND (AROUND OF WORLD)
LD ),YEAR 2006 OF THE RAPT OF BODY OF ... Site Mailing
List Sign Guestbook View Guestbook ...
www.historicspringfield.org/sbc/inc/gbook - 108k - Message: Date:
05/16/06 Message: WARNING! FOR :One CHURCH ;GOD TO SEND (AROUND OF WORLD
),YEAR 2006 !PREMICE ! OF THE RAPT OF BODY OF CHRIST/Please, JUST IN CASE
YOU IDENTIFY WITH Church;HOLINESS MINISTERY THANK YOU/DANIEL10:3THE
PRESENT OF GOD? ATTENTION!-REPORT:misionerodejesus@yahoo.com.ar
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