Rossweisse
RIP Rossweisse, HellHost and long-time Shipmate.
Please see the thread in All Saints remembering her.

When knowing The Bible helps The Secular

BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
I forgot the year until I looked it up, but back in 2009 the winning word in the US National Spelling Bee was Laodicean, meaning "lukewarm"--a cinch if you remember the message to Laodicea in Revelation.
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  • Also helps when competing on (the US version of) the "Jeopardy" TV game show. Sometimes, it's a whole category of its own.
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    Indeed--I remember when a Final Jeopardy Answer was "The Greek name for this Book in the Bible is Arithmoi".
  • Reading the dirty bible poetry got me sent to the hallway in grade 7, but it also got me a lot of peer attention. I moved maybe 15 points up the school coolness peer rating scheme, which was a lot when I was starting at zero.

    "Your navel is a rounded goblet; it never lacks blended wine. Your waist is a mound of wheat encircled by the lilies. Your breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle." (Song of Solomon, 7:2-3).
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    Reminds me when years ago I described Ship of Fools to an Evangelical as "where you can find out the dirty words in the Bible".
  • Belisarius wrote: »
    Reminds me when years ago I described Ship of Fools to an Evangelical as "where you can find out the dirty words in the Bible".

    This would be grand to see on one of those church lawn signs.
  • Reading the dirty bible poetry got me sent to the hallway in grade 7, but it also got me a lot of peer attention. I moved maybe 15 points up the school coolness peer rating scheme, which was a lot when I was starting at zero.

    "Your navel is a rounded goblet; it never lacks blended wine. Your waist is a mound of wheat encircled by the lilies. Your breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle." (Song of Solomon, 7:2-3).

    Reminds me of a guy I knew in the Navy who said he got in trouble as a youngster in Sunday School for taking the girls off behind the church and reading to them from the Song of Solomon.
  • I will say, my teenage son was quite enthusiastic about that particular book.
  • Belisarius wrote: »
    Indeed--I remember when a Final Jeopardy Answer was "The Greek name for this Book in the Bible is Arithmoi".

    Book of Numbers, I presume?
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    Alex would be proud!
  • {curtsy} :)
  • Closet DruidCloset Druid Shipmate Posts: 29
    When the first Mrs CD was in a nursing home, I used to read to her from the Bible every night for about five minutes before going home. Quite often some of the night staff would listen just outside the door. They particularly enjoyed listening to the Song of Solomon!
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    This was featured on SoF back in the day.
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    Though not conventionally religious, Edith Wharton used the Bible to title The House of Mirth:
    The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

    — Ecclesiastes 7:4
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    I was once asked by a fellow English major in college how I was able to recognize all the Biblical symbolism in the assigned reading so easily. My answer: "Baptist Sunday School!" It really was a big boost to be able to pick out all the Christ figures, the references to the flood, etc etc.
  • Yes. This is why I used to tell my tutees (is that a word?) that if they wanted to do well in college lit classes, they absolutely needed to be fluent as possible in a) Bible and b) Greco-Roman mythology. On those two pillars is built pretty much every freaking allusion in the freshman/sophomore reading list.
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    edited October 22
    Definitely helps if Steinbeck comes up!

    Ruth, can you mention any Flood allusions in College Lit? I'm blanking.

    [Edit: Yes, "tutee' is a word. :)]
  • edited October 22
    I had a lengthy discussion once about the lack of "buddy story" symbolism in the bible. And how things might be different if the gospels recounted, say a Jesus and Peter buddy story, or Jesus and Judas. Might have liked to see more Moses and Joshua together versus sequentially. Might have tamed their extremism. I really think Paul needed a buddy, or at least a puppy.

    Link of some discussion of the genre: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BuddyPicture
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Belisarius wrote: »
    Though not conventionally religious, Edith Wharton
    AIUI she was an Episcopalian who was considering converting to Roman Catholicism towards the end of her life. That's not the same as being conventionally religious I suppose.

  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    edited October 22
    I forget the details, but though nominally Episcopalian she pursued various religious/philosophical ideas.

    "[L]ack of 'buddy story'" made me think how knowing what's not in the Bible can help. For example, there's a funny detail in Trollope's The Way We Live Now when a character says "...Beauty is only skin deep, as the Bible says..."
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Biblical literacy a pre-requisite for eng lit Beowulf ff. Also helps if you grasp Prefiguring and Types and the four levels of meaning (literal, allegorical, moral and anagogical).

  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    I had a lengthy discussion once about the lack of "buddy story" symbolism in the bible.
    Yeah. If only there were a David and Jonathan story, say.

  • Ruth wrote: »
    I was once asked by a fellow English major in college how I was able to recognize all the Biblical symbolism in the assigned reading so easily. My answer: "Baptist Sunday School!" It really was a big boost to be able to pick out all the Christ figures, the references to the flood, etc etc.

    The YouTube page for the song "Standing Outside a broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand" by Primitive Radio Gods had a strange and interesting conversation. The song is heavily theological. One of the lines in the song is "Ticking seconds killed us all / a million years before the Fall." The people were wondering what "the Fall" was. The autumn of some particular year? Fall of the Berlin Wall? Fall of the Roman Empire? It was a huge thread and nobody but nobody knew what "the Fall" was.
  • I had a high school textbook where some extremely Judaeo-Christian poem (Milton?) referenced Ramah--you know, the Matthew 2 quotation about "a cry is heard in Ramah, weeping and lamentation--Rachel weeping for her children," and the whole thing is tied up as a prophecy of Herod's massacre of the innocents. The textbook footnote (presumably done by someone with an English degree?) read "Rama, a Hindu god."
  • I had a high school textbook where some extremely Judaeo-Christian poem (Milton?) referenced Ramah--you know, the Matthew 2 quotation about "a cry is heard in Ramah, weeping and lamentation--Rachel weeping for her children," and the whole thing is tied up as a prophecy of Herod's massacre of the innocents. The textbook footnote (presumably done by someone with an English degree?) read "Rama, a Hindu god."

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry or throw something.
  • I had a high school textbook where some extremely Judaeo-Christian poem (Milton?) referenced Ramah--you know, the Matthew 2 quotation about "a cry is heard in Ramah, weeping and lamentation--Rachel weeping for her children," and the whole thing is tied up as a prophecy of Herod's massacre of the innocents. The textbook footnote (presumably done by someone with an English degree?) read "Rama, a Hindu god."

    That's even better than the Harry Potter analysis I saw that claimed the the initials of Ministry Of Magic (MOM) were an indication of its behaviour towards the wizarding community.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited October 23
    Belisarius wrote: »
    Definitely helps if Steinbeck comes up!

    Ruth, can you mention any Flood allusions in College Lit? I'm blanking.

    [Edit: Yes, "tutee' is a word. :)]

    There is flooding and drowing imagery in The Waste Land. I don't think any of them are DIRECT references to Noah, but given Eliot's "archetypal"(for lack of a better word) approach to such themes, and that the text contains numerous other biblical allusions, and is arguably a lamentation for Christendom generally, it was probably something not far from his mind when he wrote the poem.
  • GalilitGalilit Shipmate
    tclune wrote: »
    I had a lengthy discussion once about the lack of "buddy story" symbolism in the bible.
    Yeah. If only there were a David and Jonathan story, say.

    Or Ruth and Naomi
  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    I remember reading and discussing the Elizabeth Smart book, ‘By Grand Central Station I sat down and Wept’, with two English teachers who had missed most of the biblical allusions. I had to go through the book and annotate for them 😅 (they are good friends!).
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I can think of a Scottish poem (can't remember the title/author) about a lad running down to the harbour of a fishing village to meet his absent father - because he's had a dream in which the father tells him he's where there is no more sea.

    Merely puzzling if you don't get the reference to Revelation.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    THe title of Smart's book i the obvious first allusion. It's a great read.
  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    Yes indeed, @Caissa, I must dig it out again!
  • Is David and Jonathon a buddy movie or a big guy and his sidekick movie? Which also holds for Jesus, who is so great, he gets 12 sidekicks, though only 4 who get their own books, and then some other dude who never met Jesus claims he's also a sidekick. To the annoyance of those of us who want to hear women talk in church.
  • Well, David and Jonathan are sometimes interpreted as being lovers. They might have been; but AFAIK that was considered forbidden, yet there are no condemning comments about D and J.

    The OT/Hebrew scriptures are quite clear about D and other rulers doing awful things--e.g., D sending Bathsheba's husband into battle to be killed, so he could have her himself. And he got one of those enlightening story-telling visits from a prophet (Samuel???) to make sure he understood.

    So...presuming the stories and records to be more or less accurate as we have them...wouldn't a sexual/romantic relationship between David and Jonathan have been condemned?
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited October 23
    I can see why people want to read that as a romantic relationship, but no, I just don't see it, for the reasons Golden Key points out. But the thing that really bugs me is that trying to read this as a romantic relationship devalues friendship and takes away one of the very few cultural examples we have left. I mean, how many people in America even recognize the names Damon and Pythias? Uh huh. When our culture here is so fixated on sex and romance that even adult siblings living together get nasty rumors (yes, I've heard this, WTF), the last thing we need is yet another major exemplar of non-sexual love (either friendship or affection) coopted into the service of Eros.

    ETA: I myself have been accused of having a secret sexual affair with a good friend, another woman, whom I've known for 30 years. Not because there's been the slightest evidence that either of us are at all interested in each other that way. Simply because the imaginer cannot conceive of a close enduring friendship.
  • I only know of Damon and Pythias because it was one of my father's favorite stories. He had an illustration of their friendship hanging in his office. I certainly do not remember hearing the story in school or any place else.
  • Re women talking in church:
    Is David and Jonathon a buddy movie or a big guy and his sidekick movie? Which also holds for Jesus, who is so great, he gets 12 sidekicks, though only 4 who get their own books, and then some other dude who never met Jesus claims he's also a sidekick. To the annoyance of those of us who want to hear women talk in church.

    I read an interesting take on that last bit. Dale Evans (actress, singer, and wife of actor/singer Roy Rogers) wrote about trying to figure that out. She and Roy were Christians; and she gave talks, as well as writing books. But she was a little worried about "women should keep silent in church".

    She visited the Holy Land. She mentioned her dilemma to a tour guide. He told her that, at that time, women and men sat separately in church services, as they would have at a synagogue service. (I think the women were further back, or in a balcony.) The women couldn't always hear what was going on, the guide said, so they'd call out to their husbands to fill them in.* And *that* was what Paul was complaining about--not women speaking in participation. Big relief for Dale!


    *A mild but relevant diversion:

    Sarah put her fingers in her mouth, and loudly whistled. "Hey, Micah! Avram, will you please poke Micah? He's ignoring me. Micah, did Paul really just chant 'Blessed are the cheesemakers'? Hardly original is it? Anyone have a can of Spam to throw at him? Oh, right--pork. Well, maybe the turkey Spam? Oh, thanks, Miriam, always prepared. All right, warm up the ol' arm, and throw!"

    .klunk.

    Paul fell; loudly muttered imprecations in three languages; then sat up, hand to aching head. "Woman, shut up!"

    Micah pulled his tallit prayer shawl over his head, and began reciting the Psalms--from the beginning.

    Various rustling from various women. "You shut up!" "Yeah, is that any way to talk in church? Does your mom know you use those words?" "Why don't you go sew a tent?"

    There was a ripple of giggles among the women, and belly laughs from some of the men.

    Luke helped Paul out and away, then cleaned him up and looked at his head. "You'll live," he said with a wink.

    Paul gritted his teeth. ".IF. I .ever. hear a .woman's. .voice. in .church. ever again..."
  • Golden Key wrote: »
    The OT/Hebrew scriptures are quite clear about D and other rulers doing awful things--e.g., D sending Bathsheba's husband into battle to be killed, so he could have her himself. And he got one of those enlightening story-telling visits from a prophet (Samuel???) to make sure he understood.
    Nathan was the prophet. :wink:

  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    stetson wrote: »
    Belisarius wrote: »
    Definitely helps if Steinbeck comes up!

    Ruth, can you mention any Flood allusions in College Lit? I'm blanking.

    [Edit: Yes, "tutee' is a word. :)]

    There is flooding and drowing imagery in The Waste Land. I don't think any of them are DIRECT references to Noah, but given Eliot's "archetypal"(for lack of a better word) approach to such themes, and that the text contains numerous other biblical allusions, and is arguably a lamentation for Christendom generally, it was probably something not far from his mind when he wrote the poem.

    Agree.

    I was thinking of the flood at the end of George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss.
  • Thanks, Nick. :)
  • ETA: I myself have been accused of having a secret sexual affair with a good friend, another woman, whom I've known for 30 years. Not because there's been the slightest evidence that either of us are at all interested in each other that way. Simply because the imaginer cannot conceive of a close enduring friendship.

    How very sad.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited October 24
    Re-reading this thread yesterday, I noticed some context that I had missed earlier. Specifically, this Jeopardy joke...
    Belisarius wrote: »
    Alex would be proud!

    I originally took that as a reference to this.

    I tried to find the full unbowdlerized version, which also features the protagonist's fantasy of an Old Testament orgy, but YouTube has it blocked as "adults only".

  • Suffolk RobSuffolk Rob Shipmate Posts: 38
    I had a lengthy discussion once about the lack of "buddy story" symbolism in the bible. And how things might be different if the gospels recounted, say a Jesus and Peter buddy story, or Jesus and Judas. Might have liked to see more Moses and Joshua together versus sequentially. Might have tamed their extremism. I really think Paul needed a buddy, or at least a puppy.

    Link of some discussion of the genre: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BuddyPicture

    Barnabus?
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    stetson wrote: »
    I originally took that as a reference to this.

    Heh--forgotten about that (assuming it's in the novel).
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    Firenze wrote: »
    Biblical literacy a pre-requisite for eng lit Beowulf ff. Also helps if you grasp Prefiguring and Types and the four levels of meaning (literal, allegorical, moral and anagogical).

    After wikichecking, it must have been mentioned in High School English, at the least, that Grendel was a descendant of Cain; I've thought, however, since then that Beowulf was essentially Pre-Christian.
  • ;) {Dramatic pout}

    No one noticed my little story about Paul, a few posts up?

    Oh, noes, woe is me. ;)
  • Golden Key wrote: »
    ;) {Dramatic pout}

    No one noticed my little story about Paul, a few posts up?

    Oh, noes, woe is me. ;)

    Noticed, but had nowt to add. Troof is troof.
  • mt--

    Thx. :) Speaking generally, and not pointing specifically at you, an LOL or two would've been nice.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Belisarius wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    I originally took that as a reference to this.

    Heh--forgotten about that (assuming it's in the novel).

    One thing I find that I find interesting about that scene is that Christ's face is filmed as if he were preternaturally transcending the pain of the scourging. But I don't think that's a detail Alex himself would care about, so I wonder if Kubrick for fun decided he wanted to film something that resembled classical religious art.

    As for whether that bit about the Bible is in the novel, I can't recall, but I know the chaplain is a character, because the second part of the book opens with him saying "What's it going to be then, eh?", echoing the same question asked by a bartender on the first page.
  • FertiliserFredFertiliserFred Shipmate Posts: 3
    Belisarius wrote: »
    Firenze wrote: »
    Biblical literacy a pre-requisite for eng lit Beowulf ff. Also helps if you grasp Prefiguring and Types and the four levels of meaning (literal, allegorical, moral and anagogical).

    After wikichecking, it must have been mentioned in High School English, at the least, that Grendel was a descendant of Cain; I've thought, however, since then that Beowulf was essentially Pre-Christian.

    Not so- but Beowulf is possibly a Christian rendering of an older pagan text. There's a lot of cross-referencing. Have a look at this...
    https://csis.pace.edu/grendel/projs1d/CHRIST.html

  • Golden Key wrote: »
    mt--

    Thx. :) Speaking generally, and not pointing specifically at you, an LOL or two would've been nice.

    O! O! <beats breast dramatically> You hate me! LOL (that's one) LOL (that's two, requirements fulfilled).

    :wink:
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