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    As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • @Rich
    Roman Catholicism broke away from old Catholicism? Sorry my friend, you have the story backwards. But I wonder if that's how our cousins from the East see their schismatic break from the One True Faith.

    Unfortunatly for you ,your opinion is just that, and not the truth.

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  • @Philip Owen
    Following the Elizabethan Settlement, the Church of England was a Reformed Catholic church rather than a Protestant church. As such it enjoyed very good relations with the Orthodox churches, particularly the Russian Orthodox church, for similar reasons (loot, amplification of state power) another state sponsored breakaway, this time from the Constantinople Patriarchy. Both saw relations with the other as a way to claim additional legitimacy.

    I have never seen it on the internet but only read it in a book, a long time ago, that three English priests were consecrated as Bishops by three Russian orthodox bishops in Sweden. The Roman Catholics maintained that the Nag's Head consecration of Archbishop Mathew Parker was irregular. (Mary had killed so many Bishops that age and disease of the remainder meant that Parker's consecration was a touch and go affair. So he was consecrated in a pub in a hurry). The Russian consecrations (and England and Russia were very friendly at the time - Ivan Grozny proposed to Elizabeth) were meant to kill that criticism.

    “Following the Elizabethan Settlement, the Church of England was a Reformed Catholic church rather than a Protestant church.” Yes, I know that many people prefer that view, which has always seemed to me to be reasonable, as is the view that it is essentially Protestant. I don’t think that anything in my calculation depends much on which label should be preferred.

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  • @iffen
    Eire did not ignore the precursors such as the Lollards, Hussites or Waldesians. His point about the Welsh was that when the participants in the Reformations cut to the chase, heated the pliers and started removing the skins, Wales was spared much of it. Once Mass was conducted in a vernacular, congregations became fully invested in the controversy. The change from Latin to English did not energize the Welsh one way or the other.

    Interesting that you mention the Presbyterians. Another statement by Eire is to the effect that the Spanish Inquisition is the victim of a “bad press.” That in fact, the Spanish were rather mild compared to the Northern Europeans, and that on a per capita basis, the Scots burned more heretics than anyone else.

    William Morgan’s translation of the Bible into Welsh was early but he deliberately chose archaic literary constructions rather than the language of the common people.

    As a devoted son and partisan of the common people, I take note of the learned men throughout history who thought that it was safer and wiser to stair-step the commoners into “The Truth.” I would be less than honest if I did not admit that the idea has given me reason to pause on more than one occasion and think that they may have been on to something.

    “on a per capita basis, the Scots burned more heretics than anyone else”. I didn’t know that. At first blush it makes it all the more remarkable that the Scottish reformation was rather bloodless compared to many others. The Roman Catholic church in Scotland proved to be just a husk.

    On second thoughts maybe that’s why it burned lots of heretics: it knew itself to be terribly weak and took brutal measures in its own defence.

    Two reservations: someone had to guess at the populations of Spain, Scotland etc to be able to calculate per capita figures, and to trust the records for burnings.

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  • @Alden
    There really was no such thing as the Spanish Inquisition The inquisition was a church agency that operated all over Europe. It began in 1100 and ended in 1820.
    During those 700 years, contrary to Jewish and holy roller evangelical propaganda, the inquisition only executed 607, people, less than one a year.

    Contrast that to Henry 8 who personally signed 72,000, seventy two thousand execution warrants in the 38 years of his reign. That of course doesn't count the mass executions committed by the army after they put down the northern Pilgramage of Grace rebellion. Among the 72,000 executed were almost all his relatives on his mother's side, the entire Plantagenet clan.
    Henry's divorces were a mere sideline to the reformation. The real purpose was a massive property grab whereby the property of the church was transferred to the crown and the great Lords. By making the sovereign the supreme ruler of the church the reformation totally ended the separation of church and state.

    The CofE ended the charity health and education activities of the Roman church and plunged the common people into a state of poverty not alleviated until the socialist government of 1945.

    Contrast that to the German Lutherans and their offshoots who preserved the health, education, welfare arts and cultural efforts of the Catholic Church The Lutherans even preserved the idea of nursing nuns, just renaming them Deaconesses.

    Alden:

    I believe that one of the “excuses” for church property confiscation was that the ensuing income stream would ensure the end of taxation. Of course it didn’t quite work out that way (surprise, surprise!).

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  • Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Alden
    There really was no such thing as the Spanish Inquisition The inquisition was a church agency that operated all over Europe. It began in 1100 and ended in 1820.
    During those 700 years, contrary to Jewish and holy roller evangelical propaganda, the inquisition only executed 607, people, less than one a year.

    Contrast that to Henry 8 who personally signed 72,000, seventy two thousand execution warrants in the 38 years of his reign. That of course doesn't count the mass executions committed by the army after they put down the northern Pilgramage of Grace rebellion. Among the 72,000 executed were almost all his relatives on his mother's side, the entire Plantagenet clan.
    Henry's divorces were a mere sideline to the reformation. The real purpose was a massive property grab whereby the property of the church was transferred to the crown and the great Lords. By making the sovereign the supreme ruler of the church the reformation totally ended the separation of church and state.

    The CofE ended the charity health and education activities of the Roman church and plunged the common people into a state of poverty not alleviated until the socialist government of 1945.

    Contrast that to the German Lutherans and their offshoots who preserved the health, education, welfare arts and cultural efforts of the Catholic Church The Lutherans even preserved the idea of nursing nuns, just renaming them Deaconesses.

    The inquisition was a church agency that operated all over Europe. It began in 1100 and ended in 1820.

    No, the Spanish inquisition was a government agency employing priests, quite a different animal than the medieval inquisition (which was as you say), though iirc tribunals of this kind existed, and were almost certainly employed by Philip the Fair, among others, in the medieval period.

    Incidentally the Inquisition in Spain was far more well-liked than the system which succeeded it.

    Otherwise I largely agree.

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  • Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Alden
    Is that just in the CofE? I never knew that. In America bishops of all the Christian churches are known as Bishop last name.

    Not in the Churches themselves, certainly not in the RCC, where the intentions of “X our Bishop” are prayed for at each mass. When I was in Rochester the Bishop was always known as Salvatore, some parishes did strange things but I can’t remember him ever being called Bishop Matano. I imagine the secular press does this and probably also the religious press occasionally.

    The same (bishops being called by last names) is true of the Anglican Church, look up “Bishop Tomlinson” for an instance, or Archbishop Laud for a much better and certainly older reference. Archbishops of Canterbury are generally known by their last names while Popes are never so known.

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  • @The Anti-Gnostic
    The bishops are the successors to the Apostles. They are wedded to the Church, and traditionally deemed to lose their surnames upon enthronement.

    Is that just in the CofE? I never knew that. In America bishops of all the Christian churches are known as Bishop last name.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Not in the Churches themselves, certainly not in the RCC, where the intentions of "X our Bishop" are prayed for at each mass. When I was in Rochester the Bishop was always known as Salvatore, some parishes did strange things but I can't remember him ever being called Bishop Matano. I imagine the secular press does this and probably also the religious press occasionally.

    The same (bishops being called by last names) is true of the Anglican Church, look up "Bishop Tomlinson" for an instance, or Archbishop Laud for a much better and certainly older reference. Archbishops of Canterbury are generally known by their last names while Popes are never so known.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @iffen
    Eire did not ignore the precursors such as the Lollards, Hussites or Waldesians. His point about the Welsh was that when the participants in the Reformations cut to the chase, heated the pliers and started removing the skins, Wales was spared much of it. Once Mass was conducted in a vernacular, congregations became fully invested in the controversy. The change from Latin to English did not energize the Welsh one way or the other.

    Interesting that you mention the Presbyterians. Another statement by Eire is to the effect that the Spanish Inquisition is the victim of a “bad press.” That in fact, the Spanish were rather mild compared to the Northern Europeans, and that on a per capita basis, the Scots burned more heretics than anyone else.

    William Morgan’s translation of the Bible into Welsh was early but he deliberately chose archaic literary constructions rather than the language of the common people.

    As a devoted son and partisan of the common people, I take note of the learned men throughout history who thought that it was safer and wiser to stair-step the commoners into “The Truth.” I would be less than honest if I did not admit that the idea has given me reason to pause on more than one occasion and think that they may have been on to something.

    There really was no such thing as the Spanish Inquisition The inquisition was a church agency that operated all over Europe. It began in 1100 and ended in 1820.
    During those 700 years, contrary to Jewish and holy roller evangelical propaganda, the inquisition only executed 607, people, less than one a year.

    Contrast that to Henry 8 who personally signed 72,000, seventy two thousand execution warrants in the 38 years of his reign. That of course doesn’t count the mass executions committed by the army after they put down the northern Pilgramage of Grace rebellion. Among the 72,000 executed were almost all his relatives on his mother’s side, the entire Plantagenet clan.
    Henry’s divorces were a mere sideline to the reformation. The real purpose was a massive property grab whereby the property of the church was transferred to the crown and the great Lords. By making the sovereign the supreme ruler of the church the reformation totally ended the separation of church and state.

    The CofE ended the charity health and education activities of the Roman church and plunged the common people into a state of poverty not alleviated until the socialist government of 1945.

    Contrast that to the German Lutherans and their offshoots who preserved the health, education, welfare arts and cultural efforts of the Catholic Church The Lutherans even preserved the idea of nursing nuns, just renaming them Deaconesses.

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    • Agree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Anon

    The inquisition was a church agency that operated all over Europe. It began in 1100 and ended in 1820.
     
    No, the Spanish inquisition was a government agency employing priests, quite a different animal than the medieval inquisition (which was as you say), though iirc tribunals of this kind existed, and were almost certainly employed by Philip the Fair, among others, in the medieval period.

    Incidentally the Inquisition in Spain was far more well-liked than the system which succeeded it.

    Otherwise I largely agree.
    , @Dan Hayes
    Alden:

    I believe that one of the "excuses" for church property confiscation was that the ensuing income stream would ensure the end of taxation. Of course it didn't quite work out that way (surprise, surprise!).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Philip Owen
    Yes and No. The Welsh Marches on both sides were a hot bed of religious dissension before and after the Reformation. Lollards, Tyndall himself and in later times 5th Monarchists and Presbyterians were all active there. Deeper into Wales, things were much more conservative with a slow change to Reform. William Morgan's translation of the Bible into Welsh was early but he deliberately chose archaic literary constructions rather than they language of the common people. To take a trival example a complete "Yr wyf i yn x" for "I am xing" rather than Rwf'in or Rwyn. Where x is the verb needing the present or continuous tense. So immediate popular access to the Bible was not as easy as it could have been.

    Eire did not ignore the precursors such as the Lollards, Hussites or Waldesians. His point about the Welsh was that when the participants in the Reformations cut to the chase, heated the pliers and started removing the skins, Wales was spared much of it. Once Mass was conducted in a vernacular, congregations became fully invested in the controversy. The change from Latin to English did not energize the Welsh one way or the other.

    Interesting that you mention the Presbyterians. Another statement by Eire is to the effect that the Spanish Inquisition is the victim of a “bad press.” That in fact, the Spanish were rather mild compared to the Northern Europeans, and that on a per capita basis, the Scots burned more heretics than anyone else.

    William Morgan’s translation of the Bible into Welsh was early but he deliberately chose archaic literary constructions rather than the language of the common people.

    As a devoted son and partisan of the common people, I take note of the learned men throughout history who thought that it was safer and wiser to stair-step the commoners into “The Truth.” I would be less than honest if I did not admit that the idea has given me reason to pause on more than one occasion and think that they may have been on to something.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Alden
    There really was no such thing as the Spanish Inquisition The inquisition was a church agency that operated all over Europe. It began in 1100 and ended in 1820.
    During those 700 years, contrary to Jewish and holy roller evangelical propaganda, the inquisition only executed 607, people, less than one a year.

    Contrast that to Henry 8 who personally signed 72,000, seventy two thousand execution warrants in the 38 years of his reign. That of course doesn't count the mass executions committed by the army after they put down the northern Pilgramage of Grace rebellion. Among the 72,000 executed were almost all his relatives on his mother's side, the entire Plantagenet clan.
    Henry's divorces were a mere sideline to the reformation. The real purpose was a massive property grab whereby the property of the church was transferred to the crown and the great Lords. By making the sovereign the supreme ruler of the church the reformation totally ended the separation of church and state.

    The CofE ended the charity health and education activities of the Roman church and plunged the common people into a state of poverty not alleviated until the socialist government of 1945.

    Contrast that to the German Lutherans and their offshoots who preserved the health, education, welfare arts and cultural efforts of the Catholic Church The Lutherans even preserved the idea of nursing nuns, just renaming them Deaconesses.
    , @dearieme
    "on a per capita basis, the Scots burned more heretics than anyone else". I didn't know that. At first blush it makes it all the more remarkable that the Scottish reformation was rather bloodless compared to many others. The Roman Catholic church in Scotland proved to be just a husk.

    On second thoughts maybe that's why it burned lots of heretics: it knew itself to be terribly weak and took brutal measures in its own defence.

    Two reservations: someone had to guess at the populations of Spain, Scotland etc to be able to calculate per capita figures, and to trust the records for burnings.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @iffen
    so we need a Bible in Cockney.

    This reminded me of a humorous tidbit from Carlos Eire's Reformations. He said that Wales escaped much of the turmoil and strife of the times. He thought that maybe it was because the Welsh didn't understand the Latin Mass so when the change was made to English it was not alarming because they didn't understand English all that well either.

    Yes and No. The Welsh Marches on both sides were a hot bed of religious dissension before and after the Reformation. Lollards, Tyndall himself and in later times 5th Monarchists and Presbyterians were all active there. Deeper into Wales, things were much more conservative with a slow change to Reform. William Morgan’s translation of the Bible into Welsh was early but he deliberately chose archaic literary constructions rather than they language of the common people. To take a trival example a complete “Yr wyf i yn x” for “I am xing” rather than Rwf’in or Rwyn. Where x is the verb needing the present or continuous tense. So immediate popular access to the Bible was not as easy as it could have been.

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    • Replies: @iffen
    Eire did not ignore the precursors such as the Lollards, Hussites or Waldesians. His point about the Welsh was that when the participants in the Reformations cut to the chase, heated the pliers and started removing the skins, Wales was spared much of it. Once Mass was conducted in a vernacular, congregations became fully invested in the controversy. The change from Latin to English did not energize the Welsh one way or the other.

    Interesting that you mention the Presbyterians. Another statement by Eire is to the effect that the Spanish Inquisition is the victim of a “bad press.” That in fact, the Spanish were rather mild compared to the Northern Europeans, and that on a per capita basis, the Scots burned more heretics than anyone else.

    William Morgan’s translation of the Bible into Welsh was early but he deliberately chose archaic literary constructions rather than the language of the common people.

    As a devoted son and partisan of the common people, I take note of the learned men throughout history who thought that it was safer and wiser to stair-step the commoners into “The Truth.” I would be less than honest if I did not admit that the idea has given me reason to pause on more than one occasion and think that they may have been on to something.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @dearieme
    "The Arundels followed the old faith." Ah, Jews? Or at least Orthodox? Or mere Johnny-come-lately Roman Catholics?

    Come to think of it, here's some arithmetic. Assuming that Christianity first came to what is now England sometime before 400 A.D., then England was (in part) Catholic - in the old sense of Catholic Christianity vs Arian Christianity - from 400 (or earlier) to 1054, when the Roman Catholic Church broke away from the old Catholicism, leaving the latter to be renamed as Orthodox. So the old Catholic church lasted let's say about 650 years in England.

    That may seem to be an overestimate to people who like to draw a distinction between one or more forms of Celtic Christianity and Catholicism: they might like to work the year of the Synod of Whitby (664 A.D.) into the calculation. No doubt followers of various paganisms were more numerous than the devotees of any flavour of Christianity until some time in the Dark Ages. Still, it would seem reasonable to say that the dominant form of Christianity in (what is now) England was old Catholicism, in one flavour or another, for 650 years or more.


    Then Roman Catholicism lasted until the Act of Supremacy of 1534 when it was transformed into a sort of English Catholicism. You might reasonably date the transformation of that into an idiosyncratic form of Protestantism to the accession of Edward VI in 1547, so that English Catholicism lasted not much more than a decade. There was a reversion to Roman Catholicism under Bloody Mary 1553-58. So Roman Catholicism was in the saddle for (1534 - 1054) + 5 = 485 years. Anglicanism might reasonably be attributed to Edward VI's reign (6 years) plus the years since Elizabeth I's accession, giving (2016 - 1558) + 6 = 464 years in the saddle. Something ought to be subtracted, I suppose, for the spell of rule by Cromwell's unmerry men.

    Anyway, at some point in the present century - unless the C of E is disestablished to be replaced by the Umma - it will have been in the saddle for longer than Roman Catholicism was. Put another way, somewhere around 450-650 years seems so far to be about the lifespan of long-lasting dominance by any one form of Abrahamic religion in England, so the Umma may not be long delayed.

    Do you know, I've never seen that calculation done before. How odd.

    Following the Elizabethan Settlement, the Church of England was a Reformed Catholic church rather than a Protestant church. As such it enjoyed very good relations with the Orthodox churches, particularly the Russian Orthodox church, for similar reasons (loot, amplification of state power) another state sponsored breakaway, this time from the Constantinople Patriarchy. Both saw relations with the other as a way to claim additional legitimacy.

    I have never seen it on the internet but only read it in a book, a long time ago, that three English priests were consecrated as Bishops by three Russian orthodox bishops in Sweden. The Roman Catholics maintained that the Nag’s Head consecration of Archbishop Mathew Parker was irregular. (Mary had killed so many Bishops that age and disease of the remainder meant that Parker’s consecration was a touch and go affair. So he was consecrated in a pub in a hurry). The Russian consecrations (and England and Russia were very friendly at the time – Ivan Grozny proposed to Elizabeth) were meant to kill that criticism.

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    "Following the Elizabethan Settlement, the Church of England was a Reformed Catholic church rather than a Protestant church." Yes, I know that many people prefer that view, which has always seemed to me to be reasonable, as is the view that it is essentially Protestant. I don't think that anything in my calculation depends much on which label should be preferred.
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  • Who is this woman of advancing age with a husband who finds herself pregnant? Whoever she was, she was not the mother of Jesus.

    The mother of John the Baptist was married and not young when she became pregnant with him.

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  • @iffen
    so we need a Bible in Cockney.

    This reminded me of a humorous tidbit from Carlos Eire's Reformations. He said that Wales escaped much of the turmoil and strife of the times. He thought that maybe it was because the Welsh didn't understand the Latin Mass so when the change was made to English it was not alarming because they didn't understand English all that well either.

    Hahahahaaa. Reminded me of another little item which appeared in the papers – I forget the exact date but during days near the Brexit vote – where a man was accosted in a bus by a group of over-zealous English lads for apparently speaking with someone in Arabic on his mobile. Turned out the poor man was talking to his wife in Welsh.

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  • @TheJester
    The Church of England has more sins on its shoulders than disputes over the "proper" translation of the Old testament. It's governing principle appears to be, "God wants me to be happy ... therefore, whatever makes me happy is what God wants me to do."

    This is perhaps a bit too general and generous to be the governing principle of a church presuming to distribute moral guidance. What guidance? Indeed, it is equivalent to the universal: "Only I can know what makes me happy. Therefore, if I sense happiness in this rather than that, it is what God wants me to do. The will to power: I AM the arbitrator of my/the moral universe."

    Hence, as a point of logic, the guidance based on this principle is not the empty set; it is not the convergence of sets; it is infinity that captures the range of all possible human behaviors -- radical solipsism, relativism. Within that range, where is there room for discrimination and guidance?

    Posturing Man elevated to the status of God afflicts the modern Protestant churches, to include the English, the overseas Anglican, Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Methodist, etc., churches. However, it is Nietzsche's caution that if YOU are God (and that other God is functionally dead in your life), there are logical and moral implications and consequences for you and everyone else in society, most of which, as we have learned from experience -- the Nazis being a personification of this principle, are unlikely to make you or anyone else happy or moral.

    A wordy view of the state of worship in this microcosm, apparently meant to be representative of a bigger region.

    The most edifying part of this writing is the commentary on the KJB.

    It’s true that the translators paid close attention to the cadence, the sound. With the Holy Scriptures, it is that much more important than in music, that the tone and tune should match the telling.

    As to the language of the KJB, it is fitting that they did not revert to “street talk” as in some modern perversions of Scripture. With almost all of these, we cannot know whether an instance of the second person pronoun refers to just one person (thou) or more (ye). I read one preface to one of them that had the ignorance to say that they had banned the second person singular and replaced it with the ambiguous form for accuracy!!

    Or maybe they’re just insulting us, to continue with another tenth revision, all the better to collect filthy lucre royalties on the best selling book of all time. The children of this world are wiser than the children of light, after while. That’s why it’s important to stay into the word of God.

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  • "We’re going to be saying Merry Christmas a lot more. And we’re going to have fewer criminal aliens to contend with,” promised President-elect Donald Trump on separate occasions. Alas, Christmas and a criminal alien coalesced tragically, when Bob Clark, director of "A Christmas Story," was killed by a drunk illegal alien in 2007. Clark’s son,...
  • The Charles Sykes anecdote shows how an old world gentleman’s sensibility has not caught up to the current state of mass narcissism across the media landscape, especially among aspiring celebs. There is a cognitive dissonance there, and I suspect Mr Sykes would see Megan Kelly in a similar way as a precious damsel in need of protection. They call this ‘white knighting’ nowadays.

    OT, but Llana, Best wishes for a Great 2017. Looking forward to reading your latest book.
    -C

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  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • @iffen
    so we need a Bible in Cockney.

    This reminded me of a humorous tidbit from Carlos Eire's Reformations. He said that Wales escaped much of the turmoil and strife of the times. He thought that maybe it was because the Welsh didn't understand the Latin Mass so when the change was made to English it was not alarming because they didn't understand English all that well either.

    Whereas the historians’ account is usually that the Tudors were very fly to get a Welsh bible into circulation reasonably quickly. Have the swine been misleading me?

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  • @Sam Shama

    [ ...]King James version, which is the real bible for most Anglo-Saxons, on the perfectly reasonable grounds that Jesus spoke English that way, as any decent person should.
     
    Is it really reasonable a claim that Jesus spoke English that way? I think not; not so even the vernacular of the halls of Holywell Manor, Balliol, for that matter.

    Think of Lamb, Johnson, Chaucer and Dickens. Better yet, think of the English saints; one need not recite the splendid catalogue of saints who have written their names on the noble old city churches, does one?

    Dr Thompson, they were all Cockney; so we need a Bible in Cockney.

    Happy Christmas!

    so we need a Bible in Cockney.

    This reminded me of a humorous tidbit from Carlos Eire’s Reformations. He said that Wales escaped much of the turmoil and strife of the times. He thought that maybe it was because the Welsh didn’t understand the Latin Mass so when the change was made to English it was not alarming because they didn’t understand English all that well either.

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    Whereas the historians' account is usually that the Tudors were very fly to get a Welsh bible into circulation reasonably quickly. Have the swine been misleading me?
    , @Sam Shama
    Hahahahaaa. Reminded me of another little item which appeared in the papers - I forget the exact date but during days near the Brexit vote - where a man was accosted in a bus by a group of over-zealous English lads for apparently speaking with someone in Arabic on his mobile. Turned out the poor man was talking to his wife in Welsh.
    , @Philip Owen
    Yes and No. The Welsh Marches on both sides were a hot bed of religious dissension before and after the Reformation. Lollards, Tyndall himself and in later times 5th Monarchists and Presbyterians were all active there. Deeper into Wales, things were much more conservative with a slow change to Reform. William Morgan's translation of the Bible into Welsh was early but he deliberately chose archaic literary constructions rather than they language of the common people. To take a trival example a complete "Yr wyf i yn x" for "I am xing" rather than Rwf'in or Rwyn. Where x is the verb needing the present or continuous tense. So immediate popular access to the Bible was not as easy as it could have been.
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  • @polistra
    I've been kvetching about Unz pieces being too long and verbose. This one is too brief. The bit about 1898 and Reformation is confusing, and "the difficulties of last Christmas" deserves more explanation.

    Maybe we need a new acronym for "too brief; wanted more" .... or maybe I shouldn't have kvetched about length in the first place.

    “the difficulties of last Christmas” deserves more explanation.

    I think you can find what you want in Dr. Thompson’s archives. IIRC the music director came out with new hymns and other innovations which negated one of the main reasons that the congregation had for attending services. One of our eternal struggles, holding dear to what is known and comforting while fending off changes that others wish to inflict upon us.

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  • My traditional Christmas column goes back to sometime in the 1990s when I was a newspaper columnist. It has been widely reprinted at home and abroad. Every year two or three readers write to educate me that religion is the source of wars and persecutions. These readers confuse religion with mankind’s abuse of institutions, religious...
  • @E. A. Costa
    "Pedant is from French, PROBABLY from Late Latin paedagogantem, form of paedagogare, which of course is from Greek ultimately."

    See that PROBABLY?

    Thanks much for mentioning pedante:

    pedante s. m. e f. e agg. [prob. der. del lat. pes pedis «piede» (dall’accompagnare a piedi), raccostato a pedagogo]. – 1. s. m., ant. a. Maestro di scuola, istitutore, pedagogo. b. Personaggio della letteratura e spec. della commedia cinquecentesca che incarna il tipo del maestro presuntuoso, di cultura limitata ma pomposo nella parlata latineggiante spesso scorretta, sordido nei vestiti e nei costumi (apparso per la prima volta nella commedia Il pedante, di F. Belo, del 1529 circa, finisce con l’irrigidirsi nella maschera del Dottor Balanzon della commedia dell’arte)

    http://www.treccani.it/vocabolario/pedante/

    The rest of what you writ is incoherent, as usual. By the way, do you happen to know how to spell vy-ka-ga in Portuguese?

    On reflection, you’re really Hispanic and your real name is C.O. Jones ! Ha Ha Ha.

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  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • @Anon
    A true American.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gml0x5UVBl8

    Fair play. May we all be as brave and positive when our end comes.

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  • "We’re going to be saying Merry Christmas a lot more. And we’re going to have fewer criminal aliens to contend with,” promised President-elect Donald Trump on separate occasions. Alas, Christmas and a criminal alien coalesced tragically, when Bob Clark, director of "A Christmas Story," was killed by a drunk illegal alien in 2007. Clark’s son,...
  • …. Ralphie is taught restraint and self-control. And horrors: The little boy even has his mouth washed out with soap and water….

    Witness the black family. Having survived the perils of slavery, it was still intact until the 1930s, when the dead hand of the Welfare State finished it off.

    People seemed to realize how resilient and non-fragile human beings were back then. Certainly, any parent can ruin most any child, but it takes an awful lot of work on the parent’s part to get to that place. In some respects, modern government dominated society (let’s call it MGDS) seems to believe that all of us are on the razor’s edge between ruin and happiness as children. In other respects, MGDS seems to think that the environmental setting of the Spotted Owl is more important than the environmental setting of children. Rather schizophrenic.

    Government should stand aside and let culture (not pop culture…the real inter-generational culture) do it’s job. But like the old Soviet Union, MGDS sees culture not as an ally, but an enemy…a competitor.

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  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • @dearieme
    It's childish to argue that something must be true because a millions of people have been indoctrinated to believe in it. On such grounds Islam must be true. Or Chinese Communism.

    You’ve missed my point. The point is, that your argument that the Roman Catholic Church “broke away” is ass backwards, and there are millions, and possibly billions, of people who would make that argument. You create a far-fetched idea that the Roman Church is younger than the Byzantine, that Peter and Paul weren’t martyred there, even implying that the other Churches didn’t recognize Rome’s supremacy. Your argument is with Saint Augustine, not with me.

    Just because you write something, doesn’t make it so and even if there was some dispute as to the supremacy of the Roman Church, you can’t state, as if it’s a fact, that your opinion, shared by very few, is correct. Too many historians, theologians, and lay people would strongly disagree with you.

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  • "We’re going to be saying Merry Christmas a lot more. And we’re going to have fewer criminal aliens to contend with,” promised President-elect Donald Trump on separate occasions. Alas, Christmas and a criminal alien coalesced tragically, when Bob Clark, director of "A Christmas Story," was killed by a drunk illegal alien in 2007. Clark’s son,...
  • Good story…but how can you refer to Ralphie’s Red Ryder BB-gun hopes/expectations without mentioning author Jean Shepherd, whose all-night talk radio show many listened to ’til the wee hours back in the ’50s. Shepherd was a master of the solo voice radio drama, especially when he talked about his childhood…how the “old man” came home from the mill in Gary, Ind., cracked a cold one and sat down at the kitchen to recoup from the cares of the day. Shepherd’s cozy voice, brimming with a panoply of emotions, could conjure up great imaginary movements and events–like his book, “I, Libertine,” he told his audience to ask for at bookstores–a book he had yet to write. Finally, his following created such swelling demand, he actually had to sit down and write the damn thing.

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  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • @Rich
    Rubbish? Man, there's millions of people who believe it Maybe over a billion. Wars have been fought over it. It's not as crazy as Jack Chick told you it was. Read a couple history books, please.

    It’s childish to argue that something must be true because a millions of people have been indoctrinated to believe in it. On such grounds Islam must be true. Or Chinese Communism.

    Read More
    • Agree: Stephen R. Diamond
    • Replies: @Rich
    You've missed my point. The point is, that your argument that the Roman Catholic Church "broke away" is ass backwards, and there are millions, and possibly billions, of people who would make that argument. You create a far-fetched idea that the Roman Church is younger than the Byzantine, that Peter and Paul weren't martyred there, even implying that the other Churches didn't recognize Rome's supremacy. Your argument is with Saint Augustine, not with me.

    Just because you write something, doesn't make it so and even if there was some dispute as to the supremacy of the Roman Church, you can't state, as if it's a fact, that your opinion, shared by very few, is correct. Too many historians, theologians, and lay people would strongly disagree with you.
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  • @SFG
    Would your average English peasant have had any idea what went on in the Great Schism? The Eastern Roman Empire was very, very far away. I doubt anyone in most villages would have even seen France in person.

    “Would your average English peasant have had any idea what went on in the Great Schism?” It would seem unlikely, but so what? Churches of those types constitute part of the ruling classes, not of the peasantry. Many Protestants and secular people still see in the Roman Church plenty of evidence of the attitudes that they guess stem from the ruling classes of Late Antiquity.

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  • "We’re going to be saying Merry Christmas a lot more. And we’re going to have fewer criminal aliens to contend with,” promised President-elect Donald Trump on separate occasions. Alas, Christmas and a criminal alien coalesced tragically, when Bob Clark, director of "A Christmas Story," was killed by a drunk illegal alien in 2007. Clark’s son,...
  • @Lawrence Fitton
    alas, mz mercer is one in a coalition of those who wax poetically over an idealistic version of america that never existed.
    she doesn't cotton to girlie-men with little muscles and flabby buttocks. back in the good-ole, rugged man forties we usta beat the sissy right outta em. we hated niggas - except for those who knew their place. we hated homos, too. sex outside of marriage got a girl a scarlet letter.
    no, i prefer the progress made in human rights.
    but, the process is eternal.

    Don’t be silly. The “idealistic” version, while less idealistic, entirely existed. I grew up in one such family and I wasn’t even white. Quite evidently, it would be a waste of time for me to either try to be racist, or to be particularly anti-gay then. You made more snide comments and mocked people more, sure, but honestly, the idea that people were going around lynching people left and right is silly.

    Its no great sin to mourn what we have lost, even if you wish to praise what we have “gained.” The truth is the way that my family was, while far from perfect, genuinely made me into a better man than I would have otherwise been. And it made for a beautiful world, even with moments of grit and ugliness.

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  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Don't have much to say here apart from voicing my opinion that this was a beautiful article.

    Thanks Anatoly.

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  • Aug 30, 2016 Hannelie

    When Hannelie and her family left their comfortable home in South Africa to serve on the front lines in Afghanistan, they knew the risks. But they wouldn’t deny God’s call. This year’s IDOP video retells her family’s story of faithfulness and sacrifice amid those hostile to Christ.

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  • The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.

    Amendment I – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment

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  • Don’t have much to say here apart from voicing my opinion that this was a beautiful article.

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    • Replies: @James Thompson
    Thanks Anatoly.
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  • @dearieme
    One patriarchate (Rome) broke away from the other four (Alexandria, Jerusalem, Antioch, and Constantinople, the latter being the home of Christianity as a state religion). So, yeah, the Roman Catholics flounced out.


    But if you insist on seeing it the other way round, it's no skin off my nose. You probably believe all that rubbish about Peter and Paul founding the Roman church too, and being martyred for it.

    Rubbish? Man, there’s millions of people who believe it Maybe over a billion. Wars have been fought over it. It’s not as crazy as Jack Chick told you it was. Read a couple history books, please.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dearieme
    It's childish to argue that something must be true because a millions of people have been indoctrinated to believe in it. On such grounds Islam must be true. Or Chinese Communism.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @The Anti-Gnostic
    The bishops are the successors to the Apostles. They are wedded to the Church, and traditionally deemed to lose their surnames upon enthronement.

    Well, I’m not sure if that’s the case in the Anglican tradition. In the “traditionalist” churches (Catholic and Orthodox) bishops may have taken new names if they come from a monastic order (always the case for Orthodox bishops, sometimes the case for Catholic bishops); Catholic popes have for centuries also taken a new name at consecration.

    But I’m saying that, even in the Anglican Church, where monasticism and the tradition of replacing one’s baptismal name long ago died out (until the 19th century traditionalist revival at any rate), bishops who still possess surnames would not be referred to by surname when commemorated in the services, since the services retain the ancient custom of praying for people by their first names only.

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  • A true American.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous Nephew
    Fair play. May we all be as brave and positive when our end comes.
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  • @Dan Hayes
    FKA Max:

    I don't understand your reference to an "elderly" woman consorting with an assistant carpenter
    behind her husband's back. Are you referring to Elizabeth? Surely not the Virgin Mary who has always been represented as a young maidan.

    I was similarly confused. An elderly woman isn’t part of the story, unless we’re talking about Elizabeth, but the remarks seem to be about Jesus’ mother.

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    • Agree: Dan Hayes
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  • "We’re going to be saying Merry Christmas a lot more. And we’re going to have fewer criminal aliens to contend with,” promised President-elect Donald Trump on separate occasions. Alas, Christmas and a criminal alien coalesced tragically, when Bob Clark, director of "A Christmas Story," was killed by a drunk illegal alien in 2007. Clark’s son,...
  • @Robert Magill
    O Tempore, O mores
    We live in interesting times. Consider:
    *Middle age women fancy teenage boys
    *Young woman and girls covet the Barbie Doll look. All top, no bottom.
    *Grown men fancy toddlers.
    *Priests fancy young boys; seldom young girls or women.
    *Mohels and Rabbis render the first blow job. Sometimes favor the honoree with herpes.
    *Any young person with computer savvy has unlimited access to graphic adult pornography. A single touch to a classmate, however, can be a police issue. more

    https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/infantilization-anyone/

    Robert,

    I visited your blog for the rest of the piece. I find your observation that empires/civilizations in decline infantilize themselves as the lights go out worth a long mull. Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has been a lifelong interest to me, having used his volumes to read myself to sleep at night over many years.

    I note your reference to Emperor Tiberius and pedophilia. There are similar stories about Mao Tse-tung. Their power allowed them to indulge with impunity … but you are suggesting more. There is a race to the bottom, as it were, with respect to a declining civilization’s interest in sexualized youth. It is a feature of the decline, not an aberration.

    There is a lot to notice. In its nadir, Rome also found foreigners on the throne (Obama?) and the literati played with foreign religions and political arrangements (liberalism and globalization?). There was a lot of self-hate in the newfound obsession with what was foreign. In short, an empire in decline progressively loses faith in itself, it’s institutions, and in its accomplishments. In recompense, it reaches out and tries to fill the void with what is new, exotic, alien, and often bizarre, obscene, and deviant.

    I believe the Decline and Fall of the British Empire is a more recent and glaring example than Rome of the process of decline. In the late 19th Century, Great Britain was the “new Rome” as it brought civilization, law, and technology to the rest of the world. Today, it is the new gomorrah, including your point about infantilization and pedophilia. And virulent hate for its past and its culture (amid massive immigration) is glaring.

    Perhaps, as a principle driven by immigration, empire inevitably leads to the suicide of the founding culture as what is new, exotic, alien, bizarre, and deviant in the imperial provinces are progressively accepted on equal terms until they upstage and replace the society’s core values — the ones that made it great. At that point, the people of the empire are no longer a recognizable and distinct “people”. Rather, they are a mongrel collection of inconsistent and competing social, moral, political, and cultural values and principles. They express and savor vibrant diversity for its own sake. The end is nigh. We cannot be Europe, Africa, the Levant, Latin America, and Asia at the same time.

    Our lot? As the capital of Rome moved east to Constantinople, the capital of the Anglo-American Empire moved west from London to Washington. Can we resist the patterns of social and moral decline by repudiating empire and immigration to restore the Republic and it virtues? We are trying. Routing Hillary and her imperial party make me hopeful.

    Merry Christmas …!

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  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • [ ...]King James version, which is the real bible for most Anglo-Saxons, on the perfectly reasonable grounds that Jesus spoke English that way, as any decent person should.

    Is it really reasonable a claim that Jesus spoke English that way? I think not; not so even the vernacular of the halls of Holywell Manor, Balliol, for that matter.

    Think of Lamb, Johnson, Chaucer and Dickens. Better yet, think of the English saints; one need not recite the splendid catalogue of saints who have written their names on the noble old city churches, does one?

    Dr Thompson, they were all Cockney; so we need a Bible in Cockney.

    Happy Christmas!

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    • Replies: @iffen
    so we need a Bible in Cockney.

    This reminded me of a humorous tidbit from Carlos Eire's Reformations. He said that Wales escaped much of the turmoil and strife of the times. He thought that maybe it was because the Welsh didn't understand the Latin Mass so when the change was made to English it was not alarming because they didn't understand English all that well either.
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  • "We’re going to be saying Merry Christmas a lot more. And we’re going to have fewer criminal aliens to contend with,” promised President-elect Donald Trump on separate occasions. Alas, Christmas and a criminal alien coalesced tragically, when Bob Clark, director of "A Christmas Story," was killed by a drunk illegal alien in 2007. Clark’s son,...
  • alas, mz mercer is one in a coalition of those who wax poetically over an idealistic version of america that never existed.
    she doesn’t cotton to girlie-men with little muscles and flabby buttocks. back in the good-ole, rugged man forties we usta beat the sissy right outta em. we hated niggas – except for those who knew their place. we hated homos, too. sex outside of marriage got a girl a scarlet letter.
    no, i prefer the progress made in human rights.
    but, the process is eternal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Don't be silly. The "idealistic" version, while less idealistic, entirely existed. I grew up in one such family and I wasn't even white. Quite evidently, it would be a waste of time for me to either try to be racist, or to be particularly anti-gay then. You made more snide comments and mocked people more, sure, but honestly, the idea that people were going around lynching people left and right is silly.

    Its no great sin to mourn what we have lost, even if you wish to praise what we have "gained." The truth is the way that my family was, while far from perfect, genuinely made me into a better man than I would have otherwise been. And it made for a beautiful world, even with moments of grit and ugliness.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
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  • Damn I hate this style of writing : fifty disjointed facts and subjects crammed into one sentence.
    Sort of like musicians who try and pack as many notes into one measure without saying anything whatsoever.
    Golden rule of communication : One subject, one thought pattern at a time.

    Authenticjazzman, “Mensa” society member of forty-plus years and pro jazz artist.

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  • @utu
    "The best translations"

    From what? What have been translated?

    The best in terms of accuracy or language?

    There are a lot of old fragments and letters that have different words in some places, these are footnoted. Also some of the words in Koine have variant or unsure meanings.

    The Introduction to the New Testament reads “In assessing the evidence, the translators have taken into account (a) ancient manuscripts of the New Testament in Greek, (b) manuscripts of early translations into other languages, and (c) quotations from the New Testament by early Christian writers.”

    E. A. Costa used the word “best” , maybe you should ask him about that.

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  • Excellent commentary. It is good to feel moved like this. Thank you.

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  • @jtgw
    It is an ancient Christian tradition to refer to individuals by the given, i.e. "Christian", name only, so I would not expect e.g. bishops to be called by anything other than their first names. However, what offends me is the current fashion of referring to individuals by diminutives or nicknames, even in prayers of commemoration where the unabridged form of the name should be used.

    The bishops are the successors to the Apostles. They are wedded to the Church, and traditionally deemed to lose their surnames upon enthronement.

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    • Replies: @jtgw
    Well, I'm not sure if that's the case in the Anglican tradition. In the "traditionalist" churches (Catholic and Orthodox) bishops may have taken new names if they come from a monastic order (always the case for Orthodox bishops, sometimes the case for Catholic bishops); Catholic popes have for centuries also taken a new name at consecration.

    But I'm saying that, even in the Anglican Church, where monasticism and the tradition of replacing one's baptismal name long ago died out (until the 19th century traditionalist revival at any rate), bishops who still possess surnames would not be referred to by surname when commemorated in the services, since the services retain the ancient custom of praying for people by their first names only.
    , @Alden
    Is that just in the CofE? I never knew that. In America bishops of all the Christian churches are known as Bishop last name.
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  • @dearieme
    "The Arundels followed the old faith." Ah, Jews? Or at least Orthodox? Or mere Johnny-come-lately Roman Catholics?

    Come to think of it, here's some arithmetic. Assuming that Christianity first came to what is now England sometime before 400 A.D., then England was (in part) Catholic - in the old sense of Catholic Christianity vs Arian Christianity - from 400 (or earlier) to 1054, when the Roman Catholic Church broke away from the old Catholicism, leaving the latter to be renamed as Orthodox. So the old Catholic church lasted let's say about 650 years in England.

    That may seem to be an overestimate to people who like to draw a distinction between one or more forms of Celtic Christianity and Catholicism: they might like to work the year of the Synod of Whitby (664 A.D.) into the calculation. No doubt followers of various paganisms were more numerous than the devotees of any flavour of Christianity until some time in the Dark Ages. Still, it would seem reasonable to say that the dominant form of Christianity in (what is now) England was old Catholicism, in one flavour or another, for 650 years or more.


    Then Roman Catholicism lasted until the Act of Supremacy of 1534 when it was transformed into a sort of English Catholicism. You might reasonably date the transformation of that into an idiosyncratic form of Protestantism to the accession of Edward VI in 1547, so that English Catholicism lasted not much more than a decade. There was a reversion to Roman Catholicism under Bloody Mary 1553-58. So Roman Catholicism was in the saddle for (1534 - 1054) + 5 = 485 years. Anglicanism might reasonably be attributed to Edward VI's reign (6 years) plus the years since Elizabeth I's accession, giving (2016 - 1558) + 6 = 464 years in the saddle. Something ought to be subtracted, I suppose, for the spell of rule by Cromwell's unmerry men.

    Anyway, at some point in the present century - unless the C of E is disestablished to be replaced by the Umma - it will have been in the saddle for longer than Roman Catholicism was. Put another way, somewhere around 450-650 years seems so far to be about the lifespan of long-lasting dominance by any one form of Abrahamic religion in England, so the Umma may not be long delayed.

    Do you know, I've never seen that calculation done before. How odd.

    Would your average English peasant have had any idea what went on in the Great Schism? The Eastern Roman Empire was very, very far away. I doubt anyone in most villages would have even seen France in person.

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    "Would your average English peasant have had any idea what went on in the Great Schism?" It would seem unlikely, but so what? Churches of those types constitute part of the ruling classes, not of the peasantry. Many Protestants and secular people still see in the Roman Church plenty of evidence of the attitudes that they guess stem from the ruling classes of Late Antiquity.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I told the vicar at my mother’s funeral that he wouldn’t have my funeral unless he guaranteed to use only the 1662 (or earlier – say Cranmer 1549) Book of Common Prayer and the KJV, and had the sound system fixed so telecoil would work on my hearing aids. But that was 16 years ago so he may have forgotten or be a she by now. (I have kept the sheet music I found for the organist so we could sing Psalm 23 to Brother James’s Air including soprano descant and the Triumphal March from Aida to see her out. Didn’t I get the Battle Hymn of the Republic in somewhere too?).

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  • @Rich
    Roman Catholicism broke away from old Catholicism? Sorry my friend, you have the story backwards. But I wonder if that's how our cousins from the East see their schismatic break from the One True Faith.

    One patriarchate (Rome) broke away from the other four (Alexandria, Jerusalem, Antioch, and Constantinople, the latter being the home of Christianity as a state religion). So, yeah, the Roman Catholics flounced out.

    But if you insist on seeing it the other way round, it’s no skin off my nose. You probably believe all that rubbish about Peter and Paul founding the Roman church too, and being martyred for it.

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    • Agree: Che Guava, RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Rich
    Rubbish? Man, there's millions of people who believe it Maybe over a billion. Wars have been fought over it. It's not as crazy as Jack Chick told you it was. Read a couple history books, please.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Members of this congregation may not agree with the author’s super-sophisticated religious rant.

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  • I’ve been kvetching about Unz pieces being too long and verbose. This one is too brief. The bit about 1898 and Reformation is confusing, and “the difficulties of last Christmas” deserves more explanation.

    Maybe we need a new acronym for “too brief; wanted more” …. or maybe I shouldn’t have kvetched about length in the first place.

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    • Replies: @iffen
    “the difficulties of last Christmas” deserves more explanation.

    I think you can find what you want in Dr. Thompson's archives. IIRC the music director came out with new hymns and other innovations which negated one of the main reasons that the congregation had for attending services. One of our eternal struggles, holding dear to what is known and comforting while fending off changes that others wish to inflict upon us.
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  • "We’re going to be saying Merry Christmas a lot more. And we’re going to have fewer criminal aliens to contend with,” promised President-elect Donald Trump on separate occasions. Alas, Christmas and a criminal alien coalesced tragically, when Bob Clark, director of "A Christmas Story," was killed by a drunk illegal alien in 2007. Clark’s son,...
  • O Tempore, O mores
    We live in interesting times. Consider:
    *Middle age women fancy teenage boys
    *Young woman and girls covet the Barbie Doll look. All top, no bottom.
    *Grown men fancy toddlers.
    *Priests fancy young boys; seldom young girls or women.
    *Mohels and Rabbis render the first blow job. Sometimes favor the honoree with herpes.
    *Any young person with computer savvy has unlimited access to graphic adult pornography. A single touch to a classmate, however, can be a police issue. more

    https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/infantilization-anyone/

    Read More
    • Replies: @TheJester
    Robert,

    I visited your blog for the rest of the piece. I find your observation that empires/civilizations in decline infantilize themselves as the lights go out worth a long mull. Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has been a lifelong interest to me, having used his volumes to read myself to sleep at night over many years.

    I note your reference to Emperor Tiberius and pedophilia. There are similar stories about Mao Tse-tung. Their power allowed them to indulge with impunity ... but you are suggesting more. There is a race to the bottom, as it were, with respect to a declining civilization's interest in sexualized youth. It is a feature of the decline, not an aberration.

    There is a lot to notice. In its nadir, Rome also found foreigners on the throne (Obama?) and the literati played with foreign religions and political arrangements (liberalism and globalization?). There was a lot of self-hate in the newfound obsession with what was foreign. In short, an empire in decline progressively loses faith in itself, it's institutions, and in its accomplishments. In recompense, it reaches out and tries to fill the void with what is new, exotic, alien, and often bizarre, obscene, and deviant.

    I believe the Decline and Fall of the British Empire is a more recent and glaring example than Rome of the process of decline. In the late 19th Century, Great Britain was the "new Rome" as it brought civilization, law, and technology to the rest of the world. Today, it is the new gomorrah, including your point about infantilization and pedophilia. And virulent hate for its past and its culture (amid massive immigration) is glaring.

    Perhaps, as a principle driven by immigration, empire inevitably leads to the suicide of the founding culture as what is new, exotic, alien, bizarre, and deviant in the imperial provinces are progressively accepted on equal terms until they upstage and replace the society's core values -- the ones that made it great. At that point, the people of the empire are no longer a recognizable and distinct "people". Rather, they are a mongrel collection of inconsistent and competing social, moral, political, and cultural values and principles. They express and savor vibrant diversity for its own sake. The end is nigh. We cannot be Europe, Africa, the Levant, Latin America, and Asia at the same time.

    Our lot? As the capital of Rome moved east to Constantinople, the capital of the Anglo-American Empire moved west from London to Washington. Can we resist the patterns of social and moral decline by repudiating empire and immigration to restore the Republic and it virtues? We are trying. Routing Hillary and her imperial party make me hopeful.

    Merry Christmas ...!

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • @FKA Max

    Religion is seen as a quietly personal matter, best addressed by avoiding church on all but high occasions, at which times the familiar Christmas numbers are to be belted out, in expiation of general laxity, and in propitiation of such gods as may be listening.
     
    Barcelona (1994) protestant church

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bhnw_IdL0Dg

    Anyone crude enough to speculate that the elderly woman had consorted with a young assistant carpenter behind her husband’s back could be told off for their lack of understanding. Indeed, anyone pointing out that the story was odd could be silenced by condemnation and ostracism. “Just you dare to give the obvious explanation” the lessons seemed to threaten. It reminded me of another topic: the faux innocent demand to explain why different people have different successes in life, but asked in a way which strongly suggests that it would be improper to suggest it is because they differ in ability and character.
     
    barcelona (1994) - perfect scores

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=japE8DzdhZ0

    Merry Christmas!

    That’s my favorite of Whit Stillman’s films, by far.

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  • Genius

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  • @FKA Max

    Religion is seen as a quietly personal matter, best addressed by avoiding church on all but high occasions, at which times the familiar Christmas numbers are to be belted out, in expiation of general laxity, and in propitiation of such gods as may be listening.
     
    Barcelona (1994) protestant church

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bhnw_IdL0Dg

    Anyone crude enough to speculate that the elderly woman had consorted with a young assistant carpenter behind her husband’s back could be told off for their lack of understanding. Indeed, anyone pointing out that the story was odd could be silenced by condemnation and ostracism. “Just you dare to give the obvious explanation” the lessons seemed to threaten. It reminded me of another topic: the faux innocent demand to explain why different people have different successes in life, but asked in a way which strongly suggests that it would be improper to suggest it is because they differ in ability and character.
     
    barcelona (1994) - perfect scores

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=japE8DzdhZ0

    Merry Christmas!

    FKA Max:

    I don’t understand your reference to an “elderly” woman consorting with an assistant carpenter
    behind her husband’s back. Are you referring to Elizabeth? Surely not the Virgin Mary who has always been represented as a young maidan.

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    • Replies: @SLM
    I was similarly confused. An elderly woman isn't part of the story, unless we're talking about Elizabeth, but the remarks seem to be about Jesus' mother.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @another fred

    The best translations of the Old and New Testaments into the vernacular are Jerome’s in Latin and Luther’s into German, hands down.
     
    I find the New English Bible to be both readable and pretty good prose, well footnoted as to the various possible translations and the difference in the early sources. Not that my high school Latin enables me to read Jerome - German is right out.

    And Merry Christmas, Dr. Thompson.

    “The best translations”

    From what? What have been translated?

    The best in terms of accuracy or language?

    Read More
    • Replies: @another fred
    There are a lot of old fragments and letters that have different words in some places, these are footnoted. Also some of the words in Koine have variant or unsure meanings.

    The Introduction to the New Testament reads "In assessing the evidence, the translators have taken into account (a) ancient manuscripts of the New Testament in Greek, (b) manuscripts of early translations into other languages, and (c) quotations from the New Testament by early Christian writers."

    E. A. Costa used the word "best" , maybe you should ask him about that.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @dearieme
    "The Arundels followed the old faith." Ah, Jews? Or at least Orthodox? Or mere Johnny-come-lately Roman Catholics?

    Come to think of it, here's some arithmetic. Assuming that Christianity first came to what is now England sometime before 400 A.D., then England was (in part) Catholic - in the old sense of Catholic Christianity vs Arian Christianity - from 400 (or earlier) to 1054, when the Roman Catholic Church broke away from the old Catholicism, leaving the latter to be renamed as Orthodox. So the old Catholic church lasted let's say about 650 years in England.

    That may seem to be an overestimate to people who like to draw a distinction between one or more forms of Celtic Christianity and Catholicism: they might like to work the year of the Synod of Whitby (664 A.D.) into the calculation. No doubt followers of various paganisms were more numerous than the devotees of any flavour of Christianity until some time in the Dark Ages. Still, it would seem reasonable to say that the dominant form of Christianity in (what is now) England was old Catholicism, in one flavour or another, for 650 years or more.


    Then Roman Catholicism lasted until the Act of Supremacy of 1534 when it was transformed into a sort of English Catholicism. You might reasonably date the transformation of that into an idiosyncratic form of Protestantism to the accession of Edward VI in 1547, so that English Catholicism lasted not much more than a decade. There was a reversion to Roman Catholicism under Bloody Mary 1553-58. So Roman Catholicism was in the saddle for (1534 - 1054) + 5 = 485 years. Anglicanism might reasonably be attributed to Edward VI's reign (6 years) plus the years since Elizabeth I's accession, giving (2016 - 1558) + 6 = 464 years in the saddle. Something ought to be subtracted, I suppose, for the spell of rule by Cromwell's unmerry men.

    Anyway, at some point in the present century - unless the C of E is disestablished to be replaced by the Umma - it will have been in the saddle for longer than Roman Catholicism was. Put another way, somewhere around 450-650 years seems so far to be about the lifespan of long-lasting dominance by any one form of Abrahamic religion in England, so the Umma may not be long delayed.

    Do you know, I've never seen that calculation done before. How odd.

    Roman Catholicism broke away from old Catholicism? Sorry my friend, you have the story backwards. But I wonder if that’s how our cousins from the East see their schismatic break from the One True Faith.

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    One patriarchate (Rome) broke away from the other four (Alexandria, Jerusalem, Antioch, and Constantinople, the latter being the home of Christianity as a state religion). So, yeah, the Roman Catholics flounced out.


    But if you insist on seeing it the other way round, it's no skin off my nose. You probably believe all that rubbish about Peter and Paul founding the Roman church too, and being martyred for it.

    , @sadsak
    Unfortunatly for you ,your opinion is just that, and not the truth.
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  • Religion is seen as a quietly personal matter, best addressed by avoiding church on all but high occasions, at which times the familiar Christmas numbers are to be belted out, in expiation of general laxity, and in propitiation of such gods as may be listening.

    Barcelona (1994) protestant church

    Anyone crude enough to speculate that the elderly woman had consorted with a young assistant carpenter behind her husband’s back could be told off for their lack of understanding. Indeed, anyone pointing out that the story was odd could be silenced by condemnation and ostracism. “Just you dare to give the obvious explanation” the lessons seemed to threaten. It reminded me of another topic: the faux innocent demand to explain why different people have different successes in life, but asked in a way which strongly suggests that it would be improper to suggest it is because they differ in ability and character.

    barcelona (1994) – perfect scores

    Merry Christmas!

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    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    FKA Max:

    I don't understand your reference to an "elderly" woman consorting with an assistant carpenter
    behind her husband's back. Are you referring to Elizabeth? Surely not the Virgin Mary who has always been represented as a young maidan.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    That's my favorite of Whit Stillman's films, by far.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • My traditional Christmas column goes back to sometime in the 1990s when I was a newspaper columnist. It has been widely reprinted at home and abroad. Every year two or three readers write to educate me that religion is the source of wars and persecutions. These readers confuse religion with mankind’s abuse of institutions, religious...
  • @E. A. Costa
    "Pedant” is, by all indications, of Latin origin."

    If from paidagogus in Latin from Greek--παιδαγωγός.

    The Italian quoted above tries to get it from Latin for "foot" but if from paedagogus the "pe" is ultimately from Greek for child, pais. There may be an element of folk etymology in the Italian but unless they had pedagogues (kid guides) that hoofed kids to school in the Italy he is talking about, if through the Latin form, it is clearly from Greek.

    Incidentally, even if the Italian is a folk etymolgoy or a learned gioco di parole for a schoolmaster, it still ultimately implicates Greek.

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  • @landlubber
    "Pedant" is, by all indications, of Latin origin.

    “Pedant” is, by all indications, of Latin origin.”

    If from paidagogus in Latin from Greek–παιδαγωγός.

    The Italian quoted above tries to get it from Latin for “foot” but if from paedagogus the “pe” is ultimately from Greek for child, pais. There may be an element of folk etymology in the Italian but unless they had pedagogues (kid guides) that hoofed kids to school in the Italy he is talking about, if through the Latin form, it is clearly from Greek.

    Read More
    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
    Incidentally, even if the Italian is a folk etymolgoy or a learned gioco di parole for a schoolmaster, it still ultimately implicates Greek.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @E. A. Costa
    "Pedant is from French, PROBABLY from Late Latin paedagogantem, form of paedagogare, which of course is from Greek ultimately."

    See that PROBABLY?

    Thanks much for mentioning pedante:

    pedante s. m. e f. e agg. [prob. der. del lat. pes pedis «piede» (dall’accompagnare a piedi), raccostato a pedagogo]. – 1. s. m., ant. a. Maestro di scuola, istitutore, pedagogo. b. Personaggio della letteratura e spec. della commedia cinquecentesca che incarna il tipo del maestro presuntuoso, di cultura limitata ma pomposo nella parlata latineggiante spesso scorretta, sordido nei vestiti e nei costumi (apparso per la prima volta nella commedia Il pedante, di F. Belo, del 1529 circa, finisce con l’irrigidirsi nella maschera del Dottor Balanzon della commedia dell’arte)

    http://www.treccani.it/vocabolario/pedante/

    The rest of what you writ is incoherent, as usual. By the way, do you happen to know how to spell vy-ka-ga in Portuguese?

    Oh, and on pedagogue:

    PEDAGOGUE (n.)

    late 14c., “schoolmaster, teacher,” from Old French pedagoge “teacher of children” (14c.), from Latin paedagogus, from Greek paidagogos “slave who escorts boys to school and generally supervises them,” later “a teacher,” from pais (genitive paidos) “child” (see pedo-) + agogos “leader,” from agein “to lead” (see act (n.)). Hostile implications in the word are at least from the time of Pepys (1650s). Related: Pedagogal.

    Online etymological dictionary.

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  • @Verymuchalive
    Bullshit, you fake Portuguese.
    Even the politically correct Wikipedia says: " The origin of the Italian pedante is uncertain....."
    Shadduppayouface!!!

    “Pedant is from French, PROBABLY from Late Latin paedagogantem, form of paedagogare, which of course is from Greek ultimately.”

    See that PROBABLY?

    Thanks much for mentioning pedante:

    pedante s. m. e f. e agg. [prob. der. del lat. pes pedis «piede» (dall’accompagnare a piedi), raccostato a pedagogo]. – 1. s. m., ant. a. Maestro di scuola, istitutore, pedagogo. b. Personaggio della letteratura e spec. della commedia cinquecentesca che incarna il tipo del maestro presuntuoso, di cultura limitata ma pomposo nella parlata latineggiante spesso scorretta, sordido nei vestiti e nei costumi (apparso per la prima volta nella commedia Il pedante, di F. Belo, del 1529 circa, finisce con l’irrigidirsi nella maschera del Dottor Balanzon della commedia dell’arte)

    http://www.treccani.it/vocabolario/pedante/

    The rest of what you writ is incoherent, as usual. By the way, do you happen to know how to spell vy-ka-ga in Portuguese?

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    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
    Oh, and on pedagogue:

    PEDAGOGUE (n.)

    late 14c., "schoolmaster, teacher," from Old French pedagoge "teacher of children" (14c.), from Latin paedagogus, from Greek paidagogos "slave who escorts boys to school and generally supervises them," later "a teacher," from pais (genitive paidos) "child" (see pedo-) + agogos "leader," from agein "to lead" (see act (n.)). Hostile implications in the word are at least from the time of Pepys (1650s). Related: Pedagogal.

    Online etymological dictionary.
    , @Verymuchalive
    On reflection, you're really Hispanic and your real name is C.O. Jones ! Ha Ha Ha.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • @Anon
    Dearie,

    I'm not going to say it is incorrect, not being a theologian, but you must agree that your dating scheme is unusual, to say the least!

    I appreciate the clarification in re saddles. For a laugh on that topic, see this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1573452/Britain-has-become-a-Catholic-country.html .

    I originally wrote a longer reply, but my browser ate it and I took the fact as a sign that this is not a time for controversy, so, without further ado, Merry Christmas!

    RSDB

    And Joyeux Noël to you too, old horse.

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  • @E. A. Costa
    King James is a horrific collection of mistranslations by-what else--a committee. Except of course what they stole from Tyndale, whi ch wasn't half bad.

    The best translations of the Old and New Testaments into the verncular are Jerome's in Latin and Luther's into German, hands down.

    If your interested merely in translations, get cracking now on the hic haec hoc and Die daz rehte singen stoerent, y'hear?

    The best translations of the Old and New Testaments into the vernacular are Jerome’s in Latin and Luther’s into German, hands down.

    I find the New English Bible to be both readable and pretty good prose, well footnoted as to the various possible translations and the difference in the early sources. Not that my high school Latin enables me to read Jerome – German is right out.

    And Merry Christmas, Dr. Thompson.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    "The best translations"

    From what? What have been translated?

    The best in terms of accuracy or language?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Anon

    It was very meet, right and their bounden duty so to do.
     
    The Internet allows easy comparison of all the main versions, and when I had a look at them it took me no time to prefer the King James version.

    I wonder if it is only coincidence Dr. James Thompson writes a little like the King James was written.

    I wonder if it is only coincidence Dr. James Thompson writes a little like the King James was written.

    That line is from the Book of Common Prayer.

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  • My traditional Christmas column goes back to sometime in the 1990s when I was a newspaper columnist. It has been widely reprinted at home and abroad. Every year two or three readers write to educate me that religion is the source of wars and persecutions. These readers confuse religion with mankind’s abuse of institutions, religious...
  • Thank you, Craig Roberts. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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  • @E. A. Costa
    Pedant is from French, probably from Late Latin paedagogantem, form of paedagogare, which of course is from Greek ultimately.

    Greek and Latin are, as even schoolboys used to know, different languages. What's your excuse?

    Bullshit, you fake Portuguese.
    Even the politically correct Wikipedia says: ” The origin of the Italian pedante is uncertain…..”
    Shadduppayouface!!!

    Read More
    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
    "Pedant is from French, PROBABLY from Late Latin paedagogantem, form of paedagogare, which of course is from Greek ultimately."

    See that PROBABLY?

    Thanks much for mentioning pedante:

    pedante s. m. e f. e agg. [prob. der. del lat. pes pedis «piede» (dall’accompagnare a piedi), raccostato a pedagogo]. – 1. s. m., ant. a. Maestro di scuola, istitutore, pedagogo. b. Personaggio della letteratura e spec. della commedia cinquecentesca che incarna il tipo del maestro presuntuoso, di cultura limitata ma pomposo nella parlata latineggiante spesso scorretta, sordido nei vestiti e nei costumi (apparso per la prima volta nella commedia Il pedante, di F. Belo, del 1529 circa, finisce con l’irrigidirsi nella maschera del Dottor Balanzon della commedia dell’arte)

    http://www.treccani.it/vocabolario/pedante/

    The rest of what you writ is incoherent, as usual. By the way, do you happen to know how to spell vy-ka-ga in Portuguese?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @dearieme
    "Because few share your assumptions." Which assumptions do you have in mind?

    By "in the saddle" I meant, as I thought might be obvious, being "the dominant form of Christianity" or, to generalise, of Abrahamic religion.

    Dearie,

    I’m not going to say it is incorrect, not being a theologian, but you must agree that your dating scheme is unusual, to say the least!

    I appreciate the clarification in re saddles. For a laugh on that topic, see this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1573452/Britain-has-become-a-Catholic-country.html .

    I originally wrote a longer reply, but my browser ate it and I took the fact as a sign that this is not a time for controversy, so, without further ado, Merry Christmas!

    RSDB

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    And Joyeux Noël to you too, old horse.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • It is an ancient Christian tradition to refer to individuals by the given, i.e. “Christian”, name only, so I would not expect e.g. bishops to be called by anything other than their first names. However, what offends me is the current fashion of referring to individuals by diminutives or nicknames, even in prayers of commemoration where the unabridged form of the name should be used.

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    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    The bishops are the successors to the Apostles. They are wedded to the Church, and traditionally deemed to lose their surnames upon enthronement.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @E. A. Costa
    King James is a horrific collection of mistranslations by-what else--a committee. Except of course what they stole from Tyndale, whi ch wasn't half bad.

    The best translations of the Old and New Testaments into the verncular are Jerome's in Latin and Luther's into German, hands down.

    If your interested merely in translations, get cracking now on the hic haec hoc and Die daz rehte singen stoerent, y'hear?

    Tyndale was indeed the source for much of the KJV translation committee’s work. But it wasn’t exactly stolen. The KJV was developed using the “Matthew’s Bible” (and others) which is, itself, taken from Tyndale’s work. The Matthew’s Bible contains a giant, showy, “W.T.” in the flyleaf. A picture of it is available on Google images. I’ve read (somewhere, once upon a time) that the same thing appeared in certain versions of original KJV Bibles, but I have not personally seen that and couldn’t find any images of it. Consider that highly doubtful.

    Here’s a link to an image of Tyndale’s initials in Matthew’s Bible.

    https://rarebiblesatmobia.wordpress.com/curators-choice-2/bible-portrait-gallery/bible-portrait-gallery-bible-in-english-1537/

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  • My traditional Christmas column goes back to sometime in the 1990s when I was a newspaper columnist. It has been widely reprinted at home and abroad. Every year two or three readers write to educate me that religion is the source of wars and persecutions. These readers confuse religion with mankind’s abuse of institutions, religious...
  • @Anonymous

    Why would any thinking man believe in a concept without a shred of proof? Only rational thought and logic will ever fix the white European mans problems. Might is Right.
     
    The essentials of your intellectual failure are demonstrated in those three sentences.

    Be mad. Nobody cares.

    Stupid response. Another complete moron that just had to type something but couldn’t come up with a logical conclusion so instead gave a rather vague attempt at a put down. If you have no ammunition, you can’t fire a gun. Check your ego at the door. Retard.

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  • Merry Christmas to you and yours Dr. Roberts!

    your heroic and tenacious voice for truth is an inspiration to us all

    God bless

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  • @landlubber
    "Pedant" is, by all indications, of Latin origin.

    Pedant is from French, probably from Late Latin paedagogantem, form of paedagogare, which of course is from Greek ultimately.

    Greek and Latin are, as even schoolboys used to know, different languages. What’s your excuse?

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    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    Bullshit, you fake Portuguese.
    Even the politically correct Wikipedia says: " The origin of the Italian pedante is uncertain....."
    Shadduppayouface!!!
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Melian Dialogue anyone?

    Er, guess not.

    So much the worse for the whole motley crew.

    The United States has no need of a Pasquino–the whole country, bottom to top, is a witless lampoon.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Bayan
    I share PCR's sentiments, intentions, and good will.

    I get Christianity as a source of moral order that gives society coherence and sympathy. But, I don't get Christianity as a source of democracy. How come Russia is ruled by Czars, Lenin, Stalin, and Putin. Can Easter European countries sustain their democracy if they were not hugged by the EU?

    I am not sure what produces democracy.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    I get Christianity as a source of moral order that gives society coherence and sympathy. But, I don’t get Christianity as a source of democracy.

    Yes, Christianity as “moral order” can work in a homogenous society, but “order” begins to diverge as culture diversifies. We’ve seen that process quite clearly over the past 30 years.

    I am not sure what produces democracy.

    An egalitarian, mostly agrarian, mostly tribal society may produce democracy. That’s what the Greeks started with, but gradually lost.

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  • @Ironfist666
    Another deluded idiot pushing the baby "jesus" bullshit. Jesus NEVER exited. Europeans had their own religion of polytheism centuries before desert crawlers attempted to ram their fake religion horseshit down their throats at the point of a sword. Why do you think the Vikings attacked the churches and monasteries? Besides loot they could get revenge on those that were trying to end their belief system. Why would any thinking man believe in a concept without a shred of proof? Only rational thought and logic will ever fix the white European mans problems. Might is Right.

    Why would any thinking man believe in a concept without a shred of proof? Only rational thought and logic will ever fix the white European mans problems. Might is Right.

    The essentials of your intellectual failure are demonstrated in those three sentences.

    Be mad. Nobody cares.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ironfist666
    Stupid response. Another complete moron that just had to type something but couldn't come up with a logical conclusion so instead gave a rather vague attempt at a put down. If you have no ammunition, you can't fire a gun. Check your ego at the door. Retard.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • @Anon

    Do you know, I’ve never seen that calculation done before. How odd.

     

    Because few share your assumptions.

    I'd also wonder to what extent the C of E is still in the saddle; having no longer any real connection to the government, aren't CoEs in the same boat with RCs and the rest of us?

    May she* never founder, though!

    *The boat in the previous sentence.

    “Because few share your assumptions.” Which assumptions do you have in mind?

    By “in the saddle” I meant, as I thought might be obvious, being “the dominant form of Christianity” or, to generalise, of Abrahamic religion.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Dearie,

    I'm not going to say it is incorrect, not being a theologian, but you must agree that your dating scheme is unusual, to say the least!

    I appreciate the clarification in re saddles. For a laugh on that topic, see this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1573452/Britain-has-become-a-Catholic-country.html .

    I originally wrote a longer reply, but my browser ate it and I took the fact as a sign that this is not a time for controversy, so, without further ado, Merry Christmas!

    RSDB
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @dearieme
    "The Arundels followed the old faith." Ah, Jews? Or at least Orthodox? Or mere Johnny-come-lately Roman Catholics?

    Come to think of it, here's some arithmetic. Assuming that Christianity first came to what is now England sometime before 400 A.D., then England was (in part) Catholic - in the old sense of Catholic Christianity vs Arian Christianity - from 400 (or earlier) to 1054, when the Roman Catholic Church broke away from the old Catholicism, leaving the latter to be renamed as Orthodox. So the old Catholic church lasted let's say about 650 years in England.

    That may seem to be an overestimate to people who like to draw a distinction between one or more forms of Celtic Christianity and Catholicism: they might like to work the year of the Synod of Whitby (664 A.D.) into the calculation. No doubt followers of various paganisms were more numerous than the devotees of any flavour of Christianity until some time in the Dark Ages. Still, it would seem reasonable to say that the dominant form of Christianity in (what is now) England was old Catholicism, in one flavour or another, for 650 years or more.


    Then Roman Catholicism lasted until the Act of Supremacy of 1534 when it was transformed into a sort of English Catholicism. You might reasonably date the transformation of that into an idiosyncratic form of Protestantism to the accession of Edward VI in 1547, so that English Catholicism lasted not much more than a decade. There was a reversion to Roman Catholicism under Bloody Mary 1553-58. So Roman Catholicism was in the saddle for (1534 - 1054) + 5 = 485 years. Anglicanism might reasonably be attributed to Edward VI's reign (6 years) plus the years since Elizabeth I's accession, giving (2016 - 1558) + 6 = 464 years in the saddle. Something ought to be subtracted, I suppose, for the spell of rule by Cromwell's unmerry men.

    Anyway, at some point in the present century - unless the C of E is disestablished to be replaced by the Umma - it will have been in the saddle for longer than Roman Catholicism was. Put another way, somewhere around 450-650 years seems so far to be about the lifespan of long-lasting dominance by any one form of Abrahamic religion in England, so the Umma may not be long delayed.

    Do you know, I've never seen that calculation done before. How odd.

    Do you know, I’ve never seen that calculation done before. How odd.

    Because few share your assumptions.

    I’d also wonder to what extent the C of E is still in the saddle; having no longer any real connection to the government, aren’t CoEs in the same boat with RCs and the rest of us?

    May she* never founder, though!

    *The boat in the previous sentence.

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    "Because few share your assumptions." Which assumptions do you have in mind?

    By "in the saddle" I meant, as I thought might be obvious, being "the dominant form of Christianity" or, to generalise, of Abrahamic religion.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @James Thompson
    The Arundels followed the old faith.

    “The Arundels followed the old faith.” Ah, Jews? Or at least Orthodox? Or mere Johnny-come-lately Roman Catholics?

    Come to think of it, here’s some arithmetic. Assuming that Christianity first came to what is now England sometime before 400 A.D., then England was (in part) Catholic – in the old sense of Catholic Christianity vs Arian Christianity – from 400 (or earlier) to 1054, when the Roman Catholic Church broke away from the old Catholicism, leaving the latter to be renamed as Orthodox. So the old Catholic church lasted let’s say about 650 years in England.

    That may seem to be an overestimate to people who like to draw a distinction between one or more forms of Celtic Christianity and Catholicism: they might like to work the year of the Synod of Whitby (664 A.D.) into the calculation. No doubt followers of various paganisms were more numerous than the devotees of any flavour of Christianity until some time in the Dark Ages. Still, it would seem reasonable to say that the dominant form of Christianity in (what is now) England was old Catholicism, in one flavour or another, for 650 years or more.

    Then Roman Catholicism lasted until the Act of Supremacy of 1534 when it was transformed into a sort of English Catholicism. You might reasonably date the transformation of that into an idiosyncratic form of Protestantism to the accession of Edward VI in 1547, so that English Catholicism lasted not much more than a decade. There was a reversion to Roman Catholicism under Bloody Mary 1553-58. So Roman Catholicism was in the saddle for (1534 – 1054) + 5 = 485 years. Anglicanism might reasonably be attributed to Edward VI’s reign (6 years) plus the years since Elizabeth I’s accession, giving (2016 – 1558) + 6 = 464 years in the saddle. Something ought to be subtracted, I suppose, for the spell of rule by Cromwell’s unmerry men.

    Anyway, at some point in the present century – unless the C of E is disestablished to be replaced by the Umma – it will have been in the saddle for longer than Roman Catholicism was. Put another way, somewhere around 450-650 years seems so far to be about the lifespan of long-lasting dominance by any one form of Abrahamic religion in England, so the Umma may not be long delayed.

    Do you know, I’ve never seen that calculation done before. How odd.

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    • Replies: @Anon

    Do you know, I’ve never seen that calculation done before. How odd.

     

    Because few share your assumptions.

    I'd also wonder to what extent the C of E is still in the saddle; having no longer any real connection to the government, aren't CoEs in the same boat with RCs and the rest of us?

    May she* never founder, though!

    *The boat in the previous sentence.
    , @Rich
    Roman Catholicism broke away from old Catholicism? Sorry my friend, you have the story backwards. But I wonder if that's how our cousins from the East see their schismatic break from the One True Faith.
    , @SFG
    Would your average English peasant have had any idea what went on in the Great Schism? The Eastern Roman Empire was very, very far away. I doubt anyone in most villages would have even seen France in person.
    , @Philip Owen
    Following the Elizabethan Settlement, the Church of England was a Reformed Catholic church rather than a Protestant church. As such it enjoyed very good relations with the Orthodox churches, particularly the Russian Orthodox church, for similar reasons (loot, amplification of state power) another state sponsored breakaway, this time from the Constantinople Patriarchy. Both saw relations with the other as a way to claim additional legitimacy.

    I have never seen it on the internet but only read it in a book, a long time ago, that three English priests were consecrated as Bishops by three Russian orthodox bishops in Sweden. The Roman Catholics maintained that the Nag's Head consecration of Archbishop Mathew Parker was irregular. (Mary had killed so many Bishops that age and disease of the remainder meant that Parker's consecration was a touch and go affair. So he was consecrated in a pub in a hurry). The Russian consecrations (and England and Russia were very friendly at the time - Ivan Grozny proposed to Elizabeth) were meant to kill that criticism.
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  • @dearieme
    "1898 and the first Vicar appointed after the Reformation": my God that's a leisurely pace. Thomas Cromwell should hang his head in shame. If only he still had one.

    Anyway, Merry Christmas, doc, and please do pass that sentiment on to Bishops Billie, Bobbie, and Bertie.

    The Arundels followed the old faith.

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    "The Arundels followed the old faith." Ah, Jews? Or at least Orthodox? Or mere Johnny-come-lately Roman Catholics?

    Come to think of it, here's some arithmetic. Assuming that Christianity first came to what is now England sometime before 400 A.D., then England was (in part) Catholic - in the old sense of Catholic Christianity vs Arian Christianity - from 400 (or earlier) to 1054, when the Roman Catholic Church broke away from the old Catholicism, leaving the latter to be renamed as Orthodox. So the old Catholic church lasted let's say about 650 years in England.

    That may seem to be an overestimate to people who like to draw a distinction between one or more forms of Celtic Christianity and Catholicism: they might like to work the year of the Synod of Whitby (664 A.D.) into the calculation. No doubt followers of various paganisms were more numerous than the devotees of any flavour of Christianity until some time in the Dark Ages. Still, it would seem reasonable to say that the dominant form of Christianity in (what is now) England was old Catholicism, in one flavour or another, for 650 years or more.


    Then Roman Catholicism lasted until the Act of Supremacy of 1534 when it was transformed into a sort of English Catholicism. You might reasonably date the transformation of that into an idiosyncratic form of Protestantism to the accession of Edward VI in 1547, so that English Catholicism lasted not much more than a decade. There was a reversion to Roman Catholicism under Bloody Mary 1553-58. So Roman Catholicism was in the saddle for (1534 - 1054) + 5 = 485 years. Anglicanism might reasonably be attributed to Edward VI's reign (6 years) plus the years since Elizabeth I's accession, giving (2016 - 1558) + 6 = 464 years in the saddle. Something ought to be subtracted, I suppose, for the spell of rule by Cromwell's unmerry men.

    Anyway, at some point in the present century - unless the C of E is disestablished to be replaced by the Umma - it will have been in the saddle for longer than Roman Catholicism was. Put another way, somewhere around 450-650 years seems so far to be about the lifespan of long-lasting dominance by any one form of Abrahamic religion in England, so the Umma may not be long delayed.

    Do you know, I've never seen that calculation done before. How odd.
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  • @E. A. Costa
    King James is a horrific collection of mistranslations by-what else--a committee. Except of course what they stole from Tyndale, whi ch wasn't half bad.

    The best translations of the Old and New Testaments into the verncular are Jerome's in Latin and Luther's into German, hands down.

    If your interested merely in translations, get cracking now on the hic haec hoc and Die daz rehte singen stoerent, y'hear?

    Tyndale lit the flame.

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  • My traditional Christmas column goes back to sometime in the 1990s when I was a newspaper columnist. It has been widely reprinted at home and abroad. Every year two or three readers write to educate me that religion is the source of wars and persecutions. These readers confuse religion with mankind’s abuse of institutions, religious...
  • I share PCR’s sentiments, intentions, and good will.

    I get Christianity as a source of moral order that gives society coherence and sympathy. But, I don’t get Christianity as a source of democracy. How come Russia is ruled by Czars, Lenin, Stalin, and Putin. Can Easter European countries sustain their democracy if they were not hugged by the EU?

    I am not sure what produces democracy.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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    • Replies: @Anonymous

    I get Christianity as a source of moral order that gives society coherence and sympathy. But, I don’t get Christianity as a source of democracy.
     
    Yes, Christianity as "moral order" can work in a homogenous society, but "order" begins to diverge as culture diversifies. We've seen that process quite clearly over the past 30 years.

    I am not sure what produces democracy.
     
    An egalitarian, mostly agrarian, mostly tribal society may produce democracy. That's what the Greeks started with, but gradually lost.
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  • Christmas is the pagan tradition of the winter solstice. God’s Sun dies for three days and is risen again, the same as with many, many ‘gods’. The “christmas” tree symbolises the fruits to come in the new year. I doubt JC would approve of all of the christmas nonsense but, best wishes to all and to PCR.

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  • Thanks much for this. It was inspired.

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  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • @Sam Schulman
    Jews sensitive to language, including many scholars, have long judged the King James Version to be the best English translation of the Hebrew Bible, which is far more difficult to translate. If it's good enough for us, it should be good enough for the Church of England, dammit!
    https://mosaicmagazine.com/observation/2015/05/why-the-king-james-version-of-the-bible-remains-the-best/

    The great mystery (to me at least) is how the solemn group that produced the King James Bible could have could have found so much wonderful poetry springing from their translation.

    Merry Christmas to all!

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  • My traditional Christmas column goes back to sometime in the 1990s when I was a newspaper columnist. It has been widely reprinted at home and abroad. Every year two or three readers write to educate me that religion is the source of wars and persecutions. These readers confuse religion with mankind’s abuse of institutions, religious...
  • Another deluded idiot pushing the baby “jesus” bullshit. Jesus NEVER exited. Europeans had their own religion of polytheism centuries before desert crawlers attempted to ram their fake religion horseshit down their throats at the point of a sword. Why do you think the Vikings attacked the churches and monasteries? Besides loot they could get revenge on those that were trying to end their belief system. Why would any thinking man believe in a concept without a shred of proof? Only rational thought and logic will ever fix the white European mans problems. Might is Right.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Why would any thinking man believe in a concept without a shred of proof? Only rational thought and logic will ever fix the white European mans problems. Might is Right.
     
    The essentials of your intellectual failure are demonstrated in those three sentences.

    Be mad. Nobody cares.
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  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • As dearieme says–Merry Christmas, doc, and keep up the good work.

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  • My traditional Christmas column goes back to sometime in the 1990s when I was a newspaper columnist. It has been widely reprinted at home and abroad. Every year two or three readers write to educate me that religion is the source of wars and persecutions. These readers confuse religion with mankind’s abuse of institutions, religious...
  • @E. A. Costa
    "Dipshit"--is that a word of Latin origin, like Libertas?

    My word, look at that:

    DIP (v.)

    Old English dyppan "immerse, baptize by immersion," from Proto-Germanic *duppjan (source also of Old Norse deypa "to dip," Danish døbe "to baptize," Old Frisian depa, Dutch dopen, German taufen, Gothic daupjan "to baptize"), related to Old English diepan "immerse, dip," and perhaps ultimately to deep. As a noun, from 1590s. Sense of "downward slope" is 1708. Meaning "sweet sauce for pudding, etc." first recorded 1825.

    DIP (n.)
    "stupid person, eccentric person," 1920s slang, perhaps a back-formation from dippy. "Dipshit is an emphatic form of dip (2); dipstick may be a euphemism or may reflect putative dipstick 'penis'

    Online Etymology Dictionary

    Now get back to your baptizing or daubing with lipstick or diptsick or whatever, y'hear?

    “Pedant” is, by all indications, of Latin origin.

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    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
    Pedant is from French, probably from Late Latin paedagogantem, form of paedagogare, which of course is from Greek ultimately.

    Greek and Latin are, as even schoolboys used to know, different languages. What's your excuse?
    , @E. A. Costa
    "Pedant” is, by all indications, of Latin origin."

    If from paidagogus in Latin from Greek--παιδαγωγός.

    The Italian quoted above tries to get it from Latin for "foot" but if from paedagogus the "pe" is ultimately from Greek for child, pais. There may be an element of folk etymology in the Italian but unless they had pedagogues (kid guides) that hoofed kids to school in the Italy he is talking about, if through the Latin form, it is clearly from Greek.
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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @E. A. Costa
    "Dipshit"--is that a word of Latin origin, like Libertas?

    My word, look at that:

    DIP (v.)

    Old English dyppan "immerse, baptize by immersion," from Proto-Germanic *duppjan (source also of Old Norse deypa "to dip," Danish døbe "to baptize," Old Frisian depa, Dutch dopen, German taufen, Gothic daupjan "to baptize"), related to Old English diepan "immerse, dip," and perhaps ultimately to deep. As a noun, from 1590s. Sense of "downward slope" is 1708. Meaning "sweet sauce for pudding, etc." first recorded 1825.

    DIP (n.)
    "stupid person, eccentric person," 1920s slang, perhaps a back-formation from dippy. "Dipshit is an emphatic form of dip (2); dipstick may be a euphemism or may reflect putative dipstick 'penis'

    Online Etymology Dictionary

    Now get back to your baptizing or daubing with lipstick or diptsick or whatever, y'hear?

    Now get back to your baptizing or daubing with lipstick or diptsick or whatever, y’hear?

    LOL. Sensitive, aincha?

    Do you see anywhere in Roberts’ presentation a mention of a Roman constitution? Or Greeks, how about Greeks? Anywhere? In fact, is there ANY claim made in Robert’s essay with respect to ANY of the wholly irrelevant historical “facts” you bring up?

    Not a goddamn one. You’re a dipshit. A “Professor Twist”. A narcissistic dilbert.

    I am not a believer; but, I sure as hell can appreciate some well-chosen, well-expressed sentiments.

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  • I think I yield to none on my admiration of PCR, but EA Costa is correct. The constitution of the Roman Republic was never particularly democratic, even by the questionable standards of the classical world, was unwriiten, and started falling apart as soon as Rome started acquiring an empire. Though the framers of the original American (actually mostly unwritten too) Constitution claimed to be following the wbitewashed version of the Roman Constitution framed by Polybious, they actually created a fairly faithful copy of the 18th century British constitution as it was supposed to, but didn’t actually function. There was something of a fashion for adopting classical terminology at the time, but the only real influence on the US Constitution was the adoption of the term “Senate” for the less democratic legislative chamber, which was also the practice in other places.

    This is historical nitpicking that I feel compelled to put in and shouldn’t detract from the substance of the argument. But American constitutional arrangements are less hallowed than people think!

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  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • Anon • Disclaimer says:

    It was very meet, right and their bounden duty so to do.

    The Internet allows easy comparison of all the main versions, and when I had a look at them it took me no time to prefer the King James version.

    I wonder if it is only coincidence Dr. James Thompson writes a little like the King James was written.

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    • Replies: @another fred

    I wonder if it is only coincidence Dr. James Thompson writes a little like the King James was written.
     
    That line is from the Book of Common Prayer.
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  • My traditional Christmas column goes back to sometime in the 1990s when I was a newspaper columnist. It has been widely reprinted at home and abroad. Every year two or three readers write to educate me that religion is the source of wars and persecutions. These readers confuse religion with mankind’s abuse of institutions, religious...
  • @Anonymous
    Truly inspirational, Mr. Roberts. Thanks.

    Pay no attention to E.A.Costa. He's a dipshit. I mean that in the mildest sense possible.

    “Dipshit”–is that a word of Latin origin, like Libertas?

    My word, look at that:

    DIP (v.)

    Old English dyppan “immerse, baptize by immersion,” from Proto-Germanic *duppjan (source also of Old Norse deypa “to dip,” Danish døbe “to baptize,” Old Frisian depa, Dutch dopen, German taufen, Gothic daupjan “to baptize”), related to Old English diepan “immerse, dip,” and perhaps ultimately to deep. As a noun, from 1590s. Sense of “downward slope” is 1708. Meaning “sweet sauce for pudding, etc.” first recorded 1825.

    DIP (n.)
    “stupid person, eccentric person,” 1920s slang, perhaps a back-formation from dippy. “Dipshit is an emphatic form of dip (2); dipstick may be a euphemism or may reflect putative dipstick ‘penis’

    Online Etymology Dictionary

    Now get back to your baptizing or daubing with lipstick or diptsick or whatever, y’hear?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Now get back to your baptizing or daubing with lipstick or diptsick or whatever, y’hear?
     
    LOL. Sensitive, aincha?

    Do you see anywhere in Roberts' presentation a mention of a Roman constitution? Or Greeks, how about Greeks? Anywhere? In fact, is there ANY claim made in Robert's essay with respect to ANY of the wholly irrelevant historical "facts" you bring up?

    Not a goddamn one. You're a dipshit. A "Professor Twist". A narcissistic dilbert.

    I am not a believer; but, I sure as hell can appreciate some well-chosen, well-expressed sentiments.
    , @landlubber
    "Pedant" is, by all indications, of Latin origin.
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  • Truly inspirational, Mr. Roberts. Thanks.

    Pay no attention to E.A.Costa. He’s a dipshit. I mean that in the mildest sense possible.

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    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
    "Dipshit"--is that a word of Latin origin, like Libertas?

    My word, look at that:

    DIP (v.)

    Old English dyppan "immerse, baptize by immersion," from Proto-Germanic *duppjan (source also of Old Norse deypa "to dip," Danish døbe "to baptize," Old Frisian depa, Dutch dopen, German taufen, Gothic daupjan "to baptize"), related to Old English diepan "immerse, dip," and perhaps ultimately to deep. As a noun, from 1590s. Sense of "downward slope" is 1708. Meaning "sweet sauce for pudding, etc." first recorded 1825.

    DIP (n.)
    "stupid person, eccentric person," 1920s slang, perhaps a back-formation from dippy. "Dipshit is an emphatic form of dip (2); dipstick may be a euphemism or may reflect putative dipstick 'penis'

    Online Etymology Dictionary

    Now get back to your baptizing or daubing with lipstick or diptsick or whatever, y'hear?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • “1898 and the first Vicar appointed after the Reformation”: my God that’s a leisurely pace. Thomas Cromwell should hang his head in shame. If only he still had one.

    Anyway, Merry Christmas, doc, and please do pass that sentiment on to Bishops Billie, Bobbie, and Bertie.

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    • Replies: @James Thompson
    The Arundels followed the old faith.
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  • Ah, Philip Larkin–the clandestinely randy, misanthropic librarian. His Aubade, by the way, cannot hold a candle for liveliness to Empson’s of the same name, which Larkin no doubt knew and which may even be part of the joke, poor chap.

    Yes, Aubades are a type but some are matched sets, before and after.

    Having fast forwarded to 1898, cut to 2008 and a sterling interview with Michelle Goldberg about the Megachurch in the new hemisiphere where she found Christian Nationalism:

    http://archive.li/XrRYy

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  • My traditional Christmas column goes back to sometime in the 1990s when I was a newspaper columnist. It has been widely reprinted at home and abroad. Every year two or three readers write to educate me that religion is the source of wars and persecutions. These readers confuse religion with mankind’s abuse of institutions, religious...
  • Merry Christmas Mr. Roberts and thank you for all that you do.

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  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • @Sam Schulman
    Jews sensitive to language, including many scholars, have long judged the King James Version to be the best English translation of the Hebrew Bible, which is far more difficult to translate. If it's good enough for us, it should be good enough for the Church of England, dammit!
    https://mosaicmagazine.com/observation/2015/05/why-the-king-james-version-of-the-bible-remains-the-best/

    King James is a horrific collection of mistranslations by-what else–a committee. Except of course what they stole from Tyndale, whi ch wasn’t half bad.

    The best translations of the Old and New Testaments into the verncular are Jerome’s in Latin and Luther’s into German, hands down.

    If your interested merely in translations, get cracking now on the hic haec hoc and Die daz rehte singen stoerent, y’hear?

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    • Replies: @James Thompson
    Tyndale lit the flame.
    , @The Grate Deign
    Tyndale was indeed the source for much of the KJV translation committee's work. But it wasn't exactly stolen. The KJV was developed using the "Matthew's Bible" (and others) which is, itself, taken from Tyndale's work. The Matthew's Bible contains a giant, showy, "W.T." in the flyleaf. A picture of it is available on Google images. I've read (somewhere, once upon a time) that the same thing appeared in certain versions of original KJV Bibles, but I have not personally seen that and couldn't find any images of it. Consider that highly doubtful.

    Here's a link to an image of Tyndale's initials in Matthew's Bible.

    https://rarebiblesatmobia.wordpress.com/curators-choice-2/bible-portrait-gallery/bible-portrait-gallery-bible-in-english-1537/
    , @another fred

    The best translations of the Old and New Testaments into the vernacular are Jerome’s in Latin and Luther’s into German, hands down.
     
    I find the New English Bible to be both readable and pretty good prose, well footnoted as to the various possible translations and the difference in the early sources. Not that my high school Latin enables me to read Jerome - German is right out.

    And Merry Christmas, Dr. Thompson.

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  • You’re going to be a fine addition here, James. Bravo!

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  • My traditional Christmas column goes back to sometime in the 1990s when I was a newspaper columnist. It has been widely reprinted at home and abroad. Every year two or three readers write to educate me that religion is the source of wars and persecutions. These readers confuse religion with mankind’s abuse of institutions, religious...
  • “Liberty is a human achievement. We have it, or had it, because those who believed in it fought to achieve it. As I explain in my Christmas column, people were able to fight for liberty because Christianity empowered the individual.”

    With all due respect, Señor Roberts, you clearly know little or nothing about western history, and especially the ancient Greeks.

    No one is too old to learn. May one suggest a deceptively readable and short work by a marvellous classical scholar–H. D. F. Kitto’s The Greeks? Just for starters but you will certainly, when you grasp the profundity of concise elegant statement, read it more than once.

    Many of the founders of the United States Republic thought they were modeling the Constitution on the Roman Republic. This was an indulgent illusion on their part.
    For one thing, the Roman Republic had no written constitution.

    The myth has persisted with all sorts of nonsense emanating from it.

    At some point in your ancient studies, then, after, say, grasping Kurt von Fritz’ The Theory of the Mixed Constitution in Antiquity. A critical analysis of Polybius’ political ideas, one suggests you make a short detour and read everything you can find on Carthage and its government and constitution.

    Many Americans flatter themselves theirs is an analogue of the long-lived Roman Empire of the Modern Age.

    It is a fantasy. The ancient analogue of the United States is Carthage and Carthage will likely be its fate.

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  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • The Church of England has more sins on its shoulders than disputes over the “proper” translation of the Old testament. It’s governing principle appears to be, “God wants me to be happy … therefore, whatever makes me happy is what God wants me to do.”

    This is perhaps a bit too general and generous to be the governing principle of a church presuming to distribute moral guidance. What guidance? Indeed, it is equivalent to the universal: “Only I can know what makes me happy. Therefore, if I sense happiness in this rather than that, it is what God wants me to do. The will to power: I AM the arbitrator of my/the moral universe.”

    Hence, as a point of logic, the guidance based on this principle is not the empty set; it is not the convergence of sets; it is infinity that captures the range of all possible human behaviors — radical solipsism, relativism. Within that range, where is there room for discrimination and guidance?

    Posturing Man elevated to the status of God afflicts the modern Protestant churches, to include the English, the overseas Anglican, Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Methodist, etc., churches. However, it is Nietzsche’s caution that if YOU are God (and that other God is functionally dead in your life), there are logical and moral implications and consequences for you and everyone else in society, most of which, as we have learned from experience — the Nazis being a personification of this principle, are unlikely to make you or anyone else happy or moral.

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    • Replies: @Trutherator.wordpress
    A wordy view of the state of worship in this microcosm, apparently meant to be representative of a bigger region.

    The most edifying part of this writing is the commentary on the KJB.

    It's true that the translators paid close attention to the cadence, the sound. With the Holy Scriptures, it is that much more important than in music, that the tone and tune should match the telling.

    As to the language of the KJB, it is fitting that they did not revert to "street talk" as in some modern perversions of Scripture. With almost all of these, we cannot know whether an instance of the second person pronoun refers to just one person (thou) or more (ye). I read one preface to one of them that had the ignorance to say that they had banned the second person singular and replaced it with the ambiguous form for accuracy!!

    Or maybe they're just insulting us, to continue with another tenth revision, all the better to collect filthy lucre royalties on the best selling book of all time. The children of this world are wiser than the children of light, after while. That's why it's important to stay into the word of God.
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  • My traditional Christmas column goes back to sometime in the 1990s when I was a newspaper columnist. It has been widely reprinted at home and abroad. Every year two or three readers write to educate me that religion is the source of wars and persecutions. These readers confuse religion with mankind’s abuse of institutions, religious...
  • Power that is secularized and cut free of civilizing traditions is not limited

    This is why Washington politicians and MSM promote multiculturalism and LGBT.

    This Christmas season, shallow Trump wants us to believe that nukes are the greatest gift for all.

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  • As is the habit of my tribe, as Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees said when queried about attending Trinity College Chapel, to the village church on a warm December day, the valley lazily misted, the cars parked in the adjoining field sufficient to judge the size of the congregation: a village affair, with no visiting...
  • A powerful endorsement. The Church of England have decided to drop majesty and adopt matiness.

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  • Jews sensitive to language, including many scholars, have long judged the King James Version to be the best English translation of the Hebrew Bible, which is far more difficult to translate. If it’s good enough for us, it should be good enough for the Church of England, dammit!

    https://mosaicmagazine.com/observation/2015/05/why-the-king-james-version-of-the-bible-remains-the-best/

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    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
    King James is a horrific collection of mistranslations by-what else--a committee. Except of course what they stole from Tyndale, whi ch wasn't half bad.

    The best translations of the Old and New Testaments into the verncular are Jerome's in Latin and Luther's into German, hands down.

    If your interested merely in translations, get cracking now on the hic haec hoc and Die daz rehte singen stoerent, y'hear?
    , @pyrrhus
    The great mystery (to me at least) is how the solemn group that produced the King James Bible could have could have found so much wonderful poetry springing from their translation.

    Merry Christmas to all!

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  • Christmas is a time of traditions. If you have found time in the rush before Christmas to decorate a tree, you are sharing in a relatively new tradition. Although the Christmas tree has ancient roots, at the beginning of the 20th century only 1 in 5 American families put up a tree. It was 1920...
  • Though I’m not a believer of western version of Christ’ (as) birthday – But 1.7 billion Muslims around the world do honor Christ (as) as they do The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Moses, David, Solomon and John the Baptist. Watch Islamic narrative of Christ’s (as) birthday below.

    http://rehmat1.com/2015/12/24/christmas-greetings/

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