As someone who grew up anti-Halloween, it was a breath of fresh air to discover that I was wrong and that we can plunder the Egyptians and celebrate the holiday. Here are a couple essays on the subject:
I was admiring these photos of the Cambridge Cameo Reference Bible (KJV) when it occurred to me that my Mom’s Bible [that I just had rebound] is also from Cambridge. I wondered how much the layout might be different from edition to edition. Mom’s was printed in the 1970’s, 30 plus years ago. What I found is that there seems to be no difference at all. The typesetting is the same, the notes are the same, the page numbers are the same, etc. Look at the pictures below, first of the new edition, then of my Mom’s edition:
I received the book yesterday. It is surprisingly large – most of Leithart’s works are shorter. Here’s a quote from the Introduction:
…one aim in this book is to contribute to the formation of a theology that does not simply inform but is a social science.
In contrast to many modern theologians who consider social science to be foundational for theology, Milbank argues that classical orthodoxy contains its own account of social and political life.
I love this – we don’t need to go to sociology and political science for instructions on how to order our lives. Theology, rightly conceived, contains all we need for every area of life. This is Reformational, Medieval, and Kuyperian!
Someone pointed out some alterations to the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) that made it depart from the tradition of the Church in what seems like inexplicable ways. This was news to me, but when I looked into it, I found it to be true. The changes noted are:
 The text of the Sanctus was altered from what the Church has always used. The traditional Sanctus runs as follows (taken from the Sarum Missal in English): “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts; heaven and earth are full of Thy glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.”
This last bit from ‘Hosanna’ to ‘in the Name of the Lord’ is known as the Benedictus and it is absent from the BCP from 1552 until recently. The Benedictus was included in the 1549 edition and removed in the 1552 edition. Here is the 1552 text:
Holye, holye, holye, Lorde God of hostes: heaven and yearthe are full of thy glory: glory be to thee, O lord, most high.
Even the venerable 1928 edition preserves this change. So why was it made? I dug through some old books looking for an answer and this what I found: It may have been removed due to a Medieval abuse or simply because it is not a part of the Angelic chant from the Bible – it is a mashup in other words. I found this in “The Annotated Book of Common Prayer,” edited by Rev. John Henry Blunt, Rivingtons, London, 1866, pages 183-184:
In the Primitive and Mediaeval Liturgies the Sanctus concluded with the words, “Hosannah in the highest, blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord, Hosannah in the highest.” In translating it for the Office of our Prayer Book, the four later words were changed to “Glory to Thee, O Lord, in the highest;” and the present termination was substituted in 1552, thus displacing the Hosannah altogether.
No reason can be assigned for this deviation from ancient custom. But there was, perhaps, some popular superstition, now lost sight of, which made it seem desirable to drop the words in question. The Mirror of our Lady [A.D. 1530] comments upon the Sanctus as then used in the following words: “This song Sanctus is the song of Angels, and it is said to the Blessed Trinity, as is said before in the hymn Te Deum at Matins. The second part thereof, that is, Benedictus, is taken from the Gospel, where the people on Palm Sunday came against our Lord Jesus Christ, and said to Him the same words in praising and joying of His coming. And so they are sung here in the mass, in worship of our Lord’s coming in the Sacrament of the Altar. And therefore at the beginning of Benedictus ye turn to the altar and make the token of the Cross upon you in mind of our Lord’s Passion, which is specially represented in the Mass.” [Mirror, f. cixxxviii.] It is not unlikely that the last period of this comment gives an indication of the reason why the change was made. A more satisfactory explanation that may be given, however, is that the Benedictus is not part of the song of the angels, and is therefore inconsistent, strictly speaking, with the words of the Preface.
So these are two conjectures that seem plausible as to why it was removed. For all the problems with the 1979 edition, it does restore the Benedictus in both Rite I and II. The AMiA/Peter Toon “An Anglican Prayer Book” also restore the Benedictus, although in a more marginal fashion. This leads to the second omission:
 The BCP omits the holiness of the church in the Nicene Creed. Where the Creed says: “And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church” the BCP drops the word “holy.” The 1559 says: “And I beleve one Catholike and Apostolike churche.” From 1549 on it is the same. Why did this happen? Well, it appears that Archbishop Cranmer and the other revisers believed the word holy to be an addition to the earliest forms of the Creed based on manuscripts available in their day and so removed it. From “The Nicene Creed,” by the Rev. A.E. Burn, Edwin S. Gorham, New York, 1909 pages 47-48:
Bishop Gibson suggests that Cranmer inserted ‘I believe’ before ‘one catholic and apostolic church’ to make a distinction between believing in the Holy Ghost and believing the Catholic Church, i.e. believing that there is such a Catholic Church. Rufinus and other Latin writers often draw this distinction between believing in Divine Persons and believing about their work in the Church or in the remission of sins, etc. Cranmer himself in his Annotations upon the King’s Book writes, ‘I believe in the Holy Ghost, and that there is a holy Catholic Church.’
That he should insert the word ‘holy’ when quoting from the Apostles’ Creed, makes it more noticeable that he omits the word in the Nicene Creed. There can be no question that this was due to the omission of the word in the texts of the Creed given in early editions of the Councils, which he consulted. We are now in a position to prove that the omission was characteristic of the old Latin text both of Spain and Rome, and also, apparently, of the text used in the Church of Constantinople. Why it should thus differ from the text of the Jerusalem Creed of S. Cyril, and the Creed of S. Epiphanius, has not yet been discovered. The Reformers followed the best text which they could find, but the omission is none the less to be regretted, since ‘holy’ was a note of the Church in the Baptismal Creed from the earliest times.
An article on the subject is found in this collection.
I received my Mom’s Bible back today from Mechling Bookbindery. They did a fantastic job on it as I thought they would. The Bible is a KJV that she received on October 14th, 1976. It is a Cambridge Bible printed on India paper and measures about 4.5″ x 7″.
Here are some pictures of the final product [click to enlarge]:
The image above shows the two ribbons that I requested, gold and crimson.
This gives you some idea of how it folds open and the stiffness of the goatskin leather.
These are the new endpapers that they inserted.
This is a view of the spine.
I expect this Bible to last for the rest of my life and I will treasure it throughout. I am probably going to send another one – an RSV – and will take before and after pictures if I do.
The Correctly Updated Version of the Bible is my paraphrase of the Scripture as revised by great theological themes of the modern American Church. Today’s passage is Matthew 21:12-17. The CUV text follows:
And Jesus entered the temple and saw some selling and buying in the temple.
And he approached the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
And they responded, “That is your interpretation of the passage. You can’t just take a verse out of context like that and you certainly can’t judge someone else. Perhaps the intention of our heart is correct, even if we are doing some things that others find questionable.”
Another continued, “Yaweh will sort these things out, but on this side of the Resurrection, we just have to agree to disagree.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a masterful document – I wish we Anglicans had something like it. Due to my Mom’s death, I read what it says about the treatment of the dead:
The dying should be given attention and care to help them live their last moments in dignity and peace. They will be helped by the prayer of their relatives, who must see to it that the sick receive at the proper time the sacraments that prepare them to meet the living God.
The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. The burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy; it honors the children of God, who are temples of the Holy Spirit.
Autopsies can be morally permitted for legal inquests or scientific research. The free gift of organs after death is legitimate and can be meritorious.
The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body.
I love how the Catechism deals with just about everything you can think of in life. I don’t like autopsies, giving organs or cremation, but the Catholic approach does seem sensible to me. And it must be comforting to know that there are answers to these things rather than simply making up an answer.
Outside the Catechism, canon law states:
ECCLESIASTICAL FUNERALS (Cann. 1176 – 1185)
§3. The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed; nevertheless, the Church does not prohibit cremation unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.
Molly Worthen is an up and coming scholar/writer. She has an interest in theonomy and reformed theology, but she is coming at them from a very mainstream place, attempting to describe them for a larger audience. She has a new article here about Al Mohler. Some of her past pieces include articles on:
She’s doing the writing that I wish I could do if I had time and credentials!
Here are some reaction’s to Worthen’s article, all from blogs that I don’t read and have never heard of, but I put them here for archival purposes:
Nerds like me like this: you can see several pages of the book now if you click “Look Inside” on Amazon.
Last year I linked an article that referred to the essay “The Inner Ring” by C.S. Lewis. It is an address where Lewis describes the mentality of always wanting to be in the in crowd. I think it should be read once a year at least. This desire produces groveling and bowing to the gods of whatever age we live in. Some excerpts:
All this is rather obvious. I wonder whether you will say the same of my next step, which is this. I believe that in all men’s lives at certain periods, and in many men’s lives at all periods between infancy and extreme old age, one of the most dominant elements is the desire to be inside the local Ring and the terror of being left outside. This desire, in one of its forms, has indeed had ample justice done to it in literature. I mean, in the form of snobbery. Victorian fiction is full of characters who are hag-ridden by the desire to get inside that particular Ring which is, or was, called Society. But it must be clearly understood that “Society,” in that sense of the word, is merely one of a hundred Rings, and snobbery therefore only one form of the longing to be inside.
My main purpose in this address is simply to convince you that this desire is one of the great permanent mainsprings of human action. It is one of the factors which go to make up the world as we know it—this whole pell-mell of struggle, competition, confusion, graft, disappointment and advertisement, and if it is one of the permanent mainsprings then you may be quite sure of this. Unless you take measures to prevent it, this desire is going to be one of the chief motives of your life, from the first day on which you enter your profession until the day when you are too old to care. That will be the natural thing—the life that will come to you of its own accord. Any other kind of life, if you lead it, will be the result of conscious and continuous effort. If you do nothing about it, if you drift with the stream, you will in fact be an “inner ringer.” I don’t say you’ll be a successful one; that’s as may be. But whether by pining and moping outside Rings that you can never enter, or by passing triumphantly further and further in—one way or the other you will be that kind of man.
Once the first novelty is worn off, the members of this circle will be no more interesting than your old friends. Why should they be? You were not looking for virtue or kindness or loyalty or humour or learning or wit or any of the things that can really be enjoyed. You merely wanted to be “in.” And that is a pleasure that cannot last. As soon as your new associates have been staled to you by custom, you will be looking for another Ring. The rainbow’s end will still be ahead of you. The old ring will now be only the drab background for your endeavor to enter the new one