Thursday, February 15, 2007

Helpdesk Stories of Yore

I'm taking a class on the Reformation, and our text by Diarmaid MacCullouch contains a section exploring the influence of the then "new" technologies of paper (thirteenth century) and printing with movable type (fifteenth century). I always wondered what problems new book users would have encountered when trying to use the results of these radical new technologies. Now we know.

Bruce Manning Metzger, RIP

Anyone who has spent significant time studying the Greek New Testament will be familiar with Rev. Dr. Metzger's work. A scholar of amazing depth and breadth, he will be sorely missed. His obituary can be read here.

Condolences to his wife of 62 years, Isobel, and his entire family.

UPDATE: A touching eulogy by Ben Witherington III.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy St. Valentine's Day

Saint Valentine of Terni and his disciples

From the Catholic Encyclopdia:
The popular customs associated with Saint Valentine's Day undoubtedly had their origin in a conventional belief generally received in England and France during the Middle Ages, that on 14 February, i.e. half way through the second month of the year, the birds began to pair. Thus in Chaucer's Parliament of Foules we read:
For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne's day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.
For this reason the day was looked upon as specially consecrated to lovers and as a proper occasion for writing love letters and sending lovers' tokens. Both the French and English literatures of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries contain allusions to the practice. Perhaps the earliest to be found is in the 34th and 35th Ballades of the bilingual poet, John Gower, written in French; but Lydgate and Clauvowe supply other examples. Those who chose each other under these circumstances seem to have been called by each other their Valentines. In the Paston Letters, Dame Elizabeth Brews writes thus about a match she hopes to make for her daughter (we modernize the spelling), addressing the favoured suitor:
And, cousin mine, upon Monday is Saint Valentine's Day and every bird chooses himself a mate, and if it like you to come on Thursday night, and make provision that you may abide till then, I trust to God that ye shall speak to my husband and I shall pray that we may bring the matter to a conclusion.
Shortly after the young lady herself wrote a letter to the same man addressing it "Unto my rightwell beloved Valentine, John Paston Esquire".

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Forced Conversion

I'm using New Blogger now because I was forced to covert upon login. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Announcement: Take a Step Toward Africa

On February 17-18, 2007, Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church will be hosting weekend event entitled "Take a Step Toward Africa." The conference will feature preaching and presentations by Rev. Bob and Bobbi Snyder, retired Presbyterian Church (USA) missionaries to South Africa, and a presentation by a representative from World Vision. The vocal group Milele will perform on Saturday and Sunday. If you live in the greater Austin area, come on by and check out this exciting event! For further information, you can call the church at (512) 327-1116, or click here.

Religion in Polite Company

Seen in the 2/8/2007 edition of the Wall Street Journal[$]:

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