Thursday, April 30, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Here’s what I learned:
The First Council of Nicaea has some weird stories moving around it. The most common one being that during the time of this Council they mucked about with the books of the Bible, adding things, editing things and generally moving things around as they please. I was intrigued by this idea of man manipulating faith, and decided to hit the books.
The first thing I did was find English translations of historical writings dating from the period of the Council. You can find them on this page (scroll down until you reach the Historia Ecclesia). I found that lots of cool people were around that time, writing about the Council. Like Socrates, for example. I found that all the writings went along with the letter that the Council wrote when they first began the meeting.
Here’s what they did at the Council: they set up a lot of rules (my favorites have to do with castrated priests and standing while praying), set up Easter and kick this guy Arius out of the Church.
Arius and his followers, the Arians, believed that Yeshua (Jesus) wasn’t with God in the beginning. He was just born and was pretty dang cool, maybe a bit cool than the other prophets, and that’s it. This idea didn’t swing with the Church, to say the least, and he was found a heretic.
The first mention of any changes being made comes from a preface in the Book of Judith inside of Jerome’s Latin Bible. The interesting point is, Jerome didn’t write his Latin Bible until years after the Council, and wasn’t even present.
So, where does this rumor come from?
Well, six years after the First Council of Nicaea, Constantine ordered fifty Bibles to be drawn up for the use of the Churches. He wanted this Bible to please both the Pagans and the Christians, perhaps hoping to unite the people of his kingdom. For this task he called upon Eusebius.
Eusebius was a fan of this guy called Origen who believed in the truthfulness of the Apocrypha. He used Origen’s letters and commentaries to help him put together the fifty Bibles. Two of these Bibles survive today, the Codex Vaticinus and the Codex Sinaius. They both use the Apocrypha as part of the whole and have some verses and chapters omitted.
Perhaps this is where the rumor starts? Perhaps where people begin to question the fullness of the Bible? Really, we’ll never know for certain. Far too much information has been lost. If you are interested in what I believe, then I believe that God is perfectly capable of making it so the books he wants us to read available. I think that, at the moment, the Apocrypha are wonderful accompaniment pieces to the Bible, and bring more meaning to other texts. Are the God-inspired, though? I don’t know.
Whether you believe the Apocrypha to be God-inspired or not I don’t think matters terribly, because all of us are trying to reach the same goal of living a Christ-like life.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
99: Oh, Max! what a terrible weapon of destruction.
Max: Yes. Y'know, France, Russia and Cuba all have those weapons. We should demand they get rid of them!
99: What if they refuse?
Max: Then we'll have to blast them! Its the only way to keep peace.
I thought it was amusingly ironic given the circumstances of today.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I've watched this film more times than I can count and I never stop loving it. It's Jimmy Stewart's acting (which isn't really acting at all because you could tell me he was Jeff Smith and I'd believe you); it's Jean Arthur's Sanders being so damn vulnerable and touch all at once.
I LOVE THIS FILM.
The only trouble with this film is it gets me excited, it gets me riled and it always leave me with lofty expectations of the American government. I always end up standing while watching it, or pacing the living room, like some deranged person. I get angry about the awful, underhanded people and get restless towards the end, with the filibuster. And when the movie ends on their happy note, my hopes are dashed because we can never have anything like that as long as man governs, because man is a creature of greed.
I guess, in the end, I am most bothered by the fact that nothing quite works this way in the real world. With the happy endings and politicians admitting the error of their ways. If I thought I could do a good job, I would try to be the real world [female] Jefferson Smith. I can't be clever enough, though, or neutral enough, and no one will ever be that good.
It's a crying shame.
Where are the Jefferson Smiths of this world?
I am Ani Lark Morn. I like:
girls in white dresses with red satin sashes
art that isn't modern
writing, writing, writing
animals, mostly the cuddly variety
my mediocre vinyl collection
the smell of sandalwood
Mary Pickford films
that part of concerts where everyone pull out their cell phones
and being content.