The Tale of My Recent Adventures (Or, "Have a Gander at the Renewed Michigander!")

My sincerest thanks to all for your kind forbearance during the past couple of weeks! Naturally, I say this on the assumption that you, my gentle snowflakes, have indeed exercised your longanimity towards me during this period of continued non-posting and have not gone running to greener pastures, which is far from certain. After all, what the great Casablancan philosopher, Groucho Marx, once said about his career in entertainment applies every bit as much to struggling bloggers: “I am in an extremely precarious profession whose livelihood depends upon a fickle public.”

The reason for this relatively brief hiatus is that, as some of you know, on October 1 I successfully completed a transoceanic move from tropical Puerto Rico to autumnal Michigan. (Granted that only a minimal portion of the Atlantic was crossed, and the short way, at thatbut I insist, an ocean was crossed all the same!) As might be imagined, my chief concerns over these past weeks have been packing and traveling, and then unpacking and getting settled, which have regrettably trumped other, preëminent concerns, such as composing blog posts for your reading pleasure.

Of course, unpacking my luggage (which on account of my traveling with books consisted of two 50lb. suitcases and a 60lb. carry-on bag) took but an afternoon. The focus of my labors for the past week and a half has been the transfer, unpacking and sorting of the first third of the 60 or so boxes which have long contained my exiled library. While this happy reunion is necessarily dampened by the realization that 20 boxes of my more important books are now themselves exiled in Puerto Rico, I have been thrilled to uncover a great many books that I have sorely missed over the years in my reading and research (Ellis, Ladd, Beasley-Murray, Vos, and Ridderbos, among others). Together with these I have also unearthed a number of old favorites, such as the Barth-Bultmann Letters (which together with The Groucho Letters, I have found, make for splendid reading at the commode) and Jaroslav Pelikan’s wholly excellent The Melody of Theology. My greatest joy, however, has been the reunion with my commentariesdozens of them, emerging from these boxes as though raised from the dead: von Rad and Waltke on Genesis; Childs on Exodus; Brueggemann on I & II Samuel; Childs and Seitz (1-39) on Isaiah; Luz (1-7) and Gundry on St Matthew; Bock (BECNT), Danker, Green, and Pate on St Luke; Barrett, Brown, Carson, Keener, and Ridderbos on St John; Bruce (Greek Text and NICNT), Haenchen, and L. T. Johnson on Acts; Fitzmeyer, Käsemann, and Schreiner on Romans; the perfect Lightfoot on the Pauline Epistles; Dunn, Ebeling, Lührmann, and Luther on Galatians; M. Barth and Schnakenburg on Ephesians; O’Brien on Colossians and Philemon; M. Barth and Blanke on Philemon; Wanamaker on I & II Thessalonians; Bruce on Hebrews; Neyrey on II Peter and Jude; and Caird, Carballosa, Ladd, and Kistemaker on Revelation, among others. Several important volumes have yet to surface, but my point is this: clearly I stand in need of more commentaries on Hebrews.

As for commentary series, I found one of the two I ever had (nearly) in full on my shelves: The NIV Application Commentaries. Wilkins on St Matthew wasn’t yet available when I moved to Puerto Rico, and it is therefore the only New Testament volume I’m missing; as for the Old Testament ones, I have Walton on Genesis, Jobes on Esther, Provan on Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs, Longman on Daniel, and Duguid on Ezekiel. Of the volumes published since 2001, only Oswalt on Isaiah seems indispensable to me. In any case, this commentary series, together with Calvin’s Commentaries on the Whole Bible, proved unfailingly helpful to me in my erstwhile duties as a Christian preacher, for which reason I kept it in its entirety.

God willing, tomorrow I will return to Grand Rapids to raid once again my storage room, and I’m certain that more tales of bibliophilia shall be forthcoming as I unpack and sort the next installment of boxes. When not engaged in such labors, however, one of my favorite pastimes has been acquainting myself with the wonderful volumes formerly on my Amazon Wish List which were kindly bestowed on me by some of you on the occasion of my 30th birthday: Carson and Beale’s Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, Young’s Biblical Exegesis and the Formation of Christian Culture, and Thompson’s Reading the Bible with the Dead. For these, once again, I am profoundly grateful. (Incidentally, I thought that I would mention this: one of you lovely people evidently purchased Snodgrass’ Stories with Intent from my Wish List, but the book never arrived. Whoever is responsible for this kind deed might want to check their archives to see whether they were charged for the book, and perhaps file a complaint with Amazon to make sure that their expenditure was not in vain!)

Thus far the account of my adventures. Now that I am more or less settled, I hope to start posting again regularly, unless, of course, you have not execised your longanimity and have moved on to greener pastures, which would make the whole premise of this post, alas, tragically false.

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39 responses to “The Tale of My Recent Adventures (Or, "Have a Gander at the Renewed Michigander!")

  1. I’m happy to hear that you’re settling in nicely. I’m even happier that I’m not the least bit interested in any of the books you’ve unearthed from your boxes, so my jealousy can be postponed until you return from your next trip to storage. ;-)

    And I know your pain well. Last year my Amazon list showed that some lovely person had purchased Gordon Fee’s New Testament Exegesis: A Handbook for Students and Pastors, 3rd Ed. for me yet the package never arrived. Unlike you I didn’t have the good sense to make an announcement letting whoever it was that purchased the book know that there was a problem. I suppose it’s true that hindsight is always 20/20.

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  2. I’m still here (of course) and eagerly await your daily posts.

    Nick, coincidentally I’m just finishing up a review of Fee’s book that someone bought for me from my Amazon Wish List.

    I’ll be posting some quotes from it too.
    Jeff

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  3. I was quite excited to see a new post from you at long last, good sir! And I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I can very much relate to your anguish in having to leave books behind, even if only temporarily. When we moved to Greece, I was only able to ship the essentials, plus a few odds and ends. The bulk of them spent two years in exile, where they were forced to convene their own synod and continue some sort of normal life with only very seldom and dubious communiques from the synod in Greece. And even that part of the flock that found itself in America was scattered–two bookcases at my parents’, one at my spiritual father’s, and a number of books (gasp!) at my mother-in-law’s house! I will include petitions for your exiled books in my daily prayers.

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  4. Nick> But remember that I found Murray Harris' Jesus as God! Other volumes that might kindle your jealousy include: Witherington’s The Christology of Jesus; Beckwith’s The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church; Cullmann’s The Christology of the New Testament; Hurtado’s At the Origins of Christian Worship; Meade’s Pseudonymity and Canon; Kasper’s Jesus the Christ; Küng’s The Incarnation of God, and others. ;-)

    And it's never too late! Post about it and claim that book as yours.

    Jeff> Well, my friend, if you await daily posts, be certain that your expectations will never be fulfilled. ;-) Meanwhile, if you wish, maybe we can pick up where we left off sometime this week, or the next?

    Aaron> Yes, I remember the heart-wrenching tale of your own books. Mine were exiled for seven years, but they kept a more or less normal relationship with the fullness of the library, as I was able to visit them at least once a year. Some volumes, even, traveled back and forth between both parts of the library! The part now exiled comprises some of my best holdings in the original languages, lexica, patristic works and church historical materials, along with most of my literary and reference works, which is most grievous. However, it is hoped that these will be integrated once again to the fullness of the library in the coming months. Your prayers are appreciated, of course. :-)

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  5. Jeff> Well, my friend, if you await daily posts, be certain that your expectations will never be fulfilled. ;-) Meanwhile, if you wish, maybe we can pick up where we left off sometime this week, or the next?

    Well I thought I’d try.

    I do wish we can pick up again. If I don’t hear from you in a day I will bother you.
    Jeff

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  6. Esteban: Well, as you know, I own Harris’ book and to be honest I couldn’t be less interested in Küng or Witherington. But the others are certainly tempting me to become entrenced in jealousy. I think perhaps that you can help me to not sin by giving me Hurtado’s work. Yes, I think this the only godly option! You have my address. ;-)

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  7. I never remember to read your blog anyway, but for some reason this time I did. Glad to hear you are settling in and being reunited with books.

    Did you see my Old Believer link?

    (This is lizziebennet from livejournal)

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  8. Küng?! Ghastly! Wash your brain out with soap!

    Or perhaps he’s on The Objectionable Shelf, awaiting treatment in a suitably detailed and withering manner, along with some other volumes like a certain recent translation we know of…?

    Congratulations on your successful move! Now we’ll somehow have to get your 20 boxes of books trapped in the Ausland back to you.

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  9. An Objectionable Shelf sounds like an interesting idea. Of course, that requires having a bunch of objectionable books around, which is less appealing. My preferred way of dealing with such books is to shelve them in a way their writers never intended — I keep the Book of Mormon in the fantasy section, under “S”, for example.

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  10. Jeff> Excellent! Sorry I didn't get back to you, but I returned from Grand Rapids only earlier this evening, having stayed a whole day longer than I had planned. I'll email you tomorrow.

    Elizabeth> Ah, welcome! May this visit mark the auspicious beginning of your regular visitation of this humble internet abode. :-) I did get your "Old Believer" link, but alas, I have not yet been able to view it. I expect to do so shortly, however, since as you well know, the close examination of Slavonic pronunciation warms the cockles of my heart.

    Kevin> Fear not, O my well-born brother, for it is now more proper to say that this book was on my Objectionable Shelf, since I sold it earlier today. Further, as I had not read Küng's Hegeliophiliac ruminations since well before my conversion, no further washing from its pernicious effects was needed than that of Holy Baptism!

    The Objectionable Shelf itself lives on, of course, and it includes the unfortunate "translation" of which you speak together with other comparable volumes, such as the annotated translation of the Koran by Maulana Muhammad Ali.

    Anyway, many thanks — and the sooner I can figure out a way, the better!

    Peter> You know, I have a very fine critical edition of the Book of Mormon. ;-)

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  11. Mimi> Thank you very much! So good to hear from you (it's been a while!); thanks for putting up with my bloggy ramblings. :-)

    Nick> What do you know, I commented in that entry and everything!

    Well, I'm glad you have a copy and that you're not in the least interested in Küng, but the book by Witherington is really very good. As for your proposed transfer of ownership request re: Hurtado's book, sorry, no can do! How else would I kindle your jealousy, then? ;-) (Speaking of Hurtado, I found LJC yesterday. Oh, man. The joy!)

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  12. Gah! The Ali transation! Those notes are vipers! I used to keep that one on the floor under the foot of my bed, so that it was always underfoot. Correspondingly, atop every bookshelf, the highest points in my room, are Bibles.

    Happy to hear you are Küng-free!

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  13. Mr Edgecomb> I hope you're prepared for the coming Rushdie-esque fatwa. Cat Stevens is going to be really ticked off!

    Esteban> I wasn't aware that such things as fine, critical editions of the Book of Mormon existed. Has anyone produced such an edition of 'Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health'.

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  14. Regarding the concept of an Objectionable Shelf, my parents used to keep (as far as I know, still keep) heretical books in my dad’s clothing closet.

    I will be interested to hear your opinions of the Slavonic. I know too few people who have opinions about the pronunciation of Church Slavonic. I was reading some older posts in your other journal the other day, for some reason, and I can’t figure out why we weren’t friends sooner. I kept having the urge to comment on posts from a year and a half ago.

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  15. Kevin> Frankly, I'm a little disappointed. I expected you to make a lot more of my suggestion that the volume we've been referencing is the study Bible equivalent of Ali's edition. ;-)

    Anyway, as I once told Nick Norelli, I used to keep mine in the laundry basket in the bathroom. It is now in a box, but when it gets here, I imagine I shall find a comparable place for it. ;-)

    Aaron> No fatwa can ever keep Super Kevin down, as he is made entirely of awesome. He is my other BFF (and then the other one is Nick Norelli), and you should read his (their) blog(s) religiously.

    As for the fine, critical edition of the Book of Mormon, it is really very nice. It's published by the RLDS, and it has a silk bookmark and everything! It was a gift to me from a beloved RLDS former co-worker.

    Elizabeth> Oh, my — well, I have opinions on pretty much everything. Just ask. ;-)

    I did watch the Old Ritualist video you pointed out to me, and I was thrilled. For the most part, this is how I think Slavonic should be pronounced, though I note that as a native Russian speaker, naturally, that very able reader they had couldn't avoid softening some vowels. The distinct pronunciation of some consonant clusters is positively mystifying, though!

    Meanwhile, I have often thought the very same thing, and I propose that we blame Arielle for it, because how in the world didn't she suggest to me to friend you sooner? Like, when I was still using LJ. ;-) As for the old entries, comment away, please!

    Jeff> I kept a very active personal LiveJournal for about a year and a half, but then ran out of smart-alecky and grievous things to say. I also had a blogspot blog for about four months in 2005. I use neither anymore, but I've recycled some good posts from both here. So, there's really no secret world! :-)

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  16. Esteban: Fantastic! I’m working through various sections of LJC as a review right now.

    Concerning the MMA Qur’an, it’s necessary reading if you’re to have any dealings with members from the Nation of Islam. It’s their unofficial ‘official’ translation/study Qur’an of choice. And there is much that can be gleaned from the footnotes when Ali cites others sources. ;-)

    Having said that, I keep a Yusuf Ali Qur’an, Book of Mormon, and a Hebrew-English New Testament in my bathroom. ;-)

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  17. See, I still hold that some regional pronunciation of Slavonic is totally reasonable. Softened vowels being a good example. The consonant clusters thing was fascinating, and indeed, mystifying. I wonder does it have have something to do with older versions of Slavonic. Maybe I should totally change life plans a do a PhD with a dissertation on Old Believer pronunciation of Slavonic.

    Yes, I think it must be Arielle’s fault. She never suggested anything to me either. What was she thinking?? Maybe I’ll comment on some of your old entries then. :) And in the mean time, email me!

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  18. Frankly, I’m a little disappointed. I expected you to make a lot more of my suggestion that the volume we’ve been referencing is the study Bible equivalent of Ali’s edition. ;-)

    O, Stepanchik! Need I also say the sky is blue?

    At this I giggled: No fatwa can ever keep Super Kevin down, as he is made entirely of awesome.

    Thanks!

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  19. Nick> As I think I've told you, I've never read LJC in full, so I'm very much looking forward to doing that now that my copy is once again available to me.

    Sadly, I had to leave my Hebrew-English NT behind, but I'm trying not to think of my now exiled books at the moment. ;-)

    Elizabeth> Oh, absolutely! Certain regional peculiarities are unavoidable; God knows that I completely disregard Slavonic accents and stress it just like I would Serbian (SVJAtij BOzhe, SVJAtij KRJEPkij, SVJAtij BEZsmertnij, POmiluj nas).

    Meanwhile, I too am overwhelmed with great temptations to dedicate my life to Slavonic linguistics, but I've decided that if I'm ever to switch my focus from NT studies, it must be in the direction of something that will actually allow me to make a living, like plumbing. (Hey, "Joe the Plumber" makes $250k a year!)

    I'm glad we agree on Arielle's sole responsibility for this gross oversight, and I'm looking forward to your comments. And I will get back to you soon! :-)

    Kevin> Yes, you must, Gene! After all, the whole point of this blog is to state the obvious.

    And you are, of course, quite welcome. :-)

    Aaron> It stands for "Reorganized." You can read more about this faith community here. (Also, I’ll call you on Monday!)

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  20. Aaron, Esteban goes by another calendar so Monday might mean Wednesday. I haven’t been given the conversion chart though.

    (Hint hint)
    Jeff

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  21. I missed your comments on my site. Now, this makes sense. It takes FOREVER to get re-established. God willing, you shan’t have to do this again any time soon. OUCH!

    Is the move permanent? My good wishes on your new location. What caused the move, may I ask?

    Bog blagoslovit.

    Vara
    “Voices from Russia”

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  22. Jeff> Ouch, man! ;-) Yes, yes, I know I haven''t yet gotten back to you, but alas, the end of the week was far crazier than I had expected, and my Grand Rapids stay was longer than I had planned, so the end results were no further posts last and no email. I'm certain we'll be able to get on with Greek reading this week, though!

    And fortunately, Aaron and I are both on a different calendar! ;-)

    Tyotya Vara! I feel I have at long last made it in the blogosphere in that I have received a visit from the one of the few right-thinking people in the Universe. Now I only need a visit from Moisés Silva, my scholarly hero, and all righteousness shall be fulfilled. ;-)

    Many thanks for your sympathy on account of the many woes of moving. I too hope that this will be my last move for some time, because I'm not sure I could take it! Gone are the days, I'm afraid, when multiple moves did not utterly exhaust me. Now I just want to stay here and never be bothered again!

    The move is indeed permanent, and I shall send you email regarding its causes (which I'm glad to share with you), as I'm a bit leery to discuss specific points of my personal life on the web.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  23. I hope I don’t appear to be complaining, just giving you a hard time. I can only imagine how busy and unsettled you are. I was thinking yesterday about how your library is as big as Spurgeon’s was.

    I greatly appreciate any help whenever it comes and I will be fine until then except for the nights I cry myself to sleep when I don’t hear from you.
    Jeff

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  24. Sigh, people who pronounce Slavonic like Serbian… *mutters* they can’t see the accents written in the book. And then they complain about other people’s pronunciation…

    *grin*

    I hear you on the making a living thing. Sigh. And yet I am considering, at least vaguely, doing something diametrically opposed to making a living. (See my lj post from Friday, you should probably appreciate the program I found if anyone would.) Good luck with the plumbing?! :)

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  25. Jeff> Well, not quite as large as Spurgeon's, but about halfway there! Actually, this only means I'm back where I was in 1999, but my collection is far better now than it was then.

    I know your comments are all in good humor, so no worries. I will, however, do my best to prevent you from crying yourself to sleep this week. ;-)

    Elizabeth> Hey, we're talking phonetics here, not stress! Heh.

    Meanwhile, gee, thanks a lot for putting ideas in my head. What a program! Just when I thought I was getting over the Slavonic linguistics bug… ;-)

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  26. Well… just remember that books are not everything! They are nice, but, not necessary. What IS necessary is prayer, good deeds, the services, confession, and communion. Perhaps, the next time a fast rolls around, you could “fast” from reading. Keep alert, do good to all around you, and God shall bless you. In any case, it shall give you time to “digest” what you have already read. I have no doubt that an elder has given you similar advice in the past.

    We learn Orthodoxy from LIFE, not from books, nice as they are (I speak as a inveterate and addicted reader, to be sure!).

    I’ll reply later in detail personally, as my work schedule lately has been INSANE (I feel like the old Excedrin advert with a hammer hitting an anvil inside my head at present).

    Just remember, “Ya lyublyu tebya, zhizn!” (I love you, life!) and reflect on Who gave it to you.

    Cheers.

    Vara

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  27. Do you have an acquaintance with reconstructed Old Church Slavonic pronunciation? According to that, we’re all *way* off. Even the Serbs.

    You probably didn’t really need more ideas, sorry about that. But it looks so cool! (I want to do the M. Phil, Option D–the specific languages one, perhaps that was obvious). I need people to give me money.

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  28. Esteban,

    I would appreciate your comments on this post on my site:

    http://02varvara.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/believers-should-wear-bright-and-radiant-clothing-to-church-according-to-russian-couturier-vyacheslav-zaitsev/

    One of my pet peeves is that some seem to think that “drab” means “holy”. AARGH!

    As for the pronunciation of Church Slavonic… it is a living thing, best not monkeyed with. If some scholar offers a “reconstruction”, it is not certain that it represents how it was done. It is only that scholar’s SWAG (Scientific Wild-ass Guess). I prefer the living tradition of the Church. It is not as “neat”, it is a jumbled Moscow flat, not a precise and sterile Westchester home with Danish Modern. It’s HOME. Let’s not mess with it. It’s a nice place to be…

    Vara

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  29. Vara,

    The “reconstructed” pronunciation of Old Church Slavonic I was taught is *certainly* not something I would ever advocate in church (not to mention that none of could do it, I’m sure!). It’s like trying to pronounce Greek the reconstructed way–you have to go with the living tradition, and who would want to be *completely* unintelligble (instead of only partly!) I don’t remember the pronunciation scheme very well, but I remember not being entirely convinced at the time. Historical phonetics is not a field I want to immerse myself in, at any rate.

    I was attempting to say, with that comment, that there was nothing wrong with Russian pronunciations (within reason anyway), as everyone has their own regional peculiarities. Well, I was also obliquely criticizing reconstructed pronunciations, but clearly I was too oblique.

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  30. Elizabeth,

    What do you think of the suggestion of Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov that we follow up on the suggestion of Patriarch St Tikhon of blessed memory, and replace some obscure Slavonic words with Slavonic synonyms that are closer to modern usage? This is serious and has the support of His Holiness.

    BTW, the contention of some SVS sorts that St Tikhon advocated that the liturgy be translated into Modern Russian is completely off-base (as so many of their Renovationist fancies are). He advocated that Slavonic be brought “up to date”. After all, the Slavonic in use today is a late-17th century redaction, it is not ancient in the least.

    Although, in the “missionary liturgy” recently approved by the MP and used by such preachers as Igumen Sergei Rybko, Deacon Andrei Kuraev, and Fr Vsevolod Chaplin, modern language is used to explain certain parts of the service. The service proper is kept in Slavonic. Indeed, even Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev admits that modern language is unsuitable for liturgical usage (that shoots down New Skete in flames!).

    It’s a rather rich topic, nicht wahr?

    Vara

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  31. Vara,

    I think the suggestion of updating Slavonic terms is probably a wise one. Ideally it would be done gradually, and replacing words that are either misleading, or truly obsolete (some words may be necessary theological words, even if not common in modern speech. The same happens with English—though if you get me started on the state of English translation, you may regret it).

    It is, in my opinion, a bad thing that most people cannot understand the teachings of the church as present in the church services, and to say that people will “get used to it” and should just learn it is, in my opinion an oversimplification. To learn enough Slavonic to follow church services, even to pray oneself in Slavonic is not such a complicated thing (though my knowledge of the topic is a from an odd perspective—I am not a native Russian speaker, but I learned Russian and Slavonic at approximately the same time, and know Slavonic better than most non-churched Russians, partially due to a lot of liturgical knowledge in English). Anyway, that part is easy enough. But to hear moveable texts, psalms, and scripture readings read or sung in church, and understand them, is much more complicated, and I know few people who really do understand all of that. Part of it is, I think, the grammar, which is certainly harder to change, though Slavonic grammar did change in several ways up till the 17th century. One might say that the changes to the Russian language when divorced from the influence of Slavonic have been detrimental. I tend towards descriptivism, but I could see agreeing with that on some level.

    I am certainly against wholesale translation into modern Russian, if only because of the near sure disastrous effects of such a move, on various levels. Anyway, the translations I have seen have been abysmal, so if that is what is being advocated, please, anything but that. I would love to see a sensible approach to updating the Slavonic. It is certainly not “all modern Russian or no changes ever,” as some people seem to think, and getting rid of the perception that Slavonic has never changed, and thus, how dare we change it, (hello, Nikonian reforms!—though that’s an different kettle of fish) would be a good thing.

    I am interested to hear more about this “missionary liturgy” which I think I have heard of, but do not know much about, not being as up on Russian church current events as I’d like to be. Explanations could be good, could be very odd. When I was in Russia 7 years ago, many clergy read the Epistle and Gospel in modern Russian before giving the homily, which I thought was a useful thing. Perhaps it’s just me who was ignoring the existence of New Skete as far as possible, but yes. :) If you have too much of an axe to grind, you end up with some interesting history. On the question of what people mean by “modern language” in church, I have many things to say, both regarding Russian, and English, but I think I’d better stop for now. I don’t know if blogger has a comment length limit—I guess I’ll find out!

    >It's a rather rich topic, nicht wahr?

    Ну, вообще! :)

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  32. Tyotya Vara> While at present I can't strictly follow your very sound spiritual advice (for, as I mentioned to you, I'm currently enrolled in a Course of Study whose examinations come either during or immediately after Fasts), I wholeheartedly agree that laying aside one's usual reading during fasting seasons is a most salutary practice (spiritual reading alone excepted, of course!). Generally speaking, I tend to do precisely this, particularly during the Great Fast.

    Such counsel is particularly useful, I think, for people in my field: we are likely, after all, to find ourselves dealing with the Scriptures at any given moment, but how often do we move beyond an academic engagement of the text? In my experience, Fasts function as a "detox" period, if you will, in which I strive to move beyond that and focus on the One Thing Needful.

    Regarding the post you mention, I was thinking of it as I watched the "Old Believer" link that Elizabeth sent me. They were certainly wearing far livelier (and diverse) clothing than I would have expected! Incidentally, you can see a (not very flattering) picture of Yours Truly presciently putting Zaitsev’s advice into practice here. ;-)

    Now, get some rest, feel better, and I look forward to hearing from you sometime soon!

    Elizabeth> On the matter of "reconstructed" Slavonic pronunciations, I don't think I could do any better than Tyotya Vara! (The SWAG bit is truly one for the books.) I too feel it is an organic thing, and while I'm insistent that Slavonic should be pronounced in a way that doesn't reduce it to a weird form of the vernacular, I simply can't imagine what pernicious effects the implementation of an artificial "scientific" pronunciation would have. But of course, you agree with this.

    To both of you, while I think that updating the Slavonic text is an idea worthy of serious consideration, I would worry if such a thing were done unilaterally by the Russian Church. After, our Slavic Churches share today a largely identical set of Slavonic texts, which is our precious common inheritance. I hope that any such updating is done in consultation with the other Slavic Churches, so that this bond of unity isn't altogether lost.

    And down with all the Renovationist fantasies of militant Americanist "Orthodoxy"!

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  33. Estaban: I’m interested in what Course of Study you are enrolled in–did you mention this before?

    Regarding the clothing you refer to in reference to Vara’s post, I found that one of the fascinating things about the video. I’m generally interested by Old Believer clothes.

    SWAG is a good one. I feel that I should have been clearer in my opinions of reconstructed pronunciations (the bane of attempting to learn “dead” languages in certain academic milieus–when you want to actually *use* the language with people who use it–such as Slavonic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, all are subject to reconstructions–you have to fight agains such pronunciation schemes. Greek was particularly a challenge. Fortunately, with vowels, you do well if you keep in mind that everything is “i”). Yes. I don’t like them. No problems with people who *want* to do historical phonetics (though I was just expounding to a friend on my refusal to consider graduate work on such topics), but why should we talk that way? Especially if we have a real (=living) pronunciation. You might as well say that because people served liturgical services in a certain way 1500 years ago… oh wait. Never mind.

    Perhaps I will dig up my OCS notes and enlighten you about “nasal vowels in OCS”. Incidentally, one of the things I was going to comment on in your journal was a comment someone made about the mystical significance of the letters O C and S in various phrases.

    Ummmm *anyway*. Tangents. I will assume you don’t mind.

    I see your point regarding the updating of texts. Though I am thinking current texts might have something to do with Russian unilateralism? Or perhaps not. Note my purposed thesis/dissertation topic. Really, I’m resisting the grad school concept, but I *can come up with dissertation topics*. It’s exciting.

    I do love Slavonic, but I would like to see everyone able to understand also. I grant you, the historical church hasn’t been as big on that as some would want you to think, but still. And they make changes, what about all the prayers I have memorized in Slavonic?? :P

    *agreeing with you on the anti-Renovationism, and still getting to be okay with having “traditionalist” opinions* I might need a support group for people brought into the church in certain… environments. :)

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  34. With all of the comments here, this hardly seems apropos anymore, but I was going to comment on the ‘different’ calendar Esteban and I happen to follow. Last May I quit my job to devote more time to writing my master’s thesis. Since that time, while I keep up with the Church calendar daily, reading the Prologue and the Troparia and Kondakia for every day, I no longer have as much occasion to keep up with the civil calendar. The result is that, on any given day, I am far likelier to be able to tell you the Julian date than the Gregorian. I typically have to calculate FORWARD by 13 days to tell someone the civil date.

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