Archive for the ‘Dilettante’ Category
I was looking at a post on the Zondervan blog. Provoked to do so by a post on Facebook. Why, oh why did I take the bait? I’ll tell you why, because it was a post, purportedly, about Calvin. So I went on over but I didn’t get very far because the caption on the image at the lead of the essay was so very, very wrong that I figured, bluntly put, that if they didn’t know enough to caption a photo properly not much else would be very helpful. Here’s what they have (or had. Who knows, they may actually change it at some point) -
Ummmm…. that’s not even close. That’s the Reformation Wall in Geneva and it wasn’t constructed until the 20th century, 5 centuries nearly after Holbein was dead. Holbein’s portrait of Calvin looks like this:
Not really even close, is it.
Mind you, I’m not just being pedantic or a putz or a jerk- my discomfort with the egregious mislabeling of an image of Calvin on a purportedly academic blog is based on the notion that, by golly if you’re going to talk about Calvin, you need to have your act together. Why not just slap a portrait of Luther up there if it matters so little that things are right.
Further, how many ignorant souls who don’t know the difference between Holbein and Picasso will now insist that the Reformation wall was constructed by Holbein because a publisher of academic works on Calvin said so.
No, I think I expect better of publishers than shoddy careless internet adverting (and Zondervan’s aim here is, of course, to sell a book. They don’t, clearly, care about historical accuracy).
I couldn’t get any further than that mislabeled photo. How could I take any of it seriously when the first ‘sentence’ was so wrong?
But why mention it, other than just wishing, evidently, to be a jerk? Because I think it should serve as a reminder to us all that we need to be accurate. There’s already enough inaccuracy on the web – tweetings by journalists pretending to be theologians and facebookings by groups that think Jesus never existed and bloggings by uninformed dilettantes on everything under the sun. Not to mention the wikipedia generation’s plagiarizing ways. Facts matter. Get it right or don’t do it at all.
Some Christian singer named Gungor (I’ve never heard of him – probably because contemporary Christian music is as un-interesting to me as the never ending debates about theories of origins) is having disagreements with the Creation Museum / Noah’s Ark literal defender of a literal Genesis Ken Ham.
All of which provokes, in me, a big fat ‘who cares and why is this in the news anyway?’ When a singer and a non-theologian debate the Bible I shrug my shoulders and leave the blind to fight the blind. It’s like watching two 4 year olds fight. You know there will be lots of rolling around but very little substantive action and certainly nothing life altering.
Still, both deserve an award for their willingness to debate (things beyond their training and skill) – so here it is:
Like Coulter, he is a publicity whore. Like Coulter, he seldom knows what he’s talking about. Like Coulter, he loves the spotlight. Like Coulter, he befouls himself with more ignorance about theology and religion than a herd of swine wallowing in their own excrement. Like Coulter, he is either a moron, a liar, or a complete imbecile. Perhaps it’s all three.
In any event, Richard Dawkins is the UK’s Ann Coulter. And he should be understood as such. Nothing more.
Is this one, which I only made it 1/3 through before my head exploded from the blatant and unrepentant stupidity.
As long as people forget that, or never learn it in the first place, these idiotic and pointless arguments will continue. Scripture doesn’t care about your theory of the ‘how’-ness of it all. It’s concern is the ‘why’-ness.
Grow up, all of you.
Did Adam and Eve speak Dutch? A theory dating back to the Renaissance places the Garden of Eden in what is today the Netherlands and Belgium.
Israelis and Jews have it all wrong, apparently. The Promised Land is not where they think. It’s actually a few thousand kilometers to the northwest in the Netherlands and Belgium.
In fact, the Low Countries have the dual honor of being both paradise on Earth and the place where many of the Bible’s most prominent celebrities did their thing, at least according to Johannes Goropius Becanus (1519-1572).
This Renaissance polymath was not only a physician to the royals, he was also an amateur linguist. According to his bizarre theories, the Garden of Eden was actually located in Antwerp, and Adam and Eve spoke the Antwerp dialect of Dutch.
And therein lies the problem. Amateur linguists are just the worst of the Dilettante’s tribe.
His proof? The etymology of their names. According to Becanus, Adam apparently derived from the Dutch compound Haat-Dam (Dam-Against-Hate) and Eve is Eeuw-Vat (The-Eternal-Barrel). He similarly “discovered” origins for Cane, Abel, Noah and other biblical figures. Becanus believed that these etymologies were self-evident; after all, he was convinced that Dutch was the oldest language in the world (Duits, i.e. De Oudst, or The Oldest).
He also theorized that Antwerp was founded by the descendants of Noah, though how they located this low-lying town – only 7.5 meters above sea level – after the reported deluge is unclear.
Though he did have admirers, Becanus and his theories were ridiculed even during his lifetime. His contemporary, Dutch religious leader and historian Joseph Scaliger (1540-1609) scoffed: “I have never read such nonsense.” He derided Becanus as the man who “was not ashamed to criticize Moses for drawing etymologies from Hebrew rather than Dutch.”
Dilettantes always have some weird admirers. There are always people who revel in ignorance. Read the rest of the Ha’aretz essay, it’s quite fun.