Daily Archives: 27 May 2018

In Which St Jerome Argues for the Single Life

“A wise man therefore must not take a wife. For in the first place his study of philosophy will be hindered, and it is impossible for anyone to attend to his books and his wife. Matrons want many things, costly dresses, gold, jewels, great outlay, maid-servants, all kinds of furniture, litters and gilded coaches.

Then come curtain-lectures the livelong night: she complains that one lady goes out better dressed than she: that another is looked up to by all: ‘I am a poor despised nobody at the ladies’ assemblies.’ ‘Why did you ogle that creature next door?’ ‘Why were you talking to the maid?’ ‘What did you bring from the market?’ ‘I am not allowed to have a single friend, or companion.’ She suspects that her husband’s love goes the same way as her hate. There may be in some neighbouring city the wisest of teachers; but if we have a wife we can neither leave her behind, nor take the burden with us.

To support a poor wife, is hard: to put up with a rich one, is torture. Notice, too, that in the case of a wife you cannot pick and choose: you must take her as you find her. If she has a bad temper, or is a fool, if she has a blemish, or is proud, or has bad breath, whatever her fault may be—all this we learn after marriage. Horses, asses, cattle, even slaves of the smallest worth, clothes, kettles, wooden seats, cups, and earthenware pitchers, are first tried and then bought: a wife is the only thing that is not shown before she is married, for fear she may not give satisfaction. Our gaze must always be directed to her face, and we must always praise her beauty: if you look at another woman, she thinks that she is out of favour.

She must be called my lady, her birth-day must be kept, we must swear by her health and wish that she may survive us, respect must be paid to the nurse, to the nursemaid, to the father’s slave, to the foster-child, to the handsome hanger-on, to the curled darling who manages her affairs, and to the eunuch who ministers to the safe indulgence of her lust: names which are only a cloak for adultery.

Upon whomsoever she sets her heart, they must have her love though they want her not. If you give her the management of the whole house, you must yourself be her slave. If you reserve something for yourself, she will not think you are loyal to her; but she will turn to strife and hatred, and unless you quickly take care, she will have the poison ready. If you introduce old women, and soothsayers, and prophets, and vendors of jewels and silken clothing, you imperil her chastity; if you shut the door upon them, she is injured and fancies you suspect her.

But what is the good of even a careful guardian, when an unchaste wife cannot be watched, and a chaste one ought not to be? For necessity is but a faithless keeper of chastity, and she alone really deserves to be called pure, who is free to sin if she chooses. If a woman be fair, she soon finds lovers; if she be ugly, it is easy to be wanton. It is difficult to guard what many long for. It is annoying to have what no one thinks worth possessing. But the misery of having an ugly wife is less than that of watching a comely one. Nothing is safe, for which a whole people sighs and longs. One man entices with his figure, another with his brains, another with his wit, another with his open hand.

Somehow, or sometime, the fortress is captured which is attacked on all sides. Men marry, indeed, so as to get a manager for the house, to solace weariness, to banish solitude; but a faithful slave is a far better manager, more submissive to the master, more observant of his ways, than a wife who thinks she proves herself mistress if she acts in opposition to her husband, that is, if she does what pleases her, not what she is commanded. But friends, and servants who are under the obligation of benefits received, are better able to wait upon us in sickness than a wife who makes us responsible for her tears (she will sell you enough to make a deluge for the hope of a legacy), boasts of her anxiety, but drives her sick husband to the distraction of despair. But if she herself is poorly, we must fall sick with her and never leave her bedside. Or if she be a good and agreeable wife (how rare a bird she is!), we have to share her groans in childbirth, and suffer torture when she is in danger. A wise man can never be alone. He has with him the good men of all time, and turns his mind freely wherever he chooses.

What is inaccessible to him in person he can embrace in thought. And, if men are scarce, he converses with God. He is never less alone than when alone. Then again, to marry for the sake of children, so that our name may not perish, or that we may have support in old age, and leave our property without dispute, is the height of stupidity. For what is it to us when we are leaving the world if another bears our name, when even a son does not all at once take his father’s title, and there are countless others who are called by the same name. Or what support in old age is he whom you bring up, and who may die before you, or turn out a reprobate? Or at all events when he reaches mature age, you may seem to him long in dying. Friends and relatives whom you can judiciously love are better and safer heirs than those whom you must make your heirs whether you like it or not. Indeed, the surest way of having a good heir is to ruin your fortune in a good cause while you live, not to leave the fruit of your labour to be used you know not how.”

The Two Things Most American Christians Lack…

Are commitment and consistency. Commitment to discipleship and consistency of ethics –

@sarahybethy:

Christians on abortion: “We’re a Christian nation!!”

Christians on homosexuality: “We’re a Christian nation!!”

Christians on prayer in schools: “We’re a Christian nation!!”

Christians on Refugees: “The government has no responsibility to mandate Christian principles.”

John Calvin’s Dying Words

It’s said that the last thing Calvin whispered right before he died was the following enigmatic sentence:

Karl Barth, shut up!

No one at his bedside understood- but we do.

Two Recent Archives Visits

Manuscript geekiness. And not a bogus claim about a purported first century text in sight…

Septuaginta &c.

Strangely enough, even though biblical studies as a discipline revolves around primary sources, not a lot of those involved in research actually have a reason to view a physical ancient manuscript. It’s a digital age. Even in my own work with Hellenistic papyri and inscriptions almost everything I need to look at is digitized. Occasionally I will view a published edition, but even a lot of that is online as well (e.g., SEG).

That is why I always relish the opportunity to actually see some physical stuff in a library somewhere. I have posted a few times in the recent past about a few visits I’ve made to the University of Cambridge library, where I took some time to view some of the correspondence of revered Septuagint scholar H. B. Swete (e.g. here and here. NB I hope to post more from the troves of what I found…

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There’s Something Seriously Wrong with Some Fans

Paige Patterson Covered up For Paul Pressler, Molester of Males

Pressler, along with Patterson, were the two Fundamentalist leaders that dismantled Southeastern Seminary’s faculty and staff while I was there including seeing to it that the trustees, a collective of cowards. carried out the dismissal of Randall Lolley, President, and many distinguished professors.

These two craven evildoers have now been exposed to be the lowest sort of criminals, not only engaging in molestation (Pressler) but covering up those molestations and rapes (Patterson).

These servants of Satan ruined so many lives.  May they feel the sting of God’s eternal justice.

This Is Blasphemy

Americans have but one Savior and his name isn’t Donald, it’s Jesus.  If you think Trump can ‘save’ anything you’re an idolater.

#PapyrusGate, Part 864- The Zombie Scrap

The story that just won’t die…   Do you know why such gymnastics are necessary?  Because bogus claims were made by scholars eager to make the news and when their claims were shown to be false they had to backpeddle.  The backpeddling continues and the zombiefied scrap of insignificance remains center stage.

Paige Patterson and a Rape Coverup

People are mistaken to think Paige Patterson an honorable man.  Not only does he give evil advice to abuse victims, he covers up rape.  And then he appears to have tried to remove the evidence.  This man doesn’t deserve respect, he deserves a jail cell.