Thursday, July 15, 2010

Just in Case Anyone is Alive....

I have a feeling everyone is dead, but if not I posted part of my story on The Erratic Muse. If you have a little time, it would make me so happy if you read it. :-)

Here are links to a movie and two book reviews I've been able to do-

The Red Baron (2008)

Stepping Heavenward - Elizabeth Prentice

Canon of Scripture - F. F. Bruce

Thanks for reading.
Miss Pickwickian

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer and Reviews

Hey all!

I know summer is horribly busy...but I know a lot of you are trying to get a lot of reading done. It would be awesome if you could put reviews up!
We all enjoy reading and it's always good to hear about new books. Movie reviews would be awesome too!

I just posted a review on Megan Whalen Turner's new book The Conspiracy of Kings on my Erratic Muse blog. If you haven't read the Attolia series you really should!

Contact me and you are free to borrow them.

I also just wanted to share my excitement about a writer's conference I'm going to be able to go to in August!!!!!!!!!!! I think it is going to be amazing and I hope I will learn a lot.
I'm sure you'll hear more about it.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful, productive summer!
Miss Pickwickian

Monday, May 3, 2010

Textus Receptus, Looking like a stuck-up Nerd, and Mark 16


Aha. Aha.

So, once again, this is a school assignment. This blog should really be very thankful for my Omnibus class. :-P This post is partly to revive my reputation that I'm sure took a nasty fall when I posted

The only drawback is that I stand a great chance of looking like a nerdy bloated stuck up know it all. Which I'm not. But this may make it look like I am.

Will you all forgive me for forcing my school paper upon you?

All for the sake of keeping the blog alive, you know :)

Ugh, I just realized, the paper is rather long....

If you decide to waste 7.3 minutes of your life reading this, I would appreciate comments/criticizms/controversy/compliments or anything you want to say.


Hadley Ayers
Omnibus IV section C, 4th quarter assignment

Not very long ago, I was reading the book of Mark. I was nearing the end of this captivating book, in chapter 16. I had just finished verse 8, and was starting on verse 9: [Now, after he had risen early on the first day of the week…I stopped reading. Wait a moment, I thought. Why was the beginning of verse nine in parentheses? I turned the page to the end of the book. The last word of verse 20 also had parentheses around it: …confirmed the word by the signs that followed]. I looked back down at the page. The wonders continued, for right after verse 20, both in parentheses and italics, were the words, [And they promptly reported all these instructions to Peter and his companions. And after that, Jesus Himself sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation. By now, I was thoroughly confused. I had never encountered anything like this in the Bible before. Now, I had been reading the New American Standard version. Curious, I turned to my New King James version. When I read the same chapter, there were no parentheses around verses 9-20, and it did not include the italicized addition to verse 20. My curiosity now further awakened, I looked up the passages on The website had this footnote: Some manuscripts end the book with 16:8; others include verses 9-20 immediately after verse 8. A few manuscripts insert additional material after verse 14; one Latin manuscript adds after verse 8 the following: And they promptly reported all these instructions to Peter, etc. Other manuscripts include this same wording after verse 8, then continue with verses 9-20. Aha, I thought. There must be some controversy over this chapter! I decided it needed some looking into. Mouse in hand, I set out to uncover this mystery.

There are two ‘families’ of Greek New Testament manuscripts that have been found. The first is called the Byzantine text-type. The Byzantine text-type is made up of a vast amount of manuscripts, and its manuscripts of the Gospel of Mark contain verses 9-20 of chapter 16. The Byzantine text also does not include the addition to verse 20. These Byzantine manuscripts became the commonly accepted New Testaments. In the 14th century, Erasmus compiled most of the Byzantine manuscripts and translated them into Latin, which was called the Textus Receptus. From the Textus Receptus, the King James and New King James versions were both translated. The second family of manuscripts is the Alexandrian text-type, which was not discovered till the 19th century. The Alexandrian text is made up of far fewer manuscripts than the Byzantine, but what manuscripts it consists of are older and closer to the time of Christ. The oldest of these Alexandrian manuscripts, the Sinaiticus and the Vaticanus, do not include verses 9-20 of chapter 16, and some texts include the addition to verse 20. In 1850, Karl Lachmann published the first New Testament that relied only on the Alexandrian manuscripts. The Critical Text, which is compiled from the Alexandrian manuscripts, is the basis for all English translations (except the King James and New King James), and is now in modern times the accepted New Testament.

These two families of texts from whence the Bibles we read come from have different endings for Mark. Which text is more reliable? The Alexandrian Text is older than the Byzantine. If it is older, and thus closer to when the New Testament was actually being written, then the chances of it being the original are more likely. On the other hand, though the Byzantine text is not as old as the Alexandrian, it has the majority on its side; for its manuscripts are more numerous, and all these manuscripts agree. How shall we weigh these arguments?

This is a rather tricky matter, but not unsolvable. Not only does the Byzantine text have the Majority in its favor, it also has a longer history of acceptance. From about the 5th century till quite modern times, The Byzantine Text and the Textus Receptus became the accepted New Testament. The Reformers used it. The vote of confidence of all the great men of Church History has to amount for something. There is a reason the Alexandrian text type was not common in ancient times, and why we have not discovered it till late. There is a reason the early church fathers must have rejected it in favor of the Byzantine texts. Also, just because we can’t find any manuscripts that are dated closer to the writing of the original document doesn’t mean that the Byzantine manuscripts are not original. The quantity of agreeing manuscripts points to something. If you are hiking, and come to a point where you can see a great big river, but are unable to see its source, you never the less know that the source exists. Merely being older does not give the Alexandrian text automatic authenticity. Being a little younger does not mean the Byzantine Text is any less authentic than it is. Thus, the Byzantine text is more reliable, and as it includes verses 9-20, we know that these verses are legitimate; also, the addition to verse 20, which the Byzantine text does not include, must not be legitimate.

Even though we have established that the Byzantine text is probably the more reliable, and thus we can trust the addition of verses 9-20, we must still go over a few criticisms with Mark 16 itself. One objection to verses 9-20 is that it uses several words and phrases that Mark never uses before. It doesn’t seem to be written in Mark’s style, and thus it is assumed that these verses must have been added later by someone else. The main question here is the authority of writing style. Should an author’s writing style be the law that says a work belongs to a certain author? Would you take a book that had been written by J.R.R. Tolkien, discovered that it had a few words that he either didn’t use very often or never had before, and start up a ruckus claiming that J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t write the book? Is an author to be given no freedom to write differently from works previous? A biblical author’s writing style does not carry as much weight as some people make it out to carry. It should be an interesting, enjoyable study, and no more. Also, why would Mark end his book at verse 8 with these words: And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid. This does not seem like a very complete or good news-like ending to the great story of Jesus Christ. Moreover, though this ending briefly mentions that Christ has risen, it does not include any actual appearance of Christ after his crucifixion, as all the other gospels do. Thus, these objections to Mark 16:9-20 are shown to be of no weight.

I leaned back in my chair. Through the course of my research, I came to the conclusion that verses 9-20 were indeed a part of Mark. The arguments in favor of the Byzantine text, which is the basis for the versions that include verses 9-20, outweighed the arguments in favor of the Alexandrian text. The objections to this passage in Mark did not carry enough weight to convince me of their validity. However, as I was researching this information, I found it necessary to remind myself of the big picture. It’s easy to get caught up in the debate over which version to use, which versions are superior, and what not. While we may hold that a certain translation is more correct than another, we shouldn’t get too wound up over it. We can still be good Christians if we read the NASV, or the ESV. This whole subject about the ending of Mark is important, but it should not estrange us from other Christians. To close with a quote:

“The New Testament was inspired by God, and came from the pens of its writers or their amanuenses in infallible form, free from any defect of any sort, including scribal mistakes. However, God in His providence did not choose to protect that infallible original text from alterations and corruptions in the copying and printing process.” –Douglas Kutilek

St. Clement

This actually isn't about St. Clement at just reminded me of that rhyme:
Oranges and Lemons, say the bells of St. Clement's....
Anyways. I wrote this when I was very bored the other day. I honestly don't know very much about it. It is very odd. So odd, you may give me funny looks next time I see you. But, after all, desperate times call for desperate measures. No one has posted anything for a very long time! Someone needs to save the blog from utter ruin! Esmeralda to the rescue! (:-P) I needed something to post, and something quick. Thus, I give you,

Lemons on Sunday

P.S. There are a few wonky allegories in this. So wonky, you may wonder if I actually understand the meaning of allegory. However, I'm curious to see if any of you can figure out what all it means. If you can't, that's ok. It prolly doesn't make much sense. It made sense in my head :-P

'I do like lemons,' he said.
He was gazing out to the street, not looking at her. She was staring at her feet.
'Yes,' she murmured, 'But limes are far more effective.'
'Oh, I don't think so.' He leaned back against the wall. His voice was drawling and bantering. 'Lemons can hide things, sour things that certain people shouldn't see.'
'Yes, but limes are stronger,' she replied. 'They can keep certain people from coming in. They are too slippery for attackers.'
She turned to him, her face earnest, almost pleading.
He glanced at her, one eyebrow raised, then turned his gaze back to the cold street.
'So you prefer limes to lemons?' he asked in a rather acidic voice.
She blushed. 'I'm not saying I like either of them, actually. As far as it goes, I'd rather have a strawberry, or a peach, or an apple-' She stopped, and quickly put her hand over her mouth. She had been disturbed by his coldness, wasn't thinking clearly in her effort to defend herself. She had let-that word- slip out. She had said it. What would he think of her now?
She was trembling now, shifting her feet.
He turned to her. His face was like stone.
'What did you say?'
His voice seemed to have grown deeper. Her mind went blank. Fear swept over her. She tried to speak, but her voice shook.
'No, no, I- I didn't mean- don't think- oh, please-don't be mad at me!'
She was near tears. She couldn't look at his face. A tear slid down her cheek and plopped onto her shoe as she waited fearfully for him to respond. She was both dreading and hoping his words. She finally summoned enough nerve to look up- and he was gone. She let out a wail, and fell down weeping on the steps.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Matrix

A while ago some of us were talking about The Matrix. Some of us had seen it, some of us hadn’t. I think it’d be cool to have another sleep over and watch it together…a Matrix Party! I’ve seen it, so I decided to do a post on it to get us all excited about it :-P
Now, the Matrix is rated R, I think for violence. I’d never seen an R rated movie before so I was pretty excited. I can’t say I saw the whole thing though…my younger siblings were watching so we skipped a scene or two. We don’t have Clearplay, but we have my dad, which is just as good :-P He remembers where every obscene swearword is and every inappropriate scene. And there was a lot of swearing. BUT despite the constant muting it was AMAZING. I mean, you know a movie’s epic when they all wear black leather clothes and sunglasses and carry so many guns they just throw them away when they’re done with them and pull out some new ones. You also know a movie’s epic when it’s about rebelling against world domination. I love those kinds of movies. The Lord of the Rings, the first Narnia, Star Wars, and (if you think about it) I am Legend. There’s a big bad guy (in this case, a computer program) who’s taking over the world, and a small group of good guys try to get rid of the big bad guy. It’s also very much science fiction (with the whole ‘what is reality’ thing going on and the Matrix itself and all the computer programs), which makes me love it even more. :)
I also loved the imagery going on with the names. The hero’s name is Neo, Latin for New. Very appropriate, since Neo is the One they’ve been looking for and the only One who can save them, etc etc.
The leader of the good guys is Morpheus. The name Morpheus is from the Greek (or Greekish word) morph, or change. After all, what bigger change could there be than bringing down the matrix? His name could also be Orpheus with an M stuck on the front. Orpheus sang so beautifully that the very rocks were moved…I guess you could say Morpheus was effective in moving Neo and the others…hahah but that’s going a little far maybe….
The heroine’s name is Trinity. Now, I wonder what they were trying to get across with her name?
The colony of people rebelling against the Matrix is called Zion. The city of God. Interesting, no?
I also liked the Oracle. It seemed like such a Greek, archaic thing to have in the midst of black sunglasses and guns. And the kids in the Oracle’s house were all in Greekish robes and doing Jedi-things with spoons…it all seems sort of unearthly and archaic…and then you meet the Oracle. Haha! That whole scene seemed so ironic.
Along with Zion and Trinity, I noticed a couple other…idk… similarities that reminded me of the story of Jesus…maybe I’m going a little far…if you’ve seen the movie you can tell me what you think. So, Neo is supposed to be the Savior (obvious parallel there). He is betrayed by that creepy wimpy dude (Judas-figure) in to the hands of the Agents. When they are trapped, he lets Trinity go through the telephone (giving up his life for hers). The agents then attack him. He has a few moments when he either dies or is so close to death they all believe he’s dead. But then he gets ‘resurrected’ and defeats the agents (which, btw, is THE most awesome scene in the whole movie). Obviously, Neo is of course sinful and not without fault, and the story doesn’t follow that of Christ’s passion perfectly, and I’m not trying to make it. I just noticed some interesting parallels :)
The thing that bugged me most about the Matrix: The fact that Neo is “guilty of every internet crime”. And when he has that underhanded dealing with those creeps in the first bit…It’s not a big part of the story, but it bugged me that the Hero used to be a criminal, even if it was in the Matrix.
The part I liked the most: Of course, the most redeeming part of the movie is when Neo decides to save Morpheus, even though he risks death and the ruin of their ship, instead of killing Morpheus to let themselves escape.
I also loved that a déjà vu is a glitch in the Matrix; when they change something…. RUN!
There is no spoon.
And they had a martial arts fight scene :-P
So, yeah, epic movie.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Music tag thingy

Ok, so this doesn't really have anything to do with literature, but it's music...which is still the Arts.... :-P Besides, I figured maybe there were people who needed cheering up and thought it would be a good idea to post something fun!

Put your iPod on shuffle and press FW for each question. Use each song title to answer each question!

1) How am I feeling today? Paper Heart – All American Rejects
2) Will I get far in life? Deathbed – Relient K. Ouch.
3) How do my friends see me? The Bird and the Worm- Owl City4) Where will I get Married? Swallowed in the sea- Coldplay; now that doesn’t bode well, does it?
5) What is my best friend's theme song? The Call-Regina Spektor. Yes, definitely.
6) What is the story of my life? Falling out – Relient K. Haha, isn’t it just.
7. What is/was highschool like? Hey Stephen- Taylor Swift. NOT. I don’t even know any Stephens.
8. How can I get ahead in life? Move Along- ARR. Sage advice, I suppose.
9. What is the best thing about me? Fearless-Taylor Swift. Indeed :-P
10. How is today going to be? Love Story-Taylor Swift. Hahah.
11. What is in store for this weekend? Lothlorien – LOTR sound track. Hey, wouldn’t that be cool!
12. What song describes my parents? Lion-o. Haha. I’m not sure my mom would appreciate that…
13. How is my life going? Tidal Wave – Owl City. You could say that I guess.
14. What song will they play at my funeral? California- Hawk Nelson
Let’s pack up and move to California, hop on board before we get older…hmmm
15. How does the world see me? Must have done something right- Relient K. HA
16. Will I have a happy life? Who I am hates who I’ve been- Relient K. Uh- oh
17. What do my friends really think of me? The Hardest Part- Coldplay. Really?
18. What should I do with my life? Rush of blood to the head- Coldplay
19. What is some good advice for me? Change your mind- The Killers. Hahaha!
20. How will I be remembered? Viva la Vida- Coldplay. Huh.
21. What is my signature dancing song? Strawberry Swing- Coldplay. There ya go!
22. What does everyone else think my current theme song is? Bring me to Life - Evanescence…Seriously?
23. What best describes my personality? A Beautiful let-down- Switchfoot. Oh dear.
24. What do I like in a guy? Halo –Beyonce. HAHAHAHAHA
25. What is my motto? Fidelity- Regina Spektor. Haha!
26. What do I think about often? Vanilla Twilight – Owl City
27. What do I want to be when I grow up? Stay Beautiful-Taylor Swift. Don’t I wish…
28. What do I think of my best friend? Never Alone – Barlow Girl
29. What do I think when I see the person I like? Breathe – Taylor Swift haha!
30. What song will I dance to at my wedding? Falling apart- AAR. Oh boy, wouldn’t that be sickeningly ironic….
31. What is my biggest secret? White Horse. Um.
Now it’s your turn…. :)