Tuesday, June 09, 2009

On textual criticism

I would never deny that textual criticism can have its uses in the study of Sacred Scripture. But I am skeptical about how all-powerful this usefulness is.

For example, the Fathers confirm that the Apostle John wrote the Gospel of John and the three Epistles of John. Some textual critics argue that this cannot be correct because of the difference in writing style.1 To investigate this further, I will propose and experiment.

Here is something I wrote on a lark in college. Read it and, if you are familiar with the general tone of this blog, tell me if you would have guessed it and this blog were written by the same man if you had not been told:
I don't trust the Care Bears. They're up to something. I believe that they are an alien species bent on conquering the Earth. Think about it. They live in the sky, among the stars. They fly around in strange vehicles.

And how comes they're always trying to spread peace and love? Because they want us all to be shiny, happy people? I think not. They're trying to disarm humanity and take away our ability to fight. When we have disarmed and all people are living in harmony, they will launch their quick and devastating attack, destroying our communications infrastructure and murdering world leaders. After this quick coup they will rule us all with an iron fist... er, uh... paw.

What I don't understand is how I am the only one to see it. They fire lasers from their freaking stomachs. FROM THEIR FREAKING STOMACHS PEOPLE! They use these tummy-lasers to eliminate any enemies that stand in the way of their diabolical plan of slowly sifting the fighting spirit out of the human race.

Once this information goes public, I will probably be targeted for "caring." I can only hope that this message reaches enough people in time. Don't let this cuddly alien menace get away with it. Fight these hibernating hell-bringers with all your strength. Do it for humanity.
I hope this experiment has been useful to you.

1 I'm honestly not all that up on the current ins and outs of Biblical scholarship. Is this still a popular view? It certainly was when I was in high school and college.


Willa said...

I don't know whether it's still in vogue, either -- I graduated in 1985. However, at that time the academic attitude towards textual criticism reminded me of children with a new toy.... or perhaps, pre-teens with a new vocabulary to use to annoy and mystify their parents.

LOL about the Care Bears. I often thought so too ;-).

ari said...

Care bears???

Correct me if I happen to be wrong here but, if memory serves, wasn't Care bears a cartoon for girls much like Rainbow Bright?

What are you doing watching a girlie cartoon?

It would've been much for forgivable if you had watched Transformers or Gobots instead.

brendon said...

I remember the original Care Bears to be more unisex, aimed at younger children in general. I'm not sure that they could be considered "girlie" in toto. I mean, they did shoot lasers from their tummies. And they had a ninja. (I don't care what anyone says, Secret Heart Bear was a ninja. He never made any noise and he could open any lock. Therefore, ninja. QED.)

I did watch Transformers. And Go-Bots. And G.I. Joe &c. But I have a younger sister with whom I had to share the TV, so I also ended up watching the Care Bears, and Rainbow Brite, and My Little Pony &c.

It's strange how childhood colors things. They try to sell me back my old cartoons on the big screen, at today's prices, and I think, "You are destroying my childhood memories!" Then I catch some of the originals again and think, "Huh, my childhood memories are poorly made toy commercials."

Thus is wisdom gained, I suppose.