Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Backgrond of "Frode, Luba Fides"

Ever spill your creative creative jucies? Explore thiney tongue as late? Practice means bloody. A few years back, I decided to do some poeming,

"poeming", from the OED: DERIVAT[E of "Poem"] {dag}poeming n. Obs. nonce-wd. the composing or reciting of poems; an instance of this. 1708 Brit. Apollo No. 84. 2/2 Loud Tawkings and *Poemings. 1716 J. SMEDLEY Saint Patrick's Purgatory 5 Past five Years away in Poeming, Punning, Insulting, Idling [etc.] --fair use, excerpted from, entry "poem".

and while at it, revive some rather wonderful, abandoned words, use some older forms inspired by their use in the Bible (King James), words from Douglas Harper's ("The Sciolist") "Old English", here, <> which he argues should be revived and saved, some knowledge of older inflectional forms (from considerations and (perhaps from T.R. Lounsbury's "The History of the English Language" ) and tacking of them onto some words unusually; I do not recall exactly where I picked-up lea though should I, I'll tell; I did just find some entries for it here, Although extraneous to the poem, for Christian interest I'll add another word to that list of 'The Sciolist" while I'm at it, Shamefastness, recommended by Michael Marlowe,
__Words that are normal and ordinary for the average modern reader inevitably convey only thoughts that are ordinary for such readers. But what if the things expressed in the original are not ordinary for modern American readers?
__Recently while giving a lesson on the topic of modesty I referred to 1 Timothy 2:9, where the Greek text has the phrase μετα αιδους και σωφροσυνης. These are words that ancient authors commonly used in their teachings about personal virtues, and they describe attitudes or states of mind, not merely (or even primarily) outward actions. The first noun here, αιδως, denotes a capacity to feel shame, in a good sense, as opposed to shamelessness or impudence. In modern English versions it is usually translated “modesty,” but “bashfulness” may sometimes be a more adequate way of expressing its connotations. John Wyclif’s “shamefastness” is nearly perfect, and would still be the best rendering if that word had not become obsolete. (29) The second noun, σωφροσυνη, denotes an habitual self-regulation or moderation of desires and thoughts, as opposed to mania, self-indulgence and excess, and it is usually translated with “sobriety” or “self-control.” My purpose in referring to these words was to emphasize that “modesty” in the Bible is not merely outward compliance with some dress code, but a state of mind characterized by a capacity for shame and self-inhibition, and that the biblical authors connect this cultivated “sense of shame” with virtue and honor, especially in the case of women. This is a commonplace of exegetical writings, and it needs to be emphasized, because it is so foreign to the modern liberal ethos that dominates our society. (30) My students on that occasion had copies of the NIV translation, and so I asked them to turn to that place, expecting to find something close enough to build the lesson on. But to my surprise, I found that μετα αιδους και σωφροσυνης was translated “with decency and propriety.” Evidently the translators felt that these prissy words would be in some manner equivalent to the original. (31) I suppose they are the sort of words that a modern American would fall back on when recommending clothing that is suitable for Christians. But they do not begin to convey the meaning of Paul’s words. People associate “decency” with conformity to minimum standards of social behavior, and “propriety” with things like proper etiquette, but Paul speaks of something much more personal — a virtuous sense of shame, coupled with self-control. The problem here is not just about an archaic word that needs to be updated, it has to do with an ancient moral concept that has no name in the modern idiom. I am not sure what should be done in this case. Even “modesty” seems very inadequate. Perhaps we need to reclaim the word “shamefastness.” But there is no use pretending that “decency” will convey the meaning of αιδως. The inadequacy of colloquial modern English in this instance brings to mind an observation of J.D. Michaelis:
Some virtues are more sedulously inculcated by moralists and philosophers when the language has fit names for indicating them; whereas they are but superficially treated of, or rather neglected, in nations where such virtues have not so much as a name. (32)
(The Blockquote from Marlowe above was Retrieved 2010-05-05 14:07 MST from

Some explanation:
I see a lot of very emotional "love" poetry, but with little substance of shared basis for that love, and even less such that is Christian, so I decided I wanted to help remedy the situation; I also wanted, however, to give some clarification, polemical as it may be for a love poem, that Christ's way is not the broad swath in which everyone and their mother is claiming to be Christian, transforming into a therapeutic emotionalism to which even their god is tailored, and settled upon the simple word of Christ for the way, "narrow", and in defense of God's place in authorship of faith, indwelling work in the believers to all the good and also their perseverance, and promise of finishing His work, used "led". For enrichment it's worth adding, it is a walk, and the Scriptures throughout use "to walk with God" as indicative of a life of faith.

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