Thursday, November 17, 2011

Excerpts / "An open letter on translation"

I may not have read many of Luther's works, but I have read enough to know that the limp-wristed flimser in "Luther" would only have earned his tireless mockery. Prompted mostly by curiosity and reformation day (it had nothing to do with the movie...) Hilary and I read through the 95 theses and started reading through some of his other works available for free online.

Luther's most notable quote in my retrievable memory is "whenever I pray, I pray for a curse upon Erasmus." (A snippet from a debate published between himself and Erasmus that we read and discussed in the "University Scholars" [cough] program at SPU). If I recall, our conclusion was that he was bold but crass, and not that brilliant. Basically, we thought he sounded like a hot-tempered wind-bag without anything really that intelligent to say. In retrospect I think this conclusion spoke more about my class and I than him - and perhaps a bit about the professors responsible for the curriculum as well. I am now finding that the man was sharper than a tack - and a very enjoyable read to boot!

Because my muse is currently visiting relatives on the other side of the country and I am literally bored stiff, here's some bits from "An open letter on translation."

On criticism received:
"It takes a great deal of patience to do good things in public. The world believes itself to be the expert in everything, while putting the bit under the horse's tail. "

"There is no such thing as earning the world's thanks. Even God himself cannot earn thanks, not with the sun, nor with heaven and earth, nor even the death of his Son."

"I know very well that in Romans 3 the word solum is not in the Greek or Latin text — the papists did not have to teach me that. It is fact that the letters s-o-l-a are not there. And these blockheads stare at them like cows at a new gate, while at the same time they do not recognize that it conveys the sense of the text"

"Now the papists are throwing a fit about me corrupting the Angelic Salutation, yet I still have not used the most satisfactory German translation. Suppose I had used the best German and translated the salutation: "Gott grusse dich, du liebe Maria" [God greet you, dear Mary], for that is all the angel meant to say, and what he would have said if he had greeted her in German. Suppose I had done that! I believe that they would have hanged themselves out of their fanatical devotion to the Virgin Mary, because I had so destroyed the Salutation."

On translation:
"The literal Latin is a great obstacle to speaking good German."

"The reader can now run his eyes over three or four pages without stumbling once, never knowing what rocks and clods had once lain where he now travels as over a smoothly-planed board. We had to sweat and toil there before we got those boulders and clods out of the way, so that one could go along so nicely. "

"Translating is not everyone's skill as some mad saints imagine. It requires a right, devout, honest, sincere, God-fearing, Christian, trained, educated, and experienced heart."

"I hold that no false Christian or sectarian spirit can be a good translator." [NRSV?]

"God knows that I have not even sought honor by it, but I have done it as a service to the dear Christians and to the honor of the One who sits above, who blesses me every hour of my life. If I had translated a thousand times more diligently, I should not have deserved to live or have a sound eye for even a single hour. All I am and have to offer is of his mercy and grace, indeed, of his precious blood and bitter sweat."

Praying to the saints:

"People are easily accustomed to turning away from Christ. They learn quickly to trust more in the saints than in Christ himself. Our nature is already too prone to run from God and Christ, and trust in men."

"Since it is not proper in the matter of divine worship for us to do anything that is not commanded by God (whoever does so is tempting God), it is therefore neither advisable nor tolerable that one should call upon the saints to intercede for him, or to teach others to call upon them."

"Second, you know that there is not a single word from God demanding us to call upon either saints or angels to intercede for us, and that there is no example of such in the Scriptures. We find that the angels spoke with the fathers and the prophets, but that none of them had ever been asked to intercede for them."

"Finally, we are sure that God is not angry with us, and that even if we do not call on the saints for intercession, we are quite secure, for God has never commanded it. He says that he is a jealous God, visiting their iniquities on those who do not keep his commandments [Ex.20]; but there is no commandment here and, therefore, no anger to be feared. Since, then, there is on this side security and on the other side great risk and offense against the Word of God, why should we go from security into danger where we do not have the Word of God to sustain, comfort and save us in the times of trial? For it is written, "Whoever loves danger will perish by it" [Ecclus. 3], and God's commandment says, "You shall not tempt the Lord your God" [Matt. 4]."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Just a little update

Saturday, July 23, 2011

If that were a dime, that would still be a big spider...

But it's a quarter.

Some friends of ours told us about this huge spider they found on their wall. They sprayed and sprayed it with the pesticide, but it just refused to die. When Hilary told me it was the size of her friend's palm, I knew what it must be immediately - "Ah hah! A Huntsman spider! So they do have them here!" I was a little jealouse that I didn't get to see it though.

Well, tonight I peeped into the garage to close the door, and as I opened up the door from our pantry I spied a dark mass with what looked like a lot of large legs poking out. I closed the door then realized as I did that it was probably just the thing I was looking for. I opened it back up, took another look, and sure enough, it was a very [VERY] large spider! I ran after it, and it immediately took flight. These things are fast! Not only that, but they hop. I know, it's bizarre, I thought jumping spiders were the only spiders that hopped, but these things really get a lot of air, we are talking on the order of several inches. Well, it ran out into the driveway, and I followed it until I realized that I only had underwear on. I went back inside to put some shorts on, and Hilary, in the excitement, found me a jar (what a wife!). I grabbed my jar and hoped against all hopes that my prey would still be where it came to a stop in the middle of the driveway.

Sure enough, it was still there! But it was ready - when it saw me, it took off, fast as lighting, and doing more of its weird ultra-hops every few feet. As I chased it, I realized I had a problem. The diameter of the spider was wider than the mouth of the jar, so the spider probably wouldn't live through this unscathed. Furthermore, it is very difficult to glomp a jar over a quickly moving target.

Still, summoning dormant skills from a bygone era, I took aim and fired. Clack! The jar came crashing down over the scuttling arthropod.
unfortunately, my dormant skills were a bit rusty from unuse, and the edge of the jar popped the spiders (relatively small, I might add) abdomen. The critter curled up and died there on the spot in front of me. Oh well. I still brought it inside, uncurled the legs and took a photo for... the 3 people who still check my forgotten blog.

Also, we found a Horseshoe crab shell on the beach today. Horseshoe crabs aren't actually crabs, but they sure do look crazy. So many weird things in the ocean.

This brings my tally of cool critters up to:
Green Anoles: Millions (including one in the Chick-fill-A parking lot, today)
Brown Anoles: Millions of millions
Green/Brown Anole hybrids: maybe 2
Ground skinks: Several
5 lined skinks: Several
Geckos: Quite a few
Glass-lizards: 1 live, 1 dead

Snakes: 1, and it was dead. (I seriously can't believe I haven't seen a live snake down here yet.)

Pond turtles: Probably in the zillions
Box turtles: 2. Turt the first, and turt the second, who is roughly the size of a silver dollar and living in a cage on our back patio, happily munching on reptile sticks from my fingers, most mornings.

Alligators: 1

Green tree frogs: 5 or 6
Ultra-Ultra-small tree frogs: 2
Regular frogs: 1


Diving beetle: 1
Leef footed bugs: too many

Ocean critters:
Colorfull fish: lots
Dolphins: several, but too far away to count
Sting-rays: 3 (kind of creepy, btw)
Manta-rays: About a dozen, in a herd
Remoras: 4 or 5
Hermit crab the size of my head: 1

I might be missing a few. But here is my list of things I still want to see before we move away:

1) Snapping turtle (preferable of the Alligator variety).
2) A snake. Any snake.
okay, well, actually I do have a preference. I want to find a "rough green snake" because they are bright green, non-venemous, and I have never actually seen a real, genuinely green snake, despite that being the default color people seem to choose when depicting them.
Also, I want to see (not catch) a coral snake. And a coachwhip.
3) A tortoise
4) A dolphin, up close.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Visiting cousin Beatrice

Annie saw her new cousin Beatrice for the first time this weekend! Here's some photos, I'm happy to say that it looks like they are going to be friends.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Time to hit the beach!

Grandpa and grandma Marston with Annie

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Documented proof...

Here's a few more from the last few days, just for kicks...