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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: June ::
Designations
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1157  Tuesday, 28 June 2005

[1]     From:   Michael E. Cohen <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Jun 2005 09:51:23 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1153 Designations

[2]     From:   Matthew Baynham <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Jun 2005 18:11:46 GMT
        Subj:   Designations

[3]     From:   Abigail Quart <
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        Date:   Monday, 27 Jun 2005 18:46:37 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.1153 Designations

[4]     From:   Stephen Dobbin <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 28 Jun 2005 10:19:38 +0100 (BST)
        Subj:   Closing down the Designation thread.


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael E. Cohen <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Jun 2005 09:51:23 -0700
Subject: 16.1153 Designations
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1153 Designations

 >I don't think there is any need to continue this thread any longer.

Oh, darn...just when I was going to propose calling the Hebrew
Scriptures, "The Bible, First Blood". Catchy, and surprisingly accurate.

Michael E. Cohen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew Baynham <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Jun 2005 18:11:46 GMT
Subject:        Designations

I'm sure it was just a slip of Jack Kamen's pen (or keyboard etc) but,
of course, he criticises views which were stated by Bob Lapides in
opposition to mine, rather than by me.

I said, though, that I think Bob Lapides overstates: and if so, the
overstatement is in that word 'inherently'. For it is certainly true, as
I understand it, that some Jews perceive an implication in the term 'Old
Testament' that their scriptures are in some sense superseded: and this
perception is painful (well, probably, something more like infuriating).

This is clearly very arguable: the narrow point I make is that I don't
think it's an inevitable or inherent implication of the term; and that
the term Old Testament contains no necessary disrespect of the Hebrew
scriptures: rather it is a claim to a particular reading of them. It's
in this sense that I think it's vital to the argument that this reading
first emerged amongst Jews, which is why I emphasised the Jewishness of
Jesus of Nazareth himself and of his first followers. If this were a
claim made simply by non-Jews from the first, it would be more
objectionable, I think.

(It's worth, noting though, that Muslims quite routinely claim that
Christians misinterpret the New Testament - for example by suggesting
that the second 'comforter' promised by Jesus in John's gospel is not,
as Christians suggest, the Holy Spirit, but the prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
- and there doesn't seem to be the same heat in the argument about that.)

Partly, it seems to me, this is about power. The Christian reading of
the Hebrew scriptures has become predominant because of the power of the
Christian church and of historically Christian societies. Jews, who as a
people are a great deal less numerous, perceive here a deep injustice,
particularly in the painful light of twentieth century history.

I respect that view, and would always want to be sensitive to it; but it
doesn't persuade me that the term Old Testament is inherently denigratory.

Matthew Baynham

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <
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Date:           Monday, 27 Jun 2005 18:46:37 -0400
Subject: 16.1153 Designations
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.1153 Designations

"Last week, the dog sneezed while Rebecca was petting him. She
automatically said, "Bless you." Then without hesitation she asked me,
"Do people who are not Christians get offended when someone says 'Bless
you' after they sneeze?""

Well, no. The Christians didn't invent it. They just couldn't get rid of
it. So they rewrote its history and folded it into the mush.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=g&p=7
God bless you after someone sneezes is credited to St. Gregory the
Great, but the pagan Romans (Absit omen) and Greeks had similar customs.

http://www.allwords.com/word-God%20bless%20you!.html
Idiom: bless you! (God bless you!)

       Said to a person who has just sneezed (originally as a
superstitious call for God to protect them from illness).

       An expression of affection, well-wishing or thanks, etc towards a
person.

Etymology: Anglo-Saxon bletsian or bledsian, probably from blod blood
(from the use of sacrificial blood in ancient blessing ceremonies).

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Dobbin <
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Date:           Tuesday, 28 Jun 2005 10:19:38 +0100 (BST)
Subject:        Closing down the Designation thread.

Hardy is quite right to close the discussion on 'Designations'. If it
goes on much longer people might realise the irony of followers of two
religions debating inter-faith sensitivity, while acting as if there
were no belief systems except for Judaism and Christianity.

The adoption of the terms BCE and CE is a hapless example of blinkered
thinking. Common to whom? What about that other great Abrahamic desert
monotheism, Islam? What about other faiths? What about atheists
humanists and rationalists?

"Before the Complacent Era," perhaps: otherwise, quite frankly, a plague
on both your houses!

Stephen.

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