Pastor and student

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Hefin J. Jones
Posts: 55
Joined: July 3rd, 2013, 1:41 am
Location: Davao, Philippines

Re: Pastor and student

Post by Hefin J. Jones » August 7th, 2018, 8:14 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:
August 3rd, 2018, 1:07 pm
In general, ancient texts were not meant be read once, but over and over, with much reflection on what the author is trying to communicate. What connections are suggested even by a linear reading of the text? Mark is not just writing a stand alone piece. He is writing in an already existing body of tradition and could expect his audience to make some of those connections. We, in turn, receive the text with not only the entire canon as the interpretive matrix, but our own body of tradition which we are expected to make use of. Considerations such as these mean to me that part of preaching is helping our congregations see those connections...
I find this perspective entirely plausible. Can you give us any pointers to ancient sources that substantiate "ancient texts were not meant be read once, but over and over, with much reflection on what the author is trying to communicate"? It would be a help to those of us whose exposure to the classics are a bit more 'utilitarian' than yours Barry! ;)
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Hefin Jones

instructor in New Testament - Koinonia Theological Seminary, Davao

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1247
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Pastor and student

Post by Barry Hofstetter » August 8th, 2018, 9:02 am

Hefin J. Jones wrote:
August 7th, 2018, 8:14 pm

I find this perspective entirely plausible. Can you give us any pointers to ancient sources that substantiate "ancient texts were not meant be read once, but over and over, with much reflection on what the author is trying to communicate"? It would be a help to those of us whose exposure to the classics are a bit more 'utilitarian' than yours Barry! ;)
Perhaps Seneca can help us out here:

Seneca wrote:Ex iis quae mihi scribis, et ex iis quae audio, bonam spem de te concipio; non discurris nec locorum mutationibus inquietaris. Aegri animi ista iactatio est. Primum argumentum conpositae mentis existimo posse consistere et secum morari. [2] Illud autem vide, ne ista lectio auctorum multorum et omnis generis voluminum habeat aliquid vagum et instabile. Certis ingeniis inmorari et innutriri oportet, si velis aliquid trahere, quod in animo fideliter sedeat. Nusquam est, qui ubique est. Vitam in peregrinatione exigentibus hoc evenit, ut multa hospitia habeant, nullas amicitias. Idem accidat necesse est iis, qui nullius se ingenio familiariter applicant, sed omnia cursim et properantes transmittunt. [3] Non prodest cibus nec corpori accedit, qui statim sumptus emittitur; nihil aeque sanitatem impedit quam remediorum crebra mutatio; non venit vulnus ad cicatricem, in quo medicamenta temptantur; non convalescit planta, quae saepe transfertur. Nihil tam utile est, ut in transitu prosit. Distringit librorum multitudo.

Itaque cum legere non possis, quantum habueris, satis est habere, quantum legas. " [4] Sed modo,” inquis, " hunc librum evolvere volo, modo illum.” Fastidientis stomachi est multa degustare; quae ubi varia, sunt et diversa, inquinant, non aiunt. Probatos itaque semper lege, et si quando ad alios deverti libuerit, ad priores redi. Aliquid cotidie adversus paupertatem, aliquid adversus mortem auxilii compara, nec minus adversus ceteras pestes; et cum multa percurrens, unum excerpe, quod illo die concoquas. [5] Hoc ipse quoque facio; ex pluribus, quae legi, aliquid adprehendo Hodiernum hoc est, quod apud Epicurum nanctus sum; soleo enim et in aliena castra transire, non tamquam transfuga, sed tamquam explorator. " [6] Honesta,” inquit, “res est laeta paupertas.” Illa vero non est paupertas, si laeta est. Non qui parum habet, sed qui plus cupit, pauper est. Quid enim refert, quantum illi in arca, quantum in horreis iaceat, quantum pascat aut feneret, si alieno inminet, si non adquisita sed adquirenda computat ? Quis sit divitiarum modus, quaeris ? Primus habere quod necesse est, proximus quod sat est. VALE.

Seneca. (1917–1925). Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales, volume 1-3. (R. M. Gummere, Ed.) (Vol. 1, pp. 6–8). Medford, MA: Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd.

For the Latin impaired:
Seneca translation wrote: Judging by what you write me, and by what I hear, I am forming a good opinion regarding your future. You do not run hither and thither and distract yourself by changing your abode; for suchrestlessness is the sign of a disordered spirit. The primary indication, to my thinking, of a well-ordered mind is a man's ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company. Be careful, however, lest this reading of many authors and books of every sort may tend to make you discursive and unsteady. You must linger among a limited number of masterthinkers, and digest their works, if you would derive ideas which shall win firm hold in your mind. Everywhere means nowhere. When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends. And the same thing must hold true of men who seek intimate acquaintance with no single author, but visit them all in a hasty and hurried manner. Food does no good and is not assimilated into the body if it leaves the stomach as soon as it is eaten; nothing hinders a cure so much as frequent change of medicine; no wound will heal when one salve is tried after another; a plant which is often moved can never grow strong. There is nothing so efficacious that it can be helpful while it is being shifted about. And in reading of many books is distraction.

Accordingly, since you cannot read all the books which you may possess, it is enough to possess only as many books as you can read. "But," you reply, "I wish to dip first into one book and then into another." I tell you that it is the sign of an overnice appetite to toy with many dishes; for when they are manifold and varied, they cloy but do not nourish. So you should always read standard authors; and when you crave a change, fall back upon those whom you read before. Each day acquire something that will fortify you against poverty, against death, indeed against other misfortunes as well; and after you have run over many thoughts, select one to be thoroughly digested that day. This is my own custom; from the many things which I have read, I claim some one part for myself.

The thought for to-day is one which I discovered in Epicurus for I am wont to cross over even into the enemy's camp, - not as a deserter, but as a scout. He says: "Contented poverty is an honourable estate." Indeed, if it be contented, it is not poverty at all. It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor. What does it matter how much a man has laid up in his safe, or in his warehouse, how large are his flocks and how fat his dividends, if he covets his neighbour's property, and reckons, not his past gains, but his hopes of gains to come? Do you ask what is the proper limit to wealth? It is, first, to have what is necessary, and, second, to have what is enough. Farewell.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Pastor and student

Post by Jonathan Robie » August 8th, 2018, 10:13 am

Seneca wrote:Accordingly, since you cannot read all the books which you may possess, it is enough to possess only as many books as you can read.
So Seneca said that before my wife did?
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1247
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: Pastor and student

Post by Barry Hofstetter » August 8th, 2018, 2:49 pm

Jonathan Robie wrote:
August 8th, 2018, 10:13 am
Seneca wrote:Accordingly, since you cannot read all the books which you may possess, it is enough to possess only as many books as you can read.
So Seneca said that before my wife did?
Seneca ut mater philosophiae, multum rideo! (Seneca as a mother of philosophy, laughing a lot!)
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Χαίρετε ἐν κυρίῳ πάντοτε· πάλιν ἐρῶ, χαίρετε

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