Portraits of the Mind is a remarkable book that combines beautifully reproduced illustrations of the nervous system as it has been visualized over the centuries, as well as lively and authoritative commentaries by some of today's leading neuroscientists. It will be enjoyed by professionals and general readers alike.
I listen to a lot of commentaries. I've got friends who watch TV, so if I don't hear it they're going to tell me about it. Like when you came to training camp at Lehigh this summer. I wasn't all that gung-ho about talking to you. But I sucked it up. I did it. I don't have a problem facing anyone who's been talking about me.
[On the New Testament:] I ... must enter my protest against the false translation of some passages by the men who did that work, and against the perverted interpretation by the men who undertook to write commentaries thereon. I am inclined to think, when we [women] are admitted to the honor of studying Greek and Hebrew, we shall produce some various readings of the Bible a little different from those we now have.
Sarah Moore Grimke
I'd made pretty clear to the people at Paramount and Dreamworks that, if they wanted Lemony Snicket to comment, he would be completely horrified by the entire film. And as long as they understood that, it was okay. I'm not much of a fan of DVD commentaries myself, so this was my way of getting revenge, in a sense, for all the puffed-up directors and stars who talk endlessly about the self-aggrandizing minutiae of making a movie.
I don't do commentaries on films because A) I'm not very good at it and B) it's an odd thing that I discovered, on my first film, that you go through this really intense experience of making a film and then you sit in a little room with a monitor and you reduce the thing to a bunch of silly anecdotes. It's really unfulfilling and I've never really enjoyed listening to them anyway, so I just don't do them.
Dear Sir: Yours of the 24th. asking 'the best mode of obtaining a thorough knowledge of the law' is received. The mode is very simple, though laborious, and tedious. It is only to get the books, and read, and study them carefully. Begin with Blackstone's Commentaries, and after reading it carefully through, say twice, take up Chitty's Pleading, Greenleaf's Evidence, & Story's Equity &c. in succession. Work, work, work, is the main thing.
Exegetical commentaries on the books of the Bible come in all shapes and sizes. Harold Hoehner's new volume on Ephesians has both a distinctive shape and a monumental size. Its value lies in its attention to detail and its full discussion of all relevant and disputed points. The volume will be an invaluable resource for scholars and students. Not all Hoehner's conclusions will command consent, but he has produced a stout and readable volume that all will turn to for guidance and help.
Ralph P. Martin
There can be no substitute for a personal study of the Word of God! Daily devotionals, Bible commentaries, and recorded messages by anointed preachers and teachers are wonderful and useful. However, they cannot take the place of the Word of God. They must not replace a time of personal study of the Word. Every Christian individual must study and meditate upon the Word for him or herself. Nobody can do that for anyone else.
Notice that whenever we suffer pain, the mind is always quick to identify with the negative aspects of things and replay them over and over again, wounding us deeply. Almost all humans have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) of the mind, which is why so many people become fearful, hate-filled, and wrapped around their negative commentaries. This pattern must be recognized early and definitively. Peace of mind is actually an oxymoron. When you're in your mind, you're hardly ever at peace, and when you're at peace, you're never only in your mind.
There is, of course, this to be said for the Omnibus Book in general and this one in particular. When you buy it, you have got something. The bulk of this volume makes it almost the ideal paper-weight. The number of its pages assures its posessor of plenty of shaving paper on his vacation. Place upon the waistline and jerked up and down each morning, it will reduce embonpoint and strengthen the abdominal muscles. And those still at their public school will find that between, say, Caesar's Commentaries in limp cloth and this Jeeves book there is no comparison as a missile in an inter-study brawl.
try to visualize all the streams of human interaction, of communication. All those linking streams flowing in and between people, through text, pictures, spoken words and TV commentaries, streams through shared memories, casual relations, witnessed events, touching pasts and futures, cause and effect. Try to see this immense latticework of lakes and flowing streams, see the size and awesome complexity of it. This huge rich environment. This waterway paradise of all information and identities and societies and selves.
No books is more fascinating than the Bible. And no books are less fascinating than most of our commentaries on the Bible. Nothing is more formidable and unconquerable than the Church Militant. But nothing is more sleepy and sheepish than the Church Mumbling. Christ's words roused His enemies to murder and His friends to martyrdom. Our words reassure both sides and send them to sleep. He put the world in a daze. We put it in a doze.
One notorious apikoros named Hiwa al-Balkhi, writing in ninth-century Persia, offered two hundred awkward questions to the faithful. He drew upon himself the usual thunderous curses-'may his name be forgotten, may his bones be worn to nothing'-along with detailed refutations and denunciations by Abraham ibn Ezra and others. These exciting anathemas, of course, ensured that his worrying 'questions' would remain current for as long as the Orthodox commentaries would be read. In this way, rather as when Maimonides says that the Messiah will come but that 'he may tarry, ' Jewishness contrives irony at its own expense. If there is one characteristic of Jews that I admire, it is that irony is seldom if ever wasted on them.
I recall once seeing a commentary advertised as having been written in prison without recourse to other commentaries and by reliance on the Holy Spirit alone. I doubt whether those last two phrases are complementary. If God has set teachers in the church (1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11) and many have written books, can good come out of ignoring them, let along parading that ignorance as glorifying God? God's work is never a one-man show. The one who represents the visible part of the iceberg must ever ackowledge his or her debt to others. I like to remember that the First Epistle to the Corinthians was from Paul and Sosthenes (1 Cor. 1:1) and that the Epistle to the Colossians was from Paul and Timothy.
In the white man's world, language, too - and the way which the white man thinks of it-has undergone a process of change. The white man takes such things as words and literatures for granted, as indeed he must, for nothing in his world is so commonplace. On every side of him there are words by the millions, an unending succession of pamphlets and papers, letters and books, bills and bulletins, commentaries and conversations. He has diluted and multiplied the Word, and words have begun to close in on him. He is sated and insensitive; his regard for language - for the Word itself - as an instrument of creation has diminished nearly to the point of no return. It may be that he will perish by the Word.
N. Scott Momaday
The ultimate space-measurer in Dutch football is of course, Johan Cruyff. He was only seventeen when he first played at Ajax, yet even then he delivered running commentaries on the use of space to the rest of the team, telling them where to run, where not to run. Players did what the tiny, skinny teenager told them to do because he was right. Cruyff didn't talk about abstract space but about specific, detailed spatial relations on the field. Indeed, the most abiding image of him as a player is not of him scoring or running or tackling. It is of Cruyff pointing. 'No, not there, back a little... forward two metres... four metres more to the left.' He seemed like a conductor directing a symphony orchestra. It was as if Cruyff was helping his colleagues to realize an approximate rendering on the field to match the sublime vision in his mind of how the space ought to be ordered.
Forty of Paracelsus's theological manuscripts still survive, as well as sixteen Bible commentaries, twenty sermons, twenty works on the Eucharist, and seven on the Virgin Mary. Half of these have never been properly edited, let alone printed in modern form. There is no question that Paracelsus thought long and hard about Christianity, and by styling himself a professor of theology (without, it seems, any official academic sanction) he implies that he regarded this component of his output to be the equal of his medical and chemical theories. That his role in the history of science and medicine has received far more attention than his theological oeuvre is, however, understandable and probably apt, for it cannot be said that he had much influence even on the religious debates of his day. In theology he never aspired to be a Luther, and that would in any case have been a futile aspiration for one so lacking in political acumen or the ability to foster disciples.
It does not answer the aim which God had in this institution, merely for men to have good commentaries and expositions on the Scripture, and other good books of divinity; because, although these may tend, as well as preaching, to give a good doctrinal or speculative understanding of the word of God, yet they have not an equal tendency to impress them on men's hearts and affections. God hath appointed a particular and lively application of his word, in the preaching of it, as a fit means to affect sinners with the importance of religion, their own misery, the necessity of a remedy, and the glory and sufficiency of a remedy provided; to stir up the pure minds of the saints, quicken their affections by often bringing the great things of religion in their remembrance, and setting them in their proper colours, though they know them, and have been fully instructed in them already.
For the humanists, whatever authority Scripture might possess derived from the original texts in their original languages, rather than from the Vulgate, which was increasingly recognized as unreliable and inaccurate. In that the catholic church continued to insist that the Vulgate was a doctrinally normative translation, a tension inevitably developed between humanist biblical scholarship and catholic theology... Through immediate access to the original text in the original language, the theologian could wrestle directly with the 'Word of God, ' unhindered by 'filters' of glosses and commentaries that placed the views of previous interpreters between the exegete and the text. For the Reformers, 'sacred philology' provided the key by means of which the theologian could break free from the confines of medieval exegesis and return ad fontes to the title deeds of the Christian faith rather than their medieval expressions, to forge once more the authentic theology of the early church.
Alister E. McGrath
Prayer that is born of meditation upon the Word of God is the prayer that soars upward most easily to God's listening ears. Topics: Prayer, Meditation I am ready to meet God face to face tonight and look into those eyes of infinite holiness, for all my sins are covered by the atoning blood. Topics: Salvation, Atonement When the devil sees a man or woman who really believes in prayer, who knows how to pray, and who really does pray, and, above all, when he sees a whole church on its face before God in prayer, he trembles as much as he ever did, for he knows that his day in that church or community is at an end. Topics: Satan, Prayer God's Word is pure and sure, in spite of the devil, in spite of your fear, in spite of everything. Topics: Scripture Do not study commentaries, lesson helps or other books about the Bible: study the Bible itself. Do not study about the Bible, study the Bible. The Bible is the Word of God, and only the Bible is the Word of God. Topics: The Bible All that God is, and all that God has, is at the disposal of prayer. Prayer can do anything that God can do, and as God can do everything, prayer is omnipotent.
He is a Londoner, too, in his writings. In his familiar letters he displays a rambling urban vivacity, a tendency to to veer off the point and to muddle his syntax. He had a brilliantly eclectic mind, picking up words and images while at the same time forging them in new and unexpected combinations. He conceived several ideas all at once, and sometimes forgot to separate them into their component parts. This was true of his lectures, too, in which brilliant perceptions were scattered in a wilderness of words. As he wrote on another occasion, "The lake babbled not less, and the wind murmured not, nor the little fishes leaped for joy that their tormentor was not." This strangely contorted and convoluted style also characterizes his verses, most of which were appended as commentaries upon his paintings. Like Blake, whose prophetic books bring words and images in exalted combination, Turner wished to make a complete statement. Like Blake, he seemed to consider the poet's role as being in part prophetic. His was a voice calling in the wilderness, and, perhaps secretly, he had an elevated sense of his status and his vocation. And like Blake, too, he was often considered to be mad. He lacked, however, the poetic genius of Blake - compensated perhaps by the fact that by general agreement he is the greater artist.
Exoneration of Jesus Christ If Christ was in fact God, he knew all the future. Before Him like a panorama moved the history yet to be. He knew how his words would be interpreted. He knew what crimes, what horrors, what infamies, would be committed in his name. He knew that the hungry flames of persecution would climb around the limbs of countless martyrs. He knew that thousands and thousands of brave men and women would languish in dungeons in darkness, filled with pain. He knew that his church would invent and use instruments of torture; that his followers would appeal to whip and fagot, to chain and rack. He saw the horizon of the future lurid with the flames of the auto da fe. He knew what creeds would spring like poisonous fungi from every text. He saw the ignorant sects waging war against each other. He saw thousands of men, under the orders of priests, building prisons for their fellow-men. He saw thousands of scaffolds dripping with the best and bravest blood. He saw his followers using the instruments of pain. He heard the groans-saw the faces white with agony. He heard the shrieks and sobs and cries of all the moaning, martyred multitudes. He knew that commentaries would be written on his words with swords, to be read by the light of fagots. He knew that the Inquisition would be born of the teachings attributed to him. He saw the interpolations and falsehoods that hypocrisy would write and tell. He saw all wars that would be waged, and-he knew that above these fields of death, these dungeons, these rackings, these burnings, these executions, for a thousand years would float the dripping banner of the cross. He knew that hypocrisy would be robed and crowned-that cruelty and credulity would rule the world; knew that liberty would perish from the earth; knew that popes and kings in his name would enslave the souls and bodies of men; knew that they would persecute and destroy the discoverers, thinkers and inventors; knew that his church would extinguish reason's holy light and leave the world without a star. He saw his disciples extinguishing the eyes of men, flaying them alive, cutting out their tongues, searching for all the nerves of pain. He knew that in his name his followers would trade in human flesh; that cradles would be robbed and women's breasts unbabed for gold. And yet he died with voiceless lips. Why did he fail to speak? Why did he not tell his disciples, and through them the world: 'You shall not burn, imprison and torture in my name. You shall not persecute your fellow-men.' Why did he not plainly say: 'I am the Son of God, ' or, 'I am God'? Why did he not explain the Trinity? Why did he not tell the mode of baptism that was pleasing to him? Why did he not write a creed? Why did he not break the chains of slaves? Why did he not say that the Old Testament was or was not the inspired word of God? Why did he not write the New Testament himself? Why did he leave his words to ignorance, hypocrisy and chance? Why did he not say something positive, definite and satisfactory about another world? Why did he not turn the tear-stained hope of heaven into the glad knowledge of another life? Why did he not tell us something of the rights of man, of the liberty of hand and brain? Why did he go dumbly to his death, leaving the world to misery and to doubt? I will tell you why. He was a man, and did not know.
Robert G. Ingersoll