"AS I SEE IT"
Volume 9, Number 9, September 2006
“I too will have my say; I too will tell what I know.
For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me;
Inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst.
I must speak and find relief; I must open my lips and reply.
I will show partiality to no one. Nor will I flatter any man.”
“That which ordinary men are fit for I am qualified in, and the best of me is diligence.”
Earl of Kent
Shakespeare’s King Lear
Act I, scene iv, ll. 32-34
[“As I See It” is a monthly electronic magazine compiled and edited by Doug Kutilek. Its purpose is to address important issues of the day and to draw attention to worthwhile Christian and other literature in order to aid believers in Jesus Christ, especially pastors, missionaries and Bible college and seminary students to more effectively study and teach the Word of God. The editor’s perspective is that of an independent Baptist of fundamentalist theological persuasion.
AISI is sent free to all who request it by writing to the editor at: DKUTILEK@juno.com. You can be removed from the mailing list at the same address. Back issues sent on request. All back issues may be accessed at http://www.KJVOnly.org]
And Speaking of Camels, . . .
“The camel is an awkward, ugly, unclean, stupid, and ill-tempered animal, and looks like personified misery and discontent. But it is truly ‘the ship of the desert,’ and admirably adapted for its use on the boundless ocean of sand from the Nile to the Euphrates. It has needed no repair since the days of Abraham, and could not be improved by any invention in navigation. No horse or donkey would answer the purpose.”
“The camel has the reputation of patient endurance and passive submission, which some, however, deny, or regard as mere stupidity. It carries the heaviest burdens on its single or double hump, which is its natural pack-saddle. Its very name means burden-bearer. “
“It can travel five (some say nine or even fifteen) days in scorching heat without water, and resort to its inside tank or cistern, which, at the sacrifice of its own life, has saved the life of many a traveler. It lives on barley, dried beans, and chopped straw while in camp, and on prickly thistles and thorns of the wilderness, which, much to the annoyance of the rider, it snatches from the wayside and leisurely chews as a positive luxury. It supplies its master with milk, fuel, sandals, and garments; and having done its duty, it leaves its bleached skeleton in the arid waste as a landmark to future travelers.”
“With peculiar gurgling growls or sighs of protest, unlike the sounds of any other animal, the camel goes down on its knees in four distinct motions, till it lies on its belly; growling it receives its burden; growling it gets up by several jerks, first on the hind-legs, then on the front-legs, so that the rider is violently pitched forward and then as violently jerked backward, and must hold fast to the saddle or be thrown down on the sand.”
“Once started, the beast moves with long strides on its soft, spongy feet steadily and noiselessly forward as under a painful duty, but without the least interest in the rider. A primitive wooden frame serves as a saddle, and the mattress or pillow on which we sleep at night is thrown over it as a seat. The swinging motion high in the air is disagreeable and makes us a little seasick, but we gradually get used to it. To break the monotony and the fatigue we change our position, now riding as on horseback, now crossing the legs like the Arabs, now sitting on one side and then on the other.”
“I parted with the ‘Djemel’ at Gaza not without a certain admiration and respect, and yet I was glad to exchange it for the noble, spirited, and dashing horse.”
“Miss Harriet Martineau was unfortunate in her experience with the camel: ‘Nothing can be uglier’ she says, ‘unless it be the ostrich, which is ludicrously like the camel in form and gait, and expression of face. The patience of the camel, so celebrated in books, is what I never had the pleasure of seeing. So impatient a beast I do not know--growling, groaning, and fretting whenever asked to do or bear anything, looking as if it longed to bite, if it only dared. Its malignant expression of face is lost in pictures, but it may be seen whenever one looks for it. The mingled expression of spite, fear, and hopelessness, in the face of the camel always gave me the impression of its being, or feeling itself, a condemned animal. I wonder some of the old painters of hell did not put a camel into their foreground, and make a traditional emblem of it. It is true the Arab loves his own camel, kisses its lips, hugs its neck, calls it his darling and his jewel, and declares he loves it exactly as he loves his eldest son; but it does not appear that man’s affection extends beyond his own particular camel, which is truly for its services an inestimable treasure to him. He is moved to kick and curse at any but the domestic member of the species, as he would be by the perverseness and spite of any other ill-tempered creature. The one virtue of the camel is its ability to work without water; but, out of the desert, I hardly think that any rider would exchange the willing, intelligent, and proud service of the horse for that of the camel, which objects to everything, and will do no service but under the compulsion of its own fears.’ Eastern Life, new ed., London, p. 5.’ “
Through Bible Lands:
Notes on Travel in Egypt, the Desert, and Palestine.
New York: American Tract Society, 1878,
[Editor’s note: Church historian and Bible scholar Philip Schaff undertook to the Middle East in 1877 the excursion from which this account was taken, to “get away for a while” following the death of his beloved daughter Meta. His well-informed account of his time in pre-modern development Sinai and Judea is particularly valuable and interesting. This 413-page account should be sought out and read]
A Father’s Day Surprise
On Father’s Day a couple months back, I was given a new pocket knife by my older son. That wasn’t the surprise; I had stood in need of a good knife for a while. As recently as 18 months ago, I had three. One was inadvertently carried in my pocket to the airport screening area in Wilmington, North Carolina and surrendered there (it was the cheapest of the three, a mere “back-up”). Another was lost somewhere “out in the yard” (of 6-plus acres) and has yet to be recovered. The third was damaged when I tried to use it for an unintended purpose--the pin attaching a small trailer to the garden tractor. So, I needed a replacement--a man simply must have his pocketknife for all those little jobs: cutting string, cleaning finger nails, trimming toe nails, opening mail, harvesting summer squash, picking teeth, and more. I had mentioned my need to my wife, who passed the information on to son Nathanael. “Ask and you shall receive.”
The knife was a nice, high quality “Buck” knife--the very brand of knife I had lost outside somewhere. In the small box was a little printed brochure, describing the proper use and sharpening of the knife, warranty information, and a survey. But before delving into any of this, the brochure began:
“A Message from the Buck Family”
“If this is your first Buck knife, ‘welcome aboard.’ You are now part of a very large family. Although we’re talking about a few million people, we still like to think of each one of our users as a member of the Buck Knives family. We take a personal interest in each knife that is purchased. With normal use, we should not have to replace it.
Now that you are family, you might want to know a little more about our organization. The fantastic growth of Buck Knives, Inc. was no accident. From the beginning, management determined to make God the Senior Partner. In a crisis, the problem was turned over to Him, and He hasn’t failed to help us with the answer.
Each knife must reflect the integrity of management, including the Senior Partner. If sometimes we fail on our end because we are human, we do our utmost to make it right. Besides being our Senior Partner, He is also our Heavenly Father. It’s a great blessing to us to have this security in these troubled times. If any of you are troubled or perplexed and looking for answers, may we invite you to look to Him, for God loves you.
‘For God loved the world so much that He gave His only son; so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.’--John 3:16”
Something to consider when making your next knife purchase.
Textual Variants in the New Testament:
Readily Available Sources of Information
“July 7, 2006
In your article “Westcott & Hort versus The Textus Receptus: Which is Superior?” [posted at www.kjvonly.org] you wrote, 'Rather, it is better to evaluate all variants in the text of the Greek New Testament on a reading by reading basis, that is, in those places where there are divergences in the manuscripts and between printed texts, the evidence for and against each reading should be thoroughly and carefully examined and weighed, and the arguments of the various schools of thought considered, and only then a judgment made.'
Although I heartily agree with your conclusion, I must confess my ignorance and ask, how can I evaluate all variants of the Greek New Testament? Where can I find them in order to do what you suggest? Are there books, like the ones in the footnotes of your article that give me what I need? And if so, which ones do you suggest I get?
J------ A. B----“
Dear Mr. B----
There are several things that are essential if one is to be able to make an independent judgment about variant readings in the Greek NT. The first of these, besides a working knowledge of New Testament Greek (not to be overlooked!), is access to the variants and the evidence supporting them. Likely the most readily available Greek NT with an extensive “critical apparatus” (as the digest of Greek manuscripts, ancient versions and patristic quotations is called) is the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece (now in its 27th edition; the latest editions give the most information). Admittedly, the critical apparatus is pretty complicated with numerous symbols, abbreviations and assumed knowledge on the part of the user, and more. Nestle-Aland gives by no means an exhaustive list of variants, nor (usually) all the evidence for and against any particular reading, but it is extensive. Also worthwhile in this regard are the various editions of The Greek New Testament published by the United Bible Societies (1st. ed., 1966; 4th, 1993). These don’t cover as many variants as Nestle-Aland, but the ones they do address are generally covered in much more detail. And since the different editions don’t always cover the same variants, it is worthwhile to have all four editions ultimately.
Another, older work that can be helpful is Henry Alford’s mid-19th century The Greek Testament in 4 vols. (Moody reprint, 1958). His text is pre-Westcott and Hort (though rather similar), and is limited by the state of knowledge in his day (none of the papyri were known, nor were several other important Greek manuscripts, and some ancient versions). Yet he often gives evidence not detailed in Nestle-Aland or the UBS texts; he uses an older system of identifying the individual Greek manuscripts, a system replaced by that now in use, so his numbers have to be “converted” to the new system for comparison purposes. Another 19th century work of considerable use to me is The Greek New Testament, 2 vols. edited by Samuel P. Tregelles, another pre-Westcott and Hort text. It has an extensive apparatus which gives, among other things, particular attention to quotations from the fathers (often quoting their very words), and has besides in parallel the most important manuscript of the Latin Vulgate. Out-of-print, it and many other works on the text of the NT are available photocopied and hardbound from Curt Daniel/ Good Books, 2456 Devonshire Road, Springfield, Illinois 62703
Also readily available, used, are two single-volume Greek New Testaments. The first is Novum Testamentum Graece, edited by Alexander Souter (Oxford: 1910; second edition, 1947). His Greek text is not particularly important--it gives the presumed text behind the ERV NT (1881), but I have found information in his list of manuscripts and occasionally in his apparatus not given in other works. The other single volume is Novum Testamentum Graece et Latine, edited by Augustinus Merk (Rome: seventh edition 1951). It has a basic critical apparatus for both the Greek text and the parallel Latin Vulgate.
Much more extensive, and much more complex to use--and therefore not the place to get your feet wet on the subject, are the Greek texts edited by Constantin Tischendorf (Novum Testamentum Graece, 3 vols. 8th edition, 1869-1872) and Herman Von Soden (Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments, 4 vols. 1911). On limited portions of the NT, there are volumes on the text of Matthew and on Mark by S. C. E. Legg (1940, 1935) with very extensive apparati, and that by Herman Hoskier on Revelation (1929) which is nearly exhaustive on that book. All these are available from Curt Daniels as noted above. Also a work in progress is New Testament Greek Manuscripts, editions of individual NT books (so far--the four Gospels and one or two other books) with the continuous text of numerous witnesses given in parallel (Sheffield Academic Press, 1995ff). Reuben J. Swanson is the editor. This latter is also somewhat complicated to use.
The Greek New Testament according to the Majority Text, edited by Zane Hodges and Arthur Farstad does have a critical apparatus of sorts, but it is very limited and can be to the uninitiated very misleading. For example, on the famous “pericope de adultera,” John 7:53-8:11, Hodges-Farstad list as omitting the passage the “Alexandrian” witnesses (which in John means manuscripts p-66, p-75, Aleph, B, and C) plus A (apparently), but show “M” (the Majority) supporting the insertion. With only this information, one might suppose that just 6 Greek manuscripts, without any other support, omit this passage, while the rest include it. In fact, over 100 Greek manuscripts lack this text (including all before the 8th century except one), and many others which do include it mark it as suspect. There is besides a great deal of support for the omission from both ancient versions and church fathers.
It is to be noted that the famous text of Westcott and Hort (1881) had no accompanying list of evidence for the readings they adopted, but only gave the text. The same is true of the Trinitarian Bible Society’s reprint of the presumed text behind the KJV. The Byzantine text as edited by Maurice Robinson and William Pierpont likewise has no listing of evidence. These therefore will not help you regarding variants (though Robinson-Pierpont give conveniently the continuous Byzantine text to compare and contrast with other texts, including the TR). Likewise, The Interlinear Literal Translation of the Greek New Testament (originally edited by F. H. A. Scrivener and published 1877, but often reprinted by Zondervan) has no apparatus of manuscripts and versions, but does give 1) the text of Stephanus’ 1550 Greek NT; and 2) in the footnotes the divergences from Stephanus 1550 as found in the printed Greek texts edited by such notables as the Elzevirs (1624), Griesbach, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford and Wordsworth. It is worthwhile knowing the considered opinions of these editors, and these notes will alert you to almost every variant of substance, which can be then further investigated in the critical apparati noted above.
A second essential is some broad understanding of the whole subject of NT textual criticism--the available evidence, and the arguments for how that evidence should be evaluated. The single best book on the subject (which, let it be noted, favors the Alexandrian text-type as superior to the Western or Byzantine) is The Text of the New Testament by Bruce M. Metzger (Oxford U. Press). Other similar works are available, including J. Harold Greenlee, Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism (Eerdmans, 1964) and from the 19th century, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament by F. H. A. Scrivener 1st ed., 1861; 4th, 1894). And then there is of course vol. II of the original Westcott-Hort text which has a 324-page discussion of textual criticism by Hort. Many other volumes could be noted as well.
For the actually evaluation of the evidence, there are several works that discuss the evidence and how it should be evaluated in regard to particular variants (the evidence usually does not “speak for itself”). The first of these in extent and usefulness is A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament by Bruce M. Metzger (second edition, 1994). It covers all the variants in the UBS textual apparatus and many more. The first edition of this work (1971) sometimes covers variants not covered here, so both editions should be acquired. Other sources of analysis of variants and evidence include the 141-page appendix in vol. II of the Westcott-Hort text, which covers the most significant ones. Likewise, Early Manuscripts and Modern Translations of the New Testament by Philip Wesley Comfort (Baker, 1990) covers dozens of variants. Of course, general works on the text of the NT such as those by Scrivener, Greenlee and Metzger will also address the evidence on a number of variants.
I could give many more titles and authors than those I mention here, but this should be enough to set you to studying. Obviously, it is not a subject to be mastered in a day or even a year, but it is important and we should not be satisfied until we have some grasp of the issues and evidence involved, and some capacity to make an independent judgment.
If I can help you further, please write me again.
The Bible in Translation: Ancient and Modern Versions, by Bruce M. Metzger. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001. 200 pp., paperback. $15.99
The substance of this volume was delivered at Dallas Theological Seminary as the W. H. Griffith-Thomas Lectures in the Winter of 1992, and four of the chapters previously were published in Bibliotheca Sacra, the Dallas Seminary quarterly theological journal, in 1993.
The work is divided, as its title would suggest, into two parts, the first dealing with ancient (i.e., pre-1000 A.D.) translations of the Bible into various languages. Most of this section is a “popularized” version of the technical, detailed, and indispensable treatment of NT translations found in the same author’s 1977 Clarendon Press volume, The Early Versions of the New Testament, by far the most important and authoritative work on that subject (we very favorably reviewed this work in the August 1, 1985 issue of The Biblical Evangelist). Translations of the OT, NT, or the whole Bible in 13 different languages are treated (all the extant ancient Bible versions).
The second part is a treatment, not of modern versions in general, but of English versions in particular. After brief coverage of English versions up through the mid-1800s, the lion’s share of attention is given to modern English versions since 1881. Only a selection of the many English versions (some 60 whole Bible versions and another 80 or so NT translations in English have been published) are singled out for analysis.
By 1000 A. D., Bible versions or testaments had been made into just over a dozen languages, and the next 500 years saw limited expansion of that number (as of 1456, only 33 languages had any portion of the Bible). The Reformation period witnessed a great scramble to translate the Bible into additional tongues, but the real push to put the Scriptures into the numerous languages of mankind came with the growing missions movement of the 19th century (which century began with Scripture in only about 67 languages, but ended with around 400 additional languages), with even greater activity in the 20th century (500 more languages by 1950). As of 2000 A.D., the entire Bible had been translated into 371 languages, the NT in 960 more, and partial translations into 902 more, for a total of 2,233 languages that had the Scriptures available in translation (pp. 9, 10). And yet much more remains to be done.
Among several notable details, Metzger reports (p. 18, n.) that a 1st century A. D. Greek writer, one Longimus, quotes Genesis 1 in Greek, which compels the conclusion that the Greek version of Genesis (and presumptively the rest of the OT) existed in the 1st century, and the bogus claim that the LXX didn’t exist until the 3rd century A.D. (a favorite hallucination of the KJVO radicals) is once again demonstrably discredited.
Likewise, Metzger notes what is often overlooked--that because of the heavy dependence on and borrowing from earlier versions by the KJV (regularly 95-98% in the NT), “a great deal of the praise, therefore, that is given to it belongs to its predecessors. For the idiom and vocabulary, Tyndale deserves the greatest credit; for the melody and harmony, Coverdale; for scholarship and accuracy, the Geneva version” (pp 76-7).
Metzger gives excellent brief surveys of Charles Thomson’s version of 1808 (the first English version made in America; and the first English translation of the Septuagint), as well as that of Noah Webster (1833). Several quirky versions or translators are also noted.
In the section on modern English versions, Metzger displays a decidedly favorable opinion of numerous translations justifiably criticized and rejected by conservatives, among them the RSV (1952), the Reader’s Digest Bible (1982) and the NRSV (1990)--for these latter two, Metzger served as editor--and the rNIV (1996--a “dumbed-down” edition of the NIV).
Metzger does make some factual errors, among them the standard claim that the Septuagint OT Greek version originally contained the apocrypha (p. 16). This is demonstrably false--since the LXX was made between 250 and 150 B.C., and many, likely most, of the apocryphal books had not even been written by then, and so could not have been included; the testimony of Ben -Sirach the translator ca. 135 B.C. was that the Greek OT version contained only the canonical books; Origen in his Hexaplaric LXX (about 235 A.D.) did not include the apocrypha; and the earliest manuscript evidence for the inclusion of any books of the apocrypha in manuscripts containing the LXX date from the mid-4th century A. D. (for a detailed discussion, see Roger Beckwith, The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church. Eerdmans, 1985).
Likewise, Metzger erroneously says (p. 18) that the Theodotion version of Daniel dates to the 2nd century A.D.; evidence compels the conclusion that it existed before the NT was written, and probably by 100 B. C.
In a garbled statement about Tyndale’s various editions of the NT, Metzger says that “only 4 copies of the original 1526 and the revisions of 1534 and 1535 are known to have survived” (p. 59). Actually, there are multiple extant copies of the 1534 and 1535 editions. Of the 1526 edition, three copies are extant, one fragmentary, one complete sans title page, and one, discovered in Stuttgart, Germany only as recently as the mid-1990s, is entirely complete. Perhaps the fourth copy Metzger had in mind was the first attempt at printing Tyndale’s version which was completed only through Matthew 22, when he was forced to flee with the task undone.
Metzger commends the NRSV (and on the same basis we would condemn it) as the most ecumenical current English version, since it has the “fullest” OT “canon,” that is, it includes as Scripture, not only the restricted list of 39 books recognized by the ancient Jews--and Jesus and the Apostles, and the early church fathers and all Reformation era Protestants--but also the apocrypha as approved by the Roman Catholic Church, plus the additional works intruded on the canon by the Orthodox Church, and more. But, I must ask, why stop there? If broad-mindedness is the end-all, why not add the additional writings in the Ethiopian “canon” (including Enoch) plus some NT apocrypha (Barnabas, I & II Clement), perhaps the Gnostic books from Nag Hammadi, and even the three books accepted as inspired by the Mormons (Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrines and Covenants)? And perhaps some of Ellen G. White’s (the Adventist prophetess) visions and revelations. To insert into the OT that which is manifestly not inspired Scripture is only to detract from the authority of that which truly is inspired Scripture.
In sum, while there is much of interest here and much information, the book, especially in Metzger’s recommendations of unreliable modern versions and those with corrupted, i.e., expanded OT canons, compels a mixed verdict: to be read, but with caution.
The author, now emeritus professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, is justifiably acknowledged as one of the leading experts in the subject of the original text of the New Testament. This present volume is not one of Metzger’s best productions.
The Gift of Fire: with Wit and Daring, the Underground Grammarian Examines Why We Can’t Think. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987. 188 pp., paperback.
Dr. Richard Mitchell (whom I understand is now deceased, though I would be happy to learn otherwise), for many years professor of English and /or Classics at Glassboro State University in New Jersey, wrote, printed and published a monthly magazine called “The Underground Grammarian” (to which I for a time subscribed). Therein he regularly lampooned, mocked, ridiculed and otherwise affronted modern “education” at all levels, beginning with the abomination called “education departments” at state universities (including--especially--his own) for the horrible job they were doing in training those who were ostensibly to teach others. Those monthly musings appeared as bound works in such bitingly titled books as Less Than Words Can Say (Little, Brown, & Co., 1979; 224 pp.); The Graves of Academe (Little, Brown, & Co., 1981; 229 pp.); and The Leaning Tower of Babel (Little, Brown, & Co., 1984; 279 pp.).
This present work--his last, I believe--is unlike the former. It is a lengthy self-examination by the author of his life and thought, in the best tradition of Socrates’ insistence that the unexamined life is not worth living.
Mitchell is by no means an evangelical Christian (though at times he seems to be “not far from the kingdom of God”), but his remarks and meditations are thought-provoking in a beneficial sort of way. I append some notable quotes to that end.
Quotes from: The Gift of Fire by Richard Mitchell--
“True education is not knowing about, but knowing. It is the cure of folly and the curb of vice, and our only hope of escaping what Socrates once called ‘the greatest peril of this our life’--not sickness or death, as most of us would say, but the failure to make sense about the better and the worse, and thus to choose the wrong one, thinking it the other.
This is, I’m afraid, a presumptuous book. It is a book about how to live by a man who doesn’t know how to live, but who has begun to learn that he doesn’t know how.” (p. 13)
“Looming behind all of the silly things that we do in schools, and pass off as an ‘education’ that would startle Socrates, there is nothing less than a great, pervading spirit of dullness and tedium, of irksome but necessary labors directed completely toward the consolidation of the mundane through the accumulation of the trivial. In school, there is no solemnity, no reverence, no awe, no wonder. We not only fail to claim, but refuse to claim, and would be ashamed to claim that our proper business was with the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, and that this business can be conducted not through arousing pleasant feelings, but through working the mind. Thus it is that education is exceedingly rare in schooling, and when it breaks out, it is as the result of some happy accident, an accident that might have befallen a prepared mind, or maybe any mind at all, just as readily in the streets as in the schools.” (p. 26)
“What sort of definition of education must we have, that we suppose it neither an impediment to immoral behavior nor an imperative to rational behavior? . . . . Is that what you teach in your school--how to go beyond an unknowing obedience to appetite into a fully conscious and willful obedience to appetite?” (pp., 34, 35)
“Education, I am convinced, must be nothing more than this: The journey towards the limits of Reason, if any there be. And if any there be, so that some other and even better condition than education may lie beyond them, we can hardly hope to enter into the greater mystery without passing through the lesser.” (p. 41)
“If its [i.e. rational thought’s] appearance among us is truly the result of some evolutionary ‘save-the-species’ development, it is clearly one of Nature’s great mistakes, for it, and it alone, has made of us the only species not only able to destroy itself, but very likely to destroy itself.” (p.45)
“In this vexatious life, it is not at all uncommon to meet people who call themselves ‘educators.’ They swarm. There seem to be millions and millions of them, so many, in fact, that it is nothing short of astonishing that there is anyone left uneducated on the face of the Earth. If there were that many orthodontists, you would have to make your way deep into the jungles of Mindanao to find buck teeth. The next time you meet a person who calls himself an educator, ask him this: So, whom have you educated lately? Make sure he gives you their names and addresses.” (pp. 65-6)
“Self-knowledge may be good to have, but whenever I get a flash of it, I find myself hoping that no on else knows what I have just come to know.” (p. 69)
“How fortunate I am to run into you, he began, for I see by your rumpled clothes and knitted brow that you must be in the mind business.” (p. 79)
“How did the makers of the intelligence test come to ‘know’ what intelligence is, that they can devise ways to measure it, and then pronounce its worth in numbers?” (p. 81)
“It is not for the persuasion of others that one studies to be better, but for the sake of being better.” (p. 115)
“Professors do not even, like physicians, promise aloud and in public that they will ‘first of all, do not harm.’ Thus it is that there is not, among professors, a great central theme to which all, whatever their special corners of interest, have given thoughtful and willing assent, as there is among physicians the great theme of healing. In the lack of any public oath, it seems only decent for a professor to devise and utter a private one, and its first clause might well be, for it will apply equally to professors of philosophy and professors of media management, ‘Primum, non mentior.’ First of all, to tell no lies. For just as surely as harm is the very opposite of healing, and thus the physician’s veriest adversary, the lie is the very opposite of what the professor is given to seek. Truth. Of course, for those who do not admit the existence of Truth, there is no lying, and they would have to devise some other oath. Or do without.” (p. 123)
“. . .[S]ome wandering around in the kingdoms of literature is essential to a true education.” (p. 127)
“True education is not an adjustment to the world, but a defense against the world, and those who would have it must know the world as best they can. Fortunately, true education is also the best possible way of knowing the world for what it is.” (p. 146)
“And if the ends do not justify the means, neither do they condemn them.” (p. 151)
“. . .having suffered at least partial and occasional education, . . .” (p. 152)
“. . .the convenient belief that ‘man’ is, deep down where it really counts, an irrational creature, whose momentary outbursts of rationality are aberrations from the norm.” (p. 167).
“Thinking is talking to oneself. I can not think outside of my mind, or in anything other than my mind. The mind’s work in thinking is a continual conversation, an asking and answering, which is why it is a good idea to talk to yourself as much as possible. If you’d rather not do it aloud, you might at least try to move your lips.” (p. 171)
“. . .I have habitually mistaken schooling for education.” (p. 177)
“After about half a century of life, and having already written almost every great work for which we remember him, Tolstoy decided that he was living to no important purpose, and that he would change himself. Thomas Aquinas, shortly before his death, although he did not know that he was soon to die, decided to write no more, saying that everything he had written was nothing but straw.” (p. 185)
“The largest and simplest definition of true education that I can imagine is this: It is all that is absent in the lives of those who aren’t composing How to Live (I Think).” (p. 188)