10 April 2006

Search ended, quotation found (-- pastors and "The Languages")

by Dan Phillips

Both at my blog and here, I'd sent out a call for anyone to help me find a quotation. I've looked for this for years and years, fruitlessly. Folks tried, but nobody knew. Not until Jacob Hantla, over in the Comments section of my previous post, nailed it for me.

I thought it was Machen, but Hantla recalled that "Bill Barrick used it at the beginning of his Shepherds Conference '05 Message, 'Exegetical Preparation'. He attributed it to HH Raley (sp?)."

I don't know Barrick, wasn't at the conference, but did know of H. H. Rowley. So I hit Google, and found it pretty much right away. I had probably gotten it as it is quoted on p. 3 of Nigel Turner's Grammatical Insights into the New Testament (T&T Clark: 1965). Here it is, and I offer it for your reflection:

One who made it his life's work to interpret French literature, but who could only read it in an English translation, would not be taken seriously; yet it is remarkable how many ministers of religion week by week expound a literature that they are unable to read save in translation! [H. H. Rowley, Expository Times, LXXIV, 12, September, 1963, p. 383]
Thanks, Jacob! One long quotation-search done. Now, if only I could find out where 2 Thessalonians 3:10b was rendered "No loaves for loafers," or an early historical source for the Athanasius contra mundum story....

Dan Phillips's signature


Mike Perrigoue said...

Awesome quote! I've already used it once. My wife thought I was brilliant...hee hee hee!

Now I have to go back and tell her who originally said it...bummer.

DJP said...

Well... having cool quotations is kinda brilliant....

Jacob Hantla said...

Glad I could be of service. ;-)

donsands said...

"Expound a literature they are unable to read"

I have seen how deavtating this can be. And the worse part, is that it may have an appearance of deep understanding to so many, but in reality it is quite shallow, and unable to produce lasting fruit of any significance.
However, there are exceptions to the rule, but they should be rare, I would think.
God has given us brains to use. We need to appreciate our intelligence as a gift from God.

The Lord is good and gracious. Bless His name.

DJP said...

Don -- However, there are exceptions to the rule, but they should be rare, I would think

That's the very factor that can make this a bit difficult to discuss sometimes.

Pretty much immediately one is answered with names -- as if a name is a point of argument. "What about _____?" Then it becomes about attacking or defending ______ -- when of course that's nothing to do with what animates me on this subject.

For me it's a matter of the implications of the truth of plenary, verbal inspiration, and my understanding of the Biblical definition of a pastor's most God-prized activity (1 Timothy 5:17; 2 Timothy 4:1-4, etc.).

donsands said...


Good point, and well taken.

LeeC said...

So you are saying we should be well versed in King James English Dan?


SolaMeanie said...

A. I am reading up on Athanasius at the moment, funnily enough. If I can come up with something, I'll pass it on.

B. Why couldn't Norman Rockwell have found more photogenic (or is that paintogenic) subjects for his artwork? Love the guy dearly and the "down home" reverie, however not everyone down home looks so cornpone. (I can say that and get away with it since my family roots are down home.)

DJP said...

Thanks; as I recall, earliest source I ever found on that story was Middle Ages.