The final version of the leaflet for the Eusebius Gospel Problems and Solutions book has arrived. I’ll check it at the weekend.
A purchase of a CDROM from my site has involved me in a dispute. The owner of the credit card has claimed that the purchase is not his. I have already posted the CDROM, so this is less than welcome news. But I find it hard to believe that credit card fraud is used for the purpose of buying collections of the Fathers of the Church. Most likely the purchaser did not recognise the debit on his card, or changed his mind. I have emailed him — a certain John Ford, at a PO box in Australia — and it will be interesting to see what he says.
This evening I have been sitting on the scanner, creating a PDF of an old and hard-to-find library book. Sadly after almost 200 pages a cramp developed in my hip which I know from past experience will render me unable to walk or work for a few days if I ignore it. So I must stop! Ah the joys of middle age.
While lifting the book and turning the pages, I came across an interesting quotation online, attributed to St. Augustine:
If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.
Google books reveals no quotations of this before the last ten years, and it is used almost exclusively in popular Christian paperbacks. It is, of course, a very apt and accurate saying. But … did Augustine say it?
I developed an idea that it sounded like something he might indeed have said, in the context of his disputation with Faustus the Manichaean. Faustus, we all recall, claimed to be a Christian and to believe in the gospel. Augustine points out that he uses the gospels selectively, claiming the authority of God for this, while denying the inspiration of that. Of course all the heretics do this; but somehow it felt right.
So I spent some time going through the online translation searching for “gospel”. I got to book 30 of the work against Faustus before I had to stop scanning. It certainly reflects the sort of things Augustine is saying. But I did not find any very close match.
Perhaps it is merely a summary of what Augustine says, from some secondary source, which has become attached to Augustine himself?
A burning hot day in the office today, and hot this evening (although not hot enough to hook up the air-conditioning). It greyed over this evening, and started to drizzle. So far the only effect is to add humidity to heat.
The pile of now useless (to me) academic books on the side, which has stared at me reproachfully for some time now, might finally be disposed of. It turns out that the scholar to whom I intended to give them — who will find them useful, where I will not — is on a temporary posting to the United Kingdom. The incredible postal charges become moot; I can probably drive down and hand them to him. Let us hope so.