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Monday, September 10, 2007

Psalm 68: Pt.9: of one mind in an house

Iyov has provided access to Neale's commentary on Psalm 68 through a new widget(thingy) on his blog. This certainly puts an end to all dire predictions that blogs will disable people from reading extended texts. Cyberspace is now enabling us all to read one copy of the same book at the same time.

I will leave all Christological considerations aside, there is so much to comment on in this book I don't know where to begin, so I will restrict myself to a few lines. Neale comments on the Prayer Book version of the Psalter, which is significantly different from the King James tradition. It is descendant from the LXX, and Vulgate, so there are many alternate readings. The most fascinating one I have seen so far is this,
    He is the Father of the fatherless, and defendeth the cause of widows: even God in his holy habitation.

    He is the God that maketh men to be of one mind in a house, and bringeth the prisoners out of captivity: but letteth the runagates continue in scareness.
There is a completely logical explanation for how single men became "men of one mind". The LXX translated the Hebrew word which meant "only" or "solitary" as μονοτροπος, which can mean either "living alone" or "of one kind". The Vulgate translated it "of one manner" and so it became "of one mind".

And now, this is how Neale exegeted the concept of the "orphans". They are those who have left the world and joined Mother church.
    The orphans are those, who born of their father the devil and of worldly desire, are now orphaned by abandoning their evil parents, and seeking a better FATHER, even God, and a tenderer Mother, His Church.
And those of one mind are those who are undivided by schism.
    For by His inspiration the Prophets and Evangelists, and Apostles all teach the same great truth, all tend to the one goal, and His will it is that His church on earth should be at one, undivided by schisms and heresies, as it is written, "The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and one soul."
So we see that Neale's concern as a high churchman, is to counter schism: Congregationalists, Baptists, Methodists, and the Brethren are the bane of high churchmen. For him the fact that Christ is the head of the church means that the Church is our Mother and we should all belong to the One Church. That is, after all the meaning of the body. We are all one body in the church, if we remain in the church, that is. If we don't, we have left the body, and, in doing so, have left Christ.

This is the focus of the headship teaching is his day. But now some think that people may rightly attend whichever church they please, and worry only about conforming to the gender implications of headship, not all the other ones. The focus has shifted.

Without a subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica, all I know about Neale is from wikipedia. I leave it to others to comment on the Gentile nature of this commentary.

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