Mark FourPosted: January 14, 2018
this is the fourth in our series on the Book Of Mark.
Mark One, about the scraps of Mark on Papyrus One.
Mark Two, an intro to Mark, and what’s going on with it.
Mark Three, about “The Secret Gospel of Mark,” and now Mark Four, about J. B. Phillips.
Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? 22 For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
That’s how the King James Version does Mark 4:21. Here’s how J. B. Philips does it:
Then he said to them,
“Is a lamp brought into the room to be put under a bucket or underneath the bed? Surely it’s place is on the lamp-stand! There is nothing hidden which is not meant to be made perfectly plain one day, and there are no secrets which are not meant one day to be common knowledge. If a man has ears he should use them!
Wanting to know more about the guy I was trusting to translate my Mark for me, I read J. B.’s book:
It’s good and short and clearly written, much like Mark. J. B.’s strongest point is that the Gospels seem true to him because, well, who could make this stuff up?
That kind of reminded me of the several times in the Quran where Allah says, hey, if you don’t believe this, let’s see you write a Quran.
Surprised to find, in the next Phillips I picked up, a description of my workplace.
I can’t say The Price Of Success was exactly a page-turner. JB Phillips had a hard childhood, but through diligence earned himself a place at Cambridge, became an Anglican churchman, and started translating The New Testament during World War II.
No surprise that he was pals, or at least sometime correspondents, with C. S. Lewis.
I often heard Lewis’s Screwtape Letters recommended for young Christians in my youth. When I finally got to the book (audiobook) I found it a really stiff and unattractive vision. How did Christianity, which, when you get back to the source, was unquestionably weird, get claimed by stiff collar types like C. S. Lewis?
I found Ring Of Truth to be a more compelling read.
In Price of Success, Phillips is very open and honest about his struggles with depression.
No doubt hearing this, from a respected Christian leader in 1984, was really helpful to people. The book was published two years after his death.
Am I allowed you quote you by the way, J. B.?
Mark Five: Strange Tales Of Jesus!