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From a wonderful resource, The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery.© InterVarsity Press, 1999
Satire is the exposure of human vice or folly through rebuke or ridicule. It can appear in any form or genre, including expository prose, narrative, poetry or visionary writing. It can be either a minor part of a work or the main point. It might consist of an entire book (e. g., Amos), or it can be as small as an individual proverb. One of the conventions of satire is the freedom to exaggerate, overstate or oversimplify to make a satiric point. Overall, satire is a subversive form that questions the status quo, unsettles people’s thinking, assaults the deep structure of conventional thought patterns and aims to make people uncomfortable.
Satire is made up of four identifiable elements, the chief of which is one or more objects of attack. An object of attack might be as specific as a single moral vice, like greed or pride, or as general as an entire wicked society. It might be a universal quality or behavior, but it is more likely to be a historical particular, as when the OT prophets expose specific situations in specific nations or when Jesus attacks the behavior of a specific religious group of his day- the Pharisees. The result is that satire is often topical, requiring a knowledge of the original context for its complete understanding.
The second ingredient of satire is the satiric vehicle– the specific form by which the satirist embodies the attack. The most common satiric vehicle is story or narrative, with characters and their actions embodying the bad behavior or attitudes that the satirist wishes to rebuke. Also common is the portrait, in which the satirist paints a word picture of a character who embodies the folly or vice that the author aims to denigrate. A single metaphor can be the vehicle of satiric attack, as when Amos calls the wealthy women of his society “cows of Bashan” (Amos 4:1 RSV) or Jesus addresses the Pharisees as “blind guides” (Mt 23:16). Direct vituperation or denunciation is also common, with the “woe formula” heading the list:”Woe to those who are at ease in Zion” (Amos 6:1 RSV).
The third element in satire is the satiric tone– the author’s attitude toward the subject. Two possibilities exist, known among literary scholars by two Roman satirists who became associated with the two forms. Horatian satire (named after Horace) is light, urbane and subtle. It uses a low- pressure approach in attempting to influence an audience toward a negative assessment of the thing being attacked. The book of Jonah and some of Jesus ‘parables illustrate the approach. Juvenalian satire (named after Juvenal) is biting, bitter and angry, as epitomized by the book of Amos and Jesus’ oratory against the Pharisees in Matthew 23. We might say that one approach attempts to laugh vice or folly out of existence, and the other to lash it out of existence.
Finally, satire needs a norm– a stated or implied standard by which the criticism is being conducted. This standard of virtue or right behavior usually appears explicitly within a satiric work, though in terms of space it receives minor treatment compared to the object(s) of attack. The goal is simply to suggest, however briefly, an alternative to the scenes of foolish or wicked behavior that make up the bulk of a satiric work. Amos, for example, includes interspersed calls to right behavior and reminders that God’s justice is the standard by which his nation should reform itself, and Jesus customarily accompanies his satiric parables with a proverb that names the principle that the bad behavior embodied by characters in the parable have violated. Sometimes the satiric norm is not stated explicitly but is left to the audience to infer.
It is obvious that the Bible is a thoroughly satiric book. The largest repository of satire is prophetic writing, where we encounter continuous attacks on the evils of society and individuals. The second largest category is the parables and discourses of Jesus. Satire is prominent in biblical narrative, where wholly idealized characters are a rarity and deficient or immoral human behavior is the staple. Poems can be satiric (for example, the lament psalms, with their satiric portraits of the poet’s enemies), as can proverbs.
Our position here at El Rancho Reformado South (“ERRS”) is that the King James translation of the bible is a valid, worthwhile translation to be used amongst the people of God by those who wish to do so. Our bone of contention is with those who maintain it is the only valid English translation of the bible and that all others are evil, blasphemous, etc. It is in this spirit that this post is written.
This is an excerpt from a post at Lark News:
At the home of Neil and Sarah Parks, KJV-only proponents, Parks and his son Brian, the youngest of nine children, snuggle up to watch television equipped with the KJV Box. Neil flips through channels, notices that the Fox Network and other channels are eerily silent (the word “untranslatable” flashes on the screen), then comes to rest at the Food Channel where Emeril Lagasse counsels viewers to “grind thy pods, thy diverse herbs, and thy oil in the selfsame pot, until thy pottage hast come to fine consistency.” Before a commercial, Emeril points at the camera and the Box translates his words as, “Fix thyself to thy place! When I return, I give thee my bond we shall elevate the cooking to a higher plane, as from glory to glory!”
Full post available here.
Yes, we have posted this in years past, but this being Reformation Week, it’s worth a repost. Although, having grown up in a city that was heavily Polish to the point the local radio station used to play hours of polka music each Saturday morning, I’m not seeing a whole lot of polka dancing happening in the video – Frankie Yankovic would have been stunned.
We have also linked to definitions of words/terms/names used in the song – to Roman Catholic sources when possible, to avoid accusations of biased non-Roman Catholic definitions; but this, naturally, leaves the door open for biased Roman Catholic definitions. You make up your own mind.
When I was just ein junger Mann I studied canon law;
While Erfurt was a challenge, it was just to please my Pa.
Then came the storm, the lightning struck, I called upon Saint Anne,
I shaved my head, I took my vows, an Augustinian! Oh…
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation
Speak your mind against them and face excommunication!
Nail your theses to the door, let’s start a Reformation!
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!
When Tetzel came near Wittenberg, St. Peter’s profits soared,
I wrote a little notice for the All Saints’ Bull’tin board:
“You cannot purchase merits, for we’re justified by grace!
Here’s 95 more reasons, Brother Tetzel, in your face!” Oh…
They loved my tracts, adored my wit, all were exempleror;
The Pope, however, hauled me up before the Emperor.
“Are these your books? Do you recant?” King Charles did demand,
“I will not change my Diet, Sir, God help me here I stand!” Oh…
Duke Frederick took the Wise approach, responding to my words,
By knighting “George” as hostage in the Kingdom of the Birds.
Use Brother Martin’s model if the languages you seek,
Stay locked inside a castle with your Hebrew and your Greek! Oh…
Let’s raise our steins and Concord Books while gathered in this place,
And spread the word that ‘catholic‘ is spelled with lower case;
The Word remains unfettered when the Spirit gets a chance,
So come on, Katy, drop your lute, and join us in our dance! Oh…
Papal bulls, indulgences, and transubstantiation!
More levity can be found at Sacred Sandwich World Headquarters.