The Scribe


A “scribe” can be an ancient “record-keeper or, later, a professional theologian and jurist.”

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This page explains the DOR Scribe. Which would be me…

I’m the guy writing about this “mystical side of Bible-reading.”

A couple of those “mystical” posts include The True Test of Faith and WHY we’re getting “less Christian.”  I also try to write about why you might want to read and study the Bible. (Unless you’re one of those “take the Bible literally or else you’re going to hell” types.)

But now for some background. In my former life – before I retired – I graduated from law school in 1984. I then worked as a public defender for 24 years. That explains why sometimes I slip up and “write like a lawyer.” But the Apostle Paul had the same problem. Which led a fellow Apostle – Peter – to say this about Paul and his style of writing:

 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters [which] contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

(2d Peter 3:15-16, emphasis added.) But note also the message from a few passages before, that the Lord “isn’t slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.” (2d Peter 3:9.) In plain words, God want “all people to be saved.” And that’s a radical departure from what some noisy Christians say. They seem to believe they’re in an exclusive club of a “members only.” See e.g., Why the bumper sticker, “I’m not perfect, just forgiven” could be a ticket to Hell.*

The point being: I’m not alone in thinking some of those trite bumper stickers are really stupid,  if not counterproductive. If you feel the same way, you just might like this Blog.

 But we digress. . .

 A real scribe is “a person who writes books or documents by hand. . .  The profession, previously found in all literate cultures in some form, lost most of its importance and status with the advent of printing. The work could involve copying books [but later] the profession developed into public servants, journalists, accountants, typists, and lawyers.” (See the article Scribe – Wikipedia, and also another web article, Images of the Medieval Scribe at Work – medievalfragments, which provided the image immediately below.)

Image of Eadwine, the Scribe Cambridge, Trinity College, R. 17. 1 Christ Church Canterbury, c. 1160

My background as a “Scribe” includes a heavy dose of Daily Office Readings.  That’s where the “DOR” part of “dorscribe” comes in.

The Daily Office is a two-year set of Bible readings.  The full cycle will take you through virtually the whole Bible in two years and the psalms and Gospels three to four times. The Revised Common Lectionary follows a three-year cycle, so if you go to an Episcopal church each Sunday for three years, you’ll have read to you “the whole Bible once in three years, and the psalms and Gospels three to four times.”

Or you could do both.

As for credentials, I’m now starting my 15th trip through the Bible via the Daily Office readings. And, based on the paragraph above, I’ve been through the psalms and Gospels some 45 to 60 times each. I’ve also completed the four-year Education for Ministry course – see EFM – Sewanee: The University of the South – and have been trained as a Mentor for that course. But as noted elsewhere in this blog, it would be impossible to highlight the Daily Office on a regular basis in a Blog. So sometimes I focus on weekly Sunday readings, or feast days:

The calendar of saints is the traditional Christian method of organizing a liturgical year by associating each day with one or more saints and referring to the day as the feast day or feast of said saint. The word “feast” in this context does not mean “a large meal, typically a celebratory one,” but instead “an annual religious celebration, a day dedicated to a particular saint.”

That’s from Calendar of saints – Wikipedia. And another BTW: About 12 years after I started practicing law, I went back to school and got a Master’s Degree in Journalism. On that note, see also the section at the end of On “holier than thou, ” from 2014, indicating that one of my self-appointed tasks – as a reporter of sorts – is to “challenge the prevailing quacks.”

Either way, the assigned Bible readings – daily or weekly – can provide a basis for “waxing poetic” on how the Bible can be a useful tool for living life, and living that life “in all it’s abundance.” (John 10:10.) On that note, check Some Bible basics from Vince Lombardi and Charlie Chan, which included a quote from “that great philosopher Charlie Chan, who once said, ‘Mind like parachute.  Work best when open…‘” That’s now my philosophy too.

But in case you’re interested, here’s an opposing viewpoint, from the folks who brought you:

 “The word broadminded is spelled s-i-n…”

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The top “Scribe” image is courtesy of Scribe – Wikipedia. The caption: “Jean Miélot, a European author and scribe at work.”

As to the “Blog-customary ‘diary’ manner” of writing I use, see Blogging for Dummies, 4th Edition, Susannah Gardner and Shane Birley, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken NJ (2012), at page 9:  “At its most basic level, a blog is a chronologically ordered ordered series of website updates, written and organized much like a traditional diary, right down to the informal style of writing that characterizes personal communication.” (Emphasis added.)

Re:  Bumper-sticker theology. See also Dictionary of Christianese, with note:  “I particularly dislike the one ‘Christians are not perfect, just forgiven.’  While true at one level, it overlooks the crucial ingredient in the Christian life being the renewing power of God working in us through the Spirit.”

Re: “Ticket to Hell” bumper sticker: “The great problem with the followers of Jesus in this present age is we are content to put a bumper sticker on our car that says, ‘I’m not perfect, just forgiven.’ We excuse our anger and lust and dark emotions in the name of grace.” On the other hand, “Jesus teaches us that [such] anger is the very pathway to destruction, damnation and hell.” 

Re:  The readings for the upcoming Sunday. They are determined by the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) of the Episcopal Church, a branch of the Anglican Communion, with over 70 million members, one of whom is the Scribe himself. (See Anglican Communion – Wikipedia.)

The scribe image in the middle is – as noted – courtesy of Images of the Medieval Scribe at Work – medievalfragments, which added: “The value of scribal images is that they allow us to imagine the scribe at work. Shown hunched at his desk, quill in hand, they represent the labour that went into the production of a medieval volume.” (It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it…)

The lower image was borrowed from the post, On “broadminded,” spelled “s-i-n.”  The image shows the cover of an old Louvin Brothers album. 

And finally, I’ll frequently refer to Asimov’s Guide to the Bible (Two Volumes in One) The Old and New Testaments, Avenel Books (NY), 1981 Edition, which has served as an invaluable source.

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