Volume 4, number 2 (October 2014)

JIS logoVolume 4, number 2 (October 2014)


J.R.R. Tolkien (translator), <em>The Book of Jonah</em>

No abstract available

Brendan N. Wolfe, 'Tolkien’s Translation of Jonah'
Most famous of the translators who worked on the Jerusalem Bible, J.R.R. Tolkien also contributed the least text, the Book of Jonah. That the Oxford don, busy with his academic projects and his fictional writings, participated at all in the translation is a tribute to the remarkable editor of the Jerusalem Bible Fr Alexander Jones. While an early draft in Tolkien’s own typescript can be consulted at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, the published version of Jonah incorporates changes suggested by Jones and the other editors. This essay will introduce the project on which Jones and Tolkien collaborated.
Leslie Baynes, 'C. S. Lewis’s Use of Scripture in the ‘Liar, Lunatic, Lord’ Argument'
C.S. Lewis’s ‘Liar, Lunatic, Lord’ argument elicits important questions about Jesus and scriptural interpretation that need addressing, not least because of its immense popularity in some Christian circles. Did Jesus really go about saying that he was God, or the Son of God, or that he had always existed? After examining the biblical record, must one conclude that Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or God? Are there really no alternatives? The point of this paper is most emphatically not to attempt to disprove Jesus’ divinity, but rather to demonstrate that Lewis’s use of the gospels is insufficient to prove it. The paper argues that even without deeming the gospels ‘legends,’ but rather accepting them as a reliable portrayal of the words of Jesus, Lewis’s argument falls short because he fails to put the gospels into their first-century context. He instead reads post-Nicene Christology into Hellenistic Judeo-Christian documents.
Stratford Caldecott, 'New Light. Tolkien’s Philosophy of Creation in The Silmarillion'
Tolkien’s vision of the cosmos around us and of the powers that shape it is expressed in the Ainulindalë, the opening chapter of The Silmarillion. It contains a description of Tolkien’s philosophy of creation and creativity embedded in an account of God’s creation of the world, beginning with Music, and connected with various patristic and mystical writings of the Christian tradition, as well as with the Kabbalah. This holistic vision of the universe in the light of Christian teaching gives us the basis for Christian ecology, and a hint of the writer’s vocation.
Bruce R. Johnson, 'Scripture, Setting, and Audience in the RAF Talks of C. S. Lewis'
It is difficult to connect individual sermons by C. S. Lewis with specific scripture texts. The wartime talks Lewis gave to RAF officers, NCOs, and airmen provide a new lens for examining this puzzle. Through biblical allusions and paraphrases, both colloquial and literary, Lewis was able to translate Holy Writ for live military audiences. Sometimes he spoke on the prescribed scripture text from the Book of Common Prayer. On other occasions, he chose a different text. When addressing committed believers, he delved deeper into explaining particular biblical passages. More often, he sent up an intellectual barrage, answering preliminary questions regarding faith, reason, and imagination. Lewis undertook an exhausting travel schedule visiting RAF stations, units, and camps throughout Britain. His creative approach to the use of scripture was one of the ways he sought to encourage military chaplains and to engage RAF aircrews and ground crews with the Christian message.
Arend Smilde, 'C. S. Lewis, St Jerome, and the Biblical Creation Story: The Background of a Recurring Misattribution'
C. S. Lewis frequently quoted a testimony, supposed to be St Jerome’s, in which it is suggested that the biblical account of Creation was ‘poetic’ or ‘mythical’. However, it seems Lewis had confused his authors and was ascribing to St Jerome a passage actually by the Renaissance humanist John Colet. At the same time, Lewis was certainly aware of St Augustine’s similar – and perhaps more relevant – views on the subject; indeed, along with one of his references to Jerome, Lewis briefly mentioned St Augustine too. It remains to be seen precisely which (if any) early Christian authors might have been cited to back up Lewis’s point.

Book Reviews:
C.S. Lewis, Image and Imagination: Essays and Reviews, ed. Walter Hooper. Review by Arend Smilde, pp. 127-131.
Alister McGrath, Deep Magic, Dragons & Talking Mice: How Reading C.S. Lewis Can Change Your Life. Review by William Gallagher, pp. 132-133