It’s Just Not Quidditch!
So it was with some bemusement that I read Matthew’s recent post in which he attempted to correct the misapprehension that this is, in fact, Andrew’s blog. I would hardly have thought that it needed spelling out that Andrew is merely one player in a wider team! So I would like to add my own clarification. Richard - whoever you are - I am the genius behind Think Theology and Hosier, Wilson, Pollock et al. are my acolytes.
As a wise old mentor, it pleases me no end when one of my disciples gives birth to a new project, and as Hosier alluded to, Wilson has demonstrated once more his unparalleled prolificacy by releasing a brand new book.
Well, I didn’t receive a free advanced copy either (I can only assume it is lost in the post), but since I am not a skinflint and I want to support up-and-coming authors such as Mr Wilson, I went ahead and purchased one using my own hard earned cash.
Here is my review of Αρειος Ποτηρ καὶ ἡ φιλοσόφου λίθος.
For those of you who are unschooled in Greek (if any such people read this website!), Wilson’s offering is the New Testament Greek translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. As Andrew explains in his accompanying website (this one is Andrew’s own website, rather than one on which he is an invited guest) he found that J.K. Rowling’s style did not lend itself to translation in the mode of Thucydides, Plato or Demosthenes, so instead he adopted a humorous tongue-in-cheek approach more akin to that of Lucian.
He describes his choice thus,
‘Lucian became my model - his Greek, despite his date (3rd century AD) is (almost) pure 5th century BC Attic, which was being recycled at the time. But this also gave me an excuse for using vocabulary from post-classical sources, without which it would have been impossible to proceed.’
I think this was a wise move, since to my knowledge neither Demosthenes nor Thucydides ever use terms such as ‘quidditch’, ‘hufflepuff’ or ‘muggles’ thus making translation extremely difficult.
Taking on a project such as this is a bold move, which could easily result in some serious misunderstanding. Some critics will no doubt complain that Wilson has sold out and is wasting his immense brain capacity on trivial projects. “Couldn’t he,” (they might object) “spend his time writing books on more important matters, such as the doctrine of Scripture?” But to those critics I would say that every scholar must have an outlet for his more creative side. And if this translation results in scores of new children learning New Testament Greek, all the better! (Rumour has it he is working on an accompanying Sunday School curriculum. Watch this space.)
Other critics – particularly of the more fundamentalist ilk – will no doubt deplore his decision to translate a ‘demonic’ novel and further spread Rowling’s occult agenda. Since he is increasingly gaining a stateside following through his column at Christianity Today, this book could run the risk of alienating a whole swathe of conservative readers. But the more discerning among you will no doubt spot that (in true Bible Code style) Wilson has managed to subvert Rowling’s satanic material by planting God-glorifying hidden messages in the text. (For example, take the third letter of every 26th word of each chapter, put them together and marvel at Wilson’s genius! I spotted 114 hidden messages. If anyone can top that, I will happily send you an autographed photograph.)
All in all, I give Αρειος Ποτηρ καὶ ἡ φιλοσόφου λίθος a healthy 4.5 out of 5 and wholeheartedly recommend it to children and scholars worldwide. Only time will tell if it will become a classic that lives up to Wilson’s other books, such as:
Narrow Gauge Railways of North Wales
Practical Meat Inspection
Slim And Sexy Success: Avoid The Three Biggest Mistakes Professional Women Make That Keep Them Battling Muffin Top Madness!
Handbook of Lingerie: A Man’s Guide to Choosing Lingerie for the Woman in His Life