Sunday 24 July 2016

Summer Quotation for Saturday 23rd July

This one was delivered as a scary and ominous threnody, by "Aunt Effie Fortescue" and "Miss Marple" in last night's film of "A Pocketful of Rye" by Agatha Christie. The Joan Hickson Marple, of course - all other Marples pale into insignificance beside her.

Joan Hickson.jpg

They've just discovered yet another body, at night, in the garden. I can't remember exactly who said what, but it went something like this;

Aunt Effie (in a voice of doom); "For where a testament is"
Miss Marple (in a voice of moral certitude) "there must also be the death of the testator"
Aunt Effie (looks round sharply, with approval) "For a testament is of force after men are dead"
Miss Marple (thoughtfully) "otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth"

There was something about the inner strength portrayed by these two elderly, upright characters, intoning words of power like Abbesses that held my attention.

It's from Paul's letter to the Hebrews, Chapter 9, starting at verse 16, where he starts on yet another convoluted explanation:

Hebrews 9:16-28King James Version (KJV)

16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. 18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. 21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: 25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

 I find Paul's letters in the King James version utterly impenetrable, and usually end up looking them up in "The Message" or the "Good News" version before I can get to grips with what he was on about. Sometimes that helps, sometimes it doesn't.

I wonder where Agatha Christie got the idea to include that particular bit of the Bible in her book? Do you suppose they had it as one of the lessons in church that morning?  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this. This scene is among my favorites in the Miss Marple episodes.