Monday, February 21, 2011

The Arduous Work of a Lifetime

Likewise, Wycliffe, for all his faith in the power of boys who drive plows to know their Bibles, makes it clear that Scripture exhibits its clarity only to those who undergo the lengthy intellectual discipline of submitting to its authority: “The faithful whom he calls in meekness and humility of heart, whether they be clergy or laity, male or female, bending the neck of their inner man to the logic and style of Scripture will find in it the power to labour and the wisdom hidden from the proud.” God indeed reveals to the “little children” what is hidden from the “wise and understanding,” but transforming oneself into a little child is the arduous work of a lifetime. Christ’s yoke is easy and his burden light, but we don’t like bending our necks to receive it — and no translation, however it accommodates itself to our language and understanding, can change that.

— Alan Jacobs, “Robert Alter’s Fidelity,” in Wayfaring, pp. 14–15

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