Tuesday, 16 August 2016

"What Is That To You?"

Poul Anderson, Operation Chaos (New York, 1995).

A comedy can suddenly turn serious to powerful effect. Much of Operation Chaos is humorous, e.g., a flying broomstick has a "...windfield..." (p. 178) instead of a windshield. However, the abduction of Valeria to Hell reads more like horror than comedy. Even Hell can be treated humorously but not here.

Also serious is the discussion of the meaning of the concluding passage of the Fourth Gospel. The Gospels are mysterious not only in their content but even in the circumstances of their composition. Regarding John 21. 20-24, Steve Matuchek says:

"I don't understand it, and I'm not sure Biblical scholars do either, regardless of what they say." (p. 179)

Why does Peter ask about betrayal? Is that line of dialogue transposed from the Last Supper? All I can say is: read the passage and think about it.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I reread John 21.20-24 and I can see why and how it is one of the most puzzling texts to be found in the Gospels. And how the Adversary could twist it in OPERATION CHAOS as the "origin" of the Johannine Church.

Fr. Haydock's annotations to the Douai-Reims-Challoner Bible (the online text of which I use as a convenient quick means of looking up Scripture) includes among some comments about John 21.20-24. He thinks it refers FIRST to St. Peter's violent death by martyrdom and SECONDLY that St. John would not die a martyr, that he would die many years later of natural causes. And that Christ would come to John at the hour of his death.