snubnosed in alpha

Christian reflections on the way the world is and ways the world might be

Monday, April 30, 2007

writer's block

At the moment, I am suffering from a rather severe case of writer's block. Having spent the past several weeks preparing to argue a thesis that I have now had to abandon, I am left scrambling to put together the pieces of the research that has essentially exploded in my very hands. The lesson to be learned, I suppose, is that when it comes to the study of Scripture, things are never quite as simple as they may at first appear. My research has raised about twenty questions and yielded, perhaps, three or four tentative answers which in turn have raised further questions. I am stumbling about in blind alleys and my time is short.
Since the source of my present anxiety is a paper on allegorical interpretations of the Song of Songs, I will offer my own allegory:

4 My beloved put his hand to the latch, and my heart was thrilled within me. 5 I arose to open to my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the bolt. 6 I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had turned and gone. My soul failed me when he spoke. I sought him, but found him not; I called him, but he gave no answer. 7 The watchmen found me as they went about in the city; they beat me, they bruised me, they took away my veil, those watchmen of the walls. 8 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, that you tell him I am sick with love.
My beloved is the thesis that had seemed so near but that now eludes me. The night watchmen are the other assignments that are detaining me and hindering my pursuit of my beloved. (An alternative reading of the watchmen would be to understand them as Professor Enns, on account of the beatings.) You are the daughters of Jerusalem--if you have any ideas for how I might bring this paper home, please send them my way.
It looks like the final impetus towards finishing this paper is going to end up being last minute panic.


Blogger shelah said...

Have you read Tommy Nelson's interpretation of this book? I know I'm not the one to ask but I thought his was the best I've heard, and he's been teaching it for decades now... just a thought.

8:24 PM  
Blogger snubnosed in alpha said...

Shelah, thanks for the tip. I did look over Tommy Nelson's book a bit in the early stages of my research, but my paper (so far) has ended up having more to do with the history of people's interpretations of the Song than with trying to unpack the Song myself. If my history makes it into the 20th century (or if I start dating anybody), I'll definitely take another look at Nelson's book.
I heard a seminar based on the Nelson's book a few years back. He had some very helpful things to say, I thought.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Hmmm...I'm a daughter of Jerusalem? Maybe I should adopt transvestitism for the topic of my still unwritten apologetics paper.

11:41 PM  
Blogger snubnosed in alpha said...

Yeah, Mark, that's probably not the best idea. I mean, you're supposed to be doing a Van Tilian apologetic, right? I would say, to be true to the Van Tilian tradition, you should pick a well meaning Christian theologian or apologist whose position is as close to Van Til's as possible and then argue that his way of thinking is essentially and irremediably anti-Christian.

7:35 AM  

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