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The section that was by far the most interesting to me was Peter G. Bolt's essay on "Jesus, the Daimons, and the Dead." The writer argues that unlike today, where almost none of us would think of interpreting the word "daimon" to mean the spirit of a deceased person, to a first century audience, this would have almost automatically have been interpreted to mean just that.
Mr. Bolt cites numerous examples of this concept in Greco-Roman literature from before, during and after the New Testament period. He also shows how the view fits well when interpreting passages involving daimons throughout scripture. The exorcisms in the book of Mark are then analyzed from this point of view to show us what the implications would have been if the audience had indeed viewed daimons as the spirits of deceased humans. The ramifications of course would be far-ranging to say the least if Mr. Bolt's thesis is indeed correct. A lot of thought provoking reading here.
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There are also some essays on people and places, but the positive emotions I feel when reading are the right ones, the ones we all feel because we are human, and fortunate to be living in the right place at the right time. I intend to get myself to my nearby Hollywood Video and rent the ones that Mr. Lane blesses with his incredible insight. And, oh, yeah, I'm getting over to the "alternative" video store to find those gems that the "Young Adult Male, 18-25" would never appreciate, because those are the gems that make life worth living.
Thank you Mr. Lane.
His range of subject matter is extensive and well researched. From Movies to authors and profiles his observation are wonderfuly writen.
Mr. Lane understands the importance of real helicopters in Apocalypse Now, that Nabokov and W.G. Sebald are remarkable writers, that cookbooks are full of great things besides cooking, That Best-sellers and their list are full of bad writing, that we should know about John Ruskin, Evelyn Waugh,Andre Gide,and Matthew Arnold. He also understands what an incredible Movie The English Patient is.
My favorite book of the year.
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