Saturday, April 04, 2009

Swimming Elephants and Wading Children Lambs

Someone I read on John's Gospel attributed to Chrysostom the saying, "The Gospel of John is like a river in which a child may wade and an elephant may swim." I have never found the quote in Chrysostom. Andy Naselli has tracked down the quote in his blog entry On Swimming Elephants. He provides the quote from Gregory the Great that all but seals the case. This agrees with Craig Koester's research in his Symbolism in the Fourth Gospel.

2 comments:

David McKay said...

The digitising of the great works of literature has revealed that so often sayings were not said by those we attribute them to.

Luther never said "If I knew Christ were coming tomorrow, I'd still plant a tree today."

Francis never wrote "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace"

Voltaire never said "I may disagree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

The above three are all from the 20th century, though the last one was at least written by an admirer of Voltaire.

And I believe "To be or not to be: that is the question" predates The Simpsons!

A. B. Caneday said...

Great points, David. With all the unitnended deleterious effects of digitization and the Internet, it is heartening to take inventory of some unintended helpful effects.