I especially remember hearing The Beatles' Things We Said Today. There's something arresting about the song: I still love John Lennon's acoustic guitar rhythms, Paul McCartney's voice, the vocal harmony, the nostalgic words and the changes from minor to major modality. Magic!
The album cover is for Beatles For Sale, which I first heard at my friend Paul's place in Grinsell St, Kotara. I thought it was terrific, but I understand that many people think it is one of The Beatles' weakest albums, including George Martin, the group's producer.
|Paul Stocks, around this time, we think|
For my birthday, I was given a copy of Living Letters, Ken Taylor's paraphrase of the New Testament letters, in 1960s American English. He did not translate from the Greek, but simply reworded the American Standard Version (which was a revision of the 1769 edition of the King James Version).
I found it made the Bible sound like it was written yesterday, and understood the message in a new way. I later learnt that it wasn't very accurate and reflected Taylor's own theology. However, it brought out some uncomfortable aspects of what the Bible says, and I remember complaining to my mother about Romans chapter 9. Mum told me that you can't get away from predestination: it is in the Bible, as is the Bible's invitation to all to come to Christ!
Who does God think he is! I fumed.(That's not ipsissima verba, but that's the text of it.)
He thinks he's God, said Mum
The same year I also read Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking. My friend Ken Trevillien's mother told me that Dr Peale was a bit too full of himself. Looking back on the author of Romans and most of the other New Testament letters, I think there's a richness in his writings, but a superficiality and shallowness in the positive thinking teaching. So I agree with Adlai Stevenson who said
New Living Translation, which has been carefully translated from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, by recognised by Bible exegetes, turning Taylor's paraphrase into a reliable translation of the living Word of God.
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