Sunday, December 01, 2013

Gratuitous Nerd Trivia

I've been reading Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey and have found it really fascinating.  It would be a great holiday gift for those interested in the subject matter.  I've ordered two copies, one for a relative and one for a friend (shhh, don't tell).  The book does a great job of showing us how things look different if we look at them through a different cultural lens.  I've learned a tremendous amount about first century Jewish life.

However, one sentence caught my interest for a completely different reasons.  In the chapter "The Blind Man and Zacchaeus," Bailey notes that the name of the blind beggar was Bartimaeus which can be translated "son of filth" (p. 173).  The name Bartimaeus seemed familiar.  Then I remembered the name of a character in Harry Potter, Barty Crouch.  A quick check showed that, indeed Barty is short for Bartemius.  Combining a forename which can mean "son of filth" with the family name Crouch seems an odd coincidence.  Potter author J. K. Rowling does take names seriously and chose them with care.  There's no way of knowing if she was aware of the meaning of Bartimaeus / Bartemius but it's an intriguing thought.

Okay, you may now return to your regularly scheduled activites.

No comments: