26 MARCH 1927, Page 15

Letters to the Editor


[To the Editor of the SpEcrivron.] Sut,—It may savour of arrogance, but my opinion is that no one is qualified to interpret the words " This is my body " who has not had considerable personal experience of Semitic Orientals. These, in the lapse of centuries, have kept the habits of thought and expression which marked their forbears in the time of Christ—and even of Abraham.

To live amongst them is to have a constant and enlightening commentary on incidents and speeches found in both the Old and the New Testament. Biblical characters so exactly resemble the present-day fellahin that one finds oneself unconsciously translating their utterances into modern Arabic. Metaphor is a common medium of teaching with Orientals.

It seems to one who knows them that Christ would inevitably say " This is my body " when He was simply bidding His disciples to meet periodically for a solemn supper in His memory. English commentators are too apt to read His words as if they had been spoken by a literal-minded Westerner like themselves.—I am, Sir, &c.,