Fun Facts from Church History: Zwingli and Holy Days

The Church services were held on Sundays from seven to eight o’clock in the morning and between three and four in the afternoon. In the Great Minster there was a service for children and servants from eleven to twelve o’clock. During the week there was also a preaching service in the morning at five and at eight, which took the place of the early masses.  On Friday, which was the market day, Zwingli preached especially for the country people.

At the end of 1525 certain ministers were set apart for visitation of the sick, inasmuch as this was no part of the duties of the people’s priest.

Of the holy days were retained Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter; also St. Stephen’s, All Saints’, Candlemas, St. John the Baptist’s, Mary Magdalene’s, and more strangely the Annunciation and Ascension of the Virgin Mary, together with the day of the city patron saints, Felix and Regula. On these days, as on Sunday, public business and all work were forbidden, except necessary work, as harvesting.*

Sounds good to me.  Except the Mary holidays.  Blech.  Zwingli understood everything about theology perfectly except Mary and baptism.

*Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (pp. 291–292).

Stuff I’ve Never Understood: Like Being Crucified to Show One’s ‘Spirituality’

They do that, nonetheless, in the Philippines… every year… including this one.

Den als Jesus gekleideten Freiwilligen wurden knapp acht Zentimeter lange Stahlnägel durch die Hände gerammt, als sie ans Kreuz genagelt wurden. Hunderte weitere Männer, die ihre Gesichter unter Tüchern verbargen, peitschen in einer Prozession ihre nackten Oberkörper blutig.

Die Zeremonie, die von der Kirchenspitze nicht gebilligt wird, findet jedes Jahr in San Fernando statt. Tausende Touristen strömen in die 65 Kilometer nördlich der Hauptstadt Manila gelegene Stadt, um das blutige Spektakel zu beobachten. Um einen allzu grossen Menschenandrang zu vermeiden, wurden die Kreuzigungen in diesem Jahr an verschiedenen Orten in San Fernando abgehalten.

Such things serve no useful purpose whatever.  It’s not as if the sacrifice of Jesus needs assistance to be effective.  Nor do the persons participating earn any sort of special merit.  It is, in fact, a tad mocking.


From Tel Aviv

Via Oded Lipschits-

The Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University is pleased to announce the names of the two candidates chosen to receive post-doctoral grants for the academic year beginning October 2014.

Dr. Eleftheria Pappa specializes in the archaeology of western Phoenician colonization and East-West exchanges in the Mediterranean ca. 1000–600 BCE.

She received her BA in Archaeology from the University of Bristol (2004), and MPhil in Classical Archaeology (2006) and doctorate (2010) from the University of Oxford. In 2010 she received a three-year Veni grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. The project, based at VU University Amsterdam, enabled her to explore issues of identity formation and adaptation strategies in the ‘Phoenician’ West. Dr. Pappa has taught courses in Mediterranean, classical Greek and Phoenician archaeology at Oxford, VU University Amsterdam and the University of Groningen. She is a member of the editorial board of the journal Talanta and is a board member of the Netherlands-based foundation, Archaeological Dialogues.

Dr. David Kertai’s research focuses on the archaeology and history of the Assyrian Empire.

After training as an architect (MSc, Technical University Delft), he set his sights on Ancient History. He received his BA from VU University of Amsterdam and MA in Archaeology from Leiden University. He wrote his PhD dissertation on Late Assyrian royal palaces at Heidelberg University (2012). The resulting book, The Architecture of Late Assyrian Royal Palaces, will soon be published by Oxford University Press. Dr. Kertai has excavated at several sites in Syria and Turkey, published articles in journals such as Iraq and Altorientalische Forschungen, and edited a volume on the architecture of Late Assyrian palaces. His most recent post has been at University College London, where he was a research associate, financed by a Rubicon fellowship of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Congrats to both recipients!

Emerging Scholars- Perhaps You Can Publish Your Work with De Gruyter

All the info is here.

De Gruyter Open offers an opportunity for early-career scholars to publish books based on their dissertation research


The 2014 Emerging Scholar Monograph Competition is a contest for young talent in the fields of science, mathematics, technology and the humanities. The international contest, funded exclusively by De Gruyter Open, is aimed at early-career researchers. De Gruyter Open offers an opportunity for promising researchers to have their work published and promoted by a professional Open Access publisher. The winning books will be distinguished by a stamp on the cover indicating “Grand Prize Winner of the 2014 Emerging Scholar Monograph Competition”.

Winners will additionally receive a Kindle Paperwhite with their book downloaded in a mobile format.


The competition is open to all scholars (irrespective of their residence) who received a Ph.D. after June 1st 2010. Entrants must be able to deliver the completed manuscript in English by November 30th2014.

The manuscript cannot have been published before.

And a good bit more.  De Gruyter is a TOP NOTCH publisher that does quality work producing quality works.

Aren on the Road

Via Jack Sasson-

Lectures by Aren Maeir, Bar-Ilan University.

On Tuesday, April 22nd, I’ll be lecturing at the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Kansas – the lecture will be entitled: “Canaanites, Philistines, and others at Tell es-Safi/Gath – The Hometown of Biblical Goliath”

On Wednesday, April 23rd, I’ll be giving the Annual David Kipper Ancient Israel Lecture at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. The lecture will be entitled: “New Light on the Biblical Philistines: Recent Study on the Frenemies of Ancient Israel”

You should absolutely go!