Author: Jim

Quote of the Day

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Mark Driscoll is Walter White with a megachurch instead of a meth lab. – Chris Jones

ESPN Dumps Its Misogynist- For a Paltry Week

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Smith is out.  There’s only one possible reaction- GOOD!    Unfortunately, the period of his out-ness is a paltry week.  They’ve sent him on vacation, basically, till things calm down…

ESPN has suspended Stephen A. Smith from its TV and radio airwaves for a week following his controversial comments about Baltimore running back Ray Rice‘s wife, according to Sports Illustrated.

A week…  In truth, he should have been fired outright.

Those Tunnels Built by Hamas…

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Were discussed even back in 2012- and have existed for at least a decade-

This article traces the extraordinary development of Gaza’s tunnel phenomenon over the past decade in response to Israel’s economic asphyxiation of the small coastal enclave. It focuses on the period since Hamas’s 2007 takeover of the Strip, which saw the industry’s transformation from a clandestine, makeshift operation into a major commercial enterprise, regulated, taxed, and bureaucratized. In addition to describing the particulars of the tunnel complex, the article explores its impact on Gaza’s socioeconomic hierarchy, strategic orientation, and Islamist rule. The larger geopolitical context, especially with regard to Israel, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Nile Valley, is also discussed. The author argues that contrary to the intentions of its architects, the siege precipitated the reconfiguration of Gaza’s economy and enabled its rulers to circumvent the worst effects of the blockade.

One wonders, then, why Israeli forces have chosen now to blow them up.   Is it simply in an attempt to justify their present assault on Gaza?

With thanks to Elio Jucci for the heads up.

The Time Is Near (For You to Order my Commentary!)

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You can acquire my commentary, subtitled ‘For the Person in the Pew’ covering nearly every book of the Bible in either print format from Quartz Hill Publishing House or in electronic format from Logos Bible Software.

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Come on, order it from Logos. Come on, do it! DO IT! Not only will God bless you, but you will receive $10,000,000 in cash from a Nigerian lottery within three hours of ordering!

Or

Come on, order it! (You can always cancel the order just before it ships!!!)(Logos won’t like that option though).

Or

Come on, order it! When you do you’ll make Mark Driscoll cry because not a single atom is plagiarized (footnotes and bibliography are all duly included).

Or

The Pope says ‘I LOVE this commentary! Anyone who buys a copy will automatically have their grandmother sprung from purgatory!’*

Or

Please order it so that Joel Watts will suffer a horrible illness.

Or

Just Do It!**

Or

“I have never in my life read something that was simultaneously stimulating and depressing as the Commentary by Jim West. And he’s not done yet!”***

________________
*Pope Leo X.
**Pope Pius XII.
***Antonio Lombatti

Reformation Day at Emory

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You can register here.. All the info is available here.

Sometimes Our Cultural Blindness is Stunning

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The entire world is angry at Russia for the downing of #mh17 – rightly- because 298 died. And sanctions are being applied.

The Israeli military has killed over 1100 in #gaza and nary a word about sanctions has been uttered in the west. And we wonder why muslims think us unfair.

How Long Will it be Before He Files Suit?

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And how much would you like to wager that not only did he know he would be fired, but he did what he did exactly for that reason in order to advance his agenda in the courts?  This is nothing more than activism, pure and simple, with the children merely a means to an end.

Homosexual advocates are outraged that a Christian children’s ministry in Texas fired an employee after he introduced his boyfriend to a group of children under his care. …  Stegall was stunned by the ministry’s decision, claiming it was unfair and discriminatory for the Christian organization to terminate his employment.

‘Stunned’…  I wonder if he did air quotes around ‘stunned’ when he said it.  That would be like being ‘stunned’ if you were the daughter of a white supremacist KKK dad and you brought home an African American to announce that you had just wed in Las Vegas and dad reacted negatively.

“I got fired just for me being who I am,” he complained.

No he didn’t.  He got fired for using kids as a means to an end.  If they had wanted to fire him because he was gay they would have done so previously.  Or they wouldn’t have hired him in the first place.

Since Stegall was fired on July 11, he has tried to find lawyers to represent him in court and help him file a lawsuit against the children’s home. So far, he has been unsuccessful.

Gee, I wonder why… Could it be that even Lawyers understand an absurd act undertaken in the pursuit of a political agenda?  Could it be that the widespread use of courts to bypass the legislative process and the will of the electorate has annoyed people?

Has David Cameron Grown a Conscience?

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David Cameron has called for an “unconditional, immediate, humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza to bring a halt to more than three weeks of violence that has claimed the lives of about 1,100 Palestinians and 55 Israelis.

Speaking during a visit to Slough, Berkshire, Cameron said: “What it’s time for is unconditional, immediate, humanitarian ceasefire. What we’re seeing is absolutely heartbreaking in terms of the loss of life, and the pictures that everyone has seen on their television screen are really heart-rending and everyone wants to see this stopped, so an immediate unconditional ceasefire, that is what is required.”

The prime minister made clear that he blamed Hamas, the political movement that controls Gaza, for the outbreak of the current round of fighting, saying: “Hamas must stop attacking Israel with rocket attacks. That is how this started. It’s completely unjustified and they need to stop as part of the ceasefire.”

A former senior British diplomat called for talks with Hamas to bring it into the Middle East political process. Sir John Holmes, who was UN emergency relief coordinator during the last Israeli invasion of Gaza, in 2009, said that five years on the current situation was “very much the same”.

“I fear that, unless we escape this infernal logic of violence on both sides, in five years’ time we will be in exactly the same situation again,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today. “So something has to change – obviously the fighting has to end very quickly because the bloodshed is completely unacceptable from every point of view, but the politics at the same time.

“Hamas is not going to go away and I think that we have accept that. Instead of just isolating Hamas, we need to talk to them.”

Read more in the Guardian.  Has Cameron awakened from his slumber and now realizes that too many have died in Gaza?

A Lament For Gaza

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The following lines are from Virgil- but they are fitting as well for the people of #Gaza-

Who can set forth the carnage of that night?
What tears are equal to its agony?
Of ancient date a sovran city falls;
And lifeless in its streets and houses lie
Unnumbered bodies of its citizens.
In many a ghastly shape doth death appear.  – Virgil

The Jesus Movement and Its Expansion: Meaning and Mission

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freyneEerdmans have sent a copy of Freyne’s latest (and last)-

In this book Seán Freyne explores the rise and expansion of early Christianity within the context of the Greco-Roman world — the living, dynamic matrix of Jesus and his followers. In addition to offering fresh insights into Jesus’ Jewish upbringing and the possible impact of Greco-Roman lifestyles on him and his followers, Freyne delves into the mission and expansion of the Jesus movement in Palestine and beyond during the first hundred years of its development.

To give readers a full picture of the context in which the Jesus movement developed, Freyne includes pictures, maps, and timelines throughout the book. Freyne’s interdisciplinary approach, combining historical, archaeological, and literary methods, makes The Jesus Movement and Its Expansion both comprehensive and accessible.

The book presently under consideration combines decades of learning and research into a readable and accessible fitting ‘final work’ by one of the best New Testament historians of recent times.  Freyne, well known among members of the guild of biblical studies, may not be a ‘household name’, but his work is better than many of those who are better known.  He is (was) a skillful communicator who never sacrificed accuracy.

In this book F., in eight chapters, leads readers into the world of Jesus and the early church.  Chapter one investigates the  Galilee.  That is, F. discusses the influence of Hellenism and the influence of Judaism on Jesus’ homeland.  Chapter two then turns to the influence of Rome and Roman culture on the world of Jesus.  Chapter three is a more generalized examination of Palestinians society and its economy.  The fourth chapter is, in my view, the core of the volume.  In it F. describes the Sitz im Leben of Jesus in terms of his birth and infancy, his role, his ‘Messianic deeds’, his teachings, and his execution.

In the fifth chapter F. turns to the spread of the Jesus movement in Jerusalem and outwards.  In the sixth, and seventh F. discusses the expansion of the Jesus movement as discoverable in the ‘Sayings Source’ and ‘Q’ and the Gospels of Mark and Matthew.

The final chapter is devoted to a treatment of the expansion of the Jesus movement into the second century and the highlight of the chapter is Freyne’s “Christian Heresies and the Response of Orthodoxy” which concludes the volume.  An epilogue draws all the threads of Freyne’s historical tapestry together and he offers a list of suggested readings, never, thankfully, mentioning anything by NT Wright (whom he completely ignores throughout the entire volume- not mentioning him so much as once).

This book is tremendously useful and if it lacks anything it lacks girth.  Freyne is so exceptionally readable that I simply wish he had written more (both in the present work and that he had lived longer to contribute more to our field).

There is so much here that merits readers’ attention that the book can only be heartily recommended.  After Merz and Thiessen, it is the most outstanding contribution to the genre of investigations into the early history of the Jesus movement yet written.