Zwinglius Redivivus

"Curse gossips and the deceitful for they have destroyed many who were at peace." Sir 28.13

Archive for the ‘pseudo-scholarship’ Category

Heaven Is for Real: An Observation

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Just a cautionary word about this popular film: it is NOT doctrine nor should it be viewed as such.  It is NOT ‘bible teaching’ nor should it be viewed as such.  It is NOT accurate at several points nor should it be viewed as such.  It is simply, merely, and only ENTERTAINMENT.

Getting your Doctrine from Hollywood films is like getting your doctrine from – well – Hollywood films.  If you really want to know what heaven is like, study Scripture.  It at least has the benefit of being theologically correct.

Written by Jim

April 16, 2014 at 12:43

Proof That NatGeo Has Jumped the Shark: It’s Airing a Special on the Most Idiotic ‘Jesus’ Book Ever Written

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NatGeo- I CAN quit you.  That you would make a tv special out of the most idiotic book ever written about the Historical Jesus demonstrates that 1) you don’t know ANYTHING about the subject and neither do whoever recommends such things to you; and 2) you are piloted by persons willing to pander to the stupidest fringe theories just because they are on the fringe!

National Geographic used to stand for scholarship.  Now it stands for crap.  Farewell, NatGeo.  Forever.  No matter who shows up on you in the future, I won’t be watching.  And I certainly won’t be watching this Dreck.

Written by Jim

April 16, 2014 at 10:09

John Hagee: This Week’s Dilly Winner

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The heavens are putting on a celestial show next week — and one Christian pastor is convinced it’s a sign from God.  Bestselling author and televangelist Pastor John Hagee claims the four blood moons that will soon appear in the skies over America are evidence of a future “world-shaking event.”  The blood moons are part of a tetrad, a set of complete and consecutive lunar eclipses that will begin on April 15 and continue in roughly six-month intervals until October 2015.

To normal people these celestial events are interesting, even pretty.  But to the Dilly winning Hagee they are grist for his insanity mill.  When nothing happens in the wake of these events, will Hagee be honest and subject himself to the punishment the Hebrew Bible reserves for false ‘prophets’?  No.  He will make excuses- just like Harold Camping did.  8 times.

Anyway, ‘Pastor’ Hagee-  here’s your Dilly (and you’re sharing it with each and every single person who believes what you say) -


Peter Kirby Has Assembled a List of Posts on the ‘Jesus Wife’ Fraud

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It’s very extensive.  What’s very interesting about it, to me anyway, is that those you would expect to greet Harvard’s announcement of positive test results on the thing are gleeful (like De Conick and the mythicists) whilst those of more measured and reasoned outlook (like Hurtado and Goodacre and Rollston and Cargill and Watson, etc.) are and remain skeptical (with good reason).

Or, in short, no one’s viewpoint has changed.  And why would it.  It doesn’t lie outside the realm of possibility that Harvard is vaunting a report it generated only because that report comes to conclusions which Harvard supports.

King, et al, should turn the fragment over to a lab which has no interests in and cannot be persuaded by anyone connected to the article.

And finally, at the end of the day, the article still doesn’t matter.  Without provenance, without containing a complete text, without knowing anything about the piece beyond that it exists, it is simply irrelevant.*

* NB- The question of whether Jesus had a wife or not isn’t what drives me to disdain this farce; it is the incredibly shoddy work done primarily by the media, aided by Harvard University, in making a mountain out of a grain of sand. It is simply offensive that biblical scholarship is misrepresented in the way it has been. Scholars don’t pretend that an unprovenanced scrap matters. And scholarly journals don’t either.

Written by Jim

April 11, 2014 at 06:47

Posted in pseudo-scholarship

Oh Look- Harvard Is Pimping ‘The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ – It Must Be Easter!

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It’s a flashy website!  It includes

Karen L. King’s article, ““Jesus said to them, ‘My wife…’”: A New Coptic Papyrus Fragment” concerns an early Christian debate over whether women who are wives and mothers can be disciples of Jesus. Solely for purposes of reference, the fragment is given the title The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife (GJW).   View the full Harvard Theological Review online from Cambridge University Press.

And a lot more.

Yup, it’s Easter… Thanks, Harvard, for devolving to the level of the History Channel and the Discovery Channel and The Discovery Channel Canada and being willing to sensationalize a trinket of modern invention.

Written by Jim

April 10, 2014 at 07:13

Posted in pseudo-scholarship

Christianity Today Often Writes Foolishness: But This is the Most Foolish Thing Yet

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My parents and their siblings are about the same age as Wright. They attended colleges founded by confessional Christians. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, however, these schools famously shifted, such that their required religion classes taught students to sneer at Scripture. And my family learned well. An aunt told me about the opening prayer her first day of class: “Oh God—if there is a God.” She still finds this edgy and interesting.

Now picture Wright as a student attending similar lectures. How could one overturn this status quo? What scholar could dethrone, say, theologian Rudolf Bultmann? Not so much in the weeds of Bultmann’s thought—he’s hardly read that carefully any more, and two generations of theologians and biblical scholars have critiqued and overturned him.

Really?  Our young author hasn’t read anything in German published in the last few years has he.  Ever.  Overturned?  Hardly.  Bultmann has been, and continues to be, argued with, but in spite of necessary corrections to his views on various points, to say that he has been overturned is the apex of ignorance.

But more for Bultmann’s position of eminence—the way he turned subsequent scholars into modernist questioners.

That’s the dumbest sentence in the piece.

Wright mentions Bultmann like an upstart prizefighter speaks of the reigning champ, as if he were saying, “Let me at him.” For Bultmann, Scripture is true only in our souls, and always wrong in its claims about history, miracles, and politics. Who could overturn him?

Who on earth has this person been reading?  He sounds VERY much like the thousands of dilettantes who have read some hack ABOUT Bultmann but never read Bultmann himself.  This isn’t scholarship.  It isn’t even legitimate critique.  It’s red meat for the Fundamentalists who have heard Bultmann’s name demonized and aren’t clever enough to think for themselves.

The scholar would have to be prolific; to return to the biblical default would require more than a monograph or two. Tenure at a world-class institution would not be enough. The scholar would have to be readable, urgent, and intense. He or she would have to be compelling to college sophomores and Ehrman readers alike. To pass through the challenge of historical criticism (which scissors out Scripture that doesn’t fit modern beliefs about historical reliability) and come out the other side—to be more critical than even the critics. And he or she would have to exalt Jesus as Lord. Threading such a needle would seem impossible.

Except that it’s now been done.

No, it hasn’t.  When Wright has been dead for half a century and people are still discussing him, then, and only then, can you even suggest that he has lasting relevance.  As the statement above stands, it is nothing more than idiotic hagiography of the most sordid fawning kind.

I asked Richard Hays, the New Testament scholar (to whom PFG is dedicated) and dean of Duke Divinity School, whether Wright is Bultmann’s heir as the go-to scholar for intro Bible courses. Hays believes his friend has surpassed Bultmann. Wright has published more, in more areas, with more influence, than the one who had so impressed the professors who taught my family members. Soon students in Bible courses may sneer less and worship more.

Hays is wrong.  Again, when Wright has been mouldering in the grave for a very long time and his works continue to be discussed, read, and evaluated, then Hays can make this claim.  Until then it is just fluffing for a buddy.

It’s a shame that the author of this dreadful fawning piece of posterior kissing hasn’t availed himself of a first hand reading of Bultmann nor – self evidently- any responsible scholarly evaluation like those of Gareth Jones and David Congdon.  Until he does, he should remain silent- otherwise, he will simply demonstrate himself to be ignorant.  As he has so finely here.

Written by Jim

April 9, 2014 at 18:01

Claims of the Discovery of the Holy Grail: It Has to be a Media April Fool’s Joke

Because, honestly, just how else could anyone be duped by this? Someone, somewhere is having a good laugh.

The goblet in the Basilica of San Isidoro in León, northern SpainCurators were forced to remove a precious cup from display in a Spanish church when crowds swarmed there after historians claimed it was the holy grail, staff said.

Visitors flocked to the San Isidro basilica in the north-western city of León after two historians published a book saying the ancient goblet was the mythical chalice from which Christ sipped at the last supper.

The director of the basilica’s museum, Raquel Jaén, said the cup was taken off display on Friday while curators looked for an exhibition space large enough to accommodate the crowds.

“It was in a very small room where it was not possible to admire it to the full,” she told AFP.

Made of agate, gold and onyx and encrusted with precious stones, the object in León is formed by two goblets joined together, with one turned up, the other down.

It has been known until now as the goblet of the Infanta Doña Urraca, daughter of Fernando I, King of León from 1037 to 1065.

The two historians – León University medieval history lecturer Margarita Torres and art historian José Manuel Ortega del Rio – identified it as the grail in their book, Kings of the Grail, published last week.

Hardy, har har. That’s a good one!   Get ‘em, Antonio Lombatti.  Get ‘em!

Written by Jim

April 1, 2014 at 07:25

It’s Impossible to Care What Mark Driscoll Thinks About the ‘Noah’ Film…

So why does the Christian Post?  And why is the headline indicative of the notion that Driscoll has written the piece when the by-line shows otherwise?

Here’s the headline: Does Hollywood’s ‘Noah’ Miss the Point? Mark Driscoll Explains What That Point Is.

This raises the immediate response- so what? He’s not a biblical scholar by any measurement so who cares and who can care what he thinks of the subject? Besides, that is, the Christian Post (which for all appearances seems to be serving as little more than a platform for Driscoll).


I wonder how many of the Christian Post’s readers read by-lines and how many recognize this as nothing more than a cover for Driscoll.

As the $125-million blockbuster “Noah” hit theaters Friday, Pastor Mark Driscoll sought to enlighten readers on what the biblical story of Noah is about and to apparently help Christians better decide if the Hollywood film misses the point. Biblically faithful Christians would be quick to point out that popular depictions of Noah “inevitably miss the point entirely,” Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wash., says in a blog post on the Resurgence website.

Again, why does the Christian Post care and why would its readers?  Is the Christian Post owned by Mars Hill?

Written by Jim

March 30, 2014 at 21:29

Um, No…

I don’t recall any biblical injunction calling me as an individual to be the bride of Christ. The Church as a whole is- but I am not. And I’m not the whole church.

At some point people need to give up trying to be clever and instead strive to be accurate.


Women Who Attend Southern Can Get A PhD in Old Testament…

As long as they only ever teach women….*


Wow.  I guess they can get a PhD in NT as long as they only teach other women too. And perhaps even Housekeeping (which of course they wouldn’t need to teach men anyway, since that’s women’s work and women should only teach womenly stuff to women and never to men…).

I guess, though, that Al has never read Galatians 3:28.  Or maybe a woman told him about it and so he just couldn’t believe it.

Good thing that Al and his ilk weren’t there at the resurrection, because the women who left the tomb were the first to announce the Risen Lord and poor Al wouldn’t have been allowed to be taught by them so he would have had to ignore them…

*From the facebook. The friend’s info has been removed.

Written by Jim

March 21, 2014 at 21:12


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