The Origins of Judaism: An Archaeological-Historical Reappraisal

Throughout much of history, the Jewish way of life has been characterized by strict adherence to the practices and prohibitions legislated by the Torah: dietary laws, ritual purity, circumcision, Sabbath regulations, holidays, and more. But precisely when did this unique way of life first emerge, and why specifically at that time?

In this revolutionary new study, Yonatan Adler methodically engages ancient texts and archaeological discoveries to reveal the earliest evidence of Torah observance among ordinary Judeans. He examines the species of animal bones in ancient rubbish heaps, the prevalence of purification pools and chalk vessels in Judean settlements, the dating of figural representations in decorative and functional arts, evidence of such practices as tefillin and mezuzot, and much more to reconstruct when ancient Judean society first adopted the Torah as authoritative law.

Focusing on the lived experience of the earliest Torah observers, this investigative study transforms much of what we thought we knew about the genesis and early development of Judaism.

True Today Too, Melanchthon

“If someone tried to teach a camel to dance, or a donkey to play the harp, wouldn’t you call that person pathetic for putting in so much effort for nothing? But that’s easier than teaching our own youth” (De miseriis paedagogorum, 1526, CR 11, 122).

The same applies to preaching.  Via Ralph *The Terminator* Keen

For Those Who Don’t Know Me, Let me Be Clear On My Feelings Regarding Abortion

I think abortion on demand, except to save the mother or in cases of rape or incest, is morally questionable.   But the decision of moral issues is between a person and God, not a person and the State.

But I utterly and thoroughly DESPISE the so called pro life camp’s refusal to care about kids after they are born. It is VILE and unforgiveable hypocrisy. It is inhuman cruelty. It is the epitome of satanic godlessness. If they are alive, they are your responsibility. PERIOD.

Today With Zwingli

bucerOn the 23rd of June, 1530 Martin Bucer wrote Zwingli a letter which contained this line:

“Nothing more intolerant can be imagined than the hatred which the Lutherans have against us.”

Zwingli received the letter on June 25.  Bucer managed to sum up the situation in the Holy Roman Empire and its environs nearly perfectly.

Jackson’s Description of Zwingli’s First Days in Zurich, and of the Man Himself

Zwingli - Szenen - ov - 09 Scene PictureOn Saturday, January 1, 1519, he presented himself to the assembled canons [of Zurich], and was formally inducted into his office as people’s priest. … Zwingli thanked them for electing him, requested their prayers and the prayers of the congregation, and then announced that he would begin the next day the continuous exposition of the Gospel of Matthew, not according to the Fathers, but according to the Scriptures themselves. This announcement made a decided sensation, as it was a marked deviation from the practice of following the pericopes and interpreting them patristically, and awakened some adverse criticism.

Of stalwart frame, above middle height, of a ruddy countenance and pleasing expression, he made a good impression upon spectators, and when he spoke he soon showed that he was an orator who could enchain the attention. All Zurich, and indeed all Switzerland, rang with his praise. And not only town people but the country folk also listened to him with delight. For the benefit of the latter he preached every Friday, which was market-day, in the market-place, and took the Psalms for continuous exposition. On Sundays in the cathedral he expounded during his first four years, and in this order, Matthew, Acts, I. Timothy, Galatians, II. Timothy, I. and II. Peter, and Hebrews. — S.M. Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531).

Kappel. June 25. 1529.

The First Kappel War ended on this day in 1529.

After several negotiations, a treaty of Peace was concluded June 25, 1529, between Zuerich, Bern, Basel, St. Gall, and the cities of Muehlhausen and Biel on the one hand, and the five Catholic Cantons on the other. The deputies of Glarus, Solothurn, Schaffhausen, Appenzell, Graubuenden, Sargans, Strassburg, and Constanz acted as mediators.

The treaty was not all that Zwingli desired, especially as regards the abolition of the pensions and the punishment of the dispensers of pensions (wherein he was not supported by Bern), but upon the whole it was favorable to the cause of the Reformation.

The first and most important of the Eighteen Articles of the treaty recognizes, for the first time in Europe, the principle of parity or legal equality of the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches,—a principle which twenty-six years afterwards was recognized also in Germany (by the Augsburger Religionsfriede of 1555), but which was not finally settled there till after the bloody baptism of the Thirty Years’ War, in the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), against which the Pope of Rome still protests in vain. (Schaff)

Regrettably the peace would not hold, and just over 2 years later the disastrous Second Kappel War would see the end of Zwingli’s life.  But not the end of his influence nor the end of his Reform.

Happy Anniversary!!!

To the best wife of all-  39 years ago today we married.

Yes, it was the 80’s, and yes, those were the style of glasses everyone wore.  And hair too.  Don’t @ me…

Anyway, Happy Anniversary, Doris.  You’re so lucky!!!!!!   (And so am I).

There Aren’t Enough Micaiah ben Imlah’s In the United States

Micaiah said, ‘As Yahweh lives, I shall speak as Yahweh tells me!’

When he came to the king, the king said, ‘Micaiah, should we go and attack Ramoth in Gilead, or should we hold back?’ He replied, ‘Go ahead! Success is sure, for Yahweh has already given it to the king!’  The king then said, ‘How often must I put you on oath to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of Yahweh?’ Then he spoke out: I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep without a shepherd. And Yahweh said, ‘These have no master, let them all go safely home!’

At this the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘Did I not tell you that he never gives me favourable prophecies, but only unfavourable ones?’

Micaiah went on, ‘Now listen to the word of Yahweh. I saw Yahweh seated on his throne with the whole array of heaven standing by him, on his right and on his left. Yahweh said, “Who will entice Ahab into marching to his death at Ramoth in Gilead?” At which some answered one way, and some another.  A spirit then came forward and stood before Yahweh and said, “I will entice him.”  “How?” Yahweh asked. He replied, “I shall go and be a deceptive spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.” Yahweh said, “You will succeed in enticing him. Go and do it.”  And now, you see, Yahweh has put a deceptive spirit into the mouths of all your prophets here, for in fact Yahweh has pronounced disaster on you.’

Zedekiah son of Chenaanah then came up, struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, ‘Which way did Yahweh’s spirit leave me, to speak to you?’  ‘That is what you will find out,’ Micaiah retorted, ‘the day you go from room to room, trying to hide.’ (1 Ki. 22:14-25)

When Hatred Masquerades as Love

When hatred is the real motive and it assumes a mask of love, it is an incredible evil. perhaps the most evil of all evils.  ‘We’re doing this out of love’ is far too often Satan’s own word.

Be very wary of any claim of love that originates in the ground of hatred.  Satan is at work there.

Another Zoom Get Together At the Meeter Center

They announce it on their facebook page-

[The Meeter Center] will hold the second of our visiting scholar presentations on July 6, starting at 3:30 PM eastern.

Dr. Audy Santoso will present on “In the Spirit: An Addendum to the Triune Formulation and Its Implications based on John Calvin’s Concept of the Autotheos Trinity.”

– The presentations will be hybrid.
– All are welcome to the Meeter Center (4th floor of Hekman Library) to attend in person.
– Otherwise, you can participate via Zoom. Please sign up here:
– The Zoom link will be sent out a day or so before the presentation.
– Here is Dr. Santoso’s presentation abstract:

What is autotheos, and what is Calvin’s contribution to trinitarian doctrine based on this notion? This presentation will address Calvin’s autotheos Trinity and suggests an additional phrase ‘in the spirit’ in the Triune formulation to make right the insufficiency of the Eastern and the Western traditions without necessarily negating them. The reformulation will no longer undermine the Spirit’s role, particularly in the generation of the Son. Focal points include how the autothean interpretation of the new reformulation affirms the Triune God’s indivisible work and brings a clearer correlation between God’s work in himself and outside of himself. The ongoing discussion on the ‘eternal subordination of the Son’ should also benefit from this interpretation.