Zwinglius Redivivus

ἐμοὶ δὲ εἰς ἐλάχιστόν ἐστιν, ἵνα ὑφ᾽ ὑμῶν ἀνακριθῶ

Calvin on The Problem Of Unbelief

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calvin99[Peter] not only calls the unbelieving foolish, but also points out the reason why they slandered, even because they were ignorant of God. But inasmuch as he makes the unbelieving to be without understanding and reason, we hence conclude, that a right understanding cannot exist without the knowledge of God. How much soever, then, the unbelieving may boast of their own acuteness, and may seem to themselves to be wise and prudent, yet the Spirit of God charges them with folly, in order that we may know that, apart from God, we cannot be really wise, as without him there is nothing perfect.*

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*J. Calvin, Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles (p. 83).

Written by Jim

23 Feb 2018 at 8:21 pm

Posted in Calvin

Why “Isaiah” of the Isaiah Bulla is not the Prophet Isaiah

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Genius.

Remnant of Giants

In an article published this month in Biblical Archaeology Review, Eilat Mazar claims that she may have discovered “a seal impression of Isaiah the prophet, adviser to King Hezekiah”. The discovery was made from wet-sifted material originally uncovered from outside the building at Ophel, Jerusalem in 2009, within an archaeological layer dated ca. 700 BCE. The excavations have been taking place behind the 1949 Green Line, so are illegal in terms of international law.

Isaiah bulla from Ophel, Jerusalem, with hypothetical identification of other letters by Eilat Mazar

In her BAR article, Eilat Mazar expresses some caution in identifying the “Isaiah” of the seal impression (‘bulla’) with Isaiah the Prophet. The top line of writing clearly reads “leyesha‘yah[u]” (Hebrew: לישעיה[ו]; [belonging] “to Isaiah”). But there is more debate about the bottom line, on which the letters n-b-y are fairly clear. This would usually be the place for…

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Written by Jim

23 Feb 2018 at 7:55 pm

Posted in Modern Culture

Read Rollston on The Isaiah Seal Silliness

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Here.

Ultimately, the conclusion that is there are a number of different possibilities for the second word of this inscription. I have listed some of them here, and there at least five to seven additional ones that could be listed. The “take away” is this. I would like to be able to say that this bulla is that of the prophet Isaiah, but that’s not at all the sole possibility. And it’s important to be forthright about stating this. Alas, we must always attempt to reflect deeply and broadly on restorations and readings. And in the case of this bulla, I think that there are a number of additional options and there is no empirical method of making a decisive determination.

Written by Jim

23 Feb 2018 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Modern Culture

Worth Thinking About…

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Is this twitter remark-

Chris Kyle the greatest american sniper in military history was shot and killed when confronted by a “crazy guy” with a gun. So we just have to train the teachers a lil bit better than Chris Kyle.

Written by Jim

23 Feb 2018 at 3:25 pm

Posted in Modern Culture

Signs of the Times

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Written by Jim

23 Feb 2018 at 2:34 pm

Posted in Modern Culture

If You’re in France, Watch This

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And record it. And send a zipped file of it to me so I can watch it….

Because my buddy Michael Langlois is in it. And he’s super smart.

Written by Jim

23 Feb 2018 at 2:05 pm

Calvin Wasn’t a Fan of Menno Simons…

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calvino-1Here’s what he said about him (Opera Omnia X,176)- Hoc sane video, nihil hoc asino posse fingi superbius, nihil petulantius hoc cane  (with thanks to Lloyd Petersen for the heads up).

Now that’s how you insult someone.  Take note, Luther.

Written by Jim

23 Feb 2018 at 1:18 pm

Posted in Calvin

Christians, If You Don’t Like School Shootings, You Can Do Something, Today, to Stop Them

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Share the Gospel with your kids and their friends so that God can change their lives and replace their hate with his love.

Written by Jim

23 Feb 2018 at 11:05 am

Posted in Modern Culture

Quote of the Day

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beza“It belongs to the church of God to receive blows rather than to inflict them — but, she is an anvil that has worn out many hammers.” – Theodore Beza

Written by Jim

23 Feb 2018 at 10:56 am

Posted in Theology

Rebaptizers

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Written by Jim

23 Feb 2018 at 9:52 am

Posted in Church History

Today With Zwingli

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It was on this date in 1526 that Zwingli published his Ein klare underrichtung vom nachtmal Christi durch Huldrychen Zuingli tütsch (als vormal nie) umb der einvaltigen willen, damit sy mit niemans spytzfündigheit hindergangen mögind werden, beschriben.

They did like the long titles back then…  At any rate, this book appeared three years before the famed Marburg colloquy.  In it Zwingli sets the tone for the debate between himself and Luther that would culminate in that disastrous meeting.

After working through the various parts of his views, Zwingli concludes with a little poem, for the laity-

Sag mir an, ob du ‘s weist,
Das vatter, sun und geist,
Fleisch und bluot, brot und wyn
Als sampt ein got mög sin?

Written by Jim

23 Feb 2018 at 9:44 am

Posted in Zwingli

Indeed

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“For me, Yahweh’s word has been the cause of insult and derision all day long. I would say to myself, ‘I will not think about him, I will not speak in his name any more,’ but then there seemed to be a fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones. The effort to restrain it wearied me, I could not do it. I heard so many disparaging me, ‘Terror on every side! Denounce him! Let us denounce him!’ All those who were on good terms with me watched for my downfall, ‘Perhaps he will be seduced into error. Then we shall get the better of him and take our revenge!’ But Yahweh is at my side like a mighty hero; my opponents will stumble, vanquished, confounded by their failure; everlasting, unforgettable disgrace will be theirs.” (Jer. 20:8-11)

Written by Jim

23 Feb 2018 at 9:41 am

Posted in Modern Culture

I Can’t Believe He’s Been Gone 18 Years

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I’m remembering my friend George Beasley-Murray, who died on 23 February, 2000.

In the early 1990’s when George was visiting SEBTS with his wife Ruth we struck up a fast friendship and they invited me to visit them at their home in Hove, East Sussex.  It was my first visit to England (although certainly not my last) and it was wondrous.

I’m thinking of it today because Matt Montonini and I were chatting about the great man a few years ago and I was reminded of my time with him and the very few photos I took while I was there.  These were the days before digital cameras so I had to hunt through the photo books to find and scan them.

They’ve brought back some very fond memories of my two weeks with George and Ruth, our visits to London and Cambridge, and our trip across the Channel to Dieppe, France for a day excursion.  We discussed everything under the sun and I wondered aloud at the fact that the people at the Baptist Church he attended in Hove knew nothing of his international reputation as a leading New Testament exegete, expert on baptism in the early church, and lead translator of Rudolf Bultmann’s commentary on John.  By the by, Beasley-Murray met Bultmann on a number of occasions and shook his hand.  Meaning I too had shaken Bultmann’s hand (once removed).

George was a brilliant man and a good friend to me.  And his wife Ruth was a witty treasure who, like all Brits, loved to swap tales (usually of some fascinating personal tidbit about this or that person).

Here are the photos.  I think of you often, George.  I miss you.  Very much.  (And I miss the fact that, unlike you, no one wears a tie anymore even when sitting in the parlor reading the paper).

Written by Jim

23 Feb 2018 at 7:01 am

Posted in Friends

Praying When You Can’t Pray

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On 22 February 1943, Sophie Scholl was beheaded for conspiring against the Nazis in Munich’s Stadelheim Prison. 

“I’m still so remote from God that I don’t even sense his presence when I pray. Sometimes when I utter God’s name, in fact, I feel like sinking into a void. It isn’t a frightening or dizzying sensation, it’s nothing at all — and that’s far more terrible. But prayer is the only remedy for it, and however many devils scurry around inside me, I shall cling to the rope God has thrown me in Jesus Christ, even if my numb hands can no longer feel it.” – Sophie Scholl

Via Keanu Heydari (or something)

Written by Jim

23 Feb 2018 at 5:58 am

Posted in Modern Culture

Calvin… He Was in a Mood That Day…

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calvin3Calvin- of his colleagues in Geneva- “Our other colleagues are rather a hindrance than a help to us: they are rude and self conceited, have no zeal, and less learning.”

Next faculty meeting use that line.  Go ahead.

Written by Jim

23 Feb 2018 at 5:27 am

Posted in Calvin

Another Book Giveaway: Or Rather, Another Copy of ‘What Did Jesus Look Like’ For You To Win

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I’ve an additional (!) extra copy of this new volume sent along by the publisher and I’m giving it to the person who

1- Tells me in comments why they deserve it.

2- Lives in the continental US.

3- And is randomly selected from all those who describe their worthiness to have it in comments (see 1 above).

Giveaway ends tonight at Midnight-  Friday, February 23.  So enter now!  And if you entered before and didn’t win, try again.  Who knows, it might be your time (as determined, or rather predetermined, by Providence).

If you’re unfamiliar with the book, here’s my review.

Written by Jim

23 Feb 2018 at 5:10 am

Posted in Books

Evangelical Textual Criticism is on the Twitter

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Follow them.

Written by Jim

22 Feb 2018 at 3:56 pm

Posted in twitter

The Most Difficult Verse of Scripture to Practice These Days…

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Refrain from anger, leave rage aside, do not get heated — it can do no good; for evil-doers will be annihilated… (Ps. 37:8-9)

Easier said than done, I’m afraid, dear Psalmist.  I’m ready for the evildoers to go ahead and be annihilated right now.

Written by Jim

22 Feb 2018 at 2:29 pm

Posted in Bible

Die Bibel: Lutherübersetzung 2017

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This lovely little handbook edition of the 2017 translation of the Bible in German and published by the German Bible Society arrived from the nice folk at Hendrickson.  They’d like my take on it, which I will gladly offer in due course (and it shouldn’t be long, because I’m quite familiar with the work).

If you’re keen to have it, visit Hendrickson’s chief distribution partner, Christianbook.com.

More anon.

Written by Jim

22 Feb 2018 at 2:26 pm

Posted in Bible, Book Review, Books

It’s Never Going to End Until America Ends

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A 6-year-old girl is in the hospital in critical condition after she was accidentally shot in the head by her brother.

Kentucky State Police responded to a home in the Blackmont community of Bell County and found that an 11-year-old boy had shot his sister with a handgun. The girl was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where she is in critical but stable condition.

State police said she was alert and responsive when she was taken to UT.

Police said the children were left unattended with no adult supervision inside the home with several loaded firearms that weren’t properly secured. Charges are pending.

The children need to be placed in a loving home where adults care for their welfare.  And their ‘parents’ need to be put in prison.

Written by Jim

22 Feb 2018 at 2:16 pm

Posted in Modern Culture