On Predestination

“Through mortal sins the elect may altogether lose and banish the Holy Ghost, faith and the grace of God, and thus for a time become subjects of condemnation, yet they cannot be wanting to the end, and perish eternally. Total loss of grace is one thing, final loss of grace is another. That is total, by which any one is entirely deprived of the grace of God; that is final, by which any one, shortly before death, departs from the faith, and dies in unbelief.” — Johannes Quenstedt

#PapyrusGate Just Keeps Getting Better and Better

P.Oxy LXXXIII 5345 (That ‘Fragment of Mark’ Thing)

Peter Gurry writes

The publication of #poxy5345 is now online thanks to the EES. Plates included.   https://www.ees.ac.uk/news/poxy-lxxxiii-5345

Synod of Dort (or Dordt)(or Dordrecht) Conference Announcement


About the Conference

Four hundred years ago, in November 1618, eighty-seven delegates from across Reformed Europe came together in the Dutch city of Dordrecht to hold one of the largest and most significant international Reformed gatherings in the early modern era. Although the Synod of Dort is most well-known today for affirming double predestination, rejecting the teachings of Jacob Arminius, and producing the Canons of Dort, its work encompassed a broad range of issues, including church order, catechisms, Bible translation, theological training, and more. This two-day conference to commemorate the Synod of Dort and its work brings together a range of experts who will explain in accessible presentations what the Synod did, why this gathering was significant at the time, and how this four-hundredth anniversary should be commemorated in churches and communities today. Presentations are geared to the general public and will include visuals, music, panel discussions, and a special exhibit of Statenbijbels, the official Dutch Bible commissioned by the Synod and first published in 1637.

This conference is open to pastors, faculty/staff, undergraduate students, graduate students, and general community members. It will be held on the afternoon of Friday September 14 and the morning of Saturday September 15 at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI. The conference registration fee of $25 includes Friday night dinner. (Registration fee is waived for students/staff/faculty at Calvin College/Calvin Theological Seminary/Western Theological Seminary.)

Co-sponsored by the H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies, Calvin Theological Seminary, Western Theological Seminary, the Christian Reformed Church in North America, and the Calvin College Seminars in Christian Scholarship.   Via.  With thanks to Randy B. for the tip.

We Have the America We Deserve To Have

Because we continue to elect the worst of us instead of the best of us.

Bullinger in the News

It should be impossible to mention Zwingli without also invoking Bullinger. And yet Zurich’s second-most important reformer has remained an unknown figure, with only fragments of his writings published. Now, this is set to change. 


Read it. Rejoice.

Everyone Who Said that Fragment of Mark Was From the 1st Century Right Now…

Sensational Discoveries: An Observation

‘First Century Mark’ is what happens when scholars care more about fame than truth.

Flugschriften: ‘Flying Texts’

A Flugschrift is, literally, a ‘flying writing’.  Flugschriften are flying writings or writings that fly off the press and into the public’s hands.  Flugschriften is the plural form of Flugschrift.

I mention this because these Flugschriften were to the Reformers what blog posts are to modern theologians and biblical scholars- quickly produced, aimed at the moment, addressing something immediate.  Luther and Zwingli in particular made great use of the (relatively fast) speed small volumes could be produced and distributed.

One such example of this sort of material is the witty and incisive and really scorchingly amusing Die göttliche Mühle which Zwingli commended to his friend Oswald Myconius on the 25th of May, 1521.  It (Die göttliche Mühle) was written by the virtually unknown Martin Seger of Marienfeld.

Emil Egli and Walther Köhler describe and discuss the booklet in Zwingliana 2/12 (1910).  The thing to take away from the production of such pieces is that 1) speed is of the essence when theological battles are being waged; and 2) wit and humor in brevity often make the point better than long and boring discourses.

The Catholic Church was, by the way, frequently portrayed in the 16th century as a Mill where the faithful were ground into powder by the greedy clerics, chief of whom was of course the super-greedy Pope.  Tobias Stimmer’s Mühle is a spectacular example of the genre-

Betsy DeVos is an Instrument of Satan

Betsy DeVos to Schools: Call ICE on Undocumented Children

She thinks she’s a Christian. She even boasts about it. But there’s nothing of the Spirit of Christ in the woman.

Does Betsy DeVos care more about furthering the xenophobic and racist policies of this administration than she does about educating the children of this country? The education secretary’s latest statement would lead us to believe that is indeed the case, since she basically told schools to call the police on undocumented children who show up to get their legally mandated free public education.

Were she a Christian, she would know this:

31 ‘When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. 32 All nations will be assembled before him and he will separate people one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats. 33 He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, 36 lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” 37 Then the upright will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?” 40 And the King will answer, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”

41 Then he will say to those on his left hand, “Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels42 For I was hungry and you never gave me food, I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, lacking clothes and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.” 44 Then it will be their turn to ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or lacking clothes, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?” 45 Then he will answer, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.” 46 And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the upright to eternal life.’ (Matt. 25:31-46)\

Were she a Christian, she would know better.  But since she isn’t, the only thing she can expect is eternal wretchedness.

The Anniversary of Peter Opitz’s Birth

It’s May 25th so it’s Peter Opitz’s birthday. Happy birthday to him.  He’s a scholar you should know- as just a few of his books will show:

What Yet Lies Beneath? The Hoard of Unpublished Oxyrhynchus Texts

More on the ‘Mark’ thing and other possible future finding of things.

Larry Hurtado's Blog

My note about the newly published items included in vol 83 of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri reminded me that to date, over 100 years after the excavations there, the vast hoard of papyri shipped to Britain by Grenfell & Hunt (in hundreds of metal boxes) remains stored and unpublished.  This latest volume brings the number of published items well past 5,000.  But by some estimates this leaves several hundred thousands of papyrus fragments, perhaps more, yet to be studied and published.

That only in this latest volume do we have a remarkably early fragment of the Gospel of Mark, as well as fragments of a couple of other NT writings, shows that gems continue to be found in that hoard.  And who knows what else lies there?

Nearly 50 years ago, on a trans-Atlantic flight, I found myself seated next to a lady who worked for the British Library.  When she discovered…

View original post 108 more words


The Egyptian Exploration Society is saying #poxy5345 was never for sale. Meanwhile Scott Carroll doubles down and says, yes it was. – Peter Gurry

We live in horrifying times. Come, Lord Jesus…

A Report From Warsaw

The start of the Eighth Annual RefoRC Conference in Warsaw today was as pleasant as could be. The beautiful location of the White Villa, the good coffee and welcome water, and the pleasant reunion and acquintance of many early modern scholars made the start in Warsaw of the conference a very good one. https://www.reforc.com/eighth-annual-reforc-conference-started-today/

I’m sadly not there.  But at least I’ll see many of the same folk in Philadelphia in August.

The Wright/Peterson Axis of Evil

“Turns out that Jordan Peterson fans and NT Wright fans aren’t that much different from each other. Shocking, I say!” – Esteban Julio Vázquez

That’s because they’re the same people.

Why I Support those Who Kneel

I saw this on NPR and wholly agree-

I stand to honor the promise the flag represents.

You kneel because that promise has been broken.

I stand to affirm my belief that all are created equal, and to fight alongside you for that promise.

You kneel because too few stand with you.

I stand because we can be better.

You kneel to remind us to be better.

I stand to honor all that have fought and died so that we may be free.

You kneel because not all of us are.

I stand because I can.

You kneel for those who can’t.

I stand to defend your right to kneel.

You kneel to defend my right to stand.

I stand because I love this country.

You kneel because you love it too.

written by: Andrew Freborg

Turns Out they Were Right…

Putting the Bible into ill equipped ill informed hands only resulted in a grotesque and utterly insane string of unbiblical and theologically abhorrent nonsense from which the Church continues to suffer.

Dilettantism hasn’t been a blessing for Christianity, it has been a curse.  The alchemy of dilettanitsh interpretations turned the gold of Scripture into a poisonous lead concoction which kills those who imbibe it.

The English Bible in the Early Modern World

The English Bible in the Early Modern World addresses the most significant book available in the English language in the centuries after the Reformation, and investigates its impact on popular religion and reading practices, and on theology, religious controversy and intellectual history between 1530 and 1700. Individual chapters discuss the responses of both clergy and laity to the sacred text, with particular emphasis on the range of settings in which the Bible was encountered and the variety of responses prompted by engagement with the Scriptures. Particular attention is given to debates around the text and interpretation of the Bible, to an emerging Protestant understanding of Scripture and to challenges it faced over the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

More.  Brill have sent a review copy.  So watch for it.

James Crossley, Live in Living Color

James remarks

I’m going to try and livestream my St Mary’s conference paper tomorrow at 5.30pm UK time. It’s effectively a summary of the book. The first bit will be more of the same but the second half probably won’t be. In addition to Corbyn and the others, it’ll include what “perversion of Islam” means, why we love to hate the far right, Barrow > you, slagging off the Guardian, and the Bob Crow Brigade. 


Tune in on his Facebook page.

That So Called First Century Fragment of Mark….

Isn’t from the First Century.  So yet again the claims don’t match the reality.