Women and the Reformation

A fascinating recent book may catch the eye of readers here:

Women and the Reformation gathers historical materials and personal accounts to provide a comprehensive and accessible look at the status and contributions of women as leaders in the 16th century Protestant world.

* Explores the new and expanded role as core participants in Christian life that women experienced during the Reformation.

* Examines diverse individual stories from women of the times, ranging from biographical sketches of the ex-nun Katharina von Bora Luther and Queen Jeanne d’Albret, to the prophetess Ursula Jost and the learned Olimpia Fulvia Morata.

* Brings together social history and theology to provide a groundbreaking volume on the theological effects that these women had on Christian life and spirituality.

A Gallery: Religion In Switzerland’s History

There’s a fantastic gallery of images here devoted to displaying religion’s history in Switzerland.  Most relevant for our purposes are these two:

The Cost of Speed

A Swiss court has slapped a wealthy speeder with a chalet-sized fine — a full $290,000. Judges at the cantonal court in St. Gallen, in eastern Switzerland, based the record-breaking fine on the speeder’s estimated wealth of over $20 million. A statement on the court’s Web site says the driver — a repeat offender — drove up to 35 miles an hour (57 kilometers an hour) faster than the 50-mile-an-hour (80-kilometer-an-hour) limit.

The offender has not been identified, though his conscience should be seared, since sin remains sin regardless of the resources of the sinner.

Zwingliana 2009

Inhalt von Band XXXVI, 2009

Hauptbeiträge:

  • Haas, Martin. Profile des frühen Täufertums im Raume Bern, Solothurn, Aargau
  • Reich, Ruedi. Die Zürcher Landeskirche und die Täufer. Oder: «Die Wahrheit wird euch frei machen.» (Joh 8,32)
  • Migsch, Herbert Noch einmal: Huldreich Zwinglis hebräische Bibel
  • Schindler, Alfred. Zwinglis «Fehltritt» in Einsiedeln und die Überlieferung dieses Ereignisses
  • Föllmi, Beat A. Calvin und das Psalmsingen. Die Vorgeschichte des Genfer Psalters
  • Timmerman, Daniel. «The world always perishes, the church will last forever». Church and eschatology in Bullinger’s sermons on the book of Daniel (1565)
  • Jenkins, Gary. Dinner with Raphael. The prolegomena of Peter Martyr Vermigli’s Eucharistic Intellections
  • Ahačič, Kozma. Musculus, Gwalther, Luther, Erasmus. Primus Truber as the First Slovenian Translator of Scriptural Texts
  • Wälchli, Philipp. Die «Kurtze und glaubhaffte verantwortung» (1596). Ein Dokument zur theologischen Auseinandersetzung zwischen Reformation und Katholizismus
  • Baschera Luca, Christian Moser, Hans Jakob Haag. Neue Literatur zur zwinglischen Reformation

A Hymn in Honor of the Sacred Cross

Zwingli’s treatise on Original Sin contains this line from a medieval song in praise of the Cross-

‘He Himself then marked out the wood (of the cross), to undo the damage of the wood (of the tree in Paradise)’.

Zwingli saw the Cross as the antidote to the Tree.  It is, if you grant it, a profound observation.

Why?

What were the apostles to do then? Was it necessary for them either to pretend not to see for a time, or to abandon and renounce completely the gospel which they saw was the seed of so many quarrels, the cause of so many dangers, an occasion for so many scandals? But in the midst of such afflictions they remembered that Christ is a stone of offense and of scandal, set for the fall and raising up of a number and for a stumbling block which they will oppose (Isa. 8[14-15]; Rom. 9[32-33]; Lk. 2[34]; 1 Pet. 2[8]). Armed with this confidence, they pressed on courageously and passed through all the dangers of tumults and scandals. We have reason to be consoled with the same thought since St. Paul testified that it will always be the case with the gospel that “it will be the fragrance of death for death to those who are perishing, and the fragrance of life for life to those who are being saved” (2 Cor. 2[15-16]). – John Calvin, in his preface to the 1535 Institutes.

In this corner of cyberspace you’ll find my thoughts on modern culture, theology, and church history (with a load of Zwingli and Calvin mixed in).

I hope you find it both entertaining and informative.

Every Man’s Bible: A Review

Tyndale have sent along this volume for review. So thanks to them.

In sum- it will appeal to conservatives. I’m not sure it will appeal to anyone else. Here’s why.

First, while it is nicely arranged and organized, the print is rather small- so older folks and vision impaired folks will have a hard time using it.

Second, while it has a good range of expert exegetes (who provide the extensive notes filling the volume); as happens whenever there’s such a collaboration, some of the work is better than other. For instance, Hugh G.M. Williamson and his co-workers’ observations on Ezra/Nehemiah/Esther/Ruth are very well done and exceedingly accurate (as one would expect of Williamson), while Scot McKnight’s on Luke are – to be charitable- weak and condescending. See for example at 8:43-44 where McKnight (or one of his cohorts/collaborators) writes `Luke, with his background in medicine…’ Of course this is nothing but rank speculation which merely reinforces unsubstantiated legend.

Third, the book introductions are very conservative in nature. Again, taking Luke as an example, we’re told `Author: Luke, a doctor who was a traveling companion of the apostle Paul.’ This is of course not what the Gospel itself claims- since it, like the others, is intentionally anonymous. Similarly, 2 Thessalonians is attributed to Paul, as are the Pastorals. When it comes to the Song of Solomon the editor responsible for it notes that the author is identified in the first line as Solomon. `When did it happen?’ And the editor’s answer? `In the 900s BC’. There seems, then, to be no awareness at all of the problems such attribution raises. Indeed, `Isaiah’ is `the author’ of the book bearing his name, readers are told. These examples could of course be multiplied and each one would show the very conservative bent of the editors.

Fourth, the `Someone You Should Know’ sidebars likewise are very conservative in their stance. That notwithstanding, they are, by and large, very well done and quite informative for the general reader.

Fifth, the translation which the version makes use of is the `New Living Translation’. This translation is neither a `formal equivalence’ nor a `dynamic equivalence’ rendition but instead a `thought-for-thought equivalence’. There are obviously problems with such an approach. The primary being, of course, that such a translation often violates the principle of distance that must guide translators. The Bible wasn’t written in English. When readers forget that, they tend to disregard all the cultural baggage that comes with an ancient text. Translations should, to some extent, keep readers at arms length if only to remind them that they are in fact translations and nothing more. Reall access to the thought world of the author can only come with familiarity with the language in which that author wrote.

Sixth, and finally, though I have reservations about the version (spelled out above) all in all I think it will serve its audience, and its purpose, quite nicely. Conservative minded Christians will enjoy it, and learn from it.