Daily Archives: 1 Sep 2010

You Knew It Was Coming…

My ‘why I’m #1, and you, tragic soul, aren’t…’ post:

But you, don’t despair, you just keep trying, ok?

The Discovery of a 3000 Year Old Moabite Temple in Jordan

Archaeologists in Jordan have unearthed a 3,000-year-old Iron Age temple with a trove of figurines of ancient deities and circular clay vessels used for religious rituals, officials said Wednesday. The head of the Jordanian Antiquities Department, Ziad al-Saad, said the sanctuary dates to the eighth century B.C. and was discovered at Khirbat ‘Ataroz near the town of Mabada, some 20 miles (32 kilometres) southwest of the capital Amman. He said the complex boasts a main room that measures 388 square feet (36 square meters), as well as two antechambers and an open courtyard. The sanctuary and its artifacts — hewn from limestone and basalt or moulded from clay and bronze — show the complex religious rituals of Jordan‘s ancient biblical Moabite kingdom, according to al-Saad. “Today we have the material evidence, the archaeological proof of the level of advancement of technology and civilization at that period of time,” he said. The Moabites, whose kingdom ran along present-day Jordan’s mountainous eastern shore of the Dead Sea, were closely related to the Israelites, although the two were in frequent conflict. The Babylonians eventually conquered the Moabites in 582 B.C.

Read the rest. With thanks to Chris Rollston on FB for the tip.

Nazi Racists: How The Islamophobes Resemble Their Nazi Cousins

As I’ve said before, the people protesting the Islamic center are sounding more and more like the Nazis of 1933 Germany.  First, they wish Muslims hated.  Now, they think it a good idea to register them.  Next, internment camps.

The people on the far right can call their discomfort with things Islamic anything they like- but what they really are is becoming more and more apparent with every passing week:  Nazis.  None of us should be surprised when they enact Nazi methods.  But all of us should be ashamed if we stand silently (as I’ve said before) and let it happen.

Not the Sharpest Knife in the Cabinet…

Location of Chelan County where the Lake Chela...

A hiker on Blewett Pass [Washington] shot himself in the butt when he put a handgun in his back pocket. The Chelan County sheriff’s office said the 52-year-old Snohomish man had moved his .40-caliber handgun from its holster to his back pocket Saturday to see if that position would be more comfortable. The Wenatchee World reported the gun fired the bullet down his left buttock and left leg, coming to rest just above the knee.

Honestly, I’m glad he wasn’t killed or hurt too badly. But, chuckle… That’s what happens when you play with loaded guns.  ‘Blewett pass’.  Boy, he did blow it.

Mean Girls

Arsenal's Cesc Fàbregas (white shirt) duels wi...

I don’t understand girls these days. Have they lost the ability or desire to be ladies?

In the middle of a women’s college soccer match between the Oregon Ducks and Oklahoma State Cowgirls on Friday night, two players were given red cards and ejected from the game for fighting. Oregon’s Mercedes Walters and Oklahoma State’s Kyndall Treadwell started to fight in the 63rd minute. Walters pushed Treadwell to the ground and the referee immediately gave both of them red cards.

Mean girls…  Leave the fighting to the guys.

I Wish Our Wal-Mart Carried What the Chinese Wal-Mart Carries…

#1 For the 100,000,000th Month in A Row

I’d like to thank all the wise people who continue to trot this way to find the best in views, news, and well something that rhymes with views and news.

I realize it annoys some no end that such remains the case but I can only say, again, if you want to be visited, be interesting.  It’s your own fault if you’re boring and irrelevant.

You’ll just have to be more engaged, that’s all.  And then more engaging.  That’s the secret you know to generating and maintaining readership.

A New Sheffieldian Blog

park hill [residential area in sheffield - eng...

Sheffield Biblical Studies is a new group blog organized by James Crossley and contributed to by various Sheffieldians.  Add it to your blogroll!  There should be plenty of room on it since various ‘bibliobloggers’ have shortened their blogrolls by one or two entries over the last couple of days…

Welcome, Sheffieldians!

Serves Him Right…

A friend of mine constantly remarks ‘when you’re stupid, you’ve got to suffer‘.  True words for our besotted lad who lost a million dollar painting because he got drunk.

Call it the lost art of drinking responsibly: A man entrusted with helping to sell a $1.3 million painting said it disappeared while he was in a drunken haze, according to a lawsuit filed by a co-owner of the canvas. James Carl Haggerty took the painting, noted French artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s circa 1857 “Portrait of a Girl,” to a Manhattan hotel on July 28 for a potential buyer to examine, Kristyn Trudgeon’s lawsuit said. Then Haggerty hung out at the hotel bar and was seen on security cameras leaving the building with the painting after midnight, according to the lawsuit. But there was no sign of the portrait on the cameras at his Manhattan apartment building when he got home nearly two hours later, the lawsuit said. And the next morning, Haggerty told painting co-owner Thomas A. Doyle III he “could not recall its whereabouts, citing that he had had too much to drink the previous evening,” according to the lawsuit filed Monday in a Manhattan state court.

Stupidity has a name- it’s ‘drinking while in the possession of a million dollar piece of art and losing it.’  The moral?  Drunkenness and responsibility don’t mix.

Texas Isn’t Obliged to Recognize Your Gay Marriage by Granting you a Gay Divorce

Scale of justice, Enhanced version of an image...

In my estimation this is a proper ruling. If Texas forbids gay marriage (Florentine brides) then it stands to reason that they don’t grant gay divorces. Since such marriages aren’t even recognized as legitimate, it would be folly to grant divorces to non-existent marriages.

Gay couples legally married in other states cannot get a divorce in Texas, where same-sex marriage is banned, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday. The 5th Texas Court of Appeals ruled that a Dallas district court judge didn’t have the authority to hear a divorce case involving two Dallas men who married in Massachusetts in 2006. Republican state Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office had appealed after Judge Tena Callahan, a Democrat, said she did have jurisdiction and dismissed the state’s attempt to intervene. “Today’s court of appeals decision overruled the district court’s improper ruling, confirmed the constitutionality of Texas’ traditional definition of marriage and correctly found that Texas courts lack the legal authority to grant divorces to same-sex couples,” said Abbott spokesman Jerry Strickland.

The appeals court couldn’t have found otherwise.

Callahan also had ruled Texas couldn’t limit marriage to a man and a woman, but the appeals court said the state’s same-sex marriage ban was constitutional. “A person does not and cannot seek a divorce without simultaneously asserting the existence and validity of a lawful marriage,” Justice Kerry P. Fitzgerald wrote on behalf of three Republican appeals court justices. “Texas law, as embodied in our constitution and statutes, requires that a valid marriage must be a union of one man and one woman, and only when a union comprises one man and one woman can there be a divorce under Texas law.”

Yup- the only proper ruling for certain.

Total Depravity: The Drunk Naked Deputies

Ocoee Whitewater Center, Cherokee National For...

Two Washington County deputies caught drinking and having sex in the forest while off duty have been dismissed from their jobs.

Why, you ask?

Sheriff Ed Graybeal said Tuesday that Deputy Scarlett Dennison, 42, and Deputy Chris Adkins, 30, have been dismissed for unbecoming conduct.


The Johnson City Press reported the deputies were charged with possessing alcohol in a prohibited area, public nudity and public intoxication after they were found at a campground in the Cherokee National Forest by a U.S. Forest Service officer. Adkins was also cited for child endangerment because his 2-year-old son was asleep in a tent at the campsite.

Parents these days. They just don’t care what their children are exposed to – or potentially exposed to – as long as they can parade naked around the forest and ‘get their groove on’ with cougar co-workers (and a third party???)

A second man, Jamie Walsh, 32, of Butler was also cited in the incident.

Criminy… Such persons shouldn’t be trusted with protecting the public. They can’t even manage good sense.

Being A Crazy Stalker Has its Hazards…

spinning chimney cowls

Can you imagine?

A doctor involved in an “on-again, off-again” relationship apparently tried to force her way into her boyfriend’s home by sliding down the chimney, police said Tuesday.


Her decomposing body was found there three days later.

What????? Oh the stench!

Dr. Jacquelyn Kotarac, 49, first tried to get into the house with a shovel, then climbed a ladder to the roof last Wednesday night, removed the chimney cap and slid feet first down the flue, Bakersfield police Sgt. Mary DeGeare said.

Ok that’s just bonkers. Just stark raving mad loony. Boiling a rabbit in a pot crazy.

While she was trying to break in, the man she was pursuing escaped unnoticed from another exit “to avoid a confrontation,” authorities said.

What a wuss.

DeGeare said the two were in an “on-again, off-again” relationship. The man’s identity was not revealed by police, but the man who resides in the home is William Moodie, 58.

Oh that’ll keep his identity secret… And now, the dumbest understatement ever recorded in human history-

“She made an unbelievable error in judgment and nobody understands why, and unfortunately she’s passed away,” Moodie told The Associated Press.

Ya think?

“She had her issues — she had her demons — but I never lost my respect for her.”

Oh sure, that’s why you ran off like a 10 year old girl when she came to see you to try to, what, win you back? You showed your disrespect for her when you refused to tell her she was unwanted and unwelcome.

People– you know what— they really are absolute nutters.

Wishing Eric Cline a Very Happy Birthday

Eric turns 50 this very day!  1960, as you must by now surely know, was an important year for at least a couple of reasons.

Eric’s a fine scholar and a brilliant archaeologist.  If you haven’t read his book on archaeology you ought to.  You should read his delightful From Eden to Exile.  That one’s a gem!

Anyway, happy 50th, Eric!  I hope you have many happy returns of the day.

August 2010 Biblical Studies Carnival

Carnival in Maastricht

Let’s get this out of the way right up front so that it needn’t be mentioned again:  guess who was the #1 most beloved blogger of July?  That’s right pilgrims- me!

Whew.  That was close.  I managed just a 20,000 point spread over my nearest competitor friend colleague compatriot.  Speaking of blogging, don’t – for any reason – miss Ben Myer’s piece titled Theology 2.0 – Blogging as Theological Discourse.

Well let’s do it- what were the most interesting posts in August?

Old Testament

August started with an Australian bang when Matt posted his go at an always fascinating question- did God command genocide in the Old Testament? Well did he?  And is it fair to impose quite modern categories (like genocide) on ancient texts?  That, to me, is the central question that has to be answered before any other can.  Why must God be subject to our notions of the way things must work in the universe?  Steve Wiggins investigated the regularly investigated theme of divine kingship in the Old Testament.  So far as I can tell, Mowinckel did the definitive work on the subject.  Christian Brady talked a bit about Boaz (not booze, for the Aussies out there who got inexplicably excited at the possibility) in the Targum of Ruth.  Marc struggled with Psalm 109 and he dragged Spurgeon in for help.

Bob MacDonald is trudging through the Psalms and Jonathan is struggling with revenge.

Christopher Rollston, epigrapher extraordinaire, posted a fine entry on the ASOR blog about the probable inventors of the alphabet.  Sharp stuff from a smart guy.

Gavin mentioned an interesting series in the Guardian on Job, by a Jewish person!  A Jewish person thinking about Job… the times, they really are a-changin…  To bring Job-ian things back to an even keel, Bob Cargill uses Job 29 as a model for social justice.  Hmm… I’m not so sure Job is all that thrilled with how things worked out in the backwash of that application of just compassion.  A glance at Job 30 paints quite an interesting picture indeed and in it Job repudiates (or ‘refudiates’ if you’re one of THOSE people) the entire enterprise.

Tim Bulkeley discussed the ‘abstract’.  You know, that little – devilishly difficult to write – 150 word summary of a 30 page essay we all have to write from time to time…  And he also mentioned what looks to be a fantastic learning opportunity- a colloquium titled Isaiah and Empire.  If you’re in New Zealand you really ought to make plans to go.  But that’s not all from Tim (he did a lot of good stuff in August) – he also discussed one of our favorite topics- open source!

Ken Schenk takes a gander at Genesis 1.  As Christian Scripture…  Who knew…  And speaking of Christian Scripture, Bacho Bordjadze, a new blogger, is blogging over at ‘Reading Isaiah as Christian Scripture‘.    He’s got a number of great posts, seems to have a delightful sense of humor, and seems to appreciate Karl Barth (a tad). Check him out. I think you’ll be glad you did.

New Testament

In August the Aussie Stevens attended a conference featuring Ben Witherington III and informs us a bit about it as the meeting proceeded.  Joel and TC discussed Revelation a bit but, bless their hearts, they’re both wrong.  It isn’t a book about enthronement or eschatology; it’s a book which ‘unveils’ Jesus Christ for a persecuted Church: he is the victorious Lord.  Steven Demmler analyzed one of Bultmann’s sermons.  Very much worth a read.  Lamentably, James Crossley posted absolutely nothing, and hasn’t since the first of the year.  But Chris Tilling recommenced blogging (see below, under uncategorized) with a multi-part review of Douglas Campbell’s amazingly long book.  Ridiculously long.  Overly long.  Dare I say what I’m thinking?  Unnecessarily long…   I couldn’t finish it.  It wore me down, and out.  So I’m glad Chris is summarizing it.  And I’m glad it’s Chris who’s doing it, because, in my opinion, no one working in the field today knows more about Paul than Chris Tilling.  And I mean that in utter sincerity.  Matt Page offers some very interesting observations on those sometimes confusing lists of 12 Apostles found in the Gospels.  Joel informed us of an essay by Vermes on Josephus’ view of Jesus.

Brian LePort leads us down the path of examining John the Baptist’s shrinkage in a multi-part series.  I don’t know why.  I worry about Brian.  I think you should all put him on your list of prayers.  Michael Barber commenced a series on Peter at the end of the month, so you’ll have to check in later in September to see how it turns out.

Scott commenced a new series on apocalypticism in Luke which looks like something worth keeping an eye on.  Stephen Carlson took a look at Galatians 3:1 and turned up some tidbits I had not considered.

There appears to be a new teaching tool on the horizon, and Mark points it out: sock puppets.   Sock puppets?  Incredible.  Perhaps next we can use lego blocks and flannel boards and cartoon cut-outs so that sad benighted unengaged college toddlers can have their paltry attention held.  Poor things, if there’s not a visual they appear to be incapable of grasping concepts (except when it comes to sex and drinking, abortions and partying- which none of them seem to need any instruction concerning, falling into it quite naturally and effortlessly – while their maids clean their dorm rooms…).  Mark’s also still casting the pods, and he did one in August on teeth.  Be sure to visit that one!   😉

R. Scott Clark has a fine post on reasons why you shouldn’t buy into NT Wright’s NPP.  Don’t let Wright make you wrong like he has so many of the gullible and weak willed.  Nevertheless, Wright still has his defenders (though if those defenders would crack open Johannes Weiss they would realize that what Wright says about parables has been said before).

And D. Miller takes us back to the question of the language of Jesus.

James McGrath does a fantastic job reviewing Neyrey’s latest contribution to Johannine scholarship.  McGrath is a good kid, and a good scholar (even if he does delve too much into the science-fictiony end of the wading pool).  You’ll learn from his review.

Church History

In what has to be one of the more bizarre bits of news this August, it seems that many Protestants are returning to Rome.  I’d be curious to know how many of them are already ‘Catholic lite” (i.e., Catholics without a Pope- like the Episcopalians and the Lutherans and the Anglicans).  Wherever they’re coming from, Rome is glad to have them.

Rob continues his series on the practice of Baptism in the history of the Church.  I’m not linking to any particular bit of it in hopes you’ll just scroll down and find the ones you want.

Dan Wallace did a great thing in August and he did it in a fine way when he eviscerated the nonsense known as “King James Only” – ism.  KJV only-ers have to be the most uninformed and ignorant readers of the Bible that presently exist.  Their lack of understanding is simply profound.  And it seems, invincible.

Joel Watts posted a Calvin quote.  That’s enough to get inclusion in any Carnival.  In fact, my policy is, if someone quotes Calvin (in a nice way and not in an attempt to insult him), they are automatically my BFF.

Mary (yes, that Mary) experienced an apparition of her own in August: she had a toaster appear on her!  Talk about turning the tables!

Stephen Smuts announced at the very last minute that the HCSB is available online in a glitzy yet useful format.  I realize everyone loves online stuff but friends, you owe it to yourself to have actual books and bibles on actual shelves.  They’re much better (because they don’t require electricity to use).

Systematic Theology

In August a Judge in California rejected the ballot initiative banning gay marriage.  It was nearly instantly appealed as many expected.  Also nearly instantly was the reaction among the biblio-theo bloggers.  Bob Cargill supported the decision and Scott Clark rejected it.  Both are worth reading.  Needless (I think) to say, I concur with Scott on this one.  Brian took the bull heifer by the horns and actually had the temerity to discuss the topic of ‘women in ministry’.  Oh he’s a brave lad.

Matt Flannagan pointed us to the fine essay by Gutting which guts Dawkins.  A fun read to be sure.  And speaking of Matt, he’s not only a blogger with Maddie- he also blogs at a new (to me) Kiwi blog with a theological theme.

No, Michael, the answer is no.  Science doesn’t have all the answers and it is particularly inept when it stumbles into metaphysical matters.  Did I say inept?  I meant to say utterly incompetent, uninformed, and dilettantish.  But of course neither does Al Mohler have all the answers when it comes to what people can rightly believe concerning things science-y. Nor, for that matter, does he have any answers about most anything most of the time.

I lament the kidnapping of Roland Boer and the hijacking of his blog which, evidently, took place in August.  How do I know?  Roland B. would never do this.  Never.  So either he has been kidnapped or the Chinese have planted something in his brain.

Ben Myers has a brilliant post on theologians and their longing (thirst, quest, desire) for God.  Be sure to read it if you haven’t already.  Along similar lines, Helen Ingram wonders about doing theology too and the reasons for it (and she’s hands down the winner of the bizarre blog background contest!).

Stephen Smuts showed us why theology matters.  If you don’t think it does, then you definitely need to read his post.  And Gavin showed us (or tried to) that there’s a connection between the weather and theology.  Nah.  He’s crazy.  I blame his head cold.

Archaeology/ Dead Sea Scrolls

News broke in August that Raphel Golb had rejected a plea deal and will head to trial in the middle of September for identity theft.  Doubtless his real aim is to bring his father’s theories into the light of public day.  Even if he loses the trial he wins.  And speaking of his father, Norman lashed out at Robert Cargill’s NatGeo DSS special (as we learn from Antonio the always vigilant).   Michael Barber looked at a scroll fragment in search of a Davidic Messiah.  You’ll have to decide whether or not you think he found one.  The fragment is a tad too fragmentary and imprecise for me.  I fear Michael is making a suit out of a mere button.

The season  at Gath wound down and Aren posted some very nice aerial shots of the site.  Some very nice desktop themes there.

Hershel Shanks and BAR managed, somehow or other, to thoroughly negate Robert Cargill’s participation in the Israel National Radio interview which he and Schiffman did previously.  And then, the next day, they did mention it.  One can only wonder what BAR was up to when it marginalized Cargill for no good reason whatsoever.

JP told us about Israel.  Israel, you know, the place where all the biblical action happened.


In August Matthew Page, the best of the bible film bloggers bar none, passed the 1000 post mark.  Congrats!  Chris Tilling started blogging again after a long nap layoff hiatus vacation prison term.  Duane Smith gave us a very useful sticker with which to alert readers of the peril of journalistic ineptitude.  Jason Gardner listed various bloggers and who they would be ‘fan-boys’ of.  I don’t know what a ‘fan-boy’ is, but I did appreciate Jason’s rightly noting the importance of Bultmann.  JD Kirk described why he continues to view blogging as a worthwhile enterprise.

Mark Goodacre (who removed me from his blogroll… why Mark, why???  I mean I can understand Davila and McGrath, Boer and … etc., etc., but et tu, Marcus?) discussed the interesting case of the unavailability outside the US of long out of print books on Google.  It’s an interesting question for which I wonder if there is even an answer.

The New York Times had an excellent essay on the changing nature of ‘peer review’, noted and commented upon here.  Biblical scholars need to reconsider their ensconcement in outmoded methodologies or they will become even more irrelevant.

Mark Stevens has been taking readers down a quite personal path.  It’s an open window on an interesting life and you should check it out.  Speaking of readers, you can’t have readers without books and speaking of books, Nick Norelli told the tale of his visit to the bookstore where he found the likes of Ehrman, Witherington, and Shanks on sale for a penny.  I know!  Who on earth would be willing to pay that much!!!

August 20th was the anniversary of Rudolf Karl Bultmann’s birth.  Any carnival worth its salt has to mention it.

Sadly, controversial Theologian Clark Pinnock passed away in August, as did Conservative Reformed Donald Bloesch.

Finally, if all the good posts included in the Carnival made you feel a bit stupid, don’t fret.  According to Darrell, it’s ok to feel that way!  There ya go, [names deleted to spare the sensitive feelings of the stupid], you can feel better about yourselves now!

Join us next month.  I’m sure you’ll feel way smarter.  Our host will be relative newcomer Steven Demmler.  He’s a student at Gordon-Conwell, so help him out (and be gentle… he’s not used to mean people!)

And now for something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!