Daily Archives: 30 Apr 2011

Rowan Atkinson Was Too at the ‘Royal Wedding’!

Michael Acidri posted the exclusive photo on his FB page!  So here’s the proof Atkinson (Mr Bean/ Blackadder) was there…

NATO, You Missed

NATO killed Gadhafi’s son and 3 of his grandchildren but somehow managed to miss their target altogether.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi survived a NATO airstrike on Saturday night that killed his youngest son Saif al-Arab and three of his grandchildren, a Libyan government spokesman said.  Mussa Ibrahim said Saif al-Arab was a civilian and a student who had studied in Germany. He was 29 years old.

That’s genuinely tragic.  Hit your target or don’t strike at all.

Guess What?!?! It Was a Meteorite That Destroyed Sodom…

You can’t make this shocking level of dilettantish nonsense up!  Well hold on, I guess you can because that’s exactly what the purveyors of this absurdly unverifiable ‘theory’ have done.  And they know the exact date too!  [And sorry if you’ve already heard about this- the story came out about a month ago][Oh and if you aren’t a fan of Italian, you can read all about it here, by Jona, in English].

Le città di Sodoma e Gomorra sarebbero state distrutte dalla caduta di un meteorite il 29 giugno 3123 a.C. poco prima dell’alba e non dal fuoco di epurazione divino come raccontato nella Bibbia. La vicenda biblica raccontata nella Genesi è nota ai più: verificata la corruzione dei costumi sessuali della città di Sodoma, Dio la distrusse con una pioggia di fuoco e zolfo che rase al suolo anche Gomorra e le altre tre città vicine che costituivano la Pentapoli.

La scoperta è stata fatta dagli scienziati Alan Bond e Mark Hempsell, dell’università di Bristol, che studiando una tavoletta sumera conservata al British Museum hanno scoperto un’importante testimonianza astronomica della caduta di tale meteorite ed hanno pubblicato i loro risultati nel libro “un’osservazione sumera sull’impatto di Koefels”.

So guess what they’ve won!  That’s right-

Lecture Announcement: Rachel Elior

Via Joseph Lauer

Dr. Rachel Elior will be giving two lectures on Saturday, May 7, 2011 at this historic Orthodox congregation on the West Side of Manhattan on West 86th Street.   Dr. Elior will … lecture during Saturday morning worship services at the synagogue. The lecture time will be approximately 11:00 am. Services will start at 9:00 am, about two hours prior to start of lecture. The topic of this … lecture is “Presence and Absence – Women in Jewish Intellectual History.” The second … lecture is [at] 7:00 pm, and the subject is “Women in the Dead Sea Scrolls”. Directions to the synagogue are available on the site … and a telephone number is also available should you wish to learn more information about the day’s events there.

BiblioBlog Rankings

Joel is now so close to being #1 that he only needs to be better than over 2,000 websites to overtake me! That’s close…

As to the rest- well God bless ’em, the #3 is nearly 70,000 spots away and the others even further.


That’s right naysayers, I’m still oodles more popular than you!  Maybe one day (in the next 2000 months) Joel can scratch his way to the top and proudly display this:

Here are your rankings for the month of April: Rank Blogger Blog Name Alexa Rank 1 Jim West Zwinglius Redivivus 70214 2 Joel L. Watts Unsettled Christianity  72665 3 James McGrath Exploring Our Matrix 139095 4 John Loftus Debunking Christianity 153672 5 Matthew and Madeleine MandM 155353 6 Brian LePort Near Emmaus: Christ and Text 157409 7 Dan Wallace Contra Mundane 179712 8 Marc Cortez Scientia et Sapientia 196246 9 Airton José da Silva Observat … Read More

via The Biblioblog Top 50

I’ve Struck it Rich! I Can Quit my Job and Travel Full Time!

Phone parlors in Western Union office at Broad...

I just got this exciting email and I feel compelled to share it with you all, my faithful readers in your tens of thousands-


Attention: Honorable Beneficiary,

To The Owner Of This E-mail, How are you today, I write to inform you that We have already sent you $5000.00 US dollars through Western union as we Have been given the mandate to transfer your full compensation payment Total sum of US1.5million, via Western Union by our Government. I was Calling your telephone number to give you the information through phone But you did not pick up my calls throughout that yesterday even this Morning.

Ok so they don’t know my name and can’t spell ‘satellite’ and can’t construct a sensible sentence.  Heck, neither can Joel and he’s legit!  I’ve been sent 5K and there’s another 1.5 million $’s coming my way!  Hallelujah!

Anyway, soon as the check arrives I’m quitting everything and traveling…  Don’t cry for me though, I’ll blog my adventures (beginning just as soon as the money gets here).

Mauro Pesce on ‘The Historical Jesus’

Now this is awesome!


Roland Boer on Norman Gottwald

In something called the M.R. Zine.

Norman Gottwald belongs to a rare breed — an American Marxist biblical scholar.  More than one jarring juxtaposition in that epithet!  Unfortunately, he is less well known outside the relative small circle of biblical scholars than he should be.  In order to introduce him to a wider audience, let me say a little about his scholarly achievements and then some more concerning his activism.

And then he does both.  It’s a good essay and worth reading.

It Wasn’t Me, I Promise! I Have Two Lawnmowers of My Own

Sure I love to mow but not enough to hunt down a third mower.  I already have two. One’s a backup in case the main breaks down.  So I don’t need to steal another.

Authorities say a man who was drunk and looking for a place to sleep broke into a trailer behind a Connecticut high school, then instead stole keys to a lawnmower and went for a joyride during which he mowed his parents’ lawn.  Police in East Lyme say 22-year-old Nikolaus Trombley was caught on tape early Wednesday stealing the lawnmower from East Lyme High School.

Some of my friends might suspect me so I offer the following proofs:

1- I don’t drink so it’s impossible for me to get drunk.
2- I don’t live anywhere near CT.
3- I’m not 22.
4- I’m not called Nikolaus.

So it wasn’t me. You know who it was though don’t you? Doug Iverson! He told me the other day he lost his key to his mower…. and he lives north of here… So it’s him!

Bonhoeffer Knew it Too: Sometimes Tyrants Have to be Eliminated

And it may be time for the United States military or NATO or the Arab League or someone to remove Gadhafi before more needless deaths take place because of his evil insanity.

He’s asking for a cease fire but anyone who knows how he acts knows he’s simply trying to buy time.  So it’s time for him to be taken out.  It is, to be fair, the only way to save more lives.  The countless number dying because those able to eliminate him haven’t done so are witnesses against the West’s inaction and may rise on the day of judgment and ask our governments why they didn’t stop the monster when they easily could have done so.

He should be given 8 hours to surrender himself to French authorities (or whoever, I don’t really care) and if he doesn’t he should be removed by force and if he or his underlings put up a fight he should be killed so that lives may be spared.  Bonhoeffer knew it too.  Sometimes, tyrants have to be eliminated.

Every day that we delay more people die.  Loathing violence while letting violent men murder innocent people is a betrayal of the spirit of peace.  It is better for one man to die than an entire country be engulfed in flames.

The Nuttiest People of the 16th Century… And Today

The nuttiest of the 16th century were, without question, the Anabaptists.  Philip Schaff does a fine job of describing why-

The early history of the Anabaptists exhibits a strange chaos of peaceful reforms and violent revolutions—separatism, mysticism, millenarianism, spiritualism, contempt of history, ascetic rigor, fanaticism, communism, and some novel speculations concerning the body of Christ as being directly created by God, and different from the flesh and blood of other men.

We’ll get to their modern counterparts in due course.  For now, Schaff continues

They were Protestant radicals, who rejected infant baptism as an invention of the Roman Antichrist, and aimed at a thorough reconstruction of the Church. They spread mostly among the laboring classes.


Some of their preachers had no regular education, despised human learning, and relied on direct inspiration;

But fortunately for them

… others were learned and eloquent men, as Grebel, Manz, Hetzer, Hübmaier, Denk, Röublin, and Rothmann.

It was this sort of Anabaptist that arrived in Münster in early 1534 and followed their learned Pastor Rev. Rothmann.

If only the people of Münster had continued to listen to Rothmann. Unfortunately, they instead began listening to the maniacal and ignorant baker (dilettante) Jan Matthijs. When Matthijs was joined by John Beukels of Leiden the two of them led the city to destruction. Matthijs, the super-dilettante, declared that Christ would return there, led the re-baptizers to take control of the city, decided that it was the New Jerusalem, and set himself up as King. He enacted a policy of polygamy and burned every book in the city library except the Bible. Communal ownership was introduced and so was wife swapping.  Anyone who rejected his insanity was exiled or expelled. Over 2000 were forced out.

When the Princes of the territories adjoining the city learned of the lunacy taking place there Catholics and Protestants joined forces (!) and attacked the city on the 4th of April, 1534. Matthijs was so convinced of his chosen-ness that he thought God had made him invincible. So, he led troops from the safety of the city’s walls to the field of battle and was almost immediately killed by the United German forces.

Unfortunately that wasn’t the end of the matter, as the previously mentioned John Beukels (a failed tailor’s apprentice) named himself king in replacement of Matthijs. He enacted even stricter regulations (think Sharia law but 100 times worse) and made polygamy compulsory.

During his ‘davidic reign’ (as he styled it) the city remained under siege. Famine ensued, naturally, and eventually the United German forces breached the wall and slaughtered nearly everyone. Rothmann died in battle but Beukels was captured. It had taken 16 months to bring the city to its knees and the Princes of the United army were in no mood for mercy. Beukels was publicly and vigorously tortured to death even though he partially recanted. Then his body was placed in a cage and hung from the tower of St. Lambert’s church as a fitting warning.

This explains why all of Europe came to see the Anabaptists as completely untrustworthy and dreadfully dangerous. Schaff continues

They [the Anabaptists] were regarded as a set of dangerous fanatics, who could not be tolerated under a Christian government. Their supposed or real connection with the Peasant War, against the tyranny of landholders (1524), and with the bloody and disastrous excesses at Münster (1534), increased the opposition.

Yeah no kidding. When you think 16th century nuts, you are virtually forced to think of Rothmann, Matthijs, and Münster.

Their doctrines were condemned in the Lutheran and Reformed Confessions. The Reformers, even the mildest among them (Melanchthon, Bucer, Bullinger, and Cranmer, as well as Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin), felt that their extermination was necessary for the salvation of the churchly Reformation and social order.

With good reason, if the events described above are any indication.

And yet they must have known worthy men among them; Calvin himself married the widow of an Anabaptist pastor. Protestant and Roman Catholic magistrates vied with each other in cruelty against them, and put them to death by drowning, hanging, and burning.

Because, as far as 16th century Europe was concerned, the Anabaptists were a cancer which could not be allowed. It must be excised or the Christianity itself would be destroyed.

When I think of people who would be the end of Christianity (were it possible to end Christianity) if they were set free to do so, the names of Matthijs and Beukels spring to mind.  They are the quintessential Anabaptists and their modern counterparts, the ‘spiritualists’ and ’emergents’ are equally dangerous though far more subtle in their demonic mission.

Indeed, what Matthijs and his kind were to the 16th century, emergent ‘christianity’ is to ours.  Both abandon Scripture and set themselves up as the final authority.  You show me an emergent, and I’ll show you Jan Matthijs.

What have you enjoyed reading recently? (via scientia et sapientia)

A fun Saturday diversion- and here’s my answer:

Heinrich Bullinger: Life, Thought, Influence (2 vols). It’s a collection of the papers read at the 2004 celebration of Bullinger in Zurich which also produced fantastic replica pages from the 1531 Zurich Bible on a 16th century printing press (two of which the organizers were kind enough to send to me).

As a self-confessed bibliophile, I’m always open to suggestions. And, I’d love to hear about what you’re reading. So, what have you enjoyed reading recently (any genre)? To get things started, here are a few of mine: The Wise Man’s Fear, Patrick Rothfuss (not quite as good as his first one, but still a lot of un) Stein on Writing, Sol Stein Jonathan Edwards: A Life, George Marsden (a re-read, but still so good) What about you? What have you read … Read More

via scientia et sapientia

The Path of the Tornadoes’ Destruction From Space!

Via the Weather Channel.  It’s shocking.

Quote of the Day

It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber. – Louis Theroux

Symposium in Honor of Justin Taylor

Via Mauro Pesce, word of this well deserved honor for Prof. Taylor-


Tuesday, May 3 · 4:00pm – 7:00pm

Location – The Center for the Study of Christianity (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) – Maiersdorf Faculty Club, room 405; Mt. Scopus Campus, Jerusalem, Israel

16:00 Gathering

Greetings: Reuven Amitai, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony, Director of the Center for the Study of Christianity

Daniel R. Schwartz – Stephen and Philo, Tabernacle and Temple

Marc Rastoin, SJ (Centre Sèvres, Paris and Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome)- Framing Freedom: Galatians 4, 1-7 and Pauline Rhetoric

Yair Zakovitch, Jacob’s Well – A Pre-Biblical Tradition?

18:00 – 18:15 Break

Mauro Pesce (University of Bologna), Where Did Christianity Come From? Retrospectives and Perspectives

Paula Fredriksen (Boston University & Hebrew University)- Why Were the Early Christians Persecuted? Another Look at Paul and Acts

Justin Taylor, SM (École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem) – Concluding Remarks

19:15 Reception

Vile Facebook Spam

If you’re directed to a page supposedly from one of your friend’s has suggesting that you see your photo aged 20 years, DON’T CLICK IT.  It’s pure spam and will ravage your FB page and the pages of your friends with virus like material.

Avoid this!

The Death Toll of the April 27 Tornadoes


The death toll from killer tornadoes in the southern United States rose to at least 350 early Saturday, making the storm the second-deadliest tornado-related tragedy in US history.  The worst tornado outbreak in the United States in March 1925 left 747 people dead. The third-deadliest tornado storm struck in 1932, killing 332 people.  “I’ve never seen devastation like this. It is heartbreaking,” President Barack Obama said in Tuscaloosa Friday after meeting victims whose homes were demolished.  In Alabama alone, Wednesday’s deadly storms claimed 254 lives, the state Emergency Management Agency reported.  In addition, 1,730 people in the state were either hospitalized or injured while eight others were listed as missing.

With so many missing it is certain, sadly, that many more fatalities can be expected.

Zwingli v. Faber- The 1526 Smackdown

On the 30th of April in 1526 Zwingli published Uber den ungesandten Sandbrieff Joannes Fabers Doctors an Huldrychen Zvinglin geschriben und hinderwert usgespreyt und nit überschickt / Antwurt Huldrychs Zvinglis.

Faber and Zwingli had a checkered history – at first being in essential agreement concerning the sale of indulgences (which both opposed) but then disagreeing about every other aspect of Zwingli’s reformatory efforts.  Faber was the Vicar General of Constance and the Bishop’s right hand man. As the Encyclopedia Britannica observes

In 1518 Hugo von Landenberg, bishop of Constance, made him one of his vicars-general, and Pope Leo X. appointed him papal protonotary. He was an advocate of reforms, in sympathy with Erasmus, and corresponded (1519-1520) with Zwingli. While he defended Luther against Eck, he was as little inclined to adopt the position of Luther as of Carlstadt. His journey to Rome in the autumn of 1521 had the result of estranging him from the views of the Protestant leaders. He published Opus adversus nova quaedam dogmata Lutheri (1522), and appeared as a disputant against Zwingli at Zurich (1523). Then followed his Malleus in haeresin Lutheranam (1524). Among his efforts to stem the tide of Protestant innovation was the establishment of a traininghouse for the maintenance and instruction of popular preachers, drawn from the lower ranks, to compete with the orators of reform. In 1526 he became court preacher to the emperor Ferdinand, and in 1527 and 1528 was sent by him as envoy to Spain and England. He approved the death by burning of Balthasar Hubmeier, the Baptist, at Vienna on the 10th of March 1528. In 1531 he was consecrated bishop of Vienna, and combined with this (till 1538) the administration of the diocese of Neustadt. He died at Vienna on the 21st of May 1541. His works were collected in three volumes, 1537, 1539 and 1541.

Its The Saddest Day for The World of the Media

Because now there’s no ‘wedding’ to cover.  What will ABC ‘News’ cover now?  What will Good Morning America discuss for hours on end?  What will Barbara Walters live for?  What will Robin Roberts do in order to name drop?

It’s a sad day for the world of the media.  There’s nothing for them to do…