Daily Archives: 11 Aug 2011

I’ve Added Another Link: Luthers Werke, Weimar Ausgabe

The older link pointed to the Calvin College website which is extremely useful of course.  But the new link takes readers directly to the most useful and authoritative edition of Luther, the rightly famed Weimar Ausgabe (complete!!!!).

Once someone asked Karl Barth which volumes in his library he counted the most important (after the Bible) and he pointed with his pipe at the Weimar Ausgabe sitting there on his shelves in pride of place.  He had been given the entire thing as a gift.

That you and I can access Luther’s works in their completeness from the comfort of our chairs… that’s what we call a blessing down here.

The link is in the nav panel and here.

And Still Another Recommendation

Popular Culture and Popular Movements in Reformation Germany, by RW Scribner.

The Reformation has traditionally been explained in terms of theology, the corruption of the church and the role of princes. R.W. Scribner, while not denying the importance of these, shifts the context of study of the German Reformation to an examination of popular beliefs and behaviour, and of the reactions of local authorities to the problems and opportunities for social as well as religious reform. This book brings together a coherent body of work that has appeared since 1975, including two entirely new essays and two previously published only in German.

The Way the Credit Rating Agencies Work Is Just the Way Accrediting Agencies Work

When you watch this clip from the Daily Show just substitute accreditation for rating agencies and you’ll understand exactly how the system works, mutatis mutandis.

It’s all about the money.

More Pastoral Misconduct

A 28-year-old youth pastor in California has been arrested for sex crimes against young girls in his congregation and for possession of child pornography.

Police said they have confirmed one victim, a 15-year-old girl with whom Demetrius Allen allegedly had a sexual relationship for over a year. But police said they have reason to believe that there may be additional victims due to Allen’s “access to different youths,” Detective Teresa Pikor of the Los Angeles Police Department told ABCNews.com.

“Even though we have filed criminal charges, we’re still investigating and still looking at other avenues and other evidence that we have to identify additional victims,” said Detective Michael Brox of the Los Angeles Police Department at a news conference today.

Stop it.  Quit it.

Zwingli and Mary: A Book Recommendation

This is a very useful volume indeed for those intrigued by Zwingli’s view of Mary.  The fact that he understood her to be a lifelong virgin,  never having any other children, remains, to me, utterly unbelievable.

But I suppose that just proves that everyone is wrong about something.

Ok, Ewww

People are depraved. And this guy is really depraved.

Police in Spring Hill arrested a local music teacher Thursday morning after he was caught engaging in a sex act with a doll outside a local elementary school.

Officers were called to Allendale Elementary School on Prescott Way in Spring Hill amid reports of a white male under a bridge on school property. The bridge provides access to the school from the main road.

Spring Hill police told Nashville’s News 2 responding officers witnessed the man, identified as 56-year-old Daniel Torroll, performing sex acts on a doll they later learned he’d cut holes into.

Officers said the man was in a location where he could be seen by people driving up to the school.


When There Are No Consequences For Bad Behavior, There Will Be More Bad Behavior

Aww Poor Thing, She Has to Quit Her Ark Hunt…

The Guardian informs us of the tragic news that

The former Playboy Playmate and Baywatch star Donna D’Errico has had to cancel plans to discover the remains of Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat…

Lost in Showbiz has long been an admirer of the world of biblical archaeology, but has equally been nagged by the feeling it lacks a certain glamour, the glamour that only a former Playboy Playmate and star of Baywatch can bring to proceedings. It looks at the work of Israel Finkelstein – Jacob M Alkow professor of the archaeology of Israel in the bronze age and iron ages at Tel Aviv University – and finds itself thinking: “While I’m impressed by the controversy you generated by suggesting the monumental structures of Megiddo were built not by King Solomon but by the reviled King Ahab, I’d be more impressed still if you were a blonde woman with enormous breasts.”

So it thrilled to the news that Donna D’Errico, former star of Baywatch, September 1995 Playboy Playmate of the Month and ex-wife of Mötley Crüe guitarist Nikki Sixx, was planning to embark on an expedition to Mount Ararat in Turkey to find the remains of Noah’s Ark. “This has been a dream of mine ever since I was nine or 10,” she said. No word as to whether she tends to the processual or post-processual view of biblical archeology as either purely objective and scientific or a more subjective discipline that bears the influence of structuralism, but who needs all that boring stuff when you’ve got enthusiasm (“I went to Catholic school and did projects on the ark”) and a camera crew filming you for an eight-part reality show.

But alas, it was not to be: LiS learns this week that D’Errico’s trip to Mount Ararat has been cancelled after her hiking partner received death threats and her guide, a local Kurd, “relentlessly attempted to talk [her] out of going” then eventually quit as well. Biblical archaeology will now have to struggle on without D’Errico’s comely influence and wisdom, as she – nothing if not a renaissance woman – picks up the pieces of her shattered childhood fantasy and moves on to fresh challenges: “I am working on a cooking show, which is also a lifetime dream,” she says.

I can’t stop laughing. I can’t. Literally. She’s a Dilly! And here’s her award!!!!

16th Century Propaganda

One of the more fascinating aspects of life in the 16th century was the willingness of all sides of debates to use broadsheets and ‘comic strips’ and illustrated panels to inform the wider (largely illiterate) population of their various positions.

Take, for instance, a delightful booklet, published in 1545 and with Luther’s express permission to affix his name to it, featuring a series of 10 plates portraying the birth and rise of the Papacy.

My favorite panel is this one, showing the birth of monkery:

Luther called the collection of cartoons his ‘testament’!    And some hobbits think I’m crude…  They don’t know their history very well.  The 16th century knew how to put crude to work!  If only I could photoshop well enough I’d attach names.

Although I’m Perfectly Aware that Lust is Wicked…

I just can’t help myself desiring this:

Bewegung und Beharrung: Aspekte des reformierten Protestantismus, 1520-1650, Herausgegeben von Christian Moser und Peter Opitz, unter Mitwirkung von Hans Ulrich Bächtold, Luca Baschera und Alexandra Kess.

Wer sich der Erforschung des reformierten Protestantismus widmet, setzt sich mit einer komplexen Bewegung auseinander: Religiöse, theologische und kulturelle Traditionen werden kritisch reflektiert, bisweilen verworfen oder aber in neuer Interpretation weitergeführt. Politische und soziale Veränderungen zeitigen gravierende Konsequenzen für Einzelne wie für ganze Landschaften. Gewollt oder ungewollt bleiben dabei Veränderung und Beharrung eng ineinander verwoben.

Listen, I know it’s wrong. I know it’s Brill. I know they’re priced for libraries and not individuals. And still, I want it…

Cursed intellectual curiosity and insatiable desire to learn.  Why couldn’t I have been interested in stream fishing with a stick and a bent paper clip?!?!

UPDATE:  Well slap my face and call me happy, Peter Opitz is sending me a copy!  Isn’t that tremendous!  Thanks, Peter!

Dom Crossan: Paul and Women

Dom Crossan

John Dominic Crossan has an essay in the HuffPo which is worth reading on the subject of Paul’s ‘real’ attitude towards women.  At least the HuffPo has sought out actual scholars and isn’t leaving the subject of biblical interpretation to the blathering dilettantes as they have done in the past.

Those who are familiar with Crossan’s work, or even Pauline studies, won’t find anything new.  But the general public may learn something.

Here’s An Interesting Application of Google+

Via Inside Google Books

Say you’ve found a hidden gem on auto mechanics for your greasemonkey friends or want to hop down memory lane with Peter Rabbit and your family. Good news for monkeys and rabbits alike: you can now share info about any of the millions of books in our Google Books index worldwide with your circles on Google+.

Let’s say you are reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and you’d like your friends to read it with you (or you have a witty comment to let loose). Simply click on the Google+ Share box on the About the Book page or in a Google Books preview, enter your message, then select which circles you’d like to share details about the book with, and click “share”.

There’s a little more along with screenshots included. This has implications for biblical and theological studies, obviously. I think I’ll try it out.


 Tiger Woods has shot his worst round ever at the PGA Championship.  After playing the first five holes Thursday at 3 under, Woods fell apart on his way to a 7-over 77. He knocked two balls in the water, spent much of his day in the sand and wound up with three double bogeys and five bogeys.  Woods had never shot worst than 75 at the PGA until his miserable round at Atlanta Athletic Club.

Schadenfreude.  Or in his own Buddhist terms, karma.

The Biblical Scrolls From Qumran and the Masoretic Text

By Ian Young.  Enjoy.

Explaining the Mystery of Iniquity

How are we to explain the apparent ‘free reign’ of evil? The author of 2 Thess. gives it a go, writing

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming. The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2Th 2:7-12).

1- Lawlessness (rebellion against God), is already ‘at work’.
2- Some restraining power holds it at bay so that it doesn’t completely overwhelm the world.
3- That restraint will one day be removed.
4- Those who have rejected God’s provision of salvation will be destroyed by it, and it will itself be destroyed by Christ.
5- And it operates on the basis of delusion, sent by God (!) so that those who reject salvation – because they prefer wickedness – might receive their ‘just desserts’.

Or to summarize another way: wickedness only seems to have free reign but is at the moment restrained. Were it not, it would indeed have the freedom to do as it pleased. And one day it will, in the lives of all those who disregard salvation and who are thus thrust onto their own wickedness.

Hence, if we consider the riots in London for example, we see the surge of wickedness of which depraved persons are capable. Yet they are restrained. Unhindered, imagine what wickedness would achieve! Thus, the lesson of 2 Thess is that ‘things could be a LOT worse were it not for the hindrance presently in place which holds back perversity from free reign.’ Woe betide society when that hindrance is removed!  But the party will be short and the end of all such perverse persons eternal destruction.

More Political Dirtbaggery: The Hypocritical Republican

Stories like these ENRAGE me.

Last year, political neophyte Rick Scott spent $73 million of his own money to bring the tea party’s anti-government, pro-privatization agenda to the Florida governor’s office. Today, the former executive pays just $30 a month for health care—and lets taxpayers cover the rest.

The governor, a proud bearer of the Republican Party’s deregulation standard, has spent his first half-year in office decrying government waste: He’s laid off thousands of Sunshine State employees, slashed their benefits, turned down (most of) the federal government’s health care dollars, and put extra financial pressure on Florida retirees and Medicaid recipients. But Scott and his dependents pay one-fifth what a janitor in the state Capitol pays for health insurance… and less than 3 percent of what a retired state trooper pays for life-saving coverage.

When asked about the double standard, a spokesman for Scott declined to comment, calling his family’s cheap state coverage “private matters.

Three words for the Governor:  You’re A Dirtbag.  You’re just one of the many foul hypocrites denying to the poorest what you yourself enjoy.  You and your kind make me sick, and furious.

Prophecy and Politics: Conference Announcement

Prophecy and Politics in Ancient Israel and in Ancient Cultures
University of Haifa, 28-31.5.2012

The Department of Biblical Studies at the University of Haifa is holding an international conference: “Prophecy and Politics in Ancient Israel and in Ancient Cultures”.

The intention of the conference is to examine the biblical prophets and prophecy in ancient cultures in general—within the geographical compass of Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Levant—from the beginnings of writing until the first century CE. The focus will be on the attitudes of ancient writers and readers to political-historical events.

A one day excursion is planned: In the footsteps of Elijah, Elisha and the necromancer of En-Dor. We would like to interest you in this conference, and we invite you to propose a lecture. Please let us know of your interest by 31 October 2011, by E-mail or regular mail.

Please reply through one of the following addresses:

Prof. Dr. Gershon Galil
Department of Biblical Studies
University of Haifa
Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel

Dr. Dan’el Kahn
Department of Biblical Studies
University of Haifa
Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel

Having Fits and Going Insane: Installing User Modules for BibleWorks 9 in Windows 7

Here’s the tale:

1- I downloaded a number of the cool user modules available for BibleWorks.  They’ve got some awesome free stuff.

2- I’ve followed the instructions for installation.

3-  Step 3 was a little confusing:

Step 3. Right click on the CHM file (it’ll look like all other HTML help icons), go to Properties and make sure the box for Block is unchecked.

4- Here’s a screenshot

5- So clicking on properties brings up this:

In Windows 7 there is no box to check or uncheck.  Rather, there’s a box to click and then one has to click ‘apply’ on the bottom right.  If one looks for a box with or without a checkmark in it one may well end in despair and insanity.

Other users of BibleWorks using Windows 7 may want to take note.  Just FYI.

Don’t Conflicting Scholarly Opinions Confuse the Laity?

Bishop Hugo of Constance asked Huldrych Zwingli that question in May of 1522, expressing (feigned) concern for the laity in face of Zwingli’s reformatory innovations.  Here it is in the Bishop’s own words-

To what opinion meanwhile is the simple-minded people [simplex populus] to attach itself?  What shall it embrace?  What approve?  What shall it do?  Whither turn?

A fair enough question which Zwingli answers (along with 68 others) in his brilliantly delightful Archeteles, published just past mid-August of the same year.  Here’s his reply-

The common people, endowed with the harmlessness of the dove, will yield to the Gospel alone, and the less vitiated with the dregs of human conditions, the more capable they are of receiving heavenly teachings, to which they flee for refuge in confidence as to a sacred anchor.

Zwingli was absolutely convinced that if the people (the simplex populus) were given the true Gospel they wouldn’t be confused at all but would find surety and refuge in it.  The traditions of the Church can never be such a refuge.

How Late Do People Sleep in Over in Grand Rapids????

I’ve been up since 4, eagerly awaiting the big news from Eerdmans about who won the photo contest!  It’s 8:25 over here in the Eastern zone.  Why aren’t they up yet in Grand Rapids?  I’ve been at it for 4.5 hours already!!!!

Come on, y’all, get up!


(And Please, PLEASE, don’t let Joel or Doug win….  PLEASE!)

UPDATE:  I lost… not even in the top 20.  How bumming is that…  but at least Doug came in second, so good for him)…