Daily Archives: 15 Sep 2011

Fun Facts From Church History

Heinrich Bullinger established the first ‘School of Theology’ in Switzerland- 2 years before Zwingli founded the Prophezei in Zurich and 40 years before Calvin established his famous ‘Academy’ in Geneva.

Theology for all Conference: Sponsored by Tyndale House

Peter Williams mentioned this on the FB and I thought I’d mention it here as well.


Date: Saturday 29th October 2011
Time: 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Venue: Eden Baptist Church, Cambridge
Speaker: Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali
Cost: £25 standard ticket or ** £20 if you book before 30th September **
£15 TFA members/concessions

Bishop Michael will speak on the person and work of Christ in a plural world, with some discussion of how his uniqueness relates to cultures and to people of other faiths and its importance for Christian mission.

If you would like to attend, please fill in and return a booking form along with the conference fee.

The Long View…

It’s Thursday and rather than posting the 7 day stats (from the only legitimate stat source, Alexa) I thought I’d take the long view and mention the 3 month stats (but, truth told, this is necessary because Alexa doesn’t list 7 day stats for any site with a greater than a top  100,000 ranking and since all the rest are well over 100,000 it would look stupid just to list mine…)

So how do the more significant of the bibliobloggers rank for the last 3 months?

Jim West – 76,040
Joel Watts – 109,192
Scott Bailey – 283,534
Robert Cargill – 745,961
Mark Goodacre – 1,147,881
Chris Tilling – 2,427,182
Jim Linville – 2,769,546
Mark Stevens – 2,945,743

Check your own 3 month stats at Alexa.com. And feel free to let me know if you want to (and remember, lower is better. Google is 1, Facebook is 2, etc. which is to say, I’m closer to Google than Joel is to me. Now how’s that for a fun fact!).

Oh ok, I know you want it- so here it is:

On Publishers and Exorbitant Profits

Martin Luther writes, concerning exorbitant profits made by some publishers-

“God blesses a moderate and just profit, but a wicked and intolerable profit is cursed. It was so with Melchior Lotther, who got a very large return from his books; every penny earned a penny. At first the profits were so very large that Hans Grünenberg had conscientious scruples and said, ‘Dear Doctor, the yield is too great; I don’t like to have such books.’ He was a godly man and was blessed. But Lotther is now cursed for a second time on account of his unspeakable profit.” – Luther’s Table TalkPrinters and Their Profits from Books, Between January 8 and March 23, 1532.

One can only imagine what he would say these days…

Quote of the Hour

“Men will never worship God with a sincere heart, or be roused to fear and obey Him with sufficient zeal, until they properly understand how much they are indebted to His mercy” — John Calvin

David Flusser: It’s the Anniversary of His Birth, and Death

In one of those odd historical flukes, David Flusser (a remarkable scholar) was born on 15 September, 1917, and died 15 September, 2000.  Flusser was that rarest of academics- a Jewish scholar of the New Testament.  Given his background and training, his insights into New Testament literature are grandly eye-opening.  You can take a look at just a few of his major works here.

He even has a Facebook fan page.  You should go now and read something by him.

Atheists are Sexist? Who’s Surprised, Raise Your Hand

Rebecca Watson meant it as a funny story, almost an aside.  In a video blog, the popular skeptic blogger recalled a man following her into an empty elevator and inviting her up to his room
after she spoke about feminism at a European atheist conference last June.

“Guys,” she said with a bit of a laugh, “don’t do that.”

Hers and other atheist/skeptic blogs were soon flooded with comments. Many women told of receiving unwanted sexual advances at freethinker gatherings. Some men, meanwhile, ridiculed Watson as overly sensitive or worse — or threatened her with rape, mutilation and murder.  Before she knew it, Watson, 30, was subsumed by what everyone now calls “Elevatorgate.” And when best-selling atheist author Richard Dawkins chimed in, the incident went nuclear.

“Stop whining, will you,” Dawkins wrote in one of three comments on Pharyngula, a popular freethinker blog, comparing her experience to that of a fictional Muslim woman who had been beaten by her husband and genitally mutilated. “For goodness’ sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.”

Dawkins telling people to stop whining is like Al Gore telling people to buy Hummers.  But the fact that atheists are sexist isn’t surprising.  Given the fact that they think they are descended from apes, they owe it to themselves to behave like animals.  But that they act like dogs – well that’s just unfortunate.

Quote of the Day

Dr. George Cross, a former president of the University of Oklahoma, said, “The reason universities are called storehouses of knowledge is that the freshmen bring so much of it to the campus and the seniors take so little of it away.” — Hershel Hobbs

Western Seminary Is Giving It Away

It being a copy of BibleWorks 9. You should enter. You’ve got nothing to lose and something useful to gain.

(And no, before you ask, the Seminary wasn’t named after me. Though it should have been).

West-urn became West-ern became Western.

Connect with us on Facebook/Twitter to enter to win Bibleworks 9! Western Seminary will be giving away one free copy of Bibleworks 9! How do you enter? Simple. (1) If you are on Facebook connect to us here. (2) If you are on Twitter follow us here. If you are connected to us through one or both of these already then you’re already entered! The contest will end the morning of October 14th and we will choose one winner that afternoon. This contest is not open to the staff or faculty of Western Seminary. … Read More

via The Western Seminary Blog

Conference Announcement: Beyond Old and New Perspectives on Paul

A very exciting conference is coming and Chris Tilling has the info (or as the kids say, the 411) :

I am very excited to announce a conference on Douglas Campbell’s brilliant and controversial book, The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul.  It will take place at King’s College, London, on the 16th-17th December, 2011.  Please click http://beyond-old-and-new.blogspot.com/ for more details.

If you’re in London, go!

Can Divorced Men Be Pastors?

Joe Lunceford from Georgetown College has some thoughts on the subject and he’s written them up for Bible and Interpretation.  If the question is an important one to you, do  read it.

As with every such issue I don’t think there’s one answer.  If a pastor is divorced because his wife ran off with the milkman that’s one thing but if the Pastor is a serial marry-er than he clearly has no business being in the ministry at all.

Context is everything.

Eric Cline: On Quests for Arks

From the BAR newsletter (yes, I get the newsletter…)

Dr. Cline’s illustrated lecture “The Search for the Arks (Noah’s and of the Covenant): Fruitful Quests or Fruitless Forays?” during the ASOR/BAS Seminar on Biblical Archaeology in Orlando, Florida, will use material from his book that was awarded the BAS 2009 prize for Best Popular Book on Archaeology (From Eden to Exile: Unraveling Mysteries of the Bible [National Geographic Books, 2007]). Dr. Cline will examine several examples of such searches, while at the same time using the tools of his trade to lay out each mystery, evaluate all available evidence–from established fact to arguable assumption to far-fetched leap of faith–and propose possible explanations that reconcile scripture, science and history.

If I didn’t have such high esteem and unwavering respect for Eric I wouldn’t mention it.  But I have because Eric is a genius and wherever he appears, he should have a hearing.

More Rabbinic Misconduct

A New York City rabbi who was fired as a Correction Department chaplain for arranging a lavish jailhouse bar mitzvah has been charged with stealing more than $220,000 in federal housing subsidies.  Rabbi Leib Glanz and his brother Menashe Glanz were charged in Manhattan federal court Wednesday with theft and conspiracy for allegedly stealing Section 8 rent subsidies over 15 years.  They were released on $50,000 bond each and declined to comment.  Prosecutors said Menashe Glanz filed false documents to get subsidies for an apartment that his brother lived in.

Clergy should be above reproach, fair in their dealings, and honest in business as well, of course, as ethical and moral.  Rabbi Glanz needs to re-read Micah 6.

Sometimes I Hate Facebook

Especially when they put ads like this on the page to greet me in the morning…

Just because I’m 51 doesn’t mean I’m all decrepit.

ASOR Award Nominations

From Louise H.

Dear Colleagues,

Every year ASOR gives out a number of honors and awards. The names and descriptions of the awards are listed below.

The deadline for nominations by ASOR members has been extended until September 30.

To nominate someone or to nominate yourself, please send a word or .pdf document by email to Kelley Herlihy at asorad@bu.edu with your contact information, the name of your nominee, the award they should be considered for, and a statement as to why your nominee should be given the award. It is important to provide enough detail about your nominee in a clear, but succinct statement.

Many thanks,

A/Prof. Louise Hitchcock
ASOR Awards Committee Chair

Descriptions of the ASOR Honors and Awards

The Richard J. Scheuer Medal: This is the most prestigious award which honors an individual who has provided truly outstanding, long term support and service contributions to ASOR. (given only as appropriate)

The Charles U. Harris Service Award. This award is given in recognition of long term and/or special service as an ASOR officer or Trustee. (one annual award)

The P. E. MacAllister Field Archaeology Award. This award honors an archaeologist who, during his/her career, has made outstanding contributions to ancient Near Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean archaeology. (one annual award)

The G. Ernest Wright Award. This award is given to the editor/author of the most substantial volume(s) dealing with archaeological material, excavation reports and material culture from the ancient Near East and eastern Mediterranean. This work must be the result of original research published within the past two years. (one annual award)

The Frank Moore Cross Award. This award is presented to the editor/author of the most substantial volume(s) related to ancient Near Eastern and eastern Mediterranean epigraphy, text and/or tradition. This work must be the result of original research published during the past two years. (one annual award)

The W. F. Albright Award. This award honors an individual who has shown special support or made outstanding service contributions to one of the overseas centers ACOR, AIAR, CAARI, or to one of the overseas committees – the Baghdad committee and the Damascus committee. (given as appropriate)

ASOR Membership Service Award. This award recognizes individuals who have made special contributions on behalf of the ASOR membership, through committee, editorial, or office services. (maximum three annual awards)

Dr. Louise A. Hitchcock
Associate Professor of Aegean Bronze Age Archaeology
Classics and Archaeology Program
Room 127, The Old Quadrangle
School of Historical and Philosophical Studies
The University of Melbourne
Parkville, Vic 3010 AUS

Email: lahi@unimelb.edu.au

NEH Fellow
Albright Institute of Archaeological Research
26 Salah ed-Din Street, P.O. Box 19096
91190 Jerusalem, IL.

Verse of the Day

מִשְּׁמוּעָ֣ה רָ֭עָה לֹ֣א יִירָ֑א נָכ֥וֹן לִ֜בּ֗וֹ בָּטֻ֥חַ בַּיהוָֽה׃ (Psa 112:7)

Archaeology and History of the Land of Israel

The new project of Tel Aviv University now has a facebook page.  You should go over and like it!   It’s a remarkably important project, more about which you can learn here.  The University also offers a Masters Degree in archaeology.

Kirche, Theologie und Politik im reformierten Protestantismus

A new volume worthy of your consideration-

Die auf der 8. Emder Tagung zur Geschichte des reformierten Protestantismus gehaltenen Vorträge wenden sich dem Thema “Kirche, Theologie und Politik im reformierten Protestantismus” zu. Beleuchtet werden u.a. Zwingli als politischer Theologe (U. Gäbler), die Politik des Berliner reformierten Hofes im 18. Jahrhundert (V. Albrecht-Birkner), die Rolle reformierter Kirchen im Ost-West-Konflikt (K. Kunter) und die Frage nach einer reformierten Nähe zur Theokratie (M. Hofheinz). Erwägungen zur politischen Verantwortung der Kirche (N. Schneider) runden den Band ab.

The Church in Switzerland is Growing…

Only it’s not the Catholic or Reformed branches that are flourishing, it’s the ‘Free Churches‘ (non affiliated with the State- Churches like Baptist and Church of God and others).  Why?  According to the report,

Free Churches are small and their members actually attend each week.  Membership averages around 72 whereas Catholic Church membership is an average of 1750 and Reformed over 2200.  Furthermore, Free Churches are more evangelistic.  Their members invite people to join them at worship.

Free Churches in Switzerland have hit on the very simple key to Church growth: small communities where everyone knows everyone and everyone invites friends and neighbors and co-workers to attend with them.  Personal participation and involvement isn’t everything- it’s the only thing.  Churches that want to grow need members who invite others.  A fine lesson taught us by our Swiss brothers.

If Greece Had Embraced The Reformation…

It wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in.  As the Editor of Die Zeit remarks, the northern Europeans (Scandinavians, Germans, Dutch) have stable economies while the southern Europeans (Portugal, Spain, Greece, Italy)(or as they are known, PIGS) don’t.  The northerners are Protestants and the Southerners not.

So, I conclude, if the southerners had embraced the Reformation, they would have a frugal work ethic and wouldn’t live their Club Med lifestyle funded by borrowing and begging.

So, there you go, Protestants are better than Catholics in yet another arena: finances.