More Student Depravity…

From the ‘stupid things students write’ files- this gem from Phil Long-

Student paper: “I take the Scripture more literally. Perhaps this is because I am not on Wright’s level intellectually.”


Chris Tilling Should Never Blog after Midnight…


Chris Tilling on Halloween

Here’s the proof: he’s ‘celebrating’ the life of the perverter of the truth, that vile and filthy miscreant who rightly died alone and broken in a hovel of a village after having been shown the door out of Zurich for his wicked deceptions, Konrad Hoffmann.

[Hey wait a second… that’s not Hoffmann in that photo!]  Oh, Tilling will suffer for this.  Suffer Servetus style!

Mauro Pesce- Encounters with Jesus: The Man in His Time and Place

Mauro Pesce’s historical Jesus volume has finally appeared in English after much too long a wait.  Encounters with Jesus: The Man in His Time and Place is now announced in English translation by Fortress Press.

What was there in Jesus’ person, behavior, and words that prompted not only much enthusiasm but also much hostility? This compelling portrait of the man Jesus of Nazareth by two pioneers of the anthropological study of early Christianity answers this vital question. They bring the fruit of years of scholarship to bear on a radical figure in Roman Galilee and on his encounters with others and the movement those encounters inspired. They give close attention to the everyday realities that shaped those encounters: the facts of travel, common meals, domestic space, and the interactions of bodies. The result is a refreshing new look at the man who proved so significant-and so controversial-in Western culture.

You can read the contents, intro, and first chapter online here-

Chapter 1

What a boon to Historical Jesus studies!

Corporations Aren’t Paying Their Fair Share…

And neither are welfare recipients.  And yet our society focuses on the large corporations and their lack of payments while ignoring the very real fact that a large number of welfare recipients (even more than corporations) make no viable or meaningful contribution to society at all.

Yet persons on welfare receive all of the benefits of life in society: police and fire protection, education for themselves and their children; food and other monetary assistance.  They are as safe as anyone else (unless they place themselves in harms way, like anyone else) thanks to our military.  In short, they reap the benefits of taxation without themselves suffering its pain.

How is it different, then, when corporations or individuals refuse to pull their own weight  and why do we, as a society, demonize corporations (which do at least contribute employment if nothing else) whilst turning a blind and indifferent eye to those whose very lives are not in any way contributing to the betterment of the world?

Does it just boil down to envy?  Are we envious of corporate profits and not of welfare income?  Is that why corporations take the brunt of our disgust?

In my opinion every segment of society should contribute to society.  Corporations and people, so that those genuinely and authentically in need can be assisted and those able to contribute but who are simply unwilling to do so should be left to the side to find themselves goaded into honest work by the pangs in their bellies.

Harsh?  No.  What’s harsh is being a burden to others when one needn’t be.  That’s not only harsh, it’s completely and utterly, cravenly and wickedly selfish.

News From the Enoch Seminar

From Gabriele Boccaccini

We are happy to announce the launch of a new series of small seminars (maximum 35 participants) in addition to the traditional Enoch Seminars. Thanks to the generous contribution of the Alessandro Nangeroni International Endowment, we are able to host these meetings at the beautiful Villa Cagnola in Gazzada, Milan, Italy, where the last Enoch Seminar was so successfully held.

Professor Lester Grabbe has graciously agreed to chair this first Nangeroni Meeting toward the end of June 2012 (June 25-28), with the theme: “The Seleucid and Hasmonean Periods and the Apocalyptic Worldview”. (See the attached information sheet for details)

The aim of the 2012 conference is to give a historical and sociological analysis of apocalyptic literature and perspective during the Seleucid and Hasmonean periods (c. 200-63 BCE). As usual, all papers will circulate in advance and will not be read by the writers. The time given will be devoted primarily to discussion. The main speakers at this moment, in addition to the chairs Lester Grabbe and Gabriele Boccaccini, include Pierluigi Piovanelli, Philip Davies, Anathea Portier-Young, and we hope Michael Stone, while Erich Gruen has agreed to be an overall respondent.

As these meetings are strictly limited to a maximum of 35 participants including speakers), we invite all who are interested to contact the chair Professor Lester Grabbe ( and the secretary Jason Zurawski ( as soon as possible, at the latest by December 15, 2011.

As usual for the Enoch Seminar, we also invite people to submit short papers related to the theme. 6 of the papers will be presented in 2 dedicated sessions at the conference.

As with the regular Enoch Seminars, expenses will be subsidized for speakers and all participants, on a sliding scale as indicated in the attached information sheet. The proceedings of the conference will be published in a special volume of the Journal Henoch.

For more information, see at the page “Nangeroni Meetings”

Texas: We Should Have Let Mexico Keep It

Has anything good ever come from there?  NPR reports

Hillary Adams, who videotaped her father beating her in 2004 and released it to the world last week because she believes he should not be serving as a judge in Texas, said this morning that such punishments happened regularly and that she believes her father “needs help and rehabilitation.”  For his part, Judge William Adams says that “in my mind I haven’t done anything wrong. … She wasn’t hurt, it was a long time ago” and she was just “being disciplined.”

Isn’t it just priceless and precious how evil always finds a way to excuse itself?

The video, which has been viewed nearly 2 million times since now-23-year-old Hillary Adams put it on YouTube last week, will be difficult for many to watch. William Adams, angry about his then-teenage daughter’s downloading of files from the Internet, uses a belt to beat her legs and backside. He shouts and swears. Hillary screams and cries. So we caution those who might not want to see it to think first before clicking on this link.

In Which Eisenbrauns Prepares for SBL

James Spinti has a brief point linking to a post describing and photographically documenting Eisenbrauns SBL prep.

He also says something about some entity called AAR but I’m not familiar with that cult…  It’s probably a bunch of long-haired hippy weirdos wearing dirty clothes and sporting straggly beards and avoiding showers for weeks on end.   Ick.  I sure hope I don’t see any of that sort in Frisco.

Mapping The Violence of the ‘Occupy’ Movement

This should open your eyes:

Click on the link above, and then scroll down the left hand column to read news reports of violence perpetrated by ‘Occupy’ protesters.  There are a lot, so it will take you more than a minute.   It seems clear to me that the movement should be renamed the ‘Anarchy’ movement and the participants committing crimes ‘Anarchist Vandals’.

With thanks to Doug Iverson for pointing it out on FB.

What Shall We Say? Evil, Suffering and The Crisis of Faith

That’s the title of a brand new book by Thomas G. Long which the good people at Eerdman’s have sent along for perusal and review in an advance uncorrected proof.

Tsunamis, earthquakes, famines, diseases, wars — these and other devastating catastrophes lead Christians to ask painful questions. Is God all-powerful? Is God good? If so, how can God allow so much human suffering?  These questions, taken together, have been called the “theodicy problem,” and in this book Thomas Long explores what preachers can and should say in response. Long reviews the origins and history of the theodicy problem and engages the work of other thinkers who have posed solutions to it. Cautioning pastors not to ignore urgent theodicy-related questions arising from their parishioners, he offers biblically based approaches to preaching on theodicy, guided by Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the tares and the “greatest theodicy text in Scripture” — the book of Job.

Chapters include the following:

1. The Shaking of the Foundations
2. The Impossible Chess Match
3. Road Hazards
4. Fellow Pilgrims
INTERLUDE- Howl: Job and the Whirlwind
5. Walking Through the Valley of the Shadow, and; Coda: Pilgrim’s Progress


As has now become customary for me- I’ll review each chapter and when done I’ll upload them, make the link live, and reset the timestamp.

I’m keen to get started, so off I go.

Israel Wishes the Palestinians Dead

And they don’t care how it happens.  War, starvation, deprivation, or whatever it takes.  That’s how it looks from here because Israel is simply strangling the life out of those people.  Shoving them out of their homes, making their lives incredibly difficult.  Dividing families with their idiotic racist wall.  And now withholding money that the Palestinians need to survive.

Israel has carried out its threat to suspend transfer of tax payments totaling some $100 million to the Palestinians Authority to protest this week’s admission of Palestine to the United Nations’ cultural agency, officials on both sides said Thursday.  The Palestinian bid to join the agency, UNESCO, is part of a broader campaign to win U.N. recognition of an independent state of Palestine, in defiance of U.S. and Israeli opposition. UNESCO’s acceptance of Palestine as a member on Monday buoyed the Palestinians but infuriated Israel because it endowed the Palestinians with greater international legitimacy.  Israel later said it would punitively suspend the monthly transfer of roughly $100 million in customs, border and some income taxes that it collects each month on behalf of the Palestinians and relays to their government in the West Bank.

Or in short- do what we tell you to do, like it, shut up about it, or we will make your lives a living hell.  No wonder the Palestinians hurl rocks and rockets.  Wouldn’t you?  It is outrageous that Israel continues to be allowed, by the international community, to do these things.  Outrageous and a partnership of evil.

‘The people of God’?  Hardly.  God’s people don’t act like that towards other human beings.

And Now Most Americans No Longer Support ‘Occupy’

A new poll from Quinnipiac University finds that more Americans view the Occupy Wall Street protests unfavorably than positively.  Just 30 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the protests, while 39 percent do not. Among independent voters, the spread is 29-42 against — a warning sign for Democrats who are trying to bring the movement into the mainstream.

But most interesting to me-

Support for the Occupy Wall Street movement appears to fall along one cultural line — college graduates have positive views of the movement almost as much as they have negative views, by a 38-42 margin. Among those without a college degree, 26 percent support the movement, while 37 percent oppose.

Did you catch that?  42% of people with college degrees have a negative view of the Occupy movement and 38% have a positive view.  Clearly-thinking people see it for what it is: greed protesting greed.

More Occupy-ified Wickedness

Things were worse in Oakland than previously believed.

A day of demonstrations in Oakland that began as a significant step toward expanding the political and economic influence of the Occupy Wall Street movement, ended with police in riot gear arresting dozens of protesters who had marched through downtown to break into a vacant building, shattering windows, spraying graffiti and setting fires along the way.

So that’s what it’s all about is it?  I can hear folk now- ‘you can’t tar and feather an entire movement for the bad deeds of a few’ and that’s true enough.  But those who have acted violently and vindictively, wantonly destroying the property of others do deserve to be tarred and feathered and just as the entire Church gets a bloody nose when some reprobate Pastor is arrested for carnal misdeeds, so to does the entire occupy movement when its members act anarchically.

And this violence isn’t restricted to Oakland.  Other such deeds have been enacted by ‘Occupiers’.  So there’s something within the movement itself that needs to be questioned.

Namely, why do those who are taking part believe their rights extend past their own noses?  Who are they to interrupt the lives of others or destroy the belongings of others.  By doing so they are simply demonstrating themselves to be utterly self-involved with no concern for anyone but self.

And in theological circles we call that total depravity’s clearest manifestation.

Occupy Oakland Occupies Wickedness

So you’re a dock worker in Oakland and you need to work to feed your family.  You get to your job and all of a sudden a mob of folks who don’t care whether you feed your family or not show up and shut down you workplace…  because, they suggest, big business is making America a place of haves and have nots.

Blatantly blind, those occupiers can’t comprehend the fact that by making it impossible for you to do your job, they are trying to transfer you to the have not category while they cry out they want themselves to be haves…

You occupy people- you’re wicked.  You aren’t hurting Wall Street or big corporate America, you’re hurting regular folk trying to make a regular living when you shut down businesses or smash windows or burn buildings or throw stones.

I don’t get you.  I think you’re perversions are clear to everyone but yourselves.  And the belief some of you hold that you’re doing God’s work is so absurd as to defy sense.  If you were doing God’s work you would yourselves help the poor instead of expecting giant corporations to share their profits with you.

Stop holding your hands out wanting something for nothing.  Instead, fill your own hands with your own abundance and give it to those affected by inequity.  Then you’ll be doing God’s work and you won’t be hindering honest people trying to do an honest day’s work.