Daily Archives: 5 Dec 2011

Why Not…

via Christian Salafia on the twitter

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa

And his name is Jim and he’s giving away a copy of the Common English Bible every Thursday through January.  This week’s winner will be announced Thursday so there’s still time for you to raise your hand and say why you’d like a copy.

The Devestating Consequences of Impiety

According to Matt Boulton in his new (and excitingly good) book on Calvin, the consequences of human impiety are that mankind is

… too faithless to believe, too dull to notice, too ignorant to care, and too forgetful to follow the restorative way of life God sets before us every day (p.65).


Twitter Spammers Are the Dumbest

The web is awash with spam (and I’m not talking about the Borg Blog run by Joel and Jeremy and Rod). But the worst of the worst of the spammers aren’t the dim emailers or the ridiculous facebookers, it’s the absurd twitter-ers.

Holy crap?  Really cosmetically enhanced spammer Ashleigh?  Is there anyone on the planet stupid enough to care that you’re being ‘stalked’ and equally stupid enough to click your link?  Come on twitter spammers, you’re going to have to do better than that.

If you really want my attention you need to include some clever Latin phrase from Calvin or some nifty exegetical blurb.  Your strumpetish tarts parading their ta-ta’s may catch Chris Tilling’s eye but I’m a long time happily married man and better than you have tried your vixenish wiles.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Quote of the Day

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. — Dorothy King

Another Pedophile Coach

He’s not as famous as Sandusky but he’s equally contemptible-

Former Alcoa High School teacher and softball coach Robert Paul Talley was arrested Monday on nine charges of inappropriate relations with students.

A Blount County grand jury heard the case Monday against Talley, 40 of Westport Road in Concord, and returned indictments against him.

Talley turned himself in to Alcoa police on five counts of statutory rape, two counts of sexual battery and two counts of solicitation of a minor for sexual battery.

Director of Schools Dr. Brian Bell contacted authorities on October 26 about allegations against Talley.

Police say Talley is suspected of having sex with one female student and attempting to make sexual contact with another female student. The incidents allegedly occurred over more than a school year.

Wouldn’t it be better if these pedophiles took Jesus seriously and if led to sin via their members they ‘cut them off’ rather than to enter into hell with them intact?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Late Iron Age Judean Cooking Pots with Impressed Handles: A New Class of Stamped Impressions from the Kingdom of Judah

Via the inestimable Aren Maeir mention of an essay in the Eshel Festschrift-

Shai, I., Ben-Shlomo, D., and Maeir, A. M. 2011. Late Iron Age Judean Cooking Pots with Impressed Handles: A New Class of Stamped Impressions from the Kingdom of Judah. Pp. 225-244 in ‘Go Out and Study the Land’ (Judges 18:2): Archaeological, Historical and Textual Studies in Honor of Hanan Eshel, eds. A. M. Maeir, J. Magness and L. H. Schiffman. Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 148. Leiden: Brill.

In this study, we discuss a hitherto unnoticed class of impressed cooking pots from late Iron Age Judah, that along with several other recent studies on similar phenomena (by the authors and others), point to some of the less-known bureaucratic and economic frameworks in this period – and show us how much we still have to learn about a period that is so extensively researched and discussed.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Answering Your Letters

Dear Jim,

I saw a blogpost by another blogger which recommended a version of the bible.  But I happen to know that this blogger doesn’t read Hebrew or Greek.  Do you think I should take his advice?


Hello Manny (if I may),

That question doesn’t really require a lengthy answer.  No.  Persons may well tell you what version they enjoy or they might suggest that they are helped by this or that translation but without being familiar with the biblical languages such recommendations are utterly meaningless.  Such is akin to a person recommending a plate at a restaurant that they’ve never tasted.  ‘Oh yes, have the Veal’  ‘Have you had the Veal yourself?’  ‘No, but I hear it’s great!’…

When someone bereft of first hand knowledge of biblical texts recommends a version, take said advice with a HUGE grain of salt because they really don’t know if the translation they are commending to you is accurate or not (unless they’ve been told so by persons who do actually know).

I hope this helps (and doesn’t sound too mean.  Sometimes I’m wrongly accused of being mean and my directness is taken for rudeness but I’m as warm and fuzzy as a kitty).

Enhanced by Zemanta

The 21st Century Version of Johannes Tetzel: Benedict XVI


In recent months, dioceses around the world have been offering Catholics a spiritual benefit that fell out of favor decades ago — the indulgence, a sort of amnesty from punishment in the afterlife — and reminding them of the church’s clout in mitigating the wages of sin.

The fact that many Catholics under 50 have never sought one, and never heard of indulgences except in high school European history (Martin Luther denounced the selling of them in 1517 while igniting the Protestant Reformation), simply makes their reintroduction more urgent among church leaders bent on restoring fading traditions of penance in what they see as a self-satisfied world.

“Why are we bringing it back?” asked Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of Brooklyn, who has embraced the move. “Because there is sin in the world.”

Guess what Catholic friends, it was wrong in the 16th century and it’s just as wrong now.  (Just like it was 3 months ago when the story first surfaced).

Enhanced by Zemanta

Remembering Wolfgang Mozart

Mozart died 5 Dec., 1791.  His last completed work is this Clarinet Concerto.  It’s magnificent.  Enjoy.

The Names of God in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

In the world of biblical scholarship there are scholars worthy of the name, authentic intellectual diamonds; and there are ‘scholars’ who are- to be polite- cubic zirconium.   Máire Byrne fits into the first category and her recent book will prove that to all its readers.  The Names of God in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam arrived today courtesy the good folk at Continuum and I’m already certain of one thing- it’s brilliant. I can say that before I’ve read it because Máire delivered a paper based on it at the SOTS Winter Meeting in Durham last year.

Her paper was brilliant and if the fruit is brilliant that can only mean that the tree from which it springs is similarly attired.

Nevertheless I’ll go through it with a fine tooth comb and I’ll even be uncharacteristically ruthless and unforgiving of every slip and typo. It’s worth the time.  When the review is done I’ll post it here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Problem With Wikipedia- Visualized

This is absolutely amazing. We know that Wikipedia gets additions, edits, and deletions all of the time, but without a visualization we just have to assume that’s the case.

With Wikistream, we can see exactly what’s happening on Wikipedia in real-time. The background image on the page updates randomly, and sometimes the stream goes so fast it’s impossible to even see what’s going on.

You don’t really have an idea of how much content gets tweaked on Wikipedia globally until you see this stream. Every type of topic you can imagine has dedicated people adding, removing, and deleting information every nanosecond.

Why’s this matter?  Because it illustrates the fact that no matter how diligent you might be in ensuring that the entry on ‘Q’, for example, is accurate- there’s just no way that you can keep up with all of the edits that may be happening while you step away to catch a drink of water.

Wikipedia is unreliable precisely because it’s uncontrollable.  And uncontrolled facts are eventually no facts at all.  Wikipedia is the haunts of dilettantes.  And if you don’t believe that, read the essay below under ‘related articles’.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Mauro Pesce’s Latest Volume: Da Gesù al cristianesimo

Tight on the heels of his stunning Encounters With Jesus, a new volume by Mauro Pesce has appeared- Da Gesù al cristianesimo.

Chiedersi che cosa fosse Gesù di Nazareth non per noi ma per i suoi contemporanei: questo è ciò che distingue il libro di Mauro Pesce – Da Gesù al cristianesimo (Morcelliana) – dalla immensa foresta di libri su Gesù che cresce ogni giorno. E la via che l’autorevole storico del Cristianesimo dell’Università di Bologna ci propone è quella di una ricerca filologica e storica sui significati delle parole di Gesù in quei due primi secoli dell’era volgare in cui furono la fede di una setta ebraica: il che non può che risvegliare la curiosità di coloro che hanno incontrato quelle stesse parole trasformate in istituzioni e pratiche sociali nelle epoche successive delle società cristiane.

It looks impressively intriguing.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The ‘Study of the Old Testament in the New’ Conference – 2012

2012 OT Seminar

English: Tithe Barn, Hawarden Tithe barn adjac...

Rates- En-suite Room (2 nights) – £155.00 per person.
Standard Room (2 nights)(Max 5 available) – £135.00 per person.

Price includes dinner, bed & breakfast (2 nights) plus lunch, morning & afternoon tea/coffee & cake. A £35.00 non-refundable deposit per person is required when booking.

The Conference takes place at Hawarden at the Gladstone’s Library March 29-31, 2012.  You can download the booking form here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wayne ‘Lovest’ To Write About his Visits to Israel

The Jerusalem Post informs us that

Wayne stiles is an author who has never recovered from his travels in Israel and lovest to write about them from his desk in Texas.

Interesting. He’s never recovered from his travels in Israel and lovest to write of them… And write of them he does-eth in this instance he does-eth write of-eth Nazareth Village-eth.

I entered the tourist site with a heavy dose of skepticism. After all, my passion for coming to Israel and helping to lead tours is to show the inseparable connection between history and faith. We go to ancient sites to connect them with biblical events. We tend to avoid tourist traps.

But of course. After all, one visits Israel not to learn- but to reinforce prejudices and preconceptions.   And going to a site devoted to reconstructing life in the first century can’t possible be informative or relevant for the learning experience…  I want to go on a Wayne tour so that I too can never recover from my travels.

[Ok so that’s all a tad snarky.  But it’s because I just can’t abide the sort of ‘we want to go so we can prove what we already know’ pseudo-scholarly dilettantism.  But he’s from Texas… so one can’t really expect something else.]

Enhanced by Zemanta

That Oddly Uncomfortable Sandusky Interview

If you watched, or watch, the interview in which Sandusky’s lawyer has to rush to his rescue because he sounds for all the world like a complete pedophile (probably because he is) then you know what I mean when I describe it as oddly uncomfortable.

“The way he helps himself is by communicating in the way that predatory sex offenders relate their crimes, through cognitive distortion. A way a defender relates about his actions to another that sounds convincing but denies, justifies, rationalizes and minimalizes in such a way to say, ‘nothing to see here, move on,'” said Dr. Michael Welner, an ABC News consultant and a forensic psychiatrist.


In the Times interview, Sandusky discussed the question he answered in a phone interview with NBC’s Bob Costas about whether he was sexually attracted to underage boys.

“I was sitting there like, ‘what in the world is this question?’ am I going to be, if I say, ‘no I’m not attracted to boys,’ that’s not the truth because I’m attracted to young people — boys, girls,” he said.

This time, his attorney, who was sitting off-camera, had to clarify Sandusky’s statement: “Yeah but not sexually, you’re attracted to them as in you like spending time with them,” Joseph Amandola said.

“Right, I enjoy, that’s what I’m trying to clarify, I enjoy spending time with young people. I enjoy spending time with people. I mean, my two favorite groups are the elderly and the young,” he said. “The young because they don’t think about what they say and the old because they don’t care, you know?”

The pervert admits he’s attracted to boys (and hastily adds, as an afterthought, girls) and then his lawyer has to help him clarify because it sounds like Sandusky is admitting he’s a perv.  Which he self evidently is.  Go watch the creepiness.  I’m sure the prosecutor has and will play it for the jury.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Full Text of Zwingli’s Letter of 5 December, 1518 Describing his Affair With the Einsiedeln Strumpet

From Zwinglis Werke, Bd. VII, S. 110ff.

Ad Henricum Utingerum apologia Zinlii.

Scripsit ad nos amicorum nostrorum quidam doctissimus et amicissimus, Henrice charissime, famam de nobis apud Tyguros dissipari, potentis cuiusdam apud nos filiam a me stupratam eamque rem (ut non est impar) plurimos offendere amicorum etiam. Cui non potui non respondere calumnię, ne tu, scilicet singularis amicus, sed nec alii falsis rumoribus nostram vitam aversentur. Habenas stilo laxans liberius confidentiusque tecum agam. Principio igitur non te lateat, ab hinc ferme triennium, me in animo proposuisse, mulierem non tangere, quod Paulus bonum dixerit esse mulierem non tangere; id vero parum fęliciter cessit. Nam Claronę dimidium inde annum, Eremi annum, haud diutius, in proposito perstiti, quippe neminem Eremi habens comitem huius instituti, scandalizantes vero non paucos, heu cecidi et factus sum is canis ad vomitum, de quo Petrus apostolus. En cum verecundia (deus novit) magna hęc ex pectoris specubus deprompsi, apud eum scilicet, cum quo etiam coram minus quam cum ullo ferme mortalium commentari vererer.

Quod autem ad stuprum attinet, en nihil moror satisfactionem parare. Potentis aiunt filiam stupratam. Potentis esse filiam non inficior; nam id genus hominum est potens, cui impune vel imperatoris barbam attrectare licet, nempe tonsor. Filia est, nemo negat, nisi forte pater ipse, qui etiam eius coniugem, filię matrem, mulierem fide probitateque conspicuam, adulterii sępe insimulavit, fortiter magis quam vere; sed et filiam istam, de qua sermo, ab hinc prope biennium, ex alimonia sua exclusit, nihil vestium, nihil cibi impertiens. Verum quid ad me, quod talis viri filia? Si virginem addant, hic nobis labor nascitur; verum facillime excutiendus, posteaquam nonnihil vitę nostrę rationem attigerimus.

Ea nobis perpetuo fuit, nec alienum thorum conscendere, quod pallium Esaias dicat brevius, quam duos viros contegere possit, nec virginem vitiare, quod Pauli doctrina religiosum abhorrui, sed nec deo dicatam prophanare, quod sacrilegii loco id vitii habeatur. Testes invoco cunctos, quibuscum vixi. Hęc, inquam, dum aduc loqueremur ut parvuli, sedulo observavimus etiam parvuli. Nunc autem ad ętatem maturiorem ubi ventum est, putas, mi Henrice, (scio autem, te non istius esse animi) adeo nos esse oblitum omnis equi, omnis olim instituti, omnis innocentię, denique veluti asinum iam gravescente ętate in Venerem propensiorem factum, ut, quod olim vitaveramus, nunc nobis asciscamus malum? N

on tam damnosam aleam ludit Zinlius, qui etiam corporis sensuum cum dispendio nocturna versare manu, versare diurna non cessat Gręcorum Latinorumque et philosophos et theologos, qui quidem pertinax labor ęstus illos impudentes vel mitigat, si non extinguit. Adde, quod huius rei tantus nos semper tenuit pudor, ut etiam dum Claronę essemus, si quid peccabamus in hanc partem, tam illud committebamus occulte, ut etiam familiares vix rescirent. Sed age rem ipsam nunc prorsus attingamus, sacra mota (quod dicitur) ancora, minime veriti opinionem vulgi, male ominatum existimantis, si liberius in fęminam inveharis.

Fuit hęc ἡμερινὴ παρθένος νυκτερινὴ γυνή, hoc est diurna virgo, nocturna mulier, neque adeo diurna virgo,–112–ut non universus Eremi populus non nesciret, passimque in eam id vulgi iactaret: quid obest capiti, quod etc. Hec enim unum et alterum experta virum tandem et me passa est; immo, ut vere dicam, vix in hoc traxit blandiciis plus quam blandis, nec, quod ad me spectat, ego ignoravi, eam devirginatam. Nam ille (occultius nunc loqui decet) quem tu insanum futurum iam vaticinatus es, eam stupravit, quę etiam in tonstrina laborem patris levavit, quę levitate apud antiquissimos quoque adeo infamis fuit, ut proverbium iactatum sit: in tonstrina. Cum hoc igitur insano futuro sepe tonstrinam ingressos in nos oculos coniecit, actum est, ut iam uterum ex me ferat, si modo vel hoc certo scire potest.

Hęc, inquam, apud nos summi et infimi decantant, nulli tamen Eremi sunt, qui me stupri vel insimulent. Sed et tota gens puellę non nescit eam stupratam, priusquam ego Eremum migraverim, unde mihi nihil negocii facessitur. Est preterea quendam ex adiutoribus Eremitanis experta, quod non minus vulgatum est. At nec ipsa puella diffitetur. Eam nunc belli isti Zoili virginem resarciunt, solum ut me, alienissimum ab hoc scelere, stupri reum constituant. At forsitan id accidit istis, quod illis, quibus glaucoma in oculis ab obiecto vehementiore aduc sedet, ut omnia, quę vident, flava existiment, nimirum invidia cęci male, immo pessime iudicant pessimi παρθενομέτροι hoc est: virginum metitores. Quod si Tyguri puellis tot viros expertis aduc datur esse virgines, quę tandem dicetur aut nupta aut meretrix? Hęc non modo stuprata, sed ferme spurcata Tyguri si dicatur virgo, quę nec ab amicis, gratiam sane non parvam debebit, quod sibi ad ignoscendum damnum aut delictum tam faciles iudices invenerit; est enim nunc Tyguri partumque prestoletur; at Hercules nos nescimus ubi loci.

Nos tandem statum in hanc sententiam explicuimus: non modo illam aut aliam, sed nullam, quoad viximus, virginem a nobis stupratam; quod autem hęc ex nobis se ventrem ferre adfirmat, non inficiamur; culpam apud Deum Opt. Max. dudum deprecati sumus. Id illi quoque ęqui bonique consulere debebant, memores iustum septies in die cadere atque Petro imperatum septuagies septies ignoscere [cf. Matth. 17. 22]. Qui dum forte ingerent futurum, nos consuetudine teneri, respondeas, nihil in hoc esse periculi – nihil tamen spondeo memor, quod circumdatus sim infirmitate – nunquam enim aureis illis suis Venus vinxit catenis, ut Hephestius ille male celer nos deprehenderit. Quod ad sacerdotium attinet, deum testor ingenue, cederem, si viderem ad illud adspirare viros theologos et non matęologos, aut iure obstreperos magis, quam iuris peritos. Proinde res nostrę bene habent et dominus Geroldzegius magnis nos pollicitationibus oneravit, quibus necdum respondimus; quare non opus habebis nostri gratia aliquibus importunari: nam si Christus per nos blasphemabitur, nihil movebimus.

Nolumus hunc in periculum venire. En apertius loquimur (nam diu scribendo fatigati sumus): si nostra hęc calumnia constanter a Zoilis nostris dispergitur, profecto Tygurini omnes, dum me evangelizantem audirent, hoccine [!] vitio ad maloscogitatus abducerentur, et sic Christus periclitaretur. Ideo consultius esse puto, rem recte expendas, num eius periculum alicubi in vobis versetur, atque deo dein magis pareas quam hominibus [cf. Act. 5. 29]. Quod si subinde dominis placuerit de nobis aliquid, promissis respondebimus haud ut rupta fidelia. Musicum nos esse non nulli sunt causati; nae illi sunt impudentes asini ac alieni prorsus ab omni consideratione; rei familiari hac parte consuluimus. Nam illi mimum aut musicum qum audiunt, stipem depromere coguntur; nos (quod dicitur) intus nobis canimus gratisque audimus iucundam symphoniam. Multa (ut tandem finiam) satis scurriliter effutivimus; sed hoc genus hominum aliter non intelligit.

Quicunque videntur tibi conveniendi convenias, si lubet: nos firmi stamus proposito. Reverendus d. prępositus dudum erat literis compellandus, consulto tamen obmissis. Myconium patere hanc nostram blacterationem rectius quam satisfactionem legere, aut quos placuerit. Tibi scribuntur, tibi stamus et cadimus. Rem tamen omnem, quod ad meam suggestionem attinet, cela! Has alias literas, quibus scriptę sunt, distribuito, precor et nos etiam, si sinistre cesserit, solito amore prosequere, quod invicem nos quoque pręstabimus. Vale meum decus et presidium

Ex Eremo divę Virginis MCCCCCxviij vto [!] Nonas Decembris.
Omnia optimi consule. Saluta d. Engelhart.

For a small excerpt of the text in English which gives the basic gist without all the gory details- see here.