Jona Lendering over De klad in de klassieken

Jona, a long time communicant and participant on the Biblical Studies list and a frequent personal correspondent with yours truly has a new book out that you Dutch reading folk (and those who can manage German well enough to understand the basic thrust of Dutch) will want to read:

De tekst van de Wet op het hoger onderwijs en wetenschappelijk onderzoek laat aan duidelijkheid niets te wensen over. De overdracht van kennis blijft echter ongecontroleerd, zodat veel onjuiste informatie in omloop kan komen. De verspreiding daarvan gaat, met het internet als katalysator, sneller dan ooit en wordt nauwelijks gepareerd. De correcte informatie ligt namelijk achter slot en grendel op wetenschappelijke betaalsites.

Yes, you got the gist if you understand his new volume to be a go at the internet’s role in the dissemination of misinformation – especially in the Classics.   He’s not wrong.  Dilettantism is a curse that doesn’t only afflict the fields of biblical studies and archaeology.  Oh no, it infects every field of study.  Everyone who owns a bible imagines their opinion valid.  And so does everyone who owns a copy of Hesiod.

Then – in the rest of the essay linked to above- Jona is interviewed.  You’ll enjoy it!

Exciting News From the Azekah Archaeological Expedition

Oded Lipschits notes on Facebook that

The Faculty of Theology in Göttingen University (Georg-August-Universität-Göttingen), including its two famous Biblical scholars – Prof. Reinhard Gregor Kratz and Prof. Hermann Spieckermann, just announced that they are joining the Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition.

That’s fantastic. What Kratz and Spieckermann and the rest of the folk at Göttingen ‘bring to the table’ is extraordinary expertise. Congratulations to the Expedition for this excellent addition.

By the way, be sure to check out the Expedition’s FB page at the link above and ‘like it’ if you’re so inclined.

Bitter Truth or Bitter Ex? Did Newt Want an ‘Open Marriage’?

Ok first thought- gross.  Second- nasty.  If true.  Third–  eewwwww….

Newt Gingrich lacks the moral character to serve as President, his second ex-wife Marianne told ABC News, saying his campaign positions on the sanctity of marriage and the importance of family values do not square with what she saw during their 18 years of marriage.  In her first television interview since the 1999 divorce, to be broadcast tonight on Nightline,Marianne Gingrich, a self-described conservative Republican, said she is coming forward now so voters can know what she knows about Gingrich.

In her most provocative comments, the ex-Mrs. Gingrich said Newt sought an “open marriage” arrangement so he could have a mistress and a wife. She said when Gingrich admitted to a six-year affair with a Congressional aide, he asked her if she would share him with the other woman, Callista, who is now married to Gingrich.  “And I just stared at him and he said, ‘Callista doesn’t care what I do,'” Marianne Gingrich told ABC News. “He wanted an open marriage and I refused.”

Marianne described her “shock” at Gingrich’s behavior, including how she says she learned he conducted his affair with Callista “in my bedroom in our apartment in Washington.”  “He always called me at night,” she recalled, “and always ended with ‘I love you.’ Well, she was listening.”  All this happened, she said, during the same time Gingrich condemned President Bill Clinton for his lack of moral leadership.

Newt- if your wife is telling the truth- you’re a disgusting, morally bankrupt, absolutely sickening, mentally disturbed piece of nasty human filth.  Not to mention a raging hypocrite and LIAR.  I wasn’t going to vote for Newt, but now, NO WAY.  He shouldn’t even be allowed in public anymore (if his ex isn’t a big fat liar.  But I have the feeling she’s telling the truth.  Newt’s always been a greasy untrustworthy sort, and his present wife is more than a little skanky).

Gentiles, Jews, Christians

It’s an oldie but a goodie- Hans Conzelmann’s Gentiles, Jews, Christians also arrived today from the nice folk at Fortress.  They did a new edition about a year ago (in January of 2011) shortly after the tragic death of its author.  And while many in the field may be familiar with it already, a new generation of aspiring academics and students of early Christianity need to take notice of it too.  It’s magnificent (and since it has been a long time since I read it, I surely need to take a look again to remember all that it taught me that I’ve forgotten).

The roots of anti–Judaism and Jewish–Christian dialogue are examined in their historical contexts with a wide array of Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian sources. This is Conzelmann’s final academic masterpiece.

The review will be posted here.

A Brief Guide to the Hebrew Bible

Hans Barstad’s new volume has arrived courtesy the good people at Westminster / John Knox.  I’m very intrigued by this one and since Barstad is a first class thinker, I’m confident it will be well worth reading.  The Editorial note says the book is a

… comprehensive, student-friendly introductory textbook outlining the contours of the Old Testament literature in simple and straightforward prose. This text is an excellent primer as well as an invaluable reference book to which students will turn throughout their education.

We shall see.  When it’s reviewed I’ll post it here and the link will go live.  (But surely by now you know that- unless you’re a new visitor, in which case, welcome!)

I’m With You, Anthony

Anthony Bourdain, a New York-based chef and host of the Travel Channel‘s “No Reservations,” took to Twitter Tuesday night to resume his criticism of chef Paula Deen by tweeting, “Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later.”  The comment is presumably another slam against the down-home chef’s decision to become the face of diabetes drug-maker Novo Nordisk.

I’ve watched, horrified, honestly, as Deen prepared her heart stopping artery clogging poisons on GMA and giggled whilst so doing.  What she does is the equivalent of a drug pusher offering pills to folk and snickering out loud while doing it.

I’m sorry Deen has diabetes, and I’m sorrier for the people who’ve used her recipes who have the same disease.

…  [But] this wasn’t Bourdain’s first time criticizing the jovial cooking host. He told TV Guide last year that Deen was the “worst, most dangerous person in America” because of her high-fat cooking. Upon hearing of Deen’s diabetes diagnosis, Bourdain had even more criticism to sling.  “When your signature dish is hamburger in between a doughnut, and you’ve been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you’ve got Type 2 Diabetes. … It’s in bad taste if nothing else,” he told Eater Monday.

And it is.  I’m with you Anthony.  But some folk will do anything for the almighty dollar.

Zwingli, To Vadian, About Emser and Grebel

On 19 January of 1525 Zwingli wrote his friend Vadian

Gratia et pax a domino. Non sinunt, doctissime carissimeque Vadiane, pro siti desiderioque suo currere stilum occupationes; unde per capita singula notabo. Libellus noster contra Emserum a Leone traductus est.

Excudetur intra hebdomadas tręis; bene traductum arbitror; nam locis aliquot obscurioribus me consuluit. Editus est et alius libellus “De seditiosis”, sed Germanice, quem docti per epistolas sic commendant, ut me ipsorum pigeat; nihil enim unquam utilius prodiisse stolidi adseverant. Durius adpello; nam quis tandem est, qui hęc, quę illic tractamus, non videat perpetuo ante oculos fuisse versata? Sed hoc fortasse precium apud illos auget, quod mordax; hoc verum: omnes malumus ab aliis cum periculo dici, quam a nobis. Sunt hi plane in secundo Hesiodi gradu; sed tunc ad primum accedent, qum ea, quę vident vere dici, student opere implere, obstare vitiis, virtutes serere.

Is libellus, quandoquidem nimirum iam ad vos adpulit, nunc non mittitur. Edidit sęnatus noster farraginem quandam rerum iam longo tempore gestarum. Eam itidem mittit vel socer vel amicorum aliquis. Ego exemplaria prorsus nulla habeo amplius. Respondi ego ad furibundorum istorum Helvetiorum obiectiones aliquot, qui mox, ut legerunt, sic sęviunt, ut omnes Cerberos, Euripos, Diomedes et quicquid unquam furiit, superare videantur; nam illi ratione aliqua furiunt modoque; hic modus nullus est, sed fertur barbaries. –

Sebastianus Abtzeller delatus est apud abbatissam, quasi fraude egerit neque tantis opibus polleat, quantis diximus; qua tamen re non usque adeo video reddi anxiam, quam quod mutata sententia nunc vult Tiguri manere, cum antea id sedulo negaverit. Auget suspicionem, quod nunc perhibet se negociatiunculam suam posse adprobe curare, si Tiguri maneat: antea vero id strennue negaverit[!], vereturque dolum subesse, atque ad hoc iam est intenta, quod, si brevi non transmigret ad suos, et sibi et cognatę illusum esse putabit. Tuum erit hęc omnia cęlare, sed hac lege, ut Sebastianus ad vos transmigret.

Facile istuc apud parentem verisimilibus quibusdam efficies; nam pręstat dominam observavisse quam tedio adfecisse. Quę ipsa mecum contulit de hac re, ut iam capis, ea lege contulit, ut nemo sciat pręter nos ambos. Salvos iube omnes fratres; mone insuper, ne de non baptizandis infantibus tragoedias excitent.

Nam nos hesterna die, qua ad obiectionem eorum respondimus, sic de baptismo disscruimus, ut, qui ęquis animis adfuerunt, adserant necessarium esse, ut mundus hanc sententiam de baptismo audiat. Certum est sic disseruisse, quomodo hactenus neminem viderimus. Sed dominus iudicabit [1. Sam. 2. 10]. Senatus super hoc decretum factum est: omnes liberos suos intra octiduum baptizanto, qui tincti non sunt, aut ex urbe imperioque toto migranto. Perstat Conradus Grebelius et pauci alii, hi nullius momenti.

Vale, servetque te dominus incolumem cum uxore et liberis. Wirtembergensem principem, ut nuper feci, commendo. Cesarem facilius est non habere vicinum, quam eum, quem possis superare.

Ex Tiguro 19. Ianuarii MDXXV.
Huldrichus Zuinglius tuus.
Cura perpetuo, quę Iesu Christi sunt.
Ioacimo Vadiano, clarissimo Christi discipulo, medicę autem peritissimo. – Herrn Doctor Vadiano . . .

Following on the heels of the Disputation against the Radicals, it’s no surprise that Zwingli lambasts Emser on the right and Grebel on the left- both of whom had libeled Zwingli and neither of whom he respected, or liked, quite candidly.

It’s ok not to like some people.  Some people (I’m happy to name names) are utterly unlikable, and on their best days thoroughly contemptible.  Let’s not suggest otherwise.  Zwingli knew this.  What’s surprising is that so many pretend that they don’t.  That’s one of the reasons these letters of his are so enjoyable- they’re a breath of fresh, honest air.

Uncomfortable With Evolutionary Theory?

NPR has a pretty interesting essay which asks why.

The evidence is clear, as in a February 2009 Gallup Poll, taken on the eve of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday, that reported only 39 percent of Americans say they “believe in the theory of evolution,” while a quarter say they do not believe in the theory, and another 36 percent don’t have an opinion either way.  The same poll correlated belief in evolution with educational level: 21 percent of people with a high school education or less believed in evolution. That number rose to 41 percent for people with some college attendance, 53 percent for college graduates, and 74 percent for people with a postgraduate education.

Give the whole piece a read.  Personally I just don’t care.  I don’t care about the theory, I think it’s meaningless for life as we live it, and I think it’s one of those stupid subjects that people like to argue about precisely because it doesn’t matter.

Or to put it another way- how does discussing the subject change anything?  It’s just a rubbish subject and it’s impossible for me to care.  Completely impossible (until one of you lot show me the relevance).

There’s a challenge for you- convince me to care.

This Week’s Winner of a Copy of the Common English Bible Is…

Esteban Vazquez!  Congrats, Estee!

I’m giving away ONE MORE COPY– with the winner to be announced next Thursday.  This is your final opportunity to get one of the best, most accurate, and most readable copies of the Bible in English published in the last 20 years.

The Common English Bible is committed to the whole church of Jesus Christ. To achieve this, the CEB represents the work of a diverse team with broad scholarship, including the work of over one hundred and twenty scholars—men and women from twenty-four faith traditions in American, African, Asian, European and Latino communities. As a result, the English translation of ancient words has an uncommon relevance for a broad audience of Bible readers—from children to scholars.

Once again, this will be the last copy I give away- so comment away as to why it should be yours.  And, Estee, email me your address so I can have your copy sent!

‘I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up…’ The World’s Worst Captain

This guy is about the worst Captain, and worst liar, in the news of late:

The captain of the Italian cruise ship gave a slapstick explanation of how he ended up safely in a lifeboat instead of going down with his ship, saying he tripped and fell into the boat as it was being lowered into the sea, Italian media reported today.  “I had no intention of escaping,” Francesco Schettino, 52, said during his first court hearing Tuesday, according to Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper.  “I was helping some passengers put the life boat to sea. At a certain point the mechanism for lowering it, blocked. We had to force it. Suddenly the system unblocked itself and I tripped and I found myself inside the life boat with a number of passengers.”

Right.  Sure.   Off to prison with you, murderer.

More Athletic Misconduct

Down in Florida

A pro golfer, a swim coach, and an eighth grade teacher are among 40 suspects arrested by Florida officials conducting an undercover child sex networking sting.  Officials with the Osceola County Sheriff took down the Internet-based string of sex crimes during a Jan. 8-16 investigation dubbed “Operation Red Cheeks,” a press release from the Osceola County Sheriff states.

Stephen Wesley Thomas, a professional golfer with 44 appearances on the PGA tour, is the highest profile suspect in the case. Thomas told authorities that he thought he was corresponding with a woman about arranging sex with her 13-year-old daughter, the Orlando Sentinel reports.  Police also arrested Bryan Woodward, the 29-year-old head coach of Gainesville’s Gator Swim Club, not affiliated with the University of Florida. Woodward has since been relieved of his duties with the organization, ABC Action News reports.

Creepy perversity knows no race, age, or sex boundaries.  Mind your children, parents.  Mind your children.  There are monsters afoot in the world.