Daily Archives: 6 Feb 2012

2 More Victims of Mexico’s Madness

A couple from Texas who moved to a violence-plagued area of northern Mexico to run a Baptist church were found murdered on Tuesday in their ransacked home, relatives said.  John and Wanda Casias, originally from Amarillo, Texas, moved to an area outside of Monterrey, Mexico, in the late 1970s or early 1980s to make it their home. Valerie Alirez, the eldest child of John Casias, said one of her brothers found her father and stepmother dead on Tuesday in their home in Santiago, Nuevo Leon.

Mexico: If you want to die, it’s the place for you.

Newt Gingrich Loves Wikipedia

Newt Gingrich speaking to voters at Des Moines...

I Love Wikipedia! Believe me!!! And Lots of Food!

It’s perfect for him because he can have his aides rewrite history! And defend doing so!!!!!

Notice that Newt Gingrich’s image on Wikipedia has gotten a lot cleaner lately? The site’s editors raised a fuss over it—so Gingrich’s communications director, who made the changes, issued a statement defending them. “I stopped making direct edits in May 2011 because I was alerted to the [conflict of interest] rules,” said Joe DeSantis. Some editors praised DeSantis for disclosing his affiliation, and posting change requests on a site forum, but others were less impressed.

Conflict of interest rules? Oh please. Silly people. Those are easily ignored by the unethical (read, politicians) or bypassed by pseudonyms.

I’ve got a new motto for wikiped. ‘Wikipedia: Changing Your View of Politicians With Glee’

The SBL Southeastern Regional Meeting 2012 Program

Has been posted and you can access it here.

Saturday morning’s ASOR session looks especially good-

ASOR: Archaeology and the Ancient World I
Theme: ASOR SE Presidential Address
Ralph Hawkins, Kentucky Christian University, Presiding

Sharon Mattila, UNC Pembroke – Revisiting Jesus’ Capernaum: A Village of Subsistence-Level Fishers and Farmers?

And Saturday afternoon too-

AAR/SBL: Bible and Modern Culture III
Theme: Is Apocalyptic Language still Meaningful: How do Ancient Texts apply to Modern People?
Brian Mooney, Johnson & Wales University, presiding

Eric Douglass, Randolph-Macon College- Is Apocalyptic Language still Meaningful: How Ancient Texts apply to Modern People –

Emily Cheney, independent scholar – Apocalyptic Language in Luke and Baruch: Modern Thoughts on the Destruction of the
Jerusalem Temple in 70CE

Witold P. Wolny, University of Virginia’s College at Wise- The Apocalypse Now: the Symbolic Multiverse and the End of Biblical Paradigm

Hope to see some of you there.

Brent Strawn of Emory University On Eddie Long’s ‘Torah’ Lunacy

Give the video from CNN a look. With thanks to Jacob Wright for mentioning it.


From Asking for Prayer to Dropping the F Bomb: The Saga of Giselle

“You have to catch the ball when you’re supposed to catch the ball. My husband cannot [expletive deleted] throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can’t believe they dropped the ball so many times.”

It’s a bit incongruous to one day be ‘spiritual’ and ask for prayer for your husband and the next drop the f-bomb because the game didn’t go as you wished.   But that’s what Giselle Brady (Tom’s wife) did today.

If one is a person of prayer one is a person who places matters in God’s hands and awaits the outcome in faith and trust.  If one simply wants to appear spiritual however one uses prayer as some sort of mystical talisman and when one doesn’t get what one wishes one is angry and strikes out at the closest target.

The pseudo-spirituality which parades itself these days is genuinely sickening.    At any rate, God doesn’t care who wins a ballgame.  Better to ask him to keep everyone safe and uninjured than to ask him to let your hubby win and then demonstrate yourself to be a vulgar common potty-mouth if he doesn’t.

Whoever has instructed Giselle in theology needs to do a refresher on the theology of prayer.  Maybe she’ll pay attention this time.

ASOR Excavation Scholarships

Take note:

Beginning with the summer of 2007, ASOR has renewed its emphasis on providing excavation grants and fellowships that allows individuals to participate in excavations in the Eastern Mediterranean. Since 2007, ASOR has awarded 146 total scholarships for excavations through the HarrisPlatt, and Heritage Fellowships.

  • Heritage Fellowships: In addition to endowed scholarships, each year generous ASOR donors support Heritage scholarships for students and other worthy individuals to participate in excavations. Application deadline is February 20, 2012.
  • Platt Fellowships: these fellowships were made possible by a generous endowment given by the late Mrs. Katherine Barton Platt. These funds support scholarships for individuals to participate in excavations. Application deadline is February 20, 2012.
  • Harris Fellowships: these fellowships were made possible by a generous endowment given by the late Rev. Charles Harris. These funds support excavation work of ASOR-affiliated projects. Application deadline will be announced when these funds are available.

Tim Tebow: Politician?


Tim Tebow says he’d consider a political career “if it’s something I care about,” the Huffington Post reports. “It could be something in my future,” he told Dave Feherty on the Golf Channel.

What????  Don’t do it Tim, don’t do it.  You’re too good a guy to be a politician and you lack the core values all politicians hold dear: selfishness and greed.  Plus, you’re just getting started in the NFL.

Tim Tebow, quarterback for the Florida Gators ...

Another Child Predator Who Deserves the Ultimate Punishment

This guy is horrifically wicked-

A convicted Danish sex predator who emotionally tortured an 11-year-old Missouri girl and released naked videos of her on the Internet will probably spend the rest of his life in a U.S. prison.

Kai Lundstroem Pedersen, 61, was sentenced last week to 30 years in prison after he used several online accounts to extort the young girl into sending him naked photos and videos — all from behind his computer screen in Randers, Denmark, McClatchy Newspapers reported.  “Based on this sentence, I don’t think you’re going back to Denmark,” U.S. District Judge Greg Kays said at Pedersen’s sentencing in Kansas City.

Cops ended Pedersen’s perverted exchanges — which even his own lawyer classified as “horrific” and “unspeakable” — after they tracked him moving from Denmark to Stony Brook, N.Y. in September 2010.  Since July that year, he’d been following the little girl online, posing as a 14-year-old boy who said he’d release videos of her if she didn’t send more.

Hell opens wide its mouth.  Too mean?  Hardly.

Khirbet Qeiyafa Lectures

From the Chattanoogan-

The Lynn H. Wood Archaeological Museum Lecture Series continues on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. in Lynn Wood Auditorium, Southern Adventist University.

Martin G. Klingbeil, D.Litt., will present “Ancient Near Eastern Passports: Two Stamp Seals from Khirbet Qeiyafa.” Admission is free.

Some of the greatest finds discovered in archaeological excavations are surprisingly small. Ancient Neat Eastern seals are only about the size of a thumbprint but they have been intricately engraved with letters and images that can tell us a lot about the socio-political, cultural, and, most interestingly, religious affiliations of their owners. These objects served as the equivalent of modern passports and authenticated not only business transactions and political treaties, but also served as important artifacts in the cultic sphere of the Ancient Near East. The lecture will provide an introduction to the interpretation of seals and focus specifically on two seals found at Khirbet Qeiyafa in area D during the 2011 season, which have not been published before.

With thanks to Jack Sasson for the heads up.

This Week’s Saddest Story: The Father who Burned Himself and His Children Alive

“I’m sorry, goodbye,” Josh Powell wrote in an email to his attorney just before he apparently ignited an explosive fire Sunday that took not just his life but those of his 5- and 7-year-old sons, authorities say.  The tragic events at Powell’s home in Graham, Wash., came nearly three years after the disappearance of Powell’s wife Susan and the emergence of Powell as the only “person of interest” in the case. Throughout, he maintained his innocence.

What can be said?  This happened yesterday and I’ve still not managed to come to terms with the horror.  Josh Powell was an excessively evil man to do what he did to his children.  A selfish perverted man who cared for no one but himself.  A man totally and depravedly curved in utterly on himself.

If he hated his in-laws so much it would have been better for him to kill himself rather than kill his children.  If he wanted to escape his pain, why cause them unspeakable pain?

So evil.  So very evil.

It’s True, You Know

“Most Christians are satisfied living as common Christians, without an insatiable hunger for the deeper things of God”  said AW Tozer.  And it’s true, isn’t it?

10 New Additions to the New York Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibition

Near Qumran, where the original Dead Sea Scrol...

If you’ve been to the exhibition, you might want to go back.  And if you’re in the New York area you really need to go.

Ten new scrolls have been installed at the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition in New York City.  They replace 10 other scrolls that have been removed. The ancient scrolls must be rotated due to their fragile nature and sensitivity to light.  …    Exhibition curator Risa Levitt Kohn says the newly installed scrolls include one of only six scrolls written with red ink and a Psalms scroll with poetry that is still part of Jewish liturgy today.  She said the exhibition now has on display at the same time scrolls in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.  The exhibit is created by the Israel Antiquities Authority from the collections of the Israel National Treasures.

I’ve seen the scrolls at the Shrine of the Book; I’ve seen the exhibition in San Diego when SBL was there a few years back, and I’d dearly love to go see this one.

The Apostle Paul Cult


Larry Hurtado mentions a recent volume titled Paul the Martyr:  The Cult of the Apostle in the Latin West.  His description of it makes it sound downright intriguing.  Especially these days when you can’t swing a cat without hitting some new book on Paul’s this or that at SBL’s book hall or sessions.

[John’s stuff is so much better than Paul’s anyway].  With thanks to Stephen Carlson for tweeting Hurtado’s post.

Is It Hypocrisy or Just Fear? Iran and Nuclear Weapons

Why do the US and Israel have the right to nuclear weapons, along with lots of other countries, but the minute an Arab country wants one, we get all nervous?

And don’t tell me that it’s because the Arabs would use them when, so far as I recall, the US is the only country in the world that has.

More Archaeological Exaggeration: Finds ‘Verify’ Life at the Time of Jonah…

From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

At Giv’at Yonah (the Hill of Jonah) in Ashdod, which according to various traditions is identified with the burial place of the prophet Jonah, archaeological finds were exposed that verify the existence of life there during the First Temple period, at the time of Jonah.  In a trial archaeological excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority carried out on Giv’at Yonah in Ashdod prior to development work by Hofit – Ashdod Development & Tourism Company, Ltd. remains of massive walls more than 1 m wide were found that are dated to the late 8th century and early 7th century BCE.

What?  These finds verify that there was life at the Tell in the First Temple Period and somehow that ‘verifies’ Life at the Time of Jonah????  Bible in one hand, spade in the other, much, MFA?

In the estimation of the excavation director, Dmitri Egorov, of the Israel Antiquities Authority, these walls constituted the base of a large building from the First Temple period, the time when Jonah the prophet was active, who lived in the eighth century BCE and was famous for having been swallowed by a fish after he refused to “go to Nineveh… and proclaim against it.” (Jonah1:2).

Oh my….  Oh my….  Here we go.  Next, a Discovery Channel movie touting the find as proof of Jonah!

Conference Announcement: The Reformation and Asia

May 25-26 2012, Refo 500 Asia will have an Annual International Conference at Chongshin University, Seoul, Korea. You are invited to submit short paper proposals until March 31, 2012.


Brief proposals of the short papers can be submitted until March 31, 2012.  For more information on the conference in details and the possibility to present a short paper, please contact Dr. In-Sub Ahn of Chongshin University, project manager Refo500 Asia.

M.I.A. – A Bit of a Filthy Person isn’t She

The NFL and a major television network are apologizing for another Super Bowl halftime show.  There was no wardrobe malfunction, nothing like that glimpse of Janet Jackson’s nipple eight years ago that caused an uproar and a government scrutiny. Instead, it was an extended middle finger from British singer M.I.A. during Sunday night’s performance of Madonna’s new single, “Give Me All Your Luvin.'”

Who exactly was the semi-nude strumpet giving the finger to?  The audience?  The fans?  Her momma?  Whoever, she should be disallowed to enter this country again.  Let Britain keep her.  Let her go there and earn her ‘living’.

And what is it about these pop singers that makes them think their vulgarity is acceptable?  You’d never see such a thing at a classical concert but these common people singing their uncommonly idiotic pop songs love vulgarity.  Depraved prats.

T.M. Law’s Astute Observations on the Purported ‘Earliest Fragment of Mark’ Thing

Tim writes

It is really frustrating when people spill ‘news’ of a manuscript discovery to score a point for themselves (e.g., in a debate) but then can only say, ‘Trust me. I got my info from a ‘world-class paleographer; and oh, by the way, he’s entirely unbiased because he’s not a fundamentalist.’ Time will tell, but no-one should buy this until the manuscript has been cross-examined several times. In any case the existence of a manuscript is almost irrelevant anyway unless it has some new light to shed on the text history, and for what it’s worth, it’s incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to pin down a date within the first century on paleographical grounds: the line between the first and second centuries is very blurry. This is likely to be only of great concern to those obsessed with finding the autographa; others whose faith isn’t disrupted or confirmed by autographa will be less wakeful at night.

Right.  Exactly right.  He’s got more to say so go take a look.

An Early Copy of Mark’s Gospel? Color Me Skeptical

James McGrath, following a couple of others, ( Joel Watts and Brian LePort) writes

… a manuscript of the Gospel of Mark has been found which has been dated on paleographical grounds to the first century.

I’m skeptical for a couple of reasons.  First, paleographic grounds alone don’t prove anything.  Second, in spite of the wishes of some that this text is as close as we’ve ever gotten to the autograph, this manuscript, even if authentic, could just be a rubbish copy of a rubbish copy of a rubbish copy.

We need to see the manuscript.  The paleographers have to do their work.  The text needs to be subjected to stringent tests.  And most of all, the provenance of the manuscript has to be fully disclosed.  In these days when frauds and fakes flood the market and claims of authenticity are bantered about with ease and aplomb, everyone should be especially cautious.

Announcing ‘an early manuscript of Mark has been found and it might be very close to the autograph’ is inappropriate.  It’s just unfounded potentially misleading speculation.

There is a War on Christians in the Muslim World

We hear so often about Muslims as victims of abuse in the West and combatants in the Arab Spring’s fight against tyranny. But, in fact, a wholly different kind of war is underway—an unrecognized battle costing thousands of lives. Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a rising genocide that ought to provoke global alarm.


The portrayal of Muslims as victims or heroes is at best partially accurate. In recent years the violent oppression of Christian minorities has become the norm in Muslim-majority nations stretching from West Africa and the Middle East to South Asia and Oceania. In some countries it is governments and their agents that have burned churches and imprisoned parishioners. In others, rebel groups and vigilantes have taken matters into their own hands, murdering Christians and driving them from regions where their roots go back centuries.

Read the rest.  It describes the astonishing media silence on the subject and why the West seems unwilling to do anything about it.