Daily Archives: 22 Feb 2012

Shortly After Taking up His Post In Zurich…

A rendition of Huldrych Zwingli from the 1906 ...

Zwingli wrote his friend Rhenanus of Basel, on 22 February 1519,

Quod ad nos tam sedulus de M. Lutherio scripsisti, gratiam habemus; sed et commodum his diebus abbas sancti Jωannis literas cuiusdam Wittenburgii studii moderatoris misit, quibus hic illi gratulatur, quod Lutherii scripta legat, hominis vere Christi imaginem referentis; addit item, mox ubi Augustę a cardinali s. Sixti solverit, recta Wittenburgam redierit [!], ubi nunc cum maxima omnium admiratione Christum constantissime εὐαγγελίζῃ, ἕτοιμος καὶ δἰ αὐτοῦ σταυροθῆναι [!]. Accepimus item a Frobenio munuscula, quę nobis suopte genio cum placeant, non nihil tamen gratię illis addit, Frobenii donum esse, cui nos peculiariter scripsissemus, nisi perpetuus scribendi nobis torpor esset insitus negociaque nunquam finienda circumstreperent.Mittimus hanc pecuniam, aureos nummos videlicet quinque, argenteam aliquantum, ex libris contractam; superest pars aliqua librorum, quę, ubi in ęs liquabitur, item ad eum defluet citra tamen omnem rationem; nam capitulum hoc nostrum familiarium etiam rerum rationem non fert.

You read that right- the big news and topic of discussion was the recent work of Luther! Meanwhile, Zwingli had commenced on his own Reforming path as early as 1516 and had put into effect the same upon arriving in Zurich. Slow and steady wins the race.

Murderer Huguely

A jury here on Wednesday evening convicted George Huguely V of second-degree murder in the 2010 death of his onetime girlfriend Yeardley Love. Huguely faces up to 40 years in prison on the murder charge. In addition, he faces up to 20 years for a grand larceny conviction related to the murder.

He blamed it on drinking… but when drunks kill (either with their cars or with their hands) they always blame it on anything but their own decision to intoxicate themselves).

The defense called no witnesses during the sentencing phase. Rhonda Quagliana, Huguely’s attorney, addressed the jurors and said: “No person is the sum of the worst decisions he’s ever made.” “Remember his plea at the police station,” said reminded the jury. “‘She’s not dead… Please tell me she’s not dead.’”

Who cares about his plea. He was a violent, cruel, drunk, murderer. His plea doesn’t matter. What about her (doubtless) plea to be let go?  The merciless always desire mercy for themselves whilst never showing mercy to their victims.

Satan chewing murderers

Something New, and Fantastic, From the Israel Antiquities Authority

Via Oded Lipschits-

The IAA initiated a website with thousands of photos of items according to periods and types. Its very useful and very friendly!  http://www.antiquities.org.il/t/search_en.aspx?q=&submit1=%E7%F4%F9.
A link will be added to the sidebar momentarily.

Erasmus: On Lent

Oh Desiderius… you do make me chuckle…


Almost all the World over, Men eat plentifully, and no Body is offended at it; but if a sick Man taste a Bit of a Chicken, the whole Christian Religion is in Danger. In England the common People have a Supper every other Day, in Lent Time, and no Body wonders at it; but if a Man, at Death’s Door in a Fever, should sup a little Chicken Broth, it is accounted a Crime worse than Sacrilege.

Among the same Persons at Lent Time, than which there is nothing of greater Antiquity, nor more religiously observ’d among Christians, as I have said before, they sup without any Penalty; but if you shall attempt to do the same, after Lent is over, on a Friday, no Body will bear it; if you ask the Reason of it, they’ll tell you ’tis the Custom of the Country. They curse a Man who does not observe the Custom of the Country, and yet they forgive themselves the Neglect of the antient Custom of the universal Church. [The Colloquies of Desiderius Erasmus, Vol. 2].

From ASOR: Widening the Net (So to Speak)

It’s good to see ASOR expanding its reach.  This email arrived a bit ago-

Starting in March ASOR will be engaging in a new social media initiative! We would like to make ASOR’s blog and Facebook page into destinations for anyone interested in Near Eastern Archaeology. How can you help? Simply ‘Like’ the ASOR Facebook page and subscribe to our WordPress blog.

ASOR would also like to encourage you to contribute to the ASOR online community by posting on our Facebook wall:

• anything relevant to ASOR’s mission
• information on obtaining grants, fellowships, excavation permits, and research visas
• news items related to archaeology or history
• links to scholarly publications
• basically anything of interest to ASOR’s members

After you visit our Facebook page, check out our blog for news, event descriptions, pictures, and videos related to archaeology. Let your voice be heared by submitting blog posts to asormemb@bu.edu . We would love to receive submissions on research projects, interesting or exciting travel experiences from the Near East, recent discoveries, videos from the field, and commentary on issues related to archaeology. Or just about anything else you can think of!

Additionally, ASOR will use the Facebook page to communicate more with our members. Please visit the page frequently to ensure that you stay updated on the latest news and information about the organization. “Like” our Facebook page and visit our blog today!

Kevin Cooney
Director of Subscription and Member Services

Do You Really Need 8 Hours of Sleep?

Now I find this fascinating

We often worry about lying awake in the middle of the night – but it could be good for you. A growing body of evidence from both science and history suggests that the eight-hour sleep may be unnatural. In the early 1990s, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr conducted an experiment in which a group of people were plunged into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month. It took some time for their sleep to regulate but by the fourth week the subjects settled into a very distinct sleeping pattern. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or two hours before falling into a second four-hour sleep. Though sleep scientists were impressed by the study, among the general public the idea that we must sleep for eight consecutive hours persists.

It’s fascinating because in my entire life I’ve never slept for more than 3-4 hours without waking up. Not once (that I can recall- and my earliest memory is at about age 5).

Read the whole essay- it’s a history of sleep.  It’s really fascinating.  And I feel a lot better about not being one of those weird people who need 8 hours or more of sleep through the night!

These Days You Can’t Trust Strangers… Especially With Your Children

 Authorities are searching for two children who were reported kidnapped after a stranger offered to help the family when their car broke down on the side of an Atlanta-area interstate.  The family’s car broke down early Wednesday and a stranger stopped to help, according to a statement by the DeKalb County police. As the mother was making arrangements for a tow truck, the stranger drove off with the children in a 2000 to 2005 green Jeep Cherokee, police said

Ghastly.  Just ghastly.  I hope they find the kids fast and unharmed!

Georgia authorities issued a statewide child abduction alert for 3-year-old Jalen Mattison and 1-year-old Amari Mattison. A police spokeswoman said she did not have the mother’s name, adding the mother was with detectives.

Dear heaven.

Heinrich Bullinger: On Lent

The fast of Lent is attested by antiquity but not at all in the writings of the apostles. Therefore it ought not, and cannot, be imposed on the faithful. It is certain that formerly there were various forms and customs of fasting. hence, Irenaeus, a most ancient writer, says: “Some think that a fast should be observed one day only, others two days, but others more, and some forty days. This diversity in keeping this fast did not first begin in our times, but long before us by those, as I suppose, who did not simply keep to what had been delivered to them from the beginning, but afterwards fell into another custom either through negligence or ignorance” .  Moreover, Socrates, the historian, says: “Because no ancient text is found concerning this matter, I think the apostles left this to every man’s own judgment, that every one might do what is good without fear or constraint” — Heinrich Bullinger

The observance of Lent- it stems either from negligence of Scripture or ignorance of it.  So says Irenaeus…  and Bullinger approves.

A Nice Devotional

Some devotional materials are just Dreck.  The sugary sweet spirituality of most modern stuff and the ‘Jesus gives me a hug when I get sad and never asks anything of me’ sort are a turn-off to be sure, but every now and again there’s something useful- and usually it’s something that’s been around for a long time.

For instance, The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible is a very nice devotional which the good folk at Logos sent along for me to take a look at.  I quite like it.  Mostly because it’s mostly Scripture with remarks of Spurgeon interspersed.  Many devotionals are more anthropocentric than theocentric but not this one.  This one does what devotionals are supposed to do- lead the reader to the presence of God.

Logos says of it

This Bible, arranged topically instead of canonically, allows readers to experience the text of Scripture along with Charles Spurgeon himself. His commentary illuminates the texts, and provides notes on interpretation and application of the Bible.

Spurgeon had a sharp wit and an insightful eye.  If you’re looking for a devotional volume you couldn’t do much better than this one.

Here’s how it looks on the screen:

click to enlarge

The Indiana Lawmaker Who Thinks Girl Scouts are in League with Planned Parenthood…

Politicians say stupid things all the time.  But this guy takes the cake (or cookie)-

An Indiana lawmaker who opposes celebrating the centennial anniversary of the Girl Scouts of America says the group “sexualizes” young girls, promotes homosexuality and is a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood. In a letter sent to members of the Republican Caucus, Indiana State Rep. Bob Morris said many parents were “abandoning the Girl Scouts because they promote homosexual lifestyles.”

“As members of the Indiana House of Representatives, we must be wise before we use the credibility and respect of the ‘Peoples’ House’ to extend legitimacy to a radicalized organization,” he said, warning them not “to endorse a group that has been subverted in the name of liberal progressive politics and the destruction of traditional American family values.” In the Febraury 18 letter, obtained by CNN affiliate WRTV, Morris lobbied lawmakers to oppose a nonbinding resolution celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts. Morris was the only member not to sign the measure.

Here’s the best part though- showing the idiocy of the poor chap-

After doing a “small amount” of research on the Internet, Morris said, he and his wife came to the conclusion that the Girl Scouts have become a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood and are part of an agenda that includes “sexualizing” young girls.

He probably found it on some Wikipedia article or better yet, some John Birch Society lunacy site.  He’s just another of the dim lot that reads some this or that on the web and think they’re experts.

He need not fear losing his job though- people love stupid politicians. They elect them every cycle.

Christmas in February?

Chris Tilling has posted a Christmas poem… on Bultmann…  So, naturally, I’ll reduplicate it here since it’s right funny-  (and that’s right, Rudolf is scowling at you, Chris.  He’s not pleased…)

Christmas with the Dymythologisers

Hark, the herald angels sing:
‘Bultmann is the latest thing!’
(Or they would if he had not
Demythologized the lot.)
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Glad to existentialize!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and Science reconciled.

Lo, the ancient myths disperse.
Hence, three-storied universe!
Let three-decker pulpits stay:
Bultmann has a lot to say,
Since Kerygma still survives
When the myths have lost their lives.
Hark, the herald angels sing:
‘Bultmann shot us on the wing!’

Dr Farrer we detect
Somewhat lacking in respect,
Launching, with his puckish arts,
Tiny well-directed darts;
While Herr Luther’s lumpish sons
Overload their massive guns,
Blowing, when the barrel splits,
Bultmann – and themselves – to bits.

Let us with a gladsome mind
Leave the ancient world behind.
Modern man, rejoice with us!
We have read Copernicus.
While the herald angels sing:
‘Bultmann ist ein gutes Ding!’
We respond in simple trust:
‘Demythologize or bust!’

(Air – Good King Wenceslas)
Dr. Bultmann ventured forth
Boldly from his study,
When the wind was in the north,
and the roads were muddy.
All his thoughts were in a maze;
This was not surprising.
He had spent some weary days

‘Hither, pupil, strain thy sight
If thou canst, descrying
Yonder folk who shove and fight –
What can they be buying?’
‘Sir, ’tis cards with scraps of verse,
Pictured with a fable:
Shepherds and astrologers
Kneeling in a stable.’

‘Bring my writings, if you please,
in the last editions.
Du und ich we’ll stifle these
Outworn superstitions.’
Sage and pupil forth they go,
Braving every stigma,
Shedding myths like billy-o,
Clinging to kerygma.

‘Sir, my thoughts begin to stray
And my faith grows bleaker.
Since I threw my myths away
My kerygma’s weaker.’
‘Think on Heidegger, my lad,
That pellucid Teuton;
Then you won’t feel half so bad
When they talk of Newton.’

Existentially he thought,
as his master hinted.
All the learned works he bought
Which the sage had printed.
Therefore, folk, when science sends
Doubts and fears depressing,
Demythologize your friends –
Then you’ll win their blessing.

(Many ancient authorities read flakes of snow instead of billy-o.)

One Year Ago: The Christchurch Quake

It’s hard to believe that it has already been a year!

February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

As families of the 185 people killed in the Christchurch earthquake marked the one-year anniversary of the disaster Wednesday, signs of a city still broken were all around them.  Hundreds of wrecked buildings downtown are still waiting to be torn down so reconstruction can begin in earnest — many of them within sight of the morning ceremony at Latimer Square.  The slow pace of recovery is drawing criticism from residents and developers as it wears at the reputation of Mayor Bob Parker, who was praised in the days following the quake for his leadership and for calmly articulating the pain and frustration many were feeling.

Let’s all still remember the folk down there.  They’ve got a good bit to go before life is ‘back to normal’.

Absurd Exaggeration

Allan Bevere (an awesome blogging Methodist) cites, on Google+ and Facebook, this snippet from McKnight-

‎”First Corinthians 15 is nothing less than a lifting up of the curtains in the earliest days of the church; it tells us what everyone believed and what everyone preached.” (Scot McKnight, The King Jesus Gospel, p. 46.)

That’s absurd exaggeration, for one simple reason- all the world didn’t reside in Corinth.  ‘What everyone believed…’?  That’s ridiculous.  ‘What everyone preached…’?  How could McKnight possibly know such a thing?    Scholarship does itself no favors and the interested public is simply misled when these kinds of grand, overarching generalities are promulgated.

The ‘King Jesus Gospel’ sounds more like McKnight’s wild and unsubstantiated assumptions about the Gospel than anything else.  I’ve not read the book (and see no reason to) but if this is the sort of thing that regularly happens in it, it’s probably best I don’t.

Israeli Expansion

Bibi can’t help himself-

Israel to approve 500 new homes in West Bank settlement: spokesman…

tweets Al Arabiya.  I suppose the government feels secure in such moves knowing that its American lapdogs will remain silent or if they do say anything it will be a mere ‘now, now Bibi, that’s not helping…’  even though such settlements are clearly against international law and UN mandate.

We’re boycotting Iran for breaking international law.  Why aren’t we boycotting Israel?