Daily Archives: 20 Apr 2012

Notes on the Three Qumran-Type Yadin Fragments Leading to a Discussion of Identification, Attribution, Provenance, and Names more by Eibert Tigchelaar

You can download it here.

Abstract: The identification of the three Qumran-type Yadin fragments as Qumran Cave 11 fragments is dubious in one case, and erroneous in the other two cases. This raises the more general question how we need to deal with unprovenanced Dead Sea Scroll fragments.

According to the FBI, Hundreds of Thousands May Lose Access to the Internet in July

Thanks to some sort of virus.  I know, I thought it was a hoax too- but evidently it isn’t:

For computer users, a few mouse clicks could mean the difference between staying online and losing Internet connections this summer.

Unknown to most of them, their problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of infected computers around the world. In a highly unusual response, the FBI set up a safety net months ago using government computers to prevent Internet disruptions for those infected users. But that system is to be shut down.

The FBI is encouraging users to visit a website run by its security partner, http://www.dcwg.org , that will inform them whether they’re infected and explain how to fix the problem. After July 9, infected users won’t be able to connect to the Internet.

Most victims don’t even know their computers have been infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their web surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems.

There’s more, which you will now doubtless want to read.

The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith, and the Pursuit of an Ancient Book

Several weeks back Matti Friedman offered to send an advanced reading copy of his about-to-be-published ‘The Aleppo Codex: A True Story of Obsession, Faith, and the Pursuit of an Ancient Book‘.  I’ve since completed my reading of the volume and the resultant review is done and has been uploaded here.  In PDF.

I recommend it.  Highly and vigorously.  It’s set to come out May 15th.  Get yourself a copy straightaway.

Rubio… Romney’s Running Mate?

Why else would they be campaigning together in Pennsylvania?  From ABC News on the twitter:

Confirmed by ABC – Rubio and Romney to campaign together for the first time on Monday in PA.

Romney needs the support of the Hispanic community.  Will this do it?  Given the choices Romney has, this actually might be the best.  And, you have to tip your hat to him, at least he doesn’t seem to be considering someone like that ghastly and ignorant Sarah Palin.  So he’s already proven himself smarter than John McCain.

The World’s Absolutely Worst, Most Depraved, Evil, Demonic Cleric

Is one Gordon Reid– Episcopalian…  He’s twisted, perverted, racist, and rankly evil.  His doings are too disgusting to repeat here, so you’ll just have to go to the link to be horrified for yourself.

Here’s his future:

Satan chewing Gordon Reid


Another teacher saying something totally inappropriate

Marco Inskip, a substitute physical education teacher at Charles L. Spragg Elementary School in Egg Harbor City, N.J., allegedly told a second grade student Monday that she was “too sexy” to take gym, according to John Gilly, Superintendent of the Egg Harbor City School District. The girl’s father, Henry Wilson, has since filed a harassment complaint with the Egg Harbor City police.

Why would any adult say that to any child?  Ever?  Why would any adult describe any child as ‘sexy’????  The answer: perversion.

Indeed… academics via press release…

XKV8R: The Official Blog of Robert R. Cargill, Ph.D.

If you can appreciate “circular reasoning,” then you’ll love this latest example of “circular citations,” a process referred to by my colleague Steve Caruso as the “Citation Two-step” or the “Feedback Fox Trot,” but what I call the “Evidentiary reach-around.”

By now, many readers have been following the sensational claims made by Simcha Jacobovici and Dr. James Tabor. The pair claim to have discovered (among other things):

  1. The “Sign of Jonah”
  2. The “earliest christian symbols ever discovered”
  3. The “first christian symbol ever found from first century CE Jerusalem”
  4. The “earliest testimony of faith in the resurrection of Jesus”
  5. The “earliest record of a teaching or saying of Jesus”
  6. An inscription calling on “YHWH to raise up”
  7. And most recently, an “Inscription bearing the name of Jonah”

(see the back cover of The Jesus Discovery for a full list of sensational claims)

Note that none of these claims have been confirmed…

View original post 1,394 more words

Life in The Burbs…

Or rather, the so far out from the burbs that this kind of thing is normal…   A photo a friend of mine snapped on the way home today…


Total Depravity: Criminals are Idiots- Idiots are Criminals

Words fail

How to go jail in two easy steps: 1. Siphon gas from a police car. 2. Post a photo of yourself siphoning gas from a police car on Facebook. Kentucky man Michael Baker, 20, was arrested and charged with theft after cops got wind of the photo he had shared, which also captures him flipping the bird, the Smoking Gun reports. “Just got out of jail,” he later told his 380 friends. He eloquently added, “yea lol i went too jail over facebook.” Further up the criminal scale, people have been arrested for hiring a hit man and for boasting about a bank robbery on Facebook.

And the imbecile makes an obscene gesture while having his photo made… I hope they tossed his idiot camera wielding friend in jail as well for aiding and abetting theft.

Something You Don’t Know About Me…

I’m a big fan of the show ‘The New Girl‘.  So I’m kinda glad my daughter sent this video clip…  it’s a hoot:

Just so you know – I also like Toddlers and Tiaras, Hoarders, Dance Moms Miami, and Raising Hope.

No, Yonah Isn’t There

Antonio writes

I promise, this will be the last time I write about it. But Mark Goodacre’s latest post on this is really enlightening. I’d like to add some opinions I’ve been able to collected on this matter. I asked several professional epigraphers: Do think this is YONAH or a decorative motif at the base of the amphora ossuary? So, here are the answers:

Since even Jesus’ divinity was decided by a majority vote, if we had to decide on this as well, the majority of these epigraphers agree on what I wrote some time ago.

Who believes it says Yonah? Deutsch and Charlesworth, Tabor and Jacobovici. Three out of the four have monetary interests hinging on that reading and their copious recent ‘press releases’ won’t change their button into a suit. Believe who you will, it’s a free country (for the time being), but what the four see isn’t seen by anyone else.

On The Destruction of Muslim Graves for Israel’s ‘Museum of Tolerance’

…To see how shabbily the Israeli High Court acted, ignoring evidence from the chief archaeologist assigned to head the excavation by the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) that massive numbers of remains were dug out and thousands more remained buried on the site, consult our petition. We have uncovered evidence that excavations are ongoing, with human remains still being found.

Secondly, Ms. Shapiro argues that “no Muslim individual or group ever protested that this was an ancient Muslim cemetery” and that our indignation is thus artificial. But in fact, there were many earlier protests against earlier desecrations of this site. Our petition lists these protests against these actions, taken in spite of previous Israeli government pledges to respect the cemetery.

Moreover, when the first such desecrations started in the early 1960’s, Palestinian inside Israel were under martial law and could not travel without permission of the General Security Services, let alone protest. Protests against the SWC project by Palestinians and Israelis alike have been ongoing since it was publicized that human remains were being exhumed. The plans had already been approved by the Israeli government by the time the public found out about it.

Ms. Shapiro points out that part of the SWC site was previously a parking lot built in the 1960s; but this does not dilute the fact that several layers of graves were paved over to construct it. These layers have now been dug up to build the Museum of Tolerance. The SWC knew full well that the site was part of the cemetery before they began any construction, having been informed of this fact by the IAA. This point was subsequently confirmed when the IAA excavations began to exhume hundreds of human skeletons and gravestones from the site. Today, the IAA continues to search for suspected additional graves and bones on the perimeter of the site, as confirmed by photographic evidence that CCR has recently obtained, putting the lie to the SWC claim that the site is currently “clean.”

Much more to read, here.

William Dever on his New Volume, ‘The Lives of Ordinary People in Ancient Israel’

Over on the Eerdmans blog Dever writes

What I intend to do here is to construct a parallel history of one era in ancient Israel and Judah — a sort of “secular history” of Palestine in the Iron Age — to supplement (and perhaps to correct) the portrait we have in the texts of the Hebrew Bible. But the archaeological data, not the textual data, will be the primary source initially. To be sure, the textual data will be considered later, in Part II of each chapter, wherever they can be shown to be historically accurate beyond reasonable doubt. But the biblical texts will be subsidiary and will often prove to be of minimal importance. In this sense, the present work will almost be “a history without the Bible,” at least for the most part, even though some have declared this impossible. In Part III of each chapter, I shall move beyond facts to admitted speculation, in an attempt to ask what a good historian must ask: What was it really like in those days? That will help us to illustrate the lives of ordinary people, who are almost entirely invisible in typical histories of ancient Israel. . . .

Read the rest.  The book, as has been previously noted, comes out the end of this month.

The Centre for Biblical And Cultural Memory

University of Copenhagen

Over at the University of Copenhagen a project is headquartered which will, I think, have far reaching implications for how biblical studies are conducted in the future:  The Centre for Biblical and Cultural Memory.

The notion of cultural memory is the decisive factor in a society’s reconstruction of the past through a number of media. BiCuM investigates how memory is a fundamental instrument in the formation of cultural, religious, ethnic, and national identity in the Old Testament. The research of the Centre demands an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on relevant studies of the Eastern Mediterranean area in Antiquity.

The past as constituted in memory through the presence of the collective frames of memory is the subject to the Centre’s investigation. This memory of the past includes space and buildings, family, classes, sex and ethnicity, kingdom and nation. Special interest attracts the negotiation of cultural memory between local identities and “global” (imperial) culture.

For the Centre’s research areas, press here.


Do you wish to receive information about the centre’s activities? Press here.

The New Angry Atheism on the March

NZZ has an important essay on the phenomenon of atheistic evangelization.

Wie eine Studie der Universität Chicago zeigt, nimmt der Glauben an einen Gott in vielen Ländern weltweit ab. In der ehemaligen DDR glauben nur 13 Prozent der Ostdeutschen an die Existenz eines Gottes. Am anderen Ende der Skala liegen die Philippinen.

Der Atheismus ist laut der Studie, die Volksbefragungen von 30 mehrheitlich katholischen Ländern einbezieht, in nordwesteuropäischen Ländern und den ehemaligen Sowjetstaaten am meisten fortgeschritten. Die Bevölkerung katholisch geprägter Länder ist dagegen verhältnismässig religiös. Auch die Bevölkerung von Entwicklungsländern glaubt mehrheitlich an einen Gott.

Go to the link for the charts and much more information.  Those suggesting these days that religion is as popular as it has always been are a tad delusional.  The fact that Christianity has become what it has become in so many corners of the world is doubtless a contributing factor.

Dilly Winner of the Week: Paul Oestreicher

This week’s winner is Paul Oestreicher, for this dilettantish piece in the Guardian in which he, without foundation or exegetical reason, asserts that Jesus was gay and in love with ‘John’ whom Oestreicher equates with the ‘beloved disciple’.

… That disciple was John whom Jesus, the gospels affirm, loved in a special way. All the other disciples had fled in fear. Three women but only one man had the courage to go with Jesus to his execution. That man clearly had a unique place in the affection of Jesus. In all classic depictions of the Last Supper, a favourite subject of Christian art, John is next to Jesus, very often his head resting on Jesus’s breast. Dying, Jesus asks John to look after his mother and asks his mother to accept John as her son. John takes Mary home. John becomes unmistakably part of Jesus’s family.

Guess what, Paul, John is never equated with the ‘Beloved Disciple’ except in later tradition by imbeciles.  The Gospel of John itself NEVER ONCE says that John is he.  Furthermore, the fact that Jesus handed his mother over to the beloved disciple (whoever that was) for safe keeping is not at all as remarkable as you pretend.

Perhaps before you preach again you should read the text exegetically instead of importing into it readings you wish were there simply to satisfy your own ideology.  It is exceedingly tiresome to see this sort of misrepresentation of the biblical text over and over again by, you would think, people who should know better.

Here’s you’re award.  Congratulations.

Zwingli The Poet

Zürich: Grossmünster

Zürich: Grossmünster (Photo credit: wallyg)

Most folk who know something about Huldrych Zwingli know that he was a theologian, exegete, pastor, professor, and yes, even a musician (he played 10 instruments) and, as well, a poet.

His most famous poem is, of course, the ‘Pestlied‘, the poem he composed when he fell ill of the black plague and recovered from the same.

But Zwingli’s numerous books also feature bits and smatterings of poetry.  So, for example, on the 20th of April, 1524 he published his “Eine Epistel vor der “Antwort eines Schwytzer Purens” which closes with the following lines:

Der wirt ouch uß dir
machen ein geschirr
zuo eer oder spott,
wie er wil; er ist gott.

This needs to be noted-

Zwingli was a pretty good poet
Though most don’t know-it.

Think, People…. Think!

A local (Baptist… why oh why is it usually the Baptists…) Church is in a bit of hot water for publicizing a fund raiser (by the way, Churches should never use ‘fund raisers’.  If the Christians of your community won’t support a project to see that it’s fulfilled, you don’t need to do it.  Asking the ‘world’ to support Christian doings is like asking Satan to be one of your Deacons) featuring a ‘slave sale’ – complete with a picture at the bottom of black-faced figures.

Come on, Churches, this is the South!  Such a sign, such a ‘sale’, just makes NO SENSE.

A flyer is circulating in Knoxville about a fundraiser at Parkway Baptist Church and it is causing controversy. The concern? The image on the bottom with the words “slave sale.”

The flyer looks great at first glance. A church advertising about a fundraiser for their upcoming mission trip to Guatemala. But, Sheryl Rollins, the President of NAACP in Knoxville says once you get to the bottom, “This is absolutely offensive. It’s defamatory and racist.”

A great idea turns to not good at all with one image and two words.

“It’s totally inappropriate, totally racist. I believe that not only is the black community offended by this but the white people don’t appreciate this circulating in Knoxville either,” Rollins said.

And it really is offensive.  And inappropriate.  And shockingly racist.  So it’s just wrong.  Baptists have been working to set right our racist past and stuff like this just sets us back.  Think, people… Think!