Daily Archives: 1 May 2012

Luther: On Love of the Bible- Or, How a Theologian is Made

Once when he was a young man he [Martin Luther] happened upon a Bible. In it he read by chance the story about Samuel’s mother in the Books of the Kings. The book pleased him immensely, and he thought that he would be happy if he could ever possess such a book. Shortly thereafter he bought a postil; it also pleased him greatly, for it contained more Gospels than it was customary to preach on in the course of a year.

When he became a monk he gave up all his books. Shortly before this he had bought a copy of the Corpus iuris and I do not know what else. He returned these to the bookseller. Besides Plautus and Vergil he took nothing with him into the monastery. There the monks gave him a Bible bound in red leather. He made himself so familiar with it that he knew what was on every page, and when some passage was mentioned he knew at once just where it was to be found.

“If I had kept at it,” he said, “I would have become exceedingly good at locating things in the Bible. At that time no other study pleased me so much as sacred literature. With great loathing I read physics, and my heart was aglow when the time came to return to the Bible. I made use of the glossa ordinaria. I despised Lyra, although I recognized later on that he had a contribution to make to history. I read the Bible diligently. Sometimes one important statement occupied all my thoughts for a whole day. Such statements appeared especially in the weightier prophets, and (although I could not grasp their meaning) they have stuck in my memory to this day. Such is the assertion in Ezekiel, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked,’ etc. [Ezek. 33:11].”  [Luther’s Table Talk].

And that, good reader, is how a theologian is made. If your theology is empty and soulless (or Emergent and Seeker Sensitive) or your Pastor’s preaching more fluff than substance (or cute stories than the development of exegetical themes), the reason lies in unfamiliarity from and disinterest in the Bible.

Luther was the theologian he was (and the same can be said of Calvin and Zwingli, Oecolampadius and Melancthon, Bullinger and Bucer) because he (and they too) was (were) biblical scholar(s) in the truest sense of the phrase.

The May Biblical Studies Carnival is On!

And it’s cleverly done.  Congrats to our Kiwi colleague for a super piece of work!

A Forthcoming Volume by Jodi Magness: The Archaeology of the Holy Land

Jodi’s a fantastic writer and brilliant archaeologist and she has a new volume coming out soon titled The Archaeology of the Holy Land: From the Destruction of Solomon’s Temple to the Muslim Conquest.  Here’s the table of contents-

1. Introduction
2. The topography and early history of Jerusalem (to 586 BCE)
3. The Babylonian (586–539 BCE) and Persian (539–332 BCE) periods
4. The early Hellenistic period (332–167 BCE)
5. The late Hellenistic (Hasmonean) period (167–40 BCE)
6. The archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls
7. The early Roman (Herodian) period (40 BCE–70 CE): Jerusalem
8. The early Roman (Herodian) period (40 BCE–70 CE): Caesarea Maritima, Samaria-Sebaste, Herodian Jericho, and Herodium
9. The early Roman (Herodian) period (40 BCE–70 CE): Jesus’ birth and Galilean setting
10. The early Roman (Herodian) period (40 BCE–70 CE): Masada
11. Ancient Jewish tombs and burial customs (to 70 CE)
12. From 70 CE to the Bar Kokhba Revolt (135/136 CE) (the Second Jewish Revolt against the Romans)
13. Aelia Capitolina (Hadrianic Jerusalem) (135 to ca. 500 CE)
14. Roman and the late antique period synagogues in Palestine
15. The Byzantine (early Christian) period (313–640 CE): Jerusalem
16. The Byzantine (early Christian) period (313–640 CE): Palestine under Christian rule
17. Epilogue: early Islamic Jerusalem (638–750 CE).

Now that’s one comprehensive volume!  Looking forward to laying hands on it.  With thanks to Jack Sasson for mentioning it.

Don’t Mess With Grandpa

Golf Green Island

Things got pretty darn crazy at a Jacksonville Beach, Fla., bachelor party on Saturday, and not because of strippers or booze. The Florida Times-Union reports that a group of six golfing gents was attacked at the 18th hole—by a 61-year-old. James Alonzo Hines allegedly drove his cart into the men before bashing one with a golf club and proceeding to fight … while telling them, “You need to respect your elders.” One 27-year-old, who says a golf club was broken over his head, told the paper that Hines yelled that they were taking too long. Some of the men were new to golf, and, yes, had had a few drinks before the afternoon round, but say they weren’t drunk. Hines was apparently golfing behind them with another man and two women, one of whom told a witness “they weren’t playing the game right.”

It’s perfectly sensible to expect people to move it along and I think it completely justifiable to run them over with a golf cart if they don’t get out of the way.  Young punks, think the world should wait for them…  Ha!  Who among us hasn’t wanted to do exactly the same thing to a bunch of boozed up bachelor party scoundrels?

[Yeah for grandpa!]

[NB- Before ya get all huffy note the post tag].

To Pep You Up

It’s that time of day when everyone gets a little tired… so this should help.  And yes, you’re welcome.

Congratulations to Dr Bruce Gordon!

He was awarded recently an honorary Doctorate from our friends at the IRG!

Professor Dr. Bruce Gordon wurde am 28. April von der Theologischen Fakultät der Universität Zürich die Ehrendoktorwürde verliehen. Das Institut gratuliert Professor Gordon ganz herzlich!

Go here for the official announcement!  Prof. Gordon’s work is extremely well researched and this is an honor he surely deserves!

Mammon: The Religion of Most Americans

via Thomas Bolin on FB

What’s Pat Robertson’s Connection to Charles Taylor?

Richard has a really, really interesting report on the connection between Pat Robertson and Charles Taylor. Do read it.

Total Depravity: The Case of the Drug Addict Mommy

Nothing at all really spells out the nature of total depravity and the effect it has on people, curving them in upon themselves so as to exclude any concern for anyone else, quite like the pregnant mom who is a junkie.

An increased reliance on prescription painkillers and the resulting addiction has now shown up in the most vulnerable patients — America’s newborns, according to a report published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The number of addicted babies — many suffering from respiratory problems, low birth weight and seizures — has nearly tripled in less than a decade.

Two words- ‘thanks mommy’.

Gleefully Rubbing It In!

Here are some of the tweets from City players after Man City defeated United last night-

I’ve told you a few days ago and I’ll say it again! We’ll fight to the end. Now more than ever. C’mon, @MCFC! #Together- Sergio Aguero

Wow!! What a game. Great win and fantastic atmosfera in the Etihad tonight. Top of the league again 🙂 #MCFC #Together – Denis Suarez

I sure hope James Crossley and Michael Acidri aren’t too awful sad today… 🙂

The World’s Worst Grandparents

I’ll admit right up front that if my daughter’s grandparents had ever done something like this, they would never have the chance to see her again.  (Thankfully her mom’s parents are awesome grandparents).  Anyway-

Kids may be more safe driving with grandparents than mom or dad, but there’s an exception to every story: an allegedly intoxicated Florida pair was arrested Sunday for towing their 7-year-old granddaughter in a toy car behind their SUV.

Paul and Belinda Berloni admitted they’d been drinking before using 2 dog leashes to hook the small plastic car to their trailer hitch, according to the arrest report by a Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office deputy.  The deputy spotted the girl being towed up a paved access road while Belinda Berloni cheered her on from the SUV’s cargo area. Despite being separated from six lanes of traffic by only a sidewalk, the girl was not wearing a helmet and clad in just a bathing suit.

The deputy “immediately” smelled alcohol coming from Paul Berloni, whose license had been revoked after 3 previous DUI convictions.  His wife reportedly told police she understood the activity was dangerous, but “they were just having fun and had been doing this all day.”  Son Justin Oetting was unamused when he arrived to pick up his daughter, who was unharmed. “Are you f—–g stupid? You should know better,” he said to his mother before telling the deputy he thought the pair had a drinking problem.

No, they should never be allowed near any child ever again.  In fact, they should be imprisoned.  Or just exiled to a small island without food, shelter, or water.

Yup- the more I think about it, the more the phrase ‘fatal beating’ springs to mind.

Metanyahu ben Ho: How Will This Button Be Made into a Suit?

Photo: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

A seal bearing the name ‘Metanyahu ben Ho’ has been discovered in Jerusalem.  And, no, you’re right, it’s not a biblical name.  But I bet that before the day is over someone – somewhere – will suggest that the discovery of a seal from what Arutz Sheva calls the First Temple Period will be used as ‘proof’ that the Bible is ‘historically accurate’ when it describes ‘Solomon’s kingdom’.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced, Tuesday that a seal bearing the name Metanyahu ben Ho (the rest was rubbed out) from the period of the First Temple, was found in the remains of a drainage channel near the Robinson Arch at the southern end of the Western Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem. The seal was made out of a semi-precious stone.  Eli Shukrun, the IAA’s manager of the dig, said the name Metanyahu (gift from/to G-d) was fashionable for the kingdom of Judea between 800 BCE and the destruction of the First Temple. He added that finding a seal from that period was rare and thrilling.

Fashionable?  How many seals and inscriptions from the period of the kingdom of Judah (Judea’s not right, is it) have been found?  Can a name be called ‘fashionable’ if it’s not amply supplied?

I wonder how this button will be made into a suit.  I can hardly wait.

UPDATE:  The IAA has a post on it which includes the photo above.  You can read it here.  I’m glad to see that when the IAA quotes Shukron it uses the proper term ‘Judah’ rather than ‘Judea’ as the ideologically driven Arutz Sheva does:

According to Eli Shukron, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “the name Matanyahu, like the name Netanyahu, means giving to God. These names are mentioned several times in the Bible. They are typical of the names in the Kingdom of Judah in latter part of the First Temple period – from the end of the eighth century BCE until the destruction of the Temple in 586 BCE. To find a seal from the First Temple period at the foot of the Temple Mount walls is rare and very exciting. This is a tangible greeting of sorts from a man named Matanyahu who lived here more than 2,700 years ago. We also found pottery sherds characteristic of the period on the floor in the ancient building beneath the base of the drainage channel, as well as stone  collapse and evidence of a fire.”

Jason Staples Exposes the Ignorance of Simcha’s Sycophants

Jason only makes one error- he’s too nice.  People like those who work for Simcha (namely John and Nicole) who fancy themselves competent to opine about matters concerning which they are utterly and deeply ignorant hardly deserve the courtesy of the title ‘investigative journalists’.

Where in the World is Chris Tilling Now?

Headed to court, it seems…  Suing BMW for… well I can’t even repeat most of the description why.  You’ll just have to see for yourself….  because he’s…

claiming that the seat on his BMW motorcycle gave him an ——- lasting nearly two years. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Wolf Tilling filed a lawsuit against BMW North American and Corbin-Pacific claiming that the “ridged seat” on his 1993 motorcycle left him with mental and emotional anguish after allegedly causing an extreme case of priapism….

Chris, perhaps rather than suing, just get a car.  Why would you ride a motorcycle for years if it caused you problems?  Wouldn’t, oh I don’t know, an hour of discomfort cause you to make some changes?

When it Comes to Those ‘Biblical Archaeology’ Shows on TV…

We only see what we’re ‘supposed’ to see because we’re only shown what the ‘producers’ decide to show us-

photo via Ron Kubsch on FB

This Month’s Free Book from Logos

For the month of May Logos is featuring The Godhood of God, by A. W. Pink and giving it to folk for free. In addition to the free book download, folk also have a chance to win a 40-volume collection by A. W. Pink. The link to the book is here: http://www.logos.com/free-book-of-the-month.