Daily Archives: 21 May 2012

Quote of the Day

[Since God sees everything] … How comes it about that Men are not ashamed to do that in the Sight of God, and before the Face of the holy Angels, what they would be ashamed to do before Men?  — Desiderius Erasmus

Signs of the Times…

via Irene Hahn on FB

‘Pastor’ Charles Worley Isn’t Christian in Anything But his own Mind

A North Carolina ‘Pastor’s’ call for gays to be penned up until they die shows only one thing: that he is not a Christian and that he has no idea, no clue, and no understanding of what Christianity is.

North Carolina pastor Charles Worley has an, er, unorthodox suggestion for how to spread God’s love to gay people. “Build a great, big, large fence—150 or 100 miles long—put all the lesbians in there. Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals, and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out,” he suggested in a sermon last week, which was posted to YouTube today and spotted by the Huffington Post and other blogs. “You know what, in a few years, they’ll die out,” he continued. “Do you know why? They can’t reproduce!”

Worley’s comments were in response to President Obama’s declaration that he supported gay marriage. “I ain’t gonna vote for a baby killer and a homosexual lover!” Worley yells. In the full video on the church’s website, Worley goes on to specify that though homosexuality makes him “pukin’ sick,” he’s against the sin, not the sinners. He wants homosexuals to “get saved,” meaning, presumably, that he doesn’t actually want to kill them all.

Such language is despicable, sub-Christian, and pathetically ignorant.  ‘Pastor’ Worley should resign and apologize to the Church and Christianity as well as Christians across the country and around the world for misrepresenting them so grossly.  Furthermore, he should apologize to the objects of his hatred.  What he wants to do- even if mere hyperbole- is NOT what Jesus would have his disciples do- or even say.

Elie Wiesel Says ‘Jerusalem Has to Be Above Politics’, But He’s the Advisory Chair of Elad…

And Elad is all about politics and nothing but.  Which fact nicely illustrates the ambiguity of archaeology in Jerusalem.  It’s politically motivated in so many respects and the very people who should be unbiased quest-ers for the truth are oftentimes ‘in bed’ with funding organizations which don’t even attempt to hide their political goals.

The Christian Century has a very nicely written piece today on the politics of archaeology in Jerusalem.  The opening paragraph-

In Israel, archaeology is followed with the same passion that soccer excites in other countries. That’s because archaeological findings—especially ones that reveal Jews’ ancient attachment to the land—have political meaning. As Israelis see it, such findings show that this is their land and no one can take it from them.

Do enjoy.

Scholars You Should Know: T. Michael Law

T.M. writes of himself-

My main research is on the translations, revisions, and recensions of the biblical text in early Judaism and Christianity. The texts and versions include the Hebrew Bible, Qumran materials, Aramaic Targums, Greek Septuagint, other Greek Jewish versions, the Latin Vulgate and the so-called ‘daughter versions’ transmitted in the various languages of Eastern Christianity (Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Ethiopic, etc.). Textual study provides a solid base from which to address questions concerning the formation of Scripture and the developvment of the idea of an authoritative text within both Judaism and Christianity.

Yes, you read that right, he’s one of those guys interested in the text of the Bible.  Or more accurately, the texts of the Bible.

He’s written rather a lot-

  • Origenes OrientalisThe Preservation of Origen’s Hexapla in the Syrohexapla of 3 Reigns (De Septuaginta Investigationes, 1; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, forthcoming).
  • T.M. Law and A.G. Salvesen (eds.), Greek Scripture and the Rabbis: Studies from the European Association of Jewish Studies Seminar, 2010 (Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology; Leuven: Peeters Press, expected 2011).
  • ‘A History of Research on Origen’s Hexapla: From Masius to the Hexapla Project’, BIOSCS 40 (2007): 30-48.
  •  ‘Origen’s Parallel Bible: Textual Criticism, Apologetics, or Exegesis?’, Journal of Theological Studies 59.1 (2008): 1-21.
  • ‘The Translation of Symmachus in 1 Kings (3 Reigns)’, in Melvin H. K. Peters (ed.), XIII Congress of the International Organization of Septuagint and Cognate Studies (Septuagint and Cognate Studies; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2008), pp. 277-292.
  • ‘La version syro-hexaplaire et la transmission textuelle de la Bible grecque’, in F. Briquelle-Chatonnet and Muriel Debie (eds.) L’Ancien Testament en Syriaque (Études syriaques, 5; Paris: Geuthner, 2008), pp. 101-20.
  •  ‘The Use of the Greek Bible in some Byzantine Jewish Glosses on Solomon’s Building Campaign’, in N.R.M. de Lange, et al. (eds.), Jewish Reception of Greek Bible Versions (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009).
  • ‘Symmachus in Antioch?: The Translation of Symmachus in the Antiochian Recension of 1 Kings (3 Reigns)’, Textus 25 (2011).
  • T.M. Law and T. Kauhanen, ‘Methodological Reflections on the Study of Kingdoms: A Response to Siegfried Kreuzer’, BIOSCS 43 (2011).
  • ‘How Not to Use 3 Reigns: A Plea to Scholars of the Books of Kings’, Vetus Testamentum 61.2 (2011).
  • ‘Why are the Three Ignored in the Study of the Textual History of the Historical Books?’, in B. Lemmelijn, H. Ausloos, and J.C. Trebolle Barrera (eds.), After Qumran: Old and New Editions of Biblical Texts. The Historical Books (BETL; Leuven: Peeters, expected 2011).
  • ‘An Often Neglected Version in the Textual History of 1 Kings’, in a forthcoming FS(Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism; Leiden: Brill, expected 2011).
  • ‘Kaige, Aquila, and Jewish Revision’, in T.M. Law and A.G. Salvesen (eds.), Greek Scripture and the Rabbis: Studies from the European Association of Jewish Studies Seminar, 2010 (Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology; Leuven: Peeters Press, expected 2011).
  • ‘Aramaic and Syriac’, ‘Aramaic Levi Document’, ‘Bible, Syriac Translation of’, ‘Dionysius the Areopagite’, ‘Elephantine Papyri’, ‘Ephrem’, and ‘Testament of Job’, in Roger Bagnall, Kai Brodersen, Craige Champion, Andrew Erskine and Sabine Huebner (eds.), Enclyclopedia of Ancient History (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, expected 2011).
  • ‘3-4 Kingdoms’, in James K. Aitken (ed.), Companion to the Septuagint (London: T & T Clark International, expected 2011).
  • ‘The Armenian Version of the Song of Hannah (1 Samuel 2)’, in C. Seppänen and E. Perttilä (eds.), The Textual Traditions of the Song of Hannah (expected 2012).
Works in Progress:
  • When God Spoke Greek (New York: Oxford University Press, due 2012).
  • III Kingdoms (1 Kings), Origen’s Hexapla: A New Edition of the Fragments of Related Greek Renderings of the Old Testament (The Hexapla Project; Leuven: Peeters Publishers, in progress, expected 2012).
  • J. Trebolle Barrera, P. Torijano Morales, A. Piquer Otero and T. M. Law, A Synoptic Polyglot Edition of 1-2 Kings (Madrid: CSIC, in progress, expected 2013).
  • P. Hugo and T. M. Law, Septuaginta: Vetus Testamentum Graecum auctoritate academiae scientiarum Gottingensis editum, Samuelis Liber Secundus (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, in progress, expected 2014).
  • IV Kingdoms (2 Kings), Origen’s Hexapla: A New Edition of the Fragments of Related Greek Renderings of the Old Testament (The Hexapla Project; Leuven: Peeters Publishers, expected 2015).

By the by, that’s the way it is with good scholars- they write. If someone has been an academic for 10 years and they have a dissertation and a few journal articles you can pretty much assure yourself that they aren’t really contributing to the field. The contributors are the writers. And good scholars are always writing something, always working on something. They don’t know the idolatry of idleness.

T.M. is one of those productive young scholars you should keep an eye on.  He’ll do substantial things (and he already is).  Oh- and I almost forgot to mention it- he’s also a blogger (putting the lie to the idiotic sometimes stated supposition that scholars are too good to blog;  again I would mention- scholars are communicators).

More On the Mysterious Reappearance of the Megiddo Hoard in the News Today

Earlier I mentioned a press release which described something described months ago in a find at Megiddo.  There’s more, as the American Friends of Tel Aviv University point out (with thanks to Joe Lauer for the heads up) –

Researchers from Tel Aviv University have recently discovered a collection of gold and silver jewelry, dated from around 1100 B.C., hidden in a vessel at the archaeological site of Tel Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel. One piece — a gold earring decorated with molded ibexes, or wild goats — is “without parallel,” they believe.

According to Prof. Israel Finkelstein of TAU’s Department of Archaeology and Near Eastern Cultures, the vessel was found in 2010, but remained uncleaned while awaiting a molecular analysis of its content. When they were finally able to wash out the dirt, pieces of jewelry, including a ring, earrings, and beads, flooded from the vessel. Prof. Finkelstein is the co-director of the excavation of Tel Megiddo along with Professor Emeritus David Ussishkin of Tel Aviv University and Associate Director Prof. Eric Cline of George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

The researchers believe that the collection, which was discovered in the remains of a private home in the northern part of Megiddo, belongs to a time period called “Iron I,” and that at least some of the pieces could have originated in nearby Egypt. Some of the materials and designs featured in the jewelry, including beads made from carnelian stone, are consistent with Egyptian designs from the same period, notes Ph.D. candidate Eran Arie, who supervises the area where the hoard was found.

May 21, 1526 Was Also a Monday…

And on that auspicious day none less than Huldrych Zwingli published his little 19 page Flugschrift Die erste kurze Antwort über Ecks sieben Schlußreden.  Zwingli also addressed it to the Confederation (so that all the Cantons which had embraced Reform would know how Eck should be answered by their own Pastors and Theologians).

The occasion was, of course, the Baden Disputation (which Zwingli had not been allowed to attend- the Zurich City Council deeming him too valuable to risk having him killed by the angry Catholics- a thing that certainly would have happened had he gone).

It commences

Frommen, vesten, fürsichtigen, ersamen, wysen, gnädigen, lieben herren! Sidmal mir üwer wyßheit uß ursachen, die sy wol weyßt, ze lieb den ungemeinen platz Baden nit endren wil und aber daby Egg unnd Faber mit aller irer practick, red und anheften der artiklen allein uff mich reichend, sam die disputation allein sye umb minetwillen angesehen (darumb ich vermeindt allerbillichost gewäsen wär, daß man ein gemeinen platz angesehen hett, vorus so man vor jaren offenlich verstanden hat, daß mir Baden gheinswegs gemein ist; darus ich ermessen mag, das ir fürnemen und höchste begird ist, nit mit mir, sunder hinder mir ze disputieren und da uff beschlüß ze tringen, die sy, wo mir der platz gemein wer, nit vertruwtind fürzebringen, wiewol ouch hierinn gott wirt ynsehen thuon), hierumb ist an üch, mine gnädige herren, min demuotig pitt, ir wellind mir des Eggen gründ, die er über die siben schlußreden anzeigen wirt, schrifftlich lassen zuokomen; wil ich imm in gar kurtzer zyt allweg by üch schriftlich antwurt geben.

To my knowledge the present little treatise has never been translated.  A pity, really, and yet more evidence that folk interested in the period need to learn German or suffer the sorrow of never really knowing what went on.

The 2012 ‘Jesus Conference’ Has Found a Home… United Seminary

Joel informs us

I received this in an email from Dr. Keith shortly before my midnight hour:

The 2012 Jesus Conference will be held Oct. 4 and 5, 2012 in Dayton, OH.  The co-hosts are United Theological Seminary and the University of Dayton’s Center for Scriptural Exegesis, Philosophy, and Doctrine.  We’re very excited to partner with these institutions and their fine faculty.  More information concerning registration, schedule, etc., will be forthcoming.

You may recall that the original venue was essentially boycotted by scholars because of its firing of Anthony Le Donne.  So, good for United for being willing to take the bull by the horns and host the homeless conference.

A Trove of Jewelry Discovered at Megiddo

This appeared in the news today (even though it’s actually quite old news- having first appeared two months ago- see the link at the bottom of this entry).

Archaeologists digging at Tel Megiddo in northern Israel have unearthed what turns out to be one of the largest troves of Canaanite treasures ever found, buried in rubble from destruction 3,100 years ago.

The treasure was hidden inside a clay vessel that had been unearthed in the summer of 2010. The pot had been filled with dirt and sent for testing. It was only recently that the dirt was examined in a restoration laboratory and the treasure revealed to their great surprise.

The hoard includes a collection of gold and silver jewelry, beads, a ring and a pair of unique gold earrings with molded ibexes and wild goats that was likely made in Egypt.

“We find about 10 [whole] vessels every year. The only thing that was unusual was that the jug was found inside a bowl. It was put inside a bowl 3,000 years ago and was covered by another bowl and it was put in the corner of a court yard,” archaeologist Eran Arie told The Media Line.

The hoard is one of the largest and most intriguing ever found in Israel. The treasure likely belonged to a wealthy, perhaps royal, family and was found in the layer of settlement dating to 1,100 B.C., about 150 years prior to the Israelite conquest of Canaan, Arie says. 

Israel Finkelstein, a professor Tel Aviv University’s Department of Archaeology and Near Eastern Cultures, who has been digging at Megiddo for nearly two decades, says the jug was discovered in the remains of a private home in the northern part of the site. It was dated to a period called Iron I.

There’s more, but it’s not very interesting.

It’s Best to Avoid Criticizing the Orthodox Church if You Live In Russia…

Or you might find yourself in trouble with the authorities

After Maksim Yefimov wrote a 160-word article criticising the Russian Orthodox Church in the north-western Karelia Region, prosecutors have brought an “extremism” case against him in the Karelian capital Petrozavodsk. The article, published on the website of his organisation Youth Human Rights Group of the Republic of Karelia on 31 December 2011, is entitled “Karelia is tired of priests”, and refers to “the Orthodox breed”. It alleges that the “total corruption, oligarchy and the total power of the security services is connected with the rebirth of the Russian Orthodox Church”. It also alleges that Orthodox churches are being built with state funds and that the handover of former kindergarten buildings to the Church has left a severe shortage.

Yefimov is being investigated under Criminal Code Article 282, Part 1, in a case launched by the local Investigation Committee on 5 April, according to case documents posted on his Livejournal blog and the local media. Konstantin Spongar of the FSB security service was also involved. Yefimov’s home was searched in the night of 10 – 11 April and on 12 May a judge approved prosecutors’ request to have him placed in a psychiatric hospital in the village of Matrosy for an enforced examination. Yefimov is appealing against the decision – which would otherwise come into force 10 days after being handed down – to Karelia’s Supreme Court.

There’s more to read.   It seems Russia hasn’t gotten to far from it’s Czarist roots.  With thanks to Richard Bartholomew on the twitter for the heads up.