Come On, Bishop, Embrace Reform!

On 2 July 1522, as the Reform in Zurich was just getting off the ground, Zwingli wrote to the Bishop of Constance his Supplicatio ad Hugonem episcopum Constantiensem.  Or, according to its full title- Suplicatio quorundam apud Helvetios euangelistarum ad R. D. Hugonem episcopum Constantiensem ne se induci patiatur, ut quicquam in pręiudicium euangelii promulget neve scortiationis scandalum ultra ferat, sed presbyteris uxores ducere permittat aut saltem ad eorum nuptias conniveat.

That longer title tells the thesis of the work.  S.M. Jackson offers this description of the situation-

On July 1st [1522] the Bishop of Constance induced the Swiss annual Diet at Baden to pass a mandate prohibiting the preaching of the Reformation doctrines.

On July 2, 1522, there was signed at Einsiedeln a very earnest “Petition of certain preachers of Switzerland to the Most Reverend Lord Hugo, Bishop of Constance, that he will not suffer himself to be persuaded to make any proclamation to the injury of the Gospel, nor longer endure the scandal of harlotry, but allow the priests to marry wives, or at least to wink at their marriages,” and on July 13, 1522, a similar but not identical petition, entitled “A friendly request and exhortation of certain priests of the Confederacy that the preaching of the Gospel be not stopped, and that no one be offended if the priests, in order to avoid scandal, contract marriages”

The first was in Latin and had eleven signatures, of which Zwingli’s was the last, and was addressed to the bishop; the second was in German, as printed in Zwingli’s works bears no signatures (that it had signatures is, however, stated in its last paragraph), and was addressed to the government of the Confederacy. The two documents are so much alike and so much in Zwingli’s style that probably he was the sole author of them both. Both documents assume that the party addressed is favourable to the preaching of the Gospel, and so inclined to listen to the petitioners’ plea for the removal of all hindrances to its free course. But in both petitions these words about preaching the Gospel are preliminary to what is the true object of these petitions, viz., to obtain from the bishop permission to marry, and to dissuade the government from opposing the permitted clerical marriages, if the bishop allowed them.

In both the doctrine is taught that chastity in a man cannot be preserved unless he have the supernatural gift our Lord is supposed by the petitioners to allude to in Matthew 19:10–12! They very honestly, and with expressions of shame and penitence, confess that they have violated the law of chastity very often, but they plead in extenuation of these offences that God had not seen fit to give them the gift of continence. But as it seems to them that the fact that they live unchastely is prejudicial to the Gospel, and is the occasion of much trouble and reproach to them, they desire permission of the bishop to marry, and also protection for married priests from the State. There is not a scintilla of evidence that the priests who signed these petitions were a whit worse than the other priests about them. What they wanted was permission to contract lawful marriages.

Zwingli at the time he drew up these petitions was living in “clerical” marriage, a union unsanctioned by the Church, but one so connived at and also condoned by public sentiment that the woman he was living with was called his wife.

Of course, these petitions led to no action by those addressed, nor could the signers have expected to do more than to educate public sentiment so that their own contemplated marriages might be less opposed. By coming out so boldly and confessing so humbly, they attested the possession of great courage. Both petitions were printed in Zurich together and sent by Zwingli to the Bishop of Constance. Zwingli’s correspondence shows how active he was in distributing them, apparently in part for signature, and how he viewed signing them.

Here are the signatories-

BALTHASAR TRACHSEL,
GEORG STÄHELIN (Calybeus),
WERNER STEINER,
LEO JUD,
ERASMUS FABRICIUS,
SIMON STUMPF,
JODOC KILCHMEYER,
HULDREICH PISTORIS (Pfister),
CASPAR MEGANDER (Grossmann),
JOHN FABER (Hans Schmid).
HULDREICH ZWINGLI.

Facebook’s Bogus ‘Who Viewed Your Profile’ Scam

I haven’t, and won’t use the absurdly ridiculous ‘who viewed your profile’ scam on the Facebook.  It’s rubbish and here’s the screenshot proving it:

Note that two different people, completely unrelated to each other, have the ‘exact’ same people viewing their profiles.  I would submit that the ‘who viewed your profile’ is a scam aimed to mine your data.  Don’t trust it.

Who in the World is Herman Ridderbos?

This chap knows him well-

Herman Nicolaas Ridderbos (1909 – 2007) was born on February 13, 1909, in Oosterend (Friesland), the Netherlands, grew up in the Reformed Church in a strong, conservative Christian home, and died on Thursday, March 8, 2007, at the age of 98. He was one of the most important New Testament theologians of the 20th century—particularly because of his emphasis on the history of salvation (Heilsgeschichte) or biblical theology.

Herman’s father, Jan Ridderbos, was an ordained minister in the Reformed Church of the Netherlands, a biblical commentator, and professor of Old Testament at the Theological School of the Reformed Churches of the Netherlands in Kampen. Herman Ridderbos completed his undergraduate studies there, and did his post-graduate work at the Free University of Amsterdam under F. W. Grosheide, qualifying for his doctorate in 1936. In 1943, after serving as a pastor for eight years, Ridderbos was appointed to the post of Professor of New Testament Studies at that same school, succeeding Dr. Sidney Greidanus who had been one of his professors. He served there for over forty years.

Works

These are his major writings in chronological order:

1. De strekking der Bergrede naar Mattheüs. [The Tenor of the Sermon on the Mount according to Matthew] Kampen: J. H. Kok, 1936. [This was his PhD dissertation.]

2. Het Evangelie naar Mattheüs I. [The Gospel to Matthew I] Korte Verklaring der Heilige Schrift. Kampen: J. H. Kok, 1941.

3. Het Evangelie naar Mattheüs II. [The Gospel to Matthew II] Korte Verklaring der Heilige Schrift. Kampen: J.H. Kok, 1946.

4. Zelfopenbaring en zelfverberging. Het historisch karakter van Jezus’ messiaansche zelfopenbaring volgens de synoptische evangeliën. [Self-revelation and Self-concealment: The Historical Character of Jesus’ Messianic Self-revelation according to the Synoptic Gospels] Kampen: J. H. Kok, 1946.

5. De komst van het Koninkrijk. Jezus’ prediking volgens de synoptische evangeliën. Kampen: J. H. Kok, 1950.

And many, many more.  I mention Ridderbos because Logos has assembled his most important works (in English) and are making them available quite soon, if I have understood things aright.

If you’re doing work in the Gospels or Paul, it may be worth taking a look at.  Ridderbos really is one of those important figures hardly anyone knows anymore.   It’s quite a shame because he has much to teach (and not much of it’s grossly outdated.  Certainly not as outdated as NT Wright’s work will be in a few weeks).

Anderson’s Gay and I Just Don’t Care: American Media Outlets are Idiots

Anderson’s situation is is between him and God so far as I’m concerned. But It’s absurd and a shame that the networks are spilling coffee on themselves trying to inform us of this. But I just don’t care. Who does? In other (real) news, Syrians are still being murdered by their own government. But I guess that doesn’t matter as much as this real bombshell…

Come on, media, report things that really matter. This DOESN’T. The media are as absurd these days as Congress. And just as sensible. To their shame.

The Samson Synagogue

Live Science reports

A glittering mosaic of colored stones once decorated an ancient synagogue floor with scenes of the Biblical hero Samson getting revenge on the Philistines.

This newly excavated discovery in the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq not only depicts an unusual scene — Samson tying torches to foxes’ tails in order to burn his enemies’ crops — it’s also remarkably high-quality, said dig archaeologist Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

In a mosaic, “the smaller the cubes, the finer the work,” Magness told LiveScience. “Our cubes are very small and fine.”

Read the whole thing.   Now that’s how archaeology is done!  I love Jodi’s work.

Still Another Reason to Drink Coffee

It cuts down your chances of having a certain sort of skin cancer:

Good news, java junkies: Researchers have found the more coffee you drink, the more you may be protecting yourself against skin cancer.  According to a new report published in the journal Cancer Research, drinking more caffeinated coffee could lower your chances of developing basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer.

Researchers analyzed data from the famous Nurses’ Health Study on more than 112,000 people. One fourth of those studied had developed basal cell carcinoma over a 20 year period. Investigators found the more someone drank caffeinated coffee, (more than two cups a day) the lower their risk of developing this form of cancer.  Scientists noted caffeine seemed to be key factor, because tea, cola and chocolate, all of which contain caffeine also seemed to cut a person’s risk.

Yes but unlike chocolate, coffee is calorie free!  On to Starbucks, friends, on to Starbucks!

It’s ‘Luther’s Scared by a Storm and Decides to Become a Monk’ Day

That’s right friends and neighbors, legend has it that Luther decided to become a monk when he was frightened during a storm by lightning.

I guess there are two things that could be said about this.  First, I guess it’s a good thing no one said to him “oh come on, toughen up, princess”.  And second, I guess it’s good that Luther was a bit of a suspicious thing.  At least on July 2, 1505.

In celebration of the big day, find yourself a storm, hang around outside (preferably ride a horse), and when lightning strikes, turn to the religious life out of fear.

[At least Zwingli and Calvin and Bullinger and Oecolampadius didn’t turn to faith because they were afraid of a little summer storm.  Come on Luther, toughen up, princess.]

Quote of the Day

To know man is as toilsome as to catch a cuttlefish, for as the latter hides himself in his own blackness in order not to be caught, so does man, as soon as he sees one is after him, stir up such sudden and thick clouds of hypocrisy that no Lynceus, no Argus, can discover him. — Huldrych Zwingli

Composition contest on the Heidelberg Catechism

Our friends at Refo 500 announce

With a view to the 450th anniversary of the Heidelberg Catechism in 2013, the Reformatorisch Dagblad (Reformed Daily) in the Netherlands has officially organized a composition competition. It is a grand opportunity to present a comprehensive adaptation of a Psalm. The Psalm which a participant selects for his composition must contain the triad of the catechism: sin (and misery), deliverance, and gratitude. The winning compositions will be published and will be performed on January 19, 2013 on the Moreau organ in the Sint-Jans Church in Gouda, Netherlands.

Click here to read more information (Dutch).

I sure wish I had some musical talent. This would be a lot of fun. Maybe you want to give it a go.