Daily Archives: 1 Aug 2012

Olympic Divers…..

Via Dave Cox on G+ (it’s too funny not to share)

Bullinger’s Resignation and Last Days

Kloster Kappel am Albis

Kloster Kappel am Albis

On the 2nd of August in 1575 Heinrich Bullinger resigned his position as Pastor of the Great Minster in Zurich.  He had served the City since 1531 when Zwingli had been viciously murdered by the Catholic troops at Kappel-am-Albis (where, incidentally, Bullinger had served the Church prior to his move to Zurich).  Unfortunately, Bullinger’s ‘retirement’ was short lived.  He died the same year.

Philip Schaff writes

His last days were clouded, like those of many faithful servants of God. The excess of work and care undermined his health. In 1562 he wrote to Fabricius at Coire: “I almost sink under the load of business and care, and feel so tired that I would ask the Lord to give me rest if it were not against his will.”

The pestilence of 1564 and 1565 brought him to the brink of the grave, and deprived him of his wife, three daughters, and his brother-in-law. He bore these heavy strokes with Christian resignation. In the same two fatal years he lost his dearest friends, Calvin, Blaurer, Gessner, Froschauer, Bibliander, Fabricius, Farel. He recovered, and was allowed to spend several more years in the service of Christ. His youngest daughter, Dorothea, took faithful and tender care of his health. He felt lonely and homesick, but continued to preach and to write with the aid of pastor Lavater, his colleague and son-in-law.

He preached his last sermon on Pentecost, 1575. He assembled, Aug. 26, all the pastors of the city and professors of theology around his sick-bed, assured them of his perseverance in the true apostolic and orthodox doctrine, recited the Apostles’ Creed, and exhorted them to purity of life, harmony among themselves, and obedience to the magistrates. He warned them against intemperance, envy, and hatred, thanked them for their kindness, assured them of his love, and closed with a prayer of thanksgiving and some verses of the hymns of Prudentius. Then he took each by the hand and took leave of them with tears, as Paul did from the elders at Ephesus.

A few weeks afterwards he died, after reciting several Psalms (51, 16, and 42), the Lord’s Prayer, and other prayers, peacefully, in the presence of his family, Sept. 17, 1575. He was buried in the Great Minster, at the side of his beloved wife and his dear friend, Peter Martyr. According to his wish, Rudolph Gwalter, Zwingli’s son-in-law and his [that is, Bullinger’s] adopted son, was unanimously elected his successor. Four of his successors were trained under his care and labored in his spirit.

Hello, Visitors From Ukraine

I am not sure why but several thousand folk from the Ukraine have visited the blog today, referenced by a site called vk.com (a social networking site).

Anyway, Ukrainian visitors, welcome.  Or in your own language, Ласкаво просимо!

Quote of the Year

‘Managerium’ — The heaviest element known to science is managerium. The element has no protons or elections, but has a nucleus composed of one neutron, two vice-neutrons, five assistant vice-neutrons, twenty-five pro-vice-neutrons and 125 assistant pro-vice-neutrons, all going round in circles. Managerium has a half-life of three years, at which time it does not decay but institutes a series of reviews leading to a reorganisation. Its molecules are held together by means of the exchange of tiny particles known as morons. — John Barton

The final sentence by Lester is worth the price of admission!

The Musings of Thomas Verenna

Some of you may have read Richard Carrier’s review of the forthcoming collection of essays edited by Thomas L. Thompson and I.  The one paper in the volume he didn’t like he reviewed negatively; that paper belongs to Lester Grabbe.  He has asked me to reblog a comment he left on Carrier’s review.  I will post it here in length.  Here you go Lester:  

Since Dr Carrier has given a completely misleading impression of my article, I thought I might make a few brief points:

1.  Thank you for the reference to Van Voorst.  It was, unfortunately, unavailable when I did my research for the article.  However, my practice is to go to primary sources as the basis of any research.  It is also important to take account of secondary sources, but if you work from the primary sources, it is not usually a disaster if you overlook a…

View original post 382 more words

Who Are the Real Bigots? Who Are the Authentic Hate-Mongers?

Is it the people who are on the side of free speech for everyone; or is it the people who insist that only their voice is the legitimate one and if anyone disagrees with them, they must be on the side of evil?

Ask yourself, who really is the bigot here, the advocate of free speech or the advocate of gay marriage who demonizes anyone and everyone who disagrees with them by tarring them with the label of homophobic.

40 So Far

As of a few minutes ago the ‘Biblioblogger’ twitter list includes 40 self described bibliobloggers.  You’re, again, welcome to let me know if you’d like to be included.  The list is here.  Feel free to subscribe.  And if ANYONE knows how I can add myself to the list I’d be grateful.

I’m aiming for the list to be as inclusive as possible so that everyone (who seems sane and who has a blog related to the Bible) is added.  This list may, I think, help those interested in biblical studies and related things keep up with what the bibliobloggers are doing.

So, again, if you’d be so kind as to help spread the word- both of the list’s existence and the ‘open call’ for inclusion I’d be indebted (though not so indebted as to send you money).

This Month’s Free Book from Logos

This is a good one for sure.

“Bishop Westcott’s treatise is, and will doubtless finally take its place as, a classical work. This it deserves, not only from the fulness and completeness of the materials he has assembled, and the refined and scholarly judgment with which they are handled, but from the clear, the just, and the measured views which he takes on all the difficult problems connected with the Epistle. There is a wonderful charm too in his wider views, regarding the deep subjects treated of in the Epistle.”

A Glance into the Future

Phil Long’s Most Excellent Biblioblog Carnival Adventure

Covering July’s postings is up here.  It’s VERY nicely done.  Great job, Phil!  I’ve got the duty for August (posting 1 September) so if something strikes your fancy shoot me an email.

As an aside, Phil notes

With record heat nearly everywhere in the world this summer, July seems like a down month for Bibliblogs.  I noticed quite a few of the “top fifty” were more or less dormant for the month, perhaps bloggers hibernate between academic terms. But some are out excavating  or other important, non-blog related tasks. Still, there are too many dead links in the Complete Biblioblog list.

Summer’s generally are the ‘slow months’.  As to the Top 50– I have to say that ever since the good old days when it was managed elsewhere it has declined to virtual unusability.  Dead links, dead blogs, non-existent regular updates.  It’s a tragedy.  But perhaps it’s for the best, as now there are far too many blogs out there which are worth reading that have never been heard of.

With Thanks to Christian Moser…

Who has generously sent along his newest publication– a two volume investigation of the ‘Reformation History’ of Heinrich Bullinger.  I’m grateful and wish to thank Christian publicly.  I also wish to commend his work to you.  Now, I think I’ll dive in.

Today With Zwingli: On The Instruction of Youth

On 1 August, 1523 Huldrych Zwingli published his Quo pacto ingenui adolescentes formandi sint. It begins

῏Ω κύριε εὐόδησον [!] δή. [Ps. 118. 25]. Jacobus Ceporinus candidis iuvenibus salutem. Magni facient, spero, quamvis pusillum hoc sibi vice muneris oblatum opusculum adolescentes Christiani, quod Zuinglium magnum in Christo virum referat autorem. Is sane, ut totus in hoc est, quo omnes, quod nomine sumus, re ipsa tandem fiamus, Christiani sic praecipue innocuam nec dum pravis mundi studiis infectam iuventutem nititur pertrahere ad Christum. Proinde munusculum hoc qualecunque piis animis candidi adolescentes excipite, hanc gratiam uni Christo autori relaturi, ut, quae in hoc libello christiane oculis legitis, eadem vita moribusque exprimatis Christo dignis.

These prefatory lines are absent in the English translation, which picks up with the following sentences:

GRACE AND PEACE FROM GOD AND OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST BE UNTO THE HONORABLE AND DISCREET YOUTH, GERALD MEYER, BY ULRICH ZWINGLI. As you have just returned from the bath and as every one else has received you with gladness, some presenting you with one gift and others with another, I thought it would be unkind and even rude on my part, my dear Gerald, were I not also to receive you with a present provided for you. I feel all the more pressed to do this, because it is the general custom among good friends thus to honor those returning from health resorts or even before they return.

The book is a ‘bath gift’. That is, as was then customary, when people returned from treatments at the baths, they were ordinarily presented a gift. This is Zwingli’s to the young man who would become his step-son when Zwingli married the boy’s mother a short time later. The entire thing is really an interesting explanation of how young people ought to be raised and what their parents ought to teach them.

Most Christian parents today (if not all, really) could learn a great deal from this delightful volume.  You can get a copy here.

I like especially this segment:

I am not in favor of forbidding a youth to join the company of men and women assembled for innocent pleasure in public places. I refer to weddings of relatives, annual celebrations and festivals; for I learn that even Christ did not refuse to be present at a wedding. Since people will have festive occasions, I very much prefer that they be held openly, instead of secretly or in suspicious homes. Some persons are so constituted that they are afraid to act in a crowd. They are very easily frightened, when a person who may bear testimony against them sees them act; but when they act in secret, the accusing voice of conscience can scarcely frighten them. One must be a desperate rogue, a man from whom no good can be expected, if he is not ashamed to act dishonorably in the presence of a public audience.

The whole thing is just a grand and pleasant read.

Honoring Flinders Petrie

Matti Friedman reports

More than a hundred people gathered in Jerusalem to remember Sir Flinders Petrie, one of the fathers of modern archaeology, in the lovely, little-known cemetery on Mt. Zion where most of him was buried 70 years ago this week.

A towering figure in the study of Egyptology and biblical history, the brilliant, driven and eccentric Briton is no longer a household name. But a memorial for Flinders organized by the Israel Antiquities Authority on Monday at the Protestant Cemetery, just outside the walled Old City, nonetheless drew a capacity crowd of local archaeologists, Bible scholars and aficionados of the ancient past.

Petrie’s modest grave — which houses all of his body except for his head — is marked simply with his name and an ankh, the Egyptian hieroglyph for “life.”

It’s a great essay. Read it all.

Members of the Society for Old Testament Study Call on Jordan to Release Information on the ‘Lead Codices’

Members of the Society for Old Testament Study have collectively, at the Summer Meeting which just concluded in Manchester, sent a letter to the Editor of the Times asking Jordan to release information relating to the so called ‘Lead Codices’.

The Letter appears with the signatures of C. T. R. Hayward, University of Durham; Professor J. R. Bartlett, Trinity College, Dublin; Dr Margaret Barker, Temple Studies Group; Dr Walter Houston, University of Manchester; and Dr Janet Tollington, University of Cambridge in the Times, with the full list of signatories included on the Times website and graciously provided by Jim Aitken via a Facebook group interested in the Codices:

CALL ON JORDAN TO BREAK ITS SILENCE – Letter to the Editor Published in The Times, 1 August 2012


It is a year or more since reports of the discovery of at least 40 lead codices, apparently found in Jordan and possibly of ancient provenance, but currently in illegal private possession. Scientific tests have been conducted on one of these codices and much discussion has taken place among scholars and in the social media. There are many indications that these finds are not modern forgeries, but possibility cannot as yet be definitively excluded.

Since the discovery became known, there has been silence from the Jordanian authorities, who, we understand, have identified the site where they were once deposited, and have taken possession of additional codices from the same collection. The lack of any official announcement is strange, and we still await news of plans for the repossession of these objects, for their proper examination to determine whether or not they are genuine antiquities.

Whether ancient or not, these intriguing and possibly important finds require an urgent official response. Even a modern forgery on this scale must be investigated, and if they are ancient even more research will be required. We ask the authorities in Amman to make an immediate and detailed statement about the finds and their intentions regarding them.

This matter is not just of national and cultural importance for the Kingdom of Jordan but also for all those interested in the antiquity (and the controversial antiquities markets of the Middle East).

Professor Philip Davies, University of Sheffield
Prof Robert P. Gordon, Regius Professor of Hebrew, University of Cambridge
Prof. Lester L. Grabbe, University of Hull
Prof C.T.R. Hayward, University of Durham
Prof J.R. Bartlett, Trinity College, Dublin
Dr Margaret Barker, Temple Studies Group
Prof John F A Sawyer, Perugia (in absentia, with permission)
Dr Walter Houston, University of Manchester
Dr Janet Tollington, University of Cambridge
Prof. David Wulston, St. Peter’s College, Oxford
Dr Diane Edelman, University of Sheffield
Dr Helen Jacobus, University College London
Dr Johanna Stiebert, University of Leeds
Prof. Dr Reinhard Kratz, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany
Rev. Dr K. White, URC Northern College, Manchester
Dr. Constantin Jinga, University of the West, Timisoara, Romania
Prof. Eun-Woo Lee, Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary, Seoul, Korea
Ms E.A. Harper, University of Cambridge
Dr Charlotte Hempel, University of Birmingham
Dr Adrian Curtis, University of Manchester
Dr Deborah Rooke, University of Oxford
Dr Jennifer Dines, University of Cambridge
Dr Dwight Swanson, Nazarene Theological College, Univ of Manchester
Dr Heather McKay, Edge Hill University, Manchester
Tarcisius Mukuka, St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham
Ms CM Crewe, Manchester University
Dr. Sandra Jacobs, Kings College London
Ms Irene Jones
Dr Bruce K. Gardner, University of Aberdeen
Prof. Alistair G. Hunter, University of Glasgow
Dr. Tim McLay, University of Durham/ Scholar’s Publisher Inc.
Mr Andy Lie
Dr Sarah Nicholson, University of Glasgow
Dr Paul Joyce, St. Peter’s College, University of Oxford, Professor elect, King’s College, London
The Rev. Paul Winchester, University of Oxford
Dr James McKeown, Queen’s University of Belfast
Jeffrey Spence, Trinity Western University, Canada
Jason Silverman, Leiden University

This is exactly the sort of thing that biblical scholars, and their scholarly societies, should do when claims are made in our field. I’m proud to be a member of SOTS, where actions speak as loudly as words.

That’s (NOT!) The Spirit: Olympic Cheaters

The Olympics were reeling on Wednesday from a scandal involving women badminton players who “threw” matches to manipulate the draw, prompting jeers from the crowd and angering fans for undermining the spirit of the Games.

That’s just nothing more than cheating. They should all be removed forthwith and not allowed to compete in any international event again. They should be banned for life.

Spectators at the Wembley Arena shouted abuse and jeered at the players as badminton matches descended into farce, with the teams deliberately spraying shots and duffing serves into the net to concede points. “The pairs have been charged … with ‘not using one’s best efforts to win a match’ and ‘conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport’,” the federation said in a statement early on Wednesday. One female volunteer at the venue was in floods of tears at what she saw. “This is not what the Olympics are supposed to be about,” she sobbed, summing up the disappointment and anger that dominated news bulletins in Britain on Wednesday.

I don’t think it’s worth sobbing over- but it is anger-inducing. Cheaters…. ugh.

UPDATEThe cheaters have been expelled.  Good!

A Right Attitude in Prayer

English: Heinrich Bullinger Deutsch: Heinrich ...

Heinrich Bullinger wrote

For above all things we must beware, that we neither pray privately nor publicly to this end [i.e., to be noticed], neither yet fashion the gesture of our body, to get the vain praise of the people, that we may seem to be renowned and accounted holy before men: it sufficeth that we please God, and be allowed by his judgment.

We all probably know one of those people who love to parade their piety when they pray rather than address God from the heart.  That sort of prayer isn’t so much prayer as pride.