Daily Archives: 2 Aug 2012

A Curious Fact About Zwingli

He never mentioned his wife (Anna Reinhard) in any of his works, letters, or tracts.  We would not have confirmation that he had been married were it not for three letters sent to him by his friend Myconius; on July 21, 1522, Myconius writes, “best wishes for your wife”; on September 23rd, “remember me to your son,” and December 19th, “farewell to you and your wife.”

He must have loved her- by all accounts she was a beautiful girl, the same age as himself (born in 1484) and he did adopt her son (from a former marriage, her husband had died).  Evidently, however, he didn’t wish to ‘drag her into’ his disputes.

Kelly Keisling is an Embarrassment to Tennessee

What sort of mental deficit must he be walking the streets burdened with that he could actually send out an email

… containing a rumor that Obama and the Department of Homeland Security are planning a series of events that could lead to the imposition of “martial law” and delay the election. Among the events hypothesized in the email is a staged assassination attempt on the president that would lead to civil unrest in urban areas and martial law.

He’s a representative but he doesn’t know how the system works in America????  I feel sad for our state.  I feel sad for the United States.  I feel sad for the tragically ignorant people who believe what Keisling says.  I feel sad for all those who have or who will vote for him.

And I’m embarrassed that he’s a resident here.  I wish he lived in Texas.

Keisling’s assistant, Frankie Anderson, confirmed that the email was sent “at Keisling’s request” from a state account under the name of Holt Whitt, who is identified in the email as Keisling’s assistant. Anderson said he is filling in for Whitt.

Mr Anderson should quit and so should everyone who works for this travesty of malignant stupidity.

Naturally, now Mr Keisling is backtracking-

The Tennessean reported Wednesday that Keisling released a statement Wednesday morning through a Republican legislative spokesperson expressing regret for sending the email to his constituents.  “Earlier this week, I forwarded an email from my legislative office that should not have been sent out. The message was inappropriate for distribution. I regret the error and pledge to be more cautious regarding the information distributed from my office in the future.”

Sure.  He’s not sorry he did it.  He’s only sorry it caused an appropriate uproar.  He should be impeached and so his constituents could remove the stain of shame presently hovering over our state.

Let Me go on Record: I Did Not Write the Bible

This in response to Joel.  I didn’t write the Bible, Joel.  I just know what it says!

[NB- Joel’s snippet is hilarious!]

Niels Peter Lemche: A Followup on Philip Davies’ Essay

NPL at his desk in his home in Sweden

Niels Peter writes (in response to the previous essay)

In 1813, H.C. Ørsted, the inventor of electromagnetism, travelled widely in Germany. At the same time Napoleon with his last “grande armée” was also travelling in Germany fighting numerous battles ending with the disaster at Leipzig in October. Not a word about these events in Ørsted’s letters. Evidently another example of the scholar who tries to ignore reality.

Reading Philip Davies’ apropos here, I dare say that scholars are notoriously dishonest. If we look for an honest scholar, it could be Johannes Hempel, at that time editor of Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, who in 1943 closed down his journal with the words that he was now going out to fight Bolshevism. It was not a clever decision and it followed him for the rest of his life, but he was honest. Strangely―or is it really?―his main work was Das Ethos des Alten Testaments (1938), the ethic of the Old Testament.

Philip is reacting against dishonesty in biblical studies and reacts as a victim of a furious series of attacks which have branded him as well as I, Thomas Thompson, Keith Whitelam as antisemites, nazists and many more similar things. It is called the maximalist-minimalist debate but it has really been a campaign conducted to eliminate what could be dangerous for the Zionist foundation story for modern Israel as found in the Old Testament. In many ways the debate was hijacked by religiously and politically inspired persons who had no intention of dealing fairly with anything that could be considered problematic to the story of Israel in ancient as in modern times. Never has history and scholarship been abused to such a degree, and biblical scholars have in this way become useful idiots of a modern political program.

If biblical studies with the special twist called Old Testament studies is to regain any kind of respectability among other humanistic disciplines, it is necessary that it comes to grips with reality and begin to follow the rules of other disciplines. If not, we might be at the end of critical biblical scholarship.

Secular Values and Biblical Scholarship: A New Essay by Philip Davies

Vintage Philip.  A must read.  he commences

Myself and Philip, in Sheffield

I am a biblical scholar, I adhere to no religion, and I do not think supernatural beings exist, or if they do, that we have any mutual business. According to one often-voiced opinion, I can therefore have no moral values, no ethics. But I can and do, and these are in fact shared with most people, including those who are religious. They include individual human freedom under the rule of law, democracy, equality of race, colour, sex and religion, and freedom of speech. These values reject theft, murder, tyranny, discrimination, intimidation, colonization and slavery. None of these values can be shown to derive from religion, and certainly not from the Bible—on the contrary, many religions and their scriptures are opposed to them. Neither Yahweh nor Allah can be quoted as bestowing any of them on humans. From where do they come, then? Quoting the American Declaration of Independence, we might say that ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident.’ But we haven’t always seen them as such, so more likely they have partly been learned, by experience and through reflection. As a species, I think we have developed more refined moral codes, whether or not we live by them any more obediently. But whatever their source, the fact is that we have a consensus in most countries and societies (and articulated by the United Nations) that these are shared human values.

Why does he write such?

The values that the State of Israel are currently violating are shared by secular and religious people alike. But for me this is not just a political issue but one of professional ethics. I have already been drawn into the battle by being called ‘anti-Semitic’ for purely scholarly opinions, from those who bracket out Judaism and Israel from any general rule about academic freedom. Others have had their tenure threatened on such grounds (and in past times I might have been sacked because of pressure by the Church!) I believe that as human beings and as scholars, we should try to live and work by our shared values. I wonder whether other scholars who maintain these secular values feel the same way about visiting Jerusalem, or even travelling to Israel. If not, I would like to know why, and especially if they think their profession has had any influence on their attitude.

And he concludes

An open discussion is long overdue, partly in the context of the continuing debate about secular values and biblical studies, and partly because the Bible and politics have never stood apart from each other—and why should they? May I remind you that humanitarian values have usually won, even by somewhat paradoxically coopting the Bible to their cause. But with that I have no quarrel!

Read the entire piece, and think about what Philip is suggesting.

Arav Responds to Garfinkel

In a rollicking response to Garfinkel’s unjustified criticisms of Arav’s review.

I hesitated whether to respond to this ad hominem reply or not. Each “point” in the “18 points” purports to say how flawless the report on Khirbet Qeiyafa is and how unqualified I am to review it. In addition to this, I find it odd not to reply in the same journal that published my book review. However, with my humble skills, I would like to make some arguments.

And persuasive arguments follow.

Some Things Just Need to be Said

This is one of those things.

The ‘Jordan Codices’ Facebook page seems to be – without anyone’s permission- posting information from SOTS and the SOTS Facebook page. Please know that SOTS is in no way affiliated with whomsoever the anonymous person or persons posting at the lead codices page may be.

I mention this so as to head off any suggestion that SOTS as an organization is in any way supporting the claims of the Codices people. It isn’t.  The previously sent letter is a call for openness, not an endorsement.

The Discovery of a LMLK Seal at Azekah!

Via Bob Cargill, filmmaker.

How Did Zwingli Become a Reformer?

S. Jackson has hit the nail on the head with this description of Zwingli’s rise to prominence:

Nederlands: Huldrych Zwingli

1524 marked the completion of the break with the Old Church as far as Zurich was concerned. The changes were made deliberately and under orders from the City Council. They occasioned no revolt, although they were of the most radical description. It was made to appear that the changes came in consequence of the city authorities’ conviction of their scripturalness, and not because Zwingli had insisted upon them. Nor was a step taken without the approval beforehand of the thoughtful classes.

Zwingli and his fellow Reformers argued before the people the propriety of the changes about to be made. Then when a sufficient time had elapsed a public debate was held in the presence of the City Council, and then the Council ordered the changes. The consequence was the changes were made once for all, were fully comprehended, and gladly assented to.

By this course Zwingli proved his title to be called the Prudent Reformer. Granted that it was the clear-sightedness of the prayerful scholar rather than spiritual elevation which gave him the knowledge of the objectionable doctrines and practices of the Old Church, he showed true courage in opposing and removing them; granted that he was totally lacking in Luther’s flaming zeal, he accomplished a much more complete break with Rome; granted that he was no profound thinker like Calvin, he was much more easily comprehended and probably quite as correct. And in personal qualities he was superior to Luther and Calvin.

Men loved Zwingli, and followed him because they loved him. They knew that he spoke the truth in the breadth of a loving heart; that he broke with Rome because he loved the truth more than life, and loathed the whole miserable business of mediæval hair-splitting theology, lying pardons, swindling sacraments, the incubus of a Church which was primarily a huge money-making concern, ruled by a Pope no spiritual man had any respect for and served by a clergy who as a class were low-bred and low-lived, preached by monks whose private histories were unsavoury, and sanctified, forsooth, by nuns who were virgin only in name.

His heart made him protest. It could no longer be borne; the Church was pressing the life out of the poor people and sending them by millions to the bar of God without any knowledge of God’s Word, or any preparation for His service.

Zwingli became a Reformer, THE Reformer, because he loved the Church and despised what Rome had turned it into.  He loathed what Rome had done to the Flock, so he did something about it, in a deliberate, measured, sensible, prayerful way.

Cargill’s Excellent (Azekah) Adventure

In photos. I need to affix a public service warning, though, before you look be forewarned- you may go blind due to the tie-dye.  View at your own risk.

The Differences Between ‘Football’ and Football

Football is an Olympic sport.  ‘Football’ isn’t.  Football is a game played in 2 halves that takes 90 minutes with a short halftime break.  ‘Football’ is a game played in 2 halves that takes 3.5 hours with so many breaks between plays that you can’t even count them plus a halftime break.  Footballers are real athletes.  ‘Football’ players are mainly overly large, lumbering, lazy inarticulate buffoons.

So, which is the real athlete?