Daily Archives: 5 Aug 2012

Quote of the Decade

From Nicholas Kristoff, on the twitter-

One guy has explosives in [his] shoe, we all remove shoes at [the] airport.   30,000 die yearly from guns, we do nothing.

So true, and so very telling, isn’t it.

The Bern Theses

The “Acts of the [Bern] Disputation” were published by Christopher Froschauer—the Zurich printer who published Zwingli’s writings—on April 23, 1528. It opens with the Bernese magistrates’ call to the disputation, covering six pages and dated “Sunday, the 17th day of the Winter month” (which in the Swiss calendar is November), 1527. The date set for the beginning of the disputation was the first Sunday of the new year, which came on January 5th. Then come the ten theses for debate prepared, with Zwingli’s assistance, by the local Reformers Kolb and Haller- 

I. The Holy Christian Church, whose sole Head is Christ, is born of the Word of God, is animated by it, and hears not the voice of a stranger.

II. The Church of Christ makes no addition to the law and ordinance of the Word of God. Consequently all human deliverances, as the Church ordinances are called, are not binding upon us except so far as they are grounded on and ordained by the Word of God.

III. Christ is our sole wisdom, righteousness, Saviour, and Redeemer for all the sin of the world. Consequently to confess another service of the saints and satisfaction for sin is to deny Christ.

IV. That the Body and Blood of Christ are substantially and corporally received in the bread of the Eucharist cannot be proved from the Bible.

V. The mass now in use wherein Christ is offered to God, the Father, for the sins of the living and dead is contrary to Scripture; to make a sacrifice to the Almighty out of the sufferings of the immortal Christ is a blasphemy and on account of the misuse of it an abomination in the sight of God.

VI. As Christ died for us only, so He should be appealed to as the only mediator and intercessor between God the Father and us believers, consequently all other mediators and intercessors besides now appealed to are to be repudiated by us on the ground of Scripture.

VII. That after this time no purgatory will be found taught in the Scriptures. Consequently all services for the dead as vigils, requiems, soul-graces, sevens, spiritual consolations, anniversaries, ampullæ, candles, and such like are vain.

VIII. Making pictures for worship is contrary to the Word of God in the New and Old Testaments. Consequently wherever they are so placed as to be in danger of worship they should be removed.

IX. Holy marriage is in the Scripture forbidden to no class, but harlotry and unchastity all classes are commanded to avoid.

X. Since an openly immoral woman is under a heavy ban according to the Scripture, it follows that harlotry and unchastity on account of the scandal of it are in no class more shameful than in the priesthood.

(From S. Jackson’s history of the Swiss Reformation).

What’s striking here is that no matter how much things ‘change’ the truth is, the same issues are constantly in need of restatement.  Numbers 1 and 10 are as important now as they were then.

The Targum: A Conference Announcement

From Paul Flesher:

International Organization for Targum Studies
Seventh Meeting
Munich/München, Germany
Wednesday – Friday, August 7-9, 2013


The 7th meeting of the IOTS will cover a wide range of topics related to Targum Studies:

Translation Strategies and Theory;
Text-criticism and Manuscript Studies;
Relationship to  Rabbinic Literature;
Targum and NT.

We are pleased to announce a call for short papers in any of these categories.  Papers should be of twenty-minutes length, allowing ten additional minutes for discussion. The deadline for paper proposals is December 31, 2012, including written abstracts.

DATE — The seventh meeting of the IOTS will be held from August 7-9, 2013 in conjunction with the XXIst Congress of IOSOT, the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament, and other specialized congresses (IOQS, IOSCS, IOMS), to be held from 4th to 9th August 2013 in Munich/München, Germany. All information on these congresses, registration, accommodation, etc. can be found on http://www.en.iosot2013.evtheol.uni-muenchen.de/welcome/index.html.

PAPER PROPOSALS — If you are interested in participating and presenting a paper, please send your proposal (title and/or subject of paper) to:

Dr Willem Smelik,
Dept. of Hebrew and Jewish Studies
University College London
Foster Court, Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT

Violence, American Style and the Dusk of an Empire

We love to shoot people.  We just love it.

At least seven people, including a gunman shot by a police officer, have been killed in an attack on worshippers at a Sikh temple in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, on Sunday, police said.

The officer was wounded but “returned fire, and that shooter was put down,” said Bradley Wentlandt, the police chief in nearby Greenfield, who briefed reporters. Investigators who picked through the building afterward found four bodies inside the temple and two other victims outside, plus the gunman, Wentlandt said.

Though early reports had suggested there may have been more than one attacker, he said officers had not identified any other gunmen.

The wounded officer, a 20-year veteran, was in surgery Sunday afternoon after being shot multiple times, but was expected to survive, Wentlandt said. He was sent to the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, south of Milwaukee, after a 911 call about 10:25 a.m. (11:25 a.m. ET).

I guess it’s time to face the truth and admit to ourselves that America’s cancerous sickness is incurable.  There is no hope for our violence loving society.  We will soon face the same fate as all the previous great empires which have inhabited the planet.  Our days are numbered and we are doomed to disintegration from within.  A house divided against itself cannot stand.  And won’t.

America, you were great (most of the time) while you lasted.  History is closing the book on you though.

A Forgotten Fact: David Cuthbertson’s “A Tragedy of the Reformation”

The history of Calvin’s work in Geneva has been unjustly scarred because of the fate of the devil Servetus.  As David Cuthbertson pointed out exactly a century ago-

“FEW examples of persecution have made more noise than that of Servetus at Geneva in the year 1553. Had he not accidentally escaped from prison in Vienne, he would have suffered the same cruel death in a popish country, which was unhappily reserved for him when he fell into the hands of Protestant magistrates.

Had he been executed in Vienne, he would only have made one of an endless list of victims which have been made to the cruelty of Popery, but to be sent to the flames for heresy, by those who were but lately delivered from the devouring jaws of an intolerant religion, against which they so keenly and so justly remonstrated, has drawn the attention and given full scope to the censure of mankind upon it, which in the course of two ages has been thrown entirely upon Calvin.

While the judges are forgot, or overlooked, the whole load of reproach has fallen upon that famous divine—how justly, or how unjustly, must be left to an impartial inquiry into, and a fair construction upon, the whole.”

Then Cuthbertson dives right in to exactly that sort of investigation.  It’s a quite sensible book.  I draw it to your attention precisely due to that fact.

Todd Bentley The Heretic is Peddling His Deceptions Again

An evangelist who kicks followers in the face, claiming his violence will cure them of cancer, is to tour Britain this month – but his proposed visit has provoked outrage and demands that he be banned from entering the country.

Tattooed preacher Todd Bentley,  who as a 15-year-old was convicted of a sex attack on a boy aged seven, claims God uses him as an instrument to heal the sick, and is urging the frail to attend his shows.

The former drug user, who is Canadian but based in the United States, even laughs about his ‘healing’  techniques. In one show he treated a man claiming to be suffering from colon cancer by planting his knee hard into the victim’s stomach. The man fell to the floor in agony.

On another occasion, a man was pushed over so forcefully that he lost a tooth.

Burly Mr Bentley, 36, said in one YouTube clip: ‘And I’m thinking  why is the power of God not moving? And He said, “Because you haven’t kicked that woman in the face.”

This heretic isn’t a Christian.  He’s a pedophile, a drug addict, and a deceiver.  He is the enfleshment of everything that’s wrong with pentebabbleism.  If he comes back to the States he should be refused entry and sent to Canada where he belongs.  Let the people there suffer him.

A Participant Reflects on Digging at Megiddo

Over on the Tel Aviv U. blog a volunteer writes

It has always been a dream of mine to have the pleasure and the ability to get involved in an excavation in Israel or the Middle East in general.  Insufficient funds, summer classes, and various odd jobs have always been a barrier in my ability to even think about excavating at Tel Megiddo. However, on July 8th, 2012, as part of the International MA Program in Archaeology and History of the Land of the Bible, those barriers fully collapsed and my ambition for the field has only begun.

Give his post a read.

Lawrence Schiffman is on the Twitter!

You’ll want to ‘follow’ him.  Welcome to the twitter, Professor!

In Just One Month There Were 50 Attacks By Israelis Against Palestinians

It’s time to open our eyes and realize the ugly truth that there are Israeli terrorists terrorizing Palestinians. These terrorists are called ‘Settlers’.

There were more than 50 reports of Israelis assaulting Palestinians in the West Bank last month. In the start of a regular series, Haaretz details one particularly violent attack.


There is still a bruise under Ibrahim Bani Jaber’s left eye. The blows his brother Jawdat received to his right ear didn’t leave any marks, but they still make his head feel heavy. During our meeting at their home in the West Bank village of Akraba last week, they did not spend much time describing the fear and pain they felt when they were attacked. Instead, they spoke about the family’s sheep, that they had rushed to try and save that day, July 7, when they heard that settlers were attacking them.

The violent confrontation – between settlers from Itamar and Giva 777, and Palestinian residents of Akraba – was the worst such incident last month. But it was, nevertheless, merely part of the daily routine of assaults, attacks and incursions. It is only on rare occasions that these incidents become news. In most cases, if there is an investigation there is no indictment.

In other words, the government of Israel is ignoring the brutal attacks on Palestinians perpetrated by land grabbing settlers.  In the West Bank, Israelis aren’t victims of violence, they’re the perpetrators of violence, and the world needs to know it.  I’m glad Ha’aretz has the courage to report what’s going on there.

Be sure to visit the links below – they detail even more Israeli violence.