Daily Archives: 6 Aug 2012

Why We Love the Irish

They’re funny!  Check out the sailing commentator from the Olympics

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Posted by on 6 Aug 2012 in Humor


Someone Else to Follow on the Twitter: The Duke / UNC Center for Late Ancient Studies

You Classicists and folk interested in late antiquity will want to follow the good folk a the Duke / UNC  ‘Center for Late Ancient Studies’.  Here’s their website and here’s their twitter page.

It’s nice to see Duke and Carolina get along… even if they don’t when it comes to basketball!    [GO DUKE!!!!]

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Posted by on 6 Aug 2012 in Modern Culture


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The Evangelical Theological Society’s Very Generous Student Scholarship

From ETS

The ETS Executive Committee is pleased to announce the Annual Meeting Student Scholarship Program. This program is designed to help academically promising students who find participation in the Society economically prohibitive, or who come from a traditionally underrepresented group to get to know the Society, its functions, its leaders, and the role it plays in supporting conservative evangelical scholarship. The goal of the program is to encourage and support students, who might otherwise not participate in the Society, to appreciate the value of membership and the profitable part that it might play in their academic and ministry futures.
Scholarship recipients will receive a two-year benefit package
Year One
Free Annual Meeting registration
Free Annual Meeting Banquet ticket
$300 cash award for travel expenses and meals
Free hotel accommodations at the annual meeting (four nights)
Luncheon with the Executive Committee and invited guests
1 year free ETS membership
Book vouchers and publications from scholarship sponsors
Year Two
Free Regional Meeting registration
Free Regional Meeting Banquet ticket (if applicable)
$150 cash award for travel expenses and meals
1 year free ETS membership
Free Annual Meeting registration
Free Annual Meeting banquet ticket
To be eligible for consideration, a student must meet the following criteria:
  • The program is open to current M.Div., Th.M., or Ph.D. students working in biblical studies, theology or a related field.
  • The applicant should have either an economic need which renders them unable to participate in the Society or should be part of an underrepresented group within the Society. While not limited exclusively to these groups, the Society membership has traditionally been underrepresented in terms of female, African-American, and Hispanic populations.
  • The Society’s purpose is to foster conservative biblical scholarship. Applicants should be able to demonstrate academic promise which indicates likely ability to participate as an active member of the Society.
  • Applicants should currently reside (school residence) within an 8-10 hour drive time of this year’s annual meeting venue, Milwaukee, WI.
  • Applicants must not be related to any member of the Executive Committee or the Scholarship Program Selection Committee. Currently this includes: Eugene Merrill, Clint Arnold, Paul House, Gregg Allison, Robert Yarbrough, Hassell Bullock, Bruce Ware, Tom Schreiner and Michael Thigpen.
Full or associate members who want to nominate a student should send an email to that includes the following:
  1. Name and contact information for the nominee
  2. Description of the member’s relationship with the nominee
  3. Description of how the nominee fits the scholarship criteria
Nominations must be received by August 31, 2012.
The following sponsors support the scholarship program by providing vouchers for books, software, and other valuable study aids. Each scholarship recipient will be able to go back to his or her studies with a significantly enhanced personal library. Given the high quality of the publications offered by our exhibitors this is a truly unique opportunity.
Accordance Bible Software
Acton Institute
Hendrickson Publishers
Kregel Publications
Logos Bible Software
P&R Publishing
Rose Publishing
Wipf & Stock Publishers
Please be sure to visit these sponsors in the Exhibit Hall in Milwaukee and thank them for their support.
If you have questions or would like to nominate a student, please contact the ETS Executive Director, Michael Thigpen (
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Posted by on 6 Aug 2012 in Conferences


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Maurice Casey v. Thomas Thompson: The Clash of the Titans

Casey begins

In a recent article in this journal, Thomas Thompson wrote what he described as ‘A Response to Bart Ehrman,’though the connection is not always obvious. The purpose of this response is not generally to defend Ehrman, but to point out that Thompson is completely wrong from beginning to end. Ehrman got one main point right, and it should be at the centre of the discussion. He commented, ‘Thompson is trained in biblical studies, but he does not have degrees in New Testament or early Christianity. He is, instead, a Hebrew Bible scholar….’ Thompson’s lack of expertise regarding New Testament Studies and Early Christianity is palpable throughout his essay.

And then he’s off to the races (as we say here in the South).

Given the fact that I am friends with both Thomas and Maurice I think I shall simply point out that this discussion should stir up even more discussion!  (To say the least).  I also confess that I am a big fan of lively discussion.  Maurice doesn’t (ever) disappoint.

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Posted by on 6 Aug 2012 in Biblical Studies Resources


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Hey You, Yeah You, the ‘Anyone Should Be Able to Get a Gun’ Crowd…

Guess what?  It has happened again.  Today.

One man is in critical condition after a woman opened fire on a crowd leaving a midnight cruise on the Detroit Princess riverboat today, according to police.

Police are still searching for the suspect in the 1:15 a.m. shooting, which left six others with minor injuries, Detroit Police Sgt. Alan Quinn said. The shooting took place on the shore, near the boarding area behind Joe Louis Arena.

The altercation apparently began as an argument aboard the boat, Quinn said. Radio One Detroit’s station Hot 107.5, which plays hip hop and rap, was hosting the On Deck Sunday Moonlight Cruise. The event is touted on the boat’s Facebook page as a nightclub atmosphere on a cruise from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The Detroit Princess also provides a DJ for the cruise, playing softer music on the boat’s top deck.

“It looks like a group of people were getting in some kind of fight,” said Quinn. “When they got back to shore, a female who was involved in the fight got into her car, drove back…and then she shot into the crowd of people who were getting off the boat.”

Give an idiot a chance to arm, and they will.  Sick of it yet?  Nah, I didn’t think so.  You never will be.  You’ll forever exalt the Second Amendment above the teaching of Scripture and the spirit and soul of Christian faith.

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Posted by on 6 Aug 2012 in Theology



Dr Schiffman Will Speak in Fort Worth on the Dead Sea Scrolls

If you’re anywhere near there you should go.  Prof. Schiffman is a great speaker; informative, funny, brilliant.

Schiffman, unknown, Cargill, Maier

Dr. Schiffman is a world-renowned lecturer and expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls. He is vice provost for Undergraduate Education at Yeshiva University. He served as editor-in-chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls along with a colleague, and edited the journal “Dead Sea Discoveries” for 10 years. Dr. Schiffman has appeared on the PBS Nova series documentary “Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls,” and on the BBC, the McNeil-Lehrer program, Discovery and A&E.

Admission: $20 for adults, $10 for students (includes graduate students). Reserve your seat at or by calling 877-789-0876. Lecture will be held in the Naylor Student Center on the campus of Southwestern Seminary (entrance at 2001 West Seminary Drive).  Part of the Joan & Andy Horner Lecture Series, Underwritten by Premier Designs, in conjunction with the Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible exhibition.

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Posted by on 6 Aug 2012 in Conferences



Jim Davila on the Lead Codices and the SOTS Letter to the Times


A photo of one of the lead codices found in Jo...

I have to agree with Jim.  Had I been at SOTS this Summer I would have declined to sign the letter to the Times as well.  Read his post, it’s quite good.  Here’s the core of the matter

I see two issues here. The first is the silence of the Jordanian Government about the metal codices. Since they were quitevocal about the importance of the finds initially, their subsequent silence is indeed noteworthy. My guess is that they have figured out that the codices are fakes and are just keeping quiet and hoping the whole issue goes away and spares them further embarrassment. If I am wrong, it would be helpful to hear what they do think and what they are currently doing about the codices, and to that extent I can support the central point of the letter. But I am not optimistic about the Jordanian authorities providing any important new information.

The second issue is the final sentence of the first paragraph of the letter: “There are many indications that these finds are not modern forgeries, but [that] possibility cannot as yet be definitively excluded.”* I know of no such “many indications that these finds are not modern forgeries.” Many of the codices, including the copper one first shown by Mr. Elkington to Classicist Peter Thonemann, are crude and obvious fakes. At least one of the lead ones seems to have been made of ancient lead, but the Oxford metallurgical report that says this (which was initially incorrectly quoted on the Jordan Codices Facebook page) also doubts that the inscribed areas on the lead went through a period of burial. In other words the evidence is consistent with old lead, which is not hard to come by, having been inscribed much more recently to make the codices. (For the report see the video here, especially from about 8:00 on. I make no judgment about how the incorrect quotation came about. See also here.)

Again, do read it all.

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Posted by on 6 Aug 2012 in pseudo-archaeology


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Words None of Us Should Ever Forget

Toute la somme presque de nostre sagesse, laquelle, à tout conter, merite d’estre reputée vraye et entiere sagesse, est située en deux parties: c’est qu’en cognoissant Dieu, chacun de nous aussi se cognoisse.

Or if you prefer

Tota fere sapientiae nostrae summa, quae vera demum ac solida sapientia censeri debeat, duabus partibus constat, Dei cognitione et nostri.


The whole summe in a maner of all our wisedome, which onely ought to be accounted true and perfect wisedome, consisteth in two partes, that is to say, the knowledge of God, and of ourselves.


TRUE and substantial wisdom principally consists of two parts, the knowledge of God and the knowledge of ourselves.

Howsoever you wish to put it, the truth is, we are not wise until we know God, and ourselves.

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Posted by on 6 Aug 2012 in Theology


Breaking News! First, Shocking Photo From the Mars Landing!!!!!!

Evidently they don’t want immigrants on Mars as much as Arizonans don’t want them there!

via Emanuel Pfoh on FB

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Posted by on 6 Aug 2012 in Humor, Modern Culture



The Cologne Toilet Inscription…

Who knew

Archaeologists in Cologne, Germany have uncovered a fascinating 13th-century Hebrew inscription on a lintel stone in the basement of a home near the city’s ancient synagogue. The Hebrew inscription reads “This is the window through which the feces are to be taken out.”

The inscription was discovered in December 2011 on the lintel above a walled-up window in the cellar of Lyvermann House, which was built in about 1266 and belonged to a wealthy Jewish family that lived right near the synagogue. Behind the wall was a cesspool, six meters deep.

According to Prof. David Assaf of Tel Aviv University’s Jewish History Department, “Such a serious-amusing inscription has never been found anyw here, not before and not since.”

Anyway, given the inscription, I’m thinking it would be a GREAT header image – and meaningful – for several of the biblioblogs!  With one small change-  instead of reading This is the window through which the feces are to be taken out, it should read This is the window through which the feces are to be seen!

Chris, Joel?  Adopt it today??

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Posted by on 6 Aug 2012 in Archaeology, Humor


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A Plea to the Excavators at Azekah: Emergency Situation

Azekah-ites, I beg you- run over to Robert Cargill’s hut and take down his wash and BURN IT!  Do civilization a favor, just toss those tie dyes in a pile and send them up in smoke to God.  It may not be a legitimate sacrifice but believe me, it will be an act of mercy!

This is an emergency and only you can help!  God will bless you if you do… and if you don’t… well let’s just say, you’ve been warned….


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Posted by on 6 Aug 2012 in Archaeology, Humor


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The Mormonizing of America

In the mail this morning there was a new book titled The Mormonizing of America sent for review.  It looks pretty interesting so I’m going to give it a read and see what it’s about.

“If a man’s faith is sincere, it is the most important thing about him and it is impossible to understand who he is and how he will lead without first understanding the religious vision that informs his life.” –Stephen Mansfield
Mormons and Mormonism are moving into the spotlight in pop culture, politics, sports, and entertainment: including presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Mormonism has now emerged as one of the fastest-growing religions and a high-impact mainstream influence. Stephen Mansfield, the acclaimed New York Times bestseller, writes this important story at a pivotal moment in American history.

The Mormonizing of America is critical to understanding our times, our culture–and our future as a country. Backed by up-to-date research, personal anecdotes, and a 16-page photo section, Mansfield examines the influence of the LDS church–past, present, and future. He debunks common myths, expounds on the Church’s beliefs, and unveils many of the mysteries surrounding this influential religion and its loyal members.

I hope he says something about the magic underwear.  My review, when done, will appear here.

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Posted by on 6 Aug 2012 in Modern Culture, Politics


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While Going Through My Letters…

I have been cleaning out my files this morning (an annual August ritual) and I’ve finally gotten to correspondence.  I had forgotten that I had letters exchanged with the likes of Ernst Kasemann, Fred Cryer, Helga Weippert, George Beasley-Murray, Antje Bultmann Lemke (yes, his daughter), Geoffrey Bromily, Eberhard Busch, Kurt Aland, Rolf Rendtorff, Ralph Klein, Martin Noth (to my teacher, Max Rogers, who gave the letter to me), Martin Hengel, Peter Stuhlmacher, Maarten Menken, Jimmy Dunn, Michael Fishbane, E. Earle Ellis, Joseph Fitzmyer, Hans Hubner, Adrian Schenker, and of course loads with Giovanni Garbini.

I should publish them some day.  Maybe I will when I retire.

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Posted by on 6 Aug 2012 in Modern Culture


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Loads of Photos From Azekah…

Including this one of Bob Cargill.

So much to say… so little time to say it….


Posted by on 6 Aug 2012 in Archaeology, Humor



Meanwhile, in Forgotten Syria…

Says CNN

Syria’s prime minister has defected, the opposition said Monday, in what is the highest profile departure from the embattled regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Riyad Hijab, who was appointed prime minister in June, fled Syria overnight, arriving with his family in Jordan, said George Sabra, a spokesman for the opposition Syrian National Council.

The government, meanwhile, said Hijab resigned his post, according to a banner on Syrian state-run TV.

CNN cannot independently confirm the report as access to Syria by international journalists has been severely restricted by the government.

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Posted by on 6 Aug 2012 in Modern Culture