Daily Archives: 14 Aug 2012

Kids These Days: They Even Cheat at Scrabble

One of the top young Scrabble players in the country has been kicked out of the game’s national championship tournament in Florida after he was caught hiding blank letter tiles, organizers said Tuesday.

John D. Williams, Jr., executive director of the National Scrabble Association, said that a male player was ejected from the 350-player event in Round 24 of the 28-round event.

The cheating was spotted by a player at a nearby table, who noticed the ejected player conceal a pair of blank tiles by dropping them on the floor, organizers said. Blank tiles can be used as wild card letters. When confronted by the tournament director, he admitted to it, organizers said.

How – well – utterly predictable since, in America, all that seems to be taught these days to kids is ‘win whatever it takes’.  Jocks take steroids; scrabble players cheat; politicians lie; car salesmen deceive; writers plagiarise.  It’s all part and parcel of the American milieu.

A Useful New Research Tool: KeiBi

With thanks to Jack Sasson for the heads up-
The International Keilschriftbibliographie (KeiBi)

was first published by the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome in the journal Orientalia in 1940 (Orientalia N.S. 9). It became an essential tool for the study, research, and teaching of Ancient Near Eastern Studies. The search for entries, though, proves quite cumbersome – a weakness that all bibliographies issued over a substantial period of time share. To enable better access we hereby present the KeiBi online Database, where all issues already published can be searched simultaneously.

Aiding and Abetting Criminal Activity: More Pastoral Misconduct

A pastor from Virginia was convicted Tuesday of helping a woman flee the country three years ago, when she was on the brink of having to turn custody of her young daughter over to the woman who was once her partner in a Vermont civil union.  The jury issued its verdict against the Rev. Kenneth Miller after several hours of deliberations in the case, which has drawn broad attention because of the legal and religious questions it raised about same-sex unions and child custody, and because the mother and daughter remain at large.

Pastor’s aren’t called to help people- any people- evade their legal responsibilities.

Prosecutors said Kenneth Miller, a Mennonite, arranged for another person to drive Lisa Miller and Isabella from Virginia to Buffalo, N.Y., where they crossed into Canada and were picked up by an Ontario Mennonite who took them to the airport for a journey to Nicaragua.  After they arrived in the Central American country, the two were apparently cared for by American Mennonites who felt they needed to protect Isabella from what they considered to be a sinful lesbian lifestyle.

The lifestyle of the litigants is immaterial.  Pastor’s shouldn’t take part in criminal acts.  Period.

How Archaeologists Do Olympic Events…

Via Kara Cooney on FB-

Over the Shoulder…

Gazing down on my desk, from a position over my right shoulder…

So, who’s gazing over your shoulder in your office?  Anyone?

Zwingli’s Wife and Children

S. Jackson writes

Zwingli’s daughter Regula, and her daughter.

William, Zwingli’s eldest son, born in 1526, after studying in Zurich went to Strassburg to complete his education, but there died of the plague in 1541.

Ulrich, born January 6, 1528, who is said to have been the image of his father, studied at Basel, became a clergyman, diakonus in the Great Minster in Zurich in his nineteenth year, professor of Hebrew in 1556, of theology in 1557; he married Bullinger’s daughter Anna. She died of the plague in 1565.

Regula, the eldest daughter, born in 1525, who is said to have been the image of her mother, married on August 3, 1541, when in her seventeenth year, Bullinger’s foster-son, Rudolf Gualther, a brilliant man, born in Zurich, November 9, 1519; studied at Basel, Strassburg, Lausanne, and Marburg, and in 1542 became pastor of St. Peter’s in Zurich, and so remained the rest of his life. In 1547 he brought out the first edition of Zwingli’s works, himself translating into Latin all the hitherto untranslated German treatises. He succeeded Bullinger in the office of chief city pastor in 1575. After Regula died of the plague (November 14, 1565), he married Anna, daughter of Thomas Blarer, formerly burgomaster of Constance, Gualther died December 25, 1586.

With Zwingli’s son Ulrich the male line of the Reformer died out. Those at present tracing their ancestry to the Reformer’s family do so to a brother in Wildhaus. Zwingli had still a fourth child, a daughter Anna, born in 1530, who died in infancy.

[All true.  What follows is, however, not.  It’s just the product of my fertile imagination].

Zwingli’s line, though, was only believed to have died out until, that is, a long lost note discovered in Einsedeln and written by the barber’s daughter Zwingli had a fling with came to light.  It seems that the baby, a boy, was born to her and Huldrych and she kept it a secret, marrying a long time suitor surnamed Wüst, later to become Wüest and when Anglicized, West.  Hence, the line of HZ lives on in America, in the South.  Or so it seems…

ASOR Blog’s New Look

Folk will want to take a look, if they haven’t already, at the new look of the ASOR blog.  I like it.  Much more reader-friendly indeed!

Today With Zwingli

On 14 August, 1526 Zwingli published one of his many rejoinders to the Eucharistic theology of his Catholic opponents and Lutheran foes; this one titled Responsio brevis Huldrychi Zvinglij ad epistolam satis longam amici cuiusdam haud vulgaris, in qua de Eucharistia quaestio tractatur.

Zwingli here answers, again, for the umpteenth time, the accusations of his adversaries in clear, precise, meticulous, and insightful prose.  Unlike many of his other treatments of the subject, though, this one is actually nothing other than his answer to a letter he had been written- with annotations.

Imagine receiving a letter and instead of just sending off an answer, you answered it line by line in the margins.  That’s what Zwingli did.  The text of the letter was then published with Zwingli’s responses interwoven.  Those responses stretched out to 37 points.

It has never been translated, to my knowledge, into English.  Or German, for that matter (unless I’ve missed it).  Which is something of a shame since it so clearly demonstrates Zwingli’s ability to fight a two front war with aplomb and ease.

Further, the closing of the letter shows his willingness to remain fraternal even in the midst of battle (an ability Luther lacked) –

Vale in domino, observandissime frater! Cum hanc responsionem celerrime scripsissem, veritus sum, ne notulas nostras legere posses; describi ergo curavi. At is, qui descripsit, nonnunquam, quod ei scribendum erat, ne legere quidem potuit. Hinc factum est, ut omnia plena sint lituris et annotationibus, etiamsi iam sensui nihil deesse putem. Tu omnia aequi bonique consule. Et si hac responsione tibi satis fieri ad tua denuo neges, committam te gratiae dei. Plura enim tam operose tecum agere statutum non est; cum quod aliis longe utilioribus vacare cogit dominus, tum quod sapientes monent manum esse retrahendam, ubi nequicquam omnia moliare. Quod vero tam sero tandem mittitur nostra haec responsio, in causa sunt variae occupationes, quibus me alligatum esse non ignoras.

Vale iterum.

14. augusti. M.D.XXVI. anno.
Huldrichus Zuinglius tuus.
Tiguri. Ex aedibus Christophori Froschouer.

Can You Believe…

It has already been a decade since Oscar Cullmann died!  Astonishing.  TVZ has just published a new volume on his life and influence titled Zehn Jahre nach Oscar Cullmanns Tod: Rückblick und Ausblick

Oscar Cullmann (1902–1999) war ein Ökumeniker ganz eigener Art. Als Lutheraners schrieb er 1952 ein Petrusbuch, unterhielt zu einem Zeitpunkt, da der interkonfessionelle Dialog noch wenig fortgeschritten war, eine Fülle von persönlichen Kontakten zu römisch-katholischen Kollegen und wurde als Beobachter ans Zweiten Vatikanischen Konzil eingeladen.   Die Beiträge des Bandes geben Einblick in Biografie und Werk Cullmanns und stellen insbesondere seinen 1999 nach Basel überführten Nachlass vor.

Emil Schürer, T&T Clark, and A Book Competition

From Dom Mattos over on the T&T Clark blog

I am currently toying with the idea of doing a paperback set of the Vermes/Millar revision of Schurer, a notion which came to me after a letter from Professor Millar a couple of months ago. Naturally, at the time, I also asked Professor Millar whether he thought a revision might be necessary. Of course he did. But he didn’t want to do it himself.  Then the conference season hit and it went off my radar for a bit. Now it’s back. We’ll almost certainly do a paperback – that seems a no-brainer.

Nevertheless, I’d be interested to know how far people still use Schurer, whether they think a revision is necessary, along what lines such a revision might take, and who might be the best bods to do it. I’m so interested in these points that I thought it might be fun to put a blog post up about it with the incentive of a prize for entry into the debate.  If you have ideas and comments on these points then please put them below by the end of the month.

Go to T&T Clark to take part.

Area C and Bibi Netanyahu’s Continuing Quest for Lebensraum

NPR has a must read report on the doings of the Netanyahu government-

Recently, the Israeli military issued orders calling for evacuation and demolition of nearly a dozen Palestinian communities in the occupied West Bank. Palestinians see this as evidence of Israeli plans to annex the territory, though Israel denies this.

Yet, as the report goes on to note, at least one leading Israeli calls it de facto annexation, so why go through the formality of calling it what everyone knows it is?

Yossi Beilin was one of the architects of the Oslo peace accords. A left-wing Israeli politician who is now an analyst, he says Israel has no need to formally annex Area C and incur the wrath of the international community.

“We are building there, we are announcing universities there,” he says. “There is no problem whatsoever for any Israeli to move around freely in Area C and to do whatever he or she wants to do there. Why bother and make it an official annexation if de facto, it is annexation?”  And that, say some Palestinians, is exactly what’s happening.

It is precisely what’s happening.  Need more proof?

Back in the Hebron hills, Adrah, the farmer, says despite the pending court case over his land, the Israeli army is trying to make his life impossible so that he will leave of his own accord.  There is just one unpaved road that leads to his homestead. It’s how his children get to school and his only way to get into town.  As we were leaving the village of Bir el-Aid on a recent day, Israeli army vehicles blocked the way. A military bulldozer set up concrete blocks across the road to prevent villagers from crossing in or out of the area.  And then an Israeli soldier told us that us we had to leave because this was now considered a closed military area.

If that isn’t annexation, pray tell, what is it?  If that isn’t the gobbling up of land for Lebensraum, what would you call it?  I call it evil.

Is God Really Omnipresent?