Daily Archives: 20 Aug 2012

Call For Submissions for the August (September 1 Posting) Biblioblog Carnival

I’m especially interested this time in collecting posts from twitter bloggers.  That is, bloggers who twitter.    If you’ve seen an especially good post, please do pass on the word.  With thanks in advance.

Yup, That’s Right, I’m Still Just the Only One

Over on Academia.edu

Israel Finkelstein- a man of impeccable sense and intelligence.


Poor Folk Give More Than Wealthy Folk to Charities


Poor Southerners outgive wealthy Northerners and West Coast-ers and ‘religious’ States outgive atheist states.  So tell us, angry atheists, ‘how philanthropic’ you lot are.

Calvin’s Exegesis: A Small Example

Here.  On Isaiah 54:7.  Oh Calvin.  You were one bright guy.

Violent Israeli Settlers Are Terrorists

So says the US State Department.

The U.S. State Department has included violence by “extremist Israeli settlers” in its 2011 annual report on terrorism around the world.  The Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 lists several incidents including three arson attacks against mosques in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and the defacing of Muslim graves in Jerusalem’s Mamilla Cemetry with Hebrew “price tag” graffiti.  The report also refers to an attack by Israeli settlers on IDF soldiers and an IDF military base in the West Bank, noting that it “sparked a public debate in Israel on the phenomena of settler violence”. Such “price tag” incidents are violent acts committed by extremist Israeli settlers in retribution for Israeli government and army actions that they perceive to be anti-settler.  A total of ten mosques were “vandalized or set on fire in attacks that Israeli authorities believed were perpetrated by settlers” in the West Bank and Jerusalem in 2011, according to the report. This has increased from six in 2010 and one in 2009.  The inclusion of settler attacks in the report comes after a Palestinian taxi was attacked with a Molotov cocktail last Thursday, injuring six Palestinians, including two four-year-old children. At the time, the US State Department condemned the incident in the “strongest possible terms”, and urged the Israeli government to take action to bring the perpetrators, who are widely thought to have been settlers, to justice.

A justifiable listing indeed and long overdue.

Phyllis Diller is Dead

So what.

And yet the world will pine and sob and moan and lament and hundreds of thousands will wet themselves like overexcited puppies over the news.  If she had been a theologian or a biblical scholar, a teacher or a scientist, a common person or a non-celebrity very few people would know.  Or care.

Our bankrupt culture cares more for clowns and jocks, entertainers and tv personalities than anything or anyone.  And it’s sickening.

Indeed, already more people know about Diller’s death than the passing of Marvin Meyer….  Welcome to our (ridiculous) world.

Another Note on the Goat

Zwingli’s Antibolon (mentioned earlier today) is included in volume three of Zwingli’s Works, the Logos electronic edition.  The introduction commences on page 344 and the entire work concludes on page 396.

Answering Your Letters: Defriending on Facebook

Dear Jim,

We used to be Facebook friends and then you unfriended me.  It’s ok.  I hardly get on Facebook anymore.  But I’m wondering why.  I’m also wondering what criteria you have in mind when you unfriend people.



Harrison, I have become something of a serial defriender for which I apologize.  Sometimes, to be frank, I just get in the mood to cut down my list and I just ax people from whom I seldom hear or who post too many items from the likes of Rick Warren or Mars Hill ‘Church’ or Joyce Meyers.  I’m sorta opposed to heretics and that lot gets on my nerve so I avoid them at all costs.

At other times someone will say or do something with which I disagree and so I think the very thought that we could be ‘friends’ in any sort of meaningful sense becomes utterly ludicrous.

And still at other times I just lose interest.  That said, there are certain people with whom I’ll be friends no matter what.  Members of SOTS are in that group.  So too Herman Selderhuis and Karla Apperloo (of Refo500). So too the Sheffield-ians and the Copenhagen-ers (UPDATED).  So is Robert Cargill, Chris Tilling, and probably Joel Watts (though he’s iffy).  Israeli archaeologists too won’t feel the defriending jolt (although I’ve been defriended by some Israelis because of my politics just as I’ve been defriended others for my view of various social issues).  And naturally wife and daughter won’t be defriended either.  I defriended Rachel once and I experienced wrath and rage and it scared me so I won’t be doing that again.

In short, then, Harrison, my defriending is utterly capricious and in spite of that there are some people who will never experience it- from my end anyway.  They are, of course, free to defriend me whensoever they wish.



Two Seemingly Unrelated Tweets Tell the Story of the Middle East

These two tweets arrived within seconds of each other and they tell the story of the Middle East concisely and understandably; for they show what’s wrong with the entire region.

To wit, on the one hand 15th century Islamic culture is returning in many quarters, and on the other bias and hatred and bigotry are never-endingly interwoven into the very fabric of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Prejudice and ignorance are the mother and father of destruction and death.  Those two give birth to every ill.  Those two are alive and well in the Middle East and until they are done away with that region will always be the birthplace of horrors.


Archaeologists Are Weird…

As the Poster says, they’ll date any old thing!  (Via Brian Kelley on G+).

Akin’s Idea of ‘Legitimate Rape’ Harkens Back to the Halcyon Days of the 13th Century…

That’s right, Missouri voters, you may be supporting a guy who gets his ideas from the halcyon days of the 13th century

Todd Akin, the Republican candidate for senate in Missouri, said in an interview released this weekend that he did not support abortion for rapevictims because:

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

The idea that rape victims cannot get pregnant has long roots. The legal position that pregnancy disproved a claim of rape appears to have been instituted in the UK sometime in the 13th century. One of the earliest British legal texts, Fleta, has a clause in the first book of the second volume stating that:

“If, however, the woman should have conceived at the time alleged in the appeal, it abates, for without a woman’s consent she could not conceive.”

This was a long-lived legal argument. Samuel Farr’s Elements of Medical Jurisprudence contained the same idea as late as 1814:

“For without an excitation of lust, or the enjoyment of pleasure in the venereal act, no conception can probably take place. So that if an absolute rape were to be perpetrated, it is not likely she would become pregnant.”

This “absolute rape” is not quite the same as Akin’s “legitimate rape”. Akin seems to be suggesting that the body suppresses conception or causes a miscarriage, while the earlier idea of Farr relates specifically to the importance of orgasm. Through the medieval and early modern period it was widely thought, by lay people as well as doctors, that women could only conceive if they had an orgasm.

Generally, though, the idea that a women had to orgasm in order to conceive (although not necessarily at exactly the same time as her male partner) was widespread in popular thought and medical literature in the medieval and early modern period. By logical extension, then, if a woman became pregnant, she must have experienced orgasm, and therefore could not have been the victim of an “absolute rape”.

Missouri elects Medieval Thinker.  That should be the headline if this silly little man is sent to DC.

Many thanks to Steve Inskeep on the twitter for the link to the Guardian.

Adding a New Link: Exegesis

To the ‘Useful Sites’ section of the nav panel:  Exegesis.  It’s the webpage of Jean-Sebastian Rey and it’s got loads and loads of very useful materials focused on both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament and related things.  It’s certainly worth a bookmark on your end too I think.

Apparently Accordance 10 is Being Released Today…

For people who use Macs and something called Accordance software, today may be an important day.  With thanks to Brian Davidson for the tip.

(I’ve seen the Accordance booth at various meetings and always been terrified to approach them.  They all wear the same shirts and they’re always smiling and I imagine them to be members of a cult of some sort.  In fact, I think the software, once installed, does something to make its users some kind of zombies…  but that’s just a guess because I’ve never gotten close enough to the cult members to be certain).


Today With Zwingli: Jerome Emser Is a Goat

Portrait of Ulrich Zwingli after his death 1531

On the 20th of August in 1524 (which just happened to have been a Saturday), Huldrych Zwingli published his scathing Adversus Hieronymum Emserum antibolon.  His assessment of the man was, in his own words, that he was

… ein Schreihals (clamosus homo), mehr nicht.

Luther, in his several dealings with Emser, called him a goat.  Indeed, if you want to read something fun, read Luther’s utterly ‘dripping with pure contempt and loathing’ for Emser book titled Answer to the Hyperchristian, Hyperspiritual, and Hyperlearned Book by Goat Emser in Leipzig—Including Some Thoughts Regarding His Companion, the Fool Murner.

Neither of the Reformers thought anything of the bombastic dude.

Emser had attended University (at Basel) but was kicked out for being abusive to one of his Professors.  That led the dullard to despise the Swiss.  So when Zwingli commenced publishing on the Mass, Emser saw it as an opportunity to attack those whom he hated.  The whole gist of his silly essay was that the Saints would side with the Catholic Church in its argument with the Reformers (!).

Zwingli informed the dropout (or rather, kicked-out) that the Bible was the final authority for Christians, not tradition or the Saints.  When it came to the central matter of the Eucharist, Zwingli simply repeated his standard belief-

Eucharistia cibus spiritualis est.

And so it is- as all right thinking biblically literate Christians know.

The work commences-

Parum abfuit, o levissime Emsere – nam ęgocerotas plus quam cervos leves esse oportet -, quin a clarissimo cęlestis verbi lumine nos avelleres, ac Romani pontificis partibus adiungeres tuo isto minaci libello, quem contra confutationem nostram, quam in missę canonem protrusimus potius quam edidimus, evulgasti. Ita est altiloquus, ut nemo prę sensuum arduitate capere possit, nisi in puteum descendat; ita scripturis solidioribus, puta legendis sanctorum et aliis plusquam anilibus neniis firmatus, ut expugnare nullus queat, nisi sit cucurbitis, peponibus et macerata caule probe instructus.

If you’d like to read more about Emser’s expulsion from Basel, you can read this very fine essay by the eminent Zwingli scholar Georg Finsler in Zwingliana.

Oh Gross: More ‘Boozing it Up Makes You Do Stupid Things’ – The GOP Congressman Edition

English: Official portrait of US congressman K...

At least one GOP congressman who couldn’t walk on water decided to go skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee instead. A group of Republican congressmen, aides and family members boozed it up and cooled off in the lake—one of them nude—during an official fact-finding trip to the Holy Land last year, according to witnesses. The FBI launched an investigation into the hijinks that involved a skinny-dipping Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas, reports Politico. “After dinner I followed some members of Congress in a spontaneous and very brief dive into the sea, and, regrettably, I jumped into the water without a swimsuit,” Yoder said in a statement. He apologized for any “embarrassment I have caused for my colleagues and constituents.”


It’s Bultmann’s Birthday

Rudolf Karl Bultmann, the most important New Testament theologian of the 20th and the 21st centuries was born on this day in 1884.  Don’t believe 99% of what you read ABOUT him written by the angry fundamentalists.  Read HIM and you’ll learn something.  In fact, you’ll learn a lot, much of which has never been superseded in academic biblical studies.