Daily Archives: 22 Aug 2012

There’s Just Too Much of This

Via Thomas Bolin on FB

I Never Thought I’d Say This But….

Where is Pat Robertson when you need him?  Why hasn’t he come out yet and said that hurricane Isaac is setting course for the very city the Republicans will meet in is an act of God’s judgment on them for choosing a Mormon as their Presidential candidate?

Come on Pat, be consistent.

Ignorance in Comments

This gem arrived from David Tee, South Korean retired High School Teacher as a comment to the previous post-

Please by a thesaurus, yu have worn out that ‘dilettante’ word.

Fun, right! I sure hope he didn’t teach English!

Just Because You Love The Bible Doesn’t Mean You’re A Competent Exegete

Just as just because an elderly woman loves art, it doesn’t mean she’s competent to restore a faded masterpiece.

The woman, in her 80s, was reportedly upset at the way the fresco had deteriorated and took it on herself to “restore” the image. BBC Europe correspondent Christian Fraser says the delicate brush strokes of Elias Garcia Martinez have been buried under a haphazard splattering of paint. The once-dignified portrait now resembles a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic, he says.

What she did to the painting is what too many do to the Bible. And the Bible is far more important than a painting and yet, for some reason, dilettantes of every age and social location imagine themselves master-workers competent to render it correctly. They aren’t.

That ‘study to show yourself an approved workman’ bit in 1 Timothy… yeah, take that seriously.

Catholic Adoration of the Saints: Its Roots According to Calvin

In a fascinating segment of his lectures on Hosea (at 2:8) Calvin writes

As to the word Baal, no doubt the superstitious included under this name all those whom they called inferior gods. No such madness had indeed possessed the Israelites, that they had forgotten that there is but one Maker of heaven and earth. They therefore maintained the truth, that there is some supreme God; but they added their patrons; and this, by common consent, was the practice of all nations. They did not then think that God was altogether robbed of his own glory, when they joined with him patrons or inferior gods. And they called them by a common name, Baalim, or, as it were, patrons. Baal of every kind was a patron. Some render it, husband.

But foolish men, I doubt not, have ever had this superstitious notion, that inferior gods come nearer to men, and are, as it were, mediators between this world and the supreme God. It is the same with the Papists of the present day; they have their Baalim; not that they regard their patrons in the place of God: but as they dread every access to God, and understand not that Christ is a mediator, they betake themselves here and there to various Baalim, that they may procure favour to themselves; and at the same time, whatever honour they show to stones, or wood, or bones of dead men, or to any of their own inventions, they call it the worship of God. Whatever, then, is worshipped by the Papists is Baal: but they have, at the same time, their patrons for their Baalim.

I have set in bold face the most interesting bit of the passage.  Way back in Grad School (MDiv level courses) our Church History Prof, Glenn Miller, informed us that the reason the Medieval church so adored Mary was because women sovereigns were easier for the common folk to approach and so it simply made sense that Catholics would see Mary as playing the same role for Christianity.  Hence, the birth of Mariolotry.

Everything comes from somewhere and there’s just nothing new under the sun.

Nestle-Aland 28 Will Appear Also in a Large Print Edition

Via Bobby K. of Hendrickson-

It was confirmed to me today that there will indeed be a NA28 Large Print Edition. If all goes well, it should be available in Spring 2013.

That’s brilliant news.

‘Legitimate’ Rape? What About ‘Legitimate’ Mugging Then?


Jesus, Son of David?

The BBC has a really interesting piece which folk may find as intriguing as I have.  Here’s part of it:

Listeners to the More or Less programme on Radio 4 have been challenging me to answer any fiendish question they can throw at me.  A question about Jesus’s genealogy was rather interesting and the answer has astounding ramifications.  The Bible says Jesus was a descendant of King David. But with 1,000 years between them, and since King David’s son Solomon was said to have had about 1,000 wives and mistresses, couldn’t many of Jesus’s peers in Holy Land have claimed the same royal ancestor?   Theory tells us that not only would all of Jesus’s contemporaries be descended from King David, but that this would probably be the case even if Solomon had been into monogamy.

Things that make you go, hmmmm…  With thanks to Jona Lendering for mentioning it on FB.

The Weirdest News of the Day: Donkey’s Outfitted with Wi-Fi Routers…

You can’t make up this kind of insanity

It was nothing like this 3,000 years ago.  An Israeli attraction meant to immerse tourists in an authentic, ancient biblical experience has outfitted its donkeys with wireless routers.  At the historical park of Kfar Kedem in northern Israel, visitors decked out in biblical robes and headdresses ride donkeys through the rolling hills of the Galilee, learning how people lived in Old Testament times.  Now they can also surf the web while touring the land of the Bible on one of the oldest forms of transportation. A device slung around the donkey’s neck like a feedbag is actually a Wi-Fi router.

WHY??????  Come on people, enjoy your pretend ancient-time-living and forget about checking your twitter feed or facebook timeline.  It’s just a few hours…  Just keep telling yourself ‘Balaam’s ass did the talking, not his iPhone…’

[Good grief].

Quote of the Day

“Christians don’t tell lies, they just go to church and sing them.” — AW Tozer

The Reformation Commentary on Scripture: Genesis 1-11

My copy arrived in the mail today so while I was thumbing through it I came to the timeline at the back of the volume.  I was more than a little surprised to discover there a tremendous error.  Here’s a photo of the snippet-

Note- it says that the first Anabaptists were beheaded (!) in Zurich (!!) in 1527 (!!!). None of those things are accurate. Philip Schaff relates the facts:

Six executions in all took place in Zurich between 1527 and 1532. Manz was the first victim. He was bound, carried to a boat, and thrown into the river Limmat near the lake, Jan. 5, 1527.

So the commentary has it wrong in the method of execution of the first Anabaptist victim of Zurich persecution. It also has it wrong to suggest any Anabaptist was beheaded in Zurich in the 1500’s. None were, as Schaff makes clear-

The last executions took place March 23, 1532, when Heinrich Karpfis and Hans Herzog were drowned. The foreigners were punished by exile, and met death in Roman Catholic countries.

In other Cantons, things were different-

Blaurock was scourged, expelled, and burnt, 1529, at Clausen in the Tyrol. Haetzer, who fell into carnal sins, was beheaded for adultery and bigamy at Constance, Feb. 24, 1529.

Take note- the first Anabaptist beheaded was Haetzer and he was beheaded not for being an Anabaptist but for being an adulterer and a bigamist. And that beheading took place in Constance, NOT Zurich.

Schaff continues-

Other Swiss cantons took the same measures against the Anabaptists as Zurich. In Zug, Lorenz Fuerst was drowned, Aug. 17, 1529.

It wasn’t until 1529, then, that an Anabaptist was beheaded for being an Anabaptist-

In Appenzell, Uliman and others were beheaded, and some women drowned. At Basle, Oecolampadius held several disputations with the Anabaptists, but without effect; whereupon the Council banished them, with the threat that they should be drowned if they returned (Nov. 13, 1530). The Council of Berne adopted the same course.

Christian Moser kindly informs me that the last Anabaptist executed in Zurich, in 1614, was one Hans Landis who was, in fact, beheaded.   He, it seems, was the only one to suffer that fate in the city and that not until the 17th century.

The new commentary will doubtless be excellent in many respects. In respect, however, of its correct date and place of at least this event, it has it altogether wrong. And I am compelled to point it out.

UPDATE:  Christian Moser’s comment about Landis prodded me to look further for information and I discovered an entire chapter on him in Urs B. Leu’s Die Zürcher Täufer 1525-1700.  It has been on my shelves for a while and I’ve read many of the essays in it, but not this one by Barbara Bötsch-Mauz, Täufer, Tod und Toleranz.  Der Umgang der Zürcher Obrigkeit mit dem Täuferlehrer Hans Landis.

More From the Archeteles

Zwingli’s opening paragraph is interesting in that he asserts in it that he wishes to pursue understanding between the parties-

To you I must now address my words, who two months or so ago put forth a certain document. Your names I willingly and gladly omit to mention, that they may not be in ill repute among good men, and that I may not provoke you unduly, for I have a hope that you will finally leave the asses and come over to the oxen, abandon the goats for the sheep. Not that I do not know your names or could not set them out as a laughing stock to the crowd, but I think it more profitable, for the advancement of Christ’s teaching, not to do so. Although it may give rise to suspicion of others than yourselves as authors of the document, yet I have preferred to spare your names rather than to answer the viciously wanton suspicions of certain persons. For I am going to treat you as you would by no means treat me if I treated the cause of the Gospel in your style and defended myself with weapons like yours. And I pray to God to enlighten and guide my mind so that I shall say nothing unworthy of him, and yours so that you shall take everything that I say in good part, that casting aside all strife we may come together into one body in Christ and think in harmony in the Lord Jesus. Amen.

1- I don’t want to make you the object of derision, so I will omit your name.
2- And I hope that you’ll take what I say positively.
3- So that unity is restored.

The document, then, is meant to be a step towards reconciliation (but of course that can only happen if the Romans come to the truth of the Reformed Gospel).  As a conciliatory tome it does in fact go to some lengths to bring the differing theological perspectives together.

Zwingli’s later works wouldn’t be so compromising.  He learned, by trial and torment, that there was no way to reconcile the Gospel with it’s false manifestations.

Nestle-Aland 28th Edition

The German Bible Society has an entire web-site devoted to the new edition of Nestle-Aland.  Be sure to check it out, it contains loads of great information about the what and why of a new edition of the most widely used scholarly edition of the Greek New Testament (with thanks to Cliff Kvidahl for mentioning it).

Joel And I Agree

Dawkins is a coward.  And he should have stuck with science because he knows absolutely nothing about history.

Nice call, Joel.

Call For Papers for the IOQS, 2013 Meeting

Via Eibert Tigchelar-

Call for papers for the 8th annual meeting of the IOQS, Munich, Aug 4-7, 2013: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Study of the Humanities: Method, Theory, Meaning.

For the special topic of the 8th meeting of the IOQS, we invite papers on any topic relating to the Dead Sea Scrolls that explicitly address, or reflect upon, issues of methodology and theory, whether classical, modern, or post-modern.

Go to the link above for all the details.

Today With Zwingli: Apologeticus Archeteles

Of Archeteles John Scott writes

“Archeteles,” or the Beginning and the End … [is] a summary of the main points at issue between the reformers and their opponents. This work also is addressed to the bishop of Constance, and is an answer, paragraph by paragraph, to that prelate’s late mandate to the chapter of Zurich.

The Archeteles, says Gerdes, “exhibits a true picture of the Zwinglian reformation—very different from what it has been represented by many writers.” This work was highly esteemed, not only in Switzerland, but in foreign countries, as proving the author to be “mighty in the scriptures,” and one who united an intrepid courage with true Christian moderation. It is the same work from which we have, in the preceding chapter, given the author’s own account of his preaching at Zurich, from the time of his first settlement in that city.

The following is a portion of the devout and beautiful prayer with which Zwingli closes this work:

“On thee therefore I call, O blessed Lord, to perform the work, which thou hast begun, unto the day of thy coming. If I have ever built up any thing erroneously, do thou throw it down. If I have laid any other foundation than thyself, do thou subvert it. Let thy flock, taught and imbued with thy Spirit, come to know that it can never be wanting in any thing while it is guided and fed by thee, its true pastor and bishop. For thou, O Son of God, art the protector and advocate of all that hope in thee.… Thou therefore, O most blessed Vine, whose dresser is the Father, and we the branches, forsake not thy plantation, thy building! Thou hast promised to be with us even unto the end of the world; and hast bid us, when brought before kings and rulers, to be without carefulness, for that the Spirit shall teach us in the same hour what we ought to speak; so that even the unwilling may hear the testimony concerning thee. Put therefore into the mouth of all thy servants, who seek thy glory, and hallow thy name, ‘sound speech,’ that they may utter before the princes of this world those things which shall be acceptable in thy sight, and serviceable to miserable mortals! Thus shall we, who are members one of another, and one body in thee our sole and ever-living head, become thy one spouse, betrothed to thee, having neither spot nor wrinkle; and she shall be forsaken, who is made up of corruptions and defilements, on account of which the name of God is blasphemed: O Thou who livest and reignest, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. Amen.”