Daily Archives: 30 Aug 2012

You Know What… I Was Going to Make this Another ‘Where in the World is Chris Tilling Now’…

But I just couldn’t do it.  Apparently the flu makes me sensitive.  Or the story did…

News From ASOR: Qumran Focus

The folk at ASOR email

After our previous success in March and April with themed months on the New ‘Jesus Tomb’ Discovery and Artifacts Lacking Context, we are pleased to announce that the ASOR blog will be hosting another theme month in September, this time on Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Check in at http://asorblog.org on Tuesday, September 4 for Jodi Magness’ post ‘Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls’ and on Thursday, September 6 for James Charlesworth’s post ‘The Eternal Planting, the Eden of Glory.’

Other contributors include Casey Elledge, Moshe Bernstein, Daniel Machiela,Hannah Harrington, Molly Zahn, and Stephen Pfann.  

The guest editor for Qumran month is Casey Elledge and if you would like to submit a blog post for this theme please email it to Casey (celledge@gustavus.edu) as well as asormedia@gmail.com, for consideration. 

Sounds fun.

The Characterization of Speech in the Septuagint Pentateuch

By my pal Jim Aitken. Among other things he concludes

Caution with regard to interpreting the Septuagint is advisable, and has rightly been emphasized in recent years. It is rare to be able to identify for certain innovations that the translator has made or ideas imported by the translator. Rather there is a need to depersonalize the translator and for the most part speak of a reading tradition reflected in the translation. Whether features in the translation are to be attributed to a Vorlage differing from the MT, an interpretative tradition or just a standard reading of the Hebrew, in all these cases they are part of a reading tradition that cannot be attributed necessarily to a translator in third-century Egypt. Caution is necessary given our uncertainty regarding the textual tradition and uncertainty as to how the Hebrew text was actually read by a translator.

It’s a very informative essay. Jim is a fine scholar, really fine. Admirable actually. Give it a thoroughgoing look-over.

Ivy League Cheaters…

And at an accredited school at that! Who could ever imagine such a thing (I mean aside from anyone who knows absolutely nothing about Higher Ed in America).

Dozens of Harvard University students are being investigated for cheating after school officials discovered they may have shared answers or plagiarized on a final exam.  Harvard officials aren’t releasing the name of the class, the students’ names or the exact number being investigated.  The undergraduate class had a minimum of 250 students and possible cheating was discovered in roughly half the take-home exams, university officials said Thursday.

I guess when you combine a sense of entitlement to an ethic of selfishness and success at any price you’re bound to end up with accredited students cheating like their unaccredited counterparts…

But even at that, 50% cheaters… that’s saying something about the atmosphere at Harvard, isn’t it. (And what is it exactly that the accreditation cult is supposed to accomplish again?  It’s hard to remember since it doesn’t guarantee superior faculty, facilities, students, or grades.  Oh I remember now, it enriches the accrediting agencies!)

A Shocking New Portrait of Martin Luther Discovered!

via ‘Lutheran Satire’ on FB

Who knew… Luther on the Bluetooth… Oh! Hey!!!! This is just what people do to the Historical Jesus! They put him in their own context… just as doofily.

Jesus Isn’t…

Jesus isn’t a proto-feminist.  He isn’t a proto-Marxist.  He isn’t a proto-egalitarian.  He isn’t a proto-Democrat.  He isn’t a proto-Republican.  He isn’t a cynic, a wandering minstrel, a dude with pithy cool new age sayings.  He isn’t interested in your economic theory.  He isn’t a follower of Adam Smith.

He is, however, a Jewish Rabbi of the first century (and as we must insist as Christians, God incarnate).

Please, people, please.  Stop co-opting Jesus and turning him into yourself.  Stop looking down the well and seeing your own ridiculous reflection.  Do yourself and the whole world (and especially your students) a favor and go to the library and pick up a copy of Schweitzer’s Leben Jesu.  I’d recommend you read your own copy but you clearly don’t have one or you wouldn’t keep insisting that Jesus mirrors your ideology.  For the love of all that’s holy, stop being so stupid and just accept the fact: Jesus was a Rabbi (and, as we must insist as Christians, God incarnate).

Read him as such.  Interpret him as such.   And if you can’t adopt the parenthetical you are nonetheless duty bound to insist on the primary truth: Jesus was a Rabbi!

Where Are Your Tax Dollars Being Sent Overseas?

Here are the top ten beggar states living off the American taxpayer:

10- Tanzania
9- Ethiopia
8- Nigeria
7- Kenya
6- Jordan
5- Egypt
4- Iraq
3- Pakistan
2- Afghanistan

And the largest beggar nation receiving the most American money? No surprise here at all:

1- Israel

Looks like we love Africa and the Middle East and have no use for Asia. Or maybe the Asians aren’t the sort of folk who have their hands out all the time.

Anyway, add up all that foreign aid flushed down foreign toilets and enriching foreign dictators and just imagine how many schools, roads, and hospitals we could construct and how many of our own people could find meaningful well paying jobs.

Our ship of state is captained by imbeciles. That’s why we’ve run aground and are taking on water.

Quote of the Day, Maybe of the Decade

«Wenn wir den christlichen Glauben als eine Privatsache betrachten, werden unsere Kirchen immer kleiner und schlussendlich sterben.» — Graham Tomlin

Via Ref.ch on FB.

And the Worst Story of the Day: The Franciscan Monk Who Thinks Kids Seduce Priests

Ugh.  Just Ugh.

In a recent interview with the National Catholic Register, Father Benedict Groeschel, of the conservative Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, said that teens act as seducers in some sexual abuse cases involving priests. 

You read that right.  The kids seduce the priests.  And, poor weak things, they just can’t resist those teen’s wiles…

In an interview with the National Catholic Register posted this week, Groeschel was asked about his work with the very conservative Friars of the Renewal, a breakaway order he founded 25 years ago. The conversation took an interesting turn, however, when the editor asked about the 78-year-old’s work with sexual abuse perpetrators.  “People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to — a psychopath,” Groeschel said. “But that’s not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.”

Hey maybe Jerry Sandusky can claim he was just seduced by those boys in the shower and in his bedroom / dungeon / hellish pit.

What a pathetic, pathetic man.   Via Thomas Bolin on FB.

UPDATE:  It seems the Priest has repented his evil-speak.

A New Volume: “The Ancient Near East in the 12th–10th Centuries BCE: Culture and History”

It’s a collection of papers delivered at a Conference at the University of Haifa in 2010

“The history of the ancient Near East in the 12th–10th centuries BCE is still an unsolved riddle. At times the veil is lifted and tiny components of this elaborate puzzle glow in a new light. But many questions are as yet unanswered, and most details are still vague. Nevertheless, the broad outlines of this age are fairly well agreed by most scholars: the three superpowers Egypt, Hatti and Assyria gradually lost their hold and their influence in the area: first the Hittites, just after 1200 BCE, and a few dozens of years later, Egypt and Assyria. Historians generally concur that after the reign of Tukulti-Ninurta I (1243–1208 BCE), Assyria plunged into a prolonged decline, gradually losing its western territories to the Aramaean invaders. (…) The studies presented in this book touch on diverse aspects of human activities (political, social, economic, and cultural), and refer to different parts of the ancient Near East: from Melid and Hanigalbat in the north to Egypt and Kush in the south and from Assyria and Babylonia in the East to the Kingdom of Taita and (southern) Philistia in the west. They do though center mainly on the Bible and the history of ancient Israel and its western and eastern neighbors, as compared with other ancient Near Eastern cultures. The papers present an extensive vista of views—from biblical and archaeological perspectives and indeed most of them were written from an inter disciplinary standpoint.”

Go to the link for the list of contributors. It’s quite a cast.

Atheists are Made, Not Born…

And they’re made via infant baptism.  That’s right.  Plunged into the icy water, too young to understand what’s been done to them, they rebel against the very people and places which have done such a terrible thing!

via Brian Kelley on G+

The Best Story of the Day

Forget the Republican multi-day infomercial and take a break from the thieves at the local gas station taking advantage of a bit of rain and wind and enjoy the best story of the day from our friends at NPR-

On a placid summer morning last month, before the Virginia heat could hit them, a former U.S. Marine and his partner lifted their rowing scull into the glassy water of the Rivanna River, near Charlottesville.  “First thing I do is take these legs off,” said Rob Jones, who like his rowing partner, Oksana Masters, is a double, above-the-knee amputee. They’re the U.S. team for mixed-doubles rowing at the 2012 London Paralympics, which started Wednesday.  They sit, take off their legs on the dock, balance on their torsos, lift, twist and gently drop the boat in. Then they put on special rowing legs and start a grueling workout.

God bless them – all the paralympians.

Restoring The Einsiedeln Cloister

Ref.ch reports

Abt Martin Werlens Kloster macht Einsiedeln berühmt, aber das hat seinen Preis. Wie die «Neue Schwyzer Zeitung» vom 30. August berichtet, soll das Schwyzer Stimmvolk am 23. September einen Kantonsbeitrag von acht Millionen Franken für eine umfassende Renovation des Klosters gutheissen. Seit Jahrzehnten zahlt er laut der Zeitung bei Renovationen im Kloster mit: «Zwischen 1975 und 2001 wurde die Klosterkirche umfassend renoviert, 1998 die Stiftsbibliothek, ab 2001 die Beichtkirche, die Magdalenen-Kapelle, das Oratorium, Fassaden, der Abteihof, der Marstall und der alte Kapitelsaal. Und dies immer auch mit Beiträgen der Schwyzer Steuerzahler», schreibt die «Neue Schwyzer Zeitung». Jetzt sollen Klosterplatz, Fassaden, Dächer, Ökonomiebauten, Wasserversorgung, Heizung, elektrische und Sportanlagen erneuert werden. Gesamtkosten: 63 Millionen Franken.

You’ll remember that Einsiedeln was Zwingli’s second Church assignment. Glarus – Einsiedeln – Zurich. It was, in his day, a famous place of pilgrimage.

Oxyranchus Papyri Transcription/ Translation Project

From CSNTM on Facebook

There aren’t enough scholars to look through Oxford’s stash of ancient manuscripts. They’ve figured out a way for regular folks to assist…

In the 1800s, hundreds of boxes of papyri were discovered in Egypt and shipped to the University of Oxford. Lack of personnel and funds means that only a small percentage of these have been looked at by scholars. About two million segments of ancient papyri are still waiting to be read for the first time.

You are invited to help translate the ancient documents. About 200,000 segments of the ancient Oxyrhynchus papyri have been uploaded and using character-recognition tools you can assist in the transcription process.The ingenious part is that no knowledge of classical Greek is required. Oxford’s software allows users to match Greek letters with the symbols on the papyri. The software then translates the words and stores them on a searchable database.  Get started by going directly to Oxford’s transcription tutorial here: http://www.ancientlives.org/tutorial/transcribe.

Paul Ryan: Another ‘In Name Only’ Christian

His speech last night was riddled with lies and half truths, demonstrating once more that politicians will say anything to be elected.  Even so called Christian ones.  Christians, you see, have a problem with deception.  They don’t approve of it and they certainly don’t perpetrate it merely to fulfill their personal goals. It’s easy enough to call oneself a Christian.  Acting like one – that’s another story altogether.