Monthly Archives: September 2012

Qumran Focus Month at ASOR is Over

And it was a very, very good series.  Here’s the wrap up.  I appreciate Jack Sasson mentioning it on Agade because I had forgotten to check in on it.

It has been a successful month here on the ASOR blog, with posts by many leading scholars on all aspects of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls! We have had seven posts covering everything from the archaeological evidence for a sect inhabiting the site of Qumran, to translations and interpretations of portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls, to evidence for changes in scripture over time. In case you missed any of them, the posts in order are:

Go on over to ASOR to see them all handily located in one super-post.

Comments Off on Qumran Focus Month at ASOR is Over

Posted by on 30 Sep 2012 in Modern Culture


Tags: , ,

The Fund-Raiser You Didn’t Hear About: Bibliobloggers Model Wedding Gowns

Some of your favorite bibliobloggers bit the bullet for charity (The Chris Tilling Recovery Clinic For Insane Theologians) and did a ‘men dressed as women’ ‘fashion show’.  The wry twist?  They modeled wedding gowns.  It’s simultaneously appalling and horrifying:

1 Comment

Posted by on 30 Sep 2012 in Humor


Offered Without Comment

Fire officials say the wife of an Idaho lawmaker was injured when a room that they had converted into a gun safe exploded.  The Times-News ( ) reports that Amy Wood, the wife of state Rep. Fred Wood, was taken by air ambulance to a Utah hospital with second-degree burns on her face and hands after the explosion Saturday night in southern Idaho.

More here.

Comments Off on Offered Without Comment

Posted by on 30 Sep 2012 in Modern Culture


Tags: ,

More Pastoral Misconduct: The Philanderer Murdered Two Wives

Retired Pennsylvania pastor Arthur “A.B.” Schirmer was a serial philanderer, preying on women in his church who were having trouble in their own marriages, court documents say.  Yet adultery might have been the least of his sins.  Charged two years ago in the death of his second wife, Schirmer now stands accused of killing his first wife, too, after a grand jury concluded her injuries weren’t consistent with a fall down the stairs, Lebanon County prosecutors announced Friday. He intends to plead innocent, and his children say they support him.

Schirmer, 64, has long claimed he was out for a run on April 23, 1999, when he returned home to find Jewel Schirmer’s body in a pool of blood at the bottom of the basement steps. Although she had suffered a fractured skull as well as injuries to her face, body, arms and legs, the coroner made no determination as to whether her death was an accident or a homicide, and the case was closed.  …   Police and prosecutors decided to take another look at Jewel Schirmer’s death after her husband of 31 years came under investigation in the 2008 death of his second wife, Betty Jean, in the Pocono Mountains. Prosecutors in that case say Schirmer killed Betty Jean Schirmer, then staged a car accident to cover it up. He faces trial in January.  On Friday, Behney welcomed the decision to charge Schirmer in his 50-year-old sister’s death.

With thanks to Antonio for pointing the story out.

Comments Off on More Pastoral Misconduct: The Philanderer Murdered Two Wives

Posted by on 30 Sep 2012 in Modern Culture, Total Depravity


Tags: ,

Good For Smithsonian, But Now It’s Time for Discovery and History to Do the Same Thing

Bob Cargill writes

Word from the Smithsonian Channel is that they’ve decided to shelve a new documentary on the so-called “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” due, in part, to a high degree of scholarly criticism ranging from claims that the fragment is an outright fake to claims that it appears to be a cut-and-paste job of verses taken from the Gospel of Thomas.

This is a good thing! Kudos to Smithsonian for listening to the facts, weighing the evidence, and evaluating the scholarly critique instead of rushing to air a sensationalized documentary that may turn out to be nothing but an hour of strained speculation sold to a cable channel in the hopes of making quick money, archaeology be damned.

What Smithsonian has done is what Discovery Channel and History Channel should do as well.  No one profits except the greedy ‘who cares about the facts’ profiteers when networks air unsubstantiated pseudo-archaeological claims.  And Discovery and History are the primary offenders when it comes to airing rubbish.  And they should stop it.

1 Comment

Posted by on 30 Sep 2012 in pseudo-archaeology, pseudo-scholarship


2000 Dead

U.S. military deaths in the Afghan war have reached 2,000, a cold reminder of the human cost of an 11-year-old conflict that now garners little public interest at home as the United States prepares to withdraw most of its combat forces by the end of 2014.

For what?  2000 dead Americans- fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters… for what?  Are we to believe that 1 bin Laden is as valuable as 2000 American kids?

1 Comment

Posted by on 30 Sep 2012 in Total Depravity



Shoot First And Then Find Out You’ve Just Killed Your Son

Congratulations, Mr. Giuliano.  You’ve murdered your own son.

A man fatally shot a masked teenager in self-defense outside his neighbor’s house during what appeared to be an attempted late-night burglary and then discovered it was his son, state police said.  Police identified the dead boy as 15-year-old Tyler Giuliano, who was shot at about 1 a.m. Thursday in New Fairfield, a town along the New York line just north of Danbury.  A woman who was alone in the house believed someone was breaking in and called the teen’s father, who lives next door, and he grabbed a gun and went outside to investigate, police said.  The father confronted someone wearing a black ski mask and black clothing and then fired his gun when the person went at him with a shiny weapon in his hand, police said.  When police officers arrived, the father was sitting on the grass next to the woman’s home and the teen was lying in the driveway with gunshot injuries. The teen was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

She believed she was being robbed (but the kid wasn’t ever even in her house) and he believed he was being attacked.  Seems they both believed something that turned out to be untrue and now a dad has murdered his own child- all because of ill-founded ‘belief’.

Perhaps she should have called the police instead of her trigger happy neighbor and perhaps he should have fired a warning shot into the ground before he shot directly into someone’s torso.

Gun-lust and the ‘old-west’ shoot first and ask questions later constantly ends in tragedy and yet we Americans are incapable of changing our behavior.  It’s appalling.

1 Comment

Posted by on 30 Sep 2012 in Modern Culture


Tags: ,

What Will Happen Today At That ‘Emergent’ ‘Church’ in Town


Comments Off on What Will Happen Today At That ‘Emergent’ ‘Church’ in Town

Posted by on 30 Sep 2012 in Modern Culture


It’s Not Even October…

But that hasn’t stopped Tim from posting the Carnival.  Check it out.  Hop in your time machine and fast forward to 1 September, and enjoy.


Posted by on 30 Sep 2012 in Modern Culture


Tim’s Online Book Launch

Tim writes

Do please participate in helping me to make my latest experiment in online publication work better. I want to explore how authors and readers can engage more and at greater depth through using online communications. My book Not Only a Father is not only available as a paperback on Amazon, but also the full text is online at using a WordPress plugin that allows commenting and discussion at paragraph rather than post level.

However, my publisher (the NZ Baptist Research Society) has no funds for promotion, and as yet few people have responded to my efforts on Facebook or here so the discussion is still sparse. I would like to do an Online Book Launch to (roughly) coincide with the physical one. So I am asking a number of bloggers to agree to mention the book (especially the free online version) in a post in the first two weeks of October (the physical launch is 10th October). I am also trying to find people willing to read a few paragraphs and post a comment (naturally if you want to read more I’d be delighted 😉

I wonder if you’d be willing to share in this in some way? I’ll mention everyone who does in posts (and leaves a URL) here, which since I am hosting the September BS Carnival tomorrow so this should give you extra Google mojo as a bonus 😉

So there it is.  Check Tim’s book out.


Posted by on 29 Sep 2012 in Biblical Studies Resources


Fun Facts from Church History: Luther and Hebrew

According to Helen Kraus, Martin Luther’s knowledge of Hebrew was minimal and, in his own words he was ‘… no Hebrew grammarian, nor do I wish to be’.  Luther also expressed ‘a deep-seated distaste for Hebrew grammar’. She continues, ‘Luther depended heavily upon such distinguished Hebraists as Bernard Ziegler, Mattheus Aurogallus, Andreas Osiander, and Caspar Cruciger’ for the German translation of the Old Testament.’*

[This in contrast to Zwingli’s mastery of Hebrew (and Greek).]

I was unable to track down Luther’s comments concerning his Hebrew skills so I inquired of Prof. Kraus and not having received any reply I turned to the learned Christian Moser who provided the following citations:

WA TR 3, no. 3271b: “Ego nullus sum Hebraeus grammatice et regulariter, quia nullis patior me vinculis constringi, sed libere versor. Etiamsi quis linguarum dona habeat, attamen non statim potest in aliam linguam transferre. Das ist ein sonderliche Gottes gabe, interpretari.”

or similarly WA TR 1, no. 1040: “Jch bin kein Ebräer nach der Grammatica und Regeln, denn ich lasse mich nirgendan binden, sondern ich gehe frei hindurch. Wenn einer gleich die Gabe der Sprachen hat, und verstehet sie, doch kann er darum nicht eine in die ander so bald bringen und wol verdolmetschen. Dolmetschen ist eine sonderliche Gnade und Gabe Gottes.”

However, concerning Kraus’s conclusion that Luther had a ‘distaste’ for Hebrew- Moser observes

No idea where she got the “the deep seated distaste” from, the quotation doesn’t allow this conclusion at all.

I have no idea where Kraus got the idea either. At any rate, it’s one of the benefits of modern life that citations that are unattributed or imprecise can be examined and uncovered fairly quickly.  And those which have no basis in the sources can also be brought to light as such.

* Helen Kraus, Gender Issues in Ancient and Reformation Translations of Genesis 1-4 (OUP,2011, p. 119).


Posted by on 29 Sep 2012 in Church History, Zwingli



On the Nature of the Bible: An Observation

The belief that the Bible isn’t in its very essence and nature ‘theological’ is the same as believing that the sun isn’t hot or that politicians aren’t dishonest.

No one who has experienced the heat of the sun or the deceptions of the politicians or the reality of the message of the bible can operate from the basis of a false presupposition.


Posted by on 29 Sep 2012 in Bible, Theology


Gunter Grass is At It Again, With Another Poem About Israeli Policy

His second:

Nobel Prize literature laureate, declared ‘persona non grata’ by Israel over a poem criticizing its stance on Iran, lauds nuclear whistle-blower Vanunu as a ‘hero.’ After drawing fire for criticizing Israel’s stance on Iran in a controversial poem earlier this year, prominent German writer Gunter Grass confronts Israeli policy in a new poem, in which he lauds Mordechai Vanunu, a former nuclear technician imprisoned by Israel for years for revealing details of Israel’s nuclear program to the British media. In April, Israel declared the Nobel Prize literature laureate Grass “persona non grata” after he published a poem saying it threatened world peace in its standoff with Tehran and that it must not be allowed to launch military strikes against Iran.

It’s hard for some folk to stay out of trouble. If they only had no conscience…

Comments Off on Gunter Grass is At It Again, With Another Poem About Israeli Policy

Posted by on 29 Sep 2012 in Modern Culture


Tags: , , , ,

Zwingli’s First Mass

Huldrych Zwingli was ordained a priest and celebrated his first Mass on the 29th of September, 1506, at his home town of Wildhaus.  He would serve that Church and the Church at Glarus (where the first stirrings of Reform would begin in 1515) and then he moved to Einsiedeln and commenced his own Reformatory studies in earnest.  By 1519 when he moved to Zurich his Reform was full blown.

Here is the chalice Zwingli held when he celebrated Mass in Glarus.

Comments Off on Zwingli’s First Mass

Posted by on 29 Sep 2012 in Church History, Zwingli


Tags: , ,

What Happens When an American Goes to Britain Goes to Germany to Study Theology…


Timothy Michael Law- Septuagintalist

You’ve been warned.


Posted by on 29 Sep 2012 in Heresy and Heretics, Humor



Mike Huckabee, I Used to Like You, But You’ve Just Jumped the Shark

Fox News host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) compared the administration’s handling of the consulate attack in Libya to Watergate, during an appearance on the network Friday morning, and hinted that the president should be impeached for not immediately attributing the violence to terrorism.

“We have been flat-out lied to,” Huckabee told Fox’s Bill Hemmer. “They know they lied. As if airplanes crashing into the World Trade Center said those were just accidents. Anybody with two eyes and an IQ above plant life knows what happened in Libya was not a spontaneous reaction to a 13 minute video on YouTube”:

HUCKABEE: It was a planned orchestrated attack led by terrorists, terrorists, Bill. And this White House has to explain why it hasn’t owned up to that. Why it can’t say it. I think frankly, if this issue really gets traction that it deserves, and let it say it deserves, go back. Richard Nixon was forced out of office because he lied. And because he covered some stuff up. I will be blunt and tell you this. Nobody died in Watergate. We have people who are dead because of this. There are questions to be answered and Americans ought to demand to get answers. […]

HEMMER: Just one more thing here. What you’re describing, comparing events of today to Watergate.

HUCKABEE: I sure am….Bill, i’m not saying this just out of some political interest. I’m saying that our trust as a nation is built on our ability to know that when our president, whoever he is, Democrat or Republican, looks us in the eye and tells us something, we ought to know he is telling us the truth.

Congratulations, Mike.  Meet Mr. Shark.  Mr Shark, Mike.  He’s just jumped you.

Comments Off on Mike Huckabee, I Used to Like You, But You’ve Just Jumped the Shark

Posted by on 28 Sep 2012 in Politics



Another ‘Jesus Wife’ Fragment Disclosed!!!

Wow, once the floodgates open, they really open!!!!  I do so appreciate Tom Bolin pointing this out on the FB-

Late last night, during a lavish banquet at an exclusive address in Chelsea, my Indiana Jones moment finally arrived. A mysterious man approached our dinner table and handed me a small box. “It’s a gift. Just for you–” he said, and vanished.

“Who was that?” I asked my dinner companions. “He said his name was ‘Grant,’ but he smiled mischievously as he said that,” reported one onlooker. Clearly “Grant” was a pseudonym, and a clever one at that. For what this middle man had given me was truly a gift.

By asking around at the fundraiser, I learned that this new papyrus — hereafter P.Chelsea 1 (or P.Chels. 1 for citation) — had been “granted” to me by an anonymous collector. Since I have recently been blogging so much (too much, I fear) about new papyri, this anonymous collector thought I would be the perfect person to evaluate the contents of P.Chelsea 1. My editio princeps is forthcoming in the premier journal, Collecteana: L’Revue d’Année Papyrologique (CRAP), but my initial commentary follows below the photo-

See the link above for the writer’s commentary.  Here’s mine-

And the best thing about this fragment?  It’s JUST as authentic as the earlier one!  (And yes, some things deserve to be mocked).

Comments Off on Another ‘Jesus Wife’ Fragment Disclosed!!!

Posted by on 28 Sep 2012 in pseudo-archaeology, pseudo-scholarship


Tags: , , , ,

Fox News Isn’t Just Fake News, It’s Sick News

Hundreds of thousands of Americans watched a man shoot himself in the head live on television on Friday as Fox News broadcast the final moments of a car chase in Arizona.

The FCC needs to look into Fox’s broadcast license. And revoke it.

The cable news channel was playing live footage of the pursuit when the suspect leapt out of his car and began running away down a dirt track. As producers and viewers watched, the man staggered away from his vehicle, ran a short distance into the grass and then produced a gun. Shephard Smith, Fox News’s afternoon anchor, was providing a running commentary as the suspect lurched away from the vehicle and viewers could hear his producers gasping in horror as the man shot himself. Mr Smith shouted “get off it, get off it” as it became clear the man intended to kill himself but the station did not cut away in time and broadcast the suspect crumpling to the ground. Fox went to a commercial break and when it returned to the studio a visibly shaken Mr Smith apologised to viewers, saying “that didn’t belong on TV”.

Too late. You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. Or are they suggesting they don’t operate with some sort of delay capability? They can bleep out profanity because the have a button- they can do the same to video. Fox. Sick.

Fox has a habit of inappropriate and misleading reporting.  They really are due an investigation.

1 Comment

Posted by on 28 Sep 2012 in Total Depravity


Oh My- The Iranian News Agency Thinks The Onion is Real News!

Oh my.  FARS has plagiarized The Onion!

Apparently unaware of the unwritten rules of both ethical journalism and satire, an Iranian news agency published an edited copy of a report from The Onion on Friday, without crediting the original or acknowledging that it was fiction.  The Fars News Agency, which is close to Iran’s powerful Republican Guard Corps, posted its version of the report on its English-language Web site under the same headline used by The Onion for the original four days earlier: “Gallup Poll: Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad To Obama.”

Bahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!  What dimwittery.


Posted by on 28 Sep 2012 in Modern Culture


Tags: , ,

Another ‘Accredited’ School With a Plagiarizing Prof

The school?  Amherst.  Yes, it’s ‘accredited’.  I mention that because some people think ‘accreditation’ means something when in fact and in practice, it only means the robbery of institutions of higher education by scheming thieves who’ve managed to hoodwink people into thinking that if they’re ‘accredited’ they’re somehow ‘better’.

Carleen Basler, an assistant professor of American studies and sociology at Amherst College, resigned last week after senior faculty members discovered that she had plagiarized some of her scholarly work. The plagiarism was found as Basler was being evaluated for tenure, officials said. “She accepted responsibility and decided to resign,” said Gregory Call, the dean of faculty at Amherst and a mathematics professor. Biddy Martin, president of the college, said that Basler had worked at Amherst since 2003. When asked about the extent of plagiarism, Martin said it was “extensive.” An automatic reply to an e-mail sent to Basler’s college e-mail account said: “Carleen Basler is no longer with Amherst College.”

Don’t be too mad at Carleen though- this kind of thing goes on all the time- most of plagiarism’s practitioners just haven’t been discovered.  And why they plagiarize is beyond me.  Have they never heard of citations or footnotes?  good grief.  (HT Matt Hamilton on the twitter).   [See, that’s called a citation.  It’s easy.]


Posted by on 28 Sep 2012 in Modern Culture


Tags: , ,