Daily Archives: 13 Sep 2012

That’s Just Unnecessarily Nasty, John Piper

There are ways of making points without being revolting.  This tweet by John Piper is an epic #fail.

Calvin made better and brighter points without ever stooping to vulgar and grotesque language.  Just as profanity is the attempt of a feeble mind to express itself forcefully, so too vulgarity is the demonstration of a weak mind pretending to be wise.

Let Us Go Up to Zion: The H.G.M. Williamson Festschrift

John Day sent along word of this (with a copy of his own essay appearing therein, thanks John!) new volume celebrating the work of the very learned HGM Williamson- a delightful man and fellow SOTS-ian.

Oh, and speaking of John, today is his birthday!  So, happy birthday John, and thanks for the essay as gift (though I think by rights I’m supposed to get you something).

This volume honours Professor H. G. M. Williamson, Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University through a collection of essays by colleagues and former students from across the globe. The various contributions intersect with the previous work of Professor Williamson, with special emphasis on the history of biblical research, study of the Hebrew language and Hebrew textual traditions, post-exilic historiography (Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah) and the prophets (especially Isaiah).

Contributors include: Bill Arnold, Hans Barstad, John Barton, Mark Boda, Kevin Cathcart, David Clines, Graham Davies, John Day, Iain Duguid, John Emerton, Richard Friedman, Susan Gillingham, Robert Gordon, Judith Hadley, ‎Anselm Hagedorn, Elizabeth Hayes, Sara Japhet, John Jarick, Gary Knoppers, Arie van der Kooij, Reinhard Kratz, Andre Lemaire, Andrew Macintosh, J. Gordon McConville, Jill Middlemas, Alan Millard, Patrick Miller, Nadav Naaman, Iain Provan, David Reimer, Wolter Rose, Alison Salvesen, Kevin Spawn, Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer, Thomas Willi.

UPDATE:  Below are the table of contents for this amazing volume (and sorry to do it that way, but you’ll have to click to enlarge each page screenshot) :

Jelly Belly Strikes Back!

Ok in my own defense I did tag my lament about laxative Jelly Belly’s ‘humor’.  I said then and I maintain now, I love the Jelly Belly.  Even if it drives me to the loo.

That said, it seems that the good people of Jelly Belly are readers here (who knew) and they’ve posted a comment (which I replicate here- click it to enlarge) :

Trust me, JB, I’ll not stop consuming your delightful product just because I can’t read labels and don’t know anything about sugar alcohol (but then I usually abstain from all forms of alcohol, since it’s the devil’s brew).

Still, if you want to send me a box of the regular Jelly Belly’s I won’t object.  Just drop me a note and I’ll give you my shipping address…  *nudge nudge, wink wink*.

Billy ‘The’ Dever is Going to China

Dr. William G. Dever, distinguished visiting professor of Near Eastern studies at Lycoming College, has been invited to give a one-month short course in the archaeology of Israel and Biblical studies at Beijing University in China as a visiting professor in the department of history. This is the first time that a Western scholar has been invited to teach such subjects in China.

Dever’s latest book, “The Lives of Ordinary People in Ancient Israel: Where Archaeology and the Bible Intersect” (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2012), appeared last April. He is now completing a history of ancient Israel based largely on archaeological remains as opposed to the texts of the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament.  The book, “An Archaeological History of Israel and Judah,” is expected to be a unique and highly controversial work, but one that updates all previous histories with new data.

Dever will serve as a visiting professor of archaeology in the department of Near Eastern studies at UCLA during the spring semester of 2013 before he and his wife, Dr. Pamela Gaber, Lycoming professor of archaeology and Judaic studies, return to Cyprus to direct Lycoming’s archaeological field school for the summer.

Not a fan really of Dever’s work, but that’s pretty cool, so congrats to him.

Where in the World is Chris Tilling Now?

He’s actually been here for a visit!  We had a great time and he said he was going to see some sights in Tn and Ky before heading to NC for the Campbell Conference.

Little did I know when he left the other day that he would find himself in hot water with the law.  Again

A man is facing charges for allegedly putting cameras in men’s restrooms at a park in Harrogate and a Walmart in Middlesboro, Kentucky.  Police in Middlesboro say the investigation of Chris Tilling  Randall R. Rogers, 49, of Battersea, London, UK, The Earth, The Milky Way, the Universe Speedwell, Tennessee, began in December 2011.   He’s accused of placing small cameras in a little white box on the back of the toilet tank in the men’s restroom at the Middlesboro Walmart. An investigator said it “looked just like an air freshener.”  Police discovered one of the cameras, which had a grainy picture inside it of Rogers.   He’s also suspected of putting a similar camera in the men’s restroom at Harrogate City Park. 

Chris has done some creepy stuff before, but this really is the creepiest….  I now see why he was so keen to set up his ‘air freshener’ when we roomed together in San Francisco (!) for SBL!!!!!!

Exciting News: An Upcoming Colloquium With Jodi Magness on the Biblical Studies List

I’m happy to announce that Jodi Magness has agreed to join us on the Biblical Studies List for a colloquium (discussion) on her just published volume, The Archaeology of the Holy Land: From the Destruction of Solomon’s Temple to the Muslim Conquest.  It’s available in paperback from Amazon for $28.  A bargain.

Our discussion will take place November 1-10 and if you would like to take part,

1- Sign into the Discussion list.  It is a closed, tightly moderated list which allows only persons taking part in the list to read or post (so as to avoid the lunacy which befouls so many internet discussions).

2- Get the book, and read it.  Then, when the time comes, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with Prof. Magness and other leading scholars on the contents.

These colloquia have, in the past, been very fruitful and given Jodi’s learning we know that this one will be as well.

Feel free to spread the word.

The Muslims Aren’t As Benighted As they Imagine Themselves to Be…

Via Oded Lipschits on the FB

More On the Forthcoming Festschrift for Leonhard Goppelt

I mentioned previously the forthcoming volume and today received another bit of information – so I’m passing it on to you- my beloved millions of readers (ok fine, it’s not that many.  This week it was only 25,000+) :

As still more information comes I will send it along immediately.

The New Edition of Nestle Aland Video-ified

Via the Bible sinner gone crazy

Total Depravity: The Gun Toting Floridian Tart Edition

A Florida woman who allegedly pulled a gun on a man during sex and demanded money, causing him to lose control of his moving car, was arrested Tuesday, police said.  The woman, Amanda Jean Linscott, 26, fled the scene on foot after the vehicle struck a palm tree, went airborne and plowed through two front yards, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office in Port Charlotte, Fla.  After a weeklong investigation, Linscott was arrested Tuesday on an armed robbery charge.

And that, friends, is one of the many reasons you avoid tarts and varlets.  (Though there’s a part of me thinking, dude, you deserved it for being so tartish yourself).  Robert Cargill shared the tale on FB.

ESPN Doesn’t Know the Difference Between The State of Georgia and the Country Georgia

To be fair, the mistake is an easy one to make with just the 6323 miles or a 13-hour flight separating Georgian capital Tbilisi, where last night’s match was played, and the Georgian state capital Atlanta.  Maybe ESPN was just so surprised that the country with a population of only four million had held the world and European champions to a goalless draw until the 86th minute, the broadcaster assumed it must have been the ninth largest American state instead with a population of over nine million.

ESPN must be staffed by jocks.  With thanks to Keith Whitelam for telling me about this.  And, by the way, shame on you, ESPN.   Sherman didn’t invade Tbilisi…

Rotten Fruit: The Anti-Islamic Film of ‘Becile’

The bright folk at the Neue Zurcher Zeitung write

Dass der ausschnittweise auf YouTube zu sehende Mohammed-Film zu Ausschreitungen in der islamischen Welt führen würde, war abzusehen. War das Unterfangen die daraus resultierenden Spannungen wert? Und wer profitiert letztlich davon?

Very pointedly the question is asked in the essay-

Wer gewinnt?

And the answer…

In dieser Hinsicht aber darbt, wer sich Baciles Machwerk antut. Der Film reiht munter, was an antiislamischen Klischees längst bekannt ist, und fügt noch die eine und andere Erfindung – etwa den Verweis auf eine homoerotische Neigung des Propheten – hinzu. Rücksicht auf historische Fakten muss Sache einer solchen Darstellung nicht sein: So kann Mohammed im Film einem würdigen Juden gerne an den Kopf werfen, er solle doch den Koran lesen, obwohl dieser erst einige Zeit nach dem Tod des Propheten in schriftlicher Form gefasst wurde; so lassen sich – obwohl Mohammed von einem hübschen Jüngling dargestellt wird, den man ebenso gut als Christus aufs Set hätte scheuchen können – die humanen Seiten des Religionsstifters, etwa seine insistente Sorge um die sozial Schwachen, bequem ausblenden.

Leave it to the Swiss to see things so clearly.

Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Period: The Archaeology of Desolation, by Avraham Faust

This one looks right interesting, doesn’t it?

The Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E. was a watershed event in the history of Judah, the end of the monarchy and the beginning of the exilic period, during which many of the biblical texts were probably written. The conquest left clear archaeological marks on many sites in Judah, including Jerusalem, and the Bible records it as a traumatic event for the population.

Less clear is the situation in Judah following the conquest, that is, in the sixth century, a period with archaeological remains the nature and significance of which are disputed.

The traditional view is that the land was decimated and the population devastated. In the last two decades, archaeologists arguing that the land was not empty and that the exile had little impact on Judah’s rural sector have challenged this view.

This volume examines the archaeological reality of Judah in the sixth century in order to shed new light on the debate. By expanding research into new avenues and examining new data, as well as by applying new methods to older data, the author arrives at fresh insights that support the traditional view of sixth-century Judah as a land whose population, both urban and rural, was devastated and whose recovery took centuries.

A Guy Falls Onto a Subway Track in Stockholm…

And a passerby jumps down to where he is

At this point you’re thinking, if there’s a piece of decency to you, that he jumped down and dragged the guy to safety.  You would be wrong.  Instead, the vile miscreant robbed the unconscious man and took off, leaving him there.

The thief who robbed a man lying unconscious on Stockholm subway tracks has still not been found by police, despite extensive search efforts.  The footage of the incident … was broadcast on Swedish crime-watch television programme Efterlyst (“Wanted”) on Wednesday night, prompting a number of tips from the public.

“We got many calls on the police hotline. According to the police the tip-offs are pointing in a certain direction,” said press office of MTG TV Wayne Seretis to the Expressen newspaper.  However, the calls have so far not lead to any arrests.

“No one has been arrested. It may be that this person was only temporarily in Sweden and isn’t here anymore. But if he is here, hopefully many people have seen the picture of him and will recognize him if they see him around town,” said Dan Östman of the Stockholm police to the TT news agency.

The security footage shows the suspect following the clearly inebriated 38-year-old victim, named in media as Johnny, at the Sandsborg metro station, south of Stockholm, at 3am on Sunday.  At one point, it appears the suspect is searching through the pockets of the drunken man.  When Johnny stands up in what appears to be an attempt to spit or vomit onto the tracks, he falls onto the rails, prompting the robber to jump down after him.  There, the thief relieves the man of a wallet, a mobile phone and a gold chain, and then jumps back onto the platform and exits the station – leaving Johnny on the tracks before an approaching train.  The suspect even waves to the ticket seller at the turnstiles as he leaves.  Moments later, a train approaches and runs over the robbery victim, however the driver had noticed the body and managed to brake beforehand, lessening the impact.

Well… I’m speechless at the inhumanity and indecency of it all.  To call the man totally depraved is to do injury to others who have been deemed such.  He’s totally totally depraved.

Is This How You Feel About Us, BBC?

The BBC and other broadcasters are dominated by a “liberal secular elite” whose “default position” is to assume that Christians are “lunatics”, a Radio 4 broadcaster warned last night.

Because if that’s how you really feel, then we all know who the real lunatics are. But it does go a long way in explaining much of your ‘religion’ programming.

In an outspoken attack, Roger Bolton, a former presenter of the station’s Sunday programme, warned that those in charge of broadcasting suffered from a “suicidal” ignorance about religion. He said the BBC was failing to meet its obligations as a public service broadcaster to improve understanding of religion. Mr Bolton, who presents Radio 4’s Feedback programme in which listeners air their views, said there was a growing view among the audience that Christians in particular were being treated unfairly in comparison with other faiths. He said it appeared to be impossible to make jokes about followers of other faiths while Christians were viewed as fair game.

There’s huge ignorance about religion in general, Christians in particular, and the Bible most particularly across the board in the media. The BBC and other British broadcasters aren’t alone in that. But that’s because, instead of consulting with actual biblical scholars, they track down the tinfoil hat wearing fringe morons and use them as talking heads. The worst offender along those lines is the Discovery network. That network is the National Enquirer of religious programming and bible related broadcasting.

In Memoriam William Farel

As today is the anniversary of his death I thought it proper to post this brief snippet of a bio.

In 1509 William Farel left his home at Gap in Dauphine to study in Paris. Under the influence of evangelical scholars Jacques Lefevre (J. Faber Stapulensis) and Cornelius Hoehn, he adopted Protestant views. In 1520 Farel joined other Lefevre pupils in reform efforts at the Meaux diocese outside Paris. Although removed from the circle of Parisian Catholic orthodoxy, increasing pressure from church authorities forced him to leave France in 1523.

In 1524 Farel began reform work in Basel with J. Hussgen (Oecolampadius). Farel’s impetuous championship of the evangelical cause provoked strong opposition. Chased from Basel in 1526, he undertook preaching tours in Switzerland. In 1528 he and Hussgen were successful in the Bern Disputation—a forum which decided that city’s religion.

Consequently, Bern sponsored Farel’s work in the Vaud, in Neuchatel (1530), and in Geneva (1523).

In 1534 Farel and French scholar Pierre Viret began holding regular Protestant worship services in Geneva. By 1535 a theological debate won the sympathetic populace to their side. In 1536 Farel added Calvin to his staff by threatening him with divine judgment should he resist. At this point Geneva was in a state of social and religious turmoil; thus, Farel fully supported Calvin’s new order and discipline. A series of confrontations with city magistrates led to ejection of the pastors in 1538. Unlike Calvin, Farel did not later return to Geneva but lived in Neuchatel. If he lacked the theological depth and consolidating powers of Calvin, Farel was nevertheless fervently dedicated to his evangelistic task.

Farel remained close friends with Calvin, officiating at the marriage of Calvin and Idelette de Bure (1540). Some tension developed when Farel at age sixty–nine married a young woman, a union Calvin strongly disapproved. The two were reconciled, however, before Calvin’s death in 1564. G. Bromily in Who’s Who in Christian history

Conference Announcement: Refo500, Berlin

Berlin is home of the Third RefoRC Conference 2013, to be held May 16–18, 2013 and hosted by the Interdisciplinary Centre ‘Middle Ages – Renaissance – Early Modern Period’.

Papers: The conference is open to individual short paper presentations (20 minutes presentation, 10 minutes discussion) and to thematic sessions of two or three short papers. It is also possible to attend the conference without presenting a paper.

Short Paper Proposals: While papers on the conference theme are encouraged, papers may also focus on all disciplines related to the 16th century reformations, such as arts, philosophy, law, history, theology etc., independent of the theme of the plenary papers. Short paper proposals should be sent via the registration form before February 15, 2013.

Theme of Plenary Papers: The topic for plenary papers of the Third RefoRC Conference will be “Anthropological Reformations – Anthropology in the Era of Reformation”. Our aim is to engage in an interdisciplinary discussion about the establishment and debates on anthropological concepts and their changes in the age of the Reformation. Plenary speakers include Klaus Bergdolt (Cologne), Jutta Eming (Berlin), Wolfgang Fuhrmann (Vienna), Ronnie Po-chia Hsia (Penn State), Risto Saarinen (Helsinki), Notger Slenczka (Berlin), Johan Verberckmoes (Louvain), Anna Vind (Copenhagen) and Elke Anna Werner (Berlin).

Registration: Registration is now open through our website, where all additional information can be found.