Daily Archives: 27 Sep 2012

Francis Watson’s Revised Essay in Bible & Interpretation, Including Some VERY Important Observations in an Appendix By Stephen Carlson

You can read the revised essay here.  Take note as well of the appendix.  Carlson is at the top of his form.  And once you read it, you’ll get off the fence, and you’ll stop ‘limping between two opinions’.

The Vatican Slams Harvard and the ‘Jesus Wife’ Fragment

The Vatican newspaper has added to the doubts surrounding Harvard University’s claim that a 4th century Coptic papyrus fragment showed that some early Christians believed that Jesus was married, declaring it a “fake.”  The newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, published an article Thursday by leading Coptic scholar Alberto Camplani and an accompanying editorial by the newspaper’s editor, Giovanni Maria Vian, an expert in early Christianity. They both cited concerns expressed by other scholars about the fragment’s authenticity and the fact that it was purchased on the market without a known archaeological provenance.

That sounds familiar doesn’t it.  Hmmm… where have we heard that before….  But here’s the best part-

“At any rate, a fake,” Vian entitled his editorial, which criticized Harvard for creating a “clamorous” media frenzy over the fragment by handing the scoop to two U.S. newspapers only to see “specialists immediately question it.”

With thanks to Candida Moss for pointing the Post essay out on FB.

The Bishops Are Right

When the archbishop of Newark, N.J., said that people who support same-sex marriage should refrain from communion, he was just one of several bishops taking aim at such unions. His comments came on the heels of the Bishops’ campaign about contraception and they have led some see to see it as a political move.

Give the audio a listen.  I think the Bishops are right.  If you want to be a Catholic, that should mean something to you- not least that you embrace Catholic teaching.  If you don’t wish to embrace Catholic doctrine, become something else.  It’s your choice.  It is more than a little dishonest to name yourself a Catholic and then deny what that faith believes.

In short, get in or get out.  For too long people have treated their faith (and this goes for protestants and Reformed too) like a smorgasbord, taking what they like and ignoring what they don’t.  And that, kleine Herde, is inappropriate, untheological, unChristian, and foolish.

extra Ecclesiam nulla salus!

Just Because the ‘Jury is Still Out’ Doesn’t Mean A Decision Hasn’t Been Reached: The Strange and Inexplicable Ongoing Defense of the ‘Jesus Wife’ Fragment

McGrath cites Ehrman who

… is quoted as saying what I think most appropriately cautious scholars would say based on the currently-available evidence: “[T]he jury is out still, but it’s not looking good for authenticity.”

In fact, James, and Bart, the decision is made BEFORE the jury comes out.  The decision, in the matter of the people of planet responsible scholarship v. the ‘authenticity’ of the ‘Jesus Wife’ fragment, has been made, just not announced (by everyone).   Suggesting that those who have offered their verdict are somehow not cautious enough is a red herring.

We are the jury.  And we have seen enough evidence to decide.  Please, James, and Bart, don’t allow your own indecision to allow you (or any of you other indecisive lot) to foist upon the rest of us your own irrational uncertainty.  Francis Watson has really, genuinely, and authentically PROVEN the case.  The fragment is guilty, as charged, of fraud.

A New Blog To Read

It belongs to Francesca Stavrakopoulou of the University of Exeter (and a fellow SOTS-ian and a truly learned and delightful young lady).  Like Chris Tilling and James Crossley, she has earned, through her work (in other places) a permanent link here.

Francesca has just begun to share her intelligent insights- you’ll want to stay tuned.

Welcome, F., to the kingdom of the biblio-bloggers.  You are most welcome.

No, Facebook, If Rick Warren is Going to Be There I Definitely Won’t Be…

Not that I had any interest in attending something called @R12 (some ‘resurgence conference) – first, because I don’t waste my time on nonsense conferences which herald Rick ‘The Heretic’ Warren as a headliner and second because I wouldn’t attend an Emergent conference of any sort (which is what this nonsense must be if the soul-patch and / or goatee wearing hipsters organizing it have labeled it @R12).  Aren’t we all tired of @ being tossed around for every occassion like vomit spewing from a sick baby’s mouth?  It’s proper on Facebook and Twitter as indicator of address- otherwise, it’s just pompish hipster reprobation.

Facebook ads…  so dreadfully aimed.

Quote of the Day (And Timely Too)

Hmmm…the same scholars who think a single manuscript fragment of a 4th century Coptic document must be true will then say that thousands of manuscripts attesting four 1st century Greek documents must not be true. I just love scholarship. — Lawson Stone

[He’s right you know.  Some folk will pant like dogs over a bone about some worthless fraud and dismiss authentic texts without any ado at all.  But in truth that’s not scholarship at all, it’s pseudo-scholarship driven by an anti-Christian agenda]

Colloquium Announcement

I am exceedingly pleased to announce that, following our colloquia with Jodi Magness and Avraham Faust, Eric Meyers of Duke University will be our guest on the biblical studies list to discuss his new volume, ‘Alexander to Constantine‘.

Drawing on the most recent, groundbreaking archaeological research, Eric M. Meyers and Mark A. Chancey re-narrate the history of ancient Palestine in this richly illustrated and expertly integrated book.  Spanning from the conquest of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BCE until the reign of the Roman emperor Constantine in the fourth century CE, they synthesize archaeological evidence with ancient literary sources (including the Bible) to offer a sustained overview of the tumultuous intellectual and religious changes that impacted world history during the Greco-Roman period.

Professor Meyers will be joining us January 13-20, 2013.  This will surely give those interested in taking part opportunity to get a copy of the book and fully digest it.

We’re very, very grateful to Eric, and Jodi, and Avi, for coming along with us in our journey of intellectual exploration together.  If you’d like to take part in any of the discussions coming up, just join the discussion group.

Thank Heaven the NFL Ref Strike is Over, Otherwise We Might Have to Hear About the Deadliest Day yet in Syria…

More than 300 people were killed in Syria on Wednesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, in one of the bloodiest days in the 18-month uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad. World leaders meeting at the United Nations have expressed concern at the continuing violence in Syria but are deadlocked over their response to the conflict, which the Observatory says has claimed 30,000 lives since March 2011.

But who wants to hear about that when the lead story on Good Morning America was the ref strike story (and the Syria story a rank third mention comprised of about 10 seconds worth of coverage)…

Weekly Update

It’s Thursday, so it’s time for the weekly stat update-  it was another pretty good seven days (from last Thursday through last night at midnight)-

I’m still a bit sad that no one from Antarctica has shown up… since virtually every other country has in the last quarter-

What gives, Iran?  Where’s the love, Antarctica?

If You’re Looking For a Name For Your Emergent ‘Congregation’…

Here’s one for ya, seen on the twitter- name your ‘church’ Macademia Jubilation Congregation!  It has all the right elements: nuts, ‘happiness’, and it avoids the use of the word ‘Church’.