Daily Archives: 11 Oct 2012

More Rabbinic Misconduct

the ‘rabbi’ praying to the ‘god’of money for a good haul from the rich crowd

The influential rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto and his wife were arrested and investigated on Thursday. They were charged with attempting to bribe a police officer and money laundering. They were released under restrictive conditions once the investigation was completed.

There are further details here:

The charismatic Israeli kabbalist Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto was questioned today with his wife by Israeli police in a bribery investigation, Israeli news sites are reporting.  Police questioned the powerful rabbi, who has ties to top Israeli lawmakers and businessmen, on charges that he attempted to bribe a police officer, according to ynet.co.il, Israel’s largest news site.

In the United States, Pinto is tied to an investigation into the fundraising activities of Republican Congressman Michael Grimm. A former top Pinto aide was jailed last month over immigration violations amidst charges that the aide gathered illegal donations from Pinto followers for Grimm’s congressional campaign.  According to the Israeli site News1, Pinto and his wife are accused of bribing a police official to receive information about another, unspecified investigation into Pinto.  Following the questioning, Pinto and his wife were taken to magistrate court in Rishon LeZion, a city near Tel Aviv. They were then released to house arrest.  The Forward reported in December 2011 that Pinto’s U.S. charity had spent heavily on luxury travel and jewels, and that another top aide was a former porn distributor.

Corrupt birds of a feather flock together.

It’s James Crossley’s Birthday…

So what better way to say ‘happy birthday’ than to post photos of the kid over the years…

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Happy birthday friend.

The Order of Worship, In Zurich, As the Reformation Took Hold

First, in a sermon of appropriate length is preached the goodness of God which He has shown us through His Son, and the people are directed to the knowledge of this and thanksgiving for it.

When this is finished a table is placed in front of the choir, so-called, before the steps; this is covered with a cloth, the unleavened bread is placed upon it, and the wine poured into cups. Then the pastor comes forward with two assistants, and they all turn towards the people, so that the pastor or bishop stands between the others, having on only the usual garb worn by men of standing and ministers of the Church.

Then the pastor begins in a loud voice, not in the Latin tongue, but in the vernacular, so that all shall understand what is going on, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” The assistants respond in the name of the whole Church, “Amen.” The Pastor:—“Let us pray.” Now the church kneels.

“Almighty and everlasting God, whom all creatures rightly worship, adore, and praise, as their Maker, Creator, and Father, grant unto us miserable sinners that we may in sincere faith render that praise and thanksgiving which Thy only begotten Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ instructed us to do, through that same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, God, in the unity of the Holy Spirit world without end. Amen.”

Then the assistant who stands on the left reads, “What is now read is written in the first Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, eleventh chapter,—‘When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper,’ ” [v. 20], and the rest as far as, “not discerning the Lord’s body” [v. 29].

Then the assistants and the Church respond, “Praise be to God.” The Pastor, “Glory to God in the highest.” The Deacon, “And on earth peace.” The Sub-deacon, “To men a sound and tranquil mind.” The Deacon, “We praise Thee, we bless Thee,” and the rest to the end of this hymn, the assistants reciting it alternately, verse by verse, the Church understanding the whole and admonished at the beginning that each man is to say over in his heart and consider in the sight of God and the Church the things that are said. The Deacon says, “The Lord be with you.” The assistants respond, “And with Thy spirit.” The Deacon, “What is now read is written in the Gospel of John, the sixth chapter.” The Church responds, “Glory be to Thee, O Lord.” The Deacon, “Thus spake Jesus, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna,” etc., to the words, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” After these words the Pastor says, “Glory to God who deigns to forgive all our sins according to His word.” The assistants respond, “Amen.” The Pastor, “I believe in one God.” The Deacon, “the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.” The Sub-deacon, “And in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord,” and the rest to the end of the Apostles’ Creed, so-called, the ministers repeating it alternately in loud voice just as they did before the hymn, “Glory in the highest.”

Invitation of the pastor to the worthy celebration of the Supper:—“We now desire, dear brethren, in accordance with the custom instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ, to eat this bread and drink this cup, as He commanded should be done in commemoration, praise, and thanksgiving, because He suffered death for us, and poured out His blood to wash away our sins. Therefore, let every man examine and question himself, as Paul suggests, as to how sure a trust he puts in our Lord Jesus Christ, that no one may behave like a believer who yet hath not faith, and so become guilty of the Lord’s death, and sin against the whole Church (which is His body) by thus showing contempt for it. Accordingly fall upon your knees and pray, ‘Our Father which art in heaven’ ” etc., to the end. And when the ministers have responded “Amen,” let the pastor again pray.

Prayer: “Lord, God Almighty, who by Thy spirit hast united us into Thy one body in the unity of the faith, and hast commanded Thy body to give praise and thanks unto Thee for that bounty and kindness with which Thou hast delivered Thy only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ unto death for our sins, grant that we may fulfil this Thy command in such faith that we may not by any false pretenses offend or provoke Thee who art the infallible truth. Grant also that we may live purely, as becometh Thy body, Thy sons and Thy family, that even the unbelieving may learn to recognize Thy name and Thy glory. Keep us, Lord, lest Thy name and glory come into ill repute through the depravity of our lives. We always pray, ‘Lord, increase our faith, that is, our trust in Thee, who livest and reignest God world without end.’ ” The church responds, “Amen.”

Then the pastor speaks the sacred words with the following actions:—

“The Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed to death took bread” (here the pastor takes the unleavened bread into his hands); “and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me.” (Here the pastor hands the bread to the ministers who are standing about the table, and they immediately take it with reverence, divide it between them, and eat. Meanwhile the pastor continues): “After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped,” (here the pastor takes the cup into his hands), “gave thanks and said, Drink ye all of it. This cup is the new testament in my blood; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death,” (ye praise Him and thank Him) “till he come.”

After this the assistants carry round the unleavened bread, and each person takes a piece of the bread with his own hand, and then passes the rest to his neighbor. If any one does not wish to handle the bread with his own hand, the minister carrying it round hands it to him. Then the assistants follow with the cups and hand one another the Lord’s cup. Let not Your Majesty shrink from this custom of offering and receiving the elements, for it has often been found that men who had accidentally taken seats next each other when they yet felt enmity and hatred towards each other, have laid aside their angry feelings through this participation in the bread or wine.

Another assistant reads again from the pulpit out of the Gospel of John, while the congregation is eating and drinking the sacrament of the Lord’s body and blood; beginning at the thirteenth chapter.

When all the cups have been brought back, the pastor begins, “Fall upon your knees,” for we eat and drink the sacrament of the Supper sitting and silently listening to the word of the Lord, and when all kneel, the pastor begins, I say:

“Praise, O ye servants, the Lord,* praise the name of the Lord.” The Deacon: “Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore” [Ps. 113:2ff.]. The Sub-deacon: “From the rising of the sun unto the going down, etc.,” and so again the assistants go through alternately this psalm which the Hebrews say used to be said by their ancestors after eating.

After this the pastor exhorts the Church in these words: “Be mindful, dearly beloved brethren, of what we have now done together by Christ’s command. We have borne witness by this giving of thanks, which we have done in faith, that we are indeed miserable sinners, but have been purified by the body and blood of Christ which He delivered up and poured out for us, and have been redeemed from everlasting death. We have borne witness that we are brethren. Let us, therefore, confirm this by love, faith, and mutual service. Let us, therefore, pray the Lord that we may keep His bitter death deep in our hearts so that though we daily die to our sins we may be so sustained and increased in all virtues by the grace and bounty of His Spirit that the name of the Lord shall be sanctified in us, and our neighbor be loved and helped. The Lord have mercy upon us and bless us! The Lord cause His face to shine upon us and be gracious unto us! Amen.”

The pastor again prays:—“We give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, for all Thy gifts and benefits, who livest and reignest God world without end. Amen.” The pastor: “Go in peace. Amen.” Then the Church separates.*

*The Latin Works of Huldreich Zwingli, Volume 2, p. 287–290.

Total Depravity: The Child Raping H.S. Quarterback

The quarterback at Mt. Pleasant High School in Maury County has been arrested for the rape of a child. Detective Anthony Bailey with the Maury County Sheriff’s Department told Nashville’s News 2 18-year-old Princeton Harlan was arrested at the school Wednesday morning. Jackson said authorities began investigating Harlan and two other teens, a 16 year old and a 17-year-old, one month ago. Investigators have not released the names of the two other teens because they are charged as juveniles.

Authorities said the sexual encounters involving a 12-year-old female victim at separate times around the beginning of July. Detective Bailey did not describe the encounters as forcible, but because the victim is 12 she can not legally give consent to have sex. Detective Bailey also did not comment on how the teens met the victim. “The girl in this case went to her biological mother and told her she thought she was pregnant. That’s what started us investigating the case,” Detective Bailey said. “She was pregnant and had an abortion.”

Dear Lord. A rapist. A gang of rapists. A willing and yet unable to consent child victim. A pregnancy. And an abortion. Dear Lord. The cure for all of this is true faith. Something with which, sadly, so few have any interest.

A Video…

Just In Case You’re Fairly Blind and Can’t Look at the ‘Jesus Wife’ Fragment and Know it Isn’t Ancient…

There’s more evidence that the thing is a piece of bogus rubbish- kindly provided by the scholar who lives up to the first syllable of his surname, Mark Goodacre

Line 1 of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife fragment copies a typo from a website interlinear of Coptic Thomas

And now a little more detail.  One of the difficulties with the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife fragment is that it appears to be dependent, on every line, on words and phrases from our one extant Coptic text of the Gospel of Thomas (See Francis Watson’s articles; see too Leo Depuydt’s forthcoming report; see also Andrew Bernhard).  The difficulties that this poses for the authenticity of the fragment are serious (see my reflections).

Serious indeed.  I sure hope that any of the folk still holding out false hope that the fragment is authentic (or meaningful) will read Mark’s entire post as well as Stevie Carlson’s remarks (always cogent, that Stevie C.)

Mismanagement by Palestinians

I saw mention of this by Shahar Shocron on the facebook-

Journalist Michael Freund posted the image above on his Facebook page. For those who cannot recognize what it is, Freund explains. “Here, in a pile of rubble and trash on the Temple Mount, lies a marble column from the Second Temple that was broken and then discarded by the Muslim Wakf which effectively controls the area. Our heritage is under assault. It is time for the Israeli government to act, and take back control of the Temple Mount!”

I’m not so sure about the last sentence but the fact that such things are being trashed by the Palestinians is inexcusable.  The ‘erasure’ of history by the means of the destruction or dismissal of historical artifacts is inexcusable, whether it’s being done by Israelis or Palestinians.

Conference Announcement: ‘Summer 2012 New Discoveries and Innovations’ (Tel Aviv University)

Excavations of the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University
Thursday, November 1, 2012, Room 223, Gilman Building

15:45-16:15 – Gathering and Refreshments

16:15-17:30 – First Session

Greetings by the director of the Institute, Oded Lipschits

Awarding of scholarships by Oren Tal, head of the Department of Archaeology and Near Eastern Cultures, to outstanding students of the “Digging Archaeologist” Track

Ran Barkai and Avi Gopher – After 300,000 Years: A New Chamber Uncovered at Qesem Cave

Rafi Greenberg – Tel Bet Yerah 2012: Fragmented Identities of the 3rd Millennium BCE

Israel Finkelstein and David Ussishkin – Megiddo 2012: The Middle Bronze Fortifications, the End of the Late Bronze and Other Issues

17:30-18:00 – Coffee Break

18:00-19:45 – Second Session

Oded Lipschits and Yuval Gadot –We Went in Search of a Kingship but Found Asses Instead—Preliminary Results from the Renewed Excavations at Tel Azekah, Summer 2012

Shlomo Bunimovitz and Zvi Lederman – Challenging Architectural Remains from Iron Age I at Tel Beth-Shemesh, Summer 2012

Yuval Goren – The First Season of Excavations at Tel Sochoh – Finds and Future Plans

Oren Tal — The Apollonia-Arsuf Excavation Project: The Crusader Town of Arsur —Structure, Cultural Adaptation, Urban-Rural Relations

Presentations will be in Hebrew.

Via Oded Lipschits on FB.  If you’re in Tel Aviv this may be something you’d like to attend.

More on Malina

Robert Myles, who has a pretty good series going on reviewing Crossley’s ‘Jesus in an Age of Neoliberalism’, has another post along the same lines- this time focusing on the views of Bruce Malina.

I’d just add two observations (and I am not a ‘fan’ of Malina’s work, but when someone is telling the truth, well, he’s telling the truth).

1- Malina is simply following Shlomo Sands and other researchers when he points out that there is no connection between modern Israelis and ancient Israelites.

2- There is in fact something amiss in our labeling of Israeli’s as ‘settlers’ when they take Palestinian land.  And it is in fact the case that Christian Zionism is tremendously problematic as both something Christian and as Zionism.

Indeed, Myles’ quote from Malina isn’t at all evidence of Malina’s ‘wrongness’ on the subject.  Quite the contrary, Malina is right when he says-

Consider the language used in the United States relative to contemporary Israel. Israeli squatters are called ‘settlers’; Israel’s army of occupation is called a ‘defense force’; Israel’s theft of Palestinian property is called a ‘return’; Israel’s racist anti-Gentilism is called ‘Zionism’; and any and all criticism of Israel’s chosen people’s behavior is labeled ‘anti-Semitism’!… Dissidence, as my statements indicate, is in essence a semiotic phenomenon employing meaningful signs that result in cognitive disorientation of true believers. Israelis and Christian fundamentalists in the United States find my statements quite disorienting; as a matter of fact, they are sufficient to label me ‘an enemy of Israel,’ or, more derogatorily, ‘an anti-Semite.’

There’s nothing untrue in that paragraph.

As to Myles’ other points they are of less interest to me (sorry).  But Myles’ criticism of Malina on the above two points seems inappropriate.

Rude Catholics and Their Violence: On The Anniversary of Zwingli’s Vicious Murder

How’s that for setting the tone…  Anyway, on this, the unhappy anniversary of Zwingli’s dreadful murder at the hands of Catholic troops at Kappel-am-Albis, Bullinger’s report –

On the battlefield, not far from the line of attack, Mr. Ulrich Zwingli lay under the dead and wounded. While men were looting . . . he was still alive, lying on his back, with his hands together as if he was praying, and his eyes looking upwards to heaven. So some approached who did not know him and asked him, since he was so weak and close to death (for he had fallen in combat and was stricken with a mortal wound), whether a priest should be fetched to hear his confession. Thereat Zwingli shook his head, said nothing and looked up to heaven. Later they told him that if he was no longer able to speak or confess he should yet have the mother of God in his heart and call on the beloved saints to plead to God for grace on his behalf. Again Zwingli shook his head and continued gazing straight up to heaven. At this the Catholics grew impatient, cursed him and said that he was one of the obstinate cantankerous heretics and should get what he deserved. Then Captain Fuckinger of Unterwalden appeared and in exasperation drew his sword and gave Zwingli a thrust from which he at once died. So the renowned Mr. Ulrich Zwingli, true minister and servant of the churches of Zurich, was found wounded on the battlefield along with his flock (with whom he remained until his death). There, because of his confession of the true faith in Christ, our only savior, the mediator and advocate of all believers, he was killed by a captain who was a pensioner, one of those against whom he had always preached so eloquently. . . .

The crowd then [Oct. 12] spread it abroad throughout the camp that anyone who wanted to denounce Zwingli as a heretic and betrayer of a pious confederation should come onto the battlefield. There, with great contempt, they set up a court of injustice on Zwingli which decided that his body should be quartered and the portions burned. All this was carried into effect by the executioner from Lucerne with abundance of abuse; among other things he said that although some had asserted that Zwingli was a sick man he had in fact never seen a more healthy-looking body.

They threw into the fire the entrails of some pigs that had been slaughtered the previous night and then they turned over the embers so that the pigs’ offal was mixed with Zwingli’s ashes. This was done close to the high road to Scheuren.

Verdicts on Zwingli from scholars and ignorant alike were varied. All those who knew him were constant in their praises. Even so there were still more who were critical either because they really did not know him or, if they had known him a little, were determined to show their resentment and spoke ill of him. (Janz, A Reformation reader : Primary texts with introductions.)

Here are photos I took of the lovely place (Kappel-am-Albis) when last there (including the Church in the village and the field where the battle raged along with the marker indicating the place where Zwingli fell).  And it really is a remarkably lovely and peaceful place.  A truth which belies the horrors enacted there.