Daily Archives: 26 Nov 2012

Congrats to Ben Myers!

The Christian Century has chosen his book on some guy with big bushy eyebrows and crazy hair named Rowan Williams as one of the top one hundred books in theology/philosophy in 2012.  I’m so very proud of the kid.  He’s smart, he’s nice, and he’s pleasant as all get out.

Christ the Stranger: The Theology of Rowan Williams, by Benjamin Myers. Williams, just concluding his tenure as archbishop of Canterbury, is a brilliant and restless thinker. His reflections are as apt to be expressed in poems, sermons, literary essays or devotional booklets as in scholarly books. “Williams is really just a person who has taken his imagination to church,” writes Myers, who identifies major themes—such as sociality, renunciation and sainthood—and conveys the spirit of Williams’s life of holiness and prayer. Readers not only learn a good deal about options in theology; they get to journey with a creative theologian as he “listens to God and replies to God while looking at the crucified Jesus.”

Well done Ben, really, really well done.

Quote of the Day

English: Rudolf_Bultmann Deutsch: Rudolf_Bultmann

“God is not at the disposal of a seeing that is outside of God, for there is no outside of God. Thus, seeing God cannot be objective. Any seeing of God that would be interested only in the seeing would not be a seeing of God; for a seeing of God that did not see God’s significance, and specifically God’s significance for me as the one doing the seeing, would not be a seeing of God, who cannot be seen at all except as the one who demands and judges, gives and shows mercy, precisely in relation to me” (Bultmann)

Via Chris Tilling

Tabor on Qumran Toilets

I was actually going to title this “Tabor on Toilets” but I thought that would be too imprecise.  Anyway, James has a post at the ASOR blog worth looking at:

This paper explores the complex and shifting dynamics of comparing texts with texts, texts with “sites,” and sites with themselves, but without texts. I use the term “sites” loosely to refer to the material or archaeological evidence that may or may not be related to a given text from antiquity. I see this as an extension of Jonathan Z. Smith’s interest and fascination with  “comparisons” so evident in much of his work over the past three decades.  But more particularly I have in mind the Louis H. Jordan Lectures in Comparative Religion, delivered at the University of London in 1988, subsequently published as Divine Drudgery.


Fox News: Ever More Ridiculous, Ever More Absurd, Ever More Just a Joke

Author and Defense Analyst Thomas Ricks‘ interview on Fox News this morning was a brief affair. Ostensibly brought on to talk about Benghazi, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and Republicans like John McCain criticisms of her, Ricks quickly gave his opinion that the matter was “extremely political, partly because Fox is operating as the wing of Republican Party.”

And with that Jon Scott abruptly ended the interview, thanking Ricks for coming on.

Fox: When you have four people dead including the first US ambassador in more than 30 years, how do you call that hype?

Ricks: How many security contractors died in Iraq, do you know?

Fox: I don’t.

Ricks: No, nobody does, because nobody cared. We know that several hundred died, but there was never an official count done, of security contractors dead in Iraq. So when I see this focus on what was essentially a small fire fight, I think number one, I’ve covered a lot of fire fights, it’s impossible to figure out what happens in them sometimes. And second, I think that the emphasis on Benghazi has been extremely political partly because Fox was operating as a wing of the Republican party.

Fox: All right. Tom Ricks, thanks very much for joining us today.

Ricks: You’re welcome.

So much for ‘fair and balanced’.  Bring along a contrary viewpoint to their skewed ‘reality’ and they have no time for you.  Just like a certain little honey tee tee and others of that ilk.

If you’re getting your news from Fox, you really do deserve to be fooled by every lie they tell and you really do deserve to have no part in every truth they ignore.  They are the blind.  Guess what that makes you if they lead you…

A nice post indeed.

I Confess- That’s A Really Interesting Question

Seldom are the times, you’ll know, that I make reference to an essay in BAR- but this one asks a question that I confess has always been of interest to me: Where were the Old Testament Kings buried?

Doesn’t it strike anyone else as odd that we don’t have any ‘king’s tombs’? Why is that?

Archaeologist Jeff Zorn believes these two quarried-out tunnels in the City of David may have once held the remains of the earliest Old Testament kings of ancient Jerusalem.

Nearly a century ago, French archaeologist Raymond Weill excavated what he identified to be tombs in Jerusalem’s City of David—perhaps the royal necropolis of the earliest Old Testament kings. Some scholars have since disputed this claim, but a new examination of the evidence by archaeologist Jeff Zorn suggests that Weill might well have been right.

Although King David’s tomb has been erroneously identified with a location on Jerusalem’s Mt. Zion since the days of the Jewish historian Josephus (first century C.E.), earlier Biblical references make it clear that David and many other Old Testament kings were buried near the southern end of the City of David in ancient Jerusalem. But where exactly? Jeff Zorn believes we may already know.

He may be right.  Who knows.  I’d sure like to.  Especially since we know where lots of Egypt’s monarchs were buried.  Why – then – no Judean or Israelite ones?  It’s a strange mystery to me.  Seriously strange.

Larry Schiffman on His New Project, ‘Outside the Bible’

Prof. Lawrence Schiffman talks with Rabbi Barry Schwartz, JPS Director, about his role as Editor of Outside the Bible, a groundbreaking JPS anthology of second temple literature to be released in 2013.

It sounds really interesting. With thanks to Larry for the tip on the twitter.

Elkington’s Claims Concerning the ‘Lead Codices’ Under Fire

If you’re following this strange sage of bogus artifacts peddled as the real deal, you must read this essay:

David Elkington, from Gloucestershire, has raised tens of thousands of pounds to support his work proving the authenticity of the Jordan Codices.  A BBC investigation found that academics have cast doubt on Mr Elkington’s claims the Codices date back to the 1st Century AD.  Mr Elkington insists the Codices are genuine and he will pay back any loans he has received. Among his backers was Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, who funded his work and trips to the Middle East.  She now believes the Codices are not authentic and has asked for the return of her funding.

She could have saved her money had she simply asked around.  At any rate, read the whole piece.  With thanks to Danny McClellan for pointing it out on the twitter.

And in a related bit of fun-ness, just the other day Jim Aitken related on facebook-

From the Jordan Codices page. Intriguing:

It is with considerable regret that we must inform you that we will be shutting down the Jordan Codices Facebook Community page for the foreseeable future. We have appreciated your support and interest more than you can know in our earnest quest to protect these sacred artefacts against smuggling and being sold on the black market. We have done our utmost; however, we cannot go further without public support from Jordan herself. The British Team has been compromised in its efforts by the lack of an announcement revealing the nature of the scientific data. Out of respect for the Kingdom of Jordan, we are not at liberty to reveal these results ourselves. The British Team has made significant progress in both translation and scientific and historical analysis; however, we cannot continue to subject this discovery, nor its defenders, to biased media reports with hidden agendas and malicious allegations via internet and twitter trolls, whose reprehensible behaviour would see this hoard disappear into private hands or even destroyed. Again, our most sincere thanks for your support, from our large Coast-to-Coast radio followers to local support from Jordan and the Middle East – please do not give up hope.

Evidently the Lead people knew that the BBC was on their trail and they wanted to do damage control before the report aired. Too late. No one, except those with a particular financial interest in promoting the bogus pieces, will stand by them (in much the same way that certain people CONTINUE to insist the ‘James Ossuary’ is as advertised). Show me the money, and 9 times out of 10, I can show you the motive.

The Lastest Issue of the Protestant Reformed Theological Journal

Can be downloaded here.  For free.  In full.  And this issue is devoted to Herman Bavinck.

Academia.edu: Staying in the Past

Now for the 5th day in a row there hasn’t been any update on the Academia.edu site news feed.  Those of you familiar with the site know that users can log in and what they see first off is the news feed.  Folks who have posted new essays or new questions or new status updates are just – it seems – out of luck in terms of other people seeing them. Regrettably, there’s not any forward movement on the site these days so old news is the only news.

Of course, it’s free.  And as they say, you get what you pay for.  I’m just glad other free sites (like WordPress) are actually responsive to users questions.  I’ve asked Academia.edu several times what the issue may be and if it’s on my end and only ever been greeted by icy silence- sort of like what happens when one asks Facebook for help.

It’s Monday….

And I’m now being followed on the Twitter by something called ‘cougar dates’…  Honestly, if I were single and dating, a woman would have to be 70 or above to be a ‘cougar’ to me and, no offense, I’m just not interested in dating great-grandma.

It’s Monday

And our friends at Ref.ch have another in their series of ‘Reformers as cats in art’ –