Daily Archives: 29 Nov 2012

The U.N. Vote Map-ified

Via Ha’aretz on Facebook-

click to enlarge

Elad and The Manipulation of Facts in Silwan

An interesting essay today over on Art Info which contains this usefully instructive paragraph which so nicely encapsulates what Elad is all about:

A 2006 report by Ir Amim, a left-wing advocacy group focused on Jerusalem, described one instance in which Dr. Eilat Mazar, an archaeologist working at a dig funded by Elad, claimed to have found the pipe that David’s warriors traveled through when they conquered the city. This was despite the fact that many scholars — including Ronny Reich, an archaeologist at Haifa University who worked at the same site — were skeptical that David or Solomon had ever been there. On another occasion, Reich uncovered a Byzantine water pit and was instructed by Elad to present it as the cistern of Malkijah, the pit Jeremiah was thrown into by the son of Zedekiah, the king of Judah, according to the Old Testament. For weeks, the attribution was listed on the website and echoed by tour guides, even though Reich himself said that it was “nonsense.”

More scathing:

A Google search of the group’s founder, David Be’eri, leads to multiple stories about the day he passed through Silwan in a silver four-door sedan and was confronted by Palestinian youths throwing stones. He struck two of them with his car and drove off, later claiming he had felt he was in danger and was trying to flee. Though both boys avoided serious injury, the incident was broadcast on Al Jazeera as well as Israeli television, and in numerous clips on YouTube.

It’s hard to imagine how an organization whose leader is best known for running over Palestinian children with his car could invite itself into archaeology, a field in which professionals pride themselve in being almost tediously objective. In recent years, however, Elad has managed to do just that, funding public education projects in Silwan that would make viewers believe that politics was not Elad’s concern.

And then this:

Because of the drama of archaeology in Jerusalem, in addition to the sizable funds it provides for research areas like Silwan, researchers like Reich have frequently found themselves forced to answer difficult questions about cooperating with Elad. Israel Finkelstein, a professor of archaeology at TAU who is involved in the work at Silwan and is described among colleagues as “center-left,” gave a notably guarded answer when I asked him if he had qualms about doing archaeological work in which Elad was involved. “I have always kept distance from politics, so I am not going to answer this question,” he wrote in an email. “My only interest is to better understand archaeology and history. In order to make things clear, let me add that: 1) the Tel Aviv University dig will be carried out as a joint venture with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA); no other body will be involved in the dig; 2) Tel Aviv University and its Institute of Archaeology work according to law.”

I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that if Israel Finkelstein is involved everything done will be on the level.  Even if Elad attempts to exert influence.  Finkelstein is not the sort of person who can be pushed around.  This, I know.

And then this:

Rafael Greenberg, another professor of archaeology at TAU who has stood out for his opposition to the university’s involvement in Silwan, regularly expressed concerns about Elad’s involvement to his colleague Ronny Reich, who, recently, has become the head of the IAA’s archaeological council. “Whenever I told them he was being used by the settlers,” he told ARTINFO, “He’d say, ‘No, I’m using them.’”

Speaking over the phone last week, Greenberg repeated his feelings about Elad’s presence in the area, as well as the public relations concerns of TAU’s involvement. Part of what made him want to speak reporters, as it turned out, was how unconvincing he thought TAU’s message will be to Palestinian Silwanis, whose anxieties about losing their home might overlap with anxieties about being evicted from history. “No amount of spin or declarative sentences saying ‘we’re not being part of it,’ is going to change that, unless they actively dissociate themselves from that project,” he said. “It has to be a completely new concept, in order to carry out an excavation that is not associated with the settlers, with the Israeli view of history.”

Plus loads more which those interested in the subject will surely wish to read. I’ll only suggest, in conclusion, that Elad is agenda driven and that’s as plain as the nose on my face.

Let Me Be Perfectly Clear About This

Since I’ve already gotten a bit of ‘hate mail’ because of the previous post:

1- I love Israel, and I love my Israeli friends.
2- I think the use of terror to harass and torment them by Hamas is evil.
3- But I also love the Palestinians (and most especially our Christian brothers and sisters there).
4- And I think, no, I know they deserve a ‘place of their own’.
5- So I abhor the forcing of Palestinians off their land and into a walled ghetto.
6- Finally, I believe there won’t be peace until the Unites States cares as much about the Palestinians as it does about the Israelis.

These are my views. I will not apologize for them. If you find them disdainful I suggest you go elsewhere, because your missives of contempt won’t change them.

The World Votes in Favor of Peace for the Palestinians and the Israelis…

Except for 9 nations which voted against it:

9 nations voted “no” to #UN Palestine bid: US, Israel, Canada, Czech Rep, Nauru, Palau, Panama, Marshall Islands, Micronesia.

That’s some company you keep, U.S. of A….  We’ve linked arms with Panama and Palau… and worst of all, Canada (which really is inexplicable in its vote, as is the Czech Republic).  But at least the rest of the civilized world doesn’t oppose peace.

So, Something Else to Love About Logos 5

While working with the LXX I discovered something of an anomaly, which I mentioned here.  Rick Brannan read the post and commented-

Ken’s got it right. “LXXALT” represents the alternate versions of texts in Rahlfs; Isaiah has no separate alternate version. The interlinear would be the better choice for a word at present. That, or you could use Swete’s edition of the LXX, but as Ken will tell you Swete’s version (based on Vaticanus, largely, correct?) has some issues compared to Sinaiticus and Rahlfs. I’ll report the issue with word lists and morph tagged texts that have reverse interlinears.

That was 26 November.  On 27 November when I opened Logos it began its auto update and when it was done here’s what had been updated and corrected-

The LXX was updated and corrected in a day! Remarkable.  So, that’s something else to love about Logos 5- swift attention to necessary corrections.

Milligan Beware: A Marriage To Emmanuel Christian Seminary May Result in Muzzled Faculty

Bob Cargill notes

Confirming two items that I’ve mentioned on this blog over the past month (here and here), Emmanuel Christian Seminary President, Dr. Michael Sweeney, confirmed via two separate emails sent to all Emmanuel students the following two items:

  1. Emmanuel is close to signing a $3,000,000 donation from a donor, who has offered the money to be used in debt reduction.
  2. Milligan College has voted to pursue acquiring Emmanuel Christian Seminary, including its assets and debts.

I hope that if the ‘deal goes through’ Milligan realizes that if it retains the current Emmanuel Administration that Administration may attempt to do to Milligan’s what it has done to Christopher Rollston: i.e., muzzle him and threaten dismissal if he doesn’t ‘toe the line’.

Bob continues

These emails from the Emmanuel President all but confirm what many have been saying throughout Emmanuel’s scandalous attempt to dismiss a tenured professor: that Emmanuel’s “very direct answer to prayer” appears to have involved an attempt to terminate Dr. Chris Rollston in exchange for a large donation. There is certainly evidence to support such a claim. Likewise, the letter reveals that Emmanuel Christian Seminary’s financial woes are far greater than many thought; Emmanuel’s present administration appears to have led Emmanuel into such a deep financial hole that discussions of the acquisition of Emmanuel’s debt and remaining assets have been ongoing with Milligan College for some time now. Likewise, President Sweeney explicitly hopes that “the result of this process will be to integrate Emmanuel into Milligan College”. That is, according to an email Emmanuel’s President sent to its students, Emmanuel wants Milligan to assume control. Thus, we’re past the point of if it’s going to happen, but we are now talking about when.

Shameful really- the whole sorry absurd episode is just a blotch on academia in general and the institution called Emmanuel Christian Seminary in particular.

I recall that years back I defended the Church of Christ when it was attacked as a cult.  But maybe I was too hasty.  Emmanuel certainly wishes to exert the same kind of mind control one finds in a cult.  And evidently has ‘deep pockets’ (perhaps it’s the Koch Brothers looking for a new hobby horse to ride since their Romney steed fell to pasture) willing to underwrite its disturbingly manipulative ways, just like a cult.

Bob has more. Give it a look.

Emidio Campi’s Obituary of Alfred Schindler

With heartfelt thanks to Prof. Campi for sending along this newly revised edition:

Nachruf Alfred Schindler (31. Dezember 1934 – 19. November 2012)

Prof. Dr. Alfred Schindler verstarb im 78. Altersjahr.

Alfred Schindler, ein international anerkannter Augustin-Spezialist, der sich auch um die Erschliessung der Zürcher Reformation verdient gemacht hat.

Alfred Schindler wurde am 31. Dezember 1934 als Spross einer Familie geboren, die hervorragende Juristen hervorbrachte. Er selbst studierte Theologie in Zürich, Basel, Heidelberg und Rom. 1963 promovierte er an der Universität Zürich, 1965 erfolgte die Habilitation für das Gebiet der Kirchen- und Dogmengeschichte und 1966 die Ernennung zum Extraordinarius. Die folgenden rund dreissig Jahre seiner Aktivität als Hochschullehrer lassen sich gleichmässig in drei Lebensstationen aufteilen: 1970 erhielt er einen Ruf als Ordinarius für Alte Kirchengeschichte an die Ruprecht-Karls-Universität zu Heidelberg. Von 1979 bis 1990 wirkte er als ordentlicher Professor an der Universität Bern. 1990 kehrte er als Ordinarius an die Universität Zürich zurück und übernahm zugleich die Leitung des Instituts für Schweizerische Reformationsgeschichte. Im Jahre 2000 wurde er emeritiert.

Alfred Schindler war ein Forscher von einmaliger Brillianz und ein begnadeter Lehrer. Er war bereits in frühen Jahren ein international anerkannter Augustin-Spezialist. Mitte der 1970er Jahre erarbeitete er in Kooperation mit anderen Fachgelehrten die Konzeption des Augustinus-Lexikons, als dessen Mitherausgeber er zeitlebens fungierte. Dieses auf fünf Textbände konzipierte Begriffs- und Reallexikon wird von Forschenden in aller Welt verfasst und nach dem Start unter der Ägide der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft seit 1990 als Langzeitprojekt von der Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz betreut. Neben zahlreichen Beiträgen für das Lexikon, welche ob der interdisziplinären Bündelung der speziellen Kompetenzen der Fächer Alte Geschichte, Theologie, Klassische Philologie und Patristik beeindrucken, verfasste er für die traditionsreiche Theologische Realenzyklopädie den Artikel «Augustin», der im Grunde einer Monographie gleicht und einen ungewöhnlichen Einfluss auf die Forschung bis heute ausübt.

Mit gleichem Talent und ebensolcher Gründlichkeit veröffentlichte Alfred Schindler in späteren Jahren grundlegende Arbeiten auf dem Gebiet der Rezeption der Kirchenväter im Mittelalter und in der Reformationszeit. 1984 begann er mit der Studie «Zwingli und die Kirchenväter», einer vielbeachteten Untersuchung der theologischen Tradition, die den Zürcher Reformator prägte. Seit 1991 tagte in mehrjährigen Abständen eine internationale Forschergruppe mit Vertretern verschiedener Disziplinen, die sich mit der Aufnahme altkirchlicher Autoritäten in die Schriften des 15. und 16. Jahrhunderts beschäftigte. Diese Tagungen wurden in der von ihm mit herausgegebenen Reihe Auctoritas Patrum dokumentiert, die ein unentbehrliches Instrument für die Forschung darstellt.

Als bewanderter Polyhistor hat sich Alfred Schindler um die Erschliessung der Zürcher Reformation in höchstem Masse und auf eine ganz spezielle Weise verdient gemacht. Auf seine Initiative sind bahnbrechende Projekte entstanden, zum Beispiel der Plan einer Neuausgabe sämtlicher Randglossen Zwinglis zu den von ihm gelesenen Büchern, die Bereitstellung der Werke Huldrych Zwinglis in elektronischer Form, die kritische Edition der «Akten der Badener Disputation von 1526» und die Edition der Werke von Johann Kaspar Lavater. Naturgemäss handelt es sich um langfristige Projekte, die in einem Forscherleben nicht vollendet werden können. Es ist jedoch erfreulich, dass weiterhin daran gearbeitet wird. Neben diesen wissenschaftlichen Aufgaben hat ihn sein konziliantes, besonnenes Auftreten nahezu prädestiniert, die Institutionen der Zürcher Reformationsgeschichte auf Kurs zu halten und zu fördern. Exemplarisch seien genannt: die langjährige Redaktion der Zeitschrift «Zwingliana», die Mitarbeit im Vorstand des Zwinglivereins und des schweizerdeutschen Wörterbuchs Idiotikon.

In der Lehre deckte Alfred Schindler das ganze Spektrum der Kirchengeschichte ab und konzentrierte sich dabei insbesondere auf die Alte Kirche und das Mittelalter. Seine Vorlesungen und Seminare waren klar und anschaulich; die Studierenden schätzten vor allem die zugriffige Art und Weise, in der er minutiös Texte auslegte oder umgekehrt komplexe historische Zusammenhänge transparent machte. Nicht unerwähnt sollen die von ihm ins Leben gerufene Zürcher Kirchengeschichtliche Sozietät und die Vier- bzw. Fünfstädte-Sozietät bleiben, in der Doktorierende sich kennenlernen und Erfahrungen austauschen können.

Ebenso wie als Wissenschaftler beeindruckte Alfred Schindler als Mensch. Er strebte in der Forschung den Perfektionismus an. In der Lehre lag ihm die Förderung der engagierten und kritischen Funktion der Theologie im Leben der Kirche am Herzen. Zudem war er an Literatur, Musik und Kunst interessiert. Er war ein Meister des Gesprächs, des Humors, des Understatements wie auch der Ironie. Intellektuelle Kraft und Gefühle wirkten bei ihm zusammen. Im täglichen Umgang mit ihm konnte man einen Menschen erleben, dem bei allem Stolz auf das in der Wissenschaft Erreichte persönliche Eitelkeit völlig fremd war. Sein bescheidenes und gleichwohl vornehmes Auftreten gewann ihm die Herzen aller, die mit ihm zu tun hatten. In seiner liebenswürdigen menschlichen Art und mit seinem umfassenden Wissen war er eine Quelle der Inspiration für alle, die ihn als Lehrer oder Kollegen kannten. Diese Haltung gehörte mit zum Dienst, den Alfred Schindler für die Wissenschaft und für die Kirche leistete.

Emidio Campi

Are you In Lichtenstein? You’ll Want to Attend This Lecture

Woher stammt der Satz “Ecclesia semper reformanda”  (= die immer der Reform bedürftige Kirche)? Eine historische Spurensuche, by Prof. Dr.Dr. hc. Emidio Campi, Emeritierter Professor für Kirchen- und Dogmengeschichte
Theologische Fakultät der Universität Zürich.

Go to the link for time and place.

Are You In Bergamo, Italy? If So, Or Nearby, Heads Up

This lecture series concludes Saturday with the inestimable Emidio Campi holding forth on Heinrich Bullinger:

La Riforma nella città di Zurigo
Huldrych Zwingli, Pier Martire Vermigli, Heinrich Bullinger
novembre – dicembre 2012

Zurigo, la principale città svizzera, conta 385.000 abitanti. È considerata una delle città più tolleranti e libere d’Europa. Nei momenti più drammatici della storia di molti paesi, è stata terra d’asilo per perseguitati politici, socialisti e anarchici, antifascisti e antinazisti. Nel Novecento vi sono fiorite avanguardie artistiche. Ancora oggi è un laboratorio di cultura, di arte, di ricerca scientifica. …

sabato 1 dicembre 2012
Emidio Campi
Heinrich Bullinger, il pastore

tutti gli incontri si terranno presso la sede di via Tasso con inizio alle 17,30

Get thee to it!

And the letters keep coming. Meanwhile, Emmanuel is strangely, oddly, inappropriately quiet and apparently wish to leave Chris Rollston in limbo. What could be worse?

XKV8R: The Official Blog of Robert R. Cargill, Ph.D.

I received the following letter from Dr. Ronald Hendel at the University of California, Berkeley, which I am posting below. I have added Dr. Hendel’s letter to Dr. Rollston’s list of public supporters here.

Dear President Sweeney and Dean Holland,

I join my colleagues in attesting to the superb scholarship of Prof. Chris Rollston.  He brings credit to your seminary.  His views expressed in a column in the Huffington Post ought not to be a concern to an accredited institution of higher learning.  Infringement of this principle would be a very serious matter to accrediting institutions, the AAUP, and the membership of the SBL.


Ronald Hendel

Norma and Sam Dabby Professor of Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies

University of California, Berkeley

View original post

This Is What Happens When Catholics Become the Majority of a City like Zurich

The other day I lamented the tragic fact that in Zurich Catholics now outnumber the Reformed.  What does it mean?  Stuff like this!

The Swiss city of Zurich is to open drive-in sex boxes in an attempt to rid the town of street prostitution. Zurich council has approved a plan to build the boxes, which will, it hopes, provide a discreet location for prostitutes and their clients to conduct business when they open in August next year. Located in an industrial area of the city, the row of garage-like boxes will have roofs and walls for privacy, and easy access for cars. The council estimates that around 30 prostitutes will meet clients at the site of the boxes, and use the drive-in slots on a first-come-first-served basis.

[Sic!!!!!][Yes, they actually wrote … use the drive-in slots on a first-come-first-served basis].

Catholics have a long history of frequenting prostitutes (from village clergy through Archbishops) so its no surprise that now that Zurich has a larger Catholic population it would enact nonsense like this. Catholics… for shame!

Lawrence Schiffman on the Book of Jubilees

Larry has been doing a fascinating series on Eruv and today he posts on the subject in connection with the Book of Jubilees.

So far we have seen that the prohibition on carrying from domain to domain is widespread in the Dead Sea Scrolls literature. But we have argued above that this is part of a wider trend in Jewish law. To convince you that this is correct, and that in general the priestly trend, that is, the Zadokite-Sadducee approach, takes this view, we will now look at parallels from the book of Jubilees. This is a text that was composed somewhere between 180 B.C.E. and the Maccabean revolt (168-164 B.C.E.) of which a number of fragmentary manuscripts are found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Unfortunately, the passages we will discuss here are not preserved in Second Temple period manuscripts but derive from the ancient Ethiopic translation probably via Greek.

Do read the rest.

What Kind of Reprobate Mocks a Disabled 10 Year Old? A 43 Year Old Man in Ohio

An Ohio man faces one month of jail time for teasing and taunting a 1o-year-old girl with cerebral palsy after a video of the incident went viral.  On Nov. 27, Judge John A. Poulos of the Canton Municipal Court sentenced 43-year-old William Bailey to 29 days in jail.  The taunting occurred on Sept. 26, when Tricia Knight and her mother-in-law were waiting for her children’s bus to return from school. Knight’s three children, including 10-year-old Hope, attend Walker Elementary with Bailey’s 9-year-old son, Joseph.

What happened next was caught on an iPod camera by Knight’s mother-in-law, Marie Prince.  William Bailey “was dragging his leg and patting his arm across his chest to pick his son Joseph up,” said Knight. “I asked him to please stop doing this. ‘My daughter can see you.’ He then told his son to walk like the R-word.”

What. A. Reprobate. I wonder what he would think if his child had the disease and someone did that to him? What. A. Reprobate.

The U.S. Is Nearly Alone in its Opposition to Palestinian Participation in the U.N…

Demonstrating the power of the Israeli lobby (which holds Washington hostage to an anti-Palestinian ideology that is out of step with the rest of the civilized world).

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian people are enjoying sweeping support in the lead up to Thursday night’s vote at the UN General Assembly over whether to upgrade the Palestinians’ standing to non-member observer status. By Thursday morning Israel time, that support had turned into a full-on landslide, as more European nations decided to alter their positions, essentially leaving Israel to fend for itself.Early Thursday morning, just hours before the vote — scheduled to take place around 11:00 P.M. (Israel time) — Germany changed its mind, deciding to abstain from voting rather than opposing the Palestinian initiative, as Israel had assumed it would.

Rejection of the Palestinian’s request is neither sensible nor moral.  That, as stated previously, the US wishes to continue down this path is a demonstration of policy-immorality.  Or worse, raises the question as to where policy is crafted.  Is it in Washington, or is it in Jerusalem?  Is the U.S. an independent nation or is it Netanyahu’s lap dog?  The current decision would seem to indicated the latter.

On The Anniversary of Helmer Ringgren’s Birth

Helmer Ringgren was born on the 29th of November, 1917.    As was noted when he died just a few months ago…

“He died on Monday, 26th March, at 94 years of age. The chief mourners are his three daughters and their families.  His last years were made difficult by serious eye trouble, which prevented him from reading, and he also suffered from leg problems, making him fairly immobile; he was not often seen outside his home.  He got his doctorate at Uppsala in 1947 and was a pupil of Geo Widengren, professor of Comparative Religion, and of the famous semitist H. S. Nyberg. He had held chairs both in Comparative Religion (Åbo, Finland, 1962-64), and in Old Testament Exegetics (Evanston, 1960-62; Uppsala 1964-83).

He was a brilliant scholar and really made important contributions to the study of the Old Testament and to our understanding of the religion of ancient Israel.

So, happy birthday to him- in abstentia.

James Crossley at the Sheffield 65th Anniversary

At Sheffield

James Crossley will be talking at the HRI tonight as part of our 65th Anniversary Lecture Series!   “Ideologues, Not Disinterested Scholars”: Biblical Scholarship between Sheffield, Israel and Palestine’  Free entry, all welcome, 6.30pm, Humanities Research Institute at The University of Sheffield. http://www.shef.ac.uk/biblicalstudies/news/65years.

What Happens When Santa Gets an Incomprehensible Letter

via Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht on FB