Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Journey Continues…

imageIt’s busy here in Charlotte…

If Atheism Isn’t a Religion, Why Is it Trying So Hard to Gain Converts?


On the Anniversary of Emil Egli’s Death

Emil Egli was a brilliant historian and though his name is nearly forgotten in all but the dustiest corners of academia, he was a giant in the field of Reformation studies. Born on the 9th of December, 1848, he died on the 31st of December, 1908.  Egli

… was a Swiss church historian. He studied theology, was ordained in 1870, and served in several villages of the canton of Zürich. In his student days he was deeply interested in historical studies. In 1873 appeared his important work, Die Schlacht bei Cappell 1531; in 1879, Die Züricher Wiedertäufer zur Reformationszeit, a brief product of his Aktensammlung zur Geschichte der Züricher Reformation in den Jahren 1519-1532, which he published (1879) with the support of Zürich and offers an uncommonly rich source on the early history of the Anabaptist movement. In 1887 followed a smaller volume, Die St. Galler Täufer.


Egli occupied himself principally with the Reformation in Switzerland. In 1879 he began his work at the university of Zürich as lecturer in church history, and in 1892 he was made a full professor. In addition to a series of shorter works he published Heinrich Bullingers Diarium des Jahres 1504-1574in the second volume of the Quellen zur schweizerischen Reformationsgeschichte, which he founded. After 1897 he published a semiannual periodical, Zwingliana, and after 1899 two volumes of Analecta Reformatorica (documents and treatises on the history of Zwingli and his times; also biographies of Bibliander, Ceporin, Johannes Bullinger). In 1902 he provided for a new edition of the Kessler’s Sabbata (a publication of the historical association of St. Gall). With G. Finsler (Basel) he began the publication of the new edition of Zwingli’s works (Zwingli’s Werke, Leipzig, 1905 ff., in Corpus Reformatorum).

He was astonishing.  He is remembered.

Quote of the Day

“Genre may well be the literary concept most important to the interpretive task”- Tremper Longman III

Via Andrew King on the twitter. I agree utterly.

Off to SOTS

I’m doing something a bit different this year and taking not my handy little net book but my awesome new iPad. This means that any photos I post will be iPad generated and the bulk of pictures won’t be online till my return home. I trust this will be acceptable. With that in mind, I vow to do my very best to chronicle the highlights of the journey and the conference.

More anon- and if you’re the praying sort do lift your voice for my safety during travel. If not, we’ll then for shame, vile pagan, for shame!


Another Reason to Love the Irish

Their contempt filled report of the ‘pregnancy announcement’ of what’s her name Kardashian-

It’s a slow news day, so we’re reduced to this: US rapper Kanye West announced at a concert last night that he and his girlfriend Kim Kardashian are expecting their first child. “Now you having my baby,” West sang to the crowd of more than 5,000 at the Ovation Hall at Atlantic City’s Revel Resort. The crowd roared. As you do. And the world was united in joy. West also asked concert goers to congratulate his “baby mom”, adding that his news was the “most amazing thing”. The rapper and reality TV star went public about their relationship in March. Kardashian married NBA player Kris Humphries in August 2011. Their divorce has yet to be finalised.

The highlighted bits are the parts I like best. For obvious reasons.

Now I ain’t sayin’ she a gold-digga….

[With thanks to Maire Byrne for pointing the report out].

It Arrived Just In Time To Tote To Britain

bultmann_bioRudolf Bultmann was the giant of twentieth-century New Testament scholarship. His pioneering studies in biblical criticism shaped research on the composition of the gospels, and his call for “demythologizing” biblical language sparked debate among Christian theologians worldwide.

This definitive biography—now in English for the first time—traces his career in Germany through the tumult of two world wars. Through richly drawn connections between events in his life and his theology, Hammann illuminates Bultmann’s contributions to biblical historical criticism and the changing role of religion in public life in Europe.

“In this outstanding book one encounters not only the history of a problem, namely the compatibility of historical enlightenment and religious beliefs, but also the story of a personality. The biography of Konrad Hammann is thus a prime example of a successful history of ideas.”—Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

I can’t vouch for the English translation but I’m glad that it arrived today- just in the nick of time.  Now I can take it with and read it on the plane to SOTS.  Hooray.

My List of the Very Best Books and Articles Published in 2012

Bar none, all books having been published around the entire world from January 1- today being read, and all articles everywhere likewise, my list of the very best of the very best follows:

1-2 Maccabees: For the Person in the Pew, Quartz Hill Publishing, 2012.
Isaiah 1-33: For the Person in the Pew, Quartz Hill Publishing, 2012.
Isaiah 34-66: For the Person in the Pew, Quartz Hill Publishing, 2012.

Christopher Rollston and Martin Luther: On Christian Academic Freedom, Bible and Interpretation, October, 2012.

A (Very, Very) Short History of Minimalism: From the Chronicler to the Present”, in Thompson,Thomas L. & Thomas S. Verenna, eds., “Is This the Carpenter’s Son?” The Question on the Historicity of the Figure of Jesus (CIS , London: Equinox) 2012.

The very best of the very best of the very best of absolutely EVERYTHING written with nothing else even coming remotely close. You’re welcome.

[Yes, all by me]

‘Losers’ May Be too Kind of a Description…

rollston_emmanuel_sink_comicBut all in all Bob Cargill’s post (and Danny McClellan’s comic) nicely capture the whole Emmanuel Seminary war on Chris Rollston and academic freedom.  Give Bob’s piece a read.

Were I to add anything to it it would be that even Milligan will now have problems attracting gifted scholars to teach there.  Who wants to risk what Rollston experienced?  If Milligan and Emmanuel are so akin that they can merge, it stands to reason that their ideological viewpoints are similar enough that any Professor working at the former may be under the same gun as those who worked at the latter.

Emmanuel shot off it’s legs in order to swat a fly.  That bodes ill for any ‘body’ merging with it, or absorbing it.  Furthermore, if Blowers and Sweeney are connected with Milligan then nothing has really changed, nor will it.

Toxic wastelands are seldom cleaned simply by a change of name.  An anti-intellectual institution remains that no matter what it calls itself.

Today With Zwingli

zw45On the 31st of December, 1519, Zwingli wrote these lines to his friend Myconius, in response to concern that he (Zwingli) may be in danger:

“As to that base herd of Anti-christs accusing me first of imprudence and then of impudence, you ought to hear that quietly, for now I begin not to be [the only] heretic though they meanwhile are boldly, not to say lyingly, asserting it. For I am not alone: at Zurich there are more than two thousand rational souls, who, now feeding on spiritual milk, will soon take solid food, while those others are miserably starving. As to their assertion that my doctrine (it is Christ’s not mine) is of the Devil, that is all right. For in this assertion I recognise the doctrine of Christ and myself as its true herald. So the Pharisees declared that Christ had a Devil, and that they were in the right.”

No need to be troubled by the opposition of unbelievers.  Their views are utterly without consequence, meaning, or even minor significance.

In America, What Really, Really Matters Is…


I don’t Have to Review Les Mis- Someone Already Has


I Guess I’m Supposed to Say ‘Happy New Year’…

So, ok, Happy new Year.  There.  Enough of that.

The Nonsense Facbook Promotes as ‘Christianity’ Hits a New Low

This rubbish showed up in the Facebook feed tonight as one of their ‘recommended’ pages.  That algorithm Facebook uses to determine people’s potential interests is radically disturbed.


What garbage.  Garbage.  Naturally, it’s being hosted by the Methodists….

What’s The Greatest Compliment You Can Give a Preacher?

“I have heard many great orators,” said Louis XIV to Massilon, “and have been highly pleased with them: but whenever I hear you, I go away displeased with myself.”

This is the highest accolade that could be bestowed on a preacher. —C. Simmons

Simmons may be on to something.

A New Volume on Qoheleth

By TVZ of course

«Worte von Weisen sind wie Stacheln» (Koh 12,11): Eine rezeptionsorientierte Studie zu Koh 1–2 und zum Lexem dabar im Buch Kohelet.

9783290176389Seit das Buch Kohelet in den Kanon gelangt ist, fasziniert es durch seine innere Widersprüchlichkeit. Kohelet erscheint als Prediger der Lebensfreude oder als depressiver Pessimist, er widerspricht gängigen Weisheiten – und am Ende oft sich selbst.

Ausgehend von philologisch sorgfältig begründeten Übersetzungsalternativen zeichnet Dieckmann die Entstehung der Widersprüche im Leseprozess nach, indem er den Leserinnen und Lesern gleichsam über die Schulter schaut. Erstmals in der Kohelet-Exegese werden dafür auch qualitative Interviews mit «Alltags-Lesern» fruchtbar gemacht. Nach der eingehenden Analyse von Koh 1–2 arbeitet der Autor die Gegensätzlichkeit im Denken und in der Sprache Kohelets anhand des Leitwortes dabar («Wort»/«Sache») heraus und legt dabei grossen Wert auf die theoretische Begründung der angewandten Methoden.

Yes, I’m Doing It

As required by scripture, I’m praying for our elected officials. To be replaced. Every one of them.

Sign the Petition to Revoke the Tax Exempt Status of the NRA

The very idea that the NRA is a non profit organization is indefensible and ridiculous.  Sign the petition to revoke that absurd status for an arm of the gun industry today.

The NRA doesn’t deserve to be described as a non profit, and never should have been so classed.  It makes money hand over fist which it then funnels to its toadies in Congress.  And it exists solely to ensure that the gun industry makes and continues to make huge profits unhindered by concern for the public welfare.

A New Commentary on Exodus 1-18 by Rainer Albertz

Published by the awesome folk at TVZ

9783290176426Das Buch Exodus ist eines der faszinierendsten Bücher der Hebräischen Bibel, geht es hier doch um die grundlegende Befreiung und Verpflichtung Israels, die auch für die Christen von grosser Bedeutung sind. Der Band ist zugleich ein historisch-kritischer und ein theologischer Kommentar. Rainer Albertz arbeitet den theologischen Gehalt des Exodusbuches heraus, indem er die politischen, sozialen und religiösen Diskurse rekonstruiert, die die Autoren des Exodusbuches zur Entstehung Israels über einen langen Zeitraum hinweg geführt haben. Dazu wird ein neues Modell für den Pentateuch vorgestellt und erprobt. Auch Stellung, Aufbau, Entstehung und möglicher historischer Hintergrund des Exodusbuches werden behandelt.

It will undoubtedly measure up to Albertz’s usual standards.

From Jesus to Christ: Featuring Lawrence Schiffman

Watch From Jesus to Christ: Panel Discussion on PBS. See more from Station Promos.