Daily Archives: 3 Dec 2012

Thomas Thompson on ‘Competence and New Testament Scholarship’

Over at Bible and Interpretation Tom writes

In his critique of my response to Bart Ehrman’s Did Jesus Exist? Maurice Casey alleges as the foremost mark of what he sees as my incompetence that I, at odds with all critical scholarship, presuppose a Matthean priority, rooted in a ‘Traditional Catholic doctrine’ or ‘a Catholic dogma,’ in which I was supposedly ‘brought up!’ His assertion surprises me by both its arbitrariness and its prejudice. There is no such Catholic doctrine or dogma; nor have I claimed it in any way.

And then more.  Do give it a look.

Exodux TV, A.K.A., Simcha Jacobovici TV

First, the advert-

I just started a new online initiative called SimchaJTV, which will be my internet platform, and TV station, for people who think outside the box.  I would like to personally invite you to sign up for my new newsletter to receive updates on new things I’m working on, new articles I have written, my new web video blog and other movies and programs I produced.  Please click here to sign up for my newsletter and receive the weekly updates.  We are contacting you because we have you in our records as signing up for our Exodus Decoded email list.  If you decide not to sign up for my newsletter I will not contact you at this email address again.

All the best,
Simcha Jacobovici

And now the screenshot which shows the sign-up page for ‘Exodux Decoded’ [sic!]


No word yet on what kind of dux will be decoded.  But if you sign up, do give us a yell.  I’m sure you will be an outside-the-box-thinker indeed.

World Net Daily Pimps a ‘Scroll Found on Masada’ Which God ‘Hid There’: This Week’s Dilly Winner!

Richard Bartholomew (one of my favorite bloggers) writes

WND promotes a new product from Jonthan Cahn:

The newest, fast-paced, highly produced, one-hour teaching DVD from Jonathan Cahn and the WND Films team that brought you “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” is called “The Masada Mystery.”

For 2,000 years, God kept a scroll hidden on top of Masada in the Israeli wilderness waiting for the Jewish people to come back to the land and uncover it. Discover this awesome prophecy of God and what it has to do with you in Cahn’s “The Masada Mystery.”

Cahn is the author of The Harbinger, which, like The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment, claims that events on and after 9/11 parallel the Biblical account of God’s wrath against Israel’s faithlessness. The book is currently a top-selling Christian paperback in the USA. Cahn’s “Masada Mystery” seems to be a recycled effort from before he was famous – it’s also listed as a DVD and CV on his own website, although dated to 1998.

As far as I am aware, the only source to have published anything about ”a scroll hidden on top of Masada” is a certain Donovan Joyce, who wrote a crank paperback in the 1970s entitled The Jesus Scroll (subtitle: “a timebomb for Christianity?”). Joyce claimed to have been shown the scroll by a certain “Dr Grosset”, and that it contained Jesus’ own account of his life after surviving the crucifixion. Inevitably, Jesus had married Mary Magdalene and become a father, and he also described himself as the last Hasmonean king of Israel. Alas, however, Grosset then took the scroll to the Soviet Union and was never seen again, so we have to take Joyce’s word for it all.

Read the rest of Richard’s debunking of WND’s pimpings and dilettantisms.  But before you do, allow me to present WND its well deserved Dilly:


Get Tough President Obama, Get Tough

“Counterproductive.” That’s the adjective that National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor used to describe the Israeli government’s first reprisal for the U.N. vote on Palestine: announcing that Israel was moving ahead on plans for a neighborhood linking Jerusalem and the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, and authorizing 3,000 new homes for Israelis beyond the Green Line. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, choosing her words as carefully, said the decision by Prime Minister Netanyahu and his senior cabinet forum had “set back the cause of a negotiated peace.”

Counterproductive.  Isn’t that sweet.  Bibi’s thirst for Palestinian land and his unending quest for Lebensraum is more than ‘counterproductive’, it’s evil.

Washington is a long way from Israel, culturally even more than physically. In the polite diplomatic tones of Washington, these statements were meant as harsh censure. But the Obama administration needs to know that something got seriously lost in transmission. Here on the east edge of the Mediterranean, the message was that President Obama was practically campaigning for Netanyahu’s reelection.

Mr President, if I may, Barack… it’s time to get a spine and tell Bibi that if Israel builds those housing units the US will take serious measures against it.  Serious measures meaning nothing will be left off the table.  The Bully Bibi only understands tough talk Mr Obama, so get tough.  For once.  And do read the rest of the sensible essay linked to above and quoted herein.

Quote of the Day

zw58Non ergo fidem confirmare potest ulla creatura.  — Huldrych Zwingli (Z VIII, 792).

The University of Munich and its Advent Calendar

Check it out here.  Simply click on the Day of December (the first, the second, the third, etc.) for Advent inspiration for that day.  And enjoy!

Hier ist der Adventskalender der Fachschaft Evang. Theologie

24 Autoren, Studenten, Dozenten und Professoren bunt gemischt, haben je eins der 24 Türchen befüllt. Jeden Tag im Advent gibt es eine neue Überraschung. Auch die Themen sind bunt gemischt.  Es geht natürlich immer irgendwie um Advent und das Türchen mit der jeweiligen Nummer… wir würden euch gern mehr verraten, aber dann wäre es ja keine Überraschung mehr.  Viel Spaß mit dem Adventskalender wünschen euch

Remember the Homeless Guy in New York the Cop Gave Shoes To? Yeah, He Won’t Wear Them and is Shoeless Again

Signs of the times…  Give a homeless man a pair of shoes and rather than wear them, he hides them so he can make money from them…

It has been less than a week since New York City Police Officer Lawrence DePrimo’s act of kindness rocked around the world thanks to a tourist’s photo and a Facebook post. DePrimo, who used his own money to buy a homeless man shoes on a frigid November night, was praised for his generosity and held up as an example of the many selfless acts that go unnoticed every day. But many were left wondering what happened to the homeless man he’d helped. The New York Times tracked down Jeffrey Hillman, 54, and found him without shoes on New York City’s Upper West Side. “Those shoes are hidden. They are worth a lot of money,” he told the paper. “I could lose my life.”

So he’s shoeless of his own accord.  He was probably shoeless of his own accord previously.  Who know, he may have more shoes hidden away than Imelda Marcos!

It’s Rachel’s Birthday

She turns 26 today.  She’s the one on the left, and that’s her cousin Jessica on the right.  Rachel’s a great person, beautiful, smart, funny, and a real treasure and her mom and I are proud of her like no one’s business.  Happy birthday, Rachel!


Johannes Calvin, 1509-2009: Würdigung aus Berner Perspektive

TVZ sent this volume  for review:

9783290176105Johannes Calvin – wie können wir diese profilierte und umstrittene Gestalt des 16. Jahrhunderts heute noch verstehen? Welches Licht fällt aus dem 21. Jahrhundert auf sein Leben und Wirken? Und fällt möglicherweise auch ein Licht aus seiner Zeit in unser Leben und Wirken? Diesen Fragen ging eine Ringvorlesung der Theologischen Fakultät Bern zum Calvin-Jubiläum 2009 nach. 12 Beiträge führen an ausgewählten Themen in Leben und Wirken des Genfer Reformators ein und zeigen kritisch seine Relevanz für theologische, gesellschaftliche und politische Fragen auf. 

Mit Beiträgen von Maurice Baumann, Mariano Delgado, Isabelle Grasslé, J. Christine Janowski, Hans Rudolf Lavater-Briner, Wolfgang Lienemann, Christine Lienemann-Perrin, Andreas Marti, Moisés Mayordomo, Martin Sallmann, Heinrich Richard Schmidt, Andreas Wagner.

My review is here.

Things I’m Old Enough to Appreciate


Just the model I owned, though not the actual one.

I’m old enough to appreciate word processors which automatically insert footnotes.  It may sound like a small thing, but believe me, you haven’t suffered until you’ve had to use an old manual typewriter to type up a research paper and had to both insert footnotes manually AND count lines so that they would be on the proper page whilst the page maintained its proper dimensions.

If you are old enough to remember having to do that, you know exactly what I mean.  If you aren’t, you’ve probably never owned an 8-track player.

So, to whomsoever invented the automatic insertion and numbering of footnotes, thank you (though you’re probably already dead).  And to you kids who whinge and whine these days because you have to write a paper- one word (ok actually two) shut up!

On this Monday of Advent…

https://i2.wp.com/www.stgilesaintree.org.uk/images/module1/Advent_wreath_06.JPG“While kings of the earth lord it over their subjects, the divine King joined our ranks; while earthly monarchs demand subservience, God’s Son became a slave; while the rulers of this age attempt to defy mortality, the ruler of the heavens took on human flesh. The sceptre of Advent was a rod of affliction.” — Dr Justin K. Hardin, Tutor in New Testament*

*2012 Advent Devotional, Wycliff Hall, Oxford.  You can download the Advent Devotional, for free, here.  It has entries not just for the Sunday’s of Advent but for each day.  And it’s fantastic.

Today With Zwingli

reformers1.jpgS. Jackson write that

… the abolition of the convents and monasteries in the city and canton of Zurich … was determined upon on December 3, 1524. All the monks were gathered into the Franciscan monastery, and the Dominicans and Augustinians were not allowed to return to their old homes. Most of them decided to leave the monastery and make their living as best they might. The nuns of the Oetenbach and Selnau convents had already been united in the former building. The convent attached to the Frau Münster, through its abbess, on December 5th, surrendered itself to the city, and that attached to the Great Minster on December 20th. The revenue of the latter was appropriated at Zwingli’s suggestion to a classical school of high grade, and generally speaking that which came to the city from such sources to good purposes, as relief of the poor or sick.

Monasteries were, in 16th century Zurich, exceedingly wealthy. Their closure and the use of the funds for education and the relief of the poor and ill made a significant difference to the well being of the city and surrounding canton.

Think of It…

The Republicans in Congress are willing to let the Country slide into a severe recession, see millions lose their income, and watch the unemployment rate rise to over 9%, just to protect the money of the richest .1% of the people.

The Republicans simply don’t care about you.  They aren’t watching out for you.  They don’t have your back.  The only people they care about are their rich cohorts.  Why do you care so much for them?  Why do you vote for them?