Daily Archives: 28 Dec 2012

Amanpour’s Bible Themed Special

I can sum it up quite easily- Amanpour talked too much and allowed actual thinkers and scholars to speak too little- even giving more time to Ihop loons and dilettantes than to luminaries like Cline and Finkelstein.

Very unfortunate and unfortunately unsurprising.

As Colin Millar Says, RIP, Journalism

Since when is this news?


Journalism is just as dead as intelligence amongst politicians.

The Truth About Gun Deaths in America: They’re Far More Common than You Think

Read The Slate for the horrific facts.


And more horrifyingly:

Since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, we at Slate have been wondering how many people are dying from guns in America every day.

That information is surprisingly hard to come by. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, for example, has a tally atop its website of “people shot in America.” That number, though, is an estimate, based on the number of gun injuries and deaths recorded by the CDC in 2008 and 2009, the most recent years for which statistics are available. It seems shocking that when guns are in the headlines every day, there’s no one attempting to create a real-time chronicle of the deaths attributable to guns in the United States.

Well, someone is. Since this summer, the anonymous creator of the Twitter feed @GunDeaths has been doing his best to compile those statistics, tweeting every reported death he can find. He was inspired, he told us in a phone interview, by the Aurora, Colo., shootings and simply wanted to call daily attention to the toll that guns take. Now Slate is partnering with @GunDeaths to create this interactive feature, “Gun Deaths in America Since Newtown.”

Read the entire piece and let the horror of America’s gun lust sink into your soul.

This is Why Auto Correct is a Bad Thing


The Story of the Conservation of Codex Alexandrinus

The British Library has a really good essay on the subject, posted just today, here.

alexandrinusThe British Library is committed to making available online as many of its medieval manuscripts as possible. But to do so requires considerable work behind the scenes, not least on the part of our dedicated team of conservators. We recently published to our Digitised Manuscripts site images of the whole of the New Testament portion of Codex Alexandrinus, the oldest complete Bible; and here is described the background to that achievement. …

The digitisation process took two days, and was strictly monitored by a conservator and a curator, ensuring that each page was reproduced in the best possible way without in any way endangering the manuscript. We hope that you enjoy the results!


It Has Finally Happened…

lincicumThough we thought it never would, it has.  What is ‘it’?  David Lincicum has finally come online!  It’s. A. Miracle!  It’s a Christmas miracle!!

Visit his yet tiny page here.  I’ve added a link to the blogroll.  David is, as I’ve mentioned aforetime, one of those scholars you should know. With thanks to TML for the tip.

Kloner Contra Simcha- Again

The Talpiot nonsense just keeps on giving. Matthew Kalman notes

In one corner stands the Israeli archaeological establishment represented by the Israel Antiquities Authority and Professor Amos Kloner of Bar-Ilan University, backed by various respected archaeologists and scholars. In the other stands Simcha Jacobovici, the filmmaker and self-styled “Naked Archaeologist,” backed by another group of respected archaeologists and scholars.

In 1981, Prof Kloner led an archaeological survey of a 1st-century burial tomb in East Talpiot, Jerusalem, that was exposed during construction works in the area. Prof Kloner was able to spend only a few minutes inside the tomb before he was chased away by a group of ultra-orthodox Jews who objected to the disturbance of what they suspected were Jewish graves. A number of stone burial boxes or ossuaries were left inside the tomb and it was resealed, eventually hidden under the patio of a newly-built apartment.

The tomb briefly inspected by Kloner was very close to another tomb from the same era that been exposed during construction work a year earlier. That tomb contained 10 ossuaries, of which nine are in the IAA store rooms including ones with inscriptions identifying them as containing the bones of “Yehoshua bar Yoseph”, “Miriam”, and “Yehuda bar Yeshua (Jesus)”.

More here.

Matthew’s report interests me.  I’d like to know, though, who else may have been at the press conference whose viewpoint we could inquire of.  Might you, Matthew, tell us?

If You’re Looking for Something to do This Summer…

Maybe this is for you:

Located in a quiet rural setting within the western Galilee of Israel, only a ten minute ride from the historical town of Acco, with its Medieval and Ottoman old city, fishing harbor and traditional market, and the modern resort town of Nahariya, the site of Tel Kabri has what may be the earliest-known Western art yet found in the Eastern Mediterranean. …

The 2013 season will continue to focus on the Middle Bronze Age palace. Previous excavations at the palace have exposed large quantities of painted plaster while documenting the building’s history from its humble beginnings to its destruction three centuries later.

It’s June 23-August 1.

Uproar Causers

thumb_zwingli-and-wife-2Conrad Grebel published a snippet contra Zwingli and his position on baptism on the 7th of December, 1524. On the 28th of the same month Zwingli let fly his own ‘Pearl Harbor attack’ on the ‘theology’ of Conrad Grebel in his Wer Ursache gebe zu Aufruhr usw. Actually, the full title is Welche ursach gebind ze ufruoren. Welches die waren ufruorer sygind. Und wie man zuo cristlicher einigheit und fryden kommen möge. Durch Huldrych Zuinglin zuo Zürich, etc.

Zwingli delivers a lengthy full frontal attack not only on Grebel’s views but on the stance of the troublemakers as a whole. The opening lines tell the story-

Aller liebsten brueder in gott! Es ist nieman unerkant, wie vil widerstands und muesal erlyden muessend alle, die gottes wort anhangen wöllend, als ouch Paulus 2. Timmo. 3. [2. Tim. 3. 12] anzeygt. Daruß wol ze vermessen ist, das ouch ir vil verspottung, lestrung, tratz und tröuwen tragen muessend darumb, das ir in erkantnus der warheyt kommen, und die angenommen habend. Doch sol üch sölicher widerstand gheinen weg krencken, sonder ye me und me im glouben stercken; dann wir sicherlich an widerwertigheiten erlernend, was recht gegloubt, recht gebättet, recht geraten, recht gethon sye.

Brilliantly Zwingli suggests that the Grebel-ites are in fact persecutors of those who preach the truth and who are spreading the Gospel in its fullness.

Of the Anabaptists in general

“While the Reformers justified their opposition to the papacy by appealing to the Scriptures, or to clear and manifest reasons, it was not surprising that others, on the contrary, decidedly arrogated to themselves as individuals what the Church claimed for herself in general, and that fanatical persons mistook their passionate impulses for divine inspirations. …

These Anabaptists, who made their first appearance at Zwickau and Wittenberg, were nearly all put to death in the Peasants’ War, but in almost every part of the country a class of enthusiasts resembling them, but very unlike each other in moral and religious character, became the pioneers and freebooters of the Reformation. Some of them were persons who had renounced the world, and others were the slaves of their own lusts; to some of them marriage was only an ideal religious communion of spirit, to others it was resolved into a general community of wives; some did not differ from the Reformers with respect to doctrine, but others rejected original sin and the natural bondage of the will, denied that we are to be justified by the merits of Christ alone, or that we can partake of his flesh, and maintained that our Lord’s body was not from heaven, and not begotten by the Virgin.

As they acknowledged no call but that which came directly from God within them, they despised the ministerial office in the Church, and though they denounced all historical records, they justified themselves by isolated passages of the Bible for overthrowing all existing relations in social life. In their assumed character of men moved by the Holy Ghost, they were, of course, exalted above all law, and frequently exhibited a spirit of rebellion against every kind of government. Hence among both Catholics and Protestants it was thought right to punish them even with death.”*

S. Simpson, Life of Ulrich Zwingli: The Swiss Patriot and Reformer, pp. 145-147.