Daily Archives: 11 Dec 2013

It’s Delightful

A very talented friend has framed my sheet from Codex Sinaiticus and given it to me as a gift.  I’ll hand it in an illustrious locale in the morning.

photo (1)

News Concerning the History Channel’s ‘Bible Secrets Revealed’

Nicely twitterized:


Brilliant News from ASOR: Chris Rollston and Eric Cline the New Co-Editors of BASOR

This is really excellent news:

basorASOR is pleased to welcome Eric Cline and Christopher Rollston as the new co-editors of the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. Dr. Cline and Dr. Rollston will begin their editorship on July 1, 2014. Dr. Jim Weinstein and Dr. Larry Herr will continue as co-editors until June 30, 2014. Dr. Weinstein will conclude almost 20 years as editor of BASOR.

BASOR could not be in better hands.  This is such good news.  I’m so pleased at the decision and so proud of both of them.

‘But It’s Inerrant in the Autographs’…

I’m convinced that people who appeal to the ‘original autographs’ have no idea at all of the complicated history of the biblical text.    For instance-

Der Text 36:8–39:23 von Exod weicht in Umfang und Anordnung stark von M ab. Nur der hexaplarische Text bietet einen an M angeglichenen Text; dieser wird vertreten von den Zeugen Fh G-58-72-376-767 Aethc Arab Arm Syh = Compl. Die großen Unterschiede zwischen dem O-Text und LXX hätten es nahegelegt, die hexaplarische Fassung gesondert abzudrucken, wie es beispielsweise Br.-M. in ihrer Edition gemacht haben2). Auf dieses Verfahren wurde hier verzichtet, weil nur die Integration des O-Textes in den Apparat die Stellung und Bedeutung der hexaplarischen Rezension innerhalb der Textgeschichte deutlich machen kann. Die Unterschiede in Umfang und Anordnung zwischen M und dem an ihn angeglichenen O-Text einerseits und LXX andererseits werden deutlich in der Gegenüberstellung der jeweiligen Reihenfolge von M und Exod.

gottin1gottin2Which text*, oh learned infallibilitists, represents the ‘autograph’?  And that’s just one example from one segment of one book… Perhaps, then, talk of the ‘autographs’ and their ‘inerrancy’, should be abandoned altogether as meaningless and altogether invalid.

*J.W. Wevers, (Ed.), Exodus (Vol. II, 1, pp. 51–52). Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Where in the World is Joel Watts Now?

The wretched sinner is at WalMart, buying, get this…. beer!  Here’s the photographic evidence.  And the camera doesn’t lie, does it Joel!  Repent!!!!!  (And for the love of all that’s holy, get a new shirt!)


A Two Volume Commentary From Fortress Press- Coming Fall, 2014


So, according to the website, it will be available for attendees at SBL 2014 in San Diego (the place where Chris Tilling and I first roomed together at an SBL – it holds special memories for us… oh wait, that sounds completely wrong… darn.  Well, you know what I mean…).

Creating a new two-volume Bible commentary from scratch requires many contributors and thousands of hours of research, writing, and editing. The two-volume Fortress Commentary on the Bible has over 70 contributors working with the guidance of six scholar editors and Fortress staff, Scott Tunseth (General Editor for Reference) and Neil Elliott (Bible Studies Acquisition Editor). Planning for the two-volume commentary began at SBL 2011, and the volumes will be published prior to SBL 2014. Here, Scott Tunseth asks the editors about their work.

To the question- what do you think makes this two-volume commentary distinctive?  Matthew Coomber responds

The uniqueness of this two-volume commentary is in its recognition of the complexities that are involved with being an engaged reader of the Bible. The commentary provides a powerful tool for exploring the Bible’s multi-layered meanings in both their ancient and modern contexts.

Read the whole interview- and watch Fortress Press’s twitter feed for regular updates.  Or, just wait around for me to mention it (which in all likelihood will be before Fortress does… I don’t know how, but that’s just how the world works…)

The Most Detailed and Careful Review I’ve Read Since James Barr Died

8631Aren Maeir has written what can only be classified as a thorough, honest, forthright, exceptionally balanced, extremely helpful and brilliantly worded review of Avi Faust’s latest tome.

Two words: wow.  Wow!  You owe it to yourself to read it for two reasons:  1) it’s that good; and 2) it’s a model review the likes of which I have not seen since our dear brother and colleague James Barr passed away.  Indeed, I would call Maeir’s review ‘Barr-ian’ and no higher compliment can be paid to either review or reviewer.

Dear Martin, Is There Anything You Wouldn’t Discuss?

luther25It seems not…

Master Forstemius said that a certain brother named Lawrence, a Waldensian minister, had had himself castrated in his youth and confessed that in his old age he regretted it, for he burned more with desire then than before. Dr. Martin [Luther] replied, “Yes, indeed, eunuchs are more ardent than anybody else, for the passion doesn’t disappear but only the power. For my part I’d rather have two pair [of testicles] added than one pair cut off.”*

Oh Martin… you slay me.

M. Luther, Table Talk. (LW Vol. 54, pp. 176–177). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.

To Quote a Line from Calvin…

calvin_opera… he gains no more than to make his obstinacy and arrogance detestable to all men of sense and moderation.*

* J.K.S. Reid, Calvin: Theological Treatises (p. 322).

John Piper is a Bit of an Arrogant Thing Isn’t He


to which one can only respond


I suppose that in the world of the ‘celebrity’ pastor, if one isn’t a member of the circle of unjustifiably infamous one is easily demarcated a ‘plebian’.  And the sorriest aspect of all this is that Piper thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to use such language AND his many tragically ignorant followers think likewise.

Oh and by the way, if he didn’t mean to denigrate the ‘plebes’ and is instead simply deriding Driscoll’s arrogance, then he easily could have placed ‘plebes’ in scare quotes and his meaning wouldn’t have been at all ambiguous.

I am constantly amazed that people like Warren and Beth Moore and Piper and Driscoll and Hinn and the rest of them have so many adherents- until I remember:

Ἔσται γὰρ καιρὸς ὅτε τῆς ὑγιαινούσης διδασκαλίας οὐκ ἀνέξονται ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὰς ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας ἑαυτοῖς ἐπισωρεύσουσιν διδασκάλους κνηθόμενοι τὴν ἀκοὴν.  καὶ ἀπὸ μὲν τῆς ἀληθείας τὴν ἀκοὴν ἀποστρέψουσιν, ἐπὶ δὲ τοὺς μύθους ἐκτραπήσονται. (2Ti 4:3-4).

That is the only explanation for the worldly success of pseudo-theologians with large followings.

Tweet of the Day


Now THERE’S a job I’d LOVE to have!

Textual Criticism from Lexham

Whilst updating Logos last evening I noticed (after receiving an email from them about it) that a new volume had been added to the collection:


It’s really quite nicely done.  Plenty of illustrative materials and helpful guidance for those just beginning the enterprise of textual criticism- both for the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.  I’m glad it was added to the library.

Barbara Schenck Remembers Karl Barth

It’s a very fine essay indeed by the learned and goodly Barbara Schenck for Reformiert.info

barthImmer noch Karl Barth? überschreibt Michael Weinrich das einleitende Kapitel zu seinem neuen Barth-Buch. Aus der Frage wird beim Lesen schnell ein Ausruf, aber in mir ist die Frage geweckt: Was fasziniert mich an Barth?

Bei der Vorarbeit für diese Kolumne passiert das, was meistens geschieht, wenn ich Barth lese. Anstatt einen großen dogmatischen Wurf, etwa seine Erwählungslehre, zu erfassen und zu würdigen, bleibe ich hängen im Kleinen – zwei Wochen vorm Christfest in der kleinen Broschüre Weihnacht. Im Schein des Lichts von Bethlehem empfiehlt Barth die “geistige Abrüstung”, denn: “dass Gott Mensch ward, das springt aus allen Prinzipien heraus”. Gerade den “deutschen Menschen” legt er ins Herz: “Sollte der vorbehaltlose Glaube an allerhand Prinzipien nicht die besondere deutsche Form des Unglaubens sein?” Ich fühle mich ertappt. 


brunner8I like very much, on the other hand, the very measured and honest assessment of Barth by the even more learned-than-Barth Emil Brunner who remarks in his ‘Truth as Encounter’-

Karl Barth

– was increasingly dependent on the orthodox theologians of the 17th century.
– found it necessary to draw ever finer distinctions to satisfy the requirements of the intellect, just like the Scholastics.
– hardly includes, in his massive CD, any trace of the hope of the transformative power of the Holy Spirit.

For Brunner, Barth was simply a new Scholastic.

Ja oder Nein… Yes or No? Baker, What About Reissuing the ‘Post Reformation Reformed Dogmatics’?

post-reformation-reformed-dogmaticsA simple yes or no will do, dear friends at Baker Academic.  A simple yes or no to the request that you reissue Muller’s so very important Post Reformation Reformed Dogmatics.

Sure, Logos has it.  And sure, people who use Logos can get it.  But what about all the folk who don’t use Logos or who prefer print volumes and who can’t afford the evil and extortionistic prices charged for single volumes on Ebay and other online opportunists?

Logos itself asserts

Scholars, students of the Reformation, theological libraries, and devoted Reformed readers will find these volumes indispensable. Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics (4 Vols.) serves as an important addition to the libraries of theologians and pastors, and is intended for scholars interested in the history of thought and the history of Reformed theology from the Reformation to the rise of Protestant orthodoxy. This extensive work demands the attention of anyone interested in the history, the development, and the contemporary expressions of Reformed theology.

Indispensable.  There’s the word.  They cannot be dispensed with.  Ergo, they must be available.

An answer would be appreciated.  The silence is unsettling.  Ja oder Nein?