Monthly Archives: February 2014

Eric Cline’s New Book is Out!

Long awaited, it has now been published.  You need to read it.  Truly.  And I’m not just saying that because I like Eric’s work.  I’m saying it because it’s true.


As Joel Watts would say, “the more you reed this booke, the more smarteer you’ll will be”.

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Posted by on 28 Feb 2014 in Books


Hollywood and the Bible: An Observation

As soon as Hollywood has pimped out the bible for all that town can make, it will turn back to Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber.  #ItSeesThemAllTheSameWay.  Those Christians presently applauding the interest Hollywood has in the Bible are applauding the de-theologizing and cheapening and crass selling of the Scriptures.

Persons interested in communicating the truth of Scripture ought to be wise enough and clever enough to know that when Scripture’s message is distorted, as it ALWAYS is in popularizing films, it isn’t the Gospel that’s being presented, but a lie.

And if Pastors urge their Church members to attend Hollywood’s distortions rather than Scripture study, they are sending their flocks to deception and have forfeited their sacred calling to ‘feed the flock’.  For, if someone urges you to drink poison, they have a part in your death.  And if someone urges participation in the distortion of Scripture, they have a part in the consequences of that distortion.

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Posted by on 28 Feb 2014 in Modern Culture, Theology


Another ‘Family Values’ Conservative Has to Resign – Because He’s Sexually Immoral

Bill Gothard, an Illinois-based advocate for home schooling and conservative dress and who warned against rock music and debt, has been placed on administrative leave after allegations of sexually harassing women who worked at his ministry and failing to report child abuse cases.

Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles was once a popular gathering spot for thousands of Christian families, including the Duggar family from TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting.” Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute conferences were also popular among devotees of the Quiverfull movement, who promote large families and eschew birth control.

He’s also rubbed shoulders with Republican luminaries. He and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee were photographed at a campaign lunch together; former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue spoke at one of Gothard’s conferences; and Sarah Palin, when she was a small town mayor in Alaska, attended his International Association of Character Cities conferences and declared Wasilla among Gothard’s “Cities of Character.”

Reprehensible hypocrite.

The allegations against Gothard dovetail with financial woes. In recent years, IBLP’s net revenue has dropped significantly, and the ministry is losing money. In 2009, it reported a net income loss of $1 million. It lost $4.1 million in 2011, and $3.5 million in 2012, according to its most recently available tax forms. Its net assets dropped from $92 million in 2010 to $81 million in 2012.

Since it started as a class at Gothard’s alma mater, Wheaton College, in 1961, more than 2.5 million people have gone through his “basic seminar” training on authority, success and other issues. IBLP held 504 seminars in 2010, but that number dropped to fewer than 50 in 2012.

The financial decline came around the same time that the whistle-blowing websiteRecovering Grace was formed in 2011. A string of allegations has been posted on the website, including one alleging Gothard molested a woman who was underage in the early 1990s. Four articles allege Gothard engaged in sexual harassment, and four articles allege his failure to report child abuse to Child Protective Services.

It’s easy to see the pathology of this dictatorial misogynist lurking behind his every word and work.  What’s surprising isn’t that he’s a reprehensible reprobate.  What’s surprising is that it took so long for people to find out.

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Posted by on 28 Feb 2014 in Total Depravity


SECSOR (SBL/AAR/ASOR) Southeast Meets in Just a Week

From the SECSOR page on the facebook

The final program for SECSOR’s meeting March 7-9 is now available, including room assignments for each session. Printed copies will also be available at Registration.

SECSOR is great- it’s not so massive you can’t see folk and yet all the greats are there.  It’s a lovely meeting.  As always, I’m looking forward to it this year.

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Posted by on 28 Feb 2014 in Conferences, SBL


Congratulations, Israel Finkelstein!

finkelsteinNews from Paris is that the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres has awarded Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University its “Prix Delalande-Guérineau” for his book “Le royaume biblique oublié” (Odile Jacob for the Collège de France, Paris 2013).

The Prix Delalande-Guérineau is awarded by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres to the person <>. It has been given every second year since the end of the nineteenth century. From the early 1960s on, the prize has been awarded to the most important publication in “orientalism”.

The book was subsequently published in English as “The Forgotten Kingdom. The Archaeology and History of Northern Israel” (Atlanta: The Society of Biblical Literature, 2013) and can be downloaded from its website at

Via Jack Sasson. Again, congrats to Prof. Finkelstein!

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Posted by on 28 Feb 2014 in Archaeology


If Sara McLaughlin Cared as Much About People as She Does Disease-Ridden Cats With Gross Oozing Eyes…

She would write a song and beg you, beg you, to enter the contest to win LeDonne and KeIth’s impressive Demise of Authenticity.  But she doesn’t, so I have to.  Please enter.  I’m growing sad looking at photos being sent to me of LeDonne and KeIth weeping like this…


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Posted by on 28 Feb 2014 in Books


Open Theology

s23006579The good folk at Walter de Gruyter have launched a new Journal titled Open Theology.

Open Theology is an international Open Access, peer-reviewed academic journal that welcomes contributions written in English addressing religion in its various forms and aspects: historical, theological, sociological, psychological, and other.

The journal encompasses all major disciplines of Theology and Religious Studies, presenting doctrine, history, organization and everyday life of various types of religious groups and the relations between them. We publish articles from the field of Theology as well as Philosophy, Sociology and Psychology of Religion and also dialogue between Religion and Science.

The Open Theology does not present views of any particular theological school nor of a particular religious organization. The contributions are written by researchers who represent different religious views. The authors present their research concering the old religious traditions as well as new religious movements.

The aim of the journal is to promote an international and interdisciplinary dialogue in the field of Theology and Religious Studies. The journal seeks also to provide researchers, pastors and other interested persons with the fruits of academic studies.

And more.

Supplementary Information


Posted by on 28 Feb 2014 in Biblical Studies Resources, Theology


Bill Nye is Ken Ham’s Best Friend, and Scholarship’s Worst Enemy

Well it accomplished Ken Ham’s goal- he got a lot of public attention and he raised enough money from that attention to finish his Noah’s Ark theme park.  In sum and substance, then, Bill Nye is now Ken Ham’s chief fundraiser.  Nice work, Billy

The founder of a Bible-themed museum who recently debated evolution with TV’s “Science Guy” Bill Nye said Thursday that the widely watched event helped to boost enthusiasm among followers who invested in a project to build a 510-foot Noah’s Ark.

In a webcast from the same Creation Museum stage where the debate took place, Ken Ham announced that the municipal bond offering has raised enough money to begin construction on the wooden ark, estimated to cost about $73 million. Groundbreaking is planned for May and the ark is expected to be finished by the summer of 2016.

“It did help,” Ham said of the Feb. 4 debate with Nye. “We obviously had a big spurt toward the end (of the bond deadline), and I think it was people who were involved in this, who really decided they were going to do something.”

Bill Nye is Ken Ham’s best friend.  And scholarship’s worst enemy.


Conference Announcement: Material Philology and the Dead Sea Scrolls: New Approaches for New Text Editions

Copenhagen April 3-5, 2014
Faculty of Theology
Købmagergade 44-46
1150 København K
3. floor, Room 11

The physical aspects of manuscripts matters in philological and exegetical work: The quality and preparation of the manuscript sheets, their layout, and linguistic variance between text witnesses are not coincidental but reflect the social, economic, political, and intellectual circumstances behind the production of each manuscript.

According New or Material Philology, a recent development in philological practice, variance is a key to understanding the concrete, social meaning of ancient manuscripts: this means that the search for an “ur-text”, for instance in relation to biblical books, is problematic. Likewise, it is problematic to describe variants between manuscripts as being “faithful” or “fallacious” witnesses to the (existing or hypothetic) correct version of a text. A due consideration for the materiality of ancient Dead Sea Scrolls manuscripts will affect our reading of them as witnesses to the Dead Sea Community and its world view, and as witnesses to the Hebrew Bible and canon formation.

The bulk of the Dead Sea Scrolls material has become available to the public both in print and electronically. New, computer assisted technology is now employed in the reconstructions and analyses of manuscript remains, and more rigorous and comprehensive surveys of their appearance, shape, consistency and epigraphy are being developed. New editions of many manuscripts are on their way, and a massive interest is taken also in reconsidering and developing the philological practices in the field. This conference is an important step to this end.

Keynote presentations by:
George Brooke (Biblical Criticism and Exegesis, University of Manchester)
Matthew Driscoll (Arnamagnæan Studies, University of Copenhagen)
Eibert Tigchelaar (Biblical Studies, University of Leuven)
Michael Langlois (Faculty of Protestant Theology, University of Strasbourg)
Liv Ingeborg Lied (MF Norwegian School of Theology)

Do you want to attend this conference?

The Dead Sea Scrolls is the main focus area, but the conference addresses anyone who takes an interest in old manuscript cultures.  Participation is free, but registration needed before March 20th.

Please use the registration form:Registration_Form_Material_Philology.doc
Full presentation:Conference_Invitation_Material_Philology_DSS.pdf_copy
Final program: Material_Philology_DSS_Program.pdf
Abstracts: Abstracts_Material_Philology_DSS.pdf


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Posted by on 28 Feb 2014 in Conferences, Dead Sea Scrolls


Quote of The Decade

“Jim West is the best living biblioblogger/scholar. Zwingli rules. Joel Watts is the scum of the earth. –” Jennifer Guo

What sane person could argue with any of those three sentences? They are TRUE and TRINITARIAN!!!!

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Posted by on 27 Feb 2014 in Modern Culture


Signs Of The Times…

Signs of the times- the secret to modern ‘church’ growth…


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Posted by on 27 Feb 2014 in Modern Culture


Ok, Here’s The Deal…

Look, people, I realize that Chris Keith and Anthony Le Donne’s book ‘Jesus Criteria’ isn’t as exciting as my book on Zwingli (so few things are).  But surely you want a copy of “Demise”.  You’re going to hurt their feeling if you don’t enter the contest.  – So, please, do it so they will stop weeping.  The sight of two grown men sobbing uncontrollably because no one wants to read their book is heart breaking (for those of you with a heart).

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Posted by on 27 Feb 2014 in Books


Don’t Do One More Thing Until You Order this Book. And Once You Have it, Don’t Do Anything Until You Read It

Here.  Now off with you.  Go get it.  Then read it.


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Posted by on 27 Feb 2014 in Books


On the Church: An Observation

When the church started acting like it existed to make people happy, it lost the plot.  #Randomness

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Posted by on 27 Feb 2014 in Theology


Look- It’s a Discussion of a Passage in the Vulgate!



Posted by on 27 Feb 2014 in Bible


An E-Journal Relaunched

From the editor-

It is a great pleasure to launch the resurrected and refocused e-journal Hiphil Novum with a Festschrift issue celebrating the 60th birthday on October 26, 2013, of my colleague Nicolai Winther-Nielsen, Professor of Hebrew Bible and Information and Communication Technology at Aalborg University and Fjellhaug International University College Denmark. The birthday was celebrated with a conference in Copenhagen past October, and the contributors have now submitted their articles for publication. Listers will probably find the lengthy response by Avraham Faust and Justin Lev-Tov to Aren Maeir, Louise E. Hitchcock, and Liora K. Horwitz’s Oxford Journal of Archaeology article from 2013 especially interesting, but other treats are also available at

HIPHIL Novum is a peer-reviewed academic e-journal publishing on global education and research on the Bible. Issues feature papers accepted by Society of Biblical Literature’s Program Unit GERT – Global Education and Reseach Technology as well as other papers on next generation biblical research. We want to promote open education for all continents, races, genders, and communities.

HIPHIL Novum publishes papers on research or projecs focusing on the Bible’s History  *  Interpretation  * Pedagogy * Hermeneutics * Interactive Technology *  Linguistics

HIPHIL is Novum – the focus is on new Biblical Studies for a digital and global age. We welcome papers that take a lead in emerging global 21st Century education.

HIPHIL Novum publishes

  • Peer-reviewed articles: normally 7500 words, occasionally longer. One other competent researcher must approve the quality of this research before publication.
  • Conference papers: normally 2500 words, acceptance based on public presentation.
  • Reports: News on projects, dissertations or unique studies of global relevance.
  • Reviews: Promotion of books or digital ressources

Access to Hiphil material is free and it is possible to subscribe to a notification service on new additions to Hiphil.

Mit festliche Grüssen,

Jens Bruun Kofoed, ph.d.

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Posted by on 27 Feb 2014 in Biblical Studies Resources


News From Refo500- The “Journal of Early Modern Christianity”

Refo500 proudly announces the forthcoming publication of the “Journal of Early Modern Christianity” (JEMC). This journal is a co-production of De Gruyter and RefoRC, the academic department of Refo500. Editors are Tarald Rasmussen (Editor-in-chief, Oslo), Wim François (Leuven), Rady Roldan-Figueroa (Boston, MA), and Herman Selderhuis (Apeldoorn).

The JEMC will seek to contribute to interdisciplinary, interconfessional, and comparative research on Early Modern Christianity. The first issue will be presented at the Fourth RefoRC Conference 2014, May 15-17 in Bologna.

Click here to read more information on the JEMC.

The registration fee for the annual RefoRC Conference includes a subscription to the JEMC of the subsequent year (two issues). If you have registered or plan to register for the Fourth RefoRC Conference 2014 in Bologna, you will enjoy a special benefit and receive the subscription to the JEMC of 2014 (two issues) and 2015 (two issues). 

Partners of Refo500 and persons affiliated with Refo500 partners receive a discount of 30% on the subscription rate when subscribing to the JEMC via the De Gruyter website. Click here for online subscription.

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Posted by on 27 Feb 2014 in Church History


More on the Hawarden “OT in the NT” Conference

The Director of the Conference has informed me that there is no website, but that the information provided previously holds and anyone interested in attending at this late date may…

… contact Gladstone’s Library directly to see if there are any additional rooms available, as we have now filled our guaranteed 20 rooms.

Since there’s no website I’ve asked to be placed on the mailing list so that I might post information for the interested.

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Posted by on 27 Feb 2014 in Conferences


George Athas Rides the Camel

That’s not the same thing as jumping the shark.  In fact, it’s the opposite.  So from now on, whenever anyone writes something clever about some current faddish frenzy it shall be called ‘riding the camel’.  You’re welcome.


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Posted by on 27 Feb 2014 in Biblical Studies Resources


An Open Letter to the World

Dear World,

I’m sorry we’ve become a country obsessed with self and image.  I’m sorry that we care so little about real and authentic hardship that we actually have the audacity to believe that if our electricity goes off for 15 minutes it’s a tragedy or earth shattering proportions.  I’m sorry we stopped looking outward long ago and now only have eyes for celebrities and jocks and other professional clowns.

On behalf of the sensible people of our Country, I apologize.

It’s not that our Country isn’t great- indeed it very much is.  But our greatness is besmirched by our present self obsession.

Yours sincerely,


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Posted by on 26 Feb 2014 in Modern Culture