Fun Facts From Church History

Luther was so impressed by Melanchthon’s lectures on Romans and 1 Corinthians that he published them without Philip’s permission. In his Preface to them Luther writes

I do not seek your pardon if I have offended you by this deed; rather, you must cease taking offense, because you offend us the more thereby and stand in need of pardon yourself.

In short- Philip was to blame for forcing Luther’s hand.

More Free Books on Kindle- Philip Melanchthon

There are four of them- just search the Kindle store for ‘Melanchthon’ and sort by lowest to highest price.

From Manchester to Melbourne: Gutenberg Bible on the move

If you’re in Australia-

John Rylands Library Special Collections Blog

GB on stand

We are very excited that our copy of the magnificent Gutenberg Bible is on display for a limited time at the University of Melbourne as part of Melbourne Rare Book Week and the Cultural Treasures Festival. This Bible is the first book to be printed in Europe with moveable type, by Johann Gutenberg in Mainz around 1455.

The substantial two folio volumes are remarkable for the fine quality of the printing, executed with great care and attention to detail. The John Rylands Library copy is one of forty-eight substantially complete surviving copies, now housed in libraries across the world. Purchased by George John, 2nd Earl Spencer in 1790 it found its way to Manchester in 1892 when Enriqueta Rylands purchased the Spencer Collection of books. It includes original hand decorated initials at the beginning of each book and was probably at the Augustinian monastery in Colmar, northern France, in the…

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News Items From the British New Testament Society

First, there’s this-

A quick reminder that those who are interested to join sessions of the Rylands papyri conference on the Friday afternoon of BNTC must register through the Eventbrite link in the conference website.  Space is limited, so I’m afraid there is no room for spontaneity on the day!
Best wishes,
Dr Paul Middleton
Secretary, The British New Testament Society
And then there’s this
The University of Münster (Germany) wishes to appoint a
Research Fellow (Doctoral or Post-Doctoral Position)
within the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics in Modern and Pre-Modern Cultures”, research project C2-24 “Integration and Diversification in the Judaism of Palestine during the Hellenistic-Roman Period (300 BCE–135 CE)” under the direction of Prof. Dr. Lutz Doering.
This three-year temporary position is scheduled to start on October 1st, 2014, and will run until September 30th, 2017. According to the German collective labour agreement for public sector employees (TV-L E 13), the gross salary for the position starts at approximately 1680 € per month (doctoral position, 50%) or 3360 € (post-doctoral position, 100%) during the first year. The regular working hours amount to 19 hours and 55 minutes (doctoral position) or 39 hours and 50 minutes (post-doctoral position) per week.
The Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics in Modern and Pre-Modern Cultures” was established at the University of Münster in 2007 and has been awarded funding through the German Excellence Initiative until 2017. Some 200 academics from 20 disciplines within the humanities and the social sciences examine the sensitive relationship between religion and politics, which has shaped all ages and cultures. Research projects are divided into the fields of research normativity, mediality, integrative procedures, and violence. For more information on the structures and research outline of the Cluster, please refer to

Standard duties:

·                Participation in the research project C2-24 “Integration and Diversification in the Judaism of Palestine during the Hellenistic-Roman Period (300 BCE–135 CE)”.
Research Fellows are expected to pursue their academic career (doctoral thesis, post-doctoral publications) in conjunction with the duties pertaining to the position.

Qualifications, knowledge and experiences:

·                Above-average MA or equivalent (doctoral position) or PhD or equivalent (post-doctoral position; completed or near completion) in Theology (especially Biblical Studies), Jewish Studies, Ancient History or related disciplines
·                Profound knowledge of Ancient (especially Koine) Greek and Post-Biblical Hebrew (Qumran, Rabbinic literature); desirable: reading proficiency in Modern Hebrew
·                Interest in work on a topic in the area of Ancient Judaism leading to a doctoral thesis or to post-doctoral publications, respectively.

The University of Münster is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing the proportion of women academics. Consequently, we actively encourage applications by women. Female candidates with equivalent qualifications and academic achievements will be preferentially considered within the framework of the legal possibilities.

Among applicants of equal qualifications and equal position-relevant skills, disabled candidates will be given preference unless other candidate-related reasons prevail.

Applications should include a cover letter, CV, degree transcripts, statement of research interests, and names/addresses of two referees within a single PDF document, and to be submitted by August 15th, 2014 to:
Prof. Dr. Lutz Doering
Institutum Judaicum
Wilmergasse 1
D-48163 Münster
Enquiries regarding this position may be directed by email to Prof. Doering.

Paul Schneider Remembered



If you aren’t familiar with him, you can learn all about him in this book

Paul Schneider (1897-1939) was a German Reformed pastor, father of six, and part of the Bekennende Kirche during World War II. Schneider’s unequivocal opposition to the quickly ascending Nazi regime led to his imprisonment, torture and eventual execution at the hands of the Gestapo on July 18, 1939. Until now, Pastor Schneider’s story has remained less accessible to English-speaking audiences. This authoritative biography of Paul Schneider by Rudolf Wentorf appears here for the first time in an unabridged English translation by Daniel Bloesch.

Unlike Bonhoeffer, he upheld the faith without entering into a pact to kill anyone.


When Will Teens Learn to Stop Sexting?

And why do they think it’s a good idea anyway?  Are modesty and self respect now as passe as morality and ethical behavior?  And where are parents?

A teenager in Virginia faces four months in jail and a lifetime on a sex offender’s list for texting videos of his erect penis to his girlfriend, his lawyer said Friday.

The 17-year-old from the Washington suburb of Manassas is accused by police of “manufacturing and distributing child pornography” – even if it is selfie porn.

“It’s an outrageous case,” his lawyer Jessica Foster told AFP, adding that he could potentially wind up in jail until he turns 21 and indefinite registration as a sex offender.

The youth – due to appear August 1 in youth court – had “repeatedly” been told to stop sending “pornographic videos” to the 15-year-old girl, said Manassas City Police in a statement.

The “sexting” case took a surreal twist when police obtained a warrant to photograph the boy’s penis to prove that it was the same one that appeared in the text videos.

Dear teens- stop being so stupid.  And parents, if you have to warn your teen to stop sexting because you’ve caught them at it- take their phone away and don’t give it back unless they are using it in your presence.  Be parents.  Parent!

Newly Digitized Ancient Greek Manuscripts at the British Library

Via their blog

The third phase of the British Library’s Greek Manuscripts Digitisation Project is now well underway. So far, the following items, all Greek biblical items, have been added to Digitised Manuscripts. We will continue to update the blog with new additions over the course of the year, and will also look at some individual manuscripts in more detail in later posts. We are extremely grateful to the foundations and individuals who have funded this project, especially the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the A. G. Leventis Foundation, Sam Fogg, the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation and the Thriplow Charitable Trust.

Add MS 24112, Four Gospels in Greek (Gregory-Aland 694; Scrivener evan. 598; von Soden ε 502), written throughout with space for a Latin translation, which has been added for a small number of verses. 15th century, possibly Italy.

Add MS 24373, Four Gospels (Gregory-Aland 695; Scrivener evan. 599; von Soden ε 327), with illuminated Evangelist portraits. 13th century. Also online is an old 19th-century binding for this manuscript.

Add MS 24374, Fragments from a Gospel Lectionary with ekphonetic notation (Gregory-Aland l 325; Scrivener evst. 273). 13th century.

I appreciate Shawn Talbott mentioning it.

Britain’s Extremist Schools

This is unbelievable!  In 13 Birmingham, UK schools

Children were taught that all Christians are liars and attempts were made to introduce Sharia law in classrooms as part of an alleged ‘Trojan Horse’ takeover plot of Birmingham schools, an inquiry has found.

The inquiry commissioned by Birmingham City Council found evidence of religious extremism in 13 schools as school governors and teachers tried to promote and enforce radical Islamic values.

Schools put up posters warning children that if they didn’t pray they would “go to hell”, Christmas was cancelled and girls were taught that women who refused to have sex with their husbands would be “punished” by angels “from dusk to dawn”.

The report found that the extremism went unchecked because the council “disastrously” prioritised community cohesion over “doing what is right”.

It concluded that there was a “determined effort” by “manipulative” governors to introduce “unacceptable” practices, “undermine” head teachers and deny students a broad and balanced education.

How the devil could this happen without some public outcry?

Disturbing News from Field Researchers

In a survey of scientists engaged in field research, the majority — 64 percent — said they had personally experienced sexual harassment while at a field site, and 22 percent reported being the victim of sexual assault.

Most of the people reporting harassment or assault were women, and the vast majority were still students or postdocs.

And for female victims, the perpetrator was more likely to be a superior, not a peer. “This is happening to them when they are trainees, when they are most vulnerable within the academic hierarchy,” says evolutionary biologist Katie Hinde, an author on the study published Wednesday in PLOS ONE. Hinde and her colleagues say this could be a factor in the large number of women who enter scientific fields but don’t continue.

This is not good.  Sexual harassment, of any sort, is both unprofessional and immoral and should be reported immediately to the supervisor of the perpetrator.

Read the full report.