Daily Archives: 13 Nov 2014

Adele Berlin on the new ‘Jewish Study Bible’ From Oxford

There are some Q&A over at the OUP Blog which follow up on earlier Q&A with Brettler.

What led to the decision to revise the Jewish Study Bible?

It has been ten years since the first edition of the Jewish Study Bible (JSB) was published. During that time our knowledge of the Bible and of ancient Israel has advanced tremendously. At the same time, a new generation of scholars has entered the field, with fresh approaches to the study of the Bible. We wanted to build on our very successful first edition by introducing our readers to new knowledge and new approaches.

And more.

Pick up The ‘Reader’s BHS’ at #SBLaar14 for %50 Off


The pdf of Obadiah is here.  Hendrickson’s page is here.  At half off of $53 that means you can pick it up for, what, $25?  You should.  [The actual price- the 50% off price is $29.97 for hardcover and $39.97 for Black flexisoft leather.]

Here’s my opinion of it.  And, at SBL, there’s a session on it and the new 5th edition of the GNT:

S22-310 Critical Editions of the German Bible Society: UBS Greek NT 5th edition; BHS: A Reader’s Edition.
Room 303 Level 3 Aqua Hilton Bayfront (HB).

After more than twenty years, a new edition of the UBS Greek New Testament is now available: UBS5 is here. The most widely used edition of the Greek New Testament in the world is now available in a fundamentally revised edition. This session will highlight the most important changes. Improvements and new features that apply to the complete New Testament will be explained. We will also discuss the principles of the revision of the Catholic Epistles, illustrating how the edition has been made consistent with the “Editio Critica Maior”.

Together with Hendrickson Publishers, the German Bible Society has also published a Reader’s Edition of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS). The BHS: A Reader’s Edition is a valuable tool for beginners in Biblical Hebrew who wish to read the text of the pre-eminent edition of the Hebrew OT with translations of words used less than 70 times and parsing information provided at the bottom of each page.

  • Florian Voss, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Presiding
  • Donald Vance, Independent Scholar, George Athas, Moore Theological College and Yael Avrahami, Oranim Academic College Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, A Reader’s Edition (20 min)
  • Discussion (10 min)
  • Florian Voss, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft and Holger Strutwolf, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
    The Fifth Edition of the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (40 min)
  • Discussion (20 min)

Anthony Le Donne and … Dom DeLuise


Amazing Lookalike!


On the left is Anthony Le Donne, Assistant Professor of New Testament at United Theological Seminary. On the right is Dom DeLuise, actor and chef.

We wonder if, by some chance, they might be related?

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I. Howard Marshall and … Ian McKellen


Amazing Lookalike!


On the left is I. Howard Marshall, Professor Emeritus of New Testament Exegesis at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. On the right is Sir Ian McKellen, the actor who played Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films.

And here are the same two men, at a later stage in life:


We wonder if, by some chance, they might be related?

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Luther, Zwingli, Demons, and the Office of the Holy Inquisition

imagesMore than a century after the deaths of Zwingli and Luther, the Spanish Inquisition was raging, fiercely.  In one particular investigation, their names came up.  Here’s the story:

Wherever there was the faintest suspicion of heresy, the Inquisition could assert jurisdiction.  This involved the question of the responsibility of the demoniac for his utterances, which was somewhat intricate.

In the case of one under trial by the Granada tribunal, in 1650, the learned Jesuit, Padre Diego Tello, who was called in as a calificador, reported, with an immense array of authorities, and after three visits to the accused in the secret prison, that there could be no doubt as to the possession, for he was able to discuss points of theology and other matters far beyond his capacity; he could also speak Latin intelligibly and he quoted Scripture while, as he uttered many heresies, it was evident that the spirit was evil.

At the same time he was rational on so many points that he could not be regarded as irresponsible for his heresies. Luther and Zwingli, he added, were notoriously possessed by demons, but they were none the less held responsible for their teachings and it was the uniform practice of the Inquisition so to decide in these cases.*

Oh papists- denouncing the dearly departed as demonized. That’s not nice (and doing the same thing is what makes Jeremy Thompson a papist too).
*A History of the Inquisition of Spain (Vol. 4, pp. 349–350).

If You’re In or Around Oxford…


Quote of the Day

Für das Evangelium sein, heißt gegen etwas zu sein. Die heutige Version des Evangeliums ist für etwas aber nie gegen etwas. #FalseGospel – Peter Voth

Breitbart Calls Simcha’s Work What it is: A Hoax

There is a foolproof recipe for making it rich in modern pseudo-scholarship. The recipe is:

1. Take one dusty old text in a language few people read.
2. Stirring frequently, spin the text until it makes some sensational claim “disproving” a basic tenet of Christianity.
3. Heat in gullible mainstream media oven for as long as it takes to be considered the newest “scholarly discovery.”
4. Serve warmed over.

Now, joining the ranks of the fictional works The Last Temptation of Christ and The DaVinci Code, The Lost Gospel has launched the “shocking” (if unoriginal) claim that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had two children by her.

Here’s a gem-

One of the authors of The Lost Gospel is Simcha Jacobovici, a professional biblical debunker who has made a good career out of fabricating sensational stories and passing them off as scholarship. He is especially famous for his documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus, which describes the finding of the Talpiot Tomb during a housing construction project, claiming that it was the family tomb of Jesus.

Professor Amos Kloner actually oversaw the archeological work at the Talpiot Tomb when it was discovered in 1980, and wrote the excavation report for the finding. When confronted with Jacobovici’s hypothesis, Kloner said, “I think it is very unserious work. I do scholarly work.” This film “is all nonsense.” He added, “Give me scientific evidence, and I’ll grapple with it. But this is manufactured.”

Scholars have reacted with similar disdain for Jacobovici’s latest work, The Lost Gospel. Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University, called the theory “the deepest bilge.”

John Wauck, professor of Literature at Rome’s Santa Croce University, told Breitbart News: “Let me get this straight: the host of a Canadian TV show called “The Naked Archeologist” is claiming that a Syriac manuscript from the 6th century AD that never even mentions Jesus Christ or Mary Magdalene somehow proves that they were married … by the Pharaoh, no less … and had kids?” Wauck went on to note that in their approach to this manuscript, “the authors—neither of whom knows Syriac and one who has called the New Testament ‘bloated, biased and unrepresentative’— seem to have relied heavily on their imaginations and produced, not surprisingly, a work of fiction that is hostile to the Christian faith.”

MacCulloch wins the internet with his ‘deepest bilge’ observation, since that’s exactly what it is.  And then the relevant question:

So the questions remain: Why do the mainstream media give credence to ridiculous claims that are so easily proven false? Is it laziness or malice or some combination of the two?

That’s the very question that @GMA needs to be asked, as well as CNN and the other news outlets that unwittingly or not give unwarrented credibility to Simcha’s work by giving it publicity.

Enter to Win a Copy of the Fortress Commentary on the Bible

From Shawun Talbott’s facebook page-

Win free copy of the Fortress Commentary on the Bible set! Now through Nov. 17!  To celebrate the release of Fortress Commentary on the Bible, we want to share the work with you! Enter the drawing to win a free copy of the set!  http://bit.ly/1zmK8rC.

Go ahead.

Begone, Foul Arminians!

978-3-525-55078-6DOCTRINES of God’s sovereignty and man’s free will, of election and human choice are among the most difficult and contested in Christianity. Calvinists in the Netherlands convened the Synod of Dort on this day, 13 November 1618 to deal with these issues.

Read more here– it’s sound work.  And if you’re a Pelagian… um I mean Arminian (same thing really), repent!

Oh and if you really, really want to know more about Dort- this is the book to read.  In Europe you can get it here.  And in North America, here.  It has JUST been published.

Volume 1 includes the original Acta Authentica of the synod, here published for the first time. Following the Acta Authentica, the corresponding acts, as first published in the Acta Synodi Nationalis … Dordrechti Habitae(Leiden, 1620), are reprinted; these published Acta were a significantly revised version, for stylistic and political purposes, of the original Acta Authentica. Also included are the Acta Contracta, a topical summary of the Acta Authentica, and the minutes of the meetings of the state delegates, who represented the Dutch government at the synod; neither of these has been previously published. This volume begins with a general introduction to the Synod of Dordt and its context, an introduction to the Acta Authentica, the published Acta and Acta Contracta, and an introduction to the role of the state delegates and the minutes of their meetings.

Announcement- «Libère ta plume et ose la caricature avec Buche!»

«Libère ta plume et ose la caricature avec Buche!» Le dimanche 16 novembre, rendez-vous au MiR en famille. Accompagnés d’un guide, découvrez les fameuses caricatures de l’artiste genevois Adam Töpffer.  Puis laissez-vous initier à l’art de la caricature avec l’illustrateur suisse de renom, Eric Buche.  L’atelier et le goûter sont offerts.

Which I mention because I think it’s fun. And would love to attend.


Great News: The Newest Issue of Zwingliana is Out

From Christian Moser-

Interested readers may view the Table of Contents as well as the abstracts at http://www.zwingliana.ch/index.php/zwa/issue/current. At the same time Zwingliana 38 (2011) went online in full text and can be accessed at http://www.zwingliana.ch/index.php/zwa/issue/view/210.

And if you are not yet a member of the Zwingliverein, I would urge you to join the holy assembly.  Meanwhile, while you’re doing that, join the Zwingli Facebook group too.


Remembering Jerome and Forgetting Zwingli: The Zurich Latin Bible of 1543 and the Establishment of Heinrich Bullinger’s Church
Bruce Gordon 1-33
Michael Diller, Augustinerprior und evangelischer Prediger in Speyer, als Geächteter in Straßburg bei Bucer (1548/49) und als “Interimsflüchtling” in Basel (1549-1552)
Beat Rudolf Jenny, Reinhard Bodenmann 35-56
The Understanding of the Church in Heinrich Bullinger’s Theology
W. Peter Stephens 57-84
Zürcher Disputationsthesen bis 1653: Facetten einer Druckschriftengattung
Jean-Pierre Bodmer 85-116
Die theosophische und pietistische Literatur der Gichtelianer im Kanton Zürich
Christian Scheidegger 117-157


Epistulae Beati Rhenani, tome 1: 1506–1517, hg. von James Hirstein et al., 2013
Reinhard Bodenmann 159-165
Marion Dammaschke und Günter Vogler, Thomas Müntzer Bibliographie, 2013
Urs B. Leu 165-166
Heinrich Bullinger: Briefe des Jahres 1545, 2013
Amy Nelson Burnett 167-169
Robert M. Kingdon mit Thomas A. Lambert, Reforming Geneva, 2012
Kees de Wildt 169-173
Christian Moser, Die Dignität des Ereignisses: Studien zu Heinrich Bullingers Reformationsgeschichtsschreibung, 2012
Christoph Strohm 173-177
The Myth of the Reformation, hg. von Peter Opitz, 2013
Jim West 177-179
L’expe´rience de la diffe´rence religieuse dans l’Europe moderne, hg. von Bertrand Forclaz, 2013
John H. Mazaheri 179-184
A Companion to Reformed Orthodoxy, hg. von Herman J. Selderhuis, 2013
Ueli Zahnd 184-187
Reformierte Orthodoxie und Aufklärung: Die Zürcher Hohe Schule im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert, hg. von Hanspeter Marti und Karin Marti-Weissenbach, 2012
Luca Baschera 188-190
Pierre Bayle: Tractat von der Allgemeinen Toleranz, 2010-2013
Urs B. Leu 190-192
Pascal Sidler, Schwarzröcke, Jakobiner, Patrioten: Revolution, Kontinuität und Widerstand im konfessionell gemischten Toggenburg 1795-1803, 2013
Paul Widmer 192-197


117. Jahresbericht des Zwinglivereins über das Jahr 2013
Martin Rüsch, Hans Ulrich Bächtold

In Which Joel Watts Sees the Light and Comes to a Knowledge of the Truth

Amen, and amen.


You too can come to a knowledge of the truth!

[NB- in all seriousness, thanks, Joel.  And yes, they are]

An Interview With Jona Lendering

Josho Brouwers writes, here

Ancient Warfare issue VIII.5, on the Jewish-Roman Wars, has returned from the printer’s and is on its way to stores and subscribers. Digital subscribers are now able to download and read the issue immediately.

In related news, our good friend and ancient historian Jona Lendering, one of the authors of Edge of Empire and owner of the website Livius.Org, wrote a book on a related topic. The Dutch title is Israël verdeeld (i.e. Israel Divided) and it has been published by Athenaeum Publishers in Amsterdam. An English summary of the book is available. Israel Divided is not a book primarily about ancient warfare, but instead deals with religion, and especially focuses on the parting of ways of Judaism and Christianity.

For Ancient Warfare magazine, I decided to invite Jona for a brief interview, similar to the one we conducted last year about Edge of Empire.

Give it a read.  Jona’s a great writer and a very informed and knowledgeable person.

Judas Iscariot in Reception History

Judas_tablette_264pxThe World of the Bible recently published a new ebook, Judas, a necessary traitor. It treats topics such as Judas in relation to the conception of ‘traitor’ in antiquity, apologist interpretations of Judas especially in the 19th century, and the controversy surrounding the Gospel according to Judas.

So write the good folk at The World of the Bible.  Here’s the book description-

The Gospels portray a traitor who gives up Jesus on the Mount of Olives for cash. The disciple, later realising how heinous a crime he had committed, is said to have hanged himself in despair. The legacy has been a heavy one to bear. No Christian thereafter would give their child the accursed name. But can we make a definitive judgment? Over the course of centuries, since the earliest days of Christianity, people have attempted to reveal a different side to the disciple, and to offer a varying interpretation of the events surrounding him. Why did the betrayal take place? Others have even gone so far as to try to rehabilitate Judas. The affair rose to prominence again and mystery deepened in 2006, when a second-century document came to light – the Gospel according to Judas. This ebook answers some of the questions and tries to unravel the mystery…

The World of the Bible isn’t as well known as BAR, but it is superior.  It’s also published in French and German, so that its intended audience is much broader than BAR and its cousins.