Women’s Divination in Biblical Literature: Prophecy, Necromancy, and Other Arts of Knowledge

This looks fascinating:

estherDivination, the use of special talents and techniques to gain divine knowledge, was practiced in many different forms in ancient Israel and throughout the ancient world. The Hebrew Bible reveals a variety of traditions of women associated with divination. This sensitive and incisive book by respected scholar Esther J. Hamori examines the wide scope of women’s divinatory activities as portrayed in the Hebrew texts, offering readers a new appreciation of the surprising breadth of women’s “arts of knowledge” in biblical times. Unlike earlier approaches to the subject that have viewed prophecy separately from other forms of divination, Hamori’s study encompasses the full range of divinatory practices and the personages who performed them, from the female prophets and the medium of En-dor to the matriarch who interprets a birth omen and the “wise women” of Tekoa and Abel and more. In doing so, the author brings into clearer focus the complex, rich, and diverse world of ancient Israelite divination.

#ICYMI: Luther’s Comment About the ‘Whore, Reason’ in its Sitz im Leben

luther09Das sey geantworttet auff die gruende und ursachen, so D. Carlstad [17] furet fur seynen trawm aus der schrifft, Wilcher sind drey gewesen, Der [18] erst, Das eyn grosser buchstabe da stund ynn etlichen buechern, nicht ynn allen. [19] Der ander, das eyn punct da war. Der dritte war das liebe Tuto. O heylige [20] treffliche gruende, wilche niemant furen sollten on solche hymlische propheten, [21] die Gottes stym hoeren. Der vierde ist, das er nicht eyn eynigen spruch aus [22] der schrifft kan fur sich bringen, und dieser grund ist der allersterckste, der [23] will wol bleyben ewiglich, Ich will yhn auch nicht umbstossen sondern helffen [24] stercken. Hynfurder leret er uns, was fraw hulde, die natůrliche vernunfft, [25] zu diesen sachen sagt, gerade alls wuesten wyr nicht, das die vernunfft des [26] teuffels [H]hure ist und nichts kan denn lestern und schenden alles, was Gott [27] redt und thut. Aber ehe wyr der selben ertzhuren und teuffels braut antworten, [28] Woellen wyr zuvor unsern glauben beweysen, und nicht grosse buchstaben [29] noch puncten odder Tuto Tato sondern duerre helle sprueche dar legen, [30] die der teuffel nicht soll umbstossen. – Wider die himmlischen Propheten (1525), WA 18, 164.

With hearty thanks to the brilliant Emidio Campi for tracking down the WA source.  Context, dear friends, is everything.  Even Luther’s words deserve the benefit of that decency.

Oh, and make no mistake, reason apart from faith really is a tempting harlot, leading her victims astray, to death.

Quote of the Day

zwingli_saysMany will not cut their beard on Friday and think they greatly honor God thereby; and, when they transgress this, they greatly sin in thus doing, and consider the rule that they themselves have set up so important, that they would three times sooner break their marriage vows, than to do anything against their reputation for wisdom.

Indeed, deceive not yourself that things are with God as you have persuaded yourself; that is true superstition, a stubborn self-chosen spirit.   — Huldrych Zwingli

In Which Isaiah Foretells Today’s Average Pastor…

Alright, to be accurate he’s describing the prophets of his own day.  But I really see no reason to say that his remarks no longer apply to many who are supposed to proclaim the will of the Lord:

Its [i.e., Jerusalem’s] watchmen are all blind, they know nothing. Dumb watchdogs all, unable to bark, they dream, lie down, and love to sleep. Greedy dogs, never satisfied, such are the shepherds, who understand nothing; they all go their own way, each to the last man after his own interest. ‘Come, let me fetch wine; we will get drunk on strong drink, tomorrow will be just as wonderful as today and even more so!’  (Isa 56:10-12 NJB)

Yessir- that nicely describes too many Pastors today.  Especially the first ‘they know nothing’ bit- since so many would rather get their sermons, on Saturday night, from a book of sermons instead of doing their own hard exegetical work.  Such lameness really does give us a hint as to why tv specials about the Bible are equally lame and why people who profess faith know so little about Scripture and so are glad to lap up gallons of Downey Burnett.

Easter Greed: The Latest Installment of Despicable Behavior

The Telegraph reports

An attempt to break the world record for the largest Easter egg hunt descended into chaos on Sunday, as adults ended up barging toddlers out of the way and scuffles broke out in a bid to collect the most eggs.  Parents of the children taking part at the event in Sacramento, in California, described scenes of carnage as the crowd squabbled on the lawn.  “It’s really ridiculous,” said Michelle Rodriguez, who told The Sacramento Beeshe paid $140 for her seven children to participate in the VIP portion of the hunt, in which some of the eggs were stuffed with coupons for free food.  “Parents are literally pushing other people out of the way.”

Oh America… how proud you make us…

You Can Help a Young Scholar Fund His Education… Or You Can Fund an Old Curmudgeon Hasten to Retirement

Which would you rather do?  Help Dan fund his Yale stay or help me achieve financial independence so that I can retire right away?  Which is it?  Choose one.  And base your choice completely on the fact that if I don’t retire soon, I will be forced to become blunt and direct instead of being my presently sweet and endearing self.  Which will it be?

As the Deuteronomist has it- choose you this day life or death, blessing or curse.  Do you want this?

the-person-the-pew-commentary-series

Or to help out this shady looking teenager?

danKeep that face in mind.  He’ll be on ‘America’s Most Wanted’ one day…

 

It’s Time We Treat Every Discipline Like We Treat Biblical Studies

Dear Biologists- your views about evolution are interesting but my views are just as valid even though i’ve never studied the subject.

Dear Film producers,  Making films is easy.  Show up, turn the camera on, and make your movie.

Dear Physicians, you may have gone to medical school but I read this thing on the internet so I think I’m right.

Dear Chemists, I enjoy making plutonium out of dog urine.

Dear Journalists, I’m writing a book titled ‘A Year As A Pretend Journalist’.  Please invite me to speak at your gathering for a hefty sum so I can tell you how to do your job.  Contact my agent.

And so on.  With every profession.

Then we can all say the stupidest things and we can watch the experts heads explode just like ours do when they open their ignorant inbred inept worthless perverse senseless idiotic mouths about the Bible.  Then they can feel the utter loathing we feel when they offer their unenlightened uninformed views.

News For Our Friends the Dutchlanders

9789065393746-bijbel-hsv-studiebijbelDe eerste druk van de HSV-Studiebijbel werd gepresenteerd op 31 oktober 2014. De uitgave, waarvan prof. dr. M.J. Paul en prof. dr. T.M. Hofman de hoofdredactie hebben verzorgd, was binnen vier maanden al nagenoeg uitverkocht; een ongekende doorloop voor een studiebijbel in Nederland.

Royal Jongbloed heeft opdracht gegeven tot een herdruk in dezelfde kleurencombinatie van zwart en groen. “We hebben veel complimenten gekregen over de leesbaarheid”, aldus de uitgever. “Die is uitstekend ondanks de duizenden aantekeningen die als kanttekening onder de Bijbeltekst zijn geplaatst en de honderden verdiepende artikelen. De kwantiteit van aantekeningen is niet ten koste gegaan van de kwaliteit van het drukwerk. Ook de landkaartjes komen goed tot hun recht in de kleurencombinatie.”

De HSV-Studiebijbel is de meest omvattende studiebijbel in het Nederlandse taalgebied en is een belangrijk hulpmiddel voor persoonlijk bijbelgebruik. De Bijbel biedt een schat aan materiaal bij preek- en lesvoorbereiding van predikanten, bijbelstudiegroepen en docenten in het voortgezet en hbo/wo-onderwijs. De HSV-Studiebijbel bevat de complete tekst van de HSV, aangevuld met aantekeningen, inleidingen, kaartjes en artikelen. Een betrouwbaar, verstaanbaar en verdiepend hulpmiddel bij het lezen van de Bijbel.

Honestly who doesn’t love a masterfully done study Bible?  That’s right, no one sane.  Read more here.

Iscariotical

Luther writes

WE read in John 12 that Judas Iscariot was angry when he saw the great waste of the perfume that [Mary] Magdalene lavished on the body of Christ, pleading under a pretense of great piety that it would have been much more holy for such a great treasure to be distributed to the poor. And, indeed, that was a magnificent and marvelous appearance of piety in such a corrupt and abominable man, so that the other apostles, too, fooled by the magnificence of the words, believed (out of apostolic simplicity) that the man spoke these words truly and in earnest. But after they had been taught by experience, they saw (just as John says) that he had been a thief and that it was for the sake of stealing that he had been telling such pious lies about how the Church should care for the poor.

The Roman pontiff has outdone himself in imitating this Judas. When he saw the great treasures poured out on the Body of Christ (which is His Church) by the faithful, who are the best Magdalenes (that is, the souls of believers and of Christian princes), in the support of the ministers of the Church and for care of the members of Christ in this miserable life, the pope was seized with an altogether insane fury for theft and plunder, and he, too, began to shout through all the Decretals and the writings of his flatterers that the care of all the churches pertains to himself and that the sheep of Christ have been committed to him to feed [John 21:15–17].

Through this lie, under a fair appearance not only Iscariotical but supra-angelical, he has sought to steal and seize for himself the riches of the entire Church. For next to the lies of Satan himself, the father of lies [John 8:44], no lie has been put forth under the sun more shameless and vile than the claim that the Roman bishop is the shepherd of the entire Church.*

Iscariotical. What a great word- nicely describing the greed which drives the reprobate.
____________________
*Afterword to Johannes Annius, Disputation on the Papal Monarchy, Luther’s Works (Vol. 60, pp. 141–142).

Remembering Emil Brunner on the Anniversary of His Departure

barth_brunner_bult“Barth’s letter arrived on the morning of 5 April. Vogelsanger cycled to the clinic at Zollikerberg, and informed Brunner that “Karl Barth sends his greetings!” He then read Brunner this letter by his bedside. Brunner smiled, pressed his hand, and shortly afterwards lapsed into an uncon­sciousness from which he never reawakened. He died at noon on Wednesday, 6 April 1966 at the Neumünsterspital at Zollikerberg, near Zurich. His funeral at the Fraumünster in Zurich on 12 April 1966 was led by Vogelsanger. ” – Alister McGrath

And a brief bio by  Kelly van Andel –

brunner[Brunner] studied at both Zurich and Berlin universities and received his doctorate in theology from Zurich in 1913. His doctoral dissertation was entitled ‘The Symbolic Element in Religious Knowledge’. In 1916–1917. Brunner served as pastor in the mountain village of Obstalden in the Canton of Glarus. In 1919–1920, he spent a year in New York studying at Union Theological Seminary.

In 1921, Brunner wrote what he considered his second dissertation, Experience, Knowledge and Faith. Another book soon followed, Mysticism and the Word, a critique of the liberal theology of Friedrich Schleiermacher. Such work enhanced his academic reputation, and he was rewarded in 1924 with an appointment as professor of systematic and practical theology at the University of Zurich, which he retained until 1955. In the late 1920s, his reputation continued to increase with the publication of two more books, The Philosophy of Religion from the Standpoint of Protestant Theology and The Mediator.

brunner_tvz3In 1932, having fulfilled invitations to visit and lecture across Europe and the United States, Brunner wrote God and Man and The Divine Imperative. Later, in 1937, he published Man in Revolt and Truth as Encounter. In 1938, he again returned to the United States to accept a visiting professorship at Princeton Theological Seminary.

He returned to Europe prior to World War II. Following the war, Brunner was invited to give the Gifford Lectures at the University of St Andrews in 1947–1948. His lecture series, ‘Christianity and Civilization’, was divided into two parts, ‘Foundations’ and ‘Specific Problems’.

Brunner’s teaching career concluded in 1953–1955 at what was then the new International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan. In the meantime, he published his three-volume dogmatics, including The Christian Doctrine of GodThe Christian Doctrine of Creation and Redemption and The Christian Doctrine of the Church, Faith, and Consummation. On the return journey from Europe to Japan, Brunner suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was subsequently physically impaired, which weakened his ability to work productively. For the next nine years, Brunner suffered from further strokes. He died on 6 April 1966.

brunner8Other books by Brunner include: Theology of Crisis (1929); Word and the World (1931);Divine-Human Encounter (1943); Justice and the Social Order (1945), Revelation and Reason: The Christian Doctrine of Faith and Knowledge (1946); Scandal of Christianity (1951);Misunderstanding the Church (1952); Eternal Hope (1954); Great Invitation: Zurich Sermons(1955); Letter to Romans: A Commentary (1959); I Believe in the Living God: Sermons on the Apostle’s Creed (1961).

And that barely touches the tip of the Brunnerian iceberg.  Other volumes you need to obtain are

  • Emil Brunner. Theologe im 20. Jahrhundert,von Frank Jehle
  • Gott und sein Rebell. Eine theologische Anthropologie, Emil Brunner
  • Theologie und Ökonomie. Symposium zum 100. Geburtstag von Emil Brunner, Ruh Hans

brunner3It’s impossible for me to express sufficient appreciation for this brilliant man. The very least I can do is remind others of him and his work. It would be evil for him to be forgotten.