This Is Too Good Not to Share: The Beginnings of the Codex

A fascinating article this, which commences:

745_f001rOver the first few centuries A.D., a change occurred in how people created and consumed books in the Graeco-Roman world. In the early first century, books were on papyrus rolls. By late antiquity, the majority of books were produced as codices, not very different from the books we still use today, and parchment had supplanted papyrus as the writing support of choice. How and why this transition occurred is a question that continues to occupy the attention of anyone interested in the early history of the book. There are three main phenomena that are clearly interrelated: the transition from roll to codex, the transition from papyrus to parchment, and the rise of Christianity. That last factor may come at first as a surprise, but with only a very few exceptions (and even they are disputed) all fragments of the New Testament from the first few centuries are taken from codices, not rolls. But literary texts (especially those written in Greek) continue to be written primarily on rolls until the fourth century.

Where Can I Find This Hat?????

Come on people, someone has to know.

hatUPDATE:  Ok peeps, compare these two hats with the one this guy portraying Luther is wearing:

It’s as plain as the nose on Pinnochio’s face- Luther wore a beret. Zwingli was too classy and not French enough to wear one of those monstrosities.

Martin Luther and Katherine’s Wedding

The good folk in Sachsen-Anhalt write

luther_marriageDid you know

… that when Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora on 13 June 1525, the reactions among his contemporaries were by no means all positive. Even his friend Philipp Melanchthon was critical, chiefly because he thought Katharina had ensnared Luther. What finally prompted Martin Luther to ask for Katharina von Bora’s hand in marriage was probably an episode he’d heard from his friend Nicolaus von Amsdorf – who was also well acquainted with Katharina. When Katharina discovered that she was supposed to marry university rector Kasper Glatz (a miser and evidently a generally unpleasant chap to boot), she told Nicolaus that if she was going to marry anyone, it would have to be either him or Dr Luther. Nicolaus told his friend Martin – and the rest is history.

Luther’s Advice on Preaching

In a word- preach the text!

“In my preaching I take pains to treat a verse [of the Scriptures], to stick to it, and so to instruct the people that they can say, ‘That’s what the sermon was about.’

How different from the preachers of today who tell stories, make jokes, and entertain the crowds.  Which is why, by the way, most sermons aren’t worth hearing.

UNC Is in Hot Water with the Accreditors…

But don’t worry, they can buy their way out once the proper ‘fees’ are paid.  Accreditation agencies in the United States are the FIFA of the academic world.

Apparently If You’re White and Pretend to Be Black, You Can’t Be An NAACP Officer….

A recent investigation into racially charged threats made toward the president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane have raised questions beyond who made the threats.

On Thursday, Rachel Dolezal’s parents claimed she had been deceiving people.

Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal said Thursday that they want people to know the truth including that their daughter is Caucasian. The Dolezal’s sat down with KREM 2 News and said their daughter is specifically German and Czech.

Well… that’s weird.  It really sounds like something a mentally disturbed person would do.

A Cache of Ancient Texts Discovered- In The University of Basel Library

baselA valuable collection of ancient Egyptian papyrus manuscripts has been discovered in the University of Basel’s library after being forgotten for more than a century.

The 2,000-year-old texts, written in Greek, Latin, Coptic Egyptian and hieratic, were acquired by the university 115 years ago but were subsequently overlooked. Sabine Huebner, professor of ancient history, recently found them in two drawers in the library’s manuscripts section, the university said on its website.

She began searching for them after responding to a request from a papyrologist (a scholar studying ancient papyrus manuscripts) who wanted to know if the Basel university had a papyrus collection. The 65 manuscripts are “mostly everyday documents”, such as contracts, letters receipts and petitions, Huebner said in an interview published by the university. But one of the most interesting ones is a private letter written by a Christian that dates from the first half of the third century, she said.

Amazing.  Read the remainder of the report for more.  With thanks to Roberta Mazza for pointing it out.

The Germans Debate the Ideas of the Most Recent Incarnation of Marcion

Abschied vom Alten Testament?!   Eine differenzierte Debatte um Notger Slenczkas Thesen vor einem vollen Auditorium: 140 Menschen, darunter eine Vikarsgruppe, Studierende aus Münster und Wuppertal, Pfarrerinnen und Pfarrer, ökumenische Zuhörer. Es war ein guter Aufschlag mit diskussionswürdigen Fragen und Referenten, die in der Lage waren, aufeinander zu hören und zu streiten, ohne sich zu verletzen. –  Melanchthon-Akademie Köln

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