Daily Archives: 13 Jun 2015

The Telegraph Wants to Give Antonio Lombatti a Stroke

The Turin Shroud is not a medieval forgery, as has long been claimed, but could in fact date from the time of Christ’s death, a new book claims.

Sorry, but yeah, it is a silly piece of raggings. Claims to the contrary notwithstanding. Nor the nutbaggery that goes along with them.

Many Catholics believe that the 14ft-long linen cloth, which bears the imprint of the face and body of a bearded man, was used to bury Christ’s body when he was lifted down from the cross after being crucified 2,000 years ago.  The analysis is published in a new book, “Il Mistero della Sindone” or The Mystery of the Shroud, by Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University, and Saverio Gaeta, a journalist.

Fanti… and a journalist… heavens.  Why not get Bozo the Clown and Howdy Doody to author a book on it…

I see what the Telegraph is doing.  They’re trying to kill Antonio Lombatti and other experts on the subject by hyping a silly volume by silly shroudologists who never have learned the lesson of relics in the history of the Roman Church.  Perhaps a word from Erasmus can help them (though I doubt it, given the truth of invincible ignorance and its presence in the lives of so very many dilettantes.

“We kiss the old shoes and dirty handkerchiefs of the saints,” he says in his preface to Jerome, “and we neglect their books, which are the more holy and valuable relics. We lock up their shirts and clothes in jewelled cabinets; but as to their writings on which they spent so much pains, and which are still extant for our benefit, we abandon them to mouldiness and vermin.”

His low view of relics is well known…

Anyway, poor Antonio…

The Followers of Folly Compared With the Followers of Wisdom

The Schoolmaster

The Schoolmaster

Folly speaking to Wisdom (in ‘In Praise of Folly)-

Look how your hard plodding students, by a close sedentary confinement to their books, grow mopish, pale, and meagre, as if by a continual wrack of brains, and torture of invention, their veins were pumped dry, and their whole body squeezed sapless; whereas my followers are smooth, plump, and bucksome, and altogether as lusty as so many bacon-hogs, or sucking calves; never in their career of pleasure to be arrested with old age, if they could but keep themselves untainted from the contagiousness of wisdom, with the leprosy whereof, if at any time they are infected, it is only for prevention, lest they should otherwise have been too happy.

Bacon-hogs and sucking calves, plump and bucksome, happily ignorant their whole lives as long as they don’t come in contact with wisdom which folly views as leprosy… Erasmus would be proud that his vision of the foolish has been literally fulfilled in the masses.

Rearranging, Reshelving, And Adding Feet of Shelf Space Thereby

I’ve spent a few hours rearranging and reshelving so that I could fit two more cases in the study.  It’s exhausting.  Here, nonetheless are the results.  And now, I need some ibuprofen.  I think I’ve torn my arm out.

Erasmus: On Friendship and Pity

erasmus2“Pity and friendship are passions incompatible with each other; and it is impossible that both can reside in any breast, for the smallest space of time, without impairing each other. Friendship is made up of esteem and pleasure, but pity is composed of sorrow and contempt. In fact,” he adds, “pity, though it may often relieve, is but at best a short lived passion, and seldom affords distress more than a transitory assistance,” which is consonant to the following observation of Dryden,

—— “pity only with new objects stays,
But with the tedious sight of woe decays.”  — Erasmus of Rotterdam

It’s Odd, Isn’t It, How Ancient Proverbs Have Timeless Relevance…


Luther’s Opinion of Henry VIII, King of England

Luther_foto_a_wagenknecht[This] King has shown by public action that he has fallen from the gospel and, even more, that he has revealed his hypocritical pretense. By no means would we have fared well with him, for we would have had to load his sins upon ourselves, and yet had a false friend in him. Above all, as the English let slip while they were here, we would have had to let the King continue to be and be called “Head and Defender of the Gospel,” as he boasts that he is head of the English churches.

Away, away with this head and defender! Gold and money make him so cocky as to think that he should be worshipped, and that God could not get along without him. Let the King himself carry his sins, for which he is not ready to repent; we have enough of our own to carry.

We have more than enough evidence [of his hypocrisy]: he [betrayed] Emperor Maximilian and soon thereafter King Louis of France as well.  He should be pope, as in fact he is in England.

Truer words, Martin, truer words.

Quote of the Day

As a bird hoppeth from tree to tree, so do the honours and riches of this world from man to man, Let Job and Nebuchadnezzar testify this truth, who fell from great wealth to great want. No man can promise himself to be wealthy till night; one storm at sea, one coal of fire, one false friend, one unadvised word, one false witness, may make thee a beggar and a prisoner all at once.

All the riches and glory of this world is but as smoke and chaff that vanisheth; ‘As a dream and vision in the night, that tarrieth not,’ Job 20:8. –  Thomas Brooks

Who is A True Friend?

You would count him unworthy of the name of a friend who, knowing a thief or an incendiary to lurk in your family, with a design to kill, or rob, or burn your house, would conceal it from you and not acquaint you with it on his own accord. There is no such thief, murderer, incendiary, as sin.… Silence or concealment in this case is treachery.

He is the most faithful friend, and worthy of most esteem and affection, that deals most plainly with us, in reference to the discovery of our sin. He that is reserved in this case is but a false friend, a mere pretender to love.  — DAVID CLARKSON

St Luke, The Artist

weyden_lukas_grtMost folk are familiar with the tradition that Luke was a Physician.  But did you know that he has also been, in the history of Reception, an artist?

Rogier van der Weyden 1399/1400 – 1464

St Luke Drawing the Virgin
oil and tempera on panel (137 × 111 cm) — 1435
Museum Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Also known as the St Luke Madonna.

The scene is not mentioned in the Bible. Luke probably was not even born at the time of Jesus’s birth, let alone that he could have painted the Madonna as the panel suggests. Centuries later a legend developed telling that Luke once painted the Virgin. For that reason he became the patron of artists. There are several copies of this panel. The one in Boston is considered to be the original.

Fun, right?

Thanks To Barth’s Inappropriate Generalization…

That ‘Jesus is the answer.  Now, what’s the question’…


BibleWorks 10: The Review Series

bw10Bibleworks 10 arrived some time back (thanks to Jim Barr) for review.  Given the fact that the program is immense and the new features extensive, nothing less than a fairly large review will do it justice or be fair to those who have worked so hard to produce it.

I will be assuming that most readers of this review will be familiar with BW9 or BW8. If not, then please do note that a previous review was posted on that material here.

This review is multi-segmented, as follows (links are to review portions) –

The new materials in the program are

  1. High-resolution tagged images of the Leningrad Codex
  2. Two new NT manuscript transcriptions
  3. Nestle-Aland GNT 28th Edition
  4. New English Translation of the Septuagint
  5. Danker’s Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the NT
  6.  Instant lemma form usage info for Greek and Hebrew
  7. 1,200+ high resolution photos of the Holy Land
  8. EPUB reader & library manager
  9. Complete audio Greek NT
  10. Customizable window colors
  11. Dynamically adjustable program text size
  12. Mac and PC versions.

The also have a series of videos HERE which explain the new features.

Did You Know that Judas Was a Practical Joker? A Prankster? Yup


My Next Project: A Motivational Book!

Chris Tilling thinks I could also work as a motivational speaker / writer and he’s said: write a motivational book!

“Your face. Pity about that, eh? Nothing you can do about it, well get over it and read Zwingli”


To Him Who Has Ears to Hear…


A Forthcoming Book on the Reformation by Yale University’s Carlos Eire

YUP hasn’t posted it on their website yet, but here’s the title so you can keep an eye out for it:

Reformations: Early Modern Europe 1450-1650 by Carlos Eire, to be published in January 2016.  I confess that I’ve not read anything by Eire so I don’t know if it will be good or accurate or not.  But he seems to be well respected so I am supposing that it will be.

Zwingli’s Move to Einsiedeln, and the Death of his Brother James


Zwingli’s church in Glarus

On 13 June, 1517 Zwingli wrote his friend Vadian

“I have changed my residence, not at the stimulus of desire or of avarice, but because of the wiles of the French; and now I am at Einsiedeln.… What disaster that French faction has at last wrought me the wind of rumour has doubtless wafted to you. In the things done I too have had a part, but I have borne or have learned to bear many misfortunes.”

In the same letter he writes

“God Almighty knows how much grief has been cast upon me by the sudden death of my brother, to whom you showed every attention that your kindest of kind hearts could suggest.”

The move from Glarus was painful for him. But it was necessary because of Zwingli’s stand against the mercenary system. As Zwingli’s biographer correctly observes

It was then customary to hire troops wherever they could be gotten, so the reputation of the Swiss made them eagerly sought after. This meant that foreign princes bid against each other for the opportunity of hiring them and were willing to pay leading Swiss to act as agents in this business. Such agents were called pensionaries.

Thus prominent families were interested in the traffic, and Zwingli’s opposition brought him the ill-will of these persons. But his opposition was made on moral grounds; the degeneracy caused by contact with foreign lands, and the deterioration in character involved in fighting merely for money excited his rage and disgust, and having been with the mercenaries he could speak from personal knowledge.*

Then, too, Glarus was during the sitting of the Diet a centre of this disgraceful business. “Every day we receive,” he testifies, “messengers from the Pope or the Emperor, the Milanese, the Venetians, the Savoyards, and the French, and send others to them.”1 It will be readily understood that his perpetual preaching against the pecuniary interests of leading and influential Glareans excited counter demonstrations.

Men always resent what affects their pockets, and so when these leaders and the many persons of lower rank who were more or less dependent on the traffic had heard the young priest hold them up time and time again as “un-Swiss,” as dealers in the souls of men, and in other uncomplimentary terms, they determined to get rid of him. The rank and file of his congregation were devoted to him, and no act of theirs would have severed their relation, but the machinations of the pensionaries and their beneficiaries made his life a burden, and so in the spring of 1516 he announced his intention to remove to Einsiedeln.**

That move, as mentioned above, took place in early June, 1517.

*In 1515 Zwingli had served as Chaplain to the Glarus troops at the Battle of Marignano, where many young Swiss soldiers lost their lives. That event changed his life and he was from thence for the remainder of his life a staunch foe of mercenary service.
**Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (pp. 90–91).

Simcha (and Others) are Appearing at IdeaCity in a few Days

If you’d like to attend, here are the details:

Mid-June is the l6th incarnation of ideacity, an annual event created by media mogul Moses Znaimer. This year it runs for three days starting June 17 at Koerner Hall.

Every year Znaimer recruits 50 smart people with big ideas and puts them onstage to share their eureka moments in an unscripted way for 700 ideas junkies, then they mingle with the audience. Among the speakers are cartoonists Terry Mosher (a.k.a. Aislin) and Wes Tyrell, who will offer their perspective on a year in which cartoons loomed large.

The lineup also includes Simcha Jacobovici, Emmy-winning documentary producer and ‘biblical archeologist,’ and Conrad Black, who needs no introduction.

The price, including a party every night: $4,000 for those who sign up in advance, $5,000 for those who don’t or $2,000 for one day.

You want to go, don’t you…