Daily Archives: 15 Jun 2015

Gottfried Locher at The SEK

The Distinguished Emidio Campi Comes From a Long Line of Distinguished Persons

Emidio shared this gem with me- and I’m especially jealous since all my ancestors seem to have been as close to being worthy of being sent to Australian prison as one could be without actually ending up in Australia.


That Rachel Dolezal Is A Real Prize…

Former Spokane NAACP president Rachel Dolezal sued Howard University in 2002 for allegedly discriminating against her because she’s white, according to court documents obtained by the Smoking Gun. Dolezal, who has claimed to be black for several years, said the school refused to hire her for teaching posts and denied her scholarships because of her race. Dolezal, who went by Rachel Moore then, reportedly filed the suit against Howard and Professor Alfred Smith, the chairman of the university’s art department, in Washington DC’s Superior Court. From the Smoking Gun:

According to a Court of Appeals opinion, Dolezal’s lawsuit “claimed discrimination based on race, pregnancy, family responsibilities and gender.” She alleged that Smith and other school officials improperly blocked her appointment to a teaching assistant post, rejected her application for a post-graduate instructorship, and denied her scholarship aid while she was a student. The court opinion also noted that Dolezal claimed that the university’s decision to remove some of her artworks from a February 2001 student exhibition was “motivated by a discriminatory purpose to favor African-American students over” her.

As detailed in the court opinion, Dolezal’s lawsuit contended that Howard was “permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and insult.” The lawsuit was dismissed in February 2004, after Judge Zoe Bush found no evidence that Dolezal was discriminated against. Dolezal was ordered to reimburse the school for $2758.50 for a “Bill of Costs” and another $1000 for an “obstructive and vexatious” court filing.

Etc. She’s quite the prize…

Signs of the Times: Why Grad Students These Days Are so Soft. Literally


Sure, I’ll Be Your Friend…

בְּזֹאת֙ אֶכְרֹ֣ת לָכֶ֔ם בִּנְק֥וֹר לָכֶ֖ם כָּל־עֵ֣ין יָמִ֑ין

More Fun With Erasmus

Erasmus was a bright lad who could lay down a proverb like nobody’s business:

Dentem Dente rodere

It is one tooth biting another, was used to be said to any one attempting to hurt what was out of his reach, and could not be affected by him: or affronting one who could return the insult with interest; or having a contest with persons capable of doing him more mischief than he could do them. It has the same sense as, “verberare lapidem,” beating a stone; “do not shew your teeth,” we say, “when you cannot bite.” The adage probably took its rise from the fable of the serpent gnawing a file, which it met with in a smith’s shop, by which it made its own gums bleed but without hurting the file.

Ungentem pungit, pungentem Rusticus ungit

If you treat a clown with mildness and civility he will fancy you are afraid of him, and will return your kindness with rudeness or insult; but if preserving your dignity, you treat him as your inferior or with some degree of authority, he will crouch to and fawn upon, you.

Cited from ‘The Adages of Erasmus‘.

A Very Fine Review by Kees de Wildt of Two Very Impressive Volumes

zurcher_kirchenordnungWhich concludes this way:

Campi and Wälchli’s volumes form a starting point only. Now that these documents have become available, they have to be studied. They will prove to be a real gold mine for anthropologists, historians of law, folklore, costume, and the German language. Theologians and church historians will be interested to see how Zürich’s and Basel’s liturgy and church order influenced the regulations in other Reformed areas and vice versa. But most of all, these editions show the struggle to build a really Reformed society, in which everything was regulated to the honor of God and the benefit of the citizens. Congratulations to the editors and the publisher for these magnificent editions!

The Leningrad Codex in BibleWorks10

One of the most impressive aspects of BW10 is its inclusion of photographs of Codex Leningradensis, a 10th century manuscript of the complete Hebrew Bible.

To be sure, there are a lot of transcripted editions of Leningradensis, but to have the ability to examine both the text and the marginal notations of this incredibly important manuscript is priceless.   Accordingly, in what follows, I’ll offer my perspective on the features of the module which may be most useful to students of the Old Testament.

First, it’s very easy to access the material:


Simply clicking the Leningrad tab pulls up the image.  The verse tabs can be toggled on or off and the text itself can be enlarged or diminished depending on the researcher’s particular needs:


In addition, one can see any text in the Old Testament in Leningrad by simply choosing the verse in the “browse window” whether one is reading the Hebrew Text:


Or an English version:


It is this feature that may prove to be the most useful.  As one is reading through the text one has at hand in the right column the actual manuscript from which the transcription (if one is reading the Hebrew text) or translation (if one is reading the English) has been made.

Finally, it’s worth noting, especially for scholars and teachers, that simply by clicking a copy to clipboard tab one has an image, in full size, of the complete page where the passage under consideration is located.  This is ideal for presentations and lectures.


The features of BW10 are impressive.  But the inclusion of this codex and the ease with which it can be consulted and utilized is the most impressive of all.

[Other segments of this multipart review can be found here at the review series home page].

The Miracle of Salvation: An Observation

narrowThe miracle isn’t that some are saved. The miracle is that all aren’t damned.

Εἰσέλθατε διὰ τῆς στενῆς πύλης· ὅτι πλατεῖα ἡ πύλη καὶ εὐρύχωρος ἡ ὁδὸς ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ἀπώλειαν, καὶ πολλοί εἰσιν οἱ εἰσερχόμενοι δι᾽ αὐτῆς· ὅτι στενὴ ἡ πύλη καὶ τεθλιμμένη ἡ ὁδὸς ἡ ἀπάγουσα εἰς τὴν ζωήν, καὶ ὀλίγοι εἰσὶν οἱ εὑρίσκοντες αὐτήν (Matt. 7:13-14).

Twitter Is Removing the 140 Character Limit for DM’s in July

From the facebook –

Twitter: Social Network to Remove 140-Character Limit From Direct Messages in July.  Sachin Agarwal, Twitter’s direct messages product manager, announced the change in a post on its website for developers. Agarwal added that the limit for public tweets will not change.

Good. Sometimes I need to tweet direct messages of 141 characters and I can’t, so I have to email. Do you know how hard that is?

Rachel Dolezal Has Quit as Spokane NAACP Leader


vanity-fair-rachel-dolezal-knowRachel Dolezal, whose story sparked a national conversation over racial identity, is stepping down as the president of the Spokane chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

In a message to the organization’s executive committee, Dolezal said her resignation is in the best interest of the NAACP.

In related news, Spokane has just been flooded by Ebay offers for hair extensions and tanning products.  Officials aren’t sure if there’s any connection to Rachel’s resignation.

Climate and Ancient Societies

203596Climate and human responses to it have a strongly interconnected relationship. Thus when climate change occurs, the result of either natural or human causes, societies should react and adapt to these. But do they? If so, what is the nature of that change, and are the responses positive or negative for the long-term survival of social groups?

In this volume, scholars from diverse disciplines including archaeology, geology and climate sciences explore scientific and material evidence for climate changes in the past, their causes, their effects on ancient societies and how those societies responded.

Organized around four key themes each dealing with ways to understand past climates, human impact, and sustainability – holocene climate reconstruction; responses of complex societies to climatic variation; Archaeological evidence for pollution and its ecologi-cal implications; and stable isotope analysis in the Middle East – the chapters demonstrate the value of a longue durée perspective on a topic of crucial importance to the future of our planet.

Eric Cline needs this book.

Rise Up, Oh Lord! The Excommunication of Martin Luther

exsurgeOur friends in Saxony write

On June 15, 1520, the Pope, Leo X, promulgated his lovely little excrement titled Exsurge, domine!

The bull was written in response to the teachings of Martin Luther which opposed the views of the papacy. It censured forty one propositions extracted from Luther’s 95 theses and subsequent writings, and threatened him with excommunication unless he recanted within a sixty day period commencing upon the publication of the bull in Saxony and its neighboring regions. Luther refused to recant and responded instead by composing polemical tracts lashing out at the papacy and by publicly burning a copy of the bull on 10 December 1520.  [End of Saxon quote].

Luther’s response was – well characteristically Luther- as he writes a few months later-

Hereby I also wish to embrace all the articles as Christian and true which were damned and burned in the last bull by the nuncio of Antichrist now come from Rome and on the other hand to charge just as many articles of the pope with being antichristian and unchristian as the number of my articles which have been condemned.

Or, ‘here’s a wave for you Mr Pope.  Guess what my hand looks like…’

Leo made a massive mistake.  And a stupid one.  Kicking sand in Luther’s face was probably the worst thing anyone anywhere could ever do.  He had enough vitriol to spew at all who would.

I Sure Hope They Found an Inscription that Says ‘David Slept Here’

Via Joseph Lauer-

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we [the IAA] will publish an announcement and pictures of an inscription from the time of King David, which was discovered in excavations in the Ella Valley.

Members of the media are invited to interview archaeologists (in English) and photograph the inscription and other artifacts tomorrow, between the hours 12:00–13:30, in the laboratories of the Israel Antiquities Authority at 5 Ha-Marpeh Street, on Har Hotzvim, Jerusalem.

More when I hear.

A Dose of Erasmus for the Day

normal_Durer-Albrecht-Erasmus-SunWhat’s a Scholar without Pen and Ink? The same that a Soldier is without Shield or Sword. – D. Erasmus

Political Correctness Lunacy

bangays_3341031bA couple have lost their fight to change the name of a road called Bangays Way after locals living on the street voted to keep the controversial title.

Phillip Tucker and husband Ian, who have lived in the village of Borough Green in Kent for more than seven years, complained to their parish council, saying the road name was “homophobic” and “offensive”.

The couple demanded that the road name be changed, despite the fact it is named after a gas fitter called Frank Bangay, a former parish councillor, historian and school governor.

Because- Britain.  I think maybe Phil and Ian were just interested in a little public whining and not so much in the name of a street.

Cheating: It’s An Epidemic in British Education

British education is experiencing an epidemic of trickery and cheating, ranging from primary school teachers rigging key assessments through to 40,000 university undergraduates disciplined for plagiarism over the past four years.

An investigation by Channel 4 Dispatches, to be screened on Monday night, describes how shady practices and in some cases outright fraud are woven into the fabric of UK education as the use of exam results, league tables and performance indicators increases the pressure on students, teachers and institutions to succeed.

Maybe many of those University rankings should be taken with a block of salt.  You should probably take many of those great essays and dissertations and test scores with the same block:

“I think there’s a lot of cheating out there. What we detect is only the tip of the iceberg.”

The programme found advertisements for “academic support, assignments, essays, dissertations, plagiarism-free” in phone boxes located outside a major university in London.

Further down the educational ladder, the programme exposed instances of secondary schools exploiting loopholes in regulations to avoid some pupils sitting examinations, so that their results would not show up in the school’s crucial performance tables.

Some schools – such as Portslade academy in Brighton – were found to be using so-called “guest students” as a way of moving special needs or struggling pupils off their rolls – allowing a child to sit GCSE exams but not be officially recorded as a pupil at the time.

I Don’t Recall Opting In, So Why Do I Have to Opt Out?

SBL has sold email addresses this time to some tourism company in Turkey:  Ephesus Meeting – Discounted Faculty Tours – SBL/AAR.

And, sure, the tourism company says I can “Unsubscribe to our emailling list please click here“.  Since they use the wrong preposition I’m guessing that the mailing came from the company and not through SBL, which means that SBL is just selling all of us to whomsoever is willing to purchase us.

What is SBL doing with the money they’re making off of us?  They aren’t lowering conference prices.  Those go up every year.  And they aren’t lowering membership rates.  So where’s the money going?  We pay fees and such to keep the ship afloat, so where’s this extra funding going?  And how many companies have they sold our emails to?  And for how much?

It’s my email.  I want some benefit from their use of it.  That’s just the right thing to do.