Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Just Keep Producing Interesting Looking Things: Sprachloses Wort? Zur Kritik an Barths und Tillichs Worttheologie – von der Sprache her

Like this newly released book on Barth’s theology.  Who doesn’t want to read that?

Joachim Ringlebens kritische Lektüre zweier einschlägiger Texte von K. Barth (KD I/1) und P. Tillich (1957) ergibt, dass beide Theologen den theologisch entscheidend wichtigen Begriff “Wort Gottes” in seinersprachlichen Verfasstheit verfehlen. Bei Barth geschieht das, obwohl er seine Dogmatik von der Lehre vom Wort Gottes aus entwirft, durch programmatische Distanz zur Menschensprache um der Gottheit Gottes willen und bei Tillich durch ein unsprachliches Symbol-Konzept im Namen abstrakter Transzendenz, das die Religion in vorsprachliche Bezüge einschreibt. Diese Tendenz zur Entsprachlichung droht in beiden Fällen das Wort Gottes um seinen spezifischen Sinn als Wort zu bringen.

Man…  Anyway, if you go to the link you can read the TOC and a bit of the front matter in their flipbook.

The Poor: An Observation

The poor are oftentimes just as driven by greed and possessiveness as the wealthy.  It isn’t a matter of degree in their quest to obtain, it’s a matter of ability which differentiates the poor and the rich.

There’s no moral superiority in poverty any more than there is in wealth.

Poverty is itself an imprecise concept.  When someone is called poor the only appropriate follow up is ‘compared to who?’  Is a person in America or Europe who lives in a house with electricity and running water with at least one meal a day to eat poor compared to a Rohingya refugee who has nothing but the clothes on her back?  Is a millionaire physician poor compared to a billionaire hedge fund manager?  One person’s poverty is another person’s wealth.

When the Church of Francis, Pontiff of Rome talks about selling everything and giving the proceeds to the poor, who will the Church be selling its priceless art to?  The poor?  And when those funds are distributed to the poor what will they do with it?  Acquire property?  Will they then be required by the same Pontiff to sell it to give the proceeds to the poorer?

This Pontiff, who has denounced trickle down economics seems to be very interested in participating in the trickling down of wealth to the poor who will then themselves be wealthier than others and obliged to reduce themselves to poverty in order to fulfill a Papal command.  But when the wealth of the wealthy has been thusly redistributed who will have it?  Drug lords?  Beer manufacturers?  Cigarette companies?  Frito Lay?

Poverty will always be with us because it is a mercurial concept.  Solving it is an impossibility.

This Generation Loves to Call Good Evil, and Evil Good

But such is not new.  Just ask Isaiah (5:20).

Or

Behold, thus does the god of this world blind such rebellious and contentious spirits, who so recklessly contend against the word of God and who do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, Rom. 2:8, that they become so obdurate and perverse that they call the glorious gain in Christ, attained through his grace, Spirit and power, a loss; and call good, evil, and evil, good; woe unto such, Isaiah 5:20. – Menno Simon

Or

THAT man in his present state is a corrupt and sinful creature, is too plain to be denied: the whole tenour of his conduct proves it beyond a doubt. But the generality give themselves credit for meaning well at the very time that they are doing ill. In this, however, they are mistaken. There is in all a far greater consciousness of the evil of their conduct than they are willing to allow. But they wish to quiet their own minds, and to approve themselves to the world: and therefore they change the names of things, “calling good evil, and evil good, putting darkness for light, and light for darkness, bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.” By these means they succeed in allaying their own fears, and in commending themselves to each other; but their guilt before God is thereby greatly increased: for our Lord says, “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” There is in their hearts a rooted aversion to what is good, and a consequent determination to decry it: there is also an inveterate love of evil, and a consequent desire to justify it. – Charles Simeon

Or

They who do not recognise the physician shall suffer pitiable torture, not only from the pain of their wounds but from despair of a physician. For they spend all their substance upon physicians who apply the poultice of human traditions to the wound and so draw a false skin over it, but heal it not in itself nor perceive any cure. What need of more? “Woe unto [you] that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” [Isaiah 5:20]. – Huldrych Zwingli

Or

For nothing does God more require from us than this—that we adhere strictly to everything that he declares in his word. Do not those, then, who use subterfuges, in order that they may be at liberty to transgress the commandment of God, arm themselves openly against God? Hence that curse which the Prophet denounces against all those who call evil, good, and darkness, light. — John Calvin

I’ll Be Dead before Jesus Is…

At least before John P. Meier gets to the death of Jesus in his projected 2 volume but now 5 volume and still not to the death of Jesus yet series ‘A Marginal Jew’.

But I have to say, I’m thrilled this will be out in November, just in time for SBL.  I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.

A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Volume V, Probing the Authenticity of the Parables.

Since the late nineteenth century, New Testament scholars have operated on the belief that most, if not all, of the narrative parables in the Synoptic Gospels can be attributed to the historical Jesus. This book challenges that consensus and argues instead that only four parables—those of the Mustard Seed, the Evil Tenants, the Talents, and the Great Supper—can be attributed to the historical Jesus with fair certitude. In this eagerly anticipated fifth volume of A Marginal Jew, John Meier approaches this controversial subject with the same rigor and insight that garnered his earlier volumes praise from such publications as the New York Times and Christianity Today. This seminal volume pushes forward his masterful body of work in his ongoing quest…

It has to be said, however, that the Bultmannian in me finds this all astonishing.  How is it possible to say so much when we know so little?

Anyway, thanks to Dan “The Big Haired” Gullotta on the fb for the tip.

The IAA’s ‘Big Announcement’ Today Is Old News: The Second Qeiyafa Inscription… Again

Joseph Lauer writes

Today, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, the IAA circulated English and Hebrew press releases announcing that “A Rare Inscription from the Time of King David was Discovered in the Valley of Elah”. The English release is titled “Who Are You, Eshbaʽal Ben Bedaʽ? A Rare Inscription from the Time of King David was Discovered in the Valley of Elah. This is the fourth inscription revealed so far dating to the tenth century BCE from the Kingdom of Judah”.

It appears, though, that the inscription and jar that were displayed today are the subjects of the “A second inscription discovered at Khirbet Qeiyafa has been published” e-mail circulated on Thursday, June 4, 2015, that announced that a second inscription discovered at Khirbet Qeiyafa has been published in the new issue of the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, pp. 217-233. See Yosef Garfinkel, Mitka R. Golub, Haggai Misgav and Saar Ganor, “The ʾIšbaʿal Inscription from Khirbet Qeiyafa”, which is available at https://www.academia.edu/12775087/

Today With Zwingli: ‘Artikel des Friedens’ and the First Kappel ‘War’

Throughout Zwingli’s time in Zurich his Catholic foes were itching to rid the Cantons of his influence.  Their efforts naturally extended into the political realm and as a result by 1529 things were coming to a head.  In early June, 1529, Zwingli wrote the Reformed cantons

“Be firm and do not fear war. For that peace which some are so urgently pressing upon us is not peace but war. And the war for which I am so insistent is peace, not war; for I do not thirst for the blood of anyone, nor will I drink it even in case of tumult. This is the end I have in view—the enervation of the oligarchy. Unless this takes place neither the truth of the Gospel nor its ministers will be safe among us. I have in mind nothing cruel, but what I do is friendly and paternal. I desire to save some who are perishing through ignorance. I am labouring to preserve liberty. Fear nothing; for we shall so manage all things with the goodness and the alliance of God that you shall not be ashamed nor displeased because of us.”

And then S. Jackson reports

But the first Cappel war was over as soon as it was begun. On June 10th the allies received a moving appeal from the chief magistrate of Glarus to await a proposition from the Five Cantons. Zwingli perceived the folly of treating with them and patching up a peace which secured none of the objects of the threatened war. He said to the bearer of the appeal: “You will have to give an account to God for this. While the enemy is weak and without arms, he speaks fair: you believe him and make peace. But when he is fully armed, he will not spare us, and then no peace will he make with us.” The man replied: “I trust in God that all will turn out well. Let us act always for the best.”

On June 11th, Zwingli wrote from the field to the Small and Great Councils of Zurich a long letter, in which he gave his idea of the necessary conditions for a lasting peace: I. The Forest Cantons must allow the Word of God to be freely preached among them. II. Pensions were to be for ever foresworn. III. Distribution of such pensions was to be punished corporally and by fine. IV. The Forest Cantons were to pay indemnity to Zurich and Bern.

Zwingli also composed the ‘Articles of Peace‘ which were published on the 16th of June, 1529.  They begin

Artickel des fridens, den ünser herren möchtind annemen, doch uff hindersichbringen an ünser herren 1. Sittenmal in kurtzen jaren erst angefangen ist, gottes wort ynzwengen, und aber by ünseren vordren von ye welten har gottes wort nach vermög nüws und alts testaments ze predgen fry gewesen, so sol fürhin gottes wort nach vermög nüws und altes testaments fry gepredget werden ungestrafft und in allweg ungehindret in allen orten der  Eydgnoschafft, in den undertonen und zuogewandten, soverr einer, das er predget, mit gottes wort erhalten mag.

Etc.  They cover the same ground as the previously mentioned letter.

S.M. Jackson continues his description of the ‘War’-

While the negotiations were going on the camp of the Reformed was under strict discipline and daily religious services were held. Zwingli discovered that the pensioners were secretly working against him and naturally they had plenty of allies. Even Bern was indifferent in the matter. He then composed this hymn:

I.
Lord, guide the car [of War] Thyself!
Otherwise crooked
All our course becomes.
That would be joy
To our enemies,
Who Thee
Despise so wickedly.

II.
God, elevate Thy Name
To the punishment
Of the wicked goats!
Thy sheep
Again awake,
Who Thee
Love so ardently!

III.
Help, so that all bitterness
May be far removed,
And old fidelity
May come back
And grow anew;
That we
Ever may sing Thy praises!