Daily Archives: 17 Dec 2015

Your Favorite Scholars and How They Spend the Holidays

Some American Christians (And All Republican Politicians) Would Probably Like Those Kind of Signs Here Too

Because, #Mericu….

A controversial sign has been put up by a roadside, telling drivers approaching Pontoglio that the Lombardy town of almost 7,000 inhabitants is one of “western culture and profound Christian traditions”. The sign goes on to say that anyone caught disrespecting the town’s deep-rooted culture and local traditions would be asked to leave.

Mayor Alessandro Seghezzi was granted permission from the local council to erect the sign at entrances to the town, explaining in a letter that the move is intended to preserve the area’s values and culture, as well as keep citizens safe.  “Today we’re living in a transitory period,” he wrote.

“It’s our job to ensure that all comply with rules that govern civil life.” Seghezzi told Corriere that the town’s culture is “based on mutual respect: from women and music to dress, customs and traditions”. Local councillor Paolo Bocchi backed the move, insisting that there was “nothing racist about it”.

Because nothing says Christianity quite like ‘get out!’  What a world.

Look, Let’s Face It, Again

I think Christians and Christianity would be a lot better off if we treated Muslims like we treat Jews.

Look, Let’s Face It…

If you hate people just because they’re Muslim, you’re doing your Christianity wrong.

Conference Announcement and Call for Papers

Ethnicity/Race/Religion: Identities, Ideologies, and Intersections in Biblical Texts and Interpretation

9-11th August 2016, Centre for Biblical Studies, University of Exeter, UK

We are pleased to announce that the call for papers for the Ethnicity/Race/Religion Conference is now open. To propose a paper, please submit your abstract of no more than 250 words and a brief indication of your current position and institutional affiliation to k.m.hockey@exeter.ac.uk by 5pm on Sunday 20th March 2016 (GMT). The open paper sessions will consist of 25 minutes for papers with additional time for questions and discussion.

We invite papers which are in line with the key questions of the conference:

  • How do ethnicity and race feature in constructions of identity in biblical text?
  • How have ideologies of race shaped biblical interpretation past and present?
  • How has the Bible and its interpretation contributed to racial ideologies and racist practices?
  • To what extent are the dominant models of biblical scholarship ‘Western’ in their assumptions? What might breaking out of these assumptions entail?

We welcome a range of approaches, whether (for example) focusing on a particular (or group of) biblical text(s); using a reception-historical or ideology-critical lens to explore the impact of biblical texts on ideologies of race; or relating biblical texts and their interpretation to historical or contemporary contexts in ways pertinent to the above questions. Abstracts will be preferred that both outline the paper’s proposed content and show a clear and relevant thesis.

Decisions on which papers can be accepted will be communicated by 30th April 2016.

For more information see: Conference Website: http://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/theology/research/conferences/identitiesideologiesandintersections/

Follow us on Twitter: E/R/R Project @ERR_Conf2016

Via Paul ‘The Scotsman’ Middleton on the BNTS group page.

Breaking News!

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The makers of Codex Sinaiticus

What a super essay on Sinaiticus. Must reading for you all.

British Museum blog

Cillian O’Hogan, Research Fellow, University of Waterloo, formerly Curator of Classical and Byzantine Studies, British Library

Most books from Graeco-Roman antiquity only survive in fragmentary form – scraps ranging in size from a postage stamp to (if we’re lucky) a few leaves from a codex, or a long section of a papyrus scroll. For books to survive in anything close to their original form is very unusual. It’s with that thought in mind that we should approach Codex Sinaiticus, currently on display in the British Museum’s Egypt: faith after the pharaohsexhibition.

Codex Sinaiticus is the oldest copy of the complete New Testament. Dating from the middle of the fourth century, the manuscript originally contained some 743 leaves (1,486 pages), each measuring some 380 x 345mm – a massive book even by today’s standards. Remarkably, over half of these leaves survive today. The book’s scale was only made possible…

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The Real Reason the Wheaton Prof Was Suspended Isn’t Theological- It’s Bigotry

The WaPo nails it

There isn’t any theological justification for Hawkins’s forced administrative leave. Her suspension is not about theology and orthodoxy. It is about enmity toward Muslims. More precisely, her suspension reflects enmity toward Muslims, taking on a theological guise of concern for Christian orthodoxy.

What is theologically wrong with asserting that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, according to Hawkins’s opponents — and mine? Muslims deny the Trinity and incarnation, and, therefore, the Christian God and Muslim God cannot be the same. But the conclusion doesn’t square. And Christians, though historically not friendly to either Judaism or the Jews, have rightly resisted that line of thinking when it comes to the God of Israel.

Read the whole sensible accurate true essay.

Allah is Just the Arabic Word for ‘God’

So, Muslims worship Allah.  That’s the Arabic word for ‘God’.  American Christians worship God.  That’s the English word for ‘God’.  German Christians worship ‘Gott’.  That’s the German for God.  American Jews worship God. That’s the English word for God.

What’s the problem with saying, then, that Muslims worship the same God?  How many Gods are there?  And do we all, all around the world, have to use the same three letters – GOD – to be understood to worship the same divine being?   Do we accuse Germans of worshiping something besides God when they (the terrible things) use the word ‘Gott’?  But that would be stupid, wouldn’t it?  Just like the argument about Muslims and Allah.

Oh- and in Arabic versions of the Bible, the Hebrew word ‘El’ (God) is translated ‘Allah’.  So should Arabic speaking Christians also stop using ‘Allah’?

People need to get a grip.  Seriously.  Learn a language.

No Matter What Else Happens Today…

This has been a good day!  Here’s why.

Chelsea have sacked manager Jose Mourinho seven months after he led them to the Premier League title. The 52-year-old Portuguese had been in his second spell at the club, taking charge in June 2013.

Chelsea finished eight points clear last season and won the League Cup, but have lost nine of their 16 league games so far and are 16th in the table, one point above the relegation places. Mourinho’s final match was Monday’s 2-1 defeat at leaders Leicester City.

Member of SOTS: An Email Requesting Your Password and Your Response

From our beloved Jonathan S.

Dear SOTS members,

You will likely have received two emails coming from the SOTS website today. This email is not a scam email. The wording is not due to me, but the email is genuine. I have just opened up the members’ part of the website and I would like you to chose your own password for your account and access to the members’ page (where you can find, for example, the minutes of the last business meeting. Reports will also be posted there).

If you have any further issues, please get in touch with me and I’ll help you out.

all the best,

Climate Change or Climate Panic? A Real Issue or A Made Up one For Financial Purposes?

You decide.  Is it hype or is it real?  Should we panic, or are we being fed a load of manure for some ‘unknown’ reason?


The dark reality of infanticide behind Matthew 1:21

From last year, but worth repeating.

Newman Research Centre for the Bible and its Reception

One of the things that provoked discussion at last week’s Advent Seminar concerned a remark made by Leon Morris (1992: 29) that the angel’s instruction that “[Mary] will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus…” (Matt 1:21a) is, in the context of Mary’s predicament, highly significant.

It is important to remember that in pre-industrial societies marriage was not simply an agreement between two individuals, but a contract between two families. In ancient Mediterranean cultures, betrothal would have usually been initiated with a meal at the woman’s parent’s home (M. Pesachim 3:7), this would also be attended by the payment of an indirect dowry (M. Ketubot 5.2); a negotiated payment by the ‘groom’s’ family paid to the betrothed couple. This would have been part of the overall Bride-wealth.


Therefore, Mary’s unexpected pregnancy was not only a violation of sexually appropriate behaviour, but it could have…

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You just want to ask-


Today’s Free Book from Logos for Advent

This is a good one


The ‘Arab Spring’ Is Really A Worldwide Disaster

It is hardly surprising that when Faida Hamdy wonders whether she is responsible for everything that happened after her moment of fame she is overwhelmed.

Mrs Hamdy was the council inspector who, five years ago today confiscated the vegetable stall of a street vendor in her dusty town in central Tunisia. In despair, that young man set himself on fire in a protest outside the council offices. Within weeks, he was dead, dozens of young Arab men had copied him, riots had overthrown his president, and the Arab Spring was under way.

As the world marks the anniversary, Syria and Iraq are in flames, Libya has broken down, and the twin evils of militant terror and repression stalk the region.

5 years of unintended consequences.  With many more to come.