Daily Archives: 19 May 2016

Support AAR/SBL Adjunct Faculty

Sign this newly organized petition.

Contingent faculty within Religious Studies and Theology desperately need the moral and financial support of their leading organizations and members of said organizations. According to the American Association of University Professors’ latest report, within the last forty years “the proportion of the academic labor force holding full-time tenured positions has declined by 26 percent and the share holding full-time tenuretrack positions has declined by an astonishing 50 percent. Conversely, there has been a 62 percent increase in full-time non-tenure-track faculty appointments and a 70 percent increase in part-time instructional faculty appointments.” Adjunct and contingent faculty need their professional organizations to lower conference and membership rates for those in this precarious plight, they need help networking from established members of their field, and they need tenured professors to fight for them.

Katherine Daley is the organizer.



“A few minutes ago, God very graciously called to congratulate me.”


Origenism Anathematized

IF anyone shall say that the life of the spirits (νοῶν) shall be like to the life which was in the beginning while as yet the spirits had not come down or fallen, so that the end and the beginning shall be alike, and that the end shall be the true measure of the beginning: let him be anathema. — “The Anathemas against Origen,” in The Seven Ecumenical Councils (trans. Henry R. Percival; vol. 14; A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series; New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1900).

If anyone says or thinks that the punishment of demons and of impious men is only temporary, and will one day have an end, and that a restoration (ἀποκατάστασις) will take place of demons and of impious men, let him be anathema.

Anathema to Origen and to that Adamantius, who set forth these opinions together with his nefarious and execrable and wicked doctrine, and to whomsoever there is who thinks thus, or defends these opinions, or in any way hereafter at any time shall presume to protect them. — “The Anathematisms of the Emperor Justinian against Origen,” in The Seven Ecumenical Councils (trans. Henry R. Percival; vol. 14; A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series; New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1900).

Amen.  Are you listening, Barth?  Moltmann?  Their ilk?

Did You Know That God Saves Table’s of Content?

Yes, he evidently does!


The Bee Stings the Decontextualizing Text Abusers

Samuel Levenson’s life verse—and only tattoo—is Jeremiah 29:11, and with good reason. Levenson first encountered the biblical promise when his spiritual life was in a lull, his career was in a slump, and he was enduring a harsh and brutal exile in the pagan kingdom of Babylon. His only sustenance during this time of doubt, depression, and being a captive of King Nebuchadnezzar, was the clear promise in Jeremiah Chapter 29 that God had plans laid out for him—plans for a future and hope—despite his people’s obstinate rebelliousness.

“That verse kicked off a shift in my life, and it came when I was at rock bottom,” Levenson told reporters as he showed off the inked inscription of the passage in between his shoulder blades. “I was out of a job and in the middle of a rough patch with my girlfriend. I was struggling with spiritual doubt. And to top it all off, I was captured and carried into captivity by an Ancient Mesopotamian empire.”

“I’ll never, ever forget when I first read those words from Jeremiah,” he said. “I had to have a permanent symbol of the promise they held for me.”

At publishing time, Levenson was sketching a draft of his next tattoo, which will include Exodus 14:14, to commemorate the time he won his high school football district championship shortly after being miraculously saved from Pharaoh’s fast-advancing chariot army on the shores of the Red Sea.

It would be nice if the people who festooned their bodies with verses from the Bible actually knew what they were about.

The Church of Scotland is Thinking About Offering ‘Online Baptisms’

Good grief, how stupid.  It’s like telling someone that if there’s a picture of food on their computer they can eat it.

The Telegraph has reported that the committee said: “As fewer people join up in the traditional sense, questions arise about online membership and even about access to the sacraments while not being physically present in the congregation.” It goes on: “There are no easy answers to some of the questions, but in a world where the fastest growing communities are online, the committee believes that now is the time to open up wide-ranging discussion.”

The idea will be debated by the Kirk next week. “New technology in church life” will be investigated and Norman Smith, vice-convener of the Mission and Discipleship Council said it would be a “grown-up discussion” before any proposals are put forward.  In the USA online baptisms are popular and many can hear services over Skype or over the phone.

Well I live in the USA and I’ve never heard any dimwit suggest that baptism or the Lord’s Supper could be undertaken online.  Only someone without any understanding of the meaning of both could think such disconnected observances meaningful.

One thing, however, is certain: there aren’t enough intelligent theologians in the Church.

What the Blessed St Jerome Said of Origen’s Followers Still Applies…

jerome5Even now the mystery of iniquity worketh, and every one chatters about his views. — St Jerome

There’s nothing new under the sun.  Not even the fact that the wretch Origen has sycophants today as he did in antiquity.

SJOT Reminder

If you are in North America (which includes the United States, Canada, and Mexico) and you’d like to submit an essay or a book review (i.e., have a book in mind you might like to review in the field of Hebrew Bible and we can obtain it for you), drop me an email.


Atheism: An Observation

Atheism is a religion.  To say otherwise is to fail to grasp the meaning of the word religion.

Ferdinand Christian Baur und die Geschichte des frühen Christentums

Ferdinand Christian Baur und die Geschichte des frühen Christentums, Hrsg. v. Martin Bauspieß, Christof Landmesser u. David Lincicum has been sent along from Mohr Siebeck (thanks Sabine!) for review.

6660_00_detailFerdinand Christian Baur (1792–1860) kann als einer der entscheidenden Impulsgeber für die Ausbildung der historisch-kritischen Forschung im 19. Jahrhundert gelten. Sein immenses Werk erstreckt sich über viele Bereiche des Neuen Testaments, der Kirchen- und Dogmengeschichte. Für die heutige Diskussion, in der viele ganz grundsätzliche Fragen im Blick auf die historisch-kritische Methode gestellt werden, lassen sich zahlreiche Anregungen im Werk Baurs finden, dem die Autoren dieses Bandes in Einzeluntersuchungen nachgehen. Der Band bietet sowohl Rekonstruktionen der Einsichten Baurs zu verschiedenen Themen (Synoptiker, Johannes, Paulus, Gnosis, Wunder, Auseinandersetzung mit dem Katholizismus, Geschichtsschreibung, Einleitungsfragen, Theologie des Neuen Testaments, Judentum und Hellenismus) als auch Studien zum Verhältnis Baurs zu David Friedrich Strauß oder zur Philosophie Hegels. Auch der Rezeption Baurs in Deutschland und in England wird nachgegangen. Das Bild des Theologen Baur wird durch eine Studie zu Baurs Bedeutung für die Praktische Theologie abgerundet. Auf diese Weise entsteht ein Bild der theologischen und historischen Konzeption Baurs, das der heutigen Diskussion Vertiefungen bieten kann. Es zeigt sich, dass Baur mit seinem systematisch reflektierten Zugang zur Geschichte des Christentums auch heute noch Anregungen zu geben vermag, selbst wenn viele seiner materialen Ergebnisse als überholt gelten können. Die Rekonstruktion der Konzeption Baurs geschieht deshalb ganz bewusst vor dem Hintergrund gegenwärtiger Problemkonstellationen.

See the link above for the table of contents.  A number of the essays are in English too.  The review, when finished, will be posted here and the post date and time updated.  Stay tuned.

New From Rezetko

Dear colleagues, especially Late Biblical Hebrew aficionados,

Martijn Naaijer and I have just published two pieces in the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures. They relate to the nature of LBH and Avi Hurvitz’s A Concise Lexicon of Late Biblical Hebrew.

direct link: http://www.jhsonline.org/Articles/article_213.pdf

direct link: http://www.jhsonline.org/reviews/reviews_new/review758.htm

We look forward to any resulting discussion or response in email or publication.
All the best,

Robert & Martijn

Where Faith is Absent, Unity is Impossible

Apart from faith, all doctrine and life separate and disunite mankind. The formation of sects is the inevitable result, even though there may be only two persons in a house. — Martin Luther

Total Depravity: ‘Sex Roulette’ Parties

Just when you thought people couldn’t be more senseless or vile or self destructive, along comes a ‘party’ where people know that someone has HIV and nonetheless they participate in orgies…

People are dumb.  And depraved.

The Daily Mirror was the first source to report the recent rise of “sex roulette” parties, massive orgies that the guests participate in with the knowledge that one of the attendees is infected with HIV.  “The wealthy organize these sex parties for other rich people. The real kick for these people is apparently the risk that they might be the one having sex with the HIV-infected partner,” said Tijana, a stripper from Serbia, the alleged birthplace of the sex roulette parties, who allegedly has firsthand knowledge of the parties.

Dumb.  Depraved.