Daily Archives: 1 Jul 2016

Young People, if Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend Urges You to Kill Yourself, DUMP THEM

This is the most wicked teen any of us have ever heard of.


Satan awaits the arrival of Michelle Carter

A teenage Massachusetts girl who sent her boyfriend dozens of text messages encouraging him to take his own life and who allegedly told him to “get back in” a truck filled with carbon monoxide fumes must stand trial for involuntary manslaughter, the state’s highest court ruled Friday.  The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Friday that a grand jury had probable cause to indict Michelle Carter, then 17, in the 2014 death of Carter Roy III, 18.

Carter’s lawyer had argued that her texts were free speech protected by the First Amendment and did not cause Roy to kill himself. But the court, in a strongly worded decision, said the grand jury heard evidence suggesting that Carter engaged in a “systematic campaign of coercion” that targeted Roy’s insecurities and that her instruction to “get back in” his truck in the final moments of his life was a “direct, causal link” to his death.

“In sum, we conclude that there was probable cause to show that the coercive quality of the defendant’s verbal conduct overwhelmed whatever willpower the eighteen year old victim had to cope with his depression, and that but for the defendant’s admonishments, pressure, and instructions, the victim would not have gotten back into the truck and poisoned himself to death,” Justice Robert Cordy wrote for the court in the unanimous, 7-0 ruling.

The case drew national attention after transcripts of text messages Carter sent to Roy were released publicly, showing her urging him to follow through on his plan to kill himself and chastising him when he expressed doubts.  “I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you’re ready, you just need to do it!” Carter wrote in one message.  “You can’t think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t,” she wrote in another message.

Church On Sunday When Sunday Falls on a Holiday Weekend


NT Wright, A Neighborhood Park, And a Frightened Child

wrightEarlier today whilst a small child was walking through the park a meeting of the NT Wright admiration society was meeting and adjourned just as the toddler went past their picnic bench.  The 3 members of the society in attendance along with Prof Wright himself began moving innocently towards their cars when the little girl was suddenly startled by Prof. Wright’s breaking into a light jog (so as to work off his bean burrito from the Taco Bell)  and she herself began to sprint towards her parents weeping uncontrollably.

Reports from the scene insisted that it was a simple misunderstanding between a jogging Wright and a startled child.  In an attempt to make up for the accidental startling, Prof Wright promised to send a signed copy of each of his books to the girl’s home.  The youngster declined, saying ‘I love Jesus’.

The Bee Stings the Condescending Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Bahahahaha.  Boy are his sychopantic worshipers going to lose their barely existent sense of humor now…

Did you know that light is fast? I bet you didn’t know that. Light is very fast. It is faster than your car and definitely faster than your cat or dog. Some people do not know that light is fast, but I do, because I am a scientist.

There are a lot of things we can learn from science. Did you know that the earth is round? It is round, and it is not flat. A lot of religions think the world is flat, but they are wrong. It is round. I know this because I am a scientist.

Scientists sometimes do experiments where we test things. We can even make things go boom. Explosions go boom, and cars go boom if they run into something. Especially if it is at the speed of light (which is very fast).

But if you watch Star Wars and you clap because there are explosions going boom in space, you are not a smart person or a scientist, because explosions do not go boom in space. Did you know that? I bet you didn’t, because you are not a scientist. Space is big.

People who do not do the science are dangerous, because they are not scientists. They do not know things the scientists know.

Remember, rainbows are colorful and the sun is made of gas. Boom. (But not in space.)

The Bee Stings the Buffoonery of Pastoral Vaguery

If you meet Philip Torres, you might be tempted to think of him as a “Christian pastor.” But as Torres told reporters Friday, he is actually not a Christian pastor at all—he is a pastor who happens to be Christian.

“People like to stick labels on me. They like to think of me as a ‘Christian pastor’ because it helps them fit me nicely inside a box of preconceived notions,” he declared. “I’m a Christian, yes. I’m a pastor, yes. But don’t box me in by calling me a ‘Christian pastor.’”

Stressing that he hates having to deal with all the baggage that comes from being branded a “Christian pastor,” Torres expressed confusion at why so many people want to hem him in and limit his identity. “Why don’t people call Stephen Curry a ‘Christian basketball player?’” he asked. “Or Bubba Watson—is he a ‘Christian golfer?’”

When pressed to consider that maybe the source of confusion is that fact that he leads a Christian church, he scoffed and corrected the reporter. “No no, we’re not a Christian church—we’re a church that happens to be Christian.”

It’s funny and stinging because there really are people, and churches, out there who think like that…

Biblical Studies Carnival June 2016

There’s another Carnival? What the heck? When did this start?

Reading Acts

CarnivalKris Lyle has posted the June 2016 Bibliblog Carnival has arrived at Old School Script. Kris has done a great job gathering links in the month of June, including the “kerfuffle over Trinitarian theology amongst evangelicals.” Everyone should find something of interest, go check it out. Click all the links and let Kris know he did a great job.

In other Biblioblog news, Jim West puts the P in pool for his his Avignonian Carnival, this time giving as a “best of” for each day.  Peter Kirby’s Christian Origins is now aggregating biblioblogs and providing a nice digest of links for the week categorized into “Top 20 Biblical Commentary Posts,”  “Top 15 Biblical Criticism Posts” and “Radical Criticism Posts.” The site also indexes comments. Peter has not been blogging much and the top 50 list seems dormant again. Is there anyone out there who wants to re-boot a quarterly top fifty list?

In personal blog news, I started…

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Modern Biblical Scholarship Has Returned to the Speculative Methods of the Middle Ages

Remember when medieval theologians used to debate, endlessly, the speculative question of how many angels could balance on the head of a pin?  In some quarters, that’s where we are again.


What if he were raised a persimmon?  What if he were raised a marijuana addict?  What if he were raised a salmon?  More importantly, what is the goal of such speculation except the cynical hijacking of a biblical character for ideological rather than theological purposes.

I suppose, to make their case more plainly, it will be claimed that Jacob was transgendered.  Or that James was.  Or that Paul was.  Or that Jesus was.  That way, those with a certain, specific, postmodern, self indulgent mindset can claim these folk as ‘one of their own’.  Without so much as a dribble of sensible evidence.

So afraid are many scholars to actually confront the biblical text and deal with it on its own terms (theological terms) that any side road will do; any diversion.  Anything to avoid the text.  Anything at all.

With apologies to all involved in such enterprises (#SorryNotSorry), it’s senseless and silly.

NB- Now we can expect a whole spate of books published by HarperOne and other such Murchochian publishers ‘investigating’ the transgendered nature of just about every person the Bible ever mentions by name.

The ‘Plunge Into the Deep End of the Pool’ Avignonian Carnival of Biblical Studies

water.jpgCome along as we plunge into the deep end of the biblical studies pool every day of the month of June!  The water’s both warm and cool (some would say luke-warm) and you’ll enjoy it.  There’s no scum and the sharks are merely ornamental!

1-Richard Goode is asking people to dive into the middle of the pool and learn a bit of Greek.  He writes This fun and informal 5 day course aims to build confidence with the alphabet and language of the New Testament. The structure of the course assumes no previous knowledge of foreign languages. Those who attended last year’s course may wish to book for the final three days only.  Take the course and then you’ll know you want to take Greek and learn what the New Testament says and not have to rely on an interlinear like a famous Bishop has to…  (let him who has ears, ear) and you’ll one day be able to read this!  οὐκ ἔνι Ἰουδαῖος οὐδὲ Ἕλλην, οὐκ ἔνι δοῦλος οὐδὲ ἐλεύθερος, οὐκ ἔνι ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ· πάντες γὰρ ὑμεῖς εἷς ἐστε ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.

2- Joel Watts posted this observationYou will see bloggers on this forum disagree from time to time. You will disagree with them, from time to time. Yes, we need to issue our own opposing viewpoints. To that end, I do believe we can argue best when we are united on the essentials. As you know, the essentials in my opinion can be found best in the Nicene Creed, although the Apostles’ Creed is acceptable. In other words, we must generally agree in the Trinity. Then, let us discuss our differences.   I disagree.

Isn't all water diet water?

Isn’t all water diet water?

3-  Steve Walton announced the appearance of some evil book.  Know what’s evil?  People announcing books about evil.  That’s what’s evil.  The book is a collection of essays from some evil conference and, looking at the list of contributors, I’d say they’ve absolutely got the evil market cornered.

4-  Here’s a really interesting post about archaeologists who are mothers. Or perhaps, mothers who also happen to be archaeologists.  Doubtless, because of equality, we will next be treated to a post which features archaeologists who are fathers!

5- No one blogged anything today.

6- Ken Starr is raising funds for his legal defense and to do it he’s (no doubt) instructed Baylor University Press to sell grad students.  Might as well, right?  Baylor isn’t using them and even if they keep them they can’t afford to employ them… (NB- the sale is over as this carnival is posted, so you’ll have to wait til the next grad student fire sale….)

7-  Ian Paul debunks another of the flurry of ‘gay claims’ being made these days of various bits of Scripture and theology.  This time the ‘scholar’ suggesting that Jesus healed the centurion’s ‘gay lover’.  Apparently if you want people to think you’re cool and modern you need to gay-ify everything you can.  Even if there’s not an iota of evidence.  Such is the state of the discipline today.


8-No one posted.  Everyone, it seems, was busy discussing the long anathematized topic of universalism on the facebook and the twitter.  I know, right?  Well as they say, those who don’t learn the lessons of history are bound to repeat them.  The same goes for historical theology.  No one reads anything anymore that was published more than a month previously.

9-  The recent book edited by Christoph Heilig et al  title ‘God and the Faithfulness of Paul’ was reviewed on this very fine blog.  What a super review.  Very helpful.

10-  Bibliobloggers were literally so ‘out of office’ that I was forced to search for something, anything, to fill this space.  I found something on Barth.  That’s how tragically desperate I was.  Bibliobloggers must take the month of June off or something.  The wretches.  It’s not even that good a post.  But I’ve already said it was on Barth, so I apologize for being redundant.

11-  Phil Long reviewed a book on the Psalms!  It sounds just awful.  But at least a biblioblogger got off the summer slump couch and did something …. anything ….

12-  Good news!  In the middle (almost) of the month someone posted something (sort of) related to biblical studies!  Glory!  Read the post here (on the pseudepigrapha).

Hey stick that lemon in your water now... Ya nasty thing.

13-  Susan Docherty’s lecture on Exodus has been posted online and you can watch it here.  Thanks very much to Richard *The Lionpawed* Goode for posting it.

14- AD Riddle has journeyed to Egypt and he liked it.  So he describes it.  Everyone should go to Egypt.  Joel should go to Egypt and stay there.  But that’s another issue altogether.

15-  Not, strictly speaking, a Biblical studies themed post but one absolutely brimming over with theological substance- read Rick Brannan’s reflections in the aftermath of the Orlando mass killing.  It’s worth your time.

16-  Karen King’s absurd ‘Jesus Wife’ fragment has been exposed for the fraud it has been all along by a brilliant bit of investigative journalism.  The tale told shows that King was more concerned to ‘prove’ her pet theory about Jesus’s ‘marital status’ than to pursue the truth about a fragment patently fraudulent.   She essentially didn’t care what its provenance was, and says so.  That’s not scholarship.  That’s ideology at work under the cover of an Ivy League academic appointment.

depraved17-  Roberta Mazza has the best follow up post to the Karen King fiasco.  Read it.  And note especially the conclusion-  Now, my fellow academics, ask yourself once again: would you publish a papyrus without solid, documented provenance for a flashy appearance on the media and one more article out?

18-  Numerous bloggers are expressing shock and surprise that a Harvard Prof might have been wrong.  I’ll not link to them, however, because it really is absurd that anyone thought the so called ‘Jesus wife’ fragment was legit in the first place.  Some people like their scholarship the way they like their politics: if someone in their party says it, it’s the truth and everyone else is lying.

jimmys_hot_dogs19-  The bloggers were all out celebrating Father’s Day.  So none posted.  That or they were trying to come up with new and clever ways to make the Jesus Wife fragment worth talking about.  Still.

20-  Jim Davila had a snippet of a post on the Similitudes of Enoch and the New Testament.    Fun times.

21-  Now here’s a good one for you.  I’ll just let you enjoy it fully for yourself.  It’s about Brexit.  And Numbers 32.  By Steiner.  A gifted and thoughtful Catholic biblical scholar.

[A post that isn’t related to the field of Biblical studies but which you should read anyway is by Joel Watts and is on guns.]

22-  Father’s in the Bible.  A worthwhile read.  And it might surprise you.  The only shortcoming is the avoidance of the fatherly advice of the Proverbist.  There we find, certainly, the sort of guidance Fathers should be known for but presently are not.

23-  Larry Hurtado does a bit of interaction with an essay in JBL on the dating of P75.  Larry makes some interesting remarks.  It’s the deep end of textual criticism.  Dive on in.

womenAnd, on another topic, there’s a pretty interesting post titled ‘The Silence of Our Friends‘ by a lady person who thinks that the voices of women should be taken more seriously and engaged with more widely.  I happen to agree.  Gender has no bearing on the sharing of ideas.

24-  The Brits voted to leave the EU.  And some of the ETS sorts continued to debate trinitarian questions which were debated and resolved centuries ago.  Both events proving two things: 1) people don’t learn from history; and 2) people do weird and unnecessary things when they don’t learn from history.

25-  First, and most importantly for me, today is the 33rd anniversary of my marriage to my lovely bride.  Happy Anniversary, Doris.  (Can you believe how blessed she is?)

Also, Helen Ingram posted a response to the response to #Brexit.  It’s very much worth reading.  It contains authentically brilliant gems like this:

For some time now I have worried that we are raising a generation of special snowflakes who do not know how to accept defeat. Every single kid in a class wins a prize at sports day, they all get a shot at going to university and they’re all going to win the X Factor and get a multi-million pound record deal. My neighbour has a son who regularly wins trophies at his football club, even though he can barely kick a ball. Another friend has a daughter who brings home trophies from dance class every week, even though she’s the most ungraceful, unwieldy child I’ve ever met. Losing is hard for the younger generation because they’re not prepared for it and we’ve taught them that they will always get a reward no matter the outcome. To make matters worse, many have realised that if they shout and scream then they can get their own way and so, rather than deal with childhood tantrums, we’ve pandered to them and encouraged them into early adulthood as a type of behaviour that produces results.

Frank Emanuel (happy now, Frank?)

I include it here because it does have bearing on biblical studies because it has bearing on biblical scholars.

26-  Jim Davila posted a call for papers for a Septuagint conference.  The Septuagint is fun.  And it’s the Bible of the early Church.  That’s why you should own a Septuagint.  And read it.  You’ll never get very deep in the pool if you don’t.

27-  Well look who is on the twitter!  I never thought I’d see the day.  Surely a person biblical scholars, and text critics especially, will want to follow.

boredAnd, finally, finally, finally, RR finished his 499 part review of a book the title of which I do not even now remember any longer.  It’s about Jesus- because that’s the only thing the blog on which it appears ever discusses.  But other than that, you’re on your own to figure out where it came from and where it ended up.

28-  The best analysis of the nonsense foisted on the public by Harvard Theological Review and Karen King appeared at the end of the month in a most unlikely, but utterly dependable source. ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ my eye.

sots29-  We were reminded by Mat Collins of the early stages of the establishment of the Society for Old Testament Study.  It’s a neat little statement of fact.

30-  Great news at the end of the month!  Really super great news!!!!!  George Athas avoided posting ANYTHING AT ALL the entire month of June!  #Glory!  What does this mean?  It means not a single solitary biblical scholar from the Southern Hemisphere blogged in June, leaving world domination, justifiably, to we northerners!  Long may the North Rule.

We hope you enjoyed yourself!  Towel off now and get back to work!  Visit the official carnival (wherever it is.  I don’t know because I don’t really care.  Unless it’s by George Athas, in which case, disregard the final entry for the month.)

See you next month!