The Bee Stings the Pentebabbleist Pseudoprophets

As the long summer stretch gets underway, local prophet-evangelist-apostle-healer David Bakker’s accurate prophecy average (APA) is hovering just above .300, edging out all other prophesiers to take the lead within the charismatic movement.

Going into Sunday’s prayer and healing service, Bakker was sitting at a still-respectable .292 average, but he had a strong showing at the service to overtake two other apostle-healers and take the number-one spot. According to several in attendance, Bakker stepped up to the microphone and prophesied boldly that a local woman was having some kind of trouble in her life, which turned out to be true, setting the tone for an impressive showing.

But trouble brewed in the second hour of the meeting, as Bakker got up to prophesy that Jesus would return before he finished his sentence, but was immediately proven wrong. “I got a little too excited and swung for the fences,” Bakker said in a post-service interview. “Once in a while you just want to let one rip, you know?”

Etc. hilarity.

Eckart Otto’s Work on Deuteronomy Continues

deuteronomiumThe latest installment is coming out in August

Dieser Kommentar vereinigt erstmals in der Geschichte der Auslegung des Deuteronomiumbuches diachrone und synchrone Auslegung. Diachron wird gezeigt, dass das Buch am Anfang der Literaturgeschichte der Tora der Mosebücher im 7. Jh. v. Chr. steht, und synchron, dass es Schlussstein der Tora der Mosebücher ist. Im Zentrum der Kommentierung der Kapitel 12–26 steht die Einordnung der Gebote des Deuteronomiums in die biblische und altorientalische Rechts- und Religionsgeschichte. Die Kommentierung des nachexilischen Rahmens in Deuteronomium 27–34 zeigt Mose als Erzpropheten, der nach der Katastrophe der Exilszeit die Vollendung der Geschichte ankündigt.

In the forward he remarks

Zusammen mit den literatur- und religionshistorischen Fragestellungen, die diesen Kommentar im Dialog mit der neueren Pentateuchforschung jenseits der Urkundenhypothesen des 20. Jahrhunderts leiten, wirft der Text des Deuteronomiums rechtshistorische Fragen auf, die nach Antworten im Zuge der Kommentierung verlangen. Dazu werden die Gebote des Deuteronomiums in das Geflecht der Rechtsrevisionen durch auslegende Fortschreibung zwischen Bundesbuch, Deuteronomium und Heiligkeitsgesetz eingeordnet und ihr rechtshistorisches Profil nachgezeichnet.

Otto’s work is really reliable.  I would imagine that many OT scholars will want to give it a read.

The Ethical Imperative in Higher Ed

Having watched for decades talented thinkers being recruited by religion and biblical studies departments only to watch those talented scholars end up being baristas or bank clerks, I’ve come up with a plan.

1- Departments should only accept as many students as they can promise jobs through retirement or reassignment.

2- Departments should encourage their brightest students to pursue employment in the church.

3- Departments should cease  promising the moon and delivering a moon pie.  

It is, in my view, unethical and immoral to pretend that there will be employment for graduate students in the academy when such jobs are rare and applicants are legion.  It’s like telling a barely talented highschool ball player that he will play in the NFL.  The truth is, he’s more likely to be killed by an elephant.  Those are, it seems, the same odds as earning a PhD in Bible and teaching at a college or University.

Doctoral students used to put their learning to use in the church and only rarely seek employment in the training of ministers.  That is the model to which we must return.  For the sake of the church, the academy, and our brightest.

A Resource for Students of the Hebrew Bible

This is super cool.

What is SHEBANQ?

System for HEBrew Text: ANnotations for Queries and Markup

This is a system for the study of the Hebrew Bible, produced by the ETCBC in cooperation with theGerman Bible Society and the Netherlands Bible Society.

It is powered by the ETCBC database, formerly known as WIVU which facilitates powerful syntactical queries. SHEBANQ lets you develop and share those queries with fellow researchers. Scholarly editions of the Bible usually dedicate space to a critical apparatus and various kinds of annotations. SHEBANQ introduces the idea of annotating the text with queries. They show up next to the text pages where the results are. By sharing your queries with others, you may find what you did not search for. Of course you can also add ordinary annotations!

Go ahead, check it out.  I’m adding it to the useful sites list on the sidebar.  Because I’ll be back.  A lot.

The Philistine Cemetery

It’s all over the news.  The best report so far is by the BBC.

The discovery, made in 2013 and finally revealed on Sunday, may yield answers to an enduring mystery surrounding the origins of the Philistines.  It comes at the end of a 30-year excavation by the Leon Levy Expedition.  Expedition leaders say they discovered 145 sets of remains in several burial rooms, some surrounded by perfume, food, jewellery and weapons.  The remains date to between the 11th and the 8th centuries BC.

Etc.  Enjoy.

Today in Church History: The Tetrapolitan Confession

The Tetrapolitan Confession, also called the Strassburg and the Swabian Confession, is the oldest confession of the Reformed Church in Germany, and represented the faith of four imperial cities, Strassburg, Constance, Memmingen, and Lindau, which at that time sympathized with Zwingli and the Swiss, rather than Luther, on the doctrine of the sacraments.

It was prepared in great haste, during the sessions of the Diet of Augsburg, by Bucer, with the aid of Capito and Hedio, in the name of those four cities (hence the name) which were excluded by the Lutherans from their political and theological conferences, and from the Protestant League. They would greatly have preferred to unite with them, and to sign the Augsburg Confession, with the exception of the tenth article on the eucharist, but were forbidden. The Landgrave Philip of Hesse was the only one who, from a broad, statesmanlike view of the critical situation, favored a solid union of the Protestants against the common foe, but in vain.

Hence, after the Lutherans had presented their Confession June 25, and Zwingli his own July 8, the four cities handed theirs, July 11, to the Emperor in German and Latin. It was received very ungraciously, and not allowed to be read before the Diet; but a confutation full of misrepresentations was prepared by Faber, Eck, and Cochlaeus, and read Oct. 24 (or 17). The Strassburg divines were not even favored with a copy of this confutation, but procured one secretly, and answered it by a “Vindication and Defense” in the autumn of 1531.*

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*Philip Schaff and David Schley Schaff, History of the Christian Church (vol. 7; New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910), 719–720.