Daily Archives: 2 Sep 2016

Meanwhile, Down at the Pub During #BNTC2016…


Mel Gibson is Doing A Sequel to the Passion…

So the Telegraph reports.

Mel Gibson has confirmed he’s working on a follow-up to The Passion of the Christ.

Putting in a surprise appearance at the SoCal Harvest evangelical event in Anaheim, California, on Sunday evening, Gibson told host Greg Laurie that the work on the sequel was in the early stages.


The Bee Stings The Silly Angry Atheists Maher and Dawkins


Television host Bill Maher gathered with famous atheist Richard Dawkins for a web-exclusive episode of Real Time with Bill Maher Friday to discuss the recent, devastating floods in Louisiana, spending much of their time together detailing the immense destruction and blasting the selfless, life-saving relief carried out by the myriad Christian churches in the area.

These churches, their assistance was absolutely crucial in saving lives—probably lots of lives—which just goes to show you the incredible selfishness of these people, and the depth of their delusions,” an indignant Maher stated. “Like, wow, really? Gathering boats and volunteers and evacuating scores of people from their submerged cars and houses? Opening your churches and homes to victims you don’t even know in the midst of catastrophic flooding in which thousands and thousands of people lost everything they owned? Why, because your magic tyrant in the clouds told you to? Pathetic.”

The Bee Stings The Mindlessness of the ‘Celebrity Pastor’

Life Journey Bible College & Seminary, known for its readily attainable degrees in practical theology and missional outreach, announced its latest degree offering Friday morning: celebrity pastoring.

Seminarians wishing to attain a bachelor’s degree in being a wildly celebrated public figure within Christian culture will be asked to tackle a heavy course load packed with classes like “Shifting The Blame For Your Public Scandals To Others,” “Turning Your Forgettable Quotes Into Image Macros,” and “Finding The Right Ghostwriter.”

Those who pursue advanced level classes will find themselves training under the instruction of some of the most adored celebrity pastors today, with high-level courses like “Emanating An Aura Of Perfection,” “Ignoring Healthy Criticism,” “Advanced Elder Board Manipulation,” and “Count The Cost: Preparing For Your Eventual Fall From Grace.”

“We’re excited to offer this new, unique approach to training up-and-coming celebrity pastors,” school Dean Crane Harrington said in a YouTube video announcing the new set of classes. “For too long, Christian educators have ignored the massive opportunity we have to shape the next generation of famous, superstar pastors—but no longer.”

Pending a positive response to this new offering, Harrington confirmed that Life Journey is planning to offer a similar degree in being a rock-star worship leader, tentatively scheduled for next school year.

It sounds like a course that Harvard and Yale will offer before long.  Because, you know, for their coolness…

Rich White Rapist Gets 6 Months, Serves 3


Three months after he received a lenient punishment for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman at Stanford University, Brock Turner left the Santa Clara County Main Jail on Friday morning, having served half of a six-month sentence that drew a furious public response.

Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky was widely criticized for levying a six-month jail sentence rather than the six-year prison term prosecutors had sought. And the judge’s comments that day — he said of Turner, “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him. I think he will not be a danger to others.” — fueled talk of race and privilege both in America’s criminal justice system and on its college campuses.

Persky, who’s a Stanford graduate, was later removed from a new and unrelated sexual assault case; last week, his request to be reassigned to civil court was granted.

America deserves a Donald Trump presidency.  I think I’ll vote for Trump to hasten the inevitable.  Just tear the bandage off all at once, as it were.  Justice in America is well and truly dead.

Signs of the Times: Kaepernick v. Yemen

Americans are more concerned about an NFL multimillionaire sitting during a song than they are about the tens of thousands of Yemenis being killed by Saudi airstrikes.  There’s more faux outrage in this country than there is an honest desire for justice.

But hey, priorities, right America?


Calvinus Pastor Ecclesiae: Papers of the Eleventh International Congress on Calvin Research

9783525552025Just published.

The publisher has sent a review copy although I have to admit right up front that I was present in Zurich at the meeting where and when these papers were presented two years ago and remember most of them quite vividly.  There’s just something about Zurich that’s conducive to great learning.

Below you’ll find the table of contents.  In the coming weeks I’ll offer my viewpoint on the collection although, again, having heard the vast majority of the papers when they were delivered I can go ahead and inform you that the whole is very much worth reading and digesting.  There are some great papers here: notably those by Selderhuis, Mock, Opitz, McKee and Hildebrand along with Ilic.  Tolle, lege my friends!

More anon.





Die Septuaginta – Orte und Intentionen

9685_00_detailDie Septuaginta ist als jüdische Bibelübersetzung ab dem 3. Jahrhundert v.Chr. entstanden und wurde zur zentralen Grundlage des Judentums in der griechisch-sprachigen Welt. Textgeschichtlich ist sie für das Alte Testament die wichtigste Quelle neben dem hebräisch-masoretischen Text und den nur sehr unvollständig erhaltenen biblischen Texten aus Qumran. Zudem gibt sie Einblick in die Theologie und das Schriftverständnis des antiken Judentums. Neutestamentliche Autoren zitieren das Alte Testament häufig in Gestalt der Septuaginta; in den orthodoxen Kirchen gilt sie bis heute als offizieller Text des Alten Testaments

Die Septuaginta-Forschung bildet einen eigenständigen Bereich, der im Schnittfeld steht mit antiker Judaistik und den historisch-exegetisch orientierten Wissenschaften innerhalb der Theologie. Der vorliegende Band ist erwachsen aus der 5. Internationalen Tagung des Projektes Septuaginta Deutsch im Juli 2014 in Wuppertal.

All the details of the volume can be discovered here.  Mohr provided a review copy in mid July without any expectation that it be reviewed in either a positive or a negative way.  The volume is quite massive, and is made up of all the following essays:

Kontexte und Orte der Entstehung und Rezeption
Martin Karrer: Septuaginta und antike Philosophie – Knut Usener: Plutarch und das Judentum – Plutarch und die Septuaginta? – Johann Cook: The Provenience of the Septuagint: A Case Study of LXX Proverbs; LXX Job and 4 Maccabees – Michael Lattke: Die Psalmen Salomos: Orte und Intentionen – Marcus Sigismund: Die ägyptische Rezension des JosuaLXX im Lichte der sahidischen Überlieferung – Bonifatia Gesche: Von Nordafrika über Paris nach Stuttgart: Wie kommt die verderbte Fassung der Übersetzung von Esdras A’ in die Vulgata? – Siegfried Kreuzer: Zum textgeschichtlichen Ort der Dodekapropheton-Zitate im Neuen Testament

Reale und literarische Welten
Gert Jacobus Steyn: Heliopolis and On in the Septuagint – James K. Aitken: Moses’s θίβις – Michaël N. van der Meer: Galilee in the Septuagint. Textual Criticism and Topography in Joshua 19:10–39 –Frank Ueberschaer: Die Welt des Ben Sira. Orte und Räume im Denken Ben Siras – Martin Rösel: Die himmlische Welt der Septuaginta. Angelologische Akzentuierungen am Beispiel des Danielbuches –Jutta Leonhardt-Balzer: Philo and the Garden of Eden: An Exegete, his Text and his Tools – Martin Meiser: Der Traum in der griechisch-römischen Antike, im antiken Judentum und im antiken Christentum

Textkritik und Textgeschichte
Emanuel Tov: The Shared Tradition of the Septuagint and the Samaritan Pentateuch – Innocent Himbaza: What are the consequences if 4QLXXLeva contains earliest formulation of the Septuagint? – Tuukka Kauhanen: Septuagint in the West. The Significance of the Post-Lucianic Latin Witnesses for the Textual History of Kings – Adrian Schenker: Archetype and Late Literary Developments in 2 Kings 1:17–18 and 8:16. Recensions in the Masoretic Text and in the Old Greek – Felix Albrecht: Die alexandrinische Überlieferung und die Rezension des Hesych von Alexandrien in den Prophetenbüchern der Septuaginta – Claudine Cavallier: Esther 1, 13–20: problèmes textuels –Robert V.J. Hiebert: A New Critical Edition of Greek IV Maccabees – Michael Segal: The Old Greek Version and Masoretic Text of Daniel 6 – Wolfgang Schütte: Die Exegese der griechischen Textgraphik und der Codex Venetus – Stefan Mulder: ‘A conquering of animals’: Symmachus’ depoliticising translation re-examined

Theo A.W. van der Louw: Did the LXX Translators Really Intend the Greek Text as it is? – Takamitsu Muraoka: Septuagint Greek: a Syntactical perspective – Marieke Dhont: Double Translations in Old Greek Job – Eberhard Bons: Ἀκακία and ἄκακος. Considerations on a Septuagint term for »innocence” – Christoph Kugelmeier: Zu einer besonderen Bedeutung der aus ἀρε- abgeleiteten Wortgruppe –Hong-Joon Kim: Zur Relevanz der Wiedergabe von צדקה mit ἔλεος/ἐλεημοσύνη

Martina Kepper: Kontextualisierende Übersetzungspraxis in der Genesis-Septuaginta? – William Loader: Attitudes towards Sexuality in the LXX Translations of Contentious Texts – Larry Perkins:Israel’s Military Characterization in Greek Exodus – Ralph Brucker: Zum ‚Sitz im Leben‘ des Septuaginta-Psalters – Annette Weißenrieder: Body Discourse in Job: Translation of Skin and Flesh from ﬠוֹר-בָּשָׂר into δέρμα, βύρσα or σάρξ – Heinz-Josef Fabry: Sühnevorstellungen bei Jesus Sirach –Burkard M. Zapff: Schriftgelehrte Rezeptionen im hebräischen, griechischen und syrischen Sirach –Cécile Dogniez: Volonté et motif: les intentions du traducteur des Douze Petits Prophètes – Daniela Scialabba: The LXX translation of Jonah 1:6. Text-critical and exegetical considerations – Arie van der Kooij: »Do you understand what you are reading” (Acts 8:30). On Septuagint Hermeneutics and the Book of Isaiah – Jelle Verburg: Harmonisation in Isaiah 35 – Johanna Erzberger: Nebuchadnezzar, Lord of the Wild Animals: Understanding a Difference Between JerLXX and JerMT in Light of Dan – Jan Joosten: The Origin of the Septuagint Canon

Barbara Schmitz: »… using different names, as Zeus and Dis” (Arist 16). Concepts of »God” in the Letter of Aristeas – Mogens Müller: Motive der Septuaginta bei Aristobul und ihre Intention –Wolfgang Kraus: Zur Frage der Ursprünglichkeit und Rezeption von Bar 3,38 – Jonathan Draper: The Old Testament in the Didache and in Subsequent Church Orders – Silke Diederich: Leiden und Loben. Zur Psalmenrezeption in Dracontius De laudibus Deei – Stefan Freund: Die Psalmen als übersetzte Dichtung in der Wahrnehmung des Hilarius von Poitiers – Meike Rühl: Pia festa litterarum. Eine Fallstudie zur christlichen Transformation römischer Conviviallyrik – Christoph Schubert: Poetische Transformationen: Commodian und der Psalter – Egert Pöhlmann: Der Trinitarische Hymnus (POXY 1786) und sein Umfeld

Needless to say, such an extensive collection of conference papers accomplishes a great deal.  The contributors are some of the best known Septuagintalists in the world and alongside their work the work of other specialists which when combined result in what is nothing less than an encyclopedia of Septuagint Studies.

Several of the essays stand out as particularly noteworthy.  These are

  • Siegfried Kreuzer: Zum textgeschichtlichen Ort der Dodekapropheton-Zitate im Neuen Testament;
  • James K. Aitken: Moses’s θίβις;
  • Adrian Schenker: Archetype and Late Literary Developments in 2 Kings 1:17–18 and 8:16. Recensions in the Masoretic Text and in the Old Greek
  • Frank Ueberschaer: Die Welt des Ben Sira. Orte und Räume im Denken Ben Siras;
  • Hong-Joon Kim: Zur Relevanz der Wiedergabe von צדקה mit ἔλεος/ἐλεημοσύνη; and finally
  • Arie van der Kooij: »Do you understand what you are reading” (Acts 8:30). On Septuagint Hermeneutics and the Book of Isaiah.

Each of these is a spectacular example of the skills with which these interpreters approached their topic and their ability to help we readers come to a fuller grasp of the issues and their possible resolutions.  What the volume as a whole offers readers is a better understanding of the LXX and the issues associated with its study.

Allow me to provide an example, just one, to illustrate the above claim of spectacularism:

In his essay Schenker investigates the Masoretic version of 2 Kings 1:17-18 and the Old Greek version.  Working through all the relevant technical issues such as the ‘most original’ form of the Old Greek version and then comparing the Old Greek to the Masoretic rendering, Schenker arrives at the core of his task- which is the ‘original’.  This has implications, he asserts, for the history of this present passage as well as the larger issue of the textual history of Samuel/ Kings in general.

Schenker’s essay is a model of proper procedure and meticulous methodology.  He draws 9 conclusions from his research each point of which is carefully stated and each very much right on point.  In his 9th conclusion he remarks that there seems to be…

… a genealogical relationship between an archtype which gave raise [sic!  clearly ‘rise’ is meant] to two different developments reflected in M and G.  These developments may rightly be called recensions because they imply two new large-scale chronological and dynastic-genealogical systems and at the same time they stem from a common textual archetype (p. 335).

It is rather expensive, however and consequently will be more likely to be found at your research library rather than on the shelves of poor grad students.  Nonetheless, research libraries could hardly make a better investment in their patrons’ educations than in adding this work to their collections.  It is certainly a volume that will be consulted by specialists and referenced in future work.

How might New Testament Studies flourish in the next generation?

Meanwhile, at #BNTC2016, In a Session On Revelation…