Daily Archives: 9 Sep 2016

More of those Inconvenient Words of Jesus

“To what will I compare this generation? It is like a child sitting in the marketplaces calling out to others, ‘We played the flute for you and you didn’t dance. We sang a funeral song and you didn’t mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’  Yet the Human One came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved to be right by her works.”

Then he began to scold the cities where he had done his greatest miracles because they didn’t change their hearts and lives.”How terrible it will be for you, Chorazin! How terrible it will be for you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done among you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have changed their hearts and lives and put on funeral clothes and ashes a long time ago.

But I say to you that Tyre and Sidon will be better off on Judgment Day than you. And you, Capernaum, will you be honored by being raised up to heaven? No, you will be thrown down to the place of the dead. After all, if the miracles that were done among you had been done in Sodom, it would still be here today.  But I say to you that it will be better for the land of Sodom on the Judgment Day than it will be for you.”(Matt. 11:16-24)

It’s Friday- Get the Commentary

The ‘Person in the Pew’ commentary series is now complete.  It is the only series of Commentaries written by a single person on the entire Bible and aimed at layfolk in modern history.

the-person-the-pew-commentary-series

The books can be obtained by the usual route.  Or, you can just buy the PDF’s from yours truly for a paltry $199 by clicking my PayPal Link.  It’s that simple. The Commentary is comprised of 42 individual volumes and all together are available in electronic format for $199.

But not everyone is interested in every book of the Bible so after having received a number of requests for individual volumes in the series I’ve decided to offer any single volume for $5. If you bought each volume individually it would cost $210 for the entire series in electronic form at $5 each, so it still makes sense to buy the whole. But I’m happy to send each volume individually for those who prefer it. Just paypal me $5 and tell me which you wish. If you want two or three simply multiply each volume by $5. And please remember, volumes are for your personal use only.

‘His life is a vacuum of principle’ – The NYT on Donald Trump

In an essay which demonstrates utter and complete familiarity with Trump, the author notes, among other things,

Melania Trump says that her husband “is intensely loyal … he will never let you down.” Then again, she’s his third wife. His first was Ivana Trump, and he then began a dalliance with Marla Maples, culminating in a dramatic made-for-the-tabloids confrontation between the two women while they were all skiing in Aspen. The resulting divorce negotiations were bitter, with Ivana alleging in a deposition that Trump had raped her; she later backed off that. Trump then married Maples. She in turn gave way to Melania, who may well have arrived in the States illegally (Melania Trump denies this but hasn’t furnished a convincing explanation for her immigration)…

And concludes

So what does all this add up to? Whether in his youth, in his business career or in his personal life, Trump’s story is that of a shallow egoist who uses those around him. Even as a child, he personified privilege and entitlement. In business, he proved a genius at marketing himself but grew his fortune more slowly than if he had put his wealth in a stock index fund. He made a mess of his personal life and has been repeatedly accused of racism, of cheating people, of lying, of stiffing charities.

His life is a vacuum of principle, and he never seems to have stood up for anything larger than himself. Over seven decades, there’s one continuous theme to his life story: This is a narcissist who has no core. The lights are on, but no one’s home.

For me, the fact that so many Christians are so filled with hatred for Hillary that they will vote for and support a person like Trump provokes nothing but sorrow for the state of their Christian commitment.  I am constantly forced to ask myself- how is it possible for a Christian to vote for Trump?  How?

The Huqoq Elephant Mosaic

Jodi Mageness sends along this happy news-

The Huqoq elephant mosaic has now been published online by National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/09/mysterious-mosaic-alexander-the-great-israel/

It’s a fantastic and finely illustrated write up!

Some People Need to Learn to Distinguish Between the Words of Jesus and the Words of His Interpreters

Like Leithart who, without justification or reason, has read John’s rendition of the prayer of Jesus in Chapter 17 of his Gospel as a roadmap of Jesus himself for the future of his Church.

Some ‘theologians’ are genuinely awful at biblical scholarship and vice versa.  This is the primary failing of academic theology today: the severing of biblical and theological learning.

At any rate, one needn’t even read the volume to know Leithart is wrong, for two reasons:

  • It’s by Leithart.
  • It suggests a priori an unsubstantiated notion about the Historical Jesus that cannot be sustained by research.

So here’s something else I won’t be reading.

ick

What Do Julian the Apostate and Donald Trump Have in Common?

The first was crowned by flying demons and the second, if elected, will be also.

julian

Zwingliana Reviewed

I got the latest issue of the 16th Century Journal today and among its many interesting offerings there was this review of the greatest of all the historical journals-

Sarah Bond, on the History of Christians and Tattoos

You won’t want to miss this essay in Forbes by our own Sarah Bond-

Whether the medieval Picts or Mike Tyson, the body has always served as a public canvas. Upon it, identities are advertised–ones chosen for us and ones of our choosing. In Roman antiquity, slaves who fled from their masters could be forcibly branded or tattooed on their foreheads if recaptured and returned, as were some criminals sentenced to the mines. These facial marks visualized their crimes to others and were incredibly difficult to cover up. Alternately, many medieval pilgrims visiting the Holy Land on pilgrimage chose to adorn their bodies with tattoos–and still do today.

The use of tattoos in order to identify with a certain religious sect has been used for millenia, yet many myths and misconceptions persist surrounding faith-inspired ink.

Go read it all.  You’ll be happy you have.

The Good Old Days…

Weren’t really all that good to be quite honest-

ryff

Let’s face it- if some dude is getting his leg hacked off I’m not standing next to him patting him on the head in an attempt to comfort him like the goodly priest above is doing.  Nope.  You get your leg sawn off, buddy, you are just on your own.  I’ll be down at the Starbucks getting a latte.

Teach Greek at Roehampton

Via BNTS-

NT Greek – URGENT

The University of Roehampton is looking for a suitably qualified Visiting Lecturer to teach introductory NT Greek, starting in October. Other NT modules are required in the New Year.  Level 4, Introduction to NT Greek (Autumn and Spring term, Tues 2-3.30pm, starting 4th Oct 2016, finishing 28th Mar 2017 except half terms, 30 hrs contact over 20 weeks).

Others: In the Spring term, there are other NT modules available on individual NT texts (Levels 5 & 6, 30 hrs contact over 10 weeks), and an MA module called Approaches to Biblical Studies (25 hrs contact over 10 weeks). Further details available on request.  Remuneration is £45 x contact hours and covers teaching, marking and occasional academic boards where the module needs to be discussed.  Anyone interested in any of the above should contact Dr. A. Rogers at (andrew.rogers@roehampton.ac.uk).

The End of #IOSOT2016

Closing words of Johann Cook, president of the very well organized #IOSOT2016 congress at @StellenboschUni.
iosot