Daily Archives: 10 Oct 2016

What To Do if a ‘Poll Observer’ Attempts to Hinder Your Voting


More Unprovenanced, and Probably Fake ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ Heading to the ‘Museum of the Bible’

The 25 newly published scroll fragments were purchased by two separate collectors.

Between 2009 and 2014, Steve Green, the owner of Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts stores, purchased 13 of the fragments, which he has donated, along with thousands of other artifacts, to the Museum of the Bible. Green is helping to fund construction of the museum, scheduled to open in Washington, D.C., next fall. (A fly-through of the museum can be seen on YouTube).

A team of scholars has published details of these donated fragments in the book volume “Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments in the Museum Collection” (Brill, 2016).

The provenance of this batch of scrolls is not certain.

“Some of these fragments must have come from Qumran, probably Cave 4, while the others may have derived from other sites in the Judean Desert,” wrote Emanuel Tov, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in the book volume. “Unfortunately, little is known about the provenance of these fragments because most sellers did not provide such information at the time of the sale.”

Antiquities dealer William Kando told Live Science that he doesn’t know where the donated fragments originated.

Scientists are conducting tests on the donated fragments to help determine if any are forgeries, said Michael Holmes, executive director of the Museum of the Bible Scholars Initiative, in a statement sent to Live Science.

The results will be combined with an analysis of the writing to help determine what the chances are of the different fragments being forgeries.

“The results will be incorporated in our future museum exhibits, inviting visitors to grasp and engage with issues involved with assessing authenticity,” Holmes said.

And more.  With thanks to the wondrous Roberta Mazza for the HT.  Some day… one day… unprovenanced stuff will be treated with the suspicion it deserves.  Right Karen King?

“God is Our Refuge…”

It’s fair to say that we live in terribly divisive times.  Families and friends are literally at one another’s throats because of the incredible political divides which festoon the national landscape with ever more hostility, acrimony, and ill will.

People feel very strongly about their cherished political perspectives.  Nevertheless as believers in Christ it is utterly indispensable that we step back a pace or two and remember what Scripture teaches us about hope and the future and trust and peace.  Psalm 46 declares

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God will help her right early. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has wrought desolations in the earth.  He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear, he burns the chariots with fire! “Be still, and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth!”  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

The Psalm falls naturally into three main divisions, each concluded with the Hebrew word ‘Selah’ which means something like ‘pause, consider’ or in our parlance, ‘stop and think about this’.

Section one invites us to abandon fear- given that God is eternally the same and eternally loving.  Section two invites us to find our refuge in God who is never moved by the tides of time or change.  And the third section encourages us to restful trust.

What message is needed right now more than this text’s word?  Three times the passage reminds us that God is our refuge- our place of security and safety.  No politician of any political persuasion can say that truthfully.  Trust God, and rest in him.  You’ll be better off.  And you may even avoid coming to hate your friends.

The Bee Stings the ‘Theology, What’s That’ Herd

The results of a joint study by LifeWay Research and Ligonier Ministries are in, and it turns out that over 87% of self-described evangelicals in America believe the term “theology” to refer to some kind of sinister virus, deadly disease, or debilitating condition.

“I hear old people talk about theology sometimes, so I figure it’s like arthritis or dementia or something,” a 27-year-old participant residing in Portland told reporters. “Ugh, I hope I never develop the theologies. It sounds awful.”

“Theology? Yeah, I think I gave a couple bucks to a guy outside Safeway who was raising money to end world theology,” a 42-year-old man in Stockton, California said. “I fully support the cause. I wouldn’t wish a case of theology upon my worst enemy.”

A mother in New York City even reportedly claimed she had taken her kids in to get their theology vaccine before the cold winter months kick in.

While the vast majority of Christians were confident that they had heard the term “theology” defined as some sort of epidemic, other definitions that registered on the LifeWay poll included “a constellation,” “one of those Swedish metal bands,” “the final boss in Metal Gear Solid,” and “a rare variety of kumquat.”

Although many are mourning the results of LifeWay’s poll as the state of theology in America continues to deteriorate, the encouraging results of one poll question suggest that just over half of Christians can now spell “Bible” correctly, and even identify the book when placed on the table in front of them.

Those Bee people know what’s going on in society- there can be no doubt about it.

Pat Robertson is Insaner Than You Thought

The Cambridge Greek Lexicon

Thanks Will, this looks fantastic.

Septuaginta &c.

The study of the Old Testament entails studying its ancient versions. That is, study of those translations that were made of the Hebrew Bible into other languages, such as Syrac, Latin, and of course Greek. These furnish our earliest and therefore most significant witnesses to the text of the Hebrew Bible, and provide objects of fruitful inquiry in and of themselves. It is the latter of these translations, known commonly as the Septuagint, that is of course the focus of this blog.

The Importance of the Lexicon

Anyone involved in detailed research in the Septuagint knows how important high-quality Greek lexicons are. If we wish to study the Greek translations of the Old Testament and – through this – better understand the Hebrew text and Jewish culture around the turn of the era, a fundamental resource is a Greek lexicon. However, Greek lexicography is beset with its own methodological quandaries and a…

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The Best Editorial to Date By a Christian, for Christians, Concerning Support for Donald Trump

As an evangelical and member of the Global Advisory Board of Christian Post’s parent company, I was heartbroken to read CP’s recent editorial telling evangelicals that we have a moral obligation to vote and must vote for either Donald Trump or a protest candidate.

I see three options for evangelicals in this election and none of them include voting for Trump. Evangelicals can morally justify a protest vote for a third party, not vote at all, or join the 30%+ of evangelicals saying they’ll vote for Hillary Clinton.

What we cannot do is to cast our vote for Donald Trump. The harm to the Christian witness if we support this man who embodies everything Christ warned Christians against in the Sermon on the Mount would last generations.

What will our Latino brothers and sisters think of us? How could we ever again have credibility on religious freedom if we are willing to trade the First Amendment rights of our Muslim American neighbors so easily? And what will our children learn when they see us cast our lot with this man?

We cannot be deceived about the man we’d be voting to make the most powerful man in the world.

Trump has said he will order U.S. soldiers to kill innocent women and children of our enemies and do “the unthinkable” when it comes to torture—all in violation of international law and Christian morality.

Trump said he has never asked God for forgiveness and does not need to.

Trump is a thrice-married adulterer who brags not only about cheating on his own wife but with the wives of other men. In the words of GOP Rep. Reid Ribble, “Trump is often simply hateful,” having mocked the disabled and saying things about women CP won’t even let me print. Remember, this is the man who says he’s never needed God’s forgiveness.

I know the editors of CP to be good evangelical Christians, but they made the same mistake many evangelicals are liable to make. They said they were actually tempted by Trump’s offer to “Vote for me, and I will give you Supreme Court picks and abolish the Johnson Amendment.”

Trump’s “tempting” offer is remarkably like another made two millennia ago … when the Devil offered Jesus the power to rule over all the kingdoms of the world with justice and mercy, if only Christ would bow down to the Devil. American Christians should not take a deal Jesus rejected.

Read the whole.  You owe it to yourself, and your faith.

You Know What, America Really Does Deserve The Politicians It Has

The Bee is being sarcastic, but truthful.  So vote for Donald or Hillary and watch it burn to the ground.  Either one we get what we pine for.

That Awkward Moment When The #AAR Interpretive Dance Routine Goes Terribly Wrong…

Poor Tom – he fell down right in the middle of the AAR’s dance routine, presented by the ‘Interpretive Dance as Biblical Interpretation’ Session practice.  His colleagues didn’t respond compassionately…


Republicans and Clinton: An Observation

Republicans, if Hillary can beat a decent and civil and intelligent guy like Sanders what do you think she will do to indecent Trump? The GOP is populated by people who have literally handed the presidency to Clinton.  They have made happen what they feared most by voting for America’s most indecent man instead of either Bush or Rubio. Look in the mirror, Republicans. You need some thinkers in your party.