Recently Discovered Hebrew Inscriptions: A Public Lecture

(King’ College, London)


6.00pm Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre (E8), 25 Gordon Street, London WCIH OAY
Followed by refreshments. [PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE FROM THE INSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY](Organised jointly with the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London)


Churches That Fail to Emphasize Worship and Scripture Study Have Destroyed Their Own Future

And they’ve taught Millennials that ‘Church’ is little more than a social club.  If all that young people are looking for in a Church is friends (they can find those at a coffee shop) and coffee (they can’t find that free at a coffee shop, so the issue becomes not ‘what can we do for Christ but what can the Church give us free’) and service projects (which they can also find in the Rotarians) then they don’t really need the Church at all.

The Church, however, is the place where, above anything else, people should be taught the importance and centrality of worship for the Christian life and the concomitant importance of Scripture for that same Christian’s life.

The more a church orients itself to the ‘felt needs’ of the herd the more it abandons it’s calling.


The Church is failing to be the church.  And it’s your fault, because you don’t understand what the Church is if you don’t understand its true purpose.

The Bee Stings the Pentebabbleist ‘Cloud Machine’

As worshipers at Bethel Church enthusiastically sang and danced at a Sunday evening service several weeks ago, onlookers were reportedly amazed to see a shining, thick mist descending from on high, only to later discover the “glory cloud” was actually a potentially deadly leak from a faulty gas line.

Church members reported a growing feeling of acute dizziness, thought to be a high from the emotional time of worship.

“We experienced a looming haze accompanied by feelings of euphoria, lightheadedness, vertigo, and fainting—so we just assumed it was the usual manifest Shekina glory of God,” one Bethel pastor told reporters after the service.

But as “a few more people than usual” fainted during the experience, church leaders began to grow concerned, and had the building evacuated as the deadly gaseous chemicals continued to slowly spread throughout the room.

Investigators later pinned the deadly chemical cloud on a rare and dangerous mixture of two different gas lines that had burst in the church’s wall.

Reports of glory cloud descending during Bethel Church worship services have completely ceased since the gas line was fixed, sources confirmed.

Michael Grandjean on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

A 20 minute + video worth your time.

Les festivités qui vont marquer le 500e anniversaire de la Réforme protestante démarrent cette semaine en Suisse, l’occasion d’interroger les traces qu’a laissées la Réforme dans la société suisse d’aujourd’hui. Michel Grandjean est professeur d’histoire du christianisme à la faculté de théologie de l’Université de Genève.



Donald Trump has Been paid Millions, by Russia

No wonder Putin wants this criminal in the Oval Office.  He literally OWNS him.

ABC News investigative journalist Brian Ross released a news piece that could end any type of credibility Donald Trump may have left. In this newest report, Ross found Trump’s Russian connections to have a bigger role in his life than he’s lead on. This could be a direct conflict of interest for Trump if he should become elected president in November.

In previous interviews, Trump has continuously denied any serious ties with Russian oligarchs. Those statements have already been proven false several times over, seeing how Trump has been very cozy with Vladimir Putin the past few years. Hillary Clinton has released attack ads trying to expose Trump’s Russian ties in the past. Now Brian Ross talks with people who have had actual connections with Trump, proving his denial is a joke. One man that Ross spoke to was Sergei Millian, a head of a U.S.-Russian business group. He says he assisted Trump with marketing the sale of his condos in Russia. Millian spoke about all the money Trump made from the Russians back then.

‘The level of business amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars, what he received as a result of interaction with Russian businessmen.’

Ross repeated with emphasis, “Hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian businessmen?” and Millian responded with a nod and a firm, “Correct.” Ross also pointed out that in a previous interview Trump had with ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos, Trump said he didn’t have any relationship with Russia other than probably selling condos to people.

Trump has also said that if he were to become president, he wouldn’t have any type of influence in business decisions made. He claims his children would be handling all that due to a “blind trust.” Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota law professor who also worked alongside President G.W. Bush as his ethics adviser said that isn’t the case at all. ‘I don’t see how you have a blind trust when you know what’s in the blind trust. The appearance is that a foreign government or other foreign organization has influence over the President of the United States through financial dealings with his family and that would be unacceptable.’

There is no doubt.  Trump owes Russia.  In the White House, he would pay them. Donald Trump is a con artist.  And he’s conned every single one of his supporters.

No, Pope Franky, We Don’t Need Six More ‘Beatitudes’

The ones we have, from Jesus, are sufficient.  You don’t get to add to Scripture just because you think it needs an update or modifications to suit your papal agenda.

Scripture is sufficient.  Your job is to explain it, not supplement it with your own notions.  Plus, your ridiculous ‘beatitudes’ are already covered in Scripture.  Take a look at 1 Cor 13.  It’s in the Bible.  And nothing you’ve said adds one whit to it.

  • — Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted on them by others and forgive them from their heart.
  • — Blessed are those who look into the eyes of the abandoned and marginalised and show them their closeness.
  • — Blessed are those who see God in every person and strive to make others also discover him.
  • — Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home.
  • — Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others.
  • — Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion between Christians.

The Celebration of All Saints Day (and Other Holidays) in Zwingli’s Zurich

The Church services were held on Sundays from seven to eight o’clock in the morning and between three and four in the afternoon. In the Great Minster there was a service for children and servants from eleven to twelve o’clock. During the week there was also a preaching service in the morning at five and at eight, which took the place of the early masses.

On Friday, which was the market day, Zwingli preached especially for the country people. At the end of 1525 certain ministers were set apart for visitation of the sick, inasmuch as this was no part of the duties of the people’s priest.

Of the holy days were retained Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter; also St. Stephen’s, All Saints’, Candlemas, St. John the Baptist’s, Mary Magdalene’s, and more strangely the Annunciation and Ascension of the Virgin Mary, together with the day of the city patron saints, Felix and Regula. On these days, as on Sunday, public business and all work were forbidden, except necessary work, as harvesting.*

The only Holy Days I observe, on the other hand, are Christmas and Good Friday and Easter.  All the rest are just papist vestiges.  Oh, and Zwingli’s birthday (1 January) and the anniversary of his murder at the hands of the papist troops at Kappel am Albis (11 October).

*Samuel Macauley Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531) (Heroes of the Reformation; New York; London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons; Knickerbocker Press, 1901), 291–292.

Zum Zusammenleben geboren: Johannes Calvin – Studien zu seiner Theologie

9783290178741Die durch Johannes Calvin geprägte reformierte Tradition hat einen bedeutenden Beitrag zur Erneuerung der Kirche geleistet. Eberhard Busch erinnert daran und entfaltet in mehreren Aufsätzen verschiedene Facetten des Denkens und Handelns des Genfer Reformators.

In Calvins Bemühen um ein friedliches Zusammenleben in seiner Zeit ist eine Botschaft vernehmbar, die gerade auch heute zu uns spricht. Sein Denken ist getragen vom Gebet und genährt vom Glauben, dass Gott uns zur Gemeinschaft geschaffen hat. Darum darf die Kirche Jesu Christi verschiedene Gestalten haben, aber nicht in getrennte Kirchen auseinanderfallen. Denn alle tragen Verantwortung und haben sich für das Recht der Armen einzusetzen.

Eberhard Busch versteht es, dem Leser und der Leserin Calvins Theologie näherzubringen. Er zeigt auch eher unbekannte Seiten des Reformators auf: zum Beispiel seine grosse Liebe zur Musik, die insbesondere im Genfer Psalter zum Ausdruck kommt.

The ‘You’ve Got to Be Kidding, Great Pumpkin’ Biblical Studies Carnival

1This month it’s all that horrifies, annoys, and tips over toilets.  Below, the most horrifying ‘great pumpkin-ish’ posts from around the blogging world are offered for your terrifying-ication.  And with the American Presidential Election just days away, there’s still plenty of horror to come.*

So if you’ve come looking to be scared- be scared.  These posts are scary horrible.  Or is it horribly scary?  Either way I suppose…

Hebrew Bible Pumpkins

James *Sci-Fi* McGrath horrifies with his post on Genesis as ink blot…  If you see something in Genesis that isn’t there do you know what that makes you? An eisegete.  That scariest of all beasts.  That and the ‘progressive’ Rachel Held Evans / Rob Bell -esque lot.

Tim Bulkeley finally posted something just in the nick of time.  Pagan.  Something about cultural backgrounds study Bible.  Whatever that is.  I’m guessing it has to do with telling the Bible we don’t like it’s cultural setting so we’re going to impose some strange one on it.

Nothing in life is more horrifying than nakedness or nakidity.  Which is why Heiser’s naked podcast on Ezekiel ranks right up there with the Antichrist and Diet Mountain Dew.  Ickiness abounds.  And he doesn’t just go all icky once.  Oh no.  That would be too simple.  No, dear precious, he does it twice

The weirdest post prize goes to this guy.  Weird.  Seriously.  Weird.  It’s a weird title on a weird post on a weird site that I’m pretty sure has to be the weirdest on the entire internet.  I’m not posting it because you should read it.  I’m posting it because this is the Halloween edition of the Carnival and no one is more bizarre than this guy.  He’s not a member of SBL or CBA or SOTS or any other academic biblical studies society and yet he calls himself a biblical scholar.  I suppose it’s possible but it’s rather like a guy calling himself a medical doctor but not being a member of the AMA.

The most horrible of the bloggers posted this form allowing the worthy to attend the SOTS Winter meeting in early January in Nottingham.  And Mr Horrible also posted the Program for the Meeting.  I hope to see many of you there.  If you’re worthy.  Which, let’s face it, you probably aren’t.

2The just a bit icky ESV is discussed in a post by the Westminsterians in connection with womenfolk and complementarianism and other scary things.  Yiikes.

George Athas has written a scary commentary on Deuteronomy.  Scarier still, he defriended me on facebook.  I know, right.  I mean what the heck…

New Testament Pumpkins

Well this is awkward…  How’m I supposed to read it if its hidden behind a paywall.  Academic paywalls…  someone’s making a fortune and it isn’t the person who wrote the essay.  So scary how money is being made off the work of others these days.

‘Idealized language’… de Saussure (who the Devil is that?)… these are just a couple of things in a post about language and the Kingdom of God.  Horrifying.  Remember when people spoke plainly and in such a way that folk could understand them and not all philosophically and Scottishly?  I pine for those days too, gentle reader.

The newest horrifying number of the Journal of the Jesus Movement in its Jewish Setting (that’s the actual name…) came out on 20 October.   Horrifying.

OH THE HORROR!  Larry Hurtado and Chris Tilling, arguing.  At each other’s throats, with knives drawn and spittle dribbling!  (That’s a bit of exaggeration for effect, but you get the idea) about devotion to Christ and its origins.  And then some other guy jumped in.  It’s a book review as long as the book it reviews.  So, nice work!  It’s a ghoulish go.

Authentically scary?  The fact that Mark Goodacre hasn’t posted in over 2.5 months.  Has something happened to him?  Has he expired?  Has he been deported?  Mark was the second Biblioblogger (Jim Davila was the first and yours truly was the third).  His absence is horrific.  Wherever you are, Mark, come back.

3All one can say about this post about Luke is- poor Luke!  Poor, poor Luke…  Look what they’ve done to you- painting you up in some hideous clown costume.  Bless ya.  Oh, speaking of Luke, a new, exceptional, and therefore scarily good commentary on the second best Gospel (John is first, Matthew is last) has been published – in English!  The Swisslanders have all the info.

Yikes- it’s the apocalyptic Paul (as though we needed any more horrors these days….)  courtesy the Canadian Scot McKnight (again, as though we needed any more horrors these days… but now a Canadian???)

Archaeology Pumpkins

4In what was a horrible horrifying blow to the Israeli tourism industry AND the fundamentalist Christian apologist maximalists, there was nothing unearthed in Israel which ‘proved’ the Bible.  Rats.  Oh well, maybe closer to Christmas or Easter something will pop up.  Remember, the Great Pumpkin only appears to those who really believe with their whole heart…

On the positive side of the ledger, there’s this.  It’s about supervising squares at Gath.  Take that as you wish. One thing’s for sure, when you dig in the dirt you get dirty.  Really dirty.  And what says Halloween like dirt?

Biblical Languages and that Sort of Thing Pumpkins

Want to have pumpkin pie with text critics and evangelicals and other people who like to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe in San Antonio.  Here’s your chance.

Jim Davila had a piece on the horrifying discovery on what is purported to be a manuscript in Hebrew from the 8th century BCE.  His sage remarks are wisely cautionary.  That will horrify those seeking ‘evidence that demands a verdict’.  Roberta Mazza had some great thoughts on the topic as well.  Sensibly cautionary.  She’s Italian, but not the horrible horrific sort like Berlusconi.  Anyway, you would think scholars would have learned their lesson about publishing stuff from anonymous sources…  right, Karen King?  Chris Rollston sure knows the score.  He’s scary clever. And so is Aren Maeir.  And then on the last day of the month the IAA defended its trinket.  Jim Davila responds.

Will *Student of James Aitken at Cambridge* Ross has posted a piece on the horror that is Greek lexicography and a new lexicon forthcoming that has set my jowls to drooling (in terror, of course, given this month’s frightful theme).  Glory.  He’s also given a bit of advice about attending academic conferences (a topic, horrifyingly, much on the minds of academics this conference season).

5This gourd is a little slight but it may interest those who have not kept up with their Greek (which is probably 99% of the pastors who have ever taken any Greek at all- including those who use Strong’s Concordance to talk about Greek and Hebrew and nonetheless couldn’t read the simplest sentence if their life depended on it- which it does, as does the life of their congregation).

Textual criticism – in French.  Oh. The. Horror. Enough said….

Miscellaneous Pumpkins

You’ve got to be kidding – Bart Ehrman on Inerrancy.  He takes a butcher knife to it and hacks it into tiny little pieces before feeding it to the worms.  And then there’s the post on ETS and heresy hunting which manages in the midst of it all to pull off a pumpkin of a book plug so yay to the author of the piece for that Halloween horror treat!

If you’ve missed Nick ‘Pumpkin Spice’ Norelli- he explains why he hasn’t talked about NT Wright and other stuff that he likes here.  Maybe he’ll get back to important stuff soon.

6Travis actually called Servetus a ‘theologian’ in this horrific post!  BAHAHAHAHA.  Next thing you know, he will think Joel Osteen is a theologian too.  And TD Jakes.  And Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  And 99.9% of the Barthians.  And other hangers-on and wannabes…  The word theologian is almost as empty of meaning now as ‘evangelical’.

In this happy happening Dan Kirk gets his head handed to him on a platinum platter.  It’s horrifyingly delightful and hand clappingly gleeful.  It’s about theology and the misrepresentation of the field by chic pseudo-theology. Don’t miss it.

They’re talking about the ghoulish ‘Copper Scroll’ at Chester and they’ve announced all the details which appear here among the biblioblogs.

The greatest of all the Pumpkins, Joel Watts, had a post on something about Wesley but I fell right asleep after the first sentence.  Something about the Eucharist and theology and Wesley … zzzzzzzz.

Ooops.  Sorry about dozing off.  I need also to mention that James Crossley posted a post of pumpkinism (i.e., Corbyn and Pentecostalism) that you’ll want to read for its aesthetic value alone.

Mike Bird horrified us all by talking about some book or other coming out about the horrifying apocryphal Gospels.  If they mattered, the’d be in the Bible!  #Bam.

Most horrifying of all, the actions of the SBL in relation to IVPAcademic and their exclusion of the publisher from the annual meeting.  Truly horrifying, and no joke.  There’s a bit more here, including parts of the letter to IVP from SBL, and Mike Bird shares his thoughts on the subject here and Mike *Freddy* Kruger shares his views here.





*Don’t be all offended and miffed. We only jibe the ones we love.