Daily Archives: 8 Feb 2017

Donald Trump Has Never Read The Commentary: Do You Want to Be Like Donald Trump?

If not (and what sensible person does?) then order the entire series for a paltry $199 by clicking my PayPal Link.    Or, be like Donald Trump.  Your choice.  It’s good.  In all seriousness.

the-person-the-pew-commentary-series

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I am a Christian and a Bible Study Teacher at my church. I have been in church all of my life, but I found it difficult to take on the teaching responsibilities of a Senior Adult Ladies Class. Although I have read the Bible, there are many things that I do not understand. I also was worried because the ladies in my class are “Studiers” of the Bible and the thought crossed my mind “What can I teach these ladies that they do not already know?” As you can see from my comments, I was wondering how “I was going to do it” instead of wondering how “God would do it”!

But when you teach it, you have to go deeper than just reading. I believe that God wants us to continue to go deeper each time we open the Bible. One of the references I use for my studies are the books written by Jim West “For The Person in The Pew”. Jim can take a complicated set of scriptures and bring the meaning into clear view. Every time that I start a new Bible study, I order one of his books. We just finished the book of Revelation and his book was helpful in taking the complicated and making it simple.

Jim has a way of wording his explanations of the scripture in such a way that it makes you want to read deeper and then just watch and see what God can do! Jim is a gifted person and I am glad that God has blessed his life so that he could in turn bless mine.

Sherry Liles
Knoxville, TN

Three Stones Make a Wall: The Story of Archaeology

Eric Cline’s new book is out.

In 1922, Howard Carter peered into Tutankhamun’s tomb for the first time, the only light coming from the candle in his outstretched hand. Urged to tell what he was seeing through the small opening he had cut in the door to the tomb, the Egyptologist famously replied, “I see wonderful things.” Carter’s fabulous discovery is just one of the many spellbinding stories told in Three Stones Make a Wall.

Written by Eric Cline, an archaeologist with more than thirty seasons of excavation experience, Three Stones Make a Wall traces the history of archaeology from an amateur pursuit to the cutting-edge science it is today by taking the reader on a tour of major archaeological sites and discoveries, from Pompeii to Petra, Troy to the Terracotta Warriors, and Mycenae to Megiddo and Masada. Cline brings to life the personalities behind these digs, including Heinrich Schliemann, the former businessman who excavated Troy, and Mary Leakey, whose discoveries advanced our understanding of human origins. The discovery of the peoples and civilizations of the past is presented in vivid detail, from the Hittites and Minoans to the Inca, Aztec, and Moche. Along the way, the book addresses the questions archaeologists are asked most often: How do you know where to dig? How are excavations actually done? How do you know how old something is? Who gets to keep what is found?

Taking readers from the pioneering digs of the eighteenth century to the exciting new discoveries being made today, Three Stones Make a Wall is a lively and essential introduction to the story of archaeology.

Confirm Judge Gorsuch

His comments concerning Trump’s denigration of the judiciary are very, very encouraging.

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch told a US senator Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s tweets about the judiciary are “demoralizing” and “disheartening.”  In a meeting with Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Gorsuch, who’s largely been silent since Trump nominated him last week, took exception to Trump calling a federal judge in Seattle a “so-called judge” after blocking the President’s travel ban. “He said very specifically that they were demoralizing and disheartening, and he characterized them very specifically that way,” Blumenthal said of Gorsuch.   Ron Bonjean, who is leading communications for Gorsuch during the confirmation process, confirmed Gorsuch called Trump’s tweet about the “so-called judge” “disheartening” and “demoralizing” in his conversation with Blumenthal.

He’s on the right path and he will clearly stand up to Trump.  Confirm him, Senate.

The Thorn in the Flesh: An Observation

God allows all of us that special ‘thorn in the flesh’ so we learn to trust him more, and even love the thorn more.

Christianity and Higher Ed

The notion that the disciples were ignorant dolts is false.  They studied, intensively, with a Rabbi.  That’s nothing less than higher ed in the ancient world.  Denigrating learning within Christianity is a denial of the historical reality of Christianity’s founding.

The Bee Stings ‘The Shack”- And Yes, It is Still Heresy

Okay, internet, check this out: a mathematician in Germany calculated something that will literally blow your mind. 

He figured out that if you lay all twenty million sold copies of William Young’s book The Shack end-to-end around the equator—assuming flat land all the way around and a standard paperback book height of 6.7″—the book would still contain a ridiculous amount of heresy.

“It’s hard for our minds to comprehend the volume of something like twenty million copies of a book,” the professor said in a video posted to YouTube. “So it’s a fun mental exercise to put things in a context that our brain can process, like how many times a completely heretical book can circle the earth.”

The math genius also provided several other interesting tidbits about The Shack, such as the fact that if you stacked all copies of the bestseller on top of one another, it would still contain copious amounts of blatant and unbiblical statements about essential Christian doctrines like the nature of God, salvation, and the Trinity.

Mind=blown!

And yes, heresy lies therein.

Quote of the Day

If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat; if thirsty, something to drink. By this, you will be heaping red-hot coals on his head.  Do not be mastered by evil, but master evil with good.  (Rom. 12:20-21)

And A Book by James Aitken Too, For International LXX Day

No Stone Unturned: Greek Inscriptions and Septuagint Vocabulary
by James K. Aitken
Critical Studies in the Hebrew Bible – CrStHB 5
Eisenbrauns, 2014
List Price: $28.95
Your Price: $17.37 40% off!
http://www.eisenbrauns.com/item/AITNOSTON

A Book on Sale for LXX Day

The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research

The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research
Third Edition, Completely Revised and Expanded
EIS – Eisenbrauns
by Emanuel Tov
Eisenbrauns, 2015
Pp. xxx + 248, English
Paper
ISBN: 9781575063287
List Price: $47.50
Your Price: $33.25
www.eisenbrauns.com/item/TOVSEPTUA3

Go here for the discount and get it for $33.25.

The Hypocrisy of Mitch McConnell is Stunning

On the Senate floor Wednesday night, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) used parliamentary procedure to silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) after she quoted from a letter by Coretta Scott King, preventing her from reading it.

Later in the night, however, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) elaborated on the context of the letter and quoted from it at length unimpeded.

The letter was addressed to then-Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC) in 1986. In it, King objects to Sen. Jeff Sessions’ (R-AL) nomination to be a federal judge due to his use of “the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens.” King continues, “Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of this office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters.”

McConnell objected to Warren citing this section of the letter, saying that she had “impugned the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama.”

He then invoked Rule 19 to stop Warren from speaking on Sessions for the duration of the debate. The motion passed the Senate on the strength of Republican votes.

A few hours later, however, Sen. Merkely took the floor and quoted from the letter at length. Though the floor was largely empty, there is always a member of the majority party — the Republicans — presiding.

Stunning.

Quote of the Day

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true. – Kierkegaard

A 12th Cave Has Been Found Which Houses Dead Sea Scrolls

Here’s the Hebrew University Press release:

Hebrew University Archaeologists Find 12th Dead Sea Scrolls Cave

Hebrew University archaeologist Dr. Oren Gutfeld: “This is one of the most exciting archaeological discoveries, and the most important in the last 60 years, in the caves of Qumran.”

Jerusalem, February 8, 2017 – Excavations in a cave on the cliffs west of Qumran, near the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, prove that Dead Sea scrolls from the Second Temple period were hidden in the cave, and were looted by Bedouins in the middle of the last century. With the discovery of this cave, scholars now suggest that it should be numbered as Cave 12. [Photos are available for download below.]

The surprising discovery, representing a milestone in Dead Sea Scroll research, was made by Dr. Oren Gutfeld and Ahiad Ovadia from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology, with the help of Dr. Randall Price and students from Liberty University in Virginia USA. The excavators are the first in over 60 years to discover a new scroll cave and to properly excavate it.

The excavation was supported by the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, and the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), and is a part of the new “Operation Scroll” launched at the IAA by its Director-General, Mr. Israel Hasson, to undertake systematic surveys and to excavate the caves in the Judean Desert.

Excavation of the cave revealed that at one time it contained Dead Sea scrolls. Numerous storage jars and lids from the Second Temple period were found hidden in niches along the walls of the cave and deep inside a long tunnel at its rear. The jars were all broken and their contents removed, and the discovery towards the end of the excavation of a pair of iron pickaxe heads from the 1950s (stored within the tunnel for later use) proves the cave was looted.

Until now, it was believed that only 11 caves had contained scrolls. With the discovery of this cave, scholars have now suggested that it would be numbered as Cave 12. Like Cave 8, in which scroll jars but no scrolls were found, this cave will receive the designation Q12 (the Q=Qumran standing in front of the number to indicate no scrolls were found).

“This exciting excavation is the closest we’ve come to discovering new Dead Sea scrolls in 60 years. Until now, it was accepted that Dead Sea scrolls were found only in 11 caves at Qumran, but now there is no doubt that this is the 12th cave,” said Dr. Oren Gutfeld, an archaeologist at the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology and director of the excavation. “Although at the end of the day no scroll was found, and instead we ‘only’ found a piece of parchment rolled up in a jug that was being processed for writing, the findings indicate beyond any doubt that the cave contained scrolls that were stolen. The findings include the jars in which the scrolls and their covering were hidden, a leather strap for binding the scroll, a cloth that wrapped the scrolls, tendons and pieces of skin connecting fragments, and more.”

The finds from the excavation include not only the storage jars, which held the scrolls, but also fragments of scroll wrappings, a string that tied the scrolls, and a piece of worked leather that was a part of a scroll. The finding of pottery and of numerous flint blades, arrowheads, and a decorated stamp seal made of carnelian, a semi-precious stone, also revealed that this cave was used in the Chalcolithic and the Neolithic periods.

This first excavation to take place in the northern part of the Judean Desert as part of “Operation Scroll” will open the door to further understanding the function of the caves with respect to the scrolls, with the potential of finding new scroll material. The material, when published, will provide important new evidence for scholars of the archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea caves.

“The important discovery of another scroll cave attests to the fact that a lot of work remains to be done in the Judean Desert and finds of huge importance are still waiting to be discovered,” said Israel Hasson, Director-General of the Israel Antiquities Authority. “We are in a race against time as antiquities thieves steal heritage assets worldwide for financial gain. The State of Israel needs to mobilize and allocate the necessary resources in order to launch a historic operation, together with the public, to carry out a systematic excavation of all the caves of the Judean Desert.”

Photos for download: (Credit for all photos to Casey L. Olson and Oren Gutfeld):

-More photos are available from the media contact below.

To contact the researchers: Dr. Oren Gutfeld, Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology, gutfeldo@gmail.com. Telephone number available via the media contact below.

Media contact:
Dov Smith
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
+972-2-5882844
dovs@savion.huji.ac.il

How Do You Know If You’re Ready to Write a Review?

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Since its LXX Day, Join a Facebook Group Dedicated to It

Here.

The International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS) is a nonprofit, learned society created to promote international research in and study of the Septuagint and related texts. Meetings are held annually in conjunction with the SBL and triennially with the IOSOT (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/ioscs/congress/). The IOSCS publishes an annual journal, the Journal of Septuagint and Cognate Studies. The current editor is Siegfried Kreuzer (Protestant University Wuppertal/Bethel). A special subscription rate is available to students (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/ioscs/journal/). Under the auspices of the Society of Biblical Literature, the IOSCS also publishes a monograph series (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/ioscs/scs/).

Happy International Septuagint Day

William Ross has an interview.  And Tavis has a post about the Vatican and its celebration of the LXX.  Look for more posts about the LXX throughout the day.  And get your Septuagint out and give it a read.

lxx