Daily Archives: 12 Jul 2017

What Are the Worst English Translations of the Bible?

  1. The Message – Eugene Peterson
  2. The Living Bible- Kenneth Taylor

Both are absolute Dreck, and absolutely useless for either devotional reading or study of any kind.

Trump University- Still Making a Difference…

‘But this kind goeth out not but through prayer and fasting…’

Let the reader understand-

Overcoming Temptation, According to Erasmus

“But the tempter is put back most of all by this means, if thou shalt either vehemently hate, abhor and defy, and in a manner spit at him straightway whensoever he enticeth and moveth thee with any temptation, or else if thou pray fervently or get thyself to some holy occupation, setting thine whole mind thereunto: or if thou make answer to the tempter with words set out of holy scripture, as I have warned thee before. In which thing verily it shall not profit meanly against all kind of temptation to have some certain sentences prepared and ready, specially those with which thou hast felt thy mind to be moved and stirred vehemently.” — Desiderius Erasmus, Enchiridion Militis Christiani (London: Methuen & Co., 1905), 235–236.

Hobby Lobby, Israel, and the UAE- The Ties that Bind…

A complaint alleging gross theft of Iraq’s cultural heritage filed against Hobby Lobby, a US-based arts and craft retailer, highlights the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) rise as a global centre for illegal antiquities traffic and cooperation between UAE and Israeli dealers on the black market. 

Last week, Hobby Lobby agreed to pay a $3m fine to settle a federal lawsuit that accused it of buying smuggled ancient Iraqi artefacts that were shipped under false documentation.

According to the complaint filed by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in New York, Hobby Lobby President Steven Green and a consultant travelled to the UAE in July 2010 to view over 5,500 artefacts, largely from Iraq, for purchase.

Four people whose names were withheld – three from Israel and one from the UAE – were the vendors.

There’s “a lot of business that flows between the UAE and Israel” in terms of illicit trade of cultural heritage, Dr Amr al-Azm, an archaeologist, professor at Shawnee State University, told Al Jazeera.

Israel has long been a gateway for illegal artefacts sold to the West, Azm explained. The country has lax laws on the sale of antiquities and its favourability in Europe and the US gives it “ease of access to markets”. 

The UAE has recently become a hub for black market artefacts due to increased demand in the Gulf and a “well established” class of activity in the state, including “smuggling and contraband”, Azm said.

“That’s probably why these connections exist.”

Among the 5,500 items examined, there were more than 1,500 tablets and 500 bricks adorned with cuneiform, the earliest known writing system, which was invented by Sumerians who lived in modern-day southern Iraq.

These objects were intended for the Green’s Museum of the Bible, a private museum in Washington, DC that is set to open in November.

Etc.  This is an important reminder that there are many links in this depraved chain, and they aren’t all Evangelical.

Nope. There is Only One Way to Become a Saint- Through Faith in Christ

There aren’t 2 or 3 or 4 or more paths…

(I know what the Pope means- I’m simply suggesting that 1) the word Saint applies to more than just the super holy, and 2) the present fawning of Lutherans and others over the Pontiff’s supposed proximity to Lutheran or Reformed faith is absurd on its face).

Catholicism and Protestantism/ Reformed Christianity are as far apart doctrinally as they were in 1525.

I So Wish This Were True: It Would Make Pastor Conferences Barely Tolerable At Least…

The programming team behind Logos Bible Software announced Wednesday that an upcoming program update will include an officially licensed version of Microsoft’s “Clippy” digital assistant, an on-screen anthropomorphized paper clip who has been programmed to correct weak and unbiblical sermons being typed up in Logos 7’s Sermon Editor.

“Hi! It looks like your Trinity illustration is drifting into modalism. Would you like me to suggest some other illustrations you might use?” Clippy said in a demonstration of the new update as a pastor typed in a paragraph comparing the triune Godhead to the three different states of water. In another portion of the demo video, Clippy suggested that a pastor stick to the original context of a verse rather than trying to inject modern understandings of certain words and concepts into the text.

“Clippy’s been redesigned from the ground up to catch common heresies and unbiblical lines of thought that tend to creep into many pastors’ messages,” one programmer told reporters. “Now you can type away and trust that ol’ Clipster here has your back.”

Logos programmers reportedly consulted with top evangelical theologians to confirm that Clippy has been programmed with a biblical understanding of the Christian faith and proper historical-grammatical hermeneutics.

At publishing time, Logos had confirmed several more of Clippy’s new phrases, such as “It looks like you’re trying to eisegete your own theological system into the text,” “Would you like me to show you how to rightly divide this text without totally butchering it?” and “For goodness’ sake, would you stop talking about yourself and start preaching Christ crucified for once!

Oh if only…

Nice Work, Fox and Friends…

The Bee Stings Eugene Peterson

According to sources from around the nation, exactly three people were “completely blindsided” by a recent interview in which pastor and author of The Message Eugene Peterson publicly came out in favor of same-sex marriage.

The three people have been identified as a man who lives in rural Idaho and hadn’t kept up with Peterson in the past couple decades, a LifeWay bookstore manager in Kentucky who is a big fan of The Message, and an elderly lady who momentarily confused Eugene Peterson with John Piper.

“It seems that Peterson’s views have sent a shock wave rippling through the nation, jarring the exactly three people who hadn’t already figured out that Peterson didn’t hold the highest view of the Scriptures,” a culture and religion analyst at the New York Times wrote Wednesday. “The rest of us had kind of assumed that a long time ago, to be honest.”

“I mean, it’s pretty obvious that anyone who can translate Psalm 1 using phrases like ‘Sin Saloon’ and ‘Smart-Mouth College’ wasn’t exactly going to obsess about clinging to the original meaning of commands around human sexuality in the face of a culture moving in the opposite direction,” he added.

At publishing time, the journalist who published the interview had taken to Twitter to declare the leader’s public espousal of same-sex marriage as “the end of archaic, bigoted Christianity as we know it.”

Sweet burn, as we used to say.

3rd day of 2nd week – July 12th, 2017

Some great stuff here!

The Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project Official (and Unofficial) Weblog

We had a great day on the tell, once again. In addition to our large team, a group of students from the Ashkelon College joins us for the day, so we really got a lot going in all fields.

Area A: Louise and her team and now in the Iron I in both squares. In the early Iron I square there is a series of pits/disturbances, and some nice finds came out, including a body sherd with a very unique Philistine bird decoration.

Area D: In the west they have more of the 9th cent destruction, two more tabuns (near the metallurgy area) and a nice section of the city wall. Over in the east side, additional sections of the fortifications near the city gate were exposed, as well as a very nice context with restorable Iron I Philistine bichrome vessels.

Area E: The donkey is completely exposed and is…

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Signs of the Times

via Wil Wheaton

Erasmus’ Grave

Via the good folk at Brill-

Hard Times? Oh Please

Let us be content (saith Luther) with our hard fare; for do we not feast with angels upon that bread of life? Remember, when wants pinch hard, that these fix no marks of God’s hatred upon you. He hath dealt no worse with you than he did with his own Son. Nay, which of you is not better accommodated than Christ was? If you be hungry or thirsty, you have some refreshments; you have beds to lie on; the Son of man had not where to lay his head; the Heir of all things had sometimes nothing to eat. And remember you are going to a plentiful country, where all your wants will be supplied; “poor in the world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which God hath promised,” James 2:5. The meanness of your present, will add to the lustre of your future condition.— John Flavel

The Death of Erasmus

melanchthon_erasmusOn his way [back to the Netherlands] he stopped in Basel in the house of Jerome Froben, August, 1535, and attended to the publication of Origen. It was his last work. He fell sick, and died in his seventieth year, July 12, 1536, of his old enemies, the stone and the gout, to which was added dysentery.

He retained his consciousness and genial humor to the last. When his three friends, Amerbach, Froben, and Episcopius, visited him on his death-bed, he reminded them of Job’s three comforters, and playfully asked them about the torn garments, and the ashes that should be sprinkled on their heads. He died without a priest or any ceremonial of the Church (in wretched monastic Latin: “sine crux, sine lux, sine Deus”), but invoking the mercy of Christ. His last words, repeated again and again, were, “O Jesus, have mercy; Lord, deliver me; Lord, make an end; Lord, have mercy upon me!”

Once More, Celebrating the Life of an Important Scholar: Ernst Käsemann

On 12 July, 1906 the inestimable E.Käsemann was born.  He wrote a lot!  A LOT!  He was productive, and brilliant, and gifted, and personable, and warm, and generous with his time, and conversational, and of course, controversial. Käsemann was – as all should know – the (yes, the, not simply ‘a’) student of Rudolf Bultmann.  But in good German fashion he broke with his teacher over several issues, most noticeably on the question of the historical Jesus. He also grew ever more annoyed about the state of New Testament scholarship and the influence of ‘fad’ methodologies and he really, really let fly in one of his last essays published in Evangelische Theologie (2/92) in an essay simply titled ‘Protest!’ (concerned chiefly with an earlier essay by Seim on Jewish exegesis of the New Testament). In his remembrance Wille notes that K. also endured his fair share of tragedy-

Von Politik, von Gewaltpolitik war er und seine Familie ganz persönlich betroffen: 1977 wurde seine einzige Tochter Elisabeth von der argentinischen Militärjunta ermordet. Die politischen, auch die persönlich leidvollen Erfahrungen seines Lebens haben in seinem theologischen Denken Spuren hinterlassen. Das macht seine Theologie unverwechselbar und  glaubwürdig.  Am 17. Februar 1998 ist Ernst Käsemann gestorben. Seine Theologie war anstößig  – anstößig um der Wahrheit, der heilsamen Wahrheit des Evangeliums willen. So zeigt sie bis heute noch Wirkung.

Truly, K’s work was and is “unverwechselbar und  glaubwürdig”. I had the privilege of corresponding with the great man shortly before his death.  Unfortunately the only letter I’ve been able to find from his is this one, his last to me: