The Chief Mistake Biblical Scholars and Theologians Have Made For the Last Century…

Is letting dilettantes opine without holding them publicly accountable for what they’ve said wrongly.

It is exactly that which has filled our world with pseudo-experts on Scripture and Theology; people who actually believe, in their hearts, that their opinions matter in spite of the fact that they are baseless and senseless and worst of all, ignorant and plain wrong.

Your silence, scholars, has opened Pandora’s ignorant box.  And now the world is flooded with theological and biblical stupidity.

It’s Simply Shocking…

That so many Americans are silent when the @NRA buys and sells the elected officials who are supposed to work for us and not special interest groups.

You silent ones, you should be ashamed.  You are why this country allows the murder of children and innocents.  You are the true terrorists.

Schleiermacher Handbuch

From Mohr

Friedrich Schleiermacher’s work as a theologian and Plato scholar marked the start of a new epoch: as a system-forming philosopher, he claimed independent validity, and as church politician, educational policy-maker, and academic theorist, he was one of the most important figures during the Prussian reforms, whose contributions to pedagogy remain influential to this day.

This volume provides a clear-sighted overview of the various stages in Schleiermacher’s life (1768–1834), with each contribution portraying his fields of work and their contexts, placing his literary work and conceptions in the framework of the respective contemporary debates. Important stages in Schleiermacher reception and impact history are likewise considered.
The authors’ diverse approaches to interpreting and understanding his output mean that the Guide to Schleiermacher offers concentrated insight into the consensus on and controversies in current Schleiermacher research.

Survey of contents

A. Prolegomena
Martin Ohst: Sinn und Absicht des Unternehmens, Hinweise zur Benutzung, Textausgaben, Standardliteratur/Hilfsmittel – Andreas Arndt: Der Briefwechsel

B. Kontexte
Georg Eckert: Preußen zu Schleiermachers Lebzeiten – Andreas Arndt: Schleiermacher in der nachkantischen Philosophie – Jan Rohls: Literatur, Bildende Kunst und Musik

C. Lebensstationen – Werke – Entwürfe
I. Jugend- und Wanderjahre (1768–1796)
Ulrich Barth: Lebens- und Wirkungskreise – Peter Grove: Werke: Jugendmanuskripte, erste Predigten
II. Berliner Charité-Prediger (1796–1802)
Albrecht Beutel: Lebens- und Wirkungskreise – Bernd Auerochs: Manuskripte – Athenaeum – Geselliges Betragen – Vertraute Briefe – Joachim Ringleben: Über die Religion. Reden an die Gebildeten unter ihren Verächtern – Christian Albrecht: Monologen – Hans-Martin Kirn: Briefe bei Gelegenheit

III. Hofprediger in Stolp (1802–1804)
Simon Gerber: Lebens- und Wirkungskreise – Matthias Heesch: Grundlinien einer Kritik der bisherigen Sittenlehre – Albrecht Geck: Unvorgreifliche Gutachten – Lutz Käppel: Schleiermachers Platon-Übersetzungen

IV. Halle und Zeit der Unsicherheit (1804–1809)
Hermann Patsch: Lebens- und Wirkungskreise – Helmut Merkel: Ueber den sogenannten ersten Brief des Paulos an den Timotheos – Folkart Wittekind: Die Weihnachtsfeier. Ein Gespräch (1805/06)

V. Berlin (1809–1834)
1. Lebens- und Wirkungskreise
Simon Gerber: Familien- und Freundeskreis, Geselligkeit – Andreas Reich: Schleiermacher als Pfarrer – Albrecht Geck: Schleiermacher als Kirchenpolitiker – Dirk Schmid: Schleiermacher als Universitätstheoretiker und Hochschullehrer (inklusive Übersicht über seine gesamte Vorlesungstätigkeit) – Martin Rössler: Schleiermacher als Akademiemitglied und Wissenschaftsorganisator – Matthias Wolfes: Schleiermacher als Politiker
2. Eilert Herms: Systemkonzeption
3. Philosophische Werke
Andreas Arndt: Dialektik – Matthias Heesch: Philosophische Ethik – Lutz Käppel: Geschichte der Philosophie – Kirsten Huxel: Psychologie – Walter Jaeschke: Staatslehre – Inken Mädler: Ästhetik – Dietz Lange: Hermeneutik – Ursula Frost: Pädagogik
4. Theologie
Ulrich Barth: Theorie der Theologie – Hermann Patsch: Schleiermachers Berliner Exegetik – Martin Ohst: Kirchengeschichte – Simon Gerber: Kirchliche Statistik – Claus-Dieter Osthövener: Der christliche Glaube – Dogmatik I: Einleitung – Dogmatik II: Materiale Entfaltung – Matthias Heesch: Die Christliche Sitte – Wilhelm Gräb: Praktische Theologie – Reiner Preul: Predigten

D. Rezeption und Kritik
Martin Ohst: Bei Lebzeiten – Friedemann Voigt: Die Schleiermacher-Rezeption 1834–1889 – Friedemann Voigt: Die Schleiermacher-Rezeption 1890–1923 – Hermann Fischer †: Rezeption und Kritik (1918–1960) – Hermann Fischer †: Rezeption und Kritik (1960 ff.)

Another Reason the Tyndale House (Cambridge) Greek New Testament is A Remarkable Resource

γεινομαι was the normal spelling in Luke. It’s not a misspelling, but a prestigious koine spelling used by careful scribes to bring out the long vowel which arose when the second gamma of the Classical form γιγνομαι was dropped. You can call it a ‘historic spelling’ if you like and claim it has nothing to do with pronunciation, but that just makes the scribes smarter that they were able to preserve into the fourth and fifth centuries spellings representing pronunciations which were no longer current.

Read the post for the evidence.

Oh Great, There Are More ‘Metal Codices’ in the News…

And this time word that the ‘Seal of Solomon‘ is among them.  Jim D. notes

There are several points to note. First, the ring-bound metal book in the left foreground looks very much like one of those Jordanian lead codices. Second, some gold codices with Jewish imagery are already known. Some are in the possession of a dealer in Karak, Jordan. The gold books in the photo look to be about the same size. (My scale is the tiny codex between the seal stamp and the calf. It is reported to be about two centimeters long.) None of the photos are clear enough for me to identify the image. For the Karak books, see Samuel Zinner’s online report on the Jordan codices, Son of the Star: Bar Kokhba and the Jordanian lead books, pp. 754, 987-9992, 997, 1098, plus, in general, chapter 9 and Appendix III.

Third, the “seal of Solomon” looks like a medieval or modern artifact to me. There is a Talmudic legend about a ring that Solomon used to control demons, but I am not aware of any objects like this one from antiquity.

Fourth, the golden calf has obvious resonances with the biblical golden calf, but this one has a menorah stamped on it. What on earth does that mean? The only comparable object I know of is a bronze and silver bull statue excavated at Ashkelon. It dates to the first half of the second millennium BCE and it is about the same size as the gold one in the photo. I don’t think there is any direct connection.

So, before you panic and before BAR publishes some ridiculous sensationalistic piece declaring that the ‘Seal of Solomon’ has been found, take a breath, go walk your dog, and forget about the rubbish.  It means nothing.

Luther on the Exclusivity of the Christian Claim

Christ is the only One who descended and then ascended again. And this He did to lead us up with Him.

Yet the world is so blind and stupid that it always seeks and explores other ways. It is gullible and willing to follow where anyone directs and leads it. It will try, and rely on, any method or any work suggested to it. But one thing it cannot do, namely, remain on this one safe way with firm and steadfast faith. And though it hears and is told that Christ is the Way, it adulterates this message and seeks bypaths and other ways. It does not let Him have the exclusive honor; but it usurps part of this for itself, as though it could contribute something and find the way to heaven by itself.

Therefore, even though we adduce these and similar verses, and persuade people to concede that these statements are true, Mr. Smart Aleck comes along; indeed, the devil himself meddles in with his clever reasoning. His purpose is to keep them on the wrong road and to invalidate these beautiful sayings. — Martin Luther

Meanwhile, modern Lutherans like Nadia Bolz-Weber are doing their best to join the Smart Aleck crowd and appease every deviant view.

Evangelicals Are Sticking With Their ‘Prince of Lies’

Read the whole.  The most telling bits are

Fundamentalists now have an all-access pass to the highest levels of government, and Trump made their wish list a priority. One of his first acts as president was to order the IRS to lay off monitoring political donations to churches. Political pastors and billionaires alike loved it: Conservative donors can now bleach dark money donations through churches.

His other big concession to his devout army was picking Pence to be his running (and kneeling) mate. The uxorious Hoosier, whose political career seemed deader than Lazarus or Myspace two years ago, is now a heartbeat—or a Robert Mueller indictment— away from being leader of the free world.

Trump’s chief spiritual adviser is not his veep, that pious silver fox who says he never dines alone with a woman not his wife. That sacred duty falls to White, chair of the White House evangelical panel. She is thrice-married (currently wed to Journey rocker Jonathan Cain, whose “Don’t Stop Believin’” was an ’80s rock anthem) and preaches to millions on TV and, when she’s back in Florida, to her smaller flock at the New Destiny Christian Center church in Apopka. White and her fellow prosperity theologians have put some white-out over the New Testament line that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. She prefers another biblical passage, “When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest” (Leviticus 23:10 NIV). Her webpage First Fruits 2017 is an online collection plate, decorated with a photograph of grapes, pomegranates and oranges, and click buttons labeled “Give your best first fruits offering today!” and “Send your prayer request today!” lead to forms for credit card payments.

The next most prominent godly voice in Trump’s White House is the Cabinet Bible study pastor, Ralph Drollinger, who preaches that Jesus—contrary to several millennia of church teaching—didn’t really think you had to help the poor if you happen to be a member of Congress. In “Entitlement Programs Viewed Through the Lens of Scripture,” a sermon from one of his weekly Bible study sessions, which he delivered last year on Capitol Hill, he told his high-level political congregants that the Bible “is clear” that caring for the poor is the responsibility of the family and the church, not the government. “Nowhere to be found in the NT is an explicit command for the Institution of the State to assume such a function,” he wrote. “Jesus was only a role model to emulate.”

And

Now comes the most presumptuous—perhaps even heretical—question a journalist could pose: What does God think of Trump, who, according to The Washington Post, has already told over 1,000 lies since he moved into the Oval Office and is on a trajectory to hit 2,000 by the end of the year?

The same digital voice analysis that measured Trump’s comfort level when talking about God and the allegedly godless New York Times shows that when the president tells an obvious lie (a statement PolitiFact has determined is false) he is more relaxed than he is at most other times during his speeches and interviews.

That would seem to be a vexing problem for the faithful, since the Bible repeatedly associates lying with the devil. To cite just one of many examples in Scripture, John 8:44 (NIV) refers to Satan thusly: “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Now recall that millions of white conservative fundamentalists who take the Bible literally are awaiting the fulfillment of its prophesy about the apocalypse—the end of days—which will feature the rise of an evil force that will briefly rule the world. He goes by many names, among them the Prince of Lies.

No one does religion reporting better than Burleigh.  No one.

This is Why We Are Warned Against the Love of Money…

It makes us stupid.  Stupid beyond words.  Stupid enough to say, on behalf of a group we represent, that feet are as dangerous as guns…

NRA spokesperson and radio host Dana Loesch thinks that if guns are banned then fists and feet are probably next because people can punch and kick to harm others.

The American College of Physicians sent out a press release saying that gun violence is a public health issue and called for a ban of automatic and semiautomatic weapons. Loesch retweeted the release with the comment, “Right after we ban pools, cars, cigarettes, alcohol, hands feet and fists. Lives lost due to these constitute an epidemic.”

When The Hill reported on the press release from the physicians, Loesch retweeted the story and again claimed, “If it’s a “health issue,” cars, then hand, feet, and fists will be banned first (also pools).”

I’d like to see her use any of those things to kill 59 people in 4 minutes.  The fool.  And she said it because she’s been paid to say such things.  Because love of money makes us stupid.  Stupid beyond words.

The things that people are willing to do for money boggles the mind.

Fun Facts From Church History: The Martyrdom of William Tyndale

tyndaleOctober 6, after local officials took their seats, Tyndale was brought to the cross in the middle of the town square and given a chance to recant. That refused, he was given a moment to pray. English historian John Foxe said he cried out, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!”

Then he was bound to the beam, and both an iron chain and a rope were put around his neck. Gunpowder was added to the brush and logs. At the signal of a local official, the executioner, standing behind Tyndale, quickly tightened the noose, strangling him. Then an official took up a lighted torch and handed it to the executioner, who set the wood ablaze.

One other brief report of that distant scene has come down to us. It is found in a letter from an English agent to Lord Cromwell two months later.  “They speak much,” he wrote, “of the patient sufferance of Master Tyndale at the time of his execution.”*

_______________________
*M. Galli and T. Olsen, 131 Christians everyone should know (p. 350).

Plottings and Schemes Against Zwingli

zwingli198When priests and monks had been degraded from their positions (so to speak) and a mandate had been issued against the pensioners as we call them, the enemy turned to plots to try if by any means they might destroy the man. I will be silent about the secret plots that may be known to me, and will tell you about those known to people in general. Some one came to his house after midnight and prayed him to come to a man at the point of death. The deacon replying for the master of the house that he would do whatever was necessary himself (for Zwingli was not to be disturbed during the night because of his daily duties), the visitor objected so strongly that the suspicions of the deacon were aroused that he had some plot on foot.

The deacon therefore, going as if he would tell his master all about it, frustrated the marauder by closing the door and leaving him outside. In the morning the facts were discovered, that he was to have been gagged and carried away secretly in a boat. Shortly after a horse was got ready to be used for the same purpose.

Again we saw a waylayer (it was said he was from Zug) in the city girded with the longest kind of sword openly wandering about without a cloak watching for a favourable opportunity to run across the man and kill him. The man was reported and taken into custody, and disappeared.

And one of my favorites

Two Zurichers under the influence of liquor—I will not mention their names though I know them—threw stones one night against Zwingli’s house and breaking his windows behaved so cruelly, basely, and inhumanly with their shouts and curses and blows that none of the neighbours dared to protest even through the windows. So they kept on till they had used up their stones, their words, and their strength.

The tumult was reported to the mayor in the morning, the gates were shut and armed men searched for the offenders in vain in every nook and cranny of the city until certain prostitutes who knew about their hiding places, not being adepts in concealing, unintentionally betrayed one of them; the other had already escaped.

The fellow was dragged from the wine cask of a certain priest and taken to prison by the enraged crowd. After many trials he was condemned to perpetual imprisonment, and for some weeks he lay in captivity until he was released by request of Bern.

And again

Zwingli sometimes dined away from home with friends or entertainers. Therefore returning he was almost always escorted, without being aware of it, by good citizens, lest evil should befall him on the way. And the Senate in this perilous time placed watchers around his house at night.

And finally, concerning the pension he received from Rome which certain unsavory characters in our day use as a cudgel with which to beat the poor dead man, not satisfied with respecting his work and instead endeavoring only to besmirch the deceased in order to make him a toady of the same Antichrist they serve-

See, I beseech you, what unjust accusations were brought against the man that he should have to be protected in this way! They called him “a pensionary” because not knowing it was wrong he received at one time an annual pension from the Roman pontiff. He himself indeed excused this offence to his Germans thus: “The dealings which I once had with the Pope ceased years ago. I thought then it was allowable to receive a pension from the pontiff to defend his way. But having realised the sin of it, I gave up the whole business. Therefore the deputies (factores), as they are called, accuse me of wrong in the matter, and being angry at my giving up the pension, impute to me what I have done as a sin because they persuade men that by receiving the pontifical pension they serve God.”

And to Berthold Haller and Caspar Megander, he thus writes of the gifts of princes: “I esteem the glory of Christ and if you prefer mine own also more than all the wealth of all the princes, not to mention the moderate munificence of one king. In times past I have learned what gifts meant, so that in old age desire after them is not possible.”

[From the biography of Zwingli by Oswald Myconius]