The Harrowing of Hell

The harrowing of hell- that’s Moses with the ‘horns’. He was thus portrayed quite often thanks to a wretched mistranslation of ‘glory’ by ‘horn’ in horrible Latin versions.  That’s what happens when translators don’t know what they’re doing.

A New, Free, Journal for Academics

Didaktikos.  And if you don’t know what it means, you probably aren’t an academic.  Or, you’re a systematic theologian and you don’t know anything about Greek (or Hebrew).

You heard it here first (second, if you’re reading this here on ZR [JW])– Faithlife, the maker of Logos Bible Software, is launching a new print journal for professors. The first issue of Didaktikos: Journal of Theological Education should arrive in professors’ mailboxes sometime in late October.

The idea behind Didaktikos is to have a vocational journal for people who teach and train pastors and other ministry leaders, and to encourage and support these professors in their academic calling and personal ministries. The journal also aims to spark productive conversations among theological faculty in North America and around the world. The name comes from 2 Timothy 2:24: “But it is necessary that a servant of the Lord not be quarrelsome but be gentle to all, skilled in teaching (διδακτικός), patient even in the midst of evil” (Mounce’s translation).

The content is written by professors, for professors.

κτλ.

Today With Zwingli: In The Midst of Writing the ‘Commentary on True and False Religion’

932801In the Preface and the Address to the Reader, Zwingli tells how he came to write the Commentary.  “Many men in Italy and more in France, learned and devout,” urged him “to write out in Latin his religious views for them.” The request probably was made when Farel, Anton du Blet, and other men from Lyons came to Zurich in the spring of 1524. He shrank in “modesty” from such an undertaking, but “the high standing and importunity” of the men constrained him to yield to their wishes. He was prevented, however, by “various occupations” from beginning the task before the latter part of the year 1524.

In a letter to Zwingli, dated October 7, 1524, Anton Papilio assumes that the former had undertaken to write a book, entitled, De vera et falsa religione commentarius. Having put his hand to the pen, he toiled incessantly, “sweating night and day for three and a half months”—a comparatively short time for so weighty a treatise. He regrets the fact that he was “so hurried all along, that I often hardly had a chance to reread what I had written, much less to correct or embellish it.” The author was now in the “forty-second year of his age.”  The book came from the press at the end of March, 1525.*

To this day if you wish to know what Zwingli believed about nearly everything, this is the book to read. It is his ‘Institutes of the Christian Religion’.

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*George Warren Richards, “Introduction,” in The Latin Works of Huldreich Zwingli (ed. Clarence Nevin Heller; vol. 3; Philadelphia: Heidelberg Press, 1929), 31–2.

A Movie About Paul is Coming In 2018

Oh boy…  (said in the same tone one would hear from a man were one to overhear that man being told he has to have a vasectomy as he voiced his reaction…)

Affirm Films, who are the faith-based branch of Sony have announced that they are currently filming a new movie about the apostle Paul due for release next year. Affirm are also currently putting the finishing touches on The Star ahead of its 10th November release later in the year.

Paul, Apostle of Christ will star James Faulkner in the leading role, supported by Passion of the Christs Jim Caviezel as Luke,  A.D. The Bible Continues‘ Joanna Whalley as Priscilla, and The Fall’s John Lynch as Aquilla. Lynch also starred as Gabriel in the BBC’s The Passion (2010). Interestingly the IMDb also lists Yorgos Karamihos as playing Saul of Tarsus, suggesting there might be a bit of a jump between Paul’s ministry to the Jews and his ministry to the Gentiles.

Oh boy (snip)…

Lenny Wolfe on Antiquities Dealing

This is an interesting piece.

Wolfe says that the market for antiquities is far smaller than it once was. The primary buyers of antiquities in the 1970s and ’80s were Jewish collectors. Now, he says, the principal customers for antiquities are Christian evangelicals who are interested in items connected to the Bible and the New Testament, along with a cross-section of international buyers who come from different backgrounds and different interests. While there are sons of dealers that are going into the antiquities business, he reports, “It is not what it used to be.”

He has two words of Latin advice for anyone who wants to go into the world of antiquities dealing. “Caveat emptor – let the buyer beware,” he says. “Today the market is flooded with fakes.”

Read the whole.

What Happens When Luther Goes Hunting?

Weird stuff.  Or, those guys were all drunk.  Yeah, they were probably drunk.

On this day Luther went hunting, and a hare and a fox were seen by all [who were there]. When with a shout Erasmus Spiegel pursued the hare on horseback over the plain, his horse suddenly fell and died. That hare was a specter of Satan.  Then a story was told about many noblemen who were racing on horseback and crying, “The last will be the devil’s!” A boy who had two horses galloped off on one horse, leaving the other behind. This horse was snatched up into the air by Satan. Thereupon Luther said, “One shouldn’t invite the devil to be a guest. We have enough to do as it is to oppose him with our prayer and watching.”

Yeah, probably drunk.

Luther’s Guidance on Preaching

“The Word of God should be rightly divided, and with care, for people are of two kinds. On the one hand are the contrite, who need consolation. On the other hand are the rigid ones, to whom apply the law, threats, examples of wrath, the fire of Elijah, the waters of the flood, and the destruction of Jerusalem; these must be attacked at once and must be made to feel terror.” — Martin Luther

Category two are the most numerous…

Claus Westermann

WestermannClaus Westermann was a biblical scholar and exegete most famous for his massive commentary on Genesis- a commentary that has never, and probably will never be surpassed in scope or erudition or, for that matter, exegetical and hermeneutical usefulness.  He was born on October 7, 1909.

Though best known for his commentary on Genesis, Westermann published a lot.  He wasn’t the sort of narrow academic who only knew Torah or who spent his life studying only one aspect of the Hebrew verbal system.  His breadth of knowledge was impressive.  A rarity in his own day and even more so these days, when overspecialization has crippled scholarship and some people know only one thing and nothing else.

Westermann’s career was long and he lived quite a long life as well, dying on June 11, 2000.  Lest we forget…

The Last Thing Zwingli Wrote…

Was written on the 7th of October, 1531- just 4 days before his death at Kappel-am-Albis.    Titled Ein Kalenderspruch für die im Christlichen Burgrecht Verbündeten.

It’s a poem-

Ir herren und stett samenhafft
von der christlichen burgerschafft,
sehend ob allem uff zwey ding,
so wirt üch alle gefaar ring.
Erstlich erkennend gottes gaab,
darnach warumb ers geben hab.
Das er sin willen und warheyt
uch so klarlich hatt fürgeleyt,
do ir sampt andren in der nacht
irrtend, er üch das liecht gebraacht,
ist das nit das gröst gnaden stuck?
Dann welcher herr ist, der nit schmuck
unnd berge all sine raadtschleg?
Aber gott hat üch sine weg,
sinn und meinung fry ufgethan
dess im kein hertz gnug dancken kan.

So er nun üch zu sinem gschir
für ander gkießt, so gloubend mir,
er wil etwas damit schaffen,
drumm sölt irs nit übergaffen
sunder alle macht ankeren,
das man dem unrechten weren
und das recht widrumb mög zwyen,
ouch helffen denen, so schryen,
getrengt umb des gloubens willen,
damit werdend ir verstillen
gottes zorn, den wir wol verdient,
dann der wirt mit bessren versünt,
so werdend ir syn gottes rych
hie und dört mit fröud ewigklich.

It’s ironic that the poem ends, as it does, in its last two lines… looking towards eternity…  Perhaps Zwingli sensed what was coming as he gathered his things to go to Kappel to serve the troops as Chaplain.

Luther Wrote the Best Book Reviews

Just as the devil is disorderly and jumbles things together, so your writings and head are equally disordered and mixed up, so that it is exceedingly annoying to read and difficult to remember what you write. — Martin Luther

I can see him doing this every time he read some ridiculous theological nonsense…

giphy