Monthly Archives: December 2017

Jonathan Z. Smith Has Died

May his memory be for a blessing.

If You Don’t Return Books You Borrow, You Should Die… And Other Medieval Curses

All of which sound totally legit to me.

The use of these book curses seemingly sits at odds with the monastic lifestyle. Medieval monks dedicated their lives to imitating Christ, including his virtues of patience, forgiveness and love for mankind. The fact that monks used these curses testifies to the immense material and spiritual value that they attributed to their libraries: their books had not only been extremely costly and labour-intensive to produce, but often they also contained the only copies of a particular work to which their communities had access. The loss of a book did not only mean a material loss, but it could have permanently deprived a religious community of a work of knowledge that was essential for preserving or developing its religious identity. This may explain why some religious communities went to great lengths to protect their books. Book curses were a radical but effective way of preserving their book collections.

‘Not a Novice’…

There’s a very practical reason that novices should not assume leadership responsibility in the Church: pride will destroy them-

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence  (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);  not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.  Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.  (1 Tim. 3:2-7)

Novices, like the Devil, are too often the victims of their own prideful folly.  Spare them, and keep them out of positions of leadership.  Let them grow before you heap responsibilities on them.

Signs of the Times

A million people will be in times square to watch a ball drop. In subfreezing weather.

A million ‘christians’ stayed home this morning because it was too cold to get out…

As You Depart from 2017 and Enter 2018…

Keep in mind

Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law by observing them.’ And all the people shall say,`Amen!’ 

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God.  — (Deut. 27:26-28:2)

Quote of the Day

The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (Jas. 1:20)

Larry Schiffman on the Dead Sea Scrolls

Listen here.

No, Don’t

Piper goes super creepy and off the rails.Don’t ‘marry’ the Bible. Read it.

More Sad News: Lawrence Stager has Died

Via Peter Machinist <machinis@fas.harvard.edu> as well as other colleagues came the saddest news about Lawrence (Larry) Stager, who died at home yesterday (Friday), apparently after a fall. He would have been 75 this coming Tuesday. Funeral arrangements and plans for a memorial are not complete as of this writing.

So Jack Sasson.  Sad indeed.

Sad News

REVELL, Ernest John — Born April 15th, 1934, died Dec. 15, 2017 in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Predeceased by his beloved wife of 52 years,

Ann Margaret, (née Morgan). Loving father of John and Bridget, fond father-in-law of Stephen Marmura, proud grandfather of Hana and Alex Marmura and devoted brother of Elizabeth Revell.

John was a scholar in the field of Biblical Hebrew and he remained active, publishing as recently as 2016. He served the University of Toronto as a professor, chair and professor emeritus in the Department of Near Eastern Studies which later became the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. He was also a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

Beyond his work, John was a talented botanical watercolour artist and an avid gardener. He delighted in taking long walks and when he retired to England, he took great pleasure in being a bell ringer for his local church. Cremation followed by a funeral service took place at St. Paul”s Anglican Church, Antigonish, Wednesday December 20, 11:00. His wish was that his ashes be returned to England to be interred near his father”s grave in the cemetery close to his childhood home. Family flowers only. 

Via Jack Sasson

Dear World

If you get your information about Zwingli from wikipedia, you’re building your house on the swamp.  Do better.  Try harder.  Use real sources.

People you Need to Follow on Twitter to Make 2018 a Great Year

Please follow me on twitter.  @drjewest.  I am so close to 10,000 followers. I just need around 8000. Tell your friends. I’m soooooooooooooo close….

What Were the Top Posts here in 2017?

All. Of. Them.  You’re welcome.

Apparently Most Bible Publishers Don’t Know Anything About the Bible

Otherwise they wouldn’t offer editions so festooned with idiocy.  To flatten the Bible out- to make it a single voiced narrow focus is blasphemous.

It’s not one story.  It’s not all about one name.  And it isn’t the ‘Jesus Bible’.

Parker’s ‘Supplementa Calviniana’ Online

The following hard-to-find monograph is now available for free download in PDF:

T.H.L. Parker, Supplementa Calviniana. An Account of the Manuscripts of Calvin’s Sermons Now in Course of Preparation. London: The Tyndale Press, 1962. Pbk. pp.23.

Gregory was One Of Zwingli’s Dearest Friends

In 1487, Bartholomew Zwingli [Huldrych’s uncle] removed from Wildhaus to Wesen, a town on the western end of the now little visited but grand and striking Lake of Walenstadt. It was only a matter of a dozen miles to the south-west of Wildhaus, but the bristling Churfirsten came between.

Wesen was the market-town of the district, and Bartholomew had scarcely been inducted into his rectory before he was promoted to be dekan, or superintendent, which made him a person of considerable importance and influence. In the rectory at Wesen Zwingli lived with his uncle, and in the parish school under his uncle’s direction he made his first acquaintance with learning.

But as it was soon evident that he had the making of a scholar in him his uncle sent him in 1494 to Basel, or rather to Klein Basel, which is that part of the city on the east bank of the Rhine, to the school of St. Theodore’s Church, kept by that gentle and wise master, Gregory Buenzli, in whom Zwingli found a fatherly friend.

Master and pupil afterwards carried on an intimate correspondence, but only three letters of it remain. Two are from Buenzli (vii., 111 and 567), dated February 3, 1520, and December 1, 1526, respectively; the first of which shows that Buenzli, who in 1507 (Egli, Analecta, i., 2) succeeded Bartholomew Zwingli as pastor at Wesen, was still there in 1520, the latter having died in 1513; the second, that Buenzli was in 1526 failing mentally. The one from Zwingli (vii., 257), dated December 30, 1522, alludes to the length and intimacy of their friendship and shows quite characteristic interest in promoting the affairs of one of Buenzli’s friends. Zwingli acknowledges Buenzli’s activity in the cause of the Reformation in his “Instructions for Walenstadt,” dated December 13, 1530 (ii., 3, 86)(S.M. Jackson).

 

Zwingli’s Letter to Gregor Bünzli

zwingli_1833S.

Recte sentis, carissime Gregori, cum putas tibi licere a me, quęcunque usus requirat, petere; nam ego tuis respondere votis ita cupio, ut non possim magis, cum ob summam, qua praeditus es, pietatem, tum ob inveteratam longis annis amiciciam, quibus factum est, ut communi amico nostro Laurentio Moero, viro iuxta pio atque docto, ex animi mei sententia cnsilium dederim, nihil veritus quorundam insidiosas suspiciones. Malui enim ipse me malorum calumniis obiicere, quam virum tam probe de Christi doctrina sentientem in rerum suarum naufragium pertrahere; nam sacerdotium istuc, pro quo ad nos venit, ita extenuatum est, ut vix Euclionem aliquem vel Chremilum enutrire possit; taceo, quod pręstantior vir sit, quam qui rei tantum domesticę curam gerere debeat et non potius magni gregis esse dux.

Adde, quod Rhetiorum Curię docendo Christum longe plus boni parare potest, quam Tiguro tacendo ac ad sarcinas sedendo et nos expectando. Quod certe cogeretur; nam verbi ministerium a senatu nobis commendatum est, a quo munere citra sęnatus voluntatem sine tumultu deiici non possem. Quid facerem, qum is me per fidem eliceret, ut consulerem, et tu per amiciciam iuberes? Consului itaque, ut ad suos redeat nec deserat, nisi dei spiritus iubeat ex una civitate in aliam fugere [Matth. 10. 23], Rhetos Christo lucrifaciat.

Sic enim apud nos comparatum est, ut, si cum quibusdam canonicis sentiret, hostem haberet plebem; si contra eos, multum decederet rei; nam ea, quę promisimus, haud diserte expressimus. Ex quibus obiter id expiscari potes, quid de Christo sentiant quidam sacerdotes, atque hoc in urbe tam unanimi consensu recte credente. Sed fuerunt sacerdotum principes longe infestiores Christo et scribę, quam Herodes et Pilatus.

Quamobrem nihil inconstantię homini velim imputes: servasset, hercle, cum rerum dispendio fidem, nisi nos eum hac opinione liberavissemus. Vehementer enim dolebat Curiam suo euangelista privari, quę unde similem nactura esset, non occurrebat. Prudentes esse iussit Christus [Matth. 10. 16]. Vale et pauca, quę cum illo de sanctorum, hoc est divorum intercessione coram contulimus, hominem memorare iube.  Vale iterum.

Ex Tiguro, 3. Kalendas Ianuarias MCCCCCxxiij.
Huldrichus Zuinglius.

This is Worth Repeating

The demand for “relevance” and *immediate* applicability impoverishes theology. Humanity’s highest end is God himself. We need a recalibration of what counts as relevant. — Luke Stamps

Verily verily.

Now, More Than Ever…

Fight to the death for the truth, and the Lord God will do battle for you. (Sir. 4:28)

The Biblical Canon Lists from Early Christianity: Texts and Analysis

This book contributes to the discussion on the development of the biblical canon by presenting clearly the early Christian lists of canonical books. Scholarly and popular literature frequently mentions the views of early Christians on the biblical canon, and frequently the information is wrong or insufficiently nuanced. This book clearly presents the early canon lists, with notes to guide the interpretation of the lists, and will clear up some confusion on the state of the Bible in early Christianity. The lists certainly do not solve every problem about the development of the Bible, and close study of their contents will in some ways add to the complexities of the subject. But in the belief that scholarship advances most soundly by constant interaction with the ancient sources that it seeks to interpret, ready access to a collection of canon lists in the original language with translation and notes should serve as a boon to biblical scholars and patristic scholars alike.

We shall see…  More anon…