Monthly Archives: December 2017

Jonathan Z. Smith Has Died

May his memory be for a blessing.

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)

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 <> 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.

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…

Quote of the Day

The LORD God took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden to farm it and to take care of it. (Gen. 2:15)

Emidio Campi in the News

Kirchenhistoriker Emidio Campi hat sich mit der AZ zum Gespräch getroffen. Er spricht über das ausklingende Reformationsjahr – und wie er per Zufall nach Baden kam.

Das Reformationsjahr ist bald vorbei. Emidio Campi hätte sich manchmal ein etwas tiefgründigeres Jubiläumsjahr gewünscht. Der Badener ist emeritierter Professor für Kirchengeschichte und war von 1998 bis 2009 Leiter des Instituts für Reformationsgeschichte an der Uni Zürich. Seitdem wirkt er als Gastprofessor an europäischen und amerikanischen Universitäten und zuletzt in Seoul.

Als wir ihn im «Himmel» in Baden zum Kaffee treffen, möchte er weniger über sich als vielmehr über sein jüngstes Werk sprechen: Das Handbuch «Die schweizerische Reformation», das er Ende November im Auftrag des Schweizerischen Evangelischen Kirchenbundes auf Deutsch mitherausgegeben hat. Es ist jetzt schon das Standardwerk zu diesem Thema. Auf Englisch ist das Buch schon 2016 erschienen, als Editio minor auch auf Koreanisch.

Read the rest.

More Info on the Soon to Happen J-Term at Ming Hua Theological College

Catholic Reform in the Age of Luther: Duke George of Saxony and the Church, 1488-1525

In his portrait of Duke George of Saxony (1471–1539) Christoph Volkmar offers a fresh perspective on the early Reformation in Germany. Long before the Council of Trent, this book traces the origins of Catholic Reform to the very neighborhood of Wittenberg. The Dresden duke, cousin of Frederick the Wise, was one of Luther’s most prominent opponents. Not only did he fight the Reformation, he also promoted ideas for renewal of the church. Based on thousands of archival records, many of them considered for the first time, Christoph Volkmar is mapping the church politics of a German prince who used the power of the territorial state to boost Catholic Reform, marking a third way apart from both Luther and Trent.

This book was orginally published in German as Reform statt Reformation. Die Kirchenpolitik Herzog Georgs von Sachsen, 1488-1525.

It’s December 29 in the United Kingdom!

That means that yet another Saint is being celebrated- and this time it’s Becket!  That’s right friends, it’s ‘Stab A Priest Whilst He Prays’ day in the UK!


[NB- Please do not stab any priests.  God finds it distasteful and morally objectionable].

Happy Becket Day!