Daily Archives: 31 Dec 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.

On Zwingli’s Birthday: 24 Treatises

Nr. 1 Das Fabelgedicht vom Ochsen (lat.), (Herbst 1510)
Nr. 2 Das Fabelgedicht vom Ochsen (dt.), (Herbst 1510)
Nr. 3 De gestis inter Gallos et Helvetios relatio, (Herbst 1512)
Nr. 4 Der Labyrinth, (Frühjahr 1516)
Nr. 5 Gebetslied in der Pest, (Ende 1519)
Nr. 6 Zeugenaussage zu den Soldverträgen mit dem Ausland, 1521
Nr. 7 Predigtworte zu den Soldverträgen mit dem Ausland, 1521
Nr. 8 Von Erkiesen und Freiheit der Speisen, 16. April 1522
Nr. 9 Acta Tiguri 7. 8. 9. diebus aprilis 1522, (April 1522)
Nr. 10 Eine göttliche Vermahnung an die Eidgenossen zu Schwyz, 16. Mai 1522
Nr. 11 Supplicatio ad Hugonem episcopum Constantiensem, 2. Juli 1522
Nr. 12 Eine freundliche Bitte und Ermahnung an die Eidgenossen, 13. Juli 1522
Nr. 13 Apologeticus Archeteles, 22./23. August 1522
Nr. 14 Von Klarheit und Gewißheit des Wortes Gottes, 6. September 1522
Nr. 15 Eine Predigt von der ewig reinen Magd Maria, 17. September 1522
Nr. 16 Suggestio deliberandi super propositione Hadriani Nerobergae facta, (November) 1522
Nr. 17i Aktenstücke zur ersten Zürcher Disputation: I. Die 67 Artikel Zwinglis
Nr. 17ii Aktenstücke zur ersten Zürcher Disputation: II. Das Ausschreiben der Disputation
Nr. 17iii Aktenstücke zur ersten Zürcher Disputation: III. Der Abschied der Disputation
Nr. 18 Handlung der Versammlung in der Stadt Zürich auf den 29. Januar 1523 (Erste Zürcher Disputation), 3. März 1523
Nr. 19 Entschuldigung etlicher Zwingli unwahrlich zugelegter Artikel, 3. Juli 1523]]

Nr. 20 Auslegen und Gründe der Schlußreden, 14. Juli 1523
Nr. 21 Von göttlicher und menschlicher Gerechtigkeit, 30. Juli 1523
Nr. 22 Quo pacto ingenui adolescentes formandi sint, 1. August 1523
Nr. 23 De canone missae epichiresis, 29. August 1523
Nr. 24 Vortrag zur Reformation des Stifts, (September) 1523

‘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.

Remembering Emil Egli

egli2Emil Egli was a brilliant historian and though his name is nearly forgotten in all but the dustiest corners of academia, he was a giant in the field of Reformation studies. Born on the 9th of December, 1848, he died on the 31st of December, 1908.  Egli

… was a Swiss church historian. He studied theology, was ordained in 1870, and served in several villages of the canton of Zürich. In his student days he was deeply interested in historical studies. In 1873 appeared his important work, Die Schlacht bei Cappell 1531; in 1879, Die Züricher Wiedertäufer zur Reformationszeit, a brief product of his Aktensammlung zur Geschichte der Züricher Reformation in den Jahren 1519-1532, which he published (1879) with the support of Zürich and offers an uncommonly rich source on the early history of the Anabaptist movement. In 1887 followed a smaller volume, Die St. Galler Täufer.


Egli occupied himself principally with the Reformation in Switzerland. In 1879 he began his work at the university of Zürich as lecturer in church history, and in 1892 he was made a full professor. In addition to a series of shorter works he published Heinrich Bullingers Diarium des Jahres 1504-1574in the second volume of the Quellen zur schweizerischen Reformationsgeschichte, which he founded. After 1897 he published a semiannual periodical, Zwingliana, and after 1899 two volumes of Analecta Reformatorica (documents and treatises on the history of Zwingli and his times; also biographies of Bibliander, Ceporin, Johannes Bullinger). In 1902 he provided for a new edition of the Kessler’s Sabbata (a publication of the historical association of St. Gall). With G. Finsler (Basel) he began the publication of the new edition of Zwingli’s works (Zwingli’s Werke, Leipzig, 1905 ff., in Corpus Reformatorum).

He was astonishing.  He is remembered.