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.

‘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.