#ICYMI- Bibliobloggers as The Easter Bunny

You’re well aware of the fact that bibliobloggers are a giving lot- always involved in community affairs and giving back to their towns.  This year is no different.  Here they are, dressed for Easter last year when they visited children in the hospital and brought them baskets of joy.

Fun Facts from Church History: When Zwingli Sends a Copy of His Latest Book…

The book [i.e., the Commentary on True and False Religion] came from the press at the end of March, 1525. Zwingli sent a copy to Vadian (March 31) and one to Christoph Schappeler at Memmingen. Ludwig Sigwyn, of Swabia, is known to have had a copy by August 23, 1525; it was probably a gift from the author. Thus the new publication served to propagate Zwinglian doctrine in South Germany. A German edition of 608 octavo pages, translated by Leo Jud, was published in 1526 by Froschauer at Zurich. Professor Walther Köhler, of the University of Zurich, translated part of the Commentary into German and incorporated it in his work, entitled, Ulrich Zwingli, eine Auswahl aus seinen Schriften, Zurich, 1918. — George Warren Richards, The Latin Works of Huldreich Zwingli, vol. 3.

Sometimes First Books Are Not Our Favorite ‘Children’

Thereupon he spoke of his earliest books. He was now ashamed of them, he said, because in them he had conceded everything to the pope. “Yes, I’d gladly have defended him because at that time I was like a drowning man, tossed about in the waves. Now I’ve fought my way through. I see that I tried to bring impossible contradictions into harmony. It was a wretched patchwork. The stitch wouldn’t hold. I tried to sew the old on the new, and this caused a very bad rent.” — Martin Luther

Of Course Hell Exists, Whether the Pope Thinks So Or Not

The Vatican insists that the Pope understands that Hell exists, but we don’t need any Pope to say so since we have Scripture (although the squeamish annihilationists and universalists just can’t bear the plain simple truth- bless their tiny hearts).

  • The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God. (Ps. 9:17)
  • Let death seize them; Let them go down alive into hell, For wickedness is in their dwellings and among them. (Ps. 55:15)
  • Her house is the way to hell, Descending to the chambers of death. (Prov. 7:27)
  • “Hell from beneath is excited about you, To meet you at your coming; It stirs up the dead for you, All the chief ones of the earth; It has raised up from their thrones All the kings of the nations. (Isa. 14:9)
  • “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother,`Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says,`You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. (Matt. 5:22)
  • “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matt. 10:28)
  • But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! (Lk. 12:5)
  • For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)– then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries,  whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord. (2 Pet. 2:4-11)

Quote of the Day

It is of no avail that the same walls encompass us if difference of will separate us—since God regards rather unity of mind than of dwelling. Behold, we are a number of individuals under one roof, with different ways of acting, different hearts, different wills: all which one intention and one love of God must weld together in unity. – Hugh of St. Victor

#ICYMI – A Discourse Analysis of Ruth. A Review of a Book I Dislike Immensely

9780310282983_455_600_90Zondervan Academic have sent along this for a looksee-

The Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament serves pastors and teachers by providing them with a careful analysis and interpretation of the biblical text, rooted in a study of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament and intended to track the flow of the argument in each book and passage.

The layout of the commentary isn’t the standard fare.  Instead, each pericope is titled, it’s ‘scenes’ are subdivided, the main idea of the passage is offered, the literary context is described, the structure and literary form are shown, extensive flow charts of the sentences and phrases are displayed (think sentence diagram charts), and then, finally, the text is ‘explained’.  Useful informational boxes and sidebars along with charts and graphs festoon the work, some of them resembling computer scroll boxes (I know not why).

After the text is treated, our author generates what he describes as ‘A Dramatic Reading of the Book of Ruth’.  This snippet includes a suggested stage arrangement along with the script of a play with various narrators and actors.  The work concludes with a Scripture Index, a subject Index, and an author Index.

I dislike the volume immensely.  I dislike its girth.  It attempts too much and delivers too little.  It rambles on and on endlessly in such a way that one feels as though one has visited Grandma and she’s talked about 15 disparate topics in an hour and you still have no idea what the point of it all was.  The Book of Ruth is tiny.  It shouldn’t take anyone 200 pages to explain it to modern readers of the Bible.

It’s too busy.  It’s too crowded.  The graphs and their little tiny arrows virtually gouge into the reader’s eyes and by the time a single chapter of the volume has been worked through the reader will be begging those little tiny arrows to bolt from the page and plunge themselves into and through one’s own eyes so that the misery of experiencing the volume is terminated.

There are so many excellent commentaries on Ruth.  Go buy one of them.  This isn’t one.  It isn’t even worth borrowing from the library.  it is infuriating and annoying and spite producing.  I literally hated it like I’ve not hated a book in a very long time.

Avoid this book like the plague it is.

Christ’s Descent into Hell

To preach to the captives-

Christ himself died once and for all for sins, the upright for the sake of the guilty, to lead us to God. In the body he was put to death, in the spirit he was raised to life, and, in the spirit, he went to preach to the spirits in prison.  They refused to believe long ago, while God patiently waited to receive them (1 Pet. 3:18-20).

Fun Facts From Church History: Leo and His Indulgences

SaleOfIndulgencesThe bull of indulgences was issued March 31,1516, and granted the young German prelate [Prince Albrecht of Brandenburg] the right to dispose of pardons throughout the half part of Germany, the period being fixed at 8 years. The bull offered, “complete absolution—plenissimam indulgentiam—and remission of all sins,” sins both of the living and the dead.

A private paper, emanating from Leo and dated two weeks later, April 15, mentions the 10,000 ducats proposed by the Vatican as the price of Albrecht’s confirmation as having been already placed in Leo’s hands.

To enable him to pay the full amount of 30,000 ducats his ecclesiastical dignities had cost, Albrecht borrowed from the Fuggers and, to secure funds, he resorted to a two-years’ tax of two-fifths which he levied on the priests, the convents and other religious institutions of his dioceses. In 1517, “out of regard for his Holiness, the pope, and the salvation and comfort of his people,” Joachim opened his domains to the indulgence-hawkers.

It was his preaching in connection with this bull that won for Tetzel an undying notoriety. Oldecop, writing in 1516, of what he saw, said that people, in their eagerness to secure deliverance from the guilt and penalty of sin and to get their parents and friends out of purgatory, were putting money into the chest all day long.

Make no mistake, though, many Catholics thought this business a disgrace.

Even the Roman Catholic, Paulus, in his book Tetzel, p. 31, goes as far as to speak of “the miserable business which for both Leo and Albrecht was first of all a financial transaction.”

Indulgences weren’t about the souls of the Church, they were about money for the Pope.  The papacy has had many low points in its history- low points that would make the likes of today’s televangelists green with envy.  But this traffic may be among its lowest.

When You Are a Pastor or A Biblical Scholar…

… Who makes their living from interpreting Scripture, it is not my aim to make you feel bad, from time to time, when I mention the importance of knowing the biblical languages.  No, I don’t wish you to feel bad at all.  I want you to feel inadequate.  The way a medical student would feel inadequate if they were unable to identify a tibia or a bicep.  Because if you can’t manage what’s utterly foundational, inadequacy isn’t only your problem, it is the problem of every single person who is subjected to your linguisitically fallow verbal jugglings.

I want you to feel so inadequate that you actually resolve to do the hard work of learning how to read the Bible.  That’s what I want.  And it’s what your hearers want too.

The Home of the Redeemed

Zwingli writes, quite famously-

zwingli_schriftenI believe, then, that the souls of the faithful fly to heaven as soon as they leave the body, come into the presence of God, and rejoice forever. Here, most pious King, if you govern the state entrusted to you by God as David, Hezekiah, and Josiah did, you may hope to see first God Himself in His very substance, in His nature and with all His endowments and powers, and to enjoy all these, not sparingly but in full measure, not with the cloying effect that generally accompanies satiety, but with that agreeable completeness which involves no surfeiting, just as the rivers, that flow unceasingly into the sea and flow back through the depths of the earth, bring no loathing to mankind, but rather gain and joy, ever watering, gladdening and fostering new germs of life.

The good which we shall enjoy is infinite and the infinite cannot be exhausted; therefore no one can become surfeited with it, for it is ever new and yet the same. Then you may hope to see the whole company and assemblage of all the saints, the wise, the faithful, brave, and good who have lived since the world began. Here you will see the two Adams, the redeemed and the redeemer, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samuel, Phineas, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, and the Virgin Mother of God of whom he prophesied, David, Hezekiah, Josiah, the Baptist, Peter, Paul; here too, Hercules, Theseus, Socrates, Aristides, Antigonus, Numa, Camillus, the Catos and Scipios; here Louis* the Pious, and your predecessors, the Louis, Philips, Pepins, and all your ancestors who have gone hence in faith.

In short there has not been a good man and will not be a holy heart or faithful soul from the beginning of the world to the end thereof that you will not see in heaven with God. And what can be imagined more glad, what more delightful, what, finally, more honorable than such a sight? To what can all our souls more justly bend all their strength than to the attainment of such a life? And may meantime the dreaming Catabaptists deservedly sleep in the regions below a sleep from which they will never wake. Their error comes from the fact that they do not know that with the Hebrews the word for sleeping is used for the word for dying, as is more frequently the case with Paul than there is any need of demonstrating at present.