Monthly Archives: March 2018

#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.

Sometimes Bunnies Are Evil…

Thanks to my best Brit-Friend of the non male gender-

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)

Last Call

Send in your Biblioblog Carnival submissions now.  The Carnival will go live at one minute past midnight tonight.

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).

Oh Evangelicals…

You’re so….

Download the 3rd Edition of Huehnergard’s ‘A Grammar of Akkadian’, Free


UPDATE:  See comments.

A Happy Passover to all My Jewish Friends

Personal Preferences

I prefer the Pharisees to the libertines and the Puritans to the profligate. #Randomness

For the Christian it’s Either Chastity or Marriage


For a Christian there is nothing between chastity and marriage. He must either live chastely or marry. — Huldrych Zwingli

Arminians and Other Heretics Hate the Commentary


Yet another reason to get it!

The Greatest Shame of Evangelicals

Decent people on twitter have become the voice of conscience that Evangelicals should have been but aren’t because they’ve followed self serving moral failures like @JerryFalwellJr @ericmetaxas @robertjeffress and their ilk and that humiliation is their greatest shame.

Abandon such miserable beasts and follow Christ, Christians, or your humiliation will be absolute.

In 36 Hours The World of Biblioblogdom Will Be Forever Changed

When the Carnival goes live at midnight plus one minute, tomorrow, March 31/ April 1.  The upheaval will be total.  With no chance of any return to the status quo thereafter.  Cities will fall, Universities will tumble, and lives will never return to normal.  The day will live in infamy for 1000 generations.

Stay tuned. And you still have a little time to get your submission in.

Luther Endorses the Commentary

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have these lines from Luther today regarding my humble efforts*-

Your [Commentary] no one will call [just] a commentary but … an index for reading the Scriptures and recognizing Christ, a thing that thus far none of the commentaries has provided, at least none extant. As to your plea that you are thoroughly dissatisfied with your [Commentary], it is difficult for me to believe you. And yet I do believe that you will not be satisfied with yourself. No one seeks or demands this from you. No, we wish for Paul, too, to keep his own reputation safe, lest anyone ever claim that [Jim] is superior or equal to Paul. It is enough for you to be close to Paul. We begrudge no one if [in another commentary] he is able to come closer still.

You’ll want to get it now, I know!

IMG_8299For many years I worked on the ‘Person in the Pew’ commentary series. It covers the entire Bible and some of the more important Apocryphal works.

Individual books can still be obtained by the usual route but the entire series in pdf can only be acquired directly from me. And the procedure is simple:

1- Drop me an email at telling me you’d like it.
2- Paypal the cost of the volumes (A paltry $75).
3- I will then send them to you without delay.

But do please note, the purchase entitles you to make use of the volumes for your personal use but they may not be shared or given or sold to second parties under any circumstances.  Of course there’s no way to monitor your honesty in this matter, but you’ll know.  And so will God.

Mind you, I’m not a marketer and I know nothing about business or the business of selling things. I’ve never been in biblical studies for the money and I’m not aiming to make a fortune with the complete series in pdf.

But, that said, all the hours put into these volumes are worth something, so I’m selling the lot for $75. That’s authentically inexpensive considering the thousands of pages written. And it’s a good commentary.

* Luther actually said that of Melanchthon’s work, but who am I to quibble with what he would clearly say of mine too? False modesty is, after all, sin.

The Birth-iversary of Biblical Theology

You may not know this, but today’s an important day in the history of Biblical scholarship.  It’s the ‘birthday’ of Biblical Theology.  Yes, it was on the 30th of March, 1787, that Gabler delivered his epoch making speech „De iusto discrimine theologiae biblicae et dogmaticae regundisque recte utriusque finibus“!

De iusto discrimine theologiae biblicae et dogmaticae regundisque recte utriusque finibus“ („Von der rechten Unterscheidung der biblischen und der dogmatischen Theologie und der rechten Bestimmung ihrer beider Ziele“; lat. Text und deutsche Übersetzung bei Niebuhr / Böttrich 2003, 15-41; Letztere aus Merk 1972, 273-284; engl. Übersetzung bei Sandys-Wunsch / Eldredge 1980, 134-144). Darin beschrieb er die Biblische Theologie als eine von der Dogmatik unabhängige, aber zugleich auf diese ausgerichtete Wissenschaftsdisziplin. Ihre Aufgabe als eine historisch orientierte Wissenschaft sei es, die normativen Grundwahrheiten oder allgemeinen Vorstellungen (notiones universae; notiones purae) der Bibel von ihren zeitbedingten Einkleidungen abhzuheben. Dagegen müsse die Dogmatik die christliche Glaubenslehre in eine sich immerzu wandelnde Gesellschaft hinein vermitteln.

The central theme of the lecture-

„Die biblische Theologie besitzt historischen Charakter, überliefernd, was die heiligen Schriftsteller über die göttlichen Dinge gedacht haben; die dogmatische Theologie dagegen besitzt didaktischen Charakter, lehrend, was jeder Theologe kraft seiner Fähigkeit oder gemäß dem Zeitumstand, dem Zeitalter, dem Orte, der Sekte, der Schule und anderen ähnlichen Dingen dieser Art über die göttlichen Dinge philosophierte. … und [dass wir] nach Ausscheidung von dem, was in den heiligen Schriften allernächst an jene Zeiten und jene Menschen gerichtet ist, nur diese reinen Vorstellungen unserer philosophischen Betrachtung über die Religion zugrundelegen, welche die göttliche Vorsehung für alle Orte und Zeiten gelten lassen wollte“.

It’s virtually impossible to underestimate the importance of this lecture or its aftermath.  It changed the way biblical studies was done as no other single event has.

So, happy birthday Biblical Theology!

Good Friday

Early in the morning all the chief priests and the elders of the people reached the decision to have Jesus put to death. They bound him, led him away, and turned him over to Pilate the governor. When Judas, who betrayed Jesus, saw that Jesus was condemned to die, he felt deep regret. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, and said, “I did wrong because I betrayed an innocent man.” But they said, “What is that to us? That’s your problem.” Judas threw the silver pieces into the temple and left. Then he went and hanged himself. …

Jesus was brought before the governor. The governor said, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “That’s what you say.” But he didn’t answer when the chief priests and elders accused him. Then Pilate said, “Don’t you hear the testimony they bring against you?” But he didn’t answer, not even a single word. So the governor was greatly amazed.

It was customary during the festival for the governor to release to the crowd one prisoner, whomever they might choose. At that time there was a well-known prisoner named Jesus Barabbas. When the crowd had come together, Pilate asked them, “Whom would you like me to release to you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called Christ?”

He knew that the leaders of the people had handed him over because of jealousy. While he was serving as judge, his wife sent this message to him, “Leave that righteous man alone. I’ve suffered much today in a dream because of him.” But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and kill Jesus. The governor said, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” “Barabbas,” they replied. Pilate said, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Crucify him!” But he said, “Why? What wrong has he done?” They shouted even louder, “Crucify him!” Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere and that a riot was starting. So he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I’m innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It’s your problem.” All the people replied, “Let his blood be on us and on our children.” Then he released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus whipped, then handed him over to be crucified.

The governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the governor’s house, and they gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a red military coat on him. They twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They put a stick in his right hand. Then they bowed down in front of him and mocked him, saying, “Hey! King of the Jews!” After they spit on him, they took the stick and struck his head again and again. When they finished mocking him, they stripped him of the military coat and put his own clothes back on him. They led him away to crucify him. (Matt. 27:1-31)

The Death of Jesus – According to Paul

Dietary Advice from Your Friend Ben Sira

If you are sitting down to a lavish table, do not display your greed, do not say, ‘What a lot to eat!’  Remember, it is bad to have a greedy eye. Is any creature more wicked than the eye? – That is why it is always weeping!  Do not reach out for anything your host has his eye on, do not jostle him at the dish.  Judge your fellow-guest’s needs by your own, be thoughtful in every way.  Eat what is offered you like a well brought-up person, do not wolf your food or you will earn dislike. 

For politeness’ sake be the first to stop; do not act the glutton, or you will give offence,  and if you are sitting with a large party, do not help yourself before the others do.  A little is quite enough for a well-bred person; his breathing is easy when he lies in bed.  A moderate diet ensures sound sleep, one gets up early, in the best of spirits. Sleeplessness, biliousness and gripe are what the glutton has to endure. If you are forced to eat too much, get up, go and vomit, and you will feel better.  (Sir. 31:12-21)

The Most Accurate Depiction, in Art, of the Last Supper…

Is this one-

From the Rossano Gospels, a 6th C. codex produced in Italy under Byzantine rule on purple dyed parchment  Via the twitter.

The group reclining – that’s how Jews in the first century ate.  Not sitting at a table.