Monthly Archives: June 2018


Karl Heinz-Becker died on this day 50 years ago, resisting Naziism.

All the Carnivals- and, Last Call for this Month’s Official (It Seems) Carnival

The current list of all Carnivals is posted here.  Last I heard, Phil Long, the organizer of the carnival, had put out a call for a June host (posting 1 July) but no one had responded.  So I guess the Avignonian Carnival I run here will have to serve as the ‘official’ entry.

So, send along your entries!

My Vote

I’m not voting for you just because you’re a woman, or a man, or white, or black, or hispanic, or asian, or straight, or gay, or republican, or democrat, or independent. You’ll get my vote only if you earn it and you can only earn it by being first of all a decent human being. If you aren’t that, you aren’t anything.

For All Those Who Seem to Have Forgotten…

You cannot legislate morality.  True love, kindness, respect, decency, and godliness arise from within and are never real if forced upon someone from without.

In A Word…

The Biblioblog Top 50 for June 2018

Nice to see the Top 50 back in biz!

The Biblioblog Top 50

We are pleased to present the Biblioblog Top 50 for June 2018!

The Biblioblog Top 50 is the official ranking of biblical studies blogging. Although posting somewhat less regularly in recent years, the Biblioblog Top 50 is pleased to celebrate its tenth anniversary this year. Yet who we really want to celebrate are the many bibliobloggers who continue to inform and entertain us – with their takes on the cutting edge of biblical studies.

Congratulations in particular to the Number One Biblioblogger for June 2018: Jim West.

And the moment you have all been waiting, and waiting for: here is the Biblioblog Top 50 for June 2018:

1Jim WestZwinglius Redivivus
2James McGrathExploring Our Matrix
3Bart EhrmanThe Bart Ehrman Blog
4Ben WitheringtonThe Bible and Culture
5Peter EnnsThe Bible for Normal People
6Jim DavilaPaleoJudaica
7Michael F. Bird, et alEvangelion…

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Only 1 Day Left

For you to get your Carnival submissions in.  Send them along for inclusion.  The Carnival goes live at 12:01 a.m. July 1.

No Matter How Much Things Change, They Remain the Same


You will be in the right, O Lord,
when I lay charges against you;
but let me put my case to you.
Why does the way of the guilty prosper?
Why do all who are treacherous thrive?
You plant them, and they take root;
they grow and bring forth fruit;
you are near in their mouths
yet far from their hearts.

 But you, O Lord, know me;
You see me and test me—my heart is with you.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
and set them apart for the day of slaughter.

 How long will the land mourn,
and the grass of every field wither?
For the wickedness of those who live in it
the animals and the birds are swept away,
and because people said, “He is blind to our ways.”


If you have raced with foot-runners and they have wearied you,
how will you compete with horses?
And if in a safe land you fall down,
how will you fare in the thickets of the Jordan?
For even your kinsfolk and your own family,
even they have dealt treacherously with you;
they are in full cry after you;
do not believe them,
though they speak friendly words to you.  (Jeremiah 11)

Quote of the Day

Whenever I speak, I must cry out,
I must shout, “Violence and destruction!”
For the word of the Lord has become for me
a reproach and derision all day long.
If I say, “I will not mention him,
or speak any more in his name,”
then within me there is something like a burning fire
shut up in my bones;
I am weary with holding it in,
and I cannot.  (Jer 20:8-9)

Bengel: On Commentaries

Bengal describes the purpose of commentaries thusly:

Commentaries are chiefly available for the following purposes: 

  • to preserve, restore, or defend the purity of the text;
  • to exhibit the exact force of the language employed by any sacred writer;
  • to explain the circumstances under which any passage was uttered or written, or to which it refers;
  • to remove errors [of understanding] or abuses [of the text] which have arisen in later times.

The first hearers required none of these things. 

If your commentary doesn’t do those things, it really isn’t of value to the Church.

Bullinger’s Letters

Der Briefwechsel des Zürcher Reformators Heinrich Bullinger ist von ausserordentlicher Bedeutung. Mit rund 12000 Briefen ist er wohl die umfangreichste erhaltene Briefkorrespondenz des 16. Jahrhunderts. Er gibt in einzigartiger Weise Einblick in die Zeit der Reformation. Darüber hinaus dokumentiert er die zentrale Stellung Zürichs im damaligen Europa. Etwa ein Viertel von Bullingers Briefen wurde in den letzten Jahren durch das Institut für Schweizerische Reformationsgeschichte der UZH veröffentlicht.

Ziel ist, weitere Briefe zu edieren, sowie die gesamte Korrespondenz zu digitalisieren und zu veröffentlichen, damit sie weltweit genutzt werden kann. Die UZH Foundation unterstützt dieses Projekt mittels einer Fundraising-Kampagne.

Kontakt: Isabel Probst



Enough Concessions, Philipp

Luther wrote Melanchthon from Coburg on 29 June, 1530 whilst the latter was attending the Augsburg mess.  He remarks, with a touch of irritation

I have received your Apologia, and I wonder what it is you want when you ask what and how much is to be conceded to the papists. In connection with the Sovereign it is another question what he may concede, if danger threatens him. For me personally more than enough has been conceded in this Apologia. If the papists reject it, then I see nothing that I could still concede, unless I saw their reasoning, or [were given] clearer Scripture passages than I have seen till now. Day and night I am occupied with this matter, considering it, turning it around, debating it, and searching the whole Scripture [because of it]; certainty grows continuously in me about this, our teaching, and I am more and more sure that now (God willing) I shall not permit anything further to be taken away from me, come what may.

I don’t like that you write in your letter that you have followed my authority in this cause. I don’t wish to be, or be called, the originator [of] this cause for you people; even though this might be properly interpreted, yet I don’t want [to hear] this term [“originator”]. If this is not simultaneously and in the same way your cause, then I don’t want it to be called mine and imposed upon you. If it is my cause alone then I will handle it by myself.*

Melancthon is encouraged in the rest of the letter with words of encouragement.

*Luther’s works, (Vol. 49, p. 328).

#ICYMI – The Bee Stings Every Linguistically Ignorant Pastor on the Planet

It’s funny because it’s true.

Pastor John O’Brien is still referencing the single koine Greek word he knows into every single sermon he delivers, the congregation at Lakeside Baptist Church confirmed Thursday.

According to church members, the pastor references the New Testament Greek word dunamis at least once a sermon, making any kind of tenuous connection from the text to the sole koine Greek word in his vocabulary.

“Interestingly enough, the Greek word here is ‘dunamis,’ which is where we get the English word ‘dynamite,’” O’Brien said Sunday morning, using the term for the 42nd week running. “So really, this passage is talking about how the gospel is the ‘dynamite’ of God! Isn’t that amazing?”

In weeks past, the preacher has referenced the term in connection with sermons on Genesis 1, the narrative of David and Goliath, and biblical stewardship, sources claim.

At publishing time, congregants had confirmed O’Brien is still pronouncing the word incorrectly.

These guys show up at every Pastor’s Conference and give the devotional too…

Pulpit and Pen Is Racist Antichristian Trash

False Claims Abound

The facts are completely different when you dig through the hype and read how the critical segments are reconstructed readings. These seals have common names on them. They prove nothing and they support no historical reconstruction and worst of all, BAR knows it.

But BAR is about making cash, not disseminating the truth, so enjoy if you enjoy being misled at best and downright deceived at worst.

America. The Nation That Used to Be But is No More

This is who we are now- people who act in violence just because we can. The America planted by our ancestors and meant to be a place of opportunity and liberty is now but a violent killing field where children in school and workers at their jobs and worshippers in their churches are slaughtered.

You were great while you lasted, America. Rest in Peace.

This Is How Evil ICE Can Be

This guy should be imprisoned for all eternity.

Former ICE Chief Counsel Facing Prison Time For Stealing Immigrants’ Identities.

Raphael A. Sanchez, who was chief counsel at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Seattle when he opened credit cards and took out loans using the personal information of vulnerable immigrants, faces sentencing in federal court today.

Put him in prison forever. How deplorable.

Quote of the Day

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil;
That put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
That put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Is 5:20

Wussten Sie, dass die Reformierten lange Zeit für Theater sorgten?

A little collection of essays by our own Peter Opitz has been published by the great folk at TVZ.

Die gesammelten Kolumnen aus dem bref Magazin

  • Überraschendes aus der Reformation
  • Fundiert und humorvoll
  • Die beliebten Kolumnen aus dem bref Magazin

For those unfamiliar with Bref Magazin, it is a periodical focusing on issues of interest to the Reformed community in Switzerland and the wider world.  It commenced in 2016 and has been regularly published since then.

From time to time the very gifted Reformation scholar Peter Opitz has contributed brief pieces to the magazine.  Those are here collected and made available in one convenient place for interested readers.

Each essay is about a page and a half or two pages at the maximum and they cover a variety  of topics from the confusion of Luther with Zwingli in the popular mind to the part women played in the Reformation to laughter as a sign of God’s Spirit to whether or not the Reformed are also ‘Protestant’ to the illustrations of the Froschauer Bibel to Zwingli’s appreciation of music to Zwingli’s Hebrew teacher and many others.

It is wide ranging and informative and delightful and a bright example of scholarship for the masses.

This little 49 page volume with it’s twenty-one ‘Did You Know?’s is the perfect little introduction to Church History questions that are insightful, humorous, witty, and instructive.  If you read it, you will enjoy it.  I promise.

Call For Papers

International conference 26-28 September 2019 at the European Melanchthon Academy, Bretten, entitled: The Mediation of Salvation (Sacraments) in Early Modern Theology (1450-1700) – a Transconfessional Perspective.

Go here for all the deets (that’s what the kids say, right?)