Daily Archives: 24 Jul 2018

Those Kids Are Absolutely Right

Poster by students of University of Seville-

God’s Wrath

Since he once destroyed the huts of the poor, plundering houses instead of building them up, since his avarice could never be satisfied, now all his hoarding will not save him; since nothing could escape his greed, his prosperity will not last. When he has everything he needs, want will seize him, and misery will light on him with all its force. 

On him God looses all his burning wrath, hurling against his flesh a hail of arrows. If he escapes the weapons of iron, the bow of bronze will transfix him. Out of his back sticks an arrow, from his gall a shining point. The terrors advance on him, all the hidden darknesses are waiting to carry him off. A fire unlit by human hand devours him, and consumes what is left in his tent. 

The heavens lay bare his iniquity, and the earth rises up against him. The income of his house pours away, like the torrents, on the day of retribution. Such is the fate God reserves for the wicked, the inheritance he assigns to the accursed! (Job 20:19-29)

Let the reader understand…

Make Someone Mad Today…

Follow me on twitter.  You’ll be sure to make people mad who, let’s face it, are quite mad as it is.  But who doesn’t like prodding the immature?

Summer Activity, Recent Publications & Current Projects


Septuaginta &c.

It’s the dog days of summer when everyone in academics is supposed to be resting from the sprint of the last school year yet also producing a ton of top-notch research. Many conferences are afoot as well and, as everyone knows, these can either help or hinder the dual tasks of rest and research. I’ve been trying to stay moving just like everyone else, so hopefully my readers can tolerate a more personal update.

Here’s some of the stuff I’ve been up to recently, whether in print or in person.

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They’re Revising the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew and Republishing the Whole Thing

Here’s the announcement along with all the details.

Hiobs viele Gesichter: Studien zur Komposition, Tradition und frühen Rezeption des Hiobbuches

V&R have just published this:

Die in diesem Band gesammelten Beiträge behandeln die literarische Gattung des Buches Hiob, seine zentralen anthropologischen und theologischen Themen, wie das Verhältnis von Gerechtigkeit, Leid und Zeit, sowie die frühe Rezeptionsgeschichte. Die Stellung des Buches Hiob im Kontext antiker und vorderorientalische Theodizeedichtungen und sein Ort in der biblischen Literatur- und Theologiegeschichte kommen dabei ebenso zu Wort wie die Buchgestalten der frühen griechischen, aramäischen, syrischen und lateinischen übersetzungen. Alle Aufsätze verbindet, dass sie die vielfältigen Gesichter, die Hiob im Laufe der Komposition, Redaktion und frühen Rezeption erhalten hat, zum Strahlen zu bringen versuchen. Ein Schwerpunkt liegt auf den antiken und spätantiken Versionen des Hiobbuches.

Denn in ihnen setzt sich die Vielfalt der Profilierung der Figur Hiobs, die sich schon in der Kompositions- und Redaktionsgeschichte des hebräischen Textes spiegelt, fort. Narrative Leerstellen, die das hebräische Hiobbuch enthält, werden gefüllt. Im Modus einer innerbiblischen Schriftauslegung werden Figuren aus dem Buch ausgestaltet und Hiob selbst in der Geschichte biblischer Gestalten und Geschehen verortet. Die frühe Rezeptionsgeschichte erweist sich dabei als Fortsetzung der Kompositions- und Redaktionsgeschichte, sie lösst im Ausgangstext angelegte Erzähl- und Denkstrukturen genauer erkennen, reflektiert frühe Aneignungsgeschichten und trägt selbst zu einem tieferen Verstehen des Hiobbuches bei.

A review copy has been sent along by V&R.

I’t’s the perfect collection of essays leading up, eventually, to the publication of the author’s commentary on the Book of Job.  Indeed, what the author has provided is what many are beginning to provide: a series of preliminary studies on a biblical text in preparation for a larger monograph on that text.  In such volumes, scholars provide us with a window into their workshop.  How do they approach central issues?  How do they apply various methodologies to that text?  What sort of groundwork do they do in preparing to publish an extensive critical commentary?  Those questions are answered in volumes such as the present one.

The essays are arranged topically:

Was die Hiobforschung bewegt – Eine historisch-kritische Übersicht über 300 Jahre literaturgeschichtliche Arbeit am Buch Hiob makes up the first grouping of six essays.   The second group of seven essays is titled Die literarische Gattung des Buches Hiob – Robert Lowth (1710–1787) und seine Erben.  Three essays appear under the heading Der leidende Mensch im Spiegel des Buches Hiob.  Seven are subsumed under Beobachtungen zum Verhältnis von Zeit und Leid im Buch Hiob; six under Hiobs „Zeichen“ – Traditions- und theologiegeschichtliche
Anmerkungen zu Hiob 31,35–37; four under Die Torah in den Augen Hiobs; three under Hiob und seine Frau in jüdischen Schriften aus hellenistisch-römischer Zeit; and three under Hiobs Sohn – Eine textgeschichtliche Notiz zu Hiob 42,17 (Septuaginta).

Many of these essays appear in print elsewhere but here they are handily assembled and made easily accessible.  The volume’s value is precisely in the fact that so many studies of the Book of Job, which are incredibly insightful, are under one cover.

Der vorliegende Band versammelt acht ausgewählte Aufsätze zum Buch Hiob, die ich in den Jahren 2003 bis 2016 an unterschiedlichen, zum Teil etwas entlegenen Orten veröffentlicht habe, und eine noch nicht publizierte forschungsgeschichtliche Übersicht zur kritischen Hiobforschung in den letzten 300 Jahren.

The author is quite well informed on the topic and brings to bear a wealth of knowledge especially of the Rabbinic traditions.  Copious observations from the Talmud and other early Jewish texts shine through in nearly every part.  But historical-critical scholarship is also in Witte’s toolbox.  He is, briefly, a master of many methodologies and he is tied to none.

I look forward to his commentary.  In the meanwhile, I commend this work to you as you too await the appearance of a commentary sure to matter.

The Five Top Reasons to Home School Your Kids

Homeschooling can be a controversial topic among Christians, but it shouldn’t be. It’s the only choice for real believers. In addition to the obvious reasons like better test scores, family values, and the ability to ensure your children never, ever encounter a secular worldview before they turn 18, homeschooling gives you a lot of street cred with the other parents in your hood.

While there are 10,000 reasons for your heart to find to praise homeschooling, we’ve narrowed them down to just the top 5:

1.) The earth can be whatever age you say it is. 6,000 years? Sure, go for it. 4 billion and some change? Knock yourself out. You could even tell your kids the earth is a virtual simulation implanted in our minds by machines that enslaved us after a war for control of the earth’s resources, if you want to.

2.) Your kids can graduate early, like before they hit puberty or before they even get out of the womb. While late-blooming homeschool kids might graduate high school when they’re 13, the average homeschooler graduates well before puberty. A few outliers have even graduated before they were officially born. Now that’s something you can brag about.

3.) You can teach your children important life skills like math, science, Latin, Sindarin, and looking down on everyone who doesn’t homeschool. While those public school kids are still learning how to tie their shoes, you can jump-start your children’s knowledge of extremely useful subjects, fictional languages, and the all-important life skill of sneering at people who went to public school. Don’t worry, they won’t pick up on your condescending attitude any more than they know how to do basic algebra.

4.) You’ll get to feel the raw, unadulterated power of being able to shape the minds of future generations coursing through your veins like holy fire. It’s a high unlike any other, and it’s not just for public school teachers anymore. The power coursing through your veins will quickly become addicting.

5.) God will love you more. This is probably the best reason: God will simply love you more if you homeschool. Favor from the Most High usually isn’t easy to obtain by our own efforts, but with homeschooling, it is!

Thank you, Babylon Bee.

Signs of the Times

Poor things never have figured out an actual argument that isn’t based on irrelevant comparisons.  Bless their sad little empty headed hearts.

‘You Can’t Handle the Truth…’

Today in Melanchthon History

From our Saxon friends on FB-

July 24, 1518-  Philipp Melanchthon receives a letter from Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony, appointing him professor of the Greek language at Wittenberg University, founded in 1502.

It was a momentous calling.