Daily Archives: 30 Jul 2018

More Pentebabbleist Nutbaggery

Oh you crazy pentebabblers

Class Struggle in the New Testament

Potentially this could quite possibly be interesting.

Robert Myles' Blog

Quite excited by this news. The final manuscript of a book I’ve edited called Class Struggle in the New Testament is complete and is now off to the publisher (Lexington Books/Fortress Academic). I reproduce below the blurb and Table of Contents. Watch this space for updates in the coming months.

Class Struggle in the New Testament engages the political and economic realities of the first century to unmask the mediation of class through several New Testament texts and traditions. Essays span a range of subfields, presenting class and class struggle as “the motor force of history” by responding to recent debates, historical data, and new evidence on the political-economic world of Jesus, Paul, and the Gospels. Chapters address collective struggles in the Gospels, the Roman military and class, the usefulness of categories like “peasant,” “retainer,” and “middling groups” for understanding the world of Jesus, the class basis behind the origin…

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More Archaeological Speculation: Hoorah!

Archaeologists May Have Discovered a Church Built on the Site of Constantine the Great’s Conversion to Christianity.

‘May’ is now the most used word in archaeology thanks to the BAR-ification of the discipline.

During work along the right bank of the Tiber this summer, the archaeological group Cooperativa Archeologia uncovered what was first thought to be a villa, but later considered to be a church.

Oh boy! I’m atingle with excitement!!! Maybe they found the Holy Grail too!!!…

*Insert optic nerve snapping eyeroll here’.

I pine for the days when people cared more about scholarship than they did about fame questing in the media publicity speculations.

Maybe those days will return once BAR-ification has run its course.

Signs of the Times

Via Christian History Magazine

Neither- They Would Kill Him

And Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr, Robert Jeffress, and Eric Metaxas would be the ones with the hammer and nails.

Congratulations to Michael Langlois

He has just been named Lauréat du partenariat Hubert Curien franco-israélien Maïmonide.

Le projet de recherche que j’ai développé en partenariat avec Esther Eshel a été sélectionné par le programme Hubert Curien franco-israélien Maïmonide !

Ce financement de deux ans nous permettra de collaborer plus étroitement à l’étude de textes alphabétiques du premier millénaire avant Jésus-Christ dans la région du Levant, à l’instar d’inscriptions et de manuscrits hébreux et araméens.

Ce financement va également me permettre de poursuivre le développement des outils informatiques que j’ai mis au point, notamment l’imagerie multi-spectrale et les bases de données.

Je me réjouis de collaborer avec Esther Eshel et son équipe ! 🙂

Very happy for him and very proud of him.

When St Jerome Writes a Book Review…

St Jerome reviews RHE’s latest book-

The style is so barbarous, and the language so vile and such a heap of blunders, that I could neither understand what [s]he was talking about, nor by what arguments [s]he was trying to prove his points. At one moment [s]he is all bombast, at another [s]he grovels: from time to time [s]he lifts himself up, and then like a wounded snake finds [her] his own effort too much for [her] him. Not satisfied with the language of men, [s]he attempts something loftier. – St Jerome

I love you Jerome.  You’re my bff!


Makers of the Modern Theological Mind: Rudolf Bultmann

9781619708136oDecades ago Morris Ashcraft wrote the definitive exposition of the theology of Rudolf Bultmann.  It also went out of print decades ago and became a classic in the meanwhile.

Hendrickson has, thankfully, republished this masterpiece in paperback and made it once more easily available.

How can modern scientific humanity understand the strange religious language of the Bible? This is one of the questions Rudolf Bultmann (1884–1976) spent his life answering. As a devout Lutheran committed to the Christian faith, Bultmann’s concern was how to make Christianity intelligible in the twentieth century. His concept of demythologizing was part of his lifelong attempt to help people “hear” the Christian gospel and respond to it authentically. All of this originated out of a genuine pastoral concern to highlight the nature of New Testament faith. As Morris Ashcraft writes, “He stands alongside Karl Barth as a man who changed the direction of theology significantly and perhaps permanently.”

In this book, along with a brief biographical sketch, Morris Ashcraft provides a concise and reliable guide to Bultmann’s system of thought and his continuing influence.

Dean Ashcraft was at Southeastern Seminary while I was there doing an MDiv and a ThM and a finer scholar and Christian you’ve never met.  His book on Bultmann remains the finest of the genre.  Students of the New Testament should all be required to read it.

A Fun Fact About Rudolf Bultmann

According to his biographer, Konrad Hammann, Bultmann either sent or received around 20,000 pieces of correspondence over the course of his career!

That’s a lot of mail!  And none of it was electronic!!!!

Remembering the Death of Rudolf Bultmann: His Most Influential Commentary

bultmannPersonally, I’ll admit, I love his commentary on 2 Corinthians most, but I suppose it’s fair to say that his greatest commentary is the one on the Gospel of John.  In many ways it has been surpassed but it continues to exert grand influence on the area of Johannine studies.  I can’t think of a single commentary since that hasn’t made reference to his.  Not one.  It has even been republished numerous times- as recently as last year-

As the first volume in the Johannine Monograph Series, The Gospel of John: A Commentary by Rudolf Bultmann well deserves this place of pride. Indeed, this provocative commentary is arguably the most important New Testament monograph in the twentieth century, perhaps second only to The Quest of the Historical Jesus by Albert Schweitzer. In contrasting Bultmann’s and Schweitzer’s paradigms, however, we find that Bultmann’s is far more technically argued and original, commanding hegemony among other early-Christianity paradigms. Ernst Haenchen has described Bultmann’s commentary as a giant oak tree in whose shade nothing could grow, and indeed, this reference accurately describes its dominance among Continental Protestant scholarship over the course of several decades.


Remembering Rudolf Bultmann on the Anniversary of his Death: The Marburg Sermons

Bultmann was never ordained but he was frequently asked to preach and he was always active in the life of the Lutheran parish in Marburg.  It was his task to stand at the door with the poor box and receive offerings as congregants left the service on Sunday morning.  And he took this job seriously and performed it every Sunday he was in attendance (which was every Sunday he wasn’t elsewhere lecturing or preaching).

He was, to put it bluntly, a better Church member than the Fundamentalists who assail him without cause.

If you have never read any of his sermons, find a copy of this book and read them.  You won’t regret it.  You will regret it if you don’t, though.


Signs of the Times

Signs of the Times

Look, now Churches are offering hair washing services to get folk in…

Not only is it odd that they wash hair, but that they dress so formally to do it and add in an audience to boot…   Weird.

His Name Is Rudolf, Not Rudolph

From time to time some copy editor or some book cover designer or some ignorant student will publish a book or write an essay about Bultmann and misspell his word- much to the shock, horror, and dismay of everyone who knows something about RKB.  So, for instance, an otherwise very fine book on Bultmann by John Webster, who knows better but who employed a printer who knew nothing is befouled by that simple senseless act.

Read the book.  Ignore the cover.

The Theology of the New Testament

nttheoBultmann’s most celebrated volume needs no introduction.  No one unfamiliar with it since its first publication has ever studied the New Testament seriously.

Pick up a copy if you don’t already have it.

The Next Time Someone Boasts that the US Has the Best Healthcare in the World…

Remind them of this:

Every year in the U.S., more than 50,000 mothers are severely injured during or after childbirth and 700 die. This means that America is the “most dangerous place to give birth in the developed world,” according to a USA Today investigation. They found that women are dying and suffering life-altering injuries during childbirth because hospitals aren’t following well-established safety measures. For the full story, click here.

We pay the highest prices for health care and get the worst outcomes possible.

The Two Best Books About Bultmann

  1. The best biography of Bultmann is that of Konrad Hammann (and it’s better in German).  Particularly important is his discussion of Bultmann during the era of the Second World War.
  2. The best short study of Bultmann’s theology is Gareth Jones’s “Bultmann: Towards a Critical Theology“.  This book has not received the very wide attention it deserves.  It is indispensable.

People ask me from time to time how they can best be introduced to Bultmann’s theology and I always tell them- read BULTMANN!  Once, though, you’ve read half a dozen or more of Bultmann’s books, these three are next on the list – at the top of the list of books ABOUT Bultmann that interested persons should read.  Bultmann first, these three next.  And then it’s back to Bultmann himself.

You will never learn about someone’s ideas if you only read what others think.  You have to have first hand acquaintance with someone’s work.  There are no shortcuts.

Where Did Barth Come From? Leonard Ragaz, of Course

And who was Ragaz?  This neat essay tells you (with thanks to Christoph Chalamet for the heads up).  To really understand Barth, you have to understand the person who influenced his theological ideas the most.

How is the Revised ‘Dictionary of Classical Hebrew’ Different?

David J.A. Clines has answered that question with a powerpoint.

Remembering Bultmann on the Anniversary of His Death: The Gifford Lectures

TPESCH00000c100LIn the early 60’s Bultmann delivered the Gifford lectures in a series titled “History and Eschatology”.  If you haven’t already, you can read those lectures, free. Here.


The following chapters contain the Gifford Lectures which I was invited to give at the University of Edinburgh from 7th February till 2nd March 1955 The printed text corresponds closely in substance to the lectures as they were delivered. Only minor additions have been made and the number of references to literature increased. I am conscious that there are many problems which should be discussed further than was possible for me within the framework of these lectures and I must be content if my attempt to deal with them contributes to such further discussion.

I cannot let these lectures be published without saying how deeply grateful I am for the honour of being invited to give the Gifford Lectures and also for the great hospitality and the manifold and helpful kindness which I experienced during the weeks I spent in Edinburgh.

Rudolf Bultmann