Daily Archives: 27 Sep 2018

Public Service Announcement Concerning Eric Metaxas

Apparently Metaxas appeared at a Christian college and engaged students.  So, might I remind everyone that Eric Metaxas is not a scholar. He is not a trained academic. He has no academic credentials. He creates vegetable cartoon figures and writes biographies of various historical persons that are, at best, inaccurate, and more accurately, utter nonsense.  He cannot and should not be taken seriously as an academic theological voice. People should stop giving him time.

Happy Birth-iversary, Jesuits

The Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic missionary group, was confirmed in Rome by Pope Paul III in 1540. Founded by Ignatius of Loyola, the Jesuit movement grew quickly and became one of the most useful tools of the Counter Reformation. Dedicated to education and charitable organizations, the Jesuits were renowned teachers and duty-bound to spread the Catholic faith. As educators, the Jesuits were also called to evangelize, and sometimes exploit, newly discovered territories and played a leading role in the conversion of indigenous populations around the world.


Die Septuaginta- Geschichte, Wirkung, Relevanz

Newly published by Mohr Siebeck.

As the central biblical reference text for ancient Greek-speaking Judaism and Christianity alike, the Septuagint both aids and challenges expressions of Jewish and Christian identity. The diversity of its current debates are reflected in this volume, which brings aspects of textual criticism, textual history, philology, theology, reception history, and Jewish identity in the Second Temple period together to provide an up-to-date overview of the latest in international research.

The collection is massive.  Here are the contents:

Martin Meiser: Die Septuaginta innerhalb der Literatur des antiken Judentums: Theo-logische Termini, Motive, Themen – Michaela Geiger/Knut Usener/Martin Karrer: Hiobs anderes Ende – Michaela Geiger: Ambiguität und Ironie in Hi 40,26–32MT – Knut Usener: Hiob 40 LXXals theologische Interpretation der hebräischen Vorlage – Martin Karrer: Job, der Gerechte: Beobachtungen zum Hiobbuch der Septuaginta – Markus Witte: Gelebte und reflektierte Religion in der Sapientia Salomonis – Wolfgang Kraus: Zur Rezeption von Ps 40(39 LXX),7–9 in Hebr 10,5–10 – Siegfried Kreuzer: Zur Relevanz editorischer Prinzipien – Theo A.W. van der Louw: The Evolution of the Genesis Translator – Eberhard Bons: »The Lord is the One Who Crushes Wars.« A Fresh Look at the Septuagint Translation of Exod 15:3 – Christian Lustig: Moses eigenes Zelt. Zur Unterscheidung zweier Zeltkonzeptionen im griechischen Exodusbuch – Emanuel Tov: The Septuagint of Numbers as a Harmonizing Text – Hans Ausloos: One to three … Some Aspects of the Numeruswechsel within the LXX of Deuteronomy – Kristin De Troyer: Commands and Executions. Cases from Joshua 1–6 – Kristin De Troyer: »Man nahm die Leiche von dem Baum ab und warf sie vor das Tor der Stadt« (Jos 8,29): kleine Probleme, große Textgeschichte! – José Manuel Cañas Reíllo: LXX-Judges: The Value of Secondary Translations for Its Textual History – Andrés Piquer Otero: The Secondary Versions of Kings. Variants and Renderings Between Vorlagen and Ideology – Bonifatia Gesche: The Versions of the Vetus Latina and their Relation to the Versions of the Septuagint in 1 Kings – Andrés Piquer Otero: The ‘Miscellanies’ of 3 Kgdms 2 – Frank Ueberschaer: 1Kön 11,26–40: Die verschiedenen Septuagintatraditionen im Zusammenspiel mit weiteren Textüberlieferungen in einem nicht-kaige Abschnitt – Jan Joosten: New Light on Proto-Theodotion. The Psalms of Solomon and the Milieu of the Kaige Recension – Folker Siegert: Die Koinē als gesprochene Sprache. Akustisches zur Septuaginta

Christian Eberhart: Opferterminologie im Sirachbuch – Cameron Boyd-Taylor: Faithful Scribes and Phantom Texts: Jewish Transmission of the Septuagint Prior to the Amoraic Period – William A. Ross:The Septuagint as a Catalyst for Language Change in the Koine: A Usage-Based Approach – Maria Jurovitskaya: The Meaning of ἀνατολή in the Septuagint and the Papyri – Antonella Bellantuono:Does the Word Group ἀπιστ- Have a Religious Connotation in Non-Jewish Greek Literature? – Mikhail G. Seleznev: Anti-anthropomorphisms in the Septuagint: Statistical Testing of a Hypothesis – Michaël N. van der Meer: The Reception History of Joshua in the Septuagint and Contemporary Documents – Gert Jacobus Steyn: Psalm Quotations by Philo of Alexandria. Some Observations – Felix Albrecht:Zur Wirkungsgeschichte des Septuagintapsalters im ägyptischen Christentum: Die griechisch-koptischen Bilinguen – Nathalie Siffer: La citation de Habaquq 1,5 en Actes 13,41 – Elena Belenkaja:βραχύ τι – qualitative, temporale und räumliche Aspekte. Zur Rezeption von Ps 8,5–7LXX in Hebr 2,5–9 – Marcus Sigismund: ἀρχὴ καὶ τέλος. Textform und Funktion der Pentateuchzitate in der Apokalypseauslegung des Arethas von Caesarea

Ekaterina Matusova: The Origins of Translation Theory: The LXX among Jewish Greek Writers – Matthieu Richelle: The Relevance of the Septuagint for Reconstructing the History of Ancient Israel – Alma Brodersen: The Septuagint’s Relevance for the End of the Psalter – Johann Cook: Theological Perspectives in LXX Proverbs – Marieke Dhont: The Cultural Outlook of Old Greek Job: A Reassessment of the Notion of Hellenization – Christoph Kugelmeier: Ἰσοδυναμία und »Authentizität«. Reflexe der Auseinandersetzung um die »Worttreue« in den antiken Versionen des Buches Sirach – Zoltan Oláh: »…werden sie bezahlen« (Jes LXX9,4). Erfahrungen von Fremdherrschaft als Aktualisierung – Arie van der Kooij: The Old Greek of Isaiah and Book III of the Sibylline Oracles: Related Pieces of Jewish Literature in Ptolemaic Egypt – Johanna Erzberger: Nebuchadnezzar, Judah, and the Nations: Shifting Frames of Reference in Jer 25 – Anna Angelini: Demonic agents in the Greek Bible. Evaluating the Role of the Septuagint in Creating a Hellenistic Demonology – Barbara Schmitz: Concepts of Kingship in Aristeas, Xenophon’s Cyropaedia and Isocrates’ Speeches – Mogens Müller: Die Bedeutung der Septuaginta für die Entfaltung neutestamentlicher Theologie – Ralph Brucker: Berauscht von Gott. Ps 22,5LXX im Licht von Eph 5,18 und verwandten Texten – Riemer Roukema: Philological Observations, Syntax, and Delimitation in the Septuagint Version of Micah According to Patristic Commentaries – Barbara Villani: Bibelzitate in Cyrill von Alexandriens Werken zum Alten Testament. Einige Beobachtungen zu den Unterschieden zwischen dem Dialog De adoratione et cultu in spiritu et veritate und den Kommentaren – Christoph Schubert: Form und Funktion der Bibelzitate bei Tertullian, Adversus Iudaeos – Stefan Freund: Librum legerunt in Hebraicis litteris scriptum. Bewusstsein und Reflexion der Originalsprachlichkeit alttestamentlicher Zitate bei den frühchristlichen lateinischen Autoren – Hedwig Schmalzgruber: Beobachtungen zu Form und Funktion alttestamentlicher Bibelzitate in Ambrosius’ Exaemeron – Victoria Zimmerl-Panagl: … ad Libanum … ad boream …? Zu Numeri 10,1–10 in Ambrosius, De excessu fratris Satyri 2,107 – Dorothea Weber: Überlegungen zu Wortlaut und Autorität von Zitaten am Beispiel der Auseinandersetzung zwischen Augustinus und Julian von Aeclanum – Bruno Bureau: Biblical Quotations and Allusions in Two Latin Epics, Sedulius’ Carmen Paschale and Arator’s Historia Apostolica.

The tripartite division programmatically divulges the central purpose of the collection: to examine the Septuagint from three points of view- its history, its effects, and its abiding relevance.

The essays collected under the first heading invite specialists (this is a book for specialists) to consider important historical issues related to the texts of the LXX, their translation, and their interpretation.

The second section of the book is the shortest and, from the perspective of the present reviewer, the most interesting.  Worthy of particular mention are

  • Christian Eberhart: Opferterminologie im Sirachbuch
  • William A. Ross: The Septuagint as a Catalyst for Language Change in the Koine: A Usage-Based Approach
  • Felix Albrecht: Zur Wirkungsgeschichte des Septuagintapsalters im ägyptischen Christentum: Die griechisch-koptischen Bilinguen

Each of these makes what I believe are important and substantial contributions to our understanding of the materials they treat.  Ross especially shows how important the LXX is for our understanding of the Greek language and, consequently, our understanding of the texts central to Christianity.  His essay, I suggest, is the most important work on the topic in many years and should be consulted, surely, by biblical scholars from all areas.

From the third section, the essays of which urge readers towards an appreciation for the abiding relevance of the LXX to its users in the early history of Christianity, the following are especially good:

  • Mogens Müller: Die Bedeutung der Septuaginta für die Entfaltung neutestamentlicher Theologie
  • Ralph Brucker: Berauscht von Gott. Ps 22,5LXX im Licht von Eph 5,18 und verwandten Texten

There is a lot to absorb here.  Perhaps there is too much.  Indeed, if the volume has a weakness it isn’t the highly specialized nature of its contents nor is it the expertise necessary for its contents to be appreciated.  Rather, it is that the volume does too much, presents too much, offers too much, overwhelms.

This is an overwhelming collection.  Readers are deluged by a sea of details, many of which take considerable effort to assimilate.  Perhaps if the work had been divided into three volumes- one for each section- it would be less mentally taxing.  Or, perhaps reading it straight through is a bad idea.  Perhaps readers should chop it into smaller bites and take a longer period of time than 5 weeks to work through it.

And that, in sum, is my suggestion to readers of this important work: take it rather slowly.  Read an essay a week.  Or perhaps two.  And allow them to ferment in your mind a bit before moving on to the next.  Take a year to read the collection.  You’ll be well rewarded, intellectually stimulated, and academically challenged.

Explaining the Roots of Sexual Perversity

Man cannot live without joy; therefore when he is deprived of true spiritual joys it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures.  Aquinas

Those who lack spiritual depth and thus spiritual joy will fill the emptiness in their lives with something.  And that something is oftentimes carnality.

In other words, you show me a sexually perverse man or woman and I will show you someone who is spiritually empty.

Look, People, Do Your Own Work and Stop Plagiarizing

It’s unethical. So stop it.

Carey Scott, a Colorado author and life coach, has accused international evangelist Christine Caine and her publishers of copying portions of a book she published in 2015 to include in two best-selling books Caine published later.

In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Michigan in May — a copy of which was acquired by The Christian Post Tuesday — Scott names Caine, HarperCollins Publishers LLC, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., The Zondervan Corporation and Inc. d/b/a Zondervan Publishing as defendants.

Stop it.

Signs of the Times

On the Cusp of the Marburg Colloquy: Zwingli Arrives

Samuel Simpson writes

The journey to Basel was made on horseback, the distance from Zurich being about sixty miles, and Zwingli and his friend arrived there safely, September 5. Thence, in company with Œcolampadius and others, he proceeded by boat to Strasburg, where he arrived the next day, September 6. Here he tarried eleven days to confer with his friends and lay plans for the coming conference and also to await the arrival of Ulrich Funk, Zurich’s official delegate. Leaving Strasburg September 18, the company, consisting of Zwingli, Collin, and Funk, of Zurich; Œcolampadius, of Basel; Butzer and Hedio, of Strasburg; and delegates of the last named cities, was conducted overland by a strong escort of Hessian cavalry, through dense forests and dangerous mountain passes, to Marburg, where they arrived September 27. Luther, in company with his Wittenberg friends, Philip Melanchthon, Caspar Cruciger, and Justus Jonas, entered the city the day following.

Here’s a map showing Zwingli’s route from Zurich to Marburg:

route marburg