Daily Archives: 28 Oct 2018

If You Aren’t A Christian at Work, You aren’t a Christian

The New Yorker tweets-

You may not be going to a church office, but if you aren’t a Christian when you’re there, you aren’t a Christian.

Those Killed…

Via NPR- the list of the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue murderer.

Joyce Fienberg, 75

Richard Gottfried, 65

Rose Mallinger, 97

Jerry Rabinowitz, 66

Cecil Rosenthal, 59

David Rosenthal, 54

Bernice Simon, 84

Sylvan Simon, 86

Daniel Stein, 71

Melvin Wax, 88

Irving Younger, 69

Quote of the Day

The Second Amendment is a framework for lawmaking, not a suicide pact. – Shannon Watts

Let’s Not Forget BAR’s Role in Publishing Scrolls From The Same Sources

Five of its Dead Sea Scroll fragments are fake, the Museum of the Bible in Washington was forced to admit last week. The embarrassed institution may be in good company: Out of at least 70 fragments ostensibly from the Scrolls held in various collections around the world, scholars warn that all are probably forged.

As the experts ponder who is responsible for the scandal in the Museum of the Bible, which may be the largest case of antiquities fraud in years, some researchers are placing a big chunk of the blame on a surprising culprit: themselves.

“Without the scholars, we would not have this big scandal,” agrees Arstein Justnes, a professor of biblical studies at the University of Agder, Norway, who also runs the blog The Lying Pen of Scribes, which tracks the suspicious scroll fragments.

But how could this have happened? How difficult is it to establish that a fragment of pottery or scroll is genuine? The answer is, not as difficult as you might think.

In his opinion, Justnes says, if the fragments in the Bible Museum had turned out to be genuine, they still shouldn’t have been displayed unless the museum divulged their provenance and proved they were legit.

But by uncritically publishing the scroll fragments, the scientific community “sent a strong signal to the antiquities market that it really didn’t care too much about provenance,” he says. “This really stimulated the antiquities market, and it was an encouragement to every looter under the desert sun. For over 15 years, several prominent Dead Sea Scrolls scholars have effectively laundered unprovenanced material.”

And more, which do read.  And though the article completely ignores the major role that BAR has played in the entire Scrolls story, BAR too bears some responsibility.

Few Things…

Few things are more cowardly than cowering behind false accusations rather than actually responding to substantive issues.  To those of you who immediately turn to accusations instead of answering actual questions- sod off.

#ICYMI – Martin Luther’s Anti-Semitism: Against His Better Judgment

Eric W. Gritsch’s newest contribution to the field of historical theology arrived courtesy the awesome folk at Eerdmans:  Martin Luther’s Anti-Semitism: Against His Better Judgment.

In this book Eric W. Gritsch, a Lutheran and a distinguished Luther scholar, faces the glaring ugliness of Martin Luther’s anti- Semitism head-on, describing Luther’s journey from initial attempts to proselytize Jews to an appallingly racist position, which he apparently held until his death.

Comprehensively laying out the textual evidence for Luther’s virulent anti-Semitism, Gritsch traces the development of Luther’s thinking in relation to his experiences, external influences, and theological convictions. Revealing greater impending danger with each step, Martin Luther’s Anti-Semitism marches steadily onward until the full extent of Luther’s racism becomes apparent. Gritsch’s unflinching analysis also describes the impact of Luther’s egregious words on subsequent generations and places Luther within Europe’s long history of anti-Semitism.

Throughout, however, Gritsch resists the temptation either to demonize or to exonerate Luther. Rather, readers will recognize Luther’s mistakes as links in a chain that pulled him further and further away from an attitude of respect for Jews as the biblical people of God. Gritsch depicts Luther as a famous example of the intensive struggle with the enduring question of Christian-Jewish relations. It is a great historical tragedy that Luther, of all people, fell victim to anti-Semitism — albeit against his better judgment.

My review of this important volume is here.

Signs of the Times

Maybe Before you Talk About Luther You Should Know Something About Luther

Wil Gafney is the person to whose tweet I responded.  And what I said to her I say to all-

Luther was wrong when he said what he said in later life about the Jews.  Dead wrong, and everyone around him knew it.  But the early Luther was a different man.  So let’s not pretend that Luther always said the same thing.  Let’s, in other words, be fair.

The Big Ten

  1. “You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
  3. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
  4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
  5. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
  6. “You shall not murder.
  7. “You shall not commit adultery.
  8. “You shall not steal.
  9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exod. 20:3-17)