Daily Archives: 15 Nov 2018

Quote of the Week

The Enlightenment turned us away from truth and toward a darkling weakening horizon, sad and grey to see. The afterglow of Christianity is near gone now, and a stygian silence lurks in wait. – Norm Macdonald

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2018 in Modern Culture


Brexit Explained for North Americans / Non Europeans

Any questions?


Posted by on 15 Nov 2018 in Modern Culture


The First Jewish War: An International Symposium in Jerusalem

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2018 in Conferences


A New, Free Magazine from Tyndale House (The Real One in Cambridge, UK)

At the end of November we’ll be launching our new magazine, ink, with thought-provoking articles about the language, culture and history of the Bible. If you you’d like to receive a free copy by post (UK addresses only) sign up here, or enter your email address to be notified when we publish our electronic version.

So it’s the e-version for me.

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2018 in Biblical Studies Resources


I Just Like the Title…

Of Luther’s little work-

WHOEVER HAS EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR A REALLY FAT, GROSS, CORPULENT—A THOROUGHLY PAPIST—LIE, FOR THUS IT SAYS IN THE CANON LAW: DIST. 96, C. CONSTANTINUS:  Martin Luther, “Preface, Marginal Glosses, and Afterword to One of the High Articles of the Papist Faith, Called the Donation of Constantine [ca. 800], Translated by Dr. Martin Luther against the Postponed Council of Mantua: 1537,”

Not only is the title long, it includes the word corpulent.  A word we don’t use nearly enough.

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2018 in Modern Culture


That Awkward Moment When the Title of one of the Books of the Bible (And a Tractate) Is Censored…

With thanks to both Christian Brady who mentioned it on Facebook and James McGrath who mentioned it on the twitter-

Just in case you aren’t familiar- Bereshit Rabbah is a rabbinic commentary on the biblical book of Genesis (Bereshit in Hebrew…).  Evidently either a droid or a human editor found those last four letters ‘offensive’ and chopped them right off…

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2018 in Modern Culture


That’s a New One…

I had no idea what it meant when several NRA supporters (read, toadying sycophants) called me an NPC over the course of the last 24 hours.  So, I looked it up.  And here’s what it means:

Last week, a trolling campaign organized by right-wing internet users spilled over onto Twitter. The campaign, which was born in the fever swamps of 4chan and Reddit message boards, involved creating hundreds of fictional personas with gray cartoon avatars, known as NPCs. These accounts posed as liberal activists and were used to spread — among other things — false information about November’s midterm elections.

Over the weekend, Twitter responded by suspending about 1,500 accounts associated with the NPC trolling campaign. The accounts violated Twitter’s rules against “intentionally misleading election-related content,” according to a person familiar with the company’s enforcement process. The person, who would speak only anonymously, was not authorized to discuss the decision.

If you’re confused, you’re not alone. Here, we try to unpack the NPC meme, what it means and why it’s causing trouble on Twitter.

What is an NPC? NPC means “nonplayable character” or “nonplayer character.” It’s a term, borrowed from the world of video games, for a character that is controlled by the computer rather than by a player. An NPC often advances the game’s plot by saying scripted lines, or assisting the playable characters in some way.

Who knew.  At any rate, any notion that the far right is interested in reasonable discourse or actual discussion is simply false.  They are not interested in conversation, they are interested only in domination.  Consequently, they cannot be partners in any rationale discourse.  They are invincible in their ignorance and never will be otherwise.

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2018 in Modern Culture


My Now Standard Practice

Whenever I see someone on twitter who announces, in their profile, their admiration for Dana Loesch  ( @dloesch ) or the NRA ( @nra ), I block them without further ado.

I have no time for people whose entire lives are driven by fear and hatred.  To be sure, there are wonderful people who hunt and who own guns.  But the NRA doesn’t represent them.  It represents far right extremism and fearmongering.  The entire aim of the organization is to sell guns; nothing else.

And they don’t care who is killed as long as guns are sold.  And people who share that mindset are neither deserving of nor worthy of a second of my life on this planet.

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2018 in Modern Culture


The ‘Homeless Man’ Go Fund Me Scam

This is why I NEVER have and never will send any money to any organization or person that I do not PERSONALLY know.  This is why those who don’t believe the doctrine of total depravity are fools.

The New Jersey couple who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in a viral charity campaign for a homeless man were allegedly working with the vagrant as part of an elaborate ruse, according to a new report.

Prosecutors believe that Mark D’Amico and Kate McClure conspired with homeless man Johnny Bobbitt to create their get-rich-quick scheme in 2017, NBC’s Philadelphia affiliate reported Wednesday.

The couple turned themselves in to authorities on Wednesday, but Bobbitt was still at large, the news station said.

According a source who spoke to the news outlet, which said it had a copy of a criminal complaint, all three are expected to face charges of conspiracy and theft by deception for working together to create the ruse. The Burlington County Prosecutor’s office is expected to make an announcement in the case Thursday, according to multiple reports.

What despicable, deplorable, depraved wretches.

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2018 in Modern Culture, Total Depravity


A Warning

‎הוֹי מַשְׁכִּימֵי בַבֹּקֶר שֵׁכָר יִרְדֹּפוּ

— Is 5:11a

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2018 in Bible, Modern Culture


36 Hours In Denver: what To do While You’re In Town…

I’m not sure why but just today the New York Times has a story about things to do in Denver…  Does the NYT know we’re all headed that way for #SBLAAR18 or something?

Anyway- here are the highlights:

The RiNo district also teems with culinary intrigue, from the new Super Mega Bien serving Mexican tapas dim-sum style to the contemporary wood-fired grill Acorn. Because reservations are hard to come by, hit Hop Alley early. The chef Tommy Lee, who also runs Uncle, a ramen-specialist in LoHi, serves regional Chinese fare with a focus on fine ingredients and the use of a wood grill in a former soy sauce factory where hip-hop commonly rings out across the lively dining room. Most of the vegetable, protein, noodle and rice dishes seem designed to share, including savory kung pao cauliflower ($15), grilled octopus with spicy gochujang sauce ($27) and garlic shrimp noodles ($23). Several of the cocktails come in large-format shareable sizes too.

I’m in!  See you there.

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2018 in Conferences, SBL


Real Piety has Vanished

Real piety, by which is meant true worship and prayer to God, has disappeared among us, as St. Paul writes to the Romans [Rom. 1:28–31]: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.”

From these words of Paul we learn that all these evils which he enumerates arise when we desert God, do not fully recognise Him, do not look up to Him, do not place our whole trust in him, but on the contrary despise Him and regard him somewhat as we would an old sleeping dog. But I shall not now consider the question whose fault it is that we have forgotten him. That matter I shall discuss at the proper time. — Huldrych Zwingli*

True then, true now.  Just look at the Republican Party, the Church, and the Nation.

*NB- If anyone knows where I can get that little bronze statue of Zwingli, I’d be grateful beyond words if you would tell me.


Posted by on 15 Nov 2018 in Zwingli


Journal of the Jesus Movement in its Jewish Setting #5 – free access

Thanks, Richard!

Newman Research Centre for the Bible and its Reception

The latest edition of the Journal of the Jesus Movement in its Jewish Setting (5)is now out with the great news that it has also secured more funding to ensure that it can continue its commitment to the production of a quality open access journal that maintains the high academic standards that it has set itself.

JJMJS is strongly committed to remain open access.  Moving forward, we, as any other open-access journals, must secure long-term economic stability without compromising academic quality. We are therefore very pleased to announce that, through a unique collaborative effort, JJMJS is now entering a multilateral partnership with Hebrew University of JerusalemDePaul University in Chicago, and the University of Oslo.

This edition is something of a feast for those interested in Paul, Pauline scholarship, and first century CE Judaism and is timed to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of E.P. Sanders’ Paul and…

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Posted by on 15 Nov 2018 in Modern Culture