Monthly Archives: March 2019

Taking Fraud to a Higher Level

Are you too lazy to do your own work?  Did your parents bribe the school you’re at to let you in?  Then by all means, take your cheating to the next level and let these vermin help you use AI to cheat your way through your next paper.  Their algorithm will match your idiotic writing style to an idiot willing to do the writing for you who also writes in your idiotic writing style.

Welcome to depravity.

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Posted by on 31 Mar 2019 in Modern Culture


How Not to Interpret Archaeological Materials

The discovery of an object dated to ‘biblical times’ with a ‘biblical name’ on it is not proof of any historical aspect of the biblical text.  It’s just an item with a name on it that happens to be a name found in the bible.  Nothing more.

And if you insist on following the reasoning of “biblical archaeology” and the discovery of every object with a name found in the bible proves something historical, then you are using circular reasoning and that’s a logical fallacy. A button does not make a suit.

It simply is not proof to say ‘Nathan was named in the bible.  We have an object with the name Nathan on it.  Therefore, we have proof of the biblical narrative that names Nathan.”  It’s circular reasoning and too much that calls itself scholarship is filled with it.

Be skeptical.  Skepticism is the very soul of scholarship because it forces us to ask hard questions in our quest for truth.  And make no mistake, it is a quest for truth that is our object, not the enrichment of a magazine or pseudo-scholars who write rubbish books or star on tv shows.

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Posted by on 31 Mar 2019 in Archaeology


19 and Dead Because he Knocked on the Wrong Door

What a world.

A teen has been shot and killed after knocking on the wrong door, police have said.

Nineteen-year-old Omarian Banks had recently moved to a new apartment building in Georgia, Atlanta. According to police, Banks was dropped off by a taxi at around 12.30am on Friday morning and, as he wasn’t familiar with the area, he went to the wrong apartment.

Etc. What a terrible world.

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Posted by on 31 Mar 2019 in Modern Culture


A Seal Which Bears the Name Natan-Melech

Via Joeseph Lauer-

This morning, Sunday, March 31, 2019, the IAA circulated English and Hebrew press releases titled “Who Was ‘Natan-Melech the King’s Servant?’” and announcing that, among other finds, “A seal bearing a name that appears in the Bible was discovered in the City of David.”

The English release (titled “Rare seal bearing biblical name found in City of David excavation”) may also be read at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs site at As noted in the release, 11 high resolution pictures and English and Hebrew videos (as well as the English and Hebrew releases) may be downloaded at the place in the release stating “Click here for Photos and a Movie Clip:” The English video is 3:09 minutes. The Hebrew video is 2:44-minutes. (The credits that should be noted if the items are used are also in the attached release.)

The pictures, video and releases may also be accessed at

Doubtless BAR will shortly have an essay declaring this to be the seal of the prophet Nathan before the week is out.  Because speculation sells.

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Posted by on 31 Mar 2019 in Archaeology


#ICYMI – A Discourse Analysis of Ruth. A Review of a Book I Dislike Immensely

9780310282983_455_600_90Zondervan Academic have sent along this for a looksee-

The Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament serves pastors and teachers by providing them with a careful analysis and interpretation of the biblical text, rooted in a study of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament and intended to track the flow of the argument in each book and passage.

The layout of the commentary isn’t the standard fare.  Instead, each pericope is titled, it’s ‘scenes’ are subdivided, the main idea of the passage is offered, the literary context is described, the structure and literary form are shown, extensive flow charts of the sentences and phrases are displayed (think sentence diagram charts), and then, finally, the text is ‘explained’.  Useful informational boxes and sidebars along with charts and graphs festoon the work, some of them resembling computer scroll boxes (I know not why).

After the text is treated, our author generates what he describes as ‘A Dramatic Reading of the Book of Ruth’.  This snippet includes a suggested stage arrangement along with the script of a play with various narrators and actors.  The work concludes with a Scripture Index, a subject Index, and an author Index.

I dislike the volume immensely.  I dislike its girth.  It attempts too much and delivers too little.  It rambles on and on endlessly in such a way that one feels as though one has visited Grandma and she’s talked about 15 disparate topics in an hour and you still have no idea what the point of it all was.  The Book of Ruth is tiny.  It shouldn’t take anyone 200 pages to explain it to modern readers of the Bible.

It’s too busy.  It’s too crowded.  The graphs and their little tiny arrows virtually gouge into the reader’s eyes and by the time a single chapter of the volume has been worked through the reader will be begging those little tiny arrows to bolt from the page and plunge themselves into and through one’s own eyes so that the misery of experiencing the volume is terminated.

There are so many excellent commentaries on Ruth.  Go buy one of them.  This isn’t one.  It isn’t even worth borrowing from the library.  it is infuriating and annoying and spite producing.  I literally hated it like I’ve not hated a book in a very long time.

Avoid this book like the plague it is.


Posted by on 31 Mar 2019 in Book Review, Books, Modern Culture


“Fox News, Bad at News, Worse at Geography” – The New Motto of the Network

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Posted by on 31 Mar 2019 in Modern Culture


If Evolution is True…

How is this guy still in the gene pool, and even contributing to it?  Shouldn’t he have been naturally selected right on out?

1 Comment

Posted by on 31 Mar 2019 in Modern Culture


Sad News: Klaus Koch has Died

Via Jack Sasson-

Klaus Koch died peacefully on March 28, 2019 in his home in Hamburg, Germany.

A leading German scholar on the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Koch is especially known for his work on form-criticism, prophecy, and apocalypticism. For a summary (Laudatio) of his work, see the page of Martin Rösel (both in German).

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Posted by on 31 Mar 2019 in Modern Culture


The Good Old Days… When People Could Pray Imprecatory Prayers the Right Way

When prophets were respected.  Or else…

From there [Elisha] went up to Bethel, and while he was on the road, some small boys came out of the town and jeered at him. ‘Hurry up, baldy!’ they shouted. ‘Come on up, baldy!’ He turned round and looked at them; and he cursed them in the name of Yahweh. And two bears came out of the forest and savaged forty-two of the boys. (2 Ki. 2:23-24)

And that’s how you pray an imprecation!  Elisha, teach me to pray.

giphy (1)


Posted by on 30 Mar 2019 in Bible


Capitalism Breeds Innovation…

Or so we’re told.  Alas…

Via facebook.

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Posted by on 30 Mar 2019 in Modern Culture


The Doctrine of Election in Reformed Perspective

Frank van der Pol
The Doctrine of Election in Reformed Perspective
Refo500 Academic Studies (R5AS) 51,
ISBN 13: 978-3-525-57070-8

In 11 essays The Doctrine of Election in Reformed Perspective reflect ongoing investigations concerning the doctrine of election, with special focus on the Synod of Dort 1618–19. Important lines of demarcation between different Reformed orthodox groups and denominations find their root divergence, as well as historical concentration point, in relation to this very issue. The ongoing research presented in this collection can open up a fresh field of fertile investigation for theological discussion. Moreover, she may lead to interdisciplinary perspectives and a cooperative approach to research, also beyond the field of theology. For this too is the field of philosophers and historians, those who trace the history of Christianity or are studying early modern Europe.

The volume consists of three sections. In the first Part three essays reflect historical and philosophical issues before the Synod of Dort. Part Two explores aspects of the Synod of Dort itself. The focus in Part Three is on the reception of the Synod of Dort. Finally, the following question is answered: How were the Canons of Dort regarded in the 17th–19th century, and what does the history of their editions tell us?

The editor, Frank van der Pol, was the program leader of the combined research group Early Modern Reformed Theology (EMRT) of the theological universities Apeldoorn and Kampen. In cooperation with the A Lasco Bibliothek Emden the EMRT organized an international conference on Oct. 29 and 30, 2014 about the doctrine of election in reformed perspective. The research group is convinced that the dual line of research on history and theology of the Reformation tradition must continue and be strengthened. On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the Synod of Dort, the researchers, wanting to do their work in a broader context with a wider dialogue, make their proceedings accessible for more people and institutes by publishing them in this volume.

When people think about the doctrine of election they normally, if they think about it at all, link election with predestination and once they begin down that road, they invariably like predestination with the dual notion of predestination to heaven and predestination to hell (the so-called ‘double decree’).  And that has become, in the popular mind, an idea of Calvin.

But all of that is wrong.  Election and predestination are not the same thing and the double decree has absolutely nothing to do with Calvin but instead with his descendants, the hyper-calvinists.  Indeed, Calvin’s own view of predestination was very reserved.

But of course most ‘YRR’ readers and even more of the general populace are completely oblivious concerning the facts of what they profess to believe.

Hence, we arrive at the present volume.  Here, in eleven essays by as ten authors (see the table of contents in the book description at the link above) set readers on the straight and narrow path of a correct understand of the outgrowth of the doctrine’s examination at the Synod of Dort.

In both German and English, the essays in the book take us from the consequences of Dort’s decisions in the Netherlands to the influence of Melanchthon to the towering figure of Calvin to critically important discussions of election at Dort itself to John Cameron’s Universalism and into the first half of the seventeenth century and then onto Remonstrant views of predestination and even further into the views of Schleiermacher on the doctrine of predestination.  We end with a description of the various incarnations of the Canons of Dort from the 17th through the 19th centuries.

Interestingly written and insightfully so, these essays are a much needed corrective to various popular misunderstandings of the Synod of Dort’s presentation of the important doctrine of Election and the reception history (for lack of a better term) of that doctrine post Dort.

Especially intriguing are the contributions of Selderhuis, de Boer (both of his), van Lieburg, Sinnema, and van der Pol.  They were all first presented as papers at a 2014 Conference at the John a Lasco library in Emden.  A conference, I regret, I was unable to attend.  And that’s one of the reasons why the present work (and those like it) which collect and disseminate Conference papers to a much wider audience are so important both for the guild and for scholars as individuals.

The aim of the editors is to

…stimulate further discussion on both this synod and on the doctrine of election.

I think they have succeeded wonderfully.  If Dort or Election are of interest to you, then I cannot but recommend that you read this volume.

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Posted by on 30 Mar 2019 in Book Review, Books, Church History, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht


White Liberals are a godless Bunch

In 2010, 42% of white liberals claimed no religious tradition. In 2018, it was 52.5%. Meanwhile, just 8% of white liberals also identify as evangelical Christians and that has remained unchanged for the last decade. — Ryan Burge

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Posted by on 30 Mar 2019 in Modern Culture


The Consumerization of Higher Ed Continues, With What Will Be Disastrous Results

What could go wrong as students are viewed more and more as consumers and it is assumed that ‘the customer is always right’?

My prof, for whom I served as a teaching assistant in grad school, told me once ‘if 5 people don’t drop the course by the first test, you’re failing as a Professor.’   I took him at his word.  #LifeGoals

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Posted by on 30 Mar 2019 in Modern Culture


When You Are a Pastor or A Biblical Scholar…

… Who makes their living from interpreting Scripture, it is not my aim to make you feel bad, from time to time, when I mention the importance of knowing the biblical languages.

No, I don’t wish you to feel bad at all.  I want you to feel inadequate.  The way a medical student would feel inadequate if they were unable to identify a tibia or a bicep.  Because if you can’t manage what’s utterly foundational, inadequacy isn’t only your problem, it is the problem of every single person who is subjected to your linguisitically fallow verbal jugglings.

I want you to feel so inadequate that you actually resolve to do the hard work of learning how to read the Bible.  I want to goad you.  I want to provoke you.  I want to annoy you and trouble you and rip out your false sense of confidence that preaching or teaching Scripture can adequately be done by people who can’t even read the text for themselves but instead are totally dependent on what other people tell you to think.  That’s what I want.  And it’s what your hearers want too.

Being dependent on the thinking of others is ok for those who have other jobs.  It isn’t for yours.  Because yours actually matters.

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Posted by on 30 Mar 2019 in Bible, Modern Culture


Total Depravity: The ‘Family Values’ Republican who Repeatedly Paid an Underage Boy $10 for Sex

The Arizona House Ethics Committee on Friday released shocking documents from an investigation into former Republican Rep. David Stringer, who abruptly resigned on Wednesday.  The Arizona Republic reports the documents include a 1983 police report from Maryland.

“The police report states police arrested Stringer in September 1983, after a boy told officers that Stringer had met him and a friend in a park a year earlier, and asked them to come back to his apartment to have ‘some sex,’” the Republic reported. “Stringer paid the boys $10 after he performed oral sex on them, and they performed the same act on him, the police report states.”

One of the boys reportedly had a developmental disability. “One of the boys told police he had been back to see Stringer at least 10 times to perform oral sex or penetrative sex,” the Republican noted.  This was not Stringer’s first brush with controversy.

“The lawmaker also faced scrutiny over racist comments he made about immigrants and black people last year, including saying that ‘there aren’t enough white kids to go around’ in Arizona public schools,” the newspaper noted.

I guess we all know why the pervert wanted more white kids available.  These reprobates are hellbound.

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Posted by on 30 Mar 2019 in Total Depravity


The ‘Wicked Bible’ Is on Exhibit at Emory

I think you’ll know why it’s called that as soon as you spot the typo. And go see it for yourself beginning April 8.

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Posted by on 29 Mar 2019 in Modern Culture


Britain Has Lunatics as Nutty as Our American Lunatics

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Posted by on 29 Mar 2019 in Modern Culture


What Makes Colleges Great Isn’t What Harvard, Yale or Stanford Have

This interview at NPR is worth your time.

If you’re naming top colleges, you might not think of the City University of New York right away. It’s not selective — it serves what one former official called “the top 100 percent.” It also has a pretty low graduation rate.

But if you look deeper, at metrics like diversity and sheer number of lives changed, then CUNY can make a strong case.

With more than a quarter of a million students across its 25 colleges and graduate schools, it’s among the largest university systems in the country. With students hailing from more than 200 countries, it’s surely among the most diverse colleges in the world. And according to Harvard economist Raj Chetty, CUNY ranks among the top 10 colleges that most promote social mobility.

In other words, a large number of its students come from the bottom fifth of the income distribution and rise to the top.

Since 2000, Gail O. Mellow has presided over LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, Queens, one of seven community colleges in the CUNY system. She has just announced plans to step down in August, so I called her to get her thoughts on how we define “the top” in higher education right now. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Read it all.

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Posted by on 29 Mar 2019 in Modern Culture


The Bible Doesn’t Call it a Whale, So JUST STOP IT…

You bloody dilettantes, here’s what the Bible says-

‎וַיְמַ֤ן יְהוָה֙ דָּ֣ג גָּד֔וֹל לִבְלֹ֖עַ אֶת־יוֹנָ֑ה וַיְהִ֤י יוֹנָה֙ בִּמְעֵ֣י הַדָּ֔ג שְׁלֹשָׁ֥ה יָמִ֖ים וּשְׁלֹשָׁ֥ה לֵילֽוֹת׃

So STOP IT, ya mad bunch of daft mistaken loons.



Posted by on 29 Mar 2019 in Bible



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Posted by on 29 Mar 2019 in Modern Culture