Daily Archives: 3 Apr 2019

Actually The Women Weren’t The First to Announce the Risen Lord…

That job was left to the angel at the tomb…

The angel spoke; and he said to the women, ‘There is no need for you to be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here, for he has risen, as he said he would. Come and see the place where he lay,  then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has risen from the dead and now he is going ahead of you to Galilee; that is where you will see him.” Look! I have told you.’  (Matt. 28:5-7)

I realize that it’s common these days to exalt the role of the women at the tomb and declare they were ‘the first to preach the risen Lord’.  But they just weren’t, and none of the Gospels say they were.

Sure, they went and told.  But they weren’t the originators of the message, they were messengers of it.

Let’s keep our interpretation honest, shall we?  No one is served by ideologically driven deception.


Anyone care to explain what this is supposed to mean? Is it meant to be clever? Insightful? Because it’s neither.

Why is mediocrity celebrated?

Jerome: To Those Detractors and their Vile Swinish Gruntings

After publishing various works, and being attacked for them by persons of less worth than himself, Jerome remarks in his Preface to his Books of Hebrew Questions

I cannot, therefore, be surprised if a poor little fellow like me is exposed to the gruntings of vile swine who trample our pearls under their feet, when some of the most learned of men, men whose glory ought to have hushed the voice of ill will, have felt the flames of envy. It is true, this happened by a kind of justice to men whose eloquence had filled with its resonance the theatres and the senate, the public assembly and the rostra; hardihood always courts detraction, and (as Horace says):

“The highest peaks invoke
The lightning’s stroke.”

But I am in a corner, remote from the city and the forum, and the wranglings of crowded courts; yet, even so (as Quintilian says) ill-will has sought me out. Therefore, I beseech the reader,

“If one there be, if one,
Who, rapt by strong desire, these lines shall read,”

not to expect eloquence or oratorical grace in those Books of Hebrew Questions, which I propose to write on all the sacred books; but rather, that he should himself answer my detractors for me, and tell them that a work of a new kind can claim some indulgence.*

Jerome knew how to handle hecklers.

*Jerome, “Prefaces to Jerome’s Early Works,” in St. Jerome: Letters and Select Works, ed. Philip Schaff, vol. 6, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, 486.

News from the Society for Reformation Research

To members of the Society for Reformation Research:

As you may know, the previous North American editors of the Archive for Reformation Hisrtory, Prof. Brad Gregory and Prof. Randall Zachmann, recently submitted their resignations. After due consideration, the Executive Council of the Society has now unanimously approved the appointment of two new North American editors for a six-year term beginning January 1, 2019: Professor Ute Lotz- Heumann of the University of Arizona, and Professor Marjorie “Beth” Plummer, of the University of Arizona, both of whom hold named chairs in the Division of Late Medieval and Reformation Studies.

Both Ute and Beth are superbly qualified Reformation historians well-placed to lead the Archive’s North American operations into the future. Notably, Ute has previously served as European editor, and therefore can ensure the highest degree of collaboration and communication with our partners in Germany and Europe. Both are authors of the highest calibre in their own work, and both have extensive experience with outreach, editorial processes, and the timely completion of projects.

Please join me in congratulating Ute and Beth on their appointment. Just as important, please consider submitting your current research to the Archive of Reformation History, and please encourage your colleages, students, and others to consider this important and long-standing venue in the field! The journal has a long tradition of providing thoughtful thorough peer-review as well as a high-quality venue for research on the Reformation movements, their antecedents, and their consequences in Europe and beyond.

Randolph C. Head
President, Society for Reformation Research

Steven Furtick is Pimping Shoes…

And they cost nearly $1000. Because he’s a con artist. And he wants to con you.

Uneducated People Shouldn’t Have Political Power

They say, don’t give a child a knife. I would say, Don’t give a child wealth, nor an uneducated man political power. —  Plutarch

There Aren’t Any ‘Disturbing’ Parts of Scripture

Because Scripture is a collection of ancient texts from people whose world-view is quite different, in every way, from our own.  That’s why it has to be interpreted and cannot and should not be read as though it were a newspaper or magazine.

In fact, it’s fair to say that the only people who find parts of Scripture ‘disturbing’ are the ones who think it’s a newspaper and not an ancient text from a different milieu.

Fun Facts From Church History: Scotus Was a Heretic

Scotus Erigena was considered a heretic or a madman while he lived, and this fact joined to the other that his views were far in advance of his age, caused his influence to be at first much less than might have been expected. He passed into almost complete obscurity before he died, as the conflicting reports of his later years show. Yet he did wield a posthumous influence.

His idea of the unity of philosophy and theology comes up in Anselm and Thomas Aquinas; his speculation concerning primordial causes in Alexander of Hales and Albertus Magnus. From him Amalrich of Bena, and David of Dinanto drew their pantheism; and various mystical sects of the Middle Ages were inspired by him.

The Church, ever watchful for orthodoxy, perceived that his book, De Divisione Naturae, was doing mischief. Young persons, even in convents read it eagerly. Everywhere it attracted notice. Accordingly a council, at Sens, formally condemned it, and then the Pope (Honorius III.) ordered, by a bull of Jan. 23, 1225, the destruction of all copies that could be found, styling it “a book teeming with the worms of heretical depravity.” This order probably had the desired effect.

The book passed out of notice. But in 1681 Thomas Gale issued it in Oxford. Again the Roman Church was alarmed, and Gregory XIII., by bull of April 3, 1685, put it on the Index.*

Yes, you read that right.  It was Scotus who bastardized theology by unifying it with philosophy.  For that reason alone he deserves Servetus-izing.

*Philip Schaff and David Schley Schaff, History of the Christian Church (vol. 4; New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910), 772.

Today In Luther’s Life

April 3, 1507: Martin Luther was ordained as a priest in the Catholic Church in Erfurt, Germany. Martin entered the monastery, as many others had to find a way to make atonement for his sins before God. In the monastery, he became a student of the Bible where he ultimately found what he was looking for. His study and his speaking out on what he learned would affect not only his own life but the history of the entire world. Tomorrow we will start to see what affect this had on the life of a nun named Katharina von Bora.

Pictured is the Cathedral Church in Erfurt.

-Rebecca DeGarmeaux for Katie Luther