Daily Archives: 7 May 2019

Another Day Another School Shooting

In America either children at school can be safe or the @nra can be safe. The @gop has chosen and we all know who. And it isn’t our children.

If Only There Had Been a Good Guy With a Gun there To Defend Him…

Or at least that’s what the @NRA likes to say.

Today With Zwingli: Redemption Means Change or it Means Nothing

When … Divine Majesty formed the plan of redeeming man, it did not intend that the world should persist and become inveterate in its wickedness. For if this had been the plan, it would have been better never to have sent a redeemer than to have sent one under such conditions that after redemption there should be no change from our former diseased state.

It would have been laughable if He to whom everything that is ever to be is seen as present had determined to deliver man at so great a cost, and yet had intended to allow him immediately after his deliverance to wallow in his old sins. He proclaims, therefore, at the start, that our lives and characters must be changed. For to be a Christian is nothing less than to be a new man and a new creature [2 Cor. 5:17].  — Huldrych Zwingli

Michael Langlois, The Mesha Inscription, and An Interview

ML writes

I was interviewed by the Times of Israel on the possible mention of King David’s dynasty on the Mesha stele.

This mention was first suggested by André Lemaire and recently rejected by Israel Finkelstein, Nadav Na’aman and Thomas Römer. But, as I showed at a conference on the Mesha stele last November, new imaging techniques suggest that André Lemaire’s reading is, so far, the best.

The paper I gave at the conference will soon be published in Semitica, and I will post it here.

In the meantime, you can go ahead and read the paper written by journalist Amanda Borschel-Dan, whom I warmly thank for contacting me.


Meanwhile let the sinner continue sinning, and the unclean continue to be unclean; let the upright continue in his uprightness, and those who are holy continue to be holy.  Look, I am coming soon, and my reward is with me, to repay everyone as their deeds deserve.  (Rev. 22:11-12)

‘Go Find Your Own Husband’: Luther’s Advice To Single Women

When the doctor had gone to bed a man came who had been sent by the widow of the pastor in Belgern to ask for a husband. He [Martin Luther] said, “Give [her a husband]? She’s over seven years of age! Let her find her own husband! I can’t provide one for her.”

When the messenger had departed he said to me, laughing, “For God’s sake I’ll inquire. Write this down, Schlaginhaufen! What a bother! Am I to furnish husbands for these women? They must take me for a pimp! Fie on the world! Write it down, dear fellow, make a note of this!” — Martin Luther


Nothing New

When St. Jerome’s foe criticized him, he wrote

His revilings are but the echoes of other men’s voices, and his ignorance is so deep that even his abuse is not his own, but he employs against us the ravings of foes long since dead and buried.

Let the reader understand.

Fun Facts From Church History: Zwingli’s ‘Zurich German’ Wasn’t Widely Understood

zwingli213The dialect the good people of Zurich spoke was, and is, in many respects, quite unique (even now).  Luther had problems with it and so did The Landgrave of Marburg.

Consequently, on

May 7, 1529, [Zwingli wrote the Landgrave in the lead-up to the Marburg Colloquium] – “… that I address you in Latin I do it for this reason only because I fear that our Swiss tongue is strange to you” (viii., 663). So, also, to the same on July 14th he wrote: “I fear that if we meet I shall not be understood in my tongue. So I do not know whether it would not be better if we used Latin” (viii., 324).

At Marburg Luther constantly whined about Zwingli using Greek.  He did so not to be a show-off (even though he could have done, being at that stage far better than Luther (though not than Melanchthon) at Greek and the best of the lot in Hebrew) but because the folk there assembled would have been lost had he spoken the language of his home.

Don’t You Wish The Rules of Calvin’s Geneva Were Universally In Force?


1. Everyone in each house is to come on Sundays, unless it be necessary to leave someone behind to take care of children or animals, under penalty of 3 sous.
2. If there be preaching any weekday, arranged with due notice, those that are able to go and have no legitimate excuse are to attend, at least one from each house, under penalty as above.
3. Those who have man or maid servants, are to bring them or have them conveyed when possible, so that they do not live like cattle without instruction.
4. Everyone is to be present at Sermon when the prayer is begun, under penalty as above, unless he absent himself for legitimate reason.
5. Everyone is to pay attention during Sermon, and there is to be no disorder or scandal.
6. No one is to leave or go out from the church until the prayer be made at the end of Sermon, under penalty as above, unless he have legitimate cause.

We all long for the good old days.

Exorcism Conference

It sounds like the start of a joke – a Catholic, a Lutheran and a Protestant walk into a room to talk about the devil – but a conference on exorcisms to be held this week in Rome will be no laughing matter.

For the first time, representatives of the main Christian faiths will come together to trade tips on casting out demons and combating the malign influence of Satan.

While the Catholic Church is best known for performing exorcisms, depicted in Hollywood films like The Rite, which starred Sir Anthony Hopkins, the practice exists in other denominations of Christianity.

Joel Watts had best avoid Rome this week…

Today with Emil Brunner

brunner83Emil Brunner received one of his several Honorary Doctorates – this one from the University of Oslo in 1946.  He was very deserving of such honors and, unlike his contemporary Karl Barth, wrote well and concisely.

‘Unless You Repent…’

“It was just about this time that some people arrived and told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than any others, that this should have happened to them? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell, killing them all? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.'” (Lk. 13:1-5)