Daily Archives: 31 May 2019

Just A Few…

Of the books Philip has written… and he was working on one when he passed away that has since been published:

Philip Discussing ‘The Life of Brian’

Thanks to James Crossley, who dug this up and writes

I’d forgotten that this was filmed. Some great footage of Philip Davies from the Life of Brian conference. We definitely enjoyed this… 43.30ish onward

Remembering Philip: On The Anniversary of his Passing

Philip Davies died on 1 June, 2018. A giant in the field of biblical studies, and inveterate critic of poor scholarship, he will be missed forever by those who had the privilege of knowing him.

You do NOT have permission to share or post any of these photos.

Another Day, Another Mass Murder in America

Haven’t we had enough yet? No? I didn’t think so-

Quote of the Day

Today, there was a mass shooting in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

  • Today in Japan, there wasn’t.
  • Today in Germany, there wasn’t.
  • Today in Australia, there wasn’t.
  • Today in the UK, there wasn’t.
  • Today in Italy, there wasn’t.
  • Today in France, there wasn’t.

J. Rehling

If You’re Looking for Something To Binge Watch This Weekend on Netflix…

Watch ‘Lucifer’. It’s witty and funny and very clever.

An Apology

To any who have felt put upon or offended by my at times gruff or brusque posts and my 16th century-esque sense of humor (which some clearly don’t find humorous), I apologize. Sincerely.

It has never been my intention to hurt anyone’s feelings. I am, in fact as those who know me in person know, a very amiable person.

But it seems that I have hurt some and that is both unacceptable and regretable.

I make no excuses. I offer no evasions. I can do better. I can be better. I will be better.

Zwingli in 1523 at the Zürich Disputation

The Newest from Konrad Schmid: A Historical Theology of the Hebrew Bible

Here

In this meticulously researched study, Konrad Schmid offers a historical clarification of the concept of “theology.” He then examines the theologies of the three constituent parts of the Hebrew Bible—the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings— before tracing how these theological concepts developed throughout the history of ancient Israel and early Judaism.

Schmid not only explores the theology of the biblical books in isolation, but he also offers unifying principles and links between the distinct units that make up the Hebrew Bible. By focusing on both the theology of the whole Hebrew Bible as well as its individual pieces, A Historical Theology of the Hebrew Bible provides a comprehensive discussion of theological work within the Hebrew Bible.

The nine chapters and their forty-two sections here presented offer readers a guidebook into the theology of the Hebrew Bible.  As he moves from the question of the discipline of Old Testament Theology itself to the sundry manifestations of that discipline from antiquity through the Reformation to the Enlightenment and the Romantic Period he provides an overview of the discipline suitable for emulation and admiration.  Methodologically, Schmid’s development of his theme is exceptional.  Content-wise, he addresses all the key issues and readers find new light shed on them.

Schmid then considers the discipline of Theology in a Jewish context and from there he turns to Old Testament theology’s encounter with Dialectical theology and up to the present.

Once that is done, and it takes two chapters to do it, Schmid turns his attention, and ours, to a more precise discussion of the ‘Hebrew Bible’ and the ‘Old Testament’ – with all that those terms imply.  From their roots to their transformations.  This means that he must also discuss various methodological approaches to the text of the Bible (whether Hebrew Bible or Old Testament) and their implications for our understanding of the Bible.

In chapter five, then, Schmid is set free to describe the theologians of the HB/OT and in chapter six he reads more particularly in the topics of the Law, Prophets, and Writings and gleans for readers their theologies.

This brings Schmid to something of a reconstructed History of Israel into which are set the theologies and their theologians.

Chapter eight, the most engaging of the whole (for the present reviewer), is a survey of the various themes of Old Testament theology including God’s Acts, Life in the World, The God of History, Political Theology, Law, The Temple, the People of God, the Monarchy, Zion and Sinai, the place of Mankind in the plan of God, and the varieties of Old Testament theologies.

The final chapter is a very helpful discussion of the importance of the Hebrew Bible for Jews and the Old Testament for Christians.

Each section is prefaced by a thorough and up to date bibliography and there are topical pointers, not  in the margins on each page so that readers can very quickly scan in each section and discover the subject most of interest to them as in the German edition, but as paragraph headers.  An index of authors, an index of subjects, and an index of Scriptures bring the volume to a close.

Various portions of the present work have appeared in earlier published form.  These are few, though, and Schmid describes them in the foreword.  In the German edition he also makes mention of his utilization of the 2017 edition of the Zurich Bible for his Biblical texts.  The English edition contains no such note.

The volume at hand is very much worth reading.  In spite of the fact that the German title is more precise than the English.

Not since Gerhard von Rad’s Old Testament Theology has a work been so engaging, useful, and insightful.  It deserves to be, nay, it must be read by all students of the Hebrew Bible.  It is the ideal theological compendium.

NB- For the review of the German edition, see here.

Theologie des Alten Testaments

Konrad Schmid has a new volume- Theologie des Alten Testaments.

Unter den Teildisziplinen der alttestamentlichen Wissenschaft galt die Theologie des Alten Testaments lange als deren vornehmste Aufgabe. Doch in den letzten Jahrzehnten wurde mehr und mehr undeutlich, was eine Theologie des Alten Testaments eigentlich zu leisten habe. Konrad Schmid wendet sich zuerst der historischen Klärung des Theologiebegriffs in Anwendung auf die Bibel zu, diskutiert dann die Vielgestaltigkeit vorliegender Hebräischer Bibeln und Alter Testamente, um dann die theologischen Prägungen der Bücher und Sammlungen des Alten Testaments anhand prominenter Leittexte zu erheben. Weiter schließt der Autor eine Skizze zur Theologiegeschichte des Alten Testaments sowie eine thematisch orientierte und historisch differenzierte Darstellung wichtiger Themen alttestamentlicher Theologie mit ein. Der Band versteht sich gleichzeitig als eine gewisse Synthese der gegenwärtigen Forschung am Alten Testament in theologischer Perspektive.

See the Mohr website for the table of contents and other details.  They will not be unnecessarily repeated here.

The nine chapters and their forty-two sections here presented offer readers a guidebook into the theology of the Hebrew Bible.  As he moves from the question of the discipline of Old Testament Theology itself to the sundry manifestations of that discipline from antiquity through the Reformation to the Enlightenment and the Romantic Period he provides an overview of the discipline suitable for emulation and admiration.  Methodologically, Schmid’s development of his theme is exceptional.  Content-wise, he addresses all the key issues and readers find new light shed on them.

Schmid then considers the discipline of Theology in a Jewish context and from there he turns to Old Testament theology’s encounter with Dialectical theology and up to the present.

Once that is done, and it takes two chapters to do it, Schmid turns his attention, and ours, to a more precise discussion of the ‘Hebrew Bible’ and the ‘Old Testament’ – with all that those terms imply.  From their roots to their transformations.  This means that he must also discuss various methodological approaches to the text of the Bible (whether Hebrew Bible or Old Testament) and their implications for our understanding of the Bible.

In chapter five, then, Schmid is set free to describe the theologians of the HB/OT and in chapter six he reads more particularly in the topics of the Law, Prophets, and Writings and gleans for readers their theologies.

This brings Schmid to something of a reconstructed History of Israel into which are set the theologies and their theologians.

Chapter eight, the most engaging of the whole (for the present reviewer), is a survey of the various themes of Old Testament theology including God’s Acts, Life in the World, The God of History, Political Theology, Law, The Temple, the People of God, the Monarchy, Zion and Sinai, the place of Mankind in the plan of God, and the varieties of Old Testament theologies.

The final chapter is a very helpful discussion of the importance of the Hebrew Bible for Jews and the Old Testament for Christians.

Each section is prefaced by a thorough and up to date bibliography and there are topical pointers in the margins on each page so that readers can very quickly scan in each section and discover the subject most of interest to them.  A brief Scripture index and a fairly short subject/ person index bring the volume to a close.

Various portions of the present work have appeared in earlier published form.  These are few, though, and Schmid describes them in the foreword.  He also makes mention of his utilization of the 2017 edition of the Zurich Bible for his Biblical texts.

The volume at hand is very much worth reading.  And, fortunately, has already been translated into English so that those unskilled in German will nonetheless have the opportunity to access the profound learning contained in these pages.

Not since Gerhard von Rad’s Old Testament Theology has a work been so engaging, useful, and insightful.  It deserves to be, nay, it must be read by all students of the Hebrew Bible.  It is the ideal theological compendium.

NB- For the review of the English Edition, see here.

Kids and Their Political Leanings: An Observation

All kids are little Communists. They’re born Communists and they remain Communists until they have to live on their own. Then they become Republicans.

Then, once they have ‘enough’ and their own kids come along they become Democrats because they then realize that they should care about others.  And they remain Democrats until they die.

Not Hell, But Extra Hell

via Facebook

When To Imprecate and When to Be Silent

A christian for the sake of his own person neither curseth nor revengeth himself; but faith curseth and revengeth itself. To understand the same rightly we must distinguish God and man, the person and the cause. What concerneth God and his cause, we must therein have no patience, neither must we bless; as for example, when the ungodly persecute the Gospel, the same toucheth God and his cause, as then we are not to bless, nor to wish thereunto good success, but rather we ought to curse and maledict the persecutors and their proceedings.

These are called faith’s cursing, which, rather than it would suffer God’s Word to be suppressed, and heresy maintained, wisheth that all creatures went to wreck; for through heresy we lose God himself.

But the persons ought not to revenge themselves, but to suffer all things, and according to Christ’s doctrine and the nature of love, to do good to our enemies.  —  Martin Luther

‘By Their Fruits You Will Know Them…’

We do not justify men before God by works, but say, that all who are of God are regenerated and made new creatures, so that they pass from the kingdom of sin into the kingdom of righteousness. In this way they make their calling sure, and, like trees, are judged by their fruits. — John Calvin

Quote of the Day

tertullianPhilosophers are the Patriarchs of heretics – Tertullian

Adolf von Harnack Explains Luther’s Disdain for Invented Theological Terminology

Luther_foto_a_wagenknechtLuther has indicated with sufficient distinctness that he merely conceded to his theological opponents theological terminology, and made use of it himself merely on account of traditional familiarity with it, and because the employment of incorrect words was not necessarily of evil. He so expressed himself with regard to the most important terms.

First of all he had an objection to all the different descriptions of justification: to justify, to be regenerated, to sanctify, to quicken, righteousness, to impute (justificare, regenerari, sanctificare, vivificare, justitia, imputare), etc., etc.; he felt very much that the mere number of the terms was a serious burden upon his conception, and that no single word completely answered to his view.

Secondly, in a similar way he objected to the word satisfaction (satisfactio) in every sense; as used by his opponents he will only let it pass.

Thirdly, he stumbled at the term “Church” (ecclesia); for it obscured or confused what should simply be called Christian community, gathering, or—still better—a holy Christendom.

Fourthly, he observed very clearly the objectionableness of the word “Sacrament”; what he would have liked most would have been to see that the use of it was entirely avoided, and that for the ambiguous formula “Word and Sacrament,” there was substituted the Word alone, or that if the term Sacrament was retained there should be a speaking of one Sacrament and several signs.

Fifthly, he himself declared such a term as ὁμοούσιος to be unallowable in the strict sense, because it represents a bad state of things when such words are invented in the Christian system of faith: “we must indulge the Fathers in the use of it … but if my soul hates the word homousios and I prefer not to use it, I shall not be a heretic; for who will compel me to use it, provided that I hold the thing which was defined in the Council by means of the Scriptures? although the Arians had wrong views with regard to the faith, they were nevertheless very right in this … that they required that no profane and novel word should be allowed to be introduced into the rules of faith.” In like manner he objected to and rather avoided the terms “Dreifaltigkeit,” “Dreiheit,” “unitas,” “trinitas” (threefoldness, threeness, oneness, trinity).

vonharnackYet, as is proved by the words quoted above, there is this difference observable here—that he regarded the terminologies of the mediæval theology as misleading and false, the terminologies on the other hand of the theology of the ancient Church as merely useless and cold.

But from still another side he objected most earnestly to all the results of theological labour that had been handed down from the days of the Apologists; and here in still greater degree than in his censure of particular conceptions his divergence from the old dogma found expression, namely, in that distinguishing between “for himself (itself)” and “for us,” which is so frequently to be found in Luther. Over and over again, and on all occasions, the definitions given by the old dogmatic of God and Christ, of the will and attributes of God, of the natures in Christ, of the history of Christ, etc., are set aside with the remark: “that He is for himself,” in order that his new view, which is for him the chief matter, nay, which constitutes the whole, may then be introduced under the formula “that He is for us,” or simply “for us.”

“Christ is not called Christ because He has two natures. What concern have I in that? But he bears this glorious and comforting title from the office and work which He has taken upon Him … that He is by nature man and God, that He has for Himself.” In this “for himself” and “for us” the new theology of Luther, and at the same time his conservative tendency find clearest expression.

Theology is not the analysis and description of God and of the divine acts from the standpoint of reason as occupying an independent position over against God, but it is the confession on the part of faith of its own experience, that is, of revelation.

This, however, puts an end to the old theology with its metaphysic and its rash ingenuity. But if Luther now nevertheless allows those old doctrines to remain under the terms “God in Himself,” “the hidden God,” “the hidden will of God,” they no longer remain as what are properly speaking doctrines of faith. About this no doubt can arise. But that they were not entirely rejected by him has its cause on the one hand in his believing they were found in Scripture, and on the other hand in his failure to think out the problems in a comprehensive and systematic way.*

Von Harnack- as always- observant and expressive and precise. The bold part is my emphasis. It is here that von Harnack has understood Luther’s theology in a way that NT Wright and other modern interpreters have not. And cannot, because they don’t understand Luther.

_________________
*History of Dogma. (N. Buchanan, Trans., T. K. Cheyne, Ed.) (Vol. 7, pp. 224–227).

Beza’s Death Sentence

bezaFor having left France because he was a Protestant [Beza] was condemned by the Parliament of Paris to death, and all his property confiscated to the State (May 31, 1550). By special royal mandate his property was restored to him in 1564, although he was at the time at the head of the Reformed Church of France. –  Schaff

The next time an American Christian complains about being ‘persecuted’, ask them when they were condemned to death and their property confiscated by the State.