Daily Archives: 11 Jun 2019

Quote of the Day

Although our biblical texts span a good many centuries, the language in which they are written presents an astonishing degree of uniformity. But this uniformity is not manifested to the same degree in all aspects of the language: orthography, phonetics/phonology, morphology, syntax, vocabulary, and phraseology. The variations in vocabulary and phraseology between one period and another and one writer and another are the most significant. The variations in syntax are in general the least significant. Nevertheless, the differences appear quite noticeable when one compares texts separated by a long period of time. Thus the syntax of the post-exilic historical books such as Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles differs appreciably from that of Samuel and Kings.*

*PAUL JOÜON & T. MURAOKA, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew

Does a Politician’s Morality Matter


Spent the Day at Dollywood with the Fam

And managed to ride all of the roller coasters with my niece, Jessica.  She’s the only one in the gang that will ride them with me. And I don’t like water rides so I skipped that one.  So it was a lovely day all around.

Signs of the Times

Experts, dilettantes, and 99% of those on twitter who tweet about the Bible and theology-

That Monster, the ‘Biblical Critic’


Is the Biblical critic a dangerous, devouring beast?  A good many think so: at least a good many have an impression to that effect, which is a quite different thing from thinking. Nevertheless, impressions often carry people farther than intelligent opinions; and just because a mere impression, in seven cases out of ten, is untruthful, and because it cannot give a rational account of itself, and therefore does the more mischief,—it needs to be dealt with.  —  Marvin R. Vincent, That Monster, the Higher Critic (New York: Anson D. F. Randolph & Company, 1894).

That’s the opening paragraph of a delightful little booklet from 1894 which defends biblical criticism as a necessity for a proper understanding of the text.  If you haven’t read it, you should.  It’s the ideal antidote for your Fundamentalist friends.

Adolf von Harnack’s View of the Eastern Orthodox Churches

No one can look at this Church from outside, with its forms of worship, its solemn ritual, the number of its ceremonies, its relics, pictures, priests, monks, and the philosophy of its mysteries, and then compare it on the one hand with the Church of the first century, and on the other with the Hellenic cults in the age of Neoplatonism, without arriving at the conclusion that it belongs not to the former but to the latter.

It takes the form, not of a Christian product in Greek dress, but of a Greek product in Christian dress. It would have done battle with the Christians of the first century just as it did battle with the worship of Magna Mater and Zeus Soter.

There are innumerable features of this Church which are counted as sacred as the Gospel, and towards which not even a tendency existed in primitive Christianity. Of the whole performance of the chief religious service, nay, even of many of the dogmas, the same thing may, in the last resort, be said: if certain words, like Christ, etc., are omitted, there is nothing left to recall the original element.

In its external form as a whole this Church is nothing more than a continuation of the history of Greek religion under the alien influence of Christianity, parallel to the many other alien influences which have affected it. — The Christian religion in Greek Catholicism, by Adolf von Harnack

Von Harnack views Orthodoxy pretty much the same way Brunner views Mysticism.

Quote of the Day

The children of God ought to be joined together by the bond of fraternal unity ~ Calvin

Calvin: On Those Who Endure Persecution

English: Anonymous 16th century portrait of Ca...

If, while conscious of our innocence, we are deprived of our substance by the wickedness of man, we are, no doubt, humanly speaking, reduced to poverty; but in truth our riches in heaven are increased: if driven from our homes we have a more welcome reception into the family of God; if vexed and despised, we are more firmly rooted in Christ; if stigmatised by disgrace and ignominy, we have a higher place in the kingdom of God; and if we are slain, entrance is thereby given us to eternal life. The Lord having set such a price upon us, let us be ashamed to estimate ourselves at less than the shadowy and evanescent allurements of the present life. — John Calvin

When it Comes to Archaeological and Textual ‘Discoveries’…

These days, I think our default position should be skepticism and everything should be viewed a fake until it’s PROVEN to be authentic instead of blindly accepting claims made in the media. That approach has gotten a lot of scholars a lot of egg on their faces.

Indeed, the default position of scholars should ALWAYS be skepticism. An object is guilty of being fraudulent until it is proven innocent by thorough peer reviewed analysis.

Hate That Which God Hates: Advice from St. Jerome

jeromeI beseech you, dearly beloved, and by the love which I feel towards you, I implore you—as though it were my own members on which I would have pity—by word and letter to fulfil that which is written, “Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?”

Origen’s words are the words of an enemy, hateful and repugnant to God and to His saints; and not only those which I have quoted, but countless others. For it is not now my intention to argue against all his opinions. Origen has not lived in my day, nor has he robbed me. I have not conceived a dislike to him nor quarrelled with him because of an inheritance or of any worldly matter; but—to speak plainly—I grieve, and grieve bitterly, to see numbers of my brothers, and of those in particular who show the most promise, and have reached the highest rank in the sacred ministry, deceived by his persuasive arguments, and made by his most perverse teaching the food of the devil.

Jerome’s advice?  If your brothers and sisters are being misled by some reprehensible false teacher, it’s your duty to hate it!  And to do what is in your power to stop it.

Signs of the Times

I know what Jesus would be saying to certain persons on his left: ‘Depart from me, workers of iniquity, I never knew you’…