Daily Archives: 24 Aug 2019

Calvin to Cheer You Up

At the conclusion of his refutation of Castellio, who denied predestination, Calvin remarks, acerbically-

In this refutation of dog-like depravity, since the omnipotence of God is affirmed honestly and clearly against all calumnies, I am confident that I have accomplished a work not less useful and gratifying to the Church of God than it is acceptable to God.  –  John Calvin

The Latest Issue of ‘Textus’

The 2019 Volume of Textus – A Journal on Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible – is available online. The complete issue contains the following articles, and can be found here: https://bit.ly/2ZfInTy

Table of Contents

  • Was Samuel Meant to Be a Nazirite? The First Chapter of Samuel and the Paradigm Shift in Textual Study of the Hebrew Bible, Anneli Aejmelaeus
  • The Second Church Slavonic Translation of 1–4 Kingdoms: A Witness to the Proto-Lucianic Text, Alessandro Maria Bruni
  • The Literary Development of MT 1 Kings 8:1–11 in Light of the Septuagint, Julian C. Chike
  • “Darius Son of Ahasuerus, King of the Persians”: Textuality and Chronology in Jacob of Edessa’s Book of Daniel, Bradley J. Marsh Jr.
  • Criteria for Determining the Common Basis of the Greek Versions of Daniel, Daniel Olariu
  • Haggai and Zechariah in Greek Psalm Superscriptions, Michael Shepherd
  • On the Use of Greek Translations in Dating the Shift from Targum Proto-Jonathan to Targum Yerushalmi in Ezekiel, Richard C. Steiner
  • The Use of Glossaries by the Translators of the Septuagint, Sarah Yardney

Our Real Sense of Surprise Should Erupt When People Do Good

When people express surprise at how awful people can be, I express surprise at their ignorance of total depravity. People. Are. Essentially. Evil., Not. Basically. Good.

Our real sense of surprise, then, should erupt not when people do awful things, but when they do good things.

If you doubt it, you simply don’t know anything about Scripture’s anthropology:

There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Rom. 3:10-18)


Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.  (Gen. 6:5-6)

That’s humankind in its essence and being.  Good is foreign to humanity and is a surprise when it is found.

It Has Arrived

With essays by Rebecca A. GiselbrechtJennifer Powell McNuttElsie McKeeEdwin Woodruff TaitKirsi Stjerna and others.

Get your own.

Faith: An Observation

Real faith is lived faith.  Any faith that isn’t lived, isn’t real.

False Confidence is a Bad Idea

‮כֹּֽה־אָמַ֞ר יְהוָ֤ה צְבָאֹות֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל הֵיטִ֥יבוּ דַרְכֵיכֶ֖ם וּמַֽעַלְלֵיכֶ֑ם וַאֲשַׁכְּנָ֣ה אֶתְכֶ֔ם בַּמָּקֹ֥ום הַזֶּֽה׃‮  אַל־תִּבְטְח֣וּ לָכֶ֔ם אֶל־דִּבְרֵ֥י הַשֶּׁ֖קֶר לֵאמֹ֑ר הֵיכַ֤ל יְהוָה֙ הֵיכַ֣ל יְהוָ֔ה הֵיכַ֥ל יְהוָ֖ה הֵֽמָּה׃ ‮כִּ֤י אִם־הֵיטֵיב֙ תֵּיטִ֔יבוּ אֶת־דַּרְכֵיכֶ֖ם וְאֶת־מַֽעַלְלֵיכֶ֑ם אִם־עָשֹׂ֤ו תַֽעֲשׂוּ֙ מִשְׁפָּ֔ט בֵּ֥ין אִ֖ישׁ וּבֵ֥ין רֵעֵֽהוּ׃

Let It Sink In…

Zwingli’s Foreword

Zwinglis Vorrede zu Schwenckfelds Schrift “Ein anwysunge, das die opinion der leyplichen gegenwertigheyt unsers Herrens Jesu Ohristi im Brote oder under der gestalt dess brots gericht ist widder den ynnhalt der gantzen schrifft was published 24 August, 1528.

Here it is for your reading pleasure:

Like the other Magisterial Reformers, Zwingli was often asked to write a foreword to this volume or that.  Such short works were basically little more than endorsements of the works of lesser known persons by widely known and respected ones.  As such, they introduced the views of others (although said views were always in line with the views of the great Reformers else they wouldn’t have agreed to a foreword).

Today With Zwingli: The Unveiling of the Wasserkirche Statue – 24 August, 1885

They sang this song on the occasion of the unveiling and dedication of the statue of Zwingli on this day in 1885, the 401st anniversary of the Reformer’s birth:


Lord, guide the car [of War] Thyself!
Otherwise crooked
All our course becomes.
That would be joy
To our enemies,
Who Thee
Despise so wickedly.


God, elevate Thy Name
To the punishment
Of the wicked goats!
Thy sheep
Again awake,
Who Thee
Love so ardently!

Help, so that all bitterness
May be far removed,
And old fidelity
May come back
And grow anew;
That we
Ever may sing Thy praises!

Zwingli composed the song during the First Kappel War, in 1529.  As SM Jackson remarks

Bullinger gives it (ii., 182) and states that it was immediately and widely popular. It was sung at the Swiss celebrations of the four hundredth anniversary of Zwingli’s birth in 1884, and at the unveiling of the Zwingli statue in Zurich, Monday, August 24, 1885. The poetical versions given in the English translations of Hottinger by T. C. Porter (p. 301), Christoffel by J. Cochrane (p. 430), Merle d’Aubigne by H. White (iv., p. 488), the last reprinted by Schaff (Hist. Chr. Church, vii., p. 173), with the alteration of one line, are so exceedingly free as to misrepresent the original in thought and metre.