Daily Archives: 5 Sep 2019

More Pentebabbleist Nutbaggery

Charlatans. ‪Pentebabbleist nutbaggery. If these fakes really had any sort of power they would go to hospitals and heal kids with cancer and turn storms away from the Bahamas and Haiti and such. They, however, are frauds and liars.‬

If You Are a Church Member, You Need to Realize Something….

Pastors are human beings and they can only endure so much.  Trust me.  When they reach their breaking point, they break.

We were talking about several situations in local churches today at a pastor’s get together.  In one instance one of our area pastors walked into his church this past Sunday, and when he gets to the pulpit at the beginning of the service, he looks around, and says ‘I can’t do this anymore’. He then looks over at his wife and says ‘get your things, we’re leaving’. And they walked out. The church had dwindled to a dozen or less a Sunday and giving tanked. He could take their indifference no longer.

I realize that it’s fashionable for people to talk about the harm pastors do to congregants.  And we should be talking about, and denouncing abusive, perverted pastors.  They need to go. They are a cancer on the body of Christ.  But for every perverted pastor there are thousands of pastors who are the victims of their own congregation’s ill treatment, mistreatment, and downright emotional abuse.

The harm done to pastors by congregations needs to be discussed just as much as the harm done by pastors to congregants. Maybe more, because there are a whole lot more pastors who are mistreated by churches than there are church members mistreated by pastors. a WHOLE LOT more.

So maybe while you’re justifiably lamenting the singular pastor who abuses a woman or girl, man or boy in his congregation, you could also give a thought to the thousands of pastors who are the victims of abuse by congregants and congregations.  After all, the suicide rate among pastors is climbing exponentially, and congregational mistreatment plays a central role in it.

October 25th

That’s when our collection of essays on Jeremiah will come out.  Doubtless if you are at SBL you will be able to order it for a discount.  It’s contents are genuinely amazing.  The scholars who contributed to the collection are literally the very best in the world.

How to Spot an Academic Bully

It’s fairly well known that bullying is a problem among school kids.  Great harm is done by persons who, for whatever reason, decide to make it their life’s mission to make others miserable.

What may not be as well or widely known is that bullies exist in academia and that there are academic bullies.  And they, like their juvenile counterparts, are easy to spot.  Here are their characteristics:

  • They are always Fundamentalists (either on the right or the left).  As such, they require absolute allegiance to their viewpoint.
  • They prefer innuendo and slander to honest discussion.  So, rather than wishing to speak to their victim directly, they much prefer to talk ABOUT their victim to others.  They have no interest in an honest exchange of ideas.  They have their viewpoint, and will allow no other.
  • They carry on campaigns to marginalize and demonize their victims.  This occurs when, for instance, they whisper in the ears of others that they should unfriend from facebook and unfollow from twitter those who are the object of their scorn.  If others do not acquiesce, they suggest that their own reputations will somehow be sullied (in a sort of ‘guilt by association’ maneuver).
  • When these tools fail to dislodge their victims from public view and respect, they take measures to carry on a campaign of letter writing and petitioning any and all they can think of in order to marginalize and demonize, utilizing slander and libel and not at all bound to any sense of truth, fairplay, honesty, or decency.  Their goal is singular: the destruction of the person who dares hold a different viewpoint.
  • Such persons are beyond reason; they exhibit the characteristics of pack animals and the alpha leading their behavior is happy to have their loyalty even if their goal of the destruction of their victim is un-achieved.

How are these manipulators to be known?  Watch for the telltale signs:

  1. Whispering behind the backs of others and doing nothing in the open.
  2. Refusing to discuss their differences with their targets.
  3. Urging others to also distance themselves from and demonize the target.

When these three signs are seen, you are in the presence of an academic bully.  Beware.  It’s very easy to become their target.  Simply point out a problem with their views or exhibit less than total agreement with their ideas and they will pounce.  And the lesser intelligent will gladly climb on board with them.

What The Bible Has to Say…

So the Rabbi Said to the Atheist…

English: A complete set of the Babylonian

The Babylonian Talmud relates these delightful little tales about a Rabbi and an atheist (in tractate Sanhedrin, 22).

There was an atheist who said to Rabban Gamaliel: Your God is a thief, as it reads [Gen. ii. 21]: “Lord God caused a deep sleep . . . and he slept; and he took one of his ribs.” Said R. Gamaliel’s daughter to him: Let me answer him. And she said to him: Would you assist me to take revenge on a thief who robbed me this night, by stealing a silver pitcher, however he left a golden one instead? And he said to her: I would like that such thief would come to me every day. Then she said: Was it not better for Adam that one bone was taken from him, and in its stead was given a woman to him, who shall serve him? Rejoined the atheist: I mean why stealing; could He not take it from Adam when he was awake? She then took a piece of meat, put it in glowing ashes, and when roasted took it out and gave it to him to eat. To which he said: It is repulsive to me. Rejoined she: Eve would also have been repulsive to Adam if he could have seen how she was formed.

The same atheist said to Rabban Gamaliel: I am aware of what your God is doing now. R. Gamaliel sighed deeply. And to the question: Why are you sighing? he said: I lost every information of my son who is now in the sea countries. Can you perhaps assist me by informing me where he is? And he rejoined: Where shall I know this from? Rejoined Rabban Gamaliel: You don’t know what is in this world, and you claim to know what is in heaven?

At another time the same said to Rabban Gamaliel: It reads [Ps. cxlvii. 4]: “Who counted the number of the stars,” etc. What prerogative is this? I also can do this. R. Gamaliel took some grain, put it in a sieve, and while straining told him to count the grain. And he rejoined: Let the sieve stand and I will count it. Rejoined R. Gamaliel: The stars are also always moving. According to others R. Gamaliel answered him: Can you tell me how many teeth are in your mouth? And he put his hand in his mouth and began to count them. Rejoined R. Gamaliel: You are not aware of the number of teeth in your mouth, and you claim to know how many stars there are in heaven?

A New Online Tool for Biblical Studies

This is very useful.  Added to the ‘Useful Sites’ panel.

eRhema’s primary goal is to provide a free tool that enables the layperson to explore the Bible in its original languages. While Bible translations are indispensable, meanings are inevitably lost even in the finest translations. Ideally, every serious student of the Bible should undergo training in Biblical languages, but it is not a realistic expectation. By processing morphologically and syntactically tagged content and presenting it via a modern language interface, eRhema strives to let users without training in Biblical languages gain a deeper appreciation of the Bible’s messages as well as discover inter-textual relationships that may not be discernible in a translation.

A key element that makes eRhema’s goal possible is the availability of quality open-source Biblical data that we have witnessed in recent years. Biblical data with linguistic annocations such as BHSA provided by ETCBC and New Testament Syntax Trees created by Global Bible Initiative and Biblical Humanities has been foundational to our project.

eRhema offers two features that make syntactical data easily and freely accessible to the layperson


Signs of the Times

Congratulations, Michael Knibb!

The British Academy press office has announced that they are awarding for 2019 Professor Michael Knibb FBA (Samuel Davidson Professor Emeritus of Old Testament Studies, King’s College London) with the prestigious Ullendorff Medal for his significant contribution to the field of the Ethiopic Bible.

The British Academy prizes and medals recognise individuals for their distinction in – and dedication to – the humanities and social sciences.

His Mother Let Him Eat What He Wished, and now He’s Blind and Deaf

And he’s 17.

The 17-year-old lived off a daily portion of chips, crisps, white bread and processed meat for around a decade.

His poor diet, which resulted in a number of vitamin deficiencies, led to the boy developing a condition called nutritional optic neuropathy (NON).

More commonly seen in malnourished children in developing countries, purely dietary causes of NON are rare in the western world.

It manifests in damage to the optic nerve, which leads to sight loss and if undiagnosed, blindness.


Unholy Business Revisted

Next week’s brown-bag seminar, 11 Sept 12:15-13:00: Nina Burleigh, “Unholy Business Revisited”. The lecture will be livestreamed.

Abstract: “An update on the close ties between antiquities dealers and scholars in the high-end Biblical antiquities world, from the James Ossuary and the Jehoash Inscription to new revelations regarding forged Dead Sea Scrolls fragments.”

Keep a check on the facebook page of the group responsible for the details of the livestream.

UPDATEHere’s the livestream link.  Watch live on September 11 from 12:15 till 1 PM (Norway Time).  Norway is 6 hours ahead of US Eastern Standard time.  If it’s noon there, it is 6 in the morning in the Eastern US.  Consequently, the lecture live stream will be from 6:15 a.m. till 7 a.m. on September 11.

In Which Luther Eviscerates Those Expressing Hatred of The Jews

From his 1519-1521 Lectures on the Psalms (WA 5, 428-29)-

Racists and White Supremacists, take note.

How scepticism became a bestseller…

Zwingli-Tag: «Wie Zwingli heute wirkt»

  • Wann     07.09.2019 von 09:30 bis 21:00 (Europe/Zurich / UTC200)
  • Wo         Kirche Tal, 8704 Herrliberg
  • Web       Externe Webseite besuchen

Zürich atmet reformierten Geist. Was für die Metropole an der Limmat gilt, gilt auch für die ganze Schweiz und die abendländische Welt: Die Reformation hat ihre Spuren in unserer Kultur hinterlassen. Anlässlich des 500-Jahr-Jubiläums von Zwinglis Reformation veranstalten wir eine international besetzte Tagung, die danach fragt, wo heute noch etwas zu spüren ist von der Reformation und wo nicht mehr. Wir fragen Menschen aus Politik, Wirtschaft, Recht, aus der Kirche, aus der Architektur, aus dem Medien- und Kunstbereich und aus dem Filmgeschäft.

Die Zürcher Reformation hatte ihren symbolischen Anfang bei einem Wurstessen in der Fastenzeit. In Anlehnung an dieses Ereignis schliesst unsere Tagung mit einem gemeinsamen Wurstessen. Im Anschluss daran feiern wir einen Gottesdienst, in dessen Zentrum die Wurstessen-Kantate des bekannten Jazzmusikers Harry White steht. Ulrich Knellwolf hat den Text zur Kantate geschrieben und wird sie für uns deuten.


Go if you can!

The Journey from Zurich to Marburg

The [first stage of the trip to Marburg for the Colloquy with Luther was the] journey to Basel [which] was made on horseback, the distance from Zurich being about sixty miles, and Zwingli and his friend arrived there safely, September 5. Thence, in company with Œcolampadius and others, he proceeded by boat to Strasburg, where he arrived the next day, September 6.  Here he tarried eleven days to confer with his friends and lay plans for the coming conference and also to await the arrival of Ulrich Funk, Zurich’s official delegate. Leaving Strasburg September 18, the company, consisting of Zwingli, Collin, and Funk, of Zurich; Œcolampadius, of Basel; Butzer and Hedio, of Strasburg; and delegates of the last named cities, was conducted overland by a strong escort of Hessian cavalry, through dense forests and dangerous mountain passes, to Marburg, where they arrived September 27. Luther, in company with his Wittenberg friends, Philip Melanchthon, Caspar Cruciger, and Justus Jonas, entered the city the day following.*


*Samuel Simpson, Life of Ulrich Zwingli: The Swiss Patriot and Reformer (New York: Baker & Taylor Co., 1902), 187–188.