Daily Archives: 14 Oct 2019

More on the Dirk Obbink ‘Sure I’ll Sell You Some Old Stuff For Your Museum Right out of My Office’ Scandal


For the field of papyrology this may be a moment of reckoning. One of their most distinguished luminaries—a MacArthur “genius grant” winner, no less—is alleged to have sold antiquities that he did not own. When I spoke to Nongbri in June he told me “If this isn’t a one-off thing, and there are more records of sales, it becomes harder to believe that other scholars who work closely with Dirk Obbink didn’t know this kind of thing was going on.” The scale of the problem, as Nongbri notes, is still undetermined. If items were illicitly leaving the Oxyrhynchus collection and being funneled through Baidun it’s possible that other items (and indeed dealers) are involved. Perhaps this is the tip of the iceberg. It’s also possible that other Oxyrhynchus papyri were sold to different U.S. buyers. Regardless of the scale of the problem, the fact that items could leave the collection at all demonstrates that there is a need for greater transparency in the administration of shared intellectual and cultural heritage.

Scholars…  Some of you need Jesus.   Your egos and your sense of entitlement are astonishing.

Why Do People Accept Lies?

Though the light has come into the world people have preferred darkness to the light because their deeds were evil. (Jn. 3:19)

People accept lies because they live in darkness.  And like it.

The Queen of the Sciences

Most of you are too young to remember it, but theology used to be called the ‘Queen of the Sciences’.   Today, it’s not even the washer woman for Christians.

Facebook: It Disallowed a Post from the Anne Frank Center, But Retains Posts from Racists

So, here’s what the Anne Frank center tweeted-

Hi @facebook, you removed our post promoting the need for Holocaust Education for apparently violating community standards. You haven’t given us a reason, yet allow Holocaust Denial pages to still exist. Seems a little hypocritical?(the post was the exact same as the tweet below):

These numbers are alarming, but this is why we do what we do. Currently only 10 states mandate Holocaust and Genocide Education. How do we counter ignorance about the Holocaust with knowledge, compassion, and understanding?

And here’s the news story they reference.

Put this on your facebook page too.

The Wiser Democrats are Already Breaking With Beto

NEW: Warren, Buttigieg reject Beto’s plan to deny tax-exempt status to churches/religious orgs that don’t support same-sex marriage: “(Warren) does not think we should require them to conduct same-sex marriages in order to maintain their tax exempt status.

Give it a read.

The Obbink Saga Continues

The ETC folk have the latest on this Museum of the Bible soap opera.

NEWSFLASH: “Professor Obbink and Missing EES Papyri” – MOTB returns 13 Papyri to EES!


Please Take Note: Eisegesis and Decontextualizing Go Hand in Hand


Expertise Matters

That used to be established fact.  Today, however, people need to be reminded of it.

No one asks a non-chemist about a chemistry problem.  And no one asks a non-physicists about a physics problem.  And no one asks a non-architect about an architectural problem.

By the same token no one should ask a non-theologian about a theological problem and no one should ask a non-biblical scholar about an exegetical problem.

Expertise matters.  A failure to appreciate that very simple fact is the reason ignorance is rampant in this society- from the highest office in the land all the way down.

On The Anniversary of James Barr’s Death

It was the 14th of October, 2006 (it doesn’t seem like it has been 13 years) that James Barr, one of the most brilliant Old Testament scholars of our day (or any day) died.    Academically speaking, he’s my grandpa.  Both of my major Professors in Seminary, Sam Balentine and John Durham studied with Barr at Oxford.

All those who knew Professor Barr were forever changed by the encounter.  May his name continue to be a blessing and his work an influence.

Emil Brunner’s Audio and Video Works Online

This is huge.

This is Why People think Higher Ed is A Joke

A professor at the University of Washington has taken aim at – wait for it – SpongeBob SquarePants.

Yep, apparently the bizarre underwater kids’ TV show is ‘racist’, ‘violent’, and guilty of ‘whitewashing US military rampages’ on islands in the Pacific.

That’s the opinion of anthropology professor Holly M. Barker, anyway.

To even the most ‘right on’ among us, that might seem like a strange hill to die on, but let’s hear her out shall we?

Go ahead and read the rest.  It won’t change your mind.  And it’s why people outside the ivory tower look on in and say ‘what a waste of time and money.’  Indeed, behold…

Barker argues: “SpongeBob SquarePants and his friends play a role in normalising the settler colonial takings of indigenous lands while erasing the ancestral Bikinian people from their nonfictional homeland.

“The detonations do not cause concern for the characters, as they did for the Bikinians, nor do they compromise SpongeBob’s frequent activities, like visiting hamburger joints or the beach with friends.”

She also said that the show being set where it is – assuming it’s where she imagines it to be – represents ‘symbolic violence’ and SpongeBob’s ‘presence on Bikini Bottom continues the violent and racist expulsion of Indigenous peoples from their lands (and in this case their cosmos) that enables U.S. hegemonic powers to extend their military and colonial interests in the post-war era’.


Conference Announcement

Subject: KCL/UCL Hebrew Bible Day Conference, ‘Foreign Nations in the Prophets’, Thursday 7th May 2020

King’s College London and University College London have established an annual joint Hebrew Bible Day Conference. The first conference, focussing on ‘Foreign Nations in the Prophets’, will take place at King’s on Thursday 7th May 2020, with Professor Hugh Williamson as key-note speaker and an open call for papers. Further details will follow. For now, please note the date.