Daily Archives: 11 Nov 2019

My Choice for 2020

As Fake As Fake Can Be

The papyrus fragment in the photo is a modern forgery.  Look at the ink.  Have you ever seen an ancient authentic papyrus manuscript with ink that dark?  Nope.  It’s as fake as fake can be.

The details of the publication are as follows: Dirk Obbink, “Dionysos In and Out of the Papyri,” pages 281-295 in Renate Schlesier (ed.), A Different God? Dionysos and Ancient Polytheism (Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2011). The image of the papyrus (Figure 4, pictured above) is “© Imaging Papyri Project, Oxford.”

No provenance details are given for the papyrus other than the following brief statement, which introduces the papyrus as a kind of addendum to the rest of the essay:

“…Nor is there any reason to think that we have seen the last of Dionysos in the papyri. A new papyrus commentary (fig. 4) now in the Green Family Collection in the United States is offered below, as testimony. A kind of τὰ περὶ Διονούσου or treatise on Dionysiaca in the form of a commentary on an unknown classical work of literature, it begins with the explication of a word in the text…”

Fake, fake. Fake.

Quote of the Day, On Armistice Day

Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By putting our own interests first, with no regard for others, we erase the very thing that a nation holds dearest, and the thing that keeps it alive: its moral values. –  Emmanuel Macron, President of France

Veterans Gone and Veterans Present… We Should Honor Them Both

Veterans Day

On the Anniversary of Martin Bucer’s Birth

He’s a guy really worth celebrating. Here’s what Schaff says, briefly-

bucerThe chief reformer of Strassburg was Martin Bucer (1491–1552). He was a native of Alsace, a Dominican monk, and ordained to the priesthood. He received a deep impression from Luther at the disputation in Heidelberg, 1518; obtained papal dispensation from his monastic vows (1521); left the Roman Church; found refuge in the castle of Francis of Sickingen; married a nun, and accepted a call to Strassburg in 1523.

Here he labored as minister for twenty-five years, and had a hand in many important movements connected with the Reformation. He attended the colloquy at Marburg (1529); wrote, with Capito, the Confessio Tetrapolitana (1530); brought about an artificial and short-lived armistice between Luther and Zwingli by the Wittenberg Concordia (1536); connived, unfortunately, at the bigamy of Philip of Hesse; and took a leading part, with Melanchthon, in the unsuccessful reformation of Archbishop Herrmann of Cologne (1542). Serious political troubles, and his resistance to the semi-popish Interim, made his stay in Strassburg dangerous, and at last impossible.

bucer2Melanchthon in Wittenberg, Myconius in Basel, and Calvin in Geneva, offered him an asylum; but be accepted, with his younger colleague Fagius, a call of Cranmer to England (1549). He aided him in his reforms; was highly esteemed by the archbisbop and King Edward VI., and ended his labors as professor of theology in Cambridge. His bones were exhumed in the reign of Bloody Mary (1556), but his memory was honorably restored by Queen Elizabeth (1560).

Bucer figures largely in the history of his age as the third (next to Luther and Melanchthon) among the Reformers of Germany, as a learned theologian and diplomatist, and especially as a unionist and peacemaker between the Lutherans and Zwinglians. He forms also a connecting link between Germany and England, and exerted some influence in framing the Anglican standards of doctrine and worship. His motto was: “We believe in Christ, not in the church.”

bucer3He impressed his character upon the church of Strassburg, which occupied a middle ground between Wittenberg and Zuerich, and gave shelter to Calvin and the Reformed refugees of France. Strict Lutheranism triumphed for a period, but his irenical catholicity revived in the practical pietism of Spener, who was likewise an Alsacian. In recent times the Strassburg professors, under the lead of Dr. Reuss, mediated between the Protestant theology of Germany and that of France, in both languages, and furnished the best edition of the works of John Calvin.*

The best and most thorough biography of the good man was written by Greschat.  And of course you can read most of his stuff here, at PRDL.  Spend some time with Bucer today.  It’s his birthday!

*History of the Christian church (Vol. 7, pp. 572–573).