Zwinglius Redivivus

Redimentes tempus quoniam dies mali sunt.

The First Testament

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IVP Academic have published this new translation of the Old Testament by John Goldingay.  A review copy arrived in the mail (or, in the post for the Brits) today.  I’ve been looking forward to this day since the volume was first announced – having used Goldingay’s earlier volumes to great profit.  More anon.

Most translations bend the text toward us. They make the rough places smooth, the odd bits more palatable to our modern sensibilities. In every translation something is gained and something lost.

In The First Testament: A New Translation, John Goldingay interrupts our sleepy familiarity with the Old Testament. He sets our expectations off balance by inviting us to hear the strange accent of the Hebrew text. We encounter the sinewed cadences of the Hebrew Bible, its tics and its textures. Translating words consistently, word by word, allows us to hear resonances and see the subtle figures stitched into the textual carpet. In a day of white-bread renderings of the Bible, here is a nine-grain translation with no sugar or additives.

Written by Jim

20 Aug 2018 at 10:26 am

Posted in Bible, Book Review, Books

Interesting News From the Germans at the Institute for New Testament Textual Research

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Written by Jim

20 Aug 2018 at 8:17 am

Posted in Modern Culture

Rudolf Bultmann: Scholar of Faith

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bultmannHere’s a great essay for your reading pleasure:

Rudolf Bultmann — who died on July 30, 1976 at the advanced age of 91 was the last of the theological giants who grew up in the universities of the Kaiser’s Germany (he began to study theology in 1903 at 19), and the last of the prophets who struggled to hear the word of the Christians’ Lord after what had happened in 1914. Teaching New Testament at Marburg University from 1921 to 1951, Bultmann exerted all his many talents in order to recover the highest tradition of German biblical scholarship after the interruption of the war. Giving his acute and well-stored mind to the problems of biblical interpretation, or hermeneutics, he developed the science of form criticism with Martin Dibelius. However, he also took very seriously the world around him — the postwar world of the Weimar Republic, groping for financial as well as spiritual stability (in the end, its gospel was Mein Kampf).

And

There were plenty of men (Karl Jaspers, Fritz Bun, Herbert Braun and others) who urged him to complete his program by a thoroughgoing secularization, but Bultmann obstinately insisted on the power and grace of the Other who comes. He knew. He had met him. This is his glory, in an age which has exalted research above the encounters of life, and which has obscured God by the massive horrors of politics as well as by the petty sentimentalities of religion.

Bultmann was one of the finest Christians of the century (and he never cheated on his wife like Barth did).  Don’t believe the lies his enemies spew about him being an unbeliever.  Go read the rest.

Written by Jim

20 Aug 2018 at 7:48 am

Posted in Bultmann

Today With Zwingli

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First, in 1524, on 20 August, Zwingli published his delightful REPLY OF HULDREICH ZWINGLI TO JEROME EMSER, DEFENDER OF THE CANON OF THE MASS and second, on 20 August, 1530, his justly famous SERMON ON THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD appeared in print.  August 20 was a momentous day on at least two occasions for our dear Huldrych.

The latter work is introduced in its English rendering thusly:

AD ILLVSTRISSIMVM CATTORVM PRINcipem Philippum, sermonis De providentia Dei Anamnema.
VENITE AD ME OMNES QUI LAboratis et onerati estis, et ego reficiam vos. Matth. XI.
Tigvri apvd Christophorvm Froschouer, Anno M.D. XXX.

160 octavo pages, numbered by leaves (2–80). Signed on p. 159: Tiguri XX. Augusti M.D. XXX. Opera Zwinglii, Tom. I, fol. 352a–379b; Schuler and Schulthess ed. Vol. IV, pp. 79–144. A German edition, translated by Leo Juda and printed by Froschouer in 1531, has the following title:

An den Durchlüchtigesten Fürsten vnd Herren, Herrn Philippen, Landgraff in Hessen, Von der Fürsichtigkeyt Gottes, ein büchlin inn Latin beschribenn durch Meister Huldrich Zwinglin. Vertütschet durch Leo Jud. Matth. XI. At the end, on p. 221: Getruckt zu Zürich by Christoffel Froschouer. M. D. XXXI. 224 unnumbered octavo pages. Finsler, Zwingli Bibliographie, Nos. 94 and 95.

The following English translation is based on one by Mr. Henry Preble. It was revised throughout by the editor.

The work of Zwingli “On the Providence of God” is a free reproduction from memory of a sermon, delivered by Zwingli at Marburg during the Marburg Colloquy, October 1–4, 1529. As rewritten by Zwingli the sermon has become a philosophical treatise. In his philosophy he follows principally Aristotle and the Stoics. The doctrine of God, starting from the conception of the Highest Being, is developed into a cosmological argument for the Being of God. Upon this basis the discussion of the Divine Providence proceeds, culminating in the question of Divine Predestination. It is the most abstruse as well as the most penetrating Latin work of Zwingli.

Even now it is a delightful read.

Written by Jim

20 Aug 2018 at 7:41 am

Posted in Zwingli

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The Anniversary of Bultmann’s Birth. Oh Boy!

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Here’s the great one himself:

 

And yes, all the great ones (except Zwingli) were born in August.

Written by Jim

20 Aug 2018 at 5:28 am

Posted in Bultmann

#MeToo Hypocrisy

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She made allegations against others whilst she herself had paid her own victim of sexual mistreatment a settlement…  Hypocrite.

The Italian actress and director Asia Argento was among the first women in the movie business to publicly accuse the producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. She became a leading figure in the #MeToo movement. Her boyfriend, the culinary television star Anthony Bourdain, eagerly joined the fight.

But in the months that followed her revelations about Mr. Weinstein last October, Ms. Argento quietly arranged to pay $380,000 to her own accuser: Jimmy Bennett, a young actor and rock musician who said she had sexually assaulted him in a California hotel room years earlier, when he was only two months past his 17th birthday. She was 37. The age of consent in California is 18.

Child molester.  She may well have been sexually assaulted by the great pervert Weinstein, but she is no better than him.

Written by Jim

20 Aug 2018 at 4:36 am

Posted in Modern Culture

In Appreciation: A Brief Piece on Bultmann (and von Rad) On the Anniversary of the Former’s Birth

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bultmann10When I was a small boy I started to attend the closest church to my home because I felt drawn to the place.  It just so happened to have been a Baptist church.  I had friends who attended other houses of worship but none of them seemed very appealing to my 14 year old mind.  The Pentecostals were nice enough but all the yelling and screaming during their services was offputting.  The Methodists were all old.  And so it was that I landed in the Baptist church which, like Goldilocks, I found just right.  No screaming and yelling and enough people my age that I felt like I fit in (inasmuch as any 14 year old boy can fell like he fits in anywhere).

It was, I think it needless to say, a very conservative place with a very conservative (read: fundamentalist) Pastor.  The Bible wasn’t just THE book, it was THE book of literal historical narration.  If there had been cameras around in the ancient world they would have recorded exactly what the Bible reported.  That was what we were all taught; it was what we all believed.

bultmannSo imagine my surprise when, upon arriving in Seminary (at Southeastern, before the days of darkness descended and the place became itself a fundamentalist stronghold manned by a fundamentalist President who saw to it that the faculty was replaced by fundamentalists as well) I discovered that there was another way to read, to see, the Bible: as theology, not historiography.

Enter my esteemed teachers, Max Rogers and Don Cook and Richard Spencer and John Durham and Sam Balentine and Elmo Scoggin and all the rest – scholars who opened up the panorama of the Bible by insisting that we read such dyed in the wool heretics as von Rad and Eichrodt and Bultmann and Schweizer and Stuhlmacher and a who galaxy of German theological heavyweights.

The scales, as they say, fell off my eyes and I could see, as never before, the Bible for what it was, for what it is.

vonradEncountering Bultmann and von Rad in particular, however, precipitated a crisis of faith.  What was I to do with all that I had been taught as a teen in the Church which I loved and which loved me and which would never mislead me or try to fool me?  The questions the critical study of the Bible raised were ominous and terrifying.  How could I maintain faith?

The answer to that question was found in further reading, and greater understanding, of the works of the two men who affected me most, Rudolf Karl Bultmann and Gerhard von Rad (to whose memories I dedicated my ThM Thesis on The Use of Isaiah in the Gospel of John).   At the feet of these two I grew in faith and in learning and came to understand that the Bible’s purpose is deeper and broader and wider and wiser than as a mere historical documentary.  It tells the tale of God’s interaction with humanity, in theological terms with the intention of being understood theologically.

Had it not been God’s providential hand leading me to von Rad and Bultmann, I have no idea what would have become of my understanding of God, Scripture, truth, and Church.

It seems fitting, to me at least, to offer this public appreciation for the work of von Rad and Bultmann on the birth anniversary of the latter.  People who demonize Bultmann (and von Rad) simply have no idea what they’re talking about when they talk about him.  They’re sadly uninformed and ignorant, because God spoke through, and speaks through them.  No higher compliment can be paid to a theologian or biblical scholar than that.  Indeed, God speaks still through those two far more than he does most theologians and scholars today.

Happy birthday R.K.B.  Thanks, again.

Written by Jim

20 Aug 2018 at 12:01 am

Encouragement From Luther to End Your Day

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A natural donkey, which carries sacks to the mill and eats thistles, can judge you – indeed, all creatures can! For a donkey knows it is a donkey and not a cow. A stone knows it is a stone; water is water, and so on through all the creatures. But you mad asses do not know you are asses. — Martin Luther

Written by Jim

19 Aug 2018 at 8:18 pm

Posted in Luther

What Happens if You Douse a Racist With Holy Water?

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This:

Written by Jim

19 Aug 2018 at 5:21 pm

Posted in Modern Culture

The Perfect Gift for the Angry Prophet in Your Life

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Or just for the preacher the kids make fun of.   Either way, it’s a winner!

Written by Jim

19 Aug 2018 at 4:36 pm

Posted in Modern Culture

The Ubiquitous Language of Violence in the Hebrew Bible

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By David Clines.  As is always the case with David’s work, this is worth your time.

Written by Jim

19 Aug 2018 at 4:22 pm

Persecution Isn’t The Problem, Apathy Is

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The modern church’s problem isn’t persecution, it’s apathy.  Turkish churches, like American and European, are shrinking simply because Christians are apathetic.  They don’t attend worship, they don’t witness, they don’t minister, they don’t pray, and they don’t read their Bibles.  The consequence of apathy is self-evident: closing churches and a world getting worse by the day.

The cure for apathy is commitment.  And commitment can only come from within.  People have to decide to be committed to the lived expression of their faith.  No amount of badgering or sermonizing can achieve that.  It’s a choice.

If churches die (the Church never will), then it is because apathy killed them, not persecution.

Written by Jim

19 Aug 2018 at 12:41 pm

Posted in Modern Culture

Bultmann’s Birth-iversary is Tomorrow

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So there’s plenty to look forward to.  Till then-

imma_bultmann

Written by Jim

19 Aug 2018 at 9:30 am

Latin

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She spoke only Latin for a week.  And she’s written a Latin primer.  How fun is that?

Written by Jim

19 Aug 2018 at 9:24 am

Posted in Modern Culture

Jimmy Taylor Shouldn’t Be a Missionary, or a Minister

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I sure hope he’s not a Baptist.

Written by Jim

19 Aug 2018 at 8:58 am

Posted in Modern Culture

Signs of the Times

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Written by Jim

19 Aug 2018 at 8:39 am

Posted in Modern Culture

#CalvinCongress18: Weather Forecast

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If you’re attending #CalvinCongress18 (that’s the official hashtag if you’d like to follow the doings if you aren’t attending) here’s the weather that’s expected:

Written by Jim

19 Aug 2018 at 8:23 am

Posted in Conferences

Today With Zwingli

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On 19 August, 1530 Zwingli published his Supplikation und Begehren der Prädikanten zu Zürich. The topic at hand is nothing less than a plea with the Pastors of the Canton to remain faithful to the Gospel and to continue on the path of reform. He begins

Fromm, vest etc., lieb herren! Üwer ersam wysheit mag ring erwegen, was übels und unrates zuo diser zyt, dero alle ding so gefarlich stond, under den christlichen stetten entston möchte, wo sy in der leer nit eintrechtig. Es mag ouch das christlich burgrecht zweyerley ler nit erlyden.

So aber Benedictus Burgower, prędicant oder pfarrer zuo Schaffhusen, vom sacrament des nachtmals Christi nit glych mit üns in allen andren stetten leret, darus arges nit das kleinst erwachsen möcht, ist ünser ernstlich beger an üwer ersam wysheyt: Die welle ünser lieb Eydgnossen und mittburger von Schaffhusen darzuo vermögen, das sy üns gedachten Benedicten stellen und darzuo halten, das er bericht eintweders von üns empfahe oder üns gebe; dann wir inn hierinn der unwarheyt und unrechter leer leider muessend schuldigen, über das er sich vil eins andren hatt lassen zuo Bernn mercken.

Er lert ouch unsicher und valsch, so er von Christi beden naturen leret, sam die gotheyt ouch gelidten hab, dess wir inn, ouch anders, so mitlouft, bewysen embietendt.

Zwingli makes his points briefly (in just four pages). It’s still a nice piece, a sort of ‘stick with it guys’ rally cry.

Written by Jim

19 Aug 2018 at 7:42 am

Posted in Modern Culture, Zwingli

Update on Me (Larry Hurtado)

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:-O – I literally cannot express with words how sad this makes me.

Larry Hurtado's Blog

I’m temporarily at home between chemo courses.  I was in hospital all of July, and so no blogging.  I go back in for another course of chemo and in hospital recovery beginning 27th August. So, you’ll be spared again from further blog postings for a number of weeks. I’m sure everyone will survive!

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Written by Jim

18 Aug 2018 at 6:49 pm

Posted in Modern Culture

Church ‘Marketing’: An Observation

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The marketing of the church is an invention of the Antichrist. If you have to ‘sell’ your Church, it isn’t a Church that you’re selling and you are a pagan pretending to be a Christian.

Written by Jim

18 Aug 2018 at 6:38 pm

Posted in Modern Culture