Simple. It’s weird that no one’s ever collected basic biblical data—such as the locations of all the places in the Bible—into an accessible format.What this means now is a series of small files you can plugin to Google Earth (the post "How to Add KMLs to Google Earth" explains how) and double click to zoom to places mentioned in the Bible. So I started with Amos 1, and away I went.... I wonder could I record Google Earth animations of swooping from one tro another of the places in the Oracles against the Nations in chs.1-2, that could be fun and interesting... Meanwhile here's one that pictures the phrase "from Dan to Beersheba" ;-)
of Scripture as the inerrant word of God, no mistakes of any kind—geographical or historical. No contradictions. Inviolate.Ehrman exhibits clearly the danger of placing one's faith in the Bible, rather than the Lord of History.Bart Ehrman — Biblical Archaeology Society
My scholarship early on as a graduate student showed me that in fact these views about the Bible were wrong. I started finding contradictions and finding other discrepancies and started finding problems with the Bible. What that ended up doing for me was showing me that the basis of my faith, which at that time was the Bible, was problematic.Bart Ehrman — Biblical Archaeology Society
I grew up in east Texas, where the choices were you believed in the Bible literally or you didn’t believe in the Bible literally. That was it. I didn’t. So it’s my own experience with God that tipped me over on the other side. My best analogy is falling in love.
James F. Strange — Biblical Archaeology Society
Shanks: Does this God of yours have any attributes?
Strange: I suppose so, but I’m not really much interested. If I’m passionately in love, I hardly ever want to discuss the attributes of the person I’m in love with. Or if I do, I wind up saying superfluous things for everybody listening. “She’s wonderful.” “Can you give me some more information?” “Yeah, she’s really wonderful.” [Laughs] When you’re in this state, you don’t utter propositions.
James F. Strange — Biblical Archaeology Society
I agree with his point, I just disagree with his conclusions. His central historical conclusion is that the resurrection did not happen. By contrast it seems to me the only sensible explanation for the descriptions of the disciples' behaviour after the crucifixion. I do not imagine that these descriptions of a terrified group huddling and hiding are deliberate "spin". Yet this fear is followed by an explosion of evangelism that, within a generation, takes faith in Jesus around most of the Mediterranean world.In other words, the faith is rooted in certain historical claims. As historical claims, they can be shown as either probable or improbable. And I got to a point where the historical claims about Jesus seemed implausible, especially the resurrection.
Bart Ehrman — Biblical Archaeology Society
What I can’t help but notice is that two people look at precisely the same event and one sees God intervening and the other does not.Or, as Isaiah puts it:
James F. Strange — Biblical Archaeology Society
They do not know, nor do they comprehend; for their eyes are shut, so that they cannot see, and their minds as well, so that they cannot understand.It is all in how you look. Just do not expect comfort and joy in this life, and you will be blessed like Job to see God at work and to learn:
Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.
While Dorothy was taking leave of her senses, William was bidding farewell to the fashion mores of his day. Carey, who was prematurely bald had for several years worn a truly ugly wig. According to Mr. Riley, one of Carey’s friends, “Good Mr. Wilson of Olney is an excellent Christian, but one of the ugliest wigmakers that ever was born.” At some point on the journey, Carey grabbed the wig off his head and threw it overboard. I’ve always loved that image, imagining the dreadful wig sailing through the air to land with a plop on the water’s surface. I imagine Carey watching with satisfaction as the wig sank below the surface. While he would no longer have to wear a hot, itchy and ugly wig, he would now have to contend with sunburn on his stark white head!
The neatest thing about tumblelogs is that unlike regular blogging - which confronts you with a large, empty textarea to type your thoughts into - there are 6 distinct types of posts that have their own visual format: a "traditional" blog post, a photo, a quote, a single link, a conversational transcript, and a video.
According to James Sanders in his review of BHQ 18, a review more rambling, believe it or not, than this one, “Another highly commendable trait of BHQ is that of presenting the text honoring the te’amim or masoretic accent marks.”Will hold my interest, even when the topic is text criticism!
Would that this were true. 
Upon completion, BHQ is slated to be issued as a single volume containing text, masorah, and apparatus. An accompanying volume is expected to contain the other components of the fascicles that are now coming out: an introduction to each textual unit, notes on the masorah parva, notes on the masorah magna, notes on the critical apparatus, and an index of cited works.Oh, goody! A three volume Bible to carry into class... Not only this, but John also points out the need for "Updateability" (in a section of that title). Any reference work of this sort needs to be updateable, information available changes... So, you ask - well I do even if you didn't! - is this magnificent opus being produced and disseminated electronically, thus allowing me to subscribe to the latest edition. Well, no. We scholars produce "books", so we'll be stuck with the out of date, three volume (how practical!) but beautifully bound codex edition. Or, after a decent delay, in case the electronic edition diminishes sales of the (horrendously expensive to produce) print edition, we can buy at an inflated price (though happily now a little lower than the
That may not be realistic. Text, masorah, and apparatus of the two BHQ fascicles published so far exceed by 20 and 60 per cent in cumulative girth their equivalents in BHS. A single-volume edition is still imaginable, but will be bulky. Based on the fascicles published to date, it seems likely that the commentary to the single volume edition will require three volumes, not one.
The whole post/essay is really worth reading, please do not be satisfied with this chunk alone, torn from its context.
Physicality - Books are physical: text and sometimes pictures organised in a linear form, and collected in physical libraries.
Authority - Books are time-consuming and expensive to make. Their ‘authority’ exists in proportion to this scarcity. The implication is that no-one would bother laboriously to typeset, print and bind drivel; so if a book doesn’t make sense then the fault lies with the reader. , and hence failure to comprehend a text lies with the reader, not with the text. This principle of authority in proportion to scarcity can be seen by comparing the medieval reverence for hand-copied books, through to modern offhand treatment of mass-produced ‘airport novels’. Authoritative texts reinforce their authority with reference to one another.
Fixity - The physicality of books perpetuates the impression of text as something immutable. This physicality also give rise to a tradition of books holding otherwise ephemeral knowledge in fixed form for posterity, and thus of books’ being timeless in a way that human life is not.
Universality - This is the trope most heavily challenged by twentieth century theory. The traditional ideal – and arguably the central proposition of the canon - is that books marked thus are of value to everyone, regardless of who, when and where.
Boundedness – Being a physical object, a book cannot contain everything.
Whither Authority?I am tempted by this dystopian vision, of a net that diminishes everything to a level morass of equal and opposite worthlessness. (Which is not quite what SM means, but provides a neat caricature of this tendency.)
On the Net, readers write, and writers read. Anyone can self-publish. So, following the principle that the status and authority of a text is in direct proportion to its scarcity, to write is no longer to be the privileged accessor and producer of canonical, authoritative texts. Notions of authorship and any but the most provisional and conversational kind of intellectual leadership become meaningless.
The boundary between ‘worth reading’ and ‘worthless blah’ is blurred by the visible, trackable emergence of content from the swamp of chatter. And, watching content emerge, it is plainly impossible to posit for the Net a set of human-centric values as (however speciously) the literary canon allowed. The Net has no transcendental signifier except itself, no cohesion to celebrate except that of technologically-enabled pseudo-diversity.
The grammar of the Web is not one of human languages or literary forms, but one of computer languages. Online, the Writers (in the sense of those invested with weight, status and Authority) are software developers. No text writer may have the final word; nor will he shape the grammars he works with. Coders, on the other hand, create the enabling conditions for interaction.For in the net it is the composers of Google's algorithms who confer "authority", and not mere authorship - which belongs to all without fear or favour. And yet it is not! For, given the complexity of the net, the algorithms can hardly take account of each page, or author, or even site. Rather, as well as the material itself:
It was nearly midnight deep inside Venus de Milo, a dark and sweaty Boston dance emporium. The Shamen, a British musical duo augmented by an assortment of digital gewgaws, was unleashing a storm of high-energy technopop that was cyberpunk through and through. "We can see tomorrow in each other's eyes," they sang at one point as the bouncing crowd raised its collective fist, presumably in the direction of cyberspace.Meanwhile back on planet Carey... it's the start of the year, and students are facing the challenging world of networked electronic communication. Some arrive already literate, but others - mainly the over-forties - are illiterate by 21st century standards. Like 19th century factory workers or farmers who could not read or write a letter, they have difficulty reading and writing online. "Discussion forums" are frightening, online multi-choice tests terrify... today they are illiterate, even if their spelling and punctuation are hugely better than that of their, usually younger, literate peers.
A handful of computer jockeys have spawned a style and an attitude. It's no coincidence that Mondo 2000, a glossy quarterly magazine that trumpets the pop version of cyberpunk, likes to talk about "surfin' the new edge." Way cool.
And consider: Cyberpunk is only a corner of a much broader cyberculture- at-large, which includes an online worldwide population of middle-aged couch potatoes, wheezy academics, corporate pooh-bahs, govermnet drones, and on and one. "In the future it will be everywhere, but it won't be called cyberculture," says Stranger, a 17-year-old Miami high school senior who, like most hackers, prefers his computer handle to his real name. "It will just be called culture. A few years ago, people used to talk about 'the emerging TV cuture.' We no longer talk about a 'TV culture' today. It's a given. Somdeay soon, no one will talk about 'emerging cyberculture.' Because it will be a given, too."
It may well be that, in the future, most biblical commentaries will follow Bulkeley’s model at least in its technical aspects. One can only hope that the author continues his wonderful project.Amen!
The Gospel really Works!
For me, as a product of Christian influence filtered through many centuries of Western culture and assumptions, it was startling to see the tangible effects of embracing Christian faith seen in a very short period of time, with cleaner villages, better health, valuing of education, improved housing, etc. From my own context in which church growth is slow, incremental and individual, seeing families and communities that have come to faith was very refreshing.
Time and again I found myself thinking, what if B hadn’t pressed on with that translation, and there had been no NT for the churches mushrooming in the 80’s and the communities continuing to come to faith today? What if the pioneers and others in their wake… had just not bothered? I’ve always believed that “your labour in the Lord is not in vain” but it was thrilling to have the chance to see such fruit from service in the (relatively) recent past, and I’ve come away with renewed desire to invest wisely whatever gifts and opportunities I have and work diligently.
For a long time I have held my peace,Stephen Cook has a couple of interesting posts responding to a paper given recently at VTS. ("The presenter was Dr. Juliana Claassens and the paper looked at the image of God in Isaiah 42.")
I have kept still and restrained myself;
now I will cry out like a woman in labour,
I will gasp and pant.Isaiah 42:14
A woman's helplessness and frailty during labor is nothing less than power, the power to bring about new life--something a "powerful" male cannot do! This theological theme that vulnerability and frailty is a source of true, marvelous power is a big one throughout Isaiah 40-66. I think Juliana is really on to something here.Which captures one of the ways in which this passage fits so well with traditional Christian theology and preaching, though using an image that did not become a major part of the tradition - at least since the Middle Ages, I've argued that various sorts of mother imagery for God was more common earlier than 1450AD!
Dr. Claassens in her paper interpreted God's pain in labor as God's work of entering into the trials and trauma of the people, who have been exiled to Babylonia as prisoners of war. In my response to her paper, I suggested another possibility that to me seems more in keeping with the overall theology and thinking of 2 Isaiah.Stephen locates God's pain in this passage in the idea that "In 2 Isaiah God is seen to put aside God's right to justice, to put aside what's fair and deserved." His discussion provides a good theological entry point into the passage in Isaiah 42. It is one that fits well with the description of the "servant" at the start of the chapter.
The LORD goes forth like a soldier,and in the following God declares:
like a warrior he stirs up his fury;
he cries out, he shouts aloud,
he shows himself mighty against his foes.Isaiah 42:13
I will lay waste mountains and hills,The verse about pregnancy, labour and birth is thus set in a context that is surprising, at least in a world of sanitised congratulations cards and Baby's First Blog's! Fury, destruction and war seem out of place in such a world. But these images are not so strange in a delivery room. Mothers can speak for themselves, but to a husband and lover standing, almost helplessly, by these images fit the event. So, in my reading of this passage vv.13 and 15 need to be heard. The terror, cries and anguish you are seeing - says YHWH - are the birth pangs of something new, to which I am giving birth!
and dry up all their herbage;
I will turn the rivers into islands,
and dry up the pools.Isaiah 42:15
SEARCH Tim's sites