Does the institution of “elder” as described
by Dostoevsky in The Brothers Karamazov still exist in Orthodoxy? Key
graphs (from the recent translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky,
Classics Club is an initiative I operate jointly with an English teacher in the local high school. The initiative seeks to duplicate for others high school reading experiences I had which were intensely positive.
The high school I attended was a lab school of sorts, a brainchild of university professors and a talented set of public high school teachers who found the “system” too confining.
Many people who visit this blog know that my first responsibility is not to the community of people who read this blog, but to the people of the rural Wisconsin countryside where I serve as a pastor. I do not see myself as the pastor of a bunch of churchgoers, but of an entire community. As John Wesley said, "The world is my parish." So it happens, because I maintain a public presence, that I am called on to take care of things in the case of people who have little or no connection with my congregation. Below the fold, the funeral sermon I am about to give. It is 6 p.m. The service is at 7. 51 college students from Iowa have just arrived. Since 3 p.m., a steady stream of hundreds and hundreds of people have been coming into the sanctuary to pay their respects to a beautiful young woman who captured the attention of those around her with the ease and glory of a monarch butterfly shining on a milkweed in the noonday sun.
Joe Biden thinks it is. He said on Thursday: “Catholic social doctrine as I
was taught it is, you take care of people who need the help the most.” Hard to
object to that. Follow-up questions: how to help them best, and how to pay for that
help. On those matters, reasonable people are known to disagree.
Catholic social doctrine is famously pro-life across the board. But Biden’s
running mate came out in favor of the death penalty in the case of certain egregious
sexual crimes. I wonder what a Catholic is supposed to think about that.
to Joe Biden: you may have heard a particular set of emphases when you were a kid,
but things are different now. Time for an aggiornamento, an update. What does Catholic social doctrine teach, currently, about the sanctity of
life? Tell us more, please.
According to Psalm 146, happiness belongs to
the one who chooses the right deity. Happiness redounds to the person who finds
that deity praiseworthy, and, it goes without saying, conforms his behavior to
that deity’s ethical priorities. Such conformity is of the essence of all Torah
Note to people who think the new covenant as
prophesied by Jeremiah supersedes the old. It doesn’t. The new covenant is the
old one written on the heart (Jer 31:33). As Psalm 119:2 puts it, “Happy are
those who keep his precepts; // wholeheartedly do they seek him.”
Psalm 146 is crystal clear about who the God
of Jacob is. To the question, who is God and what does he do for a living, the
psalm gives eleven precise answers. The psalm praises God by pointing out
praiseworthy facets of God’s being, each of which is imitable by those in Zion
who regard her God to be their God. Below the fold, further comment, a prosodic
presentation of the text in Hebrew, and interspersed translation.
(1) Adjusting for inflation, a gallon of gas
cost $7 in 1950. (2) The Dow is up 44% in the last 10 years.
Americans have become a nation of whiners and
bedwetters. The sky is always falling. If you will be so nice as to tell me in a
comment which pair of presidential candidates promises less pie in the sky,
rest assured, I will vote for them. I’m having a hard time telling who is full
of less hot air in this campaign season.
Avraham Biran, the excavator of Tel Dan and
other important sites, the Director of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical
Archaeology at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Israel
since 1974, died on September 16, 2008 in Jerusalem. Here is a well-written
obituary. (HT: Jim
Together with a group of students from the
University of Wisconsin-Madison under the leadership of Prof. Keith Schoville,
I remember well participating in excavations at Tel Dan with Biran as director
in the summer of 1976. I was nothing more than a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed
teenager, but Biran took me by the arm, shared anecdotes about what it was
like to be a student of William Foxwell Albright, and communicated his passion for
the land of Israel and the Bible.
Did you know that an important 1st
century rabbi was a saintly faith-healer known, not for halachic rulings, but
for the efficacy of his intercessory prayer and his practical wisdom? His name: חנינא בן דוסא -- Hanina Ben-Dosa.
A number of books and texts in the Hebrew
Bible are didactic compositions which do not dwell on specific mitzvot
(commandments) so much as on general principles of living acceptable to God and
man. Prime examples: Proverbs, Job, and Qohelet, not to mention Psalms like 1
and 111 and 112.
But if you love Hebrew and you love life, you
don’t want to stop there. Run along the stream of tradition a little further. Drink
deeply from the ‘living water’ (Hebraism alert) downstream. This post introduces
and comments on Avot 3.13.
The Christian Carnival is a weekly collection
of some of the best posts of the Christian blogosphere. It's open to Christians
of Protestant, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic convictions. To be included, you
are supposed to submit a post from the past week for consideration. Below the
fold, I introduce the posts submitted in the last few days, and a few others as
Ancient Hebrew Grammar informed comment by Robert Holmstedt, Associate Professor, Ancient Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Languages, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto, and John Cook, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore KY)
Antiquitopia one of the best blogs out there, by Jared Calaway, assistant professor in the Department of Religion at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Awilum Insightful commentary on the Bible and the Ancient Near East, by Charles Halton
AWOL - The Ancient World Online notice and comment on open access material relating to the ancient world, by Charles Jones of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University
Balshanut top-notch Biblical Hebrew and Semitics blog by Peter Bekins, Ph. D. student, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati OH, faculty member, Wright State University (archive)
Believing is Knowing Comments on things like prophecy, predestination, and reward and punishment from an orthodox Jewish perspective, by David Guttmann
Ben Byerly's Blog thoughts on the Bible, Africa, Kenya, aid, and social justice, by Ben Byerly, a PhD candidate at Africa International University (AIU), in Nairobi, Kenya working on “The Hopes of Israel and the Ends of Acts” (Luke’s narrative defense of Paul to Diaspora Judeans in Acts 16-20)
Berit Olam by a thoughtful Matt Morgan, Berkeley CA resident, grad student in Old Testament at Regent University, Vancouver BC (archive)
Better Bibles Blog Discussion of translation problems and review of English Bible translations by Wayne Leman, Iver Larsen, Mike Sangrey, and others
Bibbia Blog A Bible blog in Italian and English by former students of the PIB and PUG
BiblePlaces Blog a spotlight on the historical geography of the Holy Land, by Todd Bolen, formerly, Assistant Professor at the Israel Bible Extension campus of The Master's College, Santa Clarita CA
Biblicalia The riches of orthodoxy brought online by Kevin Edgecomb, a seminarian at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Brookline MA)
Biblische Ausbildung by Stephen L. Cook, professor of Old Testament / Hebrew Bible at Virginia Theological Seminary
C. Orthodoxy Christian, Contemporary, Conscientious… or Just Confused, by Ken Brown, a very thoughtful blog (archive). Ken is currently a Dr. Theol. student at Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, part of The Sofja-Kovalevskaja Research Group studying early Jewish Monotheism. His dissertation will focus on the presentation of God in Job.
Catholic Bibles a thoughtful blog about Bible translations by Timothy, who has a degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome (Angelicum) and teaches theology in a Catholic high school in Michigan
Chrisendom irreverent blog with a focus on the New Testament, by Chris Tilling, New Testament Tutor for St Mellitus College and St Paul's Theological Centre, London
Claude Mariottini a perspective on the Old Testament and current events by a professor of Old Testament at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Chicagoland, Illinois
Codex: Biblical Studies Blogspot by Tyler Williams, a scholar of the Hebrew Bible and cognate literature, now Assistant Professor of Theology at The King's University College in Edmonton, Alberta (archive)
Colours of Scripture reflections on theology, philosophy, and literature, by Benjamin Smith, afflicted with scriptural synaesthesia, and located in London, England
Complegalitarian A team blog that discusses right ways and wrong ways Scripture might help in the social construction of gender (old archive only; more recent archive, unfortunately, no longer publicly available)
Connected Christianity a place to explore what it might be like if Christians finally got the head, heart, and hands of their faith re-connected (archive)
Conversational Theology Smart and delightful comment by Ros Clarke, a Ph.D. student at the University of the Highlands and Islands, at the (virtual) Highland Theological College (archive)
Daily Hebrew For students of biblical Hebrew and the ancient Near East, by Chip Hardy, a doctoral student at the University of Chicago
Daniel O. McClellan a fine blog by the same, who is pursuing a master of arts degree in biblical studies at Trinity Western University just outside of Vancouver, BC.
Davar Akher Looking for alternative explanations: comments on things Jewish and beyond, by Simon Holloway, a PhD student in Classical Hebrew and Biblical Studies at The University of Sydney, Australia
Evedyahu excellent comment by Cristian Rata, Lecturer in Old Testament of Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology, Seoul, Korea
Exegetica Digita discussion of Logos high-end syntax and discourse tools – running searches, providing the downloads (search files) and talking about what can be done and why it might matter for exegesis, by Mike Heiser
Ferrell's Travel Blog comments of biblical studies, archaeology, history, and photography by a tour guide of Bible lands and professor emeritus of the Biblical Studies department at Florida College, Temple Terrace (FL)
Fors Clavigera James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy at Calvin College, thinks out loud.
Friar's Fires an insightful blog by a pastor with a background in journalism, one of three he pens
Gentle Wisdom A fearless take on issues roiling Christendom today, by Peter Kirk, a Bible translator
Giluy Milta B‘alma by Ezra Chwat and Avraham David of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jewish National and Hebrew University Library, Jerusalem
He is Sufficient insightful comment on Bible translations, eschatology, and more, by Elshaddai Edwards
Higgaion by Chris Heard, Professor of Religion, Pepperdine University
Larry Hurtado's blog emeritus professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology, University of Edinburgh
Law, Prophets, and Writings thoughtful blogging by William R. (Rusty) Osborne, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies as College of the Ozarks and managing editor for Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament
Lingamish delightful fare by David Ker, Bible translator, who also lingalilngas.
Menachem Mendel A feisty blog on rabbinic literature and other Judaica by Michael Pitkowsky, Rabbinics Curriculum Coordinator at the Academy for Jewish Religion and adjunct instructor at Jewish Theological Seminary (New York)
mu-pàd-da scholarly blog by C. Jay Crisostomo, grad student in ANE studies at ?
Narrative and Ontology Astoundingly thoughtful comment from Phil Sumpter, a Ph.D. student in Bible, resident in Bonn, Germany
New Epistles by Kevin Sam, M. Div. student at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon SK
NT Weblog Mark Goodacre's blog, professor of New Testament, Duke University
Observatório Bíblico wide-ranging blog by Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica/Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, Brasile (in Portuguese)
Observatório Bíblico Blog sobre estudos acadêmicos da Bíblia, para Airton José da Silva, Professor de Bíblia Hebraica / Antigo Testamento na Faculdade de Teologia do CEARP de Ribeirão Preto, SP.
old testament passion Great stuff from Anthony Loke, a Methodist pastor and Old Testament lecturer in the Seminari Theoloji, Malaysia
Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Blog A weblog created for a course on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, by James Davila (archive)
On the Main Line Mississippi Fred MacDowell's musings on Hebraica and Judaica. With a name like that you can't go wrong.
p.ost an evangelical theology for the age to come seeking to retell the biblical story in the difficult transition from the centre to the margins following the collapse of Western Christendom, by Andrew Perriman, independent New Testament scholar, currently located in Dubai
PaleoJudaica by James Davila, professor of Early Jewish Studies at the University of St. Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland. Judaism and the Bible in the news; tidbits about ancient Judaism and its context
Serving the Word incisive comment on the Hebrew Bible and related ancient matters, with special attention to problems of philology and linguistic anthropology, by Seth L. Sanders, Assistant Professor in the Religion Department of Trinity College, Hartford, CT
ta biblia blog dedicated to the New Testament and the history of Christian origins, by Giovanni Bazzana
Targuman by Christian Brady, targum specialist extraordinaire, and dean of Schreyer Honors College, Penn State University
Targuman on biblical and rabbinic literature, Christian theology, gadgetry, photography, and the odd comic, by Christian Brady, associate professor of ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature and dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State
The Biblia Hebraica Blog a blog about Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the history of the Ancient Near East and the classical world, Syro-Palestinian archaeology, early Judaism, early Christianity, New Testament interpretation, English Bible translations, biblical theology, religion and culture, philosophy, science fiction, and anything else relevant to the study of the Bible, by Douglas Magnum, PhD candidate, University of the Free State, South Africa
The Reformed Reader by Andrew Compton, Ph.D. student in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (focus on Hebrew and Semitic Languages) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
The Sacred Page a blog written by three Catholic Ph.D.s who are professors of Scripture and Theology: Michael Barber, Brant Pitre and John Bergsma
The Talmud Blog a group blog on Talmud News, Reviews, Culture, Currents, and Criticism
Ancient Hebrew Poetry is a weblog of John F. Hobbins. Opinions expressed herein do not reflect those of his
professional affiliations. Unless otherwise indicated, the contents
of Ancient Hebrew Poetry, including all text, images, and other
media, are original and licensed under a Creative