Christopher Rollston: The Marginalization of Women in Ancient and Modern Times

I strongly believe this article should be read by everyone.  Chris Rollston knows what he is talking about.  Here is a snippet:

Augusta National Golf Club finally accepts its first women members, and so a Leviathan of gender discrimination at long last makes a move in the right direction. Conversely, Todd Akin falsely states that a woman’s body has biological mechanisms to prevent pregnancy in cases of something he refers to as “legitimate rape.” One step forward, two steps back in our battle for women’s rights. Sadly though, the marginalization of women has been going on for a long time. Some 2,000 years ago, a Hebrew sage named Ben Sira wrote “the birth of a daughter is a loss” and “better is the wickedness of a man than a woman who does good.” Modern readers rightly label such words misogynistic. But they’re part of the historical record and Ben Sira wasn’t alone.

via Christopher Rollston: The Marginalization of Women: A Biblical Value We Don’t Like to Talk About.

Philip Davies asks ‘Did Jesus Exist?’ and Offers His Answer

Philip Davies has entered the discussion and his involvement is most welcome.  He concludes:

But why care? The issue of whether history or kerygma (let’s use the fancy theological term for such fabulation) should provide the basis for New Testament theology or Christian faith has been a persistent theme of New Testament scholarship since Strauss’s Life of Jesus (where myth reared its beautiful head). Still, both history and theology converge on a proper answer to this: the historical Jesus will always be a fabrication, and the search for him antagonistic to true religious belief. Yet some peculiar literal-minded historicist brand of (largely Protestant) Christianity finds impossible the temptation to replace the icons of Orthodoxy or statues and images of Roman Catholicism with the One True Image of the Lord: the Jesus of History. The result: poor history and, dare I say, even poorer theology.

via The Bible and Interpretation – Did Jesus Exist?.

You will want to go read the whole thing.  Go read it and then come back.  Back?  Good.

His discussion of the main issues in New Testament and the problems that plague those of us who even bother to *question* historicity are spot on.  The only minor issue that I might adjust is that he writes:

But one should not argue from these, as do Thompson and Verenna, that Jesus was invented.

But to my knowledge neither Thomas or I suggest that in our articles and I certainly haven’t suggested that Jesus was invented recently.  I make a point in my chapter to distinguish the claims that ‘Jesus was invented’ and ‘Paul’s Jesus is irrelevant to the Historical Jesus’ are entirely different.  One claim does not eo ipso lead to the other.  Indeed, even if Paul believed his Jesus was a completely heavenly, he could have been completely wrong.  My article was only to support the conclusion that Paul is useless as a witness to a historical figure, not that there couldn’t have been one because of it.

Though I would remark, and Philip might agree, that traditions can be invented and thus certainly most traditions surrounding a figure of Jesus are wholly invented (they have to be since only one tradition can be the ‘right’ one, presupposing historicity).  With that in mind, it isn’t so implausible to suggest that we haven’t even stumbled across the ‘right one’ (if there is one to find) and none of the ‘Jesus’ we have concocted in our academic quests resemble that historical figure.

Other than this one minor grievance, Philip’s article is wonderful and a welcome contribution to the conversation.

Every Bibliobloggers First Post

How Bibliobloggers Decide to Blog

Blogging Through a Classics Undergrad

The fall semester starts here in less than two weeks.  So during the next few months I will be blogging less but I hope to be blogging more about my classes, my thoughts about content discussed in classes, and my own vetting of the material.  Since I am double majoring at the moment, the next few years should prove interesting.  Hopefully that will translate into some rather interesting posts here as well.

Jordan ‘Lead Codices’ Redux

There seems to be a lot of conversation again about the lead codices.  So for those new to the conversation, there are some important links.

The video on why the codices are believed to be fakes produced in a workshop in Amman can be found here:

The two academically published articles on the codices and why they are probably fakes can be found at Bible and Interpretation here (to my knowledge these are the most thorough discussions and contain multiple links to roundups, academic interpretations, and are the only articles academically published on the subject):

You’ll also want to check out the Biblioblog Reference Library, as they have a whole section devoted to the codices. The website is very useful since it contains all sorts of information and useful multimedia so you can see the evidence for yourselves on why these are probably fakes and why most academics don’t trust them. See here:

Tom Head and a New American Civil War

You know, I post a lot about my problems with the Republican party.  I do.  But I completely understand that there are terrible people and deceptive people on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill.  But let’s face it; you generally do NOT hear this sort of polemic from democrats.  You just don’t.

This guy wants to start a war.

Tom Head, a county judge in Lubbock, Texas, plunged far out into the periphery of anti-President Barack Obama conspiracy theories on Monday, pushing a particularly outrageous one as justification for a tax increase in the county.

Head told FOX34 that Lubbock’s law enforcement needed extra tax dollars in order to be prepared for a full-scale uprising, which he said could be a byproduct of Obama’s reelection. According to Head, the president is seeking to sign a variety of United Nations treaties that will effectively take precedent over domestic law.

“He’s going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N., and what is going to happen when that happens?” Head asked. “I’m thinking the worst. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. And we’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.”

via Tom Head, Texas Judge: Obama Reelection Could Lead To ‘Civil War,’ I’m Ready To ‘Take Up Arms’.

This person is intimating that he wants to rise up and remove the POTUS (which I’m pretty sure is treason if not conspiracy and making terroristic threats).  Now, during the Bush years, I did state that I wanted to see Bush impeached for his crimes against humanity.  Impeached is not the same thing as calling for someone to ‘get rid of this guy’.

And here is the thing, my Republican friends (and I have them), this is what you are standing behind when you vote in November.  This is the party line.  Republican politicians and those in charge don’t want to win an election, they want to take over the United States.  You think you support small government and personal freedom, but these are the same people who want to take away your freedom.  In fact, I don’t think you even realize what is at stake here.

This judge wants to go to war.  He wants to fight Americans.  He wants to fight on our very soil.  And he is not alone.  Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh have already said as much.  And they are brainwashing you into believing that there is a government takeover happening.  But the facts are stubborn things–Obama is the smallest government spender since Eisenhower.  Yes, that’s right.  He isn’t a tax and spend liberal.  He’s actually responsible.

So get your facts straight.  Denounce war-mongering bureaucrats like these.  Do it now.  You don’t have to stop being Republicans, or stop being conservative, but denounce those who spread lies and fear and hatred.

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