Quote of the Day: R. Joseph Hoffmann

“And he asked them, ‘who do you say that I am?’ (Mk 8:28)  And the scholars began to write.”

‘On Not Finding the Historical Jesus’ in R. Joseph Hoffmann, ed., Sources of the Jesus Tradition: Separating History from Myth (2010)


More Dilettante Searches: Really, Plagues?!

Related searches today (I’m ignore the 90(!) other searches about dead birds and fish and the bible since I covered that yesterday here and here):

  • does the bible say anything about plagues on birds and fish
  • plague of the bible in arkansas
  • old testament/dead birds
  • biblical plagues 2011

Okay, for clarification, a dilettante is:

  1. A person who claims an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge.

So when people are so out of touch with the Bible that (a) they haven’t a clue what the plagues of Egypt were (they think it involved fish and birds), (b) they don’t even realize that the plagues involves LIVING creatures (flogs, gnats, locusts, wild beasts) and not dead ones (particularly, birds and fish), and (c) the only reason people seem to care is because they think it’s the end of the world, I am fairly certain that the label ‘dilettante’ applies.  So, let’s face it, everyone who is currently searching the interwebs for answers from the Bible about plagues involving dead fish and birds will ultimately be disappointed and, as well, shall be labeled dilettantes by those of us who were interested in the Bible before we feared for our lives.

And if you’re one of those who think the world is ending as a result of this, or you believe in a massive government cover-up related to this incident, you’re not just a dilettante, but you’re probably also crazy.

On the bright side, a some smart people searched these:

  • why birds falling won’t end the world
  • how common are mass bird deaths?

Kudos to you smart people!  You are asking the right sorts of questions!

Dead Birds in Sweden! It’s an International Conspiracy! (Not)

But certainly that will be the talk.  “God is killing teh birds!  The end is neah!  Repaint!” … or something.  Seriously, people, this happens.  Here is the scoop:

It isn’t easy being a bird.

First, New Year’s Eve fireworks were blamed in central Arkansas for making thousands of blackbirds confused, crashing into homes, cars and each other. Then 300 miles to the south in Louisiana, power lines likely killed about 450 birds, littering a highway near Baton Rouge.

It’s almost certainly a coincidence the events happened within days of each other, Louisiana’s state wildlife veterinarian Jim LaCour said Tuesday. “I haven’t found anything to link the two at this point.”

To add to the mystery, 50-100 jackdaws, a bird species in the crow family, fell dead in central Sweden late Tuesday night, English-language Swedish news website The Local reported Wednesday.

“We do not know what the cause is,” Skovde police commander Tomas Ahlgren said. The birds fell in the city of Falkoping, which is southeast of Skovde.

All of you wondering if this is a common event or not can relax.  here is the answer:

Mass bird deaths aren’t uncommon. The U.S. Geological Service’s website listed about 90 mass deaths of birds and other wildlife from June through Dec. 12.

There were five deaths of at least 1,000 birds, with the largest near Houston, Minnesota, where parasite infestations killed about 4,000 water birds between Sept. 6 and Nov. 26.

via The plot thickens? Dead birds found in Sweden – U.S. news – Environment – msnbc.com.

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