Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Real Picture of Jesus – Text and Image

The Society for the Study of Early Christianity has released the details for the upcoming May Conference- the theme being 'The Real Picture of Jesus - Text and Image." A broad categorgy placing historical Jesus studies within the wider scope of ancient history, as put by the pamphlet:
The message of the New Testament was written down in texts, copied by early Christian scribes and has been studied to the present day. What part did (and do) pictures play the life of the churches? Find out more about texts, images, icons, and the original iconoclasts at the Conference.
The day plan:

More info.
According to an email from the University of Notre Dame Australia, Dan Barker (that Christ mythicist ex-Christian) will be debating Cardinal Pell on March 11. The topic debated will be "Without God we are nothing".

Who says nothing happens in Australia?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How blind are you?

Not really blog worthy, but I got my eyes tested a few days ago and paid for some new glasses today. I have been extremely short sigthed for a few years and now both my eyes are -5.75. On the upside, I no longer have an astigmatism in my right eye!

Personally, I hate my poor vision especially with the hassle of glasses and contacts. Oh, and when it rains with glasses on! Or when I want to go swimming! Terrible!

I am sure my lenses would be that thick if I didn't pay an extra $280 for them to be high density

Interpreting the Law

Like learning correct biblical exegesis, law students learn specific ways to interpret statutes (laws). This invovles going after the clear meaning of the text, interpreting it within the scope and intention of the act and then how it has been interpreted by the courts. It can be a very tedious process. However, sometimes the legislators make it easy for us by providing some very nice definitions. Here are two of my favourites:

The Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic) provides us with a handy definition for "significant risks":
risks that are not insignificant are all risks other than insignificant risks and include, but are not limited to, significant risks. s48(3)(b)
In a similar circular fashion the Criminal Code 2002 (ACT) explains what offence we committ while attempting to committ an offence:
If a person attempts to commit an offence, the person commits the offence of attempting to commit that offence. s44(1)

Okay, right?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The great thing about not studying in North America is....

...that I can tell the world how ridiculous I find the cynic and non-apocalyptic Jesus hypotheses and have academic faculty agree with me. Just as I was about to post this I remembered that Australia's most popular 'historical' Jesus scholar is most likely Barbara Thiering so I guess the joke really is on me.

*Hangs my head in shame*

Edit: For those of you who are not aware of Barbara Thiering, this is her in a nutshell according to Geza Vermes:

Professor Barbara Thiering's reinterpretation of the New Testament, in which the married, divorced, and remarried Jesus, father of four, becomes the "Wicked Priest" of the Dead Sea Scrolls, has made no impact on learned opinion. Scroll scholars and New Testament experts alike have found the basis of the new theory, Thiering's use of the so-called "pesher technique," without substance. The Qumran pesher—the word itself means "interpretation"—is a form of Bible exegesis which seeks to determine the significance of an already existing prophetic text by pointing to its fulfillment in persons and events belonging to the age of the interpreter. Professor Thiering, by contrast, turns the sequence upside down, and claims that the authors of the New Testament composed the Gospel story so that pesher technique could subsequently be fastened to it. If so, the clue must have been quickly lost, but now for the first time after nineteen centuries of universal misunderstanding it is revealed afresh in Jesus and the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls
One of my past lecturers was actually taught by Thiering back in the day. In fact he now teaches both Historical Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls and I am glad to say he doesn't follow her...unique...ideas.