Monday, May 31, 2010

Got a spare $50million?

Magazine ads really make me impulse buy, so I saw this ad and I had to have it:

I wonder how many people while reading this magazine come across the ad and decide they have to have a $50 million dollar private jet and call up to order.

PS. I lied about magazine ads making me impulse buy.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Michael Barber on "The Uncritical Use of Redaction Criticism"

The post is well worth the read. Barber has dealt with an issue I have homed in on in my critique of the Cynic thesis (which should finally be coming to completion tonight!) and it great to see a similar line of thought, especially to the extent of using the same golden Kloppenborg caveats.

2010 Trinity Blogging Summit is live

Nich Norelli has posted up the 2010 Trinity Blogging Summit papers (and two debates). Sadly, he did not really make it in time for Trinity Sunday (it now being Monday here) but I'll let it slide. The works are as follows:
  1. Flame of Yah: Trinity and Divine ErosPeter J. Leithart
  2. An Introduction to The Letters to Serapion on the Holy Spirit by Athanasius of AlexandriaBrian LePort
  3. The Knowable-Unknowable Triune God: Gregory Palamas’s Essence-Energy Distinction from the Perspectives of Vladimir Lossky and Catherine Mowry LaCugnaJohnDave Medina
  4. “My Father is greater than I.” – Jesus. (John 14:28)Anne Kim
  5. The Nicene Creed and Trinitarian Pedagogy — Nick Norelli
  6. A Trinitarian-Christological Bibliography — Nick Norelli
  7. The Trinity: Is It or Is It Not Sound Biblical Doctrine?: A Christadelphian/Trinitarian Debate — Searchingone1033 & Nick Norelli
  8. Is the Doctrine of the Trinity Biblical?: A Unitarian/Trinitarian Debate — HiddenNChrist2 & Nick Norelli
Looking forward to reading them, although I probably won't get into the debates due to their sheer length.

Pseudo Marcus Borg asks " What are your opinions regarding N.T. Wright's scholarship?"

I say pseudo because it is someone on facebook being "Marcus Borg". This has to be my favourite:
I think he is a secret Southen Baptist, disguised as an Anglican theolgian. I think it would be OK if you two broke up.

Pagels' Questionable Readings

In my last post I alluded to Elaine Pagels' questionable interpretation of Irenaeus. Here is an example I wrote last year:

Pagels attempts to further the link between Gnosticism and John in disputed terms. Citing Adversus Haereses 3.11.7 Pagels states “Irenaeus complains that Valentinus's disciples were “always quoting the Gospel of John,” while surprisingly prominent “fathers of the church,” including three of his revered mentors, apparently were not.”  However, such an interpretive paraphrase sufficiently misrepresents the intention and meaning of Irenaeus as he is not “complaining” that the Gospel of John was the Gospel of the Valentinians, nor does he suggest it was not an orthodox gospel. The purpose of Irenaeus here is an exhortation of the authoritative nature of the four-fold gospel tradition. These gospels are so authoritative that “even the heretics themselves bear witness.” A more sound exegetical approach noting such an exhortation would grant the possibility of an exaggeration on the part of Irenaeus.  Irenaeus states that the Ebionites abuse the Gospel of Matthew; the docetics abuse the Gospel of Mark; Marcion abused the Gospel of Luke; and, in the same case, the Valentians abuse the Gospel of John all in “establishing his own peculiar doctrine.” To consistently follow Pagels’ exegesis would similarly mean that Irenaeus’ “complaint” was that everyone but the proto-orthodox were “always quoting the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.” Such a position is simply untenable, especially noting the high relative frequency of patristic citations of the Gospel of John by the early Church Fathers.
Could it be that Pagels is now quoting Irenaeus as a proof text in "establishing her own peculiar doctrine."

The Influence of Irenaeus

It is an interesting question and I do not intend to provide any solution. First of all, I do not agree with Bauer's model of radical diversity won over by overbearing Roman influence, nor do I find myself in agreement with the modern flag-bearers of this thesis such as Pagels and her often questionable interpretation of Irenaeus.

But what do you make of of P.Oxy 3.405? It is a late second/early third century roll fragment containing Irenaeus’ Adversus Haereses 3.9, 2-3. How far was his influence? How do we explain its presence? What does this tell us about Irenaeus' influence and authority abroad? Does it necessitate orthodoxy or dominant heresy?

Personally, I would argue against dominant heresy as the manuscript record of Egypt certainly isn't representative of such a trajectory. Maybe that'll be my next post?

Image source:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Diglot reviews "Did the First Christians Worship Jesus?"

Anonymous anti-reformed textual critic Kevin/Diglot has a review of James D.G. Dunn's Did the First Christians worship Jesus? that is worth pointing out. Not so much that it is a critical review (which it isn't), but that the subject matter of the book is of immense interest to myself.

I have intentionally not bought the book for the time being as I am overwhelmed with less interesting reading and I know I'll mix my priorities up pretty bad.

Edit: It looks like I just copied James McGrath, but I didn't, honest.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Not happy

Many of my files related to uni work and research have been corrupted. Essentially all the word files I open in the folder are full of jibberish and a sentence in English reading:

he Hasmonean period recently exposed in the western plain of Jericho" Israel Exploration Journal , 49:3-4 , 1999 , 203-221
Goldberg G. J., "The Coincidences of the Testimonium of Josephus and the Emmaus Narrative of Luke", The Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 13 (1995) pp. 59-

I have no memory of ever using either of those citations, let alone writing about Jericho but it appears they are all that survive.

The Apostolic Preaching and Its Developments - C.H. Dodd (ONLINE)

Dodd's 1935 The Apostolic Preaching and Its Developments is available online here. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the appendix "Eschatology and History" found in later editions.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Busy Times

I don't know if I'll have any posts for a while as it is the busy side of the season. There are three possibilities of my actions. You could imagine me:
  1. writing my full scale critique on the Cynic Jesus hypothesis, specifically according to Burton Mack and Leif Vaage;
  2. carefully studying Property and Constitutional law;
  3. OR you can know the truth - I recently discovered Noah's ark and must devote all my time to defending its authenticity.
1 and 2 are obviously not true.

And why Jesus the Sage? Despite me disagreeing with Witherington in bringing everything back to Wisdom at the expense of Jesus' prophetic role, it is a very well thought out book.