“Text Criticism” is an academic discipline devoted to the study of ancient writings. Text criticism is best known as the study of handwritten manuscripts from before the age of printing. In particular, the most studied and most controversial work in the world of text criticism is the New Testament.
Text criticism got its start when translators noticed differences between manuscripts. Translators would compare manuscripts and find instances where they would have to choose between manuscripts for passages with differences.
“Nomen Sacrum” is the term used for certain abbreviations that are found in ancient manuscripts of the New Testament books. These abbreviations for the “sacred names” are well known by church historians, theologians and text critics but not much known outside of those circles. I thought that Christian Ratburghers would be interested in the way the earliest Christian scribes abbreviated the names for God and Jesus.
This post is a follow-up to my post last month, which was a book review of The Earliest Christian Artifacts, by Larry Hurtado. That book was a historian reporting on what he found when he spent some time speaking with the papyrologists who study the earliest New Testament manuscripts, and what he saw when he examined these precious fragments of early Christian culture.
Attorney General William P. Barr spoke last month to the Law School at Notre Dame. It was a long speech, and I did not take the time to listen to it. But it stirred up some controversy, so I stashed the transcript and eventually got around to reading it. The speech is focused on religious liberty and American society. I thought it was a great speech; Leftists attacked it as “theocracy!” of course. Here are long excerpts; I thought it was so good that I have only cut it down by half or so. I will put a link to the full transcript in the first comment if you would rather have the full Barr. This is the excerpted version:... [Read More]
China demolished a church. Not just any church; this was an impressive megachurch that was built for massive worship services. There was no warning. Demolition crews and police showed up during a worship service, started tearing the building down with a large track crane, and evicted the worshippers. The next day they arrested the pastors:
“…officials detained the church’s pastors, Geng Yimin and Sun Yongyao, on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disturb social order.””
You learned in school how the Egyptians took the pith from papyrus sedges and used it to make a writing product like paper. We study ancient Egyptian society because they were literate and left a lot of written records. Also, their dry climate preserves papyrus, so that Egypt has yielded a lot of ancient writings. This makes Egypt a favorite field of archaeological study.
Some of the most-studied artifacts of the ancient world are papyrus copies of New Testament books. Scholars study, debate, quarrel, and publish frequently regarding these precious bits of early Christian culture.
Christian “book culture”
There are some interesting things that can be learned about the early Christians from their manuscripts. This is to pass along a few things I have learned that may be of use to some of you.
Chick-fil-A exploits chickens for profit. The below is excerpted from an actual news article:
“Many U.S. cities, campuses, and retail outlets have refused to allow Chick-fil-A to locate within their spaces, and/or have been vocal opponents of the corporation’s hateful values,” the statement continued. “Toronto and the rest of Canada need to be next in line.”... [Read More]
Religionsgeschichtliche Schule is a term that has dominated the study of Christianity in academic circles for 150 years. It is translated from the German as “History of Religions School.” In this case it means ‘school of thought’ rather than a physical place, and is a reference to a group of influential scholars. They are important because most of their core ideas are still going strong on the internet and are currently taught in the Religious Studies Departments of many universities.
A number of bad ideas got their start with the religionsgeschichtliche Schule, including “Pagan origins” of Bible stories and the idea that the divinity of Jesus developed late in the history of the Christian movement.
A colloquium was held at the University of Edinburgh a few weeks ago, titled “Varieties of Theism in Antiquity,” and amounted to a series of new scholarly papers presented by a group of academics who celebrate the countervailing views that have debunked the ideas of the original religionsgeschichtliche Schule.
Last year I wrote a dozen posts to report on the assaults by mass media on Evangelical Christians. I cited the many hatchet-job articles and a representative handful (out of many dozens) of editorials from mass media to document their collective attempt to suppress Trump voters and boost Democrat prospects in the 2018 midterm elections. Things quieted down after Christmas, but then heated up over abortion when a number of red states were working on bills to restrict abortion. The focus stayed on Culture of Death issues all spring, with a few occasional bursts of Catholic-bashing thrown in.
But now I see signs of a renewed energy in media attacks on Evangelicals. This looks like the ramp-up to 2020 campaigning. I am not alleging any conspiracy. All I am pointing out is that journalists as a group hate President Trump and hate the voters who put him in office. Since they are overwhelmingly irreligious, they neither understand nor wish to understand the concerns of Christians. ... [Read More]
This is the last of a series. Yes; I know it is 2019; this is late because government shutdown. I will provide an index to the other entries in a comment. I have been posting periodically on the hostile coverage of Evangelicals on the part of Big News Media. It is clear that a large driving force in the hostile media accounts was Donald Trump. Big Media has sought to divide Evangelicals from President Trump. They sought to divide Evangelicals from each other, they trashed Evangelicals at every opportunity, and primarily they sought to convince Evangelicals not to vote for President Trump or for any politician who expressed support for President Trump. They wanted Evangelicals to believe it was hypocritical for Christians to support President Trump. They wanted Evangelicals to believe that Republicans were all going to lose badly so it was a waste of time to vote. I don’t know how much success they actually achieved, but they were hard at work to accomplish real voter suppression, while spouting accusations of voter suppression at Republicans.
The cascade of articles seemed to abate, oddly, during the runup to the midterm elections. That was primarily because all of Big Media was in full hair-on-fire excitement over the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. They got themselves worked up real good, anticipating a major defeat for President Trump, and they focused all their energy on that. Other issues were pushed aside. Then, with about two weeks before election day, they resumed running attacks on Evangelical voters.... [Read More]
Mass media, the legacy media, you know, those “Lamestream” guys, are keeping me busy tracking their continued attempts to wedge Evangelical voters away from President Trump. One way they do this is to pound on the hypocrisy angle at every opportunity. Of course, Evangelicals continue to provide lots of opportunities.
Hence the #MeTooForChurch series of exposes to detail those Evangelical pastors who have been caught in sin. Particularly notable this summer was the philandering scandal at Willow Creek, which is an Evangelical megachurch with a network of associated churches. Pastor Bill Hybels and his leadership team are out and the church is reeling. Almost every mass media outlet covered it, but all the articles seemed to be derivative of reporting by the Chicago Tribune and Religion News Service. There wasn’t an anti-Trump hook to this story, so it played out in the press the way most church scandals do.... [Read More]
There is a Liberal strain of Evangelicalism that gets a lot of favorable coverage in Leftist Mass Media. They are both political liberals and theological liberals. The thing that makes them popular with Big Media is the way their spokespersons use credentials as “Christians” to bash American Christianity. In particular, these are the liberal Evangelicals who are Democrats who oppose President Trump, and they oppose Christians who support President Trump. So we are at the intersection of religion and politics and the culture war. Lamestream media promote Leftist Christians as a way to drive a wedge between President Trump and his base.
I am writing to address one particular thing that gets said by liberal “Christians.” I saw it recently on several Leftist blogs, where they were riffing on coverage of the release of a new book. It did not generate much in the way of media coverage, primarily because Big Media was chasing Mueller investigation squirrels and Charlottesville anniversary racism squirrels. However, I thought it worth addressing because we have seen it before and we will see it again.... [Read More]
The process is the punishment. Just a couple of weeks after the Supreme Court ended a six-year legal ordeal, the Human Rights Commission of the State of Colorado has started a new investigation of Jack Phillips the Christian Baker who owns the Masterpiece Cakeshop.
The complainant is a transgender person, who requested a birthday cake to celebrate “the 7th-year anniversary of my transition from male to female.”... [Read More]
The Catholic Diocese of Boston has quietly conceded defeat and did not put up a fight. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade of Boston is now a green copy of the Gay Pride Parade. The triumphant Mayor Walsh has just installed the leader of the front group he created as leader of parade arrangements for the 2019 parade. When I search for “St. Patrick’s Day Parade” at the diocesan website, there are no results.
The group OUTVETS was formed in 2014 by Walsh for the purpose of forcing an LBTQ presence into the parade. Here is an excerpt from a recent press release by the Catholic Action League:... [Read More]