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Archive for July, 2005

A Course Dedicated to the Da Vinci Code?

31st July 2005

The Ireland Sunday Times reports that Trinity College Dublin is offering a course on Dan Brown’s international best-seller, The Da Vinci Code.

I continue to be fascinated by the response this book has elicited. I thought it was a good read, but come on already! It has won awards and there are numerous books, documentaries, a forthcoming movie, and now even a course dedicated to debunking the claims made in the fictional novel! (I guess it doesn’t help that Dan Brown is on record saying that he believes the theories in his own book!) While I will be dealing with the book in my “Religion and Popular Culture” class this fall, I’m not sure it merits a full course!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Qumran Fragments on the Market? Discovery and Provenance of the Leviticus Fragments

30th July 2005

Stephen Goranson brought my attention (via the Biblical Studies email list) to the following story by Henk Schutten: “Dead Sea Scrolls in the Trade.” The story was published in Dutch newspaper het Parool (An English Translation is available here). The article discusses four Dead Sea Scroll fragments which were offered for sale by a dealer at the 2003 Maastricht Art Fair, Tefaf. These scrolls were linked to the Kando family. What I found surprising is the linking of these scrolls that were sold on the black market and the recent recovery of the fragments of a Leviticus Scroll (see a list of my blog entries on this subject here). Here is the relevant excerpt:

In March last year, it was revealed that the Kando family had further new fragments from the book of Henoch, a Qumran-manuscript about Judgement Day. The husband and wife team, Esther and Hanan Eshel, announced the discovery of the Henoch fragments last year, as well as last month a further revelation. They had managed to get hold of two Hebrew fragments from the Book of Leviticus, which had just been discovered by Bedouins in a cave in Nahal Arougot, in the desert of Judea. The story goes that Hanan Eshel, as an ancient historian at the University of Bar Ilan, had been approached to assess the authenticity of the parchments, but instead bought them for $3,000, because he was afraid that the find – so he says – would be smuggled out of the country.So many discoveries in so short a period, in an area that has been so exhaustively explored by archaeologists – it cannot be a coincidence – that it is the word among the researchers in the field. The American philologist Edward Cook, a renowned international translator of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and author of ‘Solving the mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls’, states that the involvement of the Kando family is a virtual certainty in the new finds. He adds, “More than likely that the Kando family have had the scrolls or fragments for a long time”. “It is known that in the 50s many Bedouins first offered their finds to Kando. There is no guarantee whatsoever that Kando did not keep part of the material for himself. Everything indicates that the family are trying to market the fragments” (Emphasis added).

I guess my question is whether there is any evidence whatsoever that links the Leviticus fragments to the Kando family? From my interview with Hanan Eshel (20 July 2005), it seems unlikely that the Leviticus scroll fragments have anything to do with the Kando family.

The Discovery and Provenance of the Leviticus Fragments

Here is the story of how the Leviticus fragments were discovered and came into the possession of Hanan Eshel based on my interview with him.

The story begins in 2000 when Hanan Eshel was teaching a seminar on the Bar Kokhba revolt. In one of his lectures he was talking about the refuge caves — the places Jews had fled in 135 CE when the Roman army captured Judea and Jews were trying to find shelter — and he pointed out that there were 27 known refuge caves. In the middle of the lecture he noted that it was odd that numerous caves were discovered in the area that was in Israeli hands, but in the area that was in Jordanian hands there was only one place in Waddi Murrrabat identified.

Some of the students in this class decided to survey the area that used to be in Jordanian hands. The survey started in 2001. A total of 350 caves were surveyed with metal detectors. From this five caves were discovered that were used for refuge. Early on in this survey, the survey team’s jeep was broken into and all the equipment was stolen. At that point they decided to hire some Bedouins to look after the vehicle when they were going down the cliffs.

Then later, one day in 2004, one of the Bedouins who had been hired on occasion to look after the vehicle called and said that some Bedouins had found fragments of a scroll and that he wanted to show them to Eshel in order to get an estimation of their worth.

The rest of the story is well-known by now. Hanan Eshel examined the fragments at an abandoned Jordanian police station the night of 23 August 2004 (here is a picture taken that evening), but then had to leave to teach in the United States. While the Bedouin said he had been offered $20,000 for the scroll on the black market, that sale never materialized. When Hanan got back to Israel and discovered that the fragments were still around and that they were being further damaged by the Bedouin, only then did he purchase them for $3000 USD on behalf Bar Ilan University and turn them over to the Antiquities Authority.

What may not be well-known is that after securing the Leviticus fragments, Hanan was taken to the cave where the fragments were purportedly found. From a controlled examination of the cave, Hanan found evidence that the cave had been looted by Bedouin in August of 2004 (e.g., metal poles that they walked into the cave on were still in the walls [I believe], newspapers dated to August 2004 were found in the cave, etc.). He also found pottery and textiles consistent with others from the Bar Kokhba period in the cave. Interestingly, right from the very beginning the Bedouin described the fragments as being from the Bar Kokhba period. This was because, as Eshel later discovered, the Bedouin had found Bar Kokhba coins in the cave where the scroll was found. While Eshel did not find the fragments in situ, I think that it is pretty clear that the proper cave was identified.

Perhaps this whole story is a ruse by the Bedouin to sell fragments of a scroll from the Kando family’s hidden stash of scrolls (which may very likely exist). Perhaps they climbed the cliffs in the Judaean desert to create a fake cave to show Eshel. I personally think that is all highly doubtful.

Hopefully now that more of the story of the Leviticus scroll’s origin is known, it will dispel some of the speculation.

Posted in Dead Sea Scrolls, Hanan Eshel, Leviticus, Leviticus Scroll, News | 1 Comment »

New Picture of Leviticus Scroll Fragments

29th July 2005

As promised, below is a new — previously unpublished — picture of the recently discovered scroll fragments of the book of Leviticus. This picture was taken by Hanan Eshel on the night of 23 August 2004 at the abandoned Jordanian police station where he first met the Bedouin wanting an estimate of the fragments’ worth.

The Leviticus scroll fragmentsClick for Larger Image

The four fragments are clearly discernible in the picture:

  • Top left: The small fragment containing portions of Leviticus 23:38 and 39.
  • Top right: The decomposed fragment; even with infrared photographs this fragment was indecipherable save for a few scattered letters.
  • Bottom: The two pieces which had already been joined together. The fragment on the right contains Leviticus 23:40-44, while the left fragment contains remnants of Leviticus 24:16-18.

My story on the discovery of the scroll will appear in ChristianWeek next week; after that I will post a more complete accounting of my 20 July 2005 interview with Hanan Eshel.

See here for additional posts on the Leviticus Scroll.

Posted in Dead Sea Scrolls, Hanan Eshel, Leviticus, Leviticus Scroll, News | Comments Off

New Picture of Leviticus Fragments Coming Soon!

28th July 2005

Quick Note: I have a new picture of the Leviticus scroll fragments when they were first seen by Hanan Eshel in August 2004. I will post it as soon as possible.

Posted in Dead Sea Scrolls, Hanan Eshel, Leviticus, Leviticus Scroll, News | Comments Off

Conflation and Confusion in Report on Leviticus Scroll Discovery

28th July 2005

A post on the biblical studies email list by Elmer D. Escoto brought my attention to a Spanish news story on the Leviticus scroll discovery that interestingly conflates what I believe is its original English source — with very confusing results.

Here is the Spanish story from Noticia Cristiana.com:

Decifran tres pergaminos encontrados en el desierto de Judea

Martes 26 de Julio de 2005

Tel Aviv, Israel, (El Pais / NoticiaCristiana.com) Tres antiguos rollos —un pergamino y dos de plata—con dos mil años de antigüedad y encontrados en el Desierto de Judea en 1979, contienen versos conocidos del Levítico, libro del Viejo testamento, de acuerdo con el arqueólogo Chanan Eshel, de la Universidad Bar Ilan de Tel Aviv.

El utilizó cámaras electrónicas, sistemas infrarrojos y scanner de alta resolución para leerlos, los rollos de plata son más antiguos que los rollos del Mar Muerto, y eran usados como amuletos, que los convierte en los más antiguos conocidos y el uso más antiguo de fragmentos de la Biblia como protección.

Los fragmentos del Levítico, el tercer libro de la Biblia Hebrea, son atribuidos a la tribu de Levi, de la cual descienden los pueblos israelíes, y contiene regulaciones para sacerdotes y sus seguidores.

El arqueólogo Gabriel Barkay encontró los rollos en una cueva en Ketef Hinnom, cerca de Jerusalén, en 1979, y gracias a la tecnología hoy podemos conocer su contenido.

Los amuletos de plata son más antiguos que los Rollos del Mar Muerto, que contenían 800 documentos y fueron datados alrededor del 200 o 300 años después de Cristo.

De acuerdo con Bruce Zuckerman, líder del proyecto y profesor de Religión en la Universidad del Sur de California, es probable que los sacerdotes hubieran utilizado un sistema de graffiti para enseñar sus oraciones.

“Puede él ser bendecido por Yahweh, el guerrero, y el destructor del mal” es una de las inscripciones en los amuletos, pertenece al Libro de Zacarías y fue usado mucho después en rituales de exorcismo.

Here is the (incomplete) translation by Elmer D. Escoto along with my additions underlined:

Three 2,000-year-old scrolls (one parchment and two silver scrolls) that were found in the Desert of Judea in 1979 have scriptures from the book of Leviticus, says archaeologist Chanan Eshel of Bar-Ilan University in Tel-Aviv.

He used electronic cameras, infrared systems and a high resolution scanner to read them. The silver scrolls are older than the Dead Sea scrolls and were used as amulets, the oldest know ones, and also the oldest use of Biblical texts as protection.

The fragments of Leviticus, the third book of the Hebrew Bible, are attributed to the tribe of Levi, from which the Israeli priests descend, and contains regulations for priests and their followers.

Archaeologist Gabriel Barkai found these scrolls in a cave in Ketef Hinom, not far from Jerusalem in 1979, and thanks to technology we can now know their contents.

The silver amulets are older than the Dead Sea Scrolls which had 800 documents and have been dated from 200 – 300 a.C.

According to Bruce Zuckerman, project leader and teacher of Religion at South California University, it is probable that priests had used a graffiti system to teach their prayers.

One of the inscriptions on the amulets reads “He may be blessed by Yahweh, the Warrior and Destroyer of evil”; it belongs to the book of Zechariah and was later much used in exorcism rituals.

What is interesting is confusion of the discovery (the silver scrolls were discovered in 1979, the Leviticus fragments in 2004 and just announced in July 2005), the jump between the third and fourth paragraphs which leads you to believe Gabriel Barkai found the Leviticus fragments, the dating of the Dead Sea scrolls, and the introduction of Zuckerman as “project leader,” and finally the identification of the quote in the last paragraph to the book of Zechariah.

This is one confusing piece of reporting! It all becomes clear, however, when one examines the source article, which in itself is a bit confusing to begin with!

The original article was written by Jennifer Viegas and appeared in Discovery News on discoverychannel.com. In the original article, Viegas was reporting on the recent discovery of the Leviticus fragments as well as the silver scrolls from Ketef Hinnom. While I am not sure why someone would want to wed these two stories, her story at least keeps the two discoveries separate. Here is her story; the Vorlage of the Spanish story:

Rare Scrolls Reveal Early Biblical Writing

By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

July 22, 2005— Three ancient scrolls — one parchment and two silver — recently have been identified as containing some of the world’s earliest known verses from the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Old Testament.

The discovery of two fragments of a 2,000-year-old parchment scroll in the Judean Desert was announced last week by Israeli archaeologist Chanan Eshel of Tel Aviv’s Bar Ilan University.

The fragments contain verses from Leviticus, the third book of the Hebrew Bible, attributed to the tribe of Levi from which Israeli priests are said to be descended. The book consists of regulations for both the priests and their followers.

The two silver scrolls were found by Bar Ilan archaeologist Gabriel Barkay in 1979 in a cave at Ketef Hinnom near Jerusalem. It was only until recently, however, that technology made it possible for scientists to read the scrolls, which date to the 7th century B.C. and likely were worn around the neck as protective amulets.

Project leader Bruce Zuckerman told Discovery News that the scrolls not only are the oldest known Hebrew amulets, but they also are the earliest known artifacts to quote Biblical verses.

“The silver amulets are even older than the Dead Sea Scrolls,” said Zuckerman, who is associate professor of religion at the University of Southern California.

The more than 800 documents that comprise the Dead Sea Scrolls have been dated to about 300-200 B.C., meaning they were created as much as four centuries after the amulets.

Zuckerman and his team utilized electronic cameras, specialized imaging software, and infrared systems from NASA to peer into the etched surfaces of the once-rolled silver scroll amulets.

The scrolls contain only consonants, and one is etched with the Priestly Benediction from Numbers 6:24-26.

It reads, “May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord cause his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; may the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and grant you peace.”

Zuckerman said, “We don’t yet know if the Book of Numbers existed then, or if this verse preceded it.”

He added, “We do, however, know that the same prayer also pops up in early graffiti (wall writings), which at least suggests that it would have been a familiar prayer at the time.”

The other scroll reads, “May he/she be blessed by Yahweh, the warrior/helper, and the rebuker of Evil.”

Zuckerman believes the word “rebuker” is significant, because it echoes language used in earlier Canaanite literature describing the pagan god Baal.

It also appears in the Dead Sea Scrolls’ Book of Zachariah and was used much later in exorcism rituals.

Zuckerman, who is compiling images of early Biblical texts for a USC Web site, thinks that together, the scrolls and other early documents support the theory that the Bible represents a collection of sacred materials gathered over hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of years.

“The precedent established by the editors was not to gather the most clear and consistent materials, but those that were believed to be the most sacred,” he said. “For example, two ideas are given for the origin of the universe. Both are included because to leave one out would have violated the sacredness of the tradition.”

Note that the original story is also confusing on some parts, such as the attribution of the book of Leviticus to the tribe of Levi. The confusion of attributing the second silver scroll’s blessing with the book of Zechariah also becomes clear when you look at the source. It’s the word “rebuke” (‏גער) that links the amulet with Zechariah; not that the blessing is from Zechariah.

Anyhow, this is a great example of conflation and confusion of sources.

Posted in Dead Sea Scrolls, Hanan Eshel, Leviticus, Leviticus Scroll, News | Comments Off

“Magisterial,” “Authoritative,” “Weighty,” “Awesome” …

28th July 2005

The title of this blog entry reflects some adjectives describing the first volume of Hossfeld and Zenger’s Hermeneia commentary on the book of Psalms. I realize that I have already flogged this volume (see “Noteworthy Commentary on the Psalms Published“), but I just received my review copy and I am very impressed! This volume has set a new standard for critical, historical, and theological commentaries on the Psalms. It includes bibliography, a fresh translation, detailed textual notes, interaction with past scholarly interpretation, verse-by-verse exposition, as well as a section called “Context, Reception, and Significance.” This last section deals with the relationship of the individual psalm to its place in the Psalter, as well as discussions of the reception of the psalm in the LXX, Targum, and New Testament. Very Impressive! You will want to move aside Dahood, Craigie/Allen/Tate, Kraus and put this volume front and centre!

Frank-Lothar Hossfeld and Erich Zenger. Psalms 2.
Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Fortress, 2005.
Buy from Amazon.caBuy from Amazon.com

And, no, I’m not getting any kick-back from the authors or the publisher! It’s just that good! (Although if you buy it from Amazon from my site, I will get a percentage that will go towards the cost of maintaining this site!)

Posted in Commentary Survey, Psalms, Reviews & Notices | Comments Off

The LXX Psalm Superscriptions (Part 3) Liturgical Notices and the Psalms for the Days of the Week

28th July 2005

This is the third of a series of entries on the superscriptions in the Greek Psalter. Previous entries include “The Septuagint Psalm Superscriptions (Part 1)” and “The Septuagint Psalm Superscriptions (Part 2): Personal Names and Notions of Authorship.

Liturgical Notices in the Superscriptions

There are a variety of different liturgical notices in the psalm superscriptions. These include the phrase למנצח, “to the leader” (NRSV; “for the director of music,” NIV); and other obscure terms denoting melodies, musical instruments, and/or cultic procedures. Interestingly, there is only one place where the LXX adds εἰς τὸ τέλος (= למנצח): Psalm 30(29). This reading is highly contested within the Greek tradition. While it is difficult to determine whether this addition reflects a different Hebrew Vorlage, it is difficult to understand why it would have been the result of transmission history.

Psalms for the Days of the Week

A more significant group of liturgical notes relate to psalms that were read on certain days of the week. The Mishnah (mTamid 7.3-4), among other places, notes that the Levites recited specific psalms in the Temple on each day of the week. In the Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT), only the Sabbath song is so marked (Psalm 92); and where a psalm is extant in the Dead Sea Scrolls, it also supports the MT. On the Greek side, however, all of the daily psalms but Tuesday are marked.

Day Mishnah
(mTamid)
MT Septuagint (LXX) Qumran
Sunday Ps 24 - Ps 24 (23): τῆς μιᾶς σαββάτων
“Of [day] one of the week”
Monday Ps 48 - Ps 48 (47): δευτέÏ?á¾³ σαββάτου
“[Pertaining to the] second day of the week”
-
Tuesday Ps 82 - -
Wednesday Ps 94 - Ps 94 (93): τετÏ?άδι σαββάτων
“[Pertaining to the] fourth day of the week”
Thursday Ps 81 - Ps 81 (80): πέμπτησαββάτου
“[Pertaining to the] fifth day of the week”
-
Friday Ps 93 - Ps 93 (92): εἰς τὴν ἡμέÏ?αν τοῦ Ï€Ï?οσαββάτου
“Regarding the day of preparation” [lit. ["the pre-sabbath"]
-
Saturday Ps 92 92 Ps 92 (91): εἰς τὴν ἡμέÏ?αν τοῦ σαββάτου
“Regarding the day of the Sabbath”Ps 38 (37): πεÏ?ὶ σαββάτου
“Concerning the Sabbath [day]“
-

While I will not rehearse the full textual evidence for these psalms, there is some variation among the different Greek texts. Noteworthy is that the Greek tradition has an additional psalm marked for the Sabbath (Psalm 38(37)). In addition, one fifth-century manuscript (1219) marks Psalm 23(22) for the first day of the week (Sunday). While it is not possible to be certain, it is likely a carry over from Ps 24(23).

The question that remains for the other superscriptions is whether they are based on a Hebrew parent text or are they the product of transmission history. The fact that the MT (and extant DSS) only marks Ps 92(91) for the Sabbath may indicate, as Sarna suggests, that the tradition arose some time after the MT Psalter was finalized, yet before it was translated into Greek in the second century BCE (Nahum Sarna, “The Psalm for the Sabbath Day (Ps 92),” JBL 81 (1962) 155-56). If this is not the case, one would have to explain their omission from the MT Psalter, which is problematic to say the least.

At a purely formal and stylistic level one cannot help but notice a measure of diversity in the Greek of these superscripts. In Ps 24(23) the note begins with an articular genitive. Psalms 48(47), 81(80), and 92(93) have anarthrous datives. In 92(91) and 93(92) we meet εἰς (“regarding”) plus an articular accusative but inarticular (by reason of sense) in 38(37). Furthermore, σάββατον (“Sabbath”) is plural in 38(37) and 94(93) but singular in 48(47) and 81(80), though all refer to the week rather than a specific day (that is found elsewhere, however). Psalms 92(91) and 93(92) render “day” explicit while the rest do not. And finally, the marker of grammatical relationship is a genitive in 24(23), πεÏ?ὶ plus genitive in 38(37), a dative in 48(47), 81(80) and 94(93), and εἰς plus accusative in 92(91) and 93(92). This variety in linguistic expression is considerable and some of it may be rooted in a differing Hebrew parent text, or (less likely) in the translator’s differing treatment of the same Hebrew. The high degree of predictability and formalism found in the other parts of the Septuagint psalm titles is clearly lacking in the psalms for the days of the week. This strongly suggests their secondary origin.

A related question is why did these particular psalms become associated with these days of the week. Most have assumed the superscripts reflect Jewish liturgical practice and were likely added during the transmission process. This appears to be the view of the editor of the Göttingen edition of the Greek Psalter (Rahlfs) as well as others like Sarna. Albert Pietersma, however, has recently argued that the associations may be the result of exegetical rather than liturgical in nature. Starting with Psalm 92(91), Pietersma argues that the translator understood the title to indicate what the psalm “is about, not on what occasion it is used” (“Exegesis and Liturgy in the Superscriptions of the Greek Psalter” in X Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, Oslo 1998 [Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2001] 134).

While this may be the case, it creates a false dichotomy between exegesis and liturgy. Sarna has demonstrated that MT Psalm 92 was chosen to be the temple Sabbath hymn precisely because it reflects a number of Sabbath-themes. Hence exegesis and liturgy are one and the same. The problem with understanding the other Sabbath-day titles in the LXX as arising from a Greek exegetical tradition (rather than reflecting Jewish practice based on the use of the MT Psalter) is it suggests that the associations with various days was either triggered by the translator of the Greek Psalter (and then reflected in the Mishnah, etc.) or the Greek exegetical tradition concerning the days just happened to highlight the same days as Jewish tradition (which is highly unlikely). The best hypothesis is that certain psalms began to be used in Jewish liturgy after the compilation of the MT Psalter (with the exception of Psalm 92). This Jewish tradition of associating certain psalms with days of the week was later reflected in the LXX Psalter. While the additions may be the translator’s doing, it is more likely that they are later accretions from the Greek transmission history of the Psalms.

What’s interesting is that while these superscripts may reflect a Temple (or Synagogue) liturgy, they eventually were given an eschatological interpretation. Such an interpretation of Psalm 92 is facilitated by its Greek translation of the Hebrew prefix verbs as futures in Ps 92:5 and 11, among other things (though it is not clear that the translator intended this eschatological interpretation). The Targum of Psalms is more explicit, expanding Ps 92:9 to read “You are exalted and the Most High in the world to come,” and attributing the psalm to Adam via a superscription. In later Jewish tradition, as preserved in mTamid 7.4, the Sabbath Psalm (Psalm 92) is also described as “a psalm, a song for the future that is coming, for the day that is altogether a Sabbath of rest for eternal life.”

My next blog on this topic will look at the additions and expansions including situational ascriptions in the Septuagint Psalter.

Posted in LXX Psalm Superscriptions, Psalms, Septuagint | Comments Off

Jesus Junk and Christian Kitsch, 2.1 – Biblical Plagues & Plaguedomes

27th July 2005

Plagues appear to be rather “in” right now. I blogged on a new feature film called The Reaping, which is based loosely on the biblical plagues here.

Jim West at Biblical Theology recently drew our attention to an online quiz, “Which biblical plague are you?” Jim happened to be frogs, while Brandon Wason at Novum Testamentum turned out to be boils. I also did the quiz and I happen to be darkness! Ooo… Scary!

This reminded me of a great piece of kitsch that I came across a number of years ago: Biblical Plaguedomes. There are two different plaguedomes available: the Swarm of Locusts Plaguedome and the Three Days of Darkness Plaguedome:

I’m not sure why they haven’t made a “River of Blood” Plaguedome (wouldn’t that be easy?) or a Gnat Plaguedome (that would be a easy knock-off of the locust one), but I do understand why they haven’t tried a Plague of Cattle Plaguedome (how would you make some fall and others not)?

Posted in Humour, Jesus Junk & Christian Kitsch | 1 Comment »

Web Surfers Beware: “www” in Hebrew is 666 or Mark of the Beast

26th July 2005

I could not resist noting this story:

Domain Registrars Beware: ‘www.’ in Hebrew is 666 or Mark of the Beast

July 26, 2005 – (HOSTSEARCH.COM) – In apocalyptic end-of-the-world domain registrar security news, the newly founded e-Knights of the Cross have revealed in a press release that “www” is ancient Hebrew for 666 or the sign of the devil. According to the e-Knights the world wide web (although not the Internet) is a tool of the devil projecting the “Mark of the Beast” onto unwitting web surfers’ foreheads from their monitors. ….

Wow… they’re right! At least in that “www” represented in Hebrew is ווו (waw-waw-waw or vav-vav-vav in modern transliteration) and vav is numeric equivalent of 6 in traditional Hebrew usage. I sure am glad I don’t have “www” as part of my URL! Of course, this all breaks down when one realizes that the number six-hundred-and-sixty-six would be represented as תרסו or מסו , not ווו. (This is 400 + 200 + 60 + 6 or 600 + 60 + 6). Bummer! For more information on the e-Knights of the Cross see www.istheBeast.com and www.E-KnightsoftheCross.org.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Jesus Junk and Christian Kitsch, Volume 2

25th July 2005

More Scripture Candy

In my first installment of “Jesus Junk and Christian Kitsch” I highlighted some of the classic examples of Scripture Candy, such as Testamints and Bible Bars. I never realized just how much of this sort of stuff there is available. Here are some more prime examples of what I have dubbed “Scripture Candy.”

Noah’s Ark Gummi Animals

Now you can eat the animals that were on the Ark! These assorted animal-shaped candies come in a variety of fruit flavors. From the picture, it even looks like the animals come in pairs! (not sevens — I guess these are the Priestly Ark Animals!) They were saved from the flood just so your kid can eat them as a snack!

Bible Verse Fortune Cookies

For those who want to have something more international, you can get these Fortune Cookies with Bible verses in them.

It’s tough to read the verses from the picture and they never indicate what verses they included, so I thought I would recommend one which I think is highly appropriate: “The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thou sweet words” (Prov 23:8 KJV).

Candy Cross Suckers

There is not only one type of Candy cross Suckers, but two! You can get the basic Cross-Shaped Suckers or the fancy Candy Cross Suckers with Popping Dip Candy. Both come in assorted fruit flavors. And guess what?! They’re even fat free!

Now when you take up your cross and follow Jesus, you can eat the cross if you feel a bit peckish! I wonder what Dietrich Bonhoeffer would say?

Star of David Chocolate Pops

These tasty treats are for our Jewish friends. These are certified kosher and come in either Dairy or Pareve. In addition to the Star of David pops, you can also get “Chai” pops (“life”), Dreidels, and Menorahs, among other things.

Fruit of the Spirit Pressed Powder Candy

These confections from Sweet Truths
are based on Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” I think there should be a law against how much cheesy Bible candy one should make!

Stay tuned for the next installment when we’ll look at Christian toiletries!

Posted in Humour, Jesus Junk & Christian Kitsch | 3 Comments »