My musings on Biblical Studies, Biblical Hebrew, Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, Popular Culture, Religion, Software, and pretty much anything else that interests me!

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Geneva Bible up for Sale

28th August 2005

The Waynesboro Record has a story on a Geneva Bible that an anonymous donor has given to Trinity United Church of Christ in Waynesboro, PA. The only condition — that the church sell or otherwise dispose of the Bible before the end of this calendar year, with proceeds going to the general operating fund of the church.

One legend about the Geneva Bible is that it was the only Bible brought over on the Mayflower by the Puritans. This legend, however, is unlikely, especially considering John Alden’s KJV is on display at Pilgrim Hall in Plymouth, MS (ABD).

I think it would be great if someone buys the Bible and donates it to a museum or a religious college or seminary.

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Tags, Navigation, and the Meaning of Life

24th August 2005

Tim Bulkeley at SansBlogue and Wayne Leman at BetterBibles Blog have been talking a lot about tagging blog posts recently. I encourage you to take a look at their posts. One I found particularly helpful that Tim highlighted pointed to a script that could be used with Blogger to add tags easily; it is available from Freshblog. Note that you need to edit the script to make it work and you can also edit it to produce tags employing your own CSS styles (if you are using them). Tim (and Wayne) also have some helpful suggestions for standardizing biblioblog tags here.

As you may have noticed, I started to tag my posts about a week ago (I have been going back and adding tags to previous posts — I am currently in July somewhere!) and have also made some changes to my side navigation bar for my blog. I’ve added a topical index to my blog which will help you find blog entries on some of main topics I tend to post on (it will also take you to where you can see my other subject tags and do further searches). In addition, I have added a search feature which allows you to google search my blog archives as well as the entire Codex site. Finally, I have also added a few more blogs to my “blogroll” (BetterBibles, Faith & Theology, Hermeneutica, Midrash le-Justin, Novum Testamentum, Philo of Alexandria, Ricoblog, and SansBlogue).

I hope these features will make my blog more accessible for my two or three readers…

O, yes… because of my title you may have been looking for the meaning of life. If so, look here.

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The Apocryphal Jesus

24th August 2005

Phil Harland over at Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean blog has put together a series of fascinating posts on the “life” of Jesus from the New Testament Apocrypha. They are available here, here, and here. I encourage you to check them out (this has nothing to do with the fact he’s a friend from Toronto!).

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New St. Catherine Monastery Website

22nd August 2005

The Holy Monastery of St. Catherine at Mount Sinai now has a very nice looking official website. The website is currently only in modern Greek, though English and Arabic versions are in the works.

The site contains information about the monastery as well as a great collection of photographs of the monastery, surrounding areas, iconography, and some of their manuscripts. It only has one page on Codex Sinaiticus that I could find, that provides a bit of history of the manuscript and a small picture. (Alexander Schick/Stephen Goranson via Textual Criticism list)

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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!

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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 and

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The Bible: A Dangerous Weapon?

24th July 2005

This sad story comes from the Detroit Free Press:

Judge sentences man accused of beating girlfriend with Bible

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — A man accused of beating his girlfriend on Halloween with a Bible has been sentenced to 7 years and 11 months to 15 years in prison.

Saginaw County Circuit Judge William A. Crane last week sentenced Charles E. Averill, 46, of Saginaw. Averill had pleaded no contest to charges including assault with intent to commit great bodily harm and carrying a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent.

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Eshel in the Israeli News?

22nd July 2005

I have heard that there was a story in both Yediot Aharonot and Maariv on Friday 22, 2005, that accuses Hanan Eshel of supporting looting by purchasing the Leviticus fragments. As far as I can tell, this story is not in the online editions of these papers or in the online English edition of Yediot Aharonot. While I imagine the story will eventually appear in the English news, if anyone knows of this story and could let me know if it is available online, it would be greatly appreciated.

Alternatively, if you have read the print edition, send me an email and summarize it for me.

Thank you in advance!

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Septuagint Institute at TWU/ACTS

22nd July 2005

While this has been in the works for a while, a date has just been set to celebrate the inauguration of the Septuagint Institute at Trinity Western University and Associated Canadian Theological Schools (TWU/ACTS). On Saturday, September 17, 2005 there will be a celebration of the formation of the Septuagint Institute at TWU. Two of the world’s foremost authorities on the Septuagint, Professor Emanuel Tov of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Professor Albert Pietersma of the University of Toronto, will speak on the enduring significance of this Bible version and important developments in recent research. The Director of the Septuagint Institute, Professor Robert Hiebert of TWU/ACTS, will also give an illustrated talk.

Here is an excerpt the an announcement I received from Rob Hiebert:

The launch of the Septuagint Institute is a truly historic event, not only for our campus, but also for Canadian and international biblical scholarship. The focus of this new research and information centre, the only one of its kind in North America, will be on the Greek version of Jewish Scripture, which was also the Bible of many early Christians including the authors of the New Testament.

This is truly great news. I, and many others, have been lamenting the slow but steady demise of the Septuagint program at the University of Toronto as they have not replaced John W. Wevers and are not planning on replacing Albert Pietersma. This move is all the more ironic considering the increase of interest in the Septuagint in the last couple of decades. The creation of this Institute will ensure the continued focus on Septuagint studies in Canada for years to come. It is also a bright witness to the legacy of scholars such as Wevers and Pietersma as the Institute’s Director, Robert Hiebert, is a Toronto graduate.

For more information on this important ancient Version of the Hebrew Bible, see my Septuagint section.

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Biblical Plagues coming to a Theatre Near You!

22nd July 2005

The ten biblical plagues (or were there only seven? see Psalms 78 and 105) will be coming to a theatre near you soon! The Reaping is described as a “supernatural tale” about a myth debunker (played by Hilary Swank) who travels to a small, religious town in Texas to investigate occurrences that appear to be the 10 biblical plagues. The film is being produced by Robert Zemeckis and Joel Silver’s Dark Castle Entertainment and is set to be released in 2006. (Thanks for the heads up from Peter Chattaway)

For more films based on the Bible, see my Old Testament on Film pages.

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