Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

The Jesus-wife source is dated to eight-century Egypt: could it be authentic?

J. Warner Wallace tweeted this post from Al Mohler, which talks about the scholarly review of a recent discovery.

Excerpt:

Last week, the Harvard Theological Review released a much-delayed series of articles on the fragment. After a series of investigations undertaken by diverse scholars, the general judgment claimed by Professor King is that the fragment probably is not a forgery — or at least that it dates back to ancient times. The analysis suggested that the fragment dated from about four centuries later than Professor King had first suggested. This would place the fragment, if authentic, in the context of eighth-century Egypt — hundreds of years after the New Testament was written and completed.

The language used by the national media in reporting the story this time reveals the lack of confidence now placed in the fragment. The Boston Globe reported that the tests “have turned up no evidence of modern forgery,” but the reporter had to acknowledge that at least one of the scholars writing in the Harvard Theological Review insisted that the fragment is not only a forgery, but an amateurish effort. The New York Times ran a story that featured a headline announcing that the fragment “is more likely ancient than fake.” Note the uncertainty evident even in the headline.

In her major article released last week, Professor King defended the fragment’s authenticity, but acknowledged that — all previous sensationalism aside — “It is not entirely clear, however, how many women are referred to [in the fragment], who they are, precisely what is being said about them, or what larger issues are under consideration.”

This is a very different message than was sent back in 2012. Professor King now acknowledges that all the references to females in the fragment might be “deployed metaphorically as figures of the Church, or heavenly Wisdom, or symbolically/typologically as brides of Christ or even mothers.” In other words, the fragment might not even conflict with Christian orthodoxy.

The most declarative article in the Harvard Theological Review, however, dismisses the entire fragment as a modern forgery. Professor Leo Depuydt of Brown University argues that the fragment’s authenticity is “out of the question.” He points to several factors, including the fact that a set of typographical errors in the fragment matches a set of errors in an online edition of the “Gospel of Thomas,” an ancient Gnostic text. Depuydt put the chances of coincidence with respect to these errors as one in a trillion. Depuydt states that he “has not the slightest doubt that the document is a forgery, and not a very good one at that.”

Taken as a whole, the issue of the Harvard Theological Review released last week includes some scholars who stalwartly defend the fragment as authentic, some who argue that there is no convincing proof that it is a forgery, and at least one who argues that the case for authenticity is laughable.

Previously when I blogged about this I noted that like sensational fiction writer Dan Brown, Karen King is a feminist, and anxious to insert women into more prominent roles in Christian history.

Mohler picked up on it too:

The larger background includes the fact that Professor King has devoted much of her scholarly career to making a case that the early church falsely constructed an orthodox understanding of Jesus that minimized the role of women. Back in 2003 she released The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle, in which she argued that at least some ancient texts pointed to Mary Magdalene as an apostle. In 2012 she told the writer for Smithsonian: “You’re talking to someone who’s trying to integrate a whole set of ‘heretical’ literature into the standard history.”

Professor King, along with others such as Professor Elaine Pagels of Princeton University, reject traditional Christianity and have turned time and again to ancient Gnostic documents, such as were found in 1945 in Nag Hammadi in Egypt, to argue that early Christianity marginalized some theological voices and standardized doctrinal orthodoxy in order to maintain doctrinal purity.

I think this is why media outlets, who are sympathetic with this goal, would trumpet an eighth century discovery over the 1st century gospels. Let me be clear. Nothing from the eight century can be considered authentic if it contradicts multiple, independent first century sources. The only thing driving the media frenzy on this discovery is feminism, pure and simple.

I just want to say that I don’t always agree with Al Mohler, especially on marriage and men’s rights issues, where I think his exegesis of the Bible is overly influenced by liberal feminism. So to have him agreeing with me on King’s “scholarship” is a good thing.

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Global warming alert: Washington, D.C. breaks 141-year-old cold record

The leftist Washington Post reports.

Excerpt:

Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport broke a 141-year-old record low temperature, reaching 4 degrees. The National Weather Service said the low reached early Tuesday broke a 5-degree record set on the day in 1873. It was also a record low for the month of March. Dulles International Airport – also outside Washington – tied a 1993 record for the month at -1 degree.

Both airports broke record lows two days in a row.

Schools and government offices along the East Coast were closed Tuesday or delayed opening. Virginia State Police said slickened roads were factors in three traffic deaths. And authorities in Maryland’s Prince George’s County said a 60-year-old woman died after shoveling snow there.

Global warming is to blame for these record cold temperatures. But wait, Washington wasn’t the only one victimized by the global warming monster.

On Monday, leftist Reuters reports that the cold was all up and down the East coast.

Excerpt:

A deadly winter storm hit the U.S. East Coast on Monday with freezing rain, snow and near-record cold, cancelling about 2,700 flights, shutting down Washington and closing schools and local governments.

The latest in a series of weather systems to pummel the winter-weary eastern United States, the storm dumped about 4 inches on the U.S. capital by early afternoon as it swept from the Mississippi Valley to the Atlantic coast, the National Weather Service said.

Brian Hurley, a weather service meteorologist, said temperatures would be about 30 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) below normal as a cold front settled in from Great Plains to the Atlantic coast.

“It’s really, really cold, temperatures dropping into the teens (Fahrenheit, minus-7 to minus-10 Celsius) and the normal highs are around 50 (10C) at this point,” he said.

At least four weather-related traffic deaths in Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee were blamed on the wide-ranging storm over the weekend.

And on Tuesday, leftist Reuters reported that the cold had spread westward.

Excerpt:

The eastern and central United States were plunged into a deep freeze on Tuesday, with record low temperatures in the wake of a deadly storm expected to moderate in coming days.

The late-winter storm left behind frigid temperatures after pushing freezing rain, sleet and snow from the Mississippi Valley to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Temperatures this week will be “below average east of the Rockies, as it has been for a good part of the winter,” said Bob Oravec, a National Weather Service meteorologist in College Park, Maryland.

The icy front sent the mercury plunging to minus 1F (minus 18C) at Washington Dulles International Airport, tying a monthly record, the weather service said.

Baltimore; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Morgantown, West Virginia; Zanesville, Ohio; and Flint, Michigan all set or tied record lows.

The latest in a series of arctic weather systems to grip the winter-weary eastern United States, the cold front stretched from the Canadian border to southern Texas, where freezing rain was forecast.

[...]The storm was blamed for at least six deaths, most of them from traffic accidents on slippery roads. A woman in Bowie, Maryland, died on Monday from a likely heart attack after shoveling snow, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County fire department said.

About 730 U.S. flights were canceled and about 2,700 delayed on Tuesday in the wake of the bad weather, according to airline tracking site FlightAware.com. About 8,000 flights were canceled or delayed on Monday.

Those people were not killed by record cold temperatures, they were killed by the global warming monster!!1! They were caught up in a fiery explosion caused by cowboy capitalism and insufficient government spending on science education. We need more grant money for a study to find out why you believe your own eyes, rather than the dire warnings of greedy scientists and their power-hungry socialist masters in government.

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Not a smidgen: 100% of 501(c)(4) groups audited by the IRS were conservative

The Wall Street Journal reports.

Excerpt:

A Republican House committee chairman said the Internal Revenue Service targeted tax-exempt conservative groups for audits, widening the scope of GOP ire over the agency’s oversight of political activities.

House Democrats pushed back, saying Republicans were seeking to use the IRS controversy to score political points with their conservative base in an election year.

The IRS has been under scrutiny since an inspector general’s report last May found that the agency had targeted conservative groups for lengthy and heavy-handed review of their applications to become tax-exempt organizations under section 501(c) 4 of the tax code. The controversy led to significant management shakeups at the IRS and generated a slew of congressional investigations, some of which are still going on.

On Tuesday, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) said his committee’s continuing investigation has found that the IRS also singled out established conservative tax-exempt groups for audits.

“We now know that the IRS targeted not only right-leaning applicants, but also right-leaning groups that were already operating as 501(c)(4)s,” Mr. Camp said in a statement. “At Washington, DC’s direction, dozens of groups operating as 501(c)(4)s were flagged for IRS surveillance, including monitoring of the groups’ activities, websites and any other publicly available information. Of these groups, 83% were right-leaning. And of the groups the IRS selected for audit, 100% were right-leaning.”

Obama says there is not a smidgen of corruption here. Do you agree?

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Chairwoman of Tea Party group targeted by IRS, ATF, FBI: “I refuse to be intimidated”

Real Clear Politics has the transcript.

Snips:

Nearly two decades of running our small business, my husband and I never dealt with any government agency, outside of filing our annual tax returns. We had never been audited, we had never been investigated, but all that changed upon submitting applications for the non-profit statuses of True the Vote and King Street Patriots. Since that filing in 2010, my private businesses, my nonprofit organizations, and family have been subjected to more than 15 instances of audit or inquiry by federal agencies.

In 2011, my personal and business tax returns were audited by the Internal Revenue Service, each audit going back for a number of years.

In 2012, my business was subjected to inspection by OSHA, on a select occasion when neither my husband nor I were present, and though the agency wrote that it found nothing serious or significant, it still issued fines in excess of $20,000.

In 2012 and again in 2013 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms conducted comprehensive audits at my place business.

Beginning in 2010, the FBI contacted my nonprofit organization on six separate occasions – wanting to cull through membership manifests in conjunction with domestic terrorism cases. They eventually dropped all matters and have now redacted nearly all my files.

All of these incursions into my affairs began after filing applications for tax-exemption. There is no other remarkable event, no other reason, to explain away how for decades I went unnoticed, but now find myself on the receiving end of interagency coordination into and against all facets of my life, both public and private.

Bear in mind, distinguished ladies and gentlemen of this sub-committee, these events were occuring while the IRS was subjecting me to multiple rounds of abusive inquiries, with requests to provide every Facebook and Twitter entry I’d every posted, questions about my political aspirations, and demands to know the names of every group I’d ever made presentations to, the content of what I’d said, and where I intended to speak for the coming year. The answers to these sorts of questions are not of interest to the typical IRS analyst, but they are of great interest to a political machine that puts its own survival above the civil liberties of any private citizen.

The whole video and transcript is worth a look.

What has been the response of the Democrats to these facts? Well, Obama has picked one of his campaign donors to investigate. And Obama insisted in a recent interview that there was not “a smidgen of corruption” in his autocratic socialist regime.

Obama blamed Fox News and said there was not even a smidgen of corruption. In other words, shut up because I am doing this for your own good, you peasants. Believe my lies, because I am your King.

Remember, Obama won the 2012 election in part through intimidation and persecution of these conservative groups, especially the ones like True the Vote that sought to prevent rampant voter fraud by Democrat voters.

It reminds me of a quotation from C.S. Lewis:

If we are to be mothered, mother must know best. . . . In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They ‘cash in.’ It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science. . . . Let us not be deceived by phrases about ‘Man taking charge of his own destiny.’ All that can really happen is that some men will take charge of the destiny of others. . . . The more completely we are planned the more powerful they will be.
. . . .

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

C. S. LewisGod in the Dock

Democrats stand for the complete planning of everyone’s lives according to their own secular leftist values, and they want to grow government in order to achieve that control over society.

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Will global warming alarmism undermine the authority of science?

This is a must read article from Forbes magazine about a new paper in an Australian journal by Garth Paltridge. Dr. Paltridge is an Australian atmospheric physicist who holds a BSc from the University of Queensland, a PhD from University of Melbourne and a DSc from the University of Queensland.

The article introduces the author and his thesis:

Will the overselling of climate change lead to a new scientific dark age? That’s the question being posed in the latest issue of an Australian literary journal,Quadrant, by Garth Paltridge, one of the world’s most respected atmospheric scientists.

Paltridge was a Chief Research Scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).  The latter is Australia’s equivalent of the National Science Foundation, our massive Federal Laboratory network, and all the governmental agency science branches rolled into one.

Paltridge lays out the well-known uncertainties in climate forecasting. These include our inability to properly simulate clouds that are anything like what we see in the real world, the embarrassing lack of average surface warming now in its 17th year, and the fumbling (and contradictory) attempts to explain it away.

Paltridge writes:

“The trap was fully sprung when many of the world’s major national academies of science (such as the Royal Society in the UK, the National Academy of Sciences in the USA and the Australian Academy of Science) persuaded themselves to issue reports giving support to the conclusions of the IPCC [the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change]. The reports were touted as national assessments that were supposedly independent of the IPCC and of each other, but of necessity were compiled with the assistance of, and in some cases at the behest of, many of the scientists involved in the IPCC international machinations. In effect, the academies, which are the most prestigious of the institutions of science, formally nailed their colours to the mast of the politically correct.

[...]“In the light of all this, we have at least to consider the possibility that the scientific establishment behind the global warming issue has been drawn into the trap of seriously overstating the climate problem—or, what is much the same thing, of seriously understating the uncertainties associated with the climate problem—in its effort to promote the cause. It is a particularly nasty trap in the context of science, because it risks destroying, perhaps for centuries to come, the unique and hard-won reputation for honesty which is the basis of society’s respect for scientific endeavour.”

None of this is a surprise to Christian apologists, because we’ve been through this before with Darwinism. Yes, it really can happen that science is hijacked by religious people who want to support their ideologies. Science is wonderful, but it’s not immune to being abused.

Forbes also posted an excellent long article re-capping how climate scientists manipulated data in order to prove what they wanted to prove. This article takes about the Climategate scandal, which is useful  to show how far these scientists will go.

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