The other day I came across this loony video where a Muslim cleric accuses the Jews of mixing in human blood to make their matzos.
I was instantly reminded of the false accusations made against the early church by pagans who apparently misunderstood the nature of communion which they took to involve cannibalism (Thyestean feasts). Athenagoras in his Embassy for the Christians complains:
Three things are alleged against us: atheism, Thyestean feasts, Œdipodean intercourse. But if these charges are true, spare no class: proceed at once against our crimes; destroy us root and branch, with our wives and children, if any Christian is found to live like the brutes. And yet even the brutes do not touch the flesh of their own kind; and they pair by a law of nature, and only at the regular season, not from simple wantonness; they also recognise those from whom they receive benefits. If any one, therefore, is more savage than the brutes, what punishment that he can endure shall be deemed adequate to such offences? But, if these things are only idle tales and empty slanders, originating in the fact that virtue is opposed by its very nature to vice, and that contraries war against one another by a divine law (and you are yourselves witnesses that no such iniquities are committed by us, for you forbid informations to be laid against us), it remains for you to make inquiry concerning our life, our opinions, our loyalty and obedience to you and your house and government, and thus at length to grant to us the same rights (we ask nothing more) as to those who persecute us. For we shall then conquer them, unhesitatingly surrendering, as we now do, our very lives for the truth’s sake.
It is interesting to me that the feeble mind of hatred should produce such similar lies in such disparate times. It just goes to show you how powerful a tool cultural taboos can be in the process of “othering” your enemies.
Arab red flows free
We will trust in David’s star
Now God will love us
Unless you are friends with us on Facebook, you might know that we recently expanded the Bailey family. We wanted to take a moment to introduce our son to all of you. So, without further ado I present to you Ambrose Carmichael Bailey. He was born on the 25th of June at 9:21 AM and weighed in at 7 pounds 15 ounces. We are all doing well, and we look forward to blogging again soon (when Ambrose lets us).
And here is a more recent picture.
Eisenbrauns has a daily sale that ranges from “I can see why you have trouble moving copies of that” to “This is a great book that I can’t believe is on sale.” Today’s offering is one that I can personally endorse. It’s Wise, Abegg, and Cook’s translation of the DSS from Harper. In addition to being a capable translation, this book has a really useful set of indices including one keyed to the New Testament. If you don’t have a copy already, you should, and you won’t beat Eisenbrauns’ price anywhere.
- One of my favorite blogs, Evangelical Textual Criticism, has a cool post an a possibly very early graffito in Smyrna.
- If you’ve got the cash, consider acquiring this early Christian papyrus manuscript.
- Mark Goodacre alerts us to a free transcription of Codex Sinaiticus.
- Words to avoid if you don’t want the US government to track you.
- Math modeling solves one of the greatest modern mysteries.
- If you have some spare time, check out some math of a different kind. Joseph Hoffman explains Bayes’ Rule in a long but satisfying blog post.