Model of Ancient Jerusalem
Model of Ancient Jerusalem

I’m “reading” Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Jerusalem—actually listening to the audiobook version from the Los Angeles Public Library. It’s a lot easier to get other things done this way, though it is sometimes necessary to scroll back when my attention wavers. With these big, sprawling histories, it’s easy to lose track of who the author is talking about.

Previously, I had checked out Montefiore’s The Romanovs: 1613-1918, but I didn’t finish reading it in the allotted 21 days and I couldn’t renew it because, apparently, it’s in high demand. When you want to renew a copy of an e-book or audiobook that other people are waiting for, you must return in and the library will remove availability to the book files. Then if you want to check it out again, you must put it on hold and go to the back of the line.

That’s how my unfinished “reading” of The Romanovs turned into my present “reading.”

And I said all that to point out something about these histories and about histories in general: I am grateful to God for being born at the time and in the place that I was.

From what I can tell about most of human history, sudden death, wasting disease, torture, dismemberment, and enslavement have been right around the corner for everyone: kings, priests, pashas, sheiks, emperors, scribes, nobles, serfs, slaves, and warriors. Up until very, very recently, all man- and womankind have had sudden destruction haunting them from infancy and if they made it out of infancy, the lifespan was usually no longer than 50 years. And let’s not even discuss the bathing and toilet accommodations!

And if you were a woman or a child, your body did not belong to you. Period.

Really, I am so tired of the whining that goes on about life in America. It isn’t perfect; no existence anywhere has been since Adam and Eve so severely miscalculated. As a matter of fact, life has been nasty, brutish, and—following the Great Flood—short. And poopy.

Now, too much time is spent coveting your neighbor’s private space to eat, sleep, copulate, and clean himself instead of appreciating your own private but smaller space to eat, sleep, copulate, and clean yourself.

That’s what I’m getting from Montefiore’s work—a sense of how good we all have it. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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Lets see Democrat operatives deciding they don’t like what a Black political activist is doing.

So they attempt to intimidate and threaten the activist’s family in order to make him stop

Now I’m not as old as some people but I seem to remember that Democrats attempting to intimidate and threaten blacks was once a very common thing in this country. And there is precedent for bombings of Blacks who refuse to kowtow to demands of such Democrats and lo and behold the people behind this are apparently associated with guess who , the Speedway Bomber!

Ace is calling for a day of silence the Camp of the Saints is on board as is the Daily Gator

I disagree, I think it would be much more interesting to contact the NAACP and the congressional black caucus and ask what their reaction is to such attempts to intimidate a Southern Black Activist and his family in order to shut him up.

And if they don’t want to answer I think it would be interesting check with every outlet of the MSM and see if they can explain why?

Now it could be that our enlightened media and the congressional Black Caucus has decided that if a Black Activist is associated with the GOP it is acceptable to have people associated with a known bomber attempt to intimidate him but I’d like to think that is not the case.

Let’s find out just how far these folks are willing to back these guys up.

And lets not forget Ali used to work for Scott Brown, I think a sitting US Senator might be interested in this story, and if he condemns it, will democrats?

Update: American Power also comments.

Update: Instalanche, and it’s a great question, where is the NAACP? Where is the Wall to wall coverage in the MSM? Where is the congressional Black Caucus? Where is President Obama saying that if he had a son he would look like Ali? When will Eric Holder begin his investigation or is he waiting till Kimberlin & associates ask Ali & his family to show an ID to vote?

BTW, I’ve met Ali’s mother, she is a charming and intelligent woman. I suspect any attempt to intimidate her is going to fail spectacularly.

…is a comment that should get more attention. Not so much over if Comedy Central should or should not be making their Jesus show. (Their souls their risk) or if it is an example of cowardice (it is) but a fellow named skydaddy brings up a point concerning the Gospels that every person should know:

… look at the manuscripts as any paleographer would, using the same rules:
#1: Older copies are better (since all we have are copies of copies, older copies have less chance of scribal errors)

#2: More copies are better (since you can cross-reference textual variants and suss out the likely original text)


Looking at most of the Classical literature (Socrates, Aristophanes, Plato, etc.) we generally have a dozen or so copies, with an 1100 year gap from the original to the oldest copy.

With Tacitus, we have 200 copies. No serious scholar doubts that we can accurately reconstruct Tacitus’ original writings.

With Homer, we have over 600 copies, with the oldest only 500 years removed from Homer’s life.

The New Testament documents are not even in the same ballpark. We have over 5,000 ancient copies of the NT documents, not counting the citations in letters written between Church leaders in the first few centuries. (We can reconstruct almost the entire NT from those second-hand quotes.) Counting those citations there are over 15,000 ancient copies of NT texts. The oldest copy (the Rowland Fragment – a bit of John 18) dates to within 60 years of its original writing.

And it is also worth noting that many copies of ancient philosophers were copies made by, you guessed it Catholic Monks who painstakingly copied and re-copied books in the days before the printing press.

There are a lot of people who are very desperate to deny the very existence of Christ. It doesn’t surprise me. If you can remove or re-define the existence of Christ than you don’t have to consider if he is what he says he is and deal with the implications thereof.

Via The Anchoress Ross Douthat hits it out of the park on this subject:

In the event, the synoptic gospels and Saint Paul’s epistles do make absolutely extraordinary claims, and so modern scholars have every right to read them with a skeptical eye, and question their factual reliability. But if you downgrade the earliest Christian documents or try to bracket them entirely, the documentary evidence that’s left is so intensely unreliable (dated, fragmentary, obviously mythological, etc.) that scholars can scavenge through it to build whatever Jesus they prefer — and then say, with Gopnik, that their interpretation of the life of Christ is “as well attested” as any other. Was Jesus a wandering sage? Maybe so. A failed revolutionary? Sure, why not. A lunatic who fancied himself divine? Perhaps. An apocalyptic prophet? There’s an app for that …

But this isn’t history: It’s “choose your own Jesus,” and it’s become an enormous waste of time. Again, there’s nothing wrong with saying that the supernaturalism of the Christian canon makes it an unreliable guide to who Jesus really was. But if we’re honest with ourselves, then we need to acknowledge what this means: Not the beginning of a fruitful quest for the Jesus of history, but the end of it.

This is why so many people go nuts over the sight of Christian symbols. That is why they are so willing to debase the faith and the faithful, if it was just a bunch of nonsense it would be ignored. If a person’s beliefs are solid they can stand up under fire as Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular has done for nearly 20 centuries. Likewise if one’s disbelief is solid it can stand Christian symbolism and belief. Why such a reaction to it all? I suspect that it is that fear that instinct in the back of their minds, that it’s all true.