Christina Hoff Sommers and Sally Satel, One Nation Under Therapy: How the Helping Culture is Eroding Self-Reliance . New York: St. Martin’s, 2005. 310 pp. PE classes are dangerous places. Dodge ball might leave nasty bruises, and, worse, the frustrations of competition and failure permanently . . . . Continue Reading »


Jeffrey Geoghegan examines the OT events that take place during sheep-shearing festivals in an article in Biblica . He tries to discern the common themes in the four passages set during sheep-shearing: Gen 31, 38; 1 Sam 25; 2 Sam 13. He argues that sheep-shearing was a “significant . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, July 9

When Jesus promises to send the Spirit, he describes the Spirit as the “Paraclete.” This word is often translated as “Comforter,” but the Greek word has a legal connotation and is actually closer to “Advocate” or even “Defense Attorney.” A Paraclete . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation, July 9

1 Samuel 16:2-3: But Samuel said, How can I go? When Saul hears of it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take a heifer with you, and say, I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. And you shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for Me the one . . . . Continue Reading »

Exhortation, July 9

Samuel anointed David with oil to designate him as the crown-prince, the successor of Saul. But why oil? Oil is food. It is one of the main ingredients of bread in Scripture, and a food in its own right. With grapes and grain, oil is one of the main products of the promised land. Oil is the fat of . . . . Continue Reading »

Homer and Enuma Elish

Walter Burkert has spent a good bit of his life tracing Greek art, mythology, language, and social practices to ANE origins. In his 2004 Babylon, Memphis, Persepolis he analyzes the passage from the Iliad where Hera deceptively tells Zeus she is going to Oceanus, whom she calls “origin of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Augustine Misunderstood

Was Augustine, as Charles Taylor and others have said, the inventor of Western interiority? Perhaps, but only because Augustine was misread. Matthew Maguire offers this summary of the the effects of Arnauld d’Andilly’s 1649 French translation of Augustine’s Confessions: . . . . Continue Reading »

Church discipline

It’s an old story now, but I just came across it. In a 2002 editorial on the paedophilia/homosexuality crisis in the Catholic church, Charles Krauthammer recounted a story about a priest in Hobart, Australia. Many years ago, a rapist entered the church hoping for protection from the . . . . Continue Reading »

Blood of the Covenant

Allison again, commending on Hebrews 9:15-22 and the phrase “this is the blood of the covenant” that the writer of Hebrews quotes from Moses: “There is no ‘this is’ . . . in Exod. 24:8. The MT prefaces ‘the blood’ with HINNEH, the LXX with IDOU. Why the . . . . Continue Reading »

Moses and the ass

Allison notes the frequent ancient association of Moses with asses. According to Diodorus Siculus, “When Antiochus . . . made war against the Jews he entered the sacred shrine of the god, where only the priest is allowed to go. In it he found a stone image of a thick bearded man seated on an . . . . Continue Reading »