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BIBLICAL ANTHROPOLOGIST
Tuesday, 15 March 2016
REVIEW OF THE MOVIE RISEN
Topic: Movie Reviews

 

 

  If you are looking for a different take on the Biblical epic, you must get thee to a theater and see Risen.  This movie is a wonderfully-paced Biblical thriller that presents the search for the Nazarene Jesus after his death and “disappearance.”  Kevin Reynolds (The Count of Monte Cristo) directs a stellar picture both faithful to the spirit of the story, and novel enough to interest even the most jaded audience.  It packs all the emotion of a Passion of the Christ with the Roman perspective of a Gladiator.

 

  The movie stars Joseph Fiennes (Luther, Enemy at the Gates, Hercules) as Roman tribune Clavius rising through the labrynthine infrastructure of Roman military authority, thanks in no small part to his usefulness against warrens of Jewish Zealots in first century Judea.  After the execution of a rabbi named Yeshua (Jesus), the entombed body turns up missing.  Pontius Pilate, portrayed by Peter Firth (Shadowlands, Amistad ), prefect of Judea, assigns Clavius with the daunting task of finding the body and the responsible party before the situation becomes an ill-timed fiasco, with none other than Emperor Tiberius arriving for an inspection of the province.

 

  The questions presented in the movie are ones I have often wondered about as a historian.  The Romans typically left no stone unturned (pun intended) in an investigation.  What this movie does that makes it so unique is that it presents a manhunt from the perspective of a Roman commander.  This man, Clavius, had life-and-death responsibilities and the weight of authority on his shoulders, and has to marshal resources to get the job done.  But Clavius—harsh but fair—is looking for a reasonable answer to a question that defies reason.  His incredulity is understandable, and we sympathize with him, until he is brought face to face with the impossible answer to his question:  the hiding place of the disciples and among them, the man Yeshua who disappears before his very eyes.  He is heretofore haunted by the face he saw at the crucifixion, there smiling and laughing in front of him.  It impels him to follow the disciples to Galilee.

 

  Clavius was an officer.  He prayed to the god Mars faithfully.  He dreamed of a life of accomplishment and peace beyond the savagery of war and blood.  When Mars fails to deliver, in desperation he secretly prays to Yahweh, promising (in Roman fashion) temples, sacrifices, and games in his honor, if he can help him find the body of the missing Yeshua.  It is in Galilee, not at the end of a long career, that Clavius’ questions are answered, and that ever-sought after peace is found.

 

  Risen is an amazingly, well-done picture.  It had me waiting for the next scene.  I might add that it has something for everyone.  If you are going for the message and Biblical epic, you won’t be disappointed.  If you want a big Roman picture—Clavius and his men have some moves—with swords and fighting, you too will not be disappointed.  If you want a murder-mystery, this is the ultimate in the genre.  Risen is cerebral and physical, and manages to be epic and faithful to the Gospels without being preachy…..and yet, it preaches.  I highly recommend it.


Posted by Professorburton at 1:12 AM CDT
Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Topic: Watchers and Giants

 (THE GIANTOLOGY SERIES WILL RESUME SOON)

Sorcery—the practice of evil magic, anathema in every way to what a society considers moral.  Essentially, this is the anthropological definition of sorcery (or witchcraft, with which it is often used synonymously).  The characterization is also true from a Biblical perspective, with the qualification that the devil is the root source.  As it was to the prehistoric and ancient worlds, sorcery is still problematic today.

 

   To fully understand sorcery and its threat, we must more completely grasp the origins and the conveyance of sorcery from its beginnings through history.  Students of the Bible and the history of giants understand what I am getting at.  The Bible implies in Genesis and works like Enoch and the apocryphal texts enumerate that sorcery began in the antediluvian world.  The Fallen Angels—Watchers, whom Genesis 6 refers to as the Sons of God—descended on Mt. Hermon in the days of Jared.  They mated with human females and produced the Nephilim, the first generation of giants and chimerae.  In exchange for this genetic access, the Watchers taught a combination of practical sciences and sorcery.  All these events contributed to the corruption of humanity, the wide-spread wickedness on the earth, predicating the great flood.

 

   After the flood, despite the fact that the Watchers had been punished and imprisoned, additional generations of giants emerged and the knowledge of sorcery and science disseminated, with the giants of the post-flood world being the gods of ancient polytheistic religions and often, the founders of societies and civilizations.

 

   This series will examine in brief the emergence of Watchers and giants, their role in the creation of sorcery, and the survival of sorcery in later traditions and practitioners.  We will look at—if you will—the connective tissue.  At the source of it all, is understanding the tutelage of sorcery.  A Watcher (and later demons) taught these skills to people, just as we know people who become demonized are taught and used by their oppressors. 

    

 We will continue with a look at the antediluvian origins of sorcery next time.

                                                              © 2016 Judd Burton

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THESE TOPICS, CHECK OUT THESE RESEARCH REPORTS ON THE WATCHERS, GIANTS, WITCHES, & WIZARDS:

https://store.payloadz.com/results/68126-professorburton

       

Posted by Professorburton at 1:31 AM CST
Friday, 4 March 2016

Now Playing: GIANTOLOGY: THOUGHTS ON THE DISCIPLINE AND METHODS
Topic: Giants

 

When and idea has its time, there is little that can be done to stop it.  As such, it is safe to say that with all the research being conducted on giants, “giantology” has become its own field of study.  There are certainly qualified researchers—academic and otherwise—who do great work in a multi-faceted field employing mythology, history, languages, archaeology, and anthropology.  So there we have it:  our own –ology, the study of giants.

 

However, our field is not without persons inexperienced or untrained in scientific process, testing, or logic.  It is a field already sensational because of the nature of its subject matter, but there seems to be a tendency to sensationalize the topics of giants, which only serves to lampoon giantology.  Hence, there are right ways to go about it, and wrong ways (which I’ll discuss in this series).

 

There are all manner of qualifiers which we might attach to the discipline.  “Biblical” is usually the first that comes to mind, because of the Old Testament traditions of giants in the text.  “World-“ or “Mythological-“ are others, and tend to focus on the ethnological breadth of traditions around the world over space and time (Giganthropology, if you will).  “Historical” is yet another, which settles on the documented accounts of giants in the ancient and modern worlds.  As a part of the family of giantology, for material evidences archaeogiantology would be the recovery of physical and artifactual remains of giants.

 

Species need a proper taxonomy as well, if we as giantologists are to place giants into the frame of faunal biology.  In the most nominal and general terms, we are dealing with hominids of gigantic stature.  Hence the scientific name Homo colossicus (“giant man”) or the more immediately recognizable as Homo gigantis (man of/from the giants) could suffice.  Tribal divisions as outlined in the Bible would have little to do with taxonomy, but geography might.  So the older giants might be Homo gigantis antediluvensis, or giants with Holy Land provenience might be Homo gigantis levantinus, or giants from North America showing physiological singularity might be Homo gigantis americanus, and so on and so forth.  There is however the matter of satisfying the supernatural pedigree of giants in the taxonomic designation.  In this scenario, Homo titanus (Titanic man), both addresses the supernatural origins (as Josephus equates the Nephilim with the Greek Titans) and satisfies the taxonomc criteria without being overly ostentatious. 

 

Giantological research basically proceeds along one of three axes, or a combination of them.  Firstly, the mythological/oral tradition/anthropological evidence comes to us from the mythological traditions of cultures from around the world.  Secondly, the historical evidence for giants resides in written records preserved by ancient, medieval, and modern writers.  Lastly, the material axis calls on archaeology and paleontology to recover physical remains of giants and the artifacts and features left in their wake.  As a rule of thumb—in the order I have outlined—the evidence becomes scarcer.  Genetics, epigenetics, physics, geology, and biochemistry also have the potential to provide new insights as well.

 

Research ethics should also be a high priority for any giant researcher.  Thorough, scientific methodology should be applied to every project.  Any original research in the form of journal articles and books should account for sources.  This practice is responsible, and allows others to follow and corroborate or amend your work.  There are any number of publications on the topic of giants with no footnote citations (far too many in my opinion).  If we are to make a case to the world, our research needs to be presented in the language of science, ethically and responsibly.  Dissemination of research project results should be equally mindful of such ethics, and should be in a timely manner.   Most journals will likely be reticent to publish which means that other venues and even original peer-reviewed journals dealing with giants should eventually materialize through the efforts of (much needed) scholarly societies and professional organizations who study giants.

 

The above statements are all but a summary of the field of giantology.  It is changing daily.  There are many other issues to be fleshed out, which I will address as I can.  For now, here are the rudiments for a discipline of giantolgy, each bearing consideration.

 

To learn more about these issues read “An Ethnology of the Giant Tribes and Clans in the Ancient Levant”: http://store.payloadz.com/details/2215418-documents-and-forms-research-papers-an-ethnology-of-the-giant-tribes-and-clans-in-the-ancient-levant.html

 

                                                                                                                                                                © 2016 Judd Burton

 


Posted by Professorburton at 7:20 PM CST
Updated: Friday, 4 March 2016 7:58 PM CST
Wednesday, 13 January 2016
WATCHERS WATCHERS EVERYWHERE
Topic: Watchers and Giants

Recently, I read a series of blog entries from the site Remnant of Giants containing analysis of another article on the mythology of the Watchers.  This article, "Turning to the Angels to save Jewish Mythology" is a summary of recent research by Dr. Jonathan Ben-Dov, senior lecturer in Bible at the University of Haifa.  The full article may be read by clicking here.  The general claim of the article and subject of subsequent blog entries is that the Jewish tradition of the Watchers drew on other mythologies of the ancient Near East.

On one level--for the sake of argument--this is possible.  The academic stance has long been at least a version of this thesis.  There is certainly a long-established body of evidence demonstrating the influences of cultures from Mesopotamia and Egypt on Hebrew culture.  However, most scholars contend that the idea of the Watcher angel (or at least the books that expound upon them) is a relatively late ideological construct (Second Temple Period), having been based on much older deities from the above-mentioned societies and their beliefs.

However, if we subscribe to a supernatural worldview--and moreso, a Biblical worldview--references and depictions of celestial beings such as the Watchers, giants, and indeed the flood, in ancient cultures are in actuality separate descriptions of the same events and personalities.  Yes there are definitely going to be similarities in these depictions, the authors and artists are working from the same source material.

What the apocryphal material, such as Enoch, Jubilees, Jasher, and the lke, represent is the record of memory much older than the Hebrew language as a written system.  Of course one will find similarities between Mesopotamian and Hebrew accounts.  Not only were they geographically proximate, but this situation allowed for diffusion.  These stories circulated.

Very interesting article with interesting points.

       

Posted by Professorburton at 2:50 AM CST
Friday, 21 February 2014
Camel Gate
Topic: Archaeology

 

O.K., I likely should have blogged about this when the article first came out, but as I understand it, Camel Gate continues.  Well, that may not be what the scholarly community calls it but it's fitting considering the topic.  In the article below (to which I have provided a link), the archaeologists contend tha the Bible is in error about Abraham and other earlier patriarchs owning camels, and that according to their research, camels were not domesticated until the 10th (maybe the 11th) century B.C.  I would advise reading the brief article, but here is my rebuttal.

http://www.sott.net/article/273285-Do-camels-prove-that-the-Bible-is-inaccurate-Archaeologists-reveal-mammals-were-domesticated-in-900BC-centuries-after-Biblical-characters-rode-them

Alright, let's say camels weren't domesticated in he Levant until the 1oth century B.C.  My response is......SO WHAT, actually a BIG FAT SO WHAT.  How does that prove that the Biblical narrative about Abraham is in error?  The only caveat/counter I would offer my colleagues is that just because there may not have been domesticated camels before the 11th c. BC, doesn't mean that desert peoples didn't use tame ones.  Domestication implies captive breeding, where taming relies on existing wild populations.  Consider the use of elephants in India as pack animals.  They are tame but decidedly not domesticated.  Handbal's war elephants likewise.  Ancient Egyptians tamed cheetahs and hiyenas for assistance in hunting (we know this from iconography). The onager was wild ass used by ancient Sumerians and Levantines, and modern Asians as draft animals, but is by no means domesticated.  They are temperamental and like to bite.....kind of like some camels.  Jared Diamond has the best explanation of the difference between domesticated and time I've ever read.  See GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL.  The work in question is valuable, but doesn't really disprove the use of camels by Levantines in the Old Testament before c. 900 BC.

Here is another link that sheds light on Camel Gate, an interview sound cip and transcript with one of the ascholars working on the data from the sites in question.  OH, THE HUMANITY.  This is what happens when scholars become too myopic in their focus on a particular--in this case archaeological and chronological--problem.

http://www.npr.org/2014/02/14/276782474/the-genesis-of-camels


Posted by Professorburton at 8:29 PM CST
Updated: Friday, 21 February 2014 8:45 PM CST
A RETURN WITH MUSINGS
Topic: News

Greetings to all you IBA followers and dedicated students of the Bible.  This post is one part notice of blog resumption, one part musings on the sorts of topics I cover here at the Institute.  In short, I'm back after a long break on the blog.  Unfortunately, sometimes the nature of this blog is that it's intermittent.  Such is the life of a professor, and I have to alot time to other projects sometimes.  However, I have felt that this blog has been neglected for too long.

What is different about the IBA?  How is it different than other Biblical institutes?  These are questions that I get from time to time, so I thought this entry in particular would be uniquely suited toward illustrating how the IBA is distinctive.  If I were to draw attention to anything first it would be the orientation of the institute, that is to say, the assumption on faith that we live in a supernatural world.  Further, that this supernatural world is worthy of study using the rigors of good scholarship.  I've emphasized before that it is a marriage of the study of conventional and unorthodox Biblical topics and approaches.  The IBA is as interested in giants as it is in the way a first century A.D. olive farmer lived in the Levant.

A peek at the long term goals of the Institute will further clarify its uniqeness.  Eventually, a brick-and-mortar operation is planned, which would include the following: 1) Academic quality research library, 2) Museum 3) Expiditionary department 4) reproductions of Holy Land sites 5) a school teaching conventional and unorthodox Biblical studies courses.  ANYONE with the interest to pursue these topics would have access to these features.

In the recent months, I have had several people talk to me about the Institute and its future, with intimations of land donation for IBA use.  I feel blessed to even hear the suggestion, and am very excited at the prospect.  SO, there are some exciting things happening at the Institute. 

 I hope this post finds you well.  Stay tuned and will be in touch.


Posted by Professorburton at 1:43 AM CST
Wednesday, 1 May 2013
Excavation of Pella
Topic: Early Christianity

According to Eusebius, after the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 the surviving Christians fled to Pella, in Jordan.  The great historian of the church relates the following in his History of the Church 5.3:

But the people of the church in Jerusalem had been commanded by a revelation, vouchsafed to approved men there before the war, to leave the city and to dwell in a certain town of Perea called Pella. And when those that believed in Christ had come there from Jerusalem, then, as if the royal city of the Jews and the whole land of Judea were entirely destitute of holy men, the judgment of God at length overtook those who had committed such outrages against Christ and his apostles, and totally destroyed that generation of impious men.

Below is a link to an excellent article on the recent excavations at Pella.

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-sites-places/biblical-archaeology-sites/excavating-ancient-pella-jordan/


Posted by Professorburton at 2:11 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, 1 May 2013 2:19 AM CDT
Wednesday, 24 April 2013
Bones of 10-feet men found in Kalar historical sites
Topic: Giants

Thought-provoking article from last summer about a potential giant find in Kalar, Iraq.  The newspaper is a legitimate periodical and the story does raise an eyebrow.  Being a scholar, I'd certainly like to see some notes or paperwork, but for all it is, you can read it here:

http://www.aknews.com/en/aknews/1/317590/


Posted by Professorburton at 4:55 PM CDT
Tuesday, 23 April 2013
Evdences of Giants from Ohio
Topic: Giants

Some interesting reading about giants from the Ohio Rver Valley, a place that has proven to be an enclave of proofs for giants.  The Bureau of Ethnology produced such evidence in the late 19th century.  Read by clicking the link below:

http://gianthumanskeletons.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2013-01-01T00:00:00-05:00&updated-max=2014-01-01T00:00:00-05:00&max-results=14


Posted by Professorburton at 7:34 PM CDT
Sunday, 21 April 2013
Expose on fraud Erik von Daniken
Topic: Ancient Alienators

The following review of Erik von Daniken and his erroneous interpretations of ancient evidences is worth the read.  It reveals von Daniken as a pathological liar and embezzler.  Click below to read:

http://www.jasoncolavito.com/1/post/2013/04/review-of-ancient-aliens-s05e10-the-von-dniken-legacy.html

 For further reading here is a link to an article which further reveals his absolute lunacy and moral defecit:

http://wutwouldyoudo.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=244


Posted by Professorburton at 6:31 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 21 April 2013 6:32 PM CDT

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