Final Meeting to Choose the Next Archbishop of Canterbury Begins

Three day meeting will nominate a successor to Rowan Williams.

Anglican Ink:

The Crown Nominations Committee starts a three day meeting today to finalize its selection of two names to present to the Primate Minister for appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury.

The location of the 26-28 September 2012 meeting has been kept secret as has its deliberations. Rumors as to the names under consideration have circulated freely over the past few months, with some candidates rising and falling in popularity among punters.  The “favorites” at this stage of the process include the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, the Bishop of London, Dr. Richard Chartres, the Bishop of Durhan, Justin Welby, the Bishop of Coventry, Christopher Cocksworth, and the Bishop of Norwich, Graham James.

In contrast to past deliberations of the Crown Nominations Committee, the discussion over the selection of a successor to Dr. Rowan Williams have not been leaked to the press or have been the subject of informed “off the record” comment from insiders.

Two names will be presented to Prime Minister David Cameron – the recommended choice and an alternate.  Unlike past archiepiscopal appointments, the Prime Minister is not expected to exercise a choice over the names and is likely to submit the recommended name to the Queen for approval…

More here including the names of all those serving on the Committee.



The Traditional Anglican Church in Britain

The Traditional Anglican Church in Britain (TAC) has new website, with a new look, and it is looking great…

This is the official site of The Traditional Anglican Church. We maintain traditional faith, worship and discipline for Anglicans in England, Scotland and Wales. You will find out more about our ethos by choosing Constitution above.

There is only one safe basis for building a church, which is the love of God (and his love for us before ours for him). The devil loves those who would build a church on hatred, or even on revulsion. Of course our very existence implies a judgement of those who think differently. How can it be otherwise? But that is not our purpose.

We believe that, odd and incoherent as the Church of England has been ever since the creation of the state religion, there has never been lacking within it a faithful remnant, which God has blessed. We choose to follow them, and so to build on all that was solid before the changes of the last generation.

We are not a preservation society. To become a separate body is to change; to worship in our new circumstances is also to change. For the present, the need to offer reliable foundations is preeminent. But on them may God help us to build with gold, not with stubble.

This is an excellent effort.

The list of Parishes is here, with Canon Ian Gray as the Vicar General.

(Thanks to Mrs Dalene Gill for pointing the site out.)



Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement and the holiest day of the year for Jews.

Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jewish people traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days or Yamim Nora’im (“Days of Awe”).

Yom Kippur is the tenth day of the month of Tishrei. According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes each person’s fate for the coming year into a book, the Book of Life, on Rosh Hashanah, and waits until Yom Kippur to “seal” the verdict. During the Days of Awe, a Jew tries to amend his or her behavior and seek forgiveness for wrongs done against God (bein adam leMakom) and against other human beings (bein adam lechavero). The evening and day of Yom Kippur are set aside for public and private petitions and confessions of guilt (Vidui). At the end of Yom Kippur, one hopes that they have been forgiven by God.

The Yom Kippur prayer service includes several unique aspects. One is the actual number of prayer services. Unlike a regular day, which has three prayer services (Ma’ariv, the evening prayer; Shacharit, the morning prayer; and Mincha, the afternoon prayer), or a Shabbat or Yom Tov, which have four prayer services (Ma’ariv; Shacharit; Mussaf, the additional prayer; and Mincha), Yom Kippur has five prayer services (Ma’ariv; Shacharit; Musaf; Mincha; and Ne’ilah, the closing prayer). The prayer services also include private and public confessions of sins (Vidui) and a unique prayer dedicated to the special Yom Kippur avodah (service) of the Kohen Gadol in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem…

Haaretz reports from Israel:

Israel came to a virtual standstill at sundown Tuesday as Jews began observing the start of the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, the 25 hours of fasting and contemplation known as Yom Kippur.

Israel’s security establishment and emergency services have been put on high alert Tuesday ahead of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

The IDF and Israel Police beefed up patrols in cities, and around synagogues, and officers were also stationed at the entrances to towns. A comprehensive closure of West Bank border crossings went into effect on Monday night, and will continue until midnight on Wednesday.  The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that individuals will be allowed to cross in cases of extreme medical or humanitarian emergency, subject to the approval of the Civil Administration. Magen David Adom has reinforced its stations throughout the country with extra personnel on Yom Kippur in order to provide rapid medical care for cyclists and those fasting, should the need arise. The fast began in Tel Aviv at 5:11 P.M., and will end at 6:09 P.M. on Wednesday. In Jerusalem, the fast began at 4:56 P.M., and will end at 6:07 P.M. on Wednesday. In Be’er Sheva, fasting began at 5:14 P.M., and will end at 6:09 P.M. In Haifa, the fast began at 5:02 P.M, and will end at 6:08 P.M. As the fast began, synagogues throughout Israel opened their doors for “Kol Nidrei” prayers.


Harvard Theological Review Rejects ‘Jesus’ Wife’

Via First Things:

The rumor is that Harvard Theological Review is now declining to publish Karen King’s paper (available here as a draft pdf) on the Coptic fragment she calls the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.” It’s a rumor that appears to be true, as New Testament scholar Craig Evans writes:

Is the Coptic papyrus, in which Jesus speaks of his “wife,” a fake? Probably. We are far from a “consensus,” but one scholar after another and one Coptologist after another has weighed in pointing out serious problems with the paleography, the syntax, and the very troubling fact that almost all of the text has been extracted from the Gospel of Thomas (principally from logia 30, 101, and 114). I suspect the papyrus itself is probably quite old, perhaps fourth or fifth century, but the oddly written (or painted) letters on the recto side are probably modern and probably reflect recent interest in Jesus and Mary Magdalene. The decision of the editors of Harvard Theological Review not to publish Karen King’s paper is very wise. Perhaps we will eventually learn more about who actually produced this text.

The ultimate source is apparently the great Harvard scholar Helmut Koester. The academic world is quickly becoming skeptical about the ancient provenance of this fragment. Perhaps more interesting and of more enduring significance than the fragment itself is the role the internet has played in the debate. We have had a draft of King’s paper, photos of the fragment itself, and serious and measured responses from leading scholars all made available to the public, along with the typical professional hysteria in the media and amateur hysteria in the blogosphere.

Is there a downside? Perhaps. In theory, this is the sort of debate that should be carried out in journals over months and years, so scholarship can get it right. (Note the parallels with journalism: the pressure to get it first and the pressure to get it right work against each other.) In this case, I think Watson and others contesting the fragment’s authenticity are getting it right — I’m no papyrologist, but it seems to me most likely that the fragment is a modern forgery — and I think that their work has been careful and solid. Yet time and peer review are lacking. What if we will have been too hasty in dismissing the fragment?

We happen to live in a media and internet age, however, and as sensationalism abounds I think it’s well and good that sober scholars like Francis Watson and Mark Goodacre (to whom credit goes for the h/t on this story) have the ability to react in real time. Of course, they were also trained as scholars in a prior age, meaning more than ten years ago; one wonders if a younger generation of scholars raised in internet culture will be as painstaking and measured as they.

Thought experiment: How different would things have been if the Dead Sea Scrolls had been discovered in the internet age?