Tag Archives: Vridar blog

Vridar Maintenance

This blog has grown in numbers of posts and topics like wild weeds all over the place and is long overdue for a some serious organization. The Categories and Tags have been unwieldy, untidy, inconsistent, and I hope to maintain the energy with Tim’s help to tidy everything up. So expect changes and probably in the short term (not too many months, hopefully) even more inconsistency and chaos as we try to restore weeds and desert into a Garden of Eden.

How Did It All Come to This?

From macrotourist.com

We loved one another when we met. I had left religion behind but still had an intellectual passion to understand the origins of the Bible and Christianity. I loved joining your company in online forums and you excited me a little each time you indicated some appreciation for any small contribution I could make. There was Mahlon Smith, Stevan Davies, Mark Goodacre. . . Even when James McGrath and I first met over his little volume The Burial of Jesus we expressed sincere appreciation for the opportunity to have had our thought-provoking exchanges. The main motivation for starting this blog was to share the fascinating things I was learning from specialist scholars. One of the first books I read and loved was John Shelby Spong’s Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism. If only I had known years ago what I now knew after reading his book how much saner and less tortured my life could have been. I had the opportunity to meet Spong in the flesh one year and thank him for the doors he had opened for me. Then there was Marlene Winell’s Leaving the Fold. I loved the opportunity to share what I was learning from scholars about my past experiences, and my new understanding of the real nature of the Bible.

So what happened? Why, now, do we find ourselves being scorned and dismissed with contempt by the James McGraths, the Jim Wests, the Roger Pearses, the Larry Hurtados, the James Crossleys? Anthony Le Donne loved what he read on this blog until one of his colleagues tapped him on the shoulder and took him aside for a private talk. The list goes on. Fortunately there are also scholars, some in the field of biblical studies, who I have met and who continue to express appreciation for what Tim and I are doing here, and I sometimes think that without them as sanity checks I might have given up well before now. One well respected academic asked that I keep our correspondence confidential and I have respected that with all who have offered a supportive word. It really is too easy to arouse a hostile environment in some parts of the academy.

So what happened to bring this blog into . . . “controversy” seems too mild a word. It is clear that some of the most spiteful critics have never read or attempted to engage with the posts here. Maybe at best they skimmed (fast enough to avoid contamination) a few lines with hostile intent.

There surely was one turning point all would agree on. read more »

Comments +

I just noticed some queries about formatting in comments and have updated that page by adding the following: 

And for bullet points: 

 

(Tim, I trust the above codes are okay …. Nothing needs updating?)

Comments

Hi all. I have neglected checking the comments for a few days and am trying to catch up now. If there is anything I have missed that you might have wanted me to respond to, and I haven’t done that, just let me know here. Thanks.

 

 

Miscellaneous Catchup

For those of us who like to examine questions of whether certain ancient persons really existed or not:

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R. G. Price is already looking into questions beyond his book Deciphering Jesus:

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And Vridar has another post now in Spanish

Original:

 

Vridar Posts in Spanish

David Cáceres has expanded our posts’ horizons with his Spanish translations. 

SOBRE LA HISTORICIDAD DE JESÚS

Now I’m having a hard time suggesting appropriate posts he might like to add. Readers who have suggestions of anything that might be appropriate for readers without some of the controversial background we are used to in English are welcome to add them here in comments.

Comments on Vridar

I will try to keep a more regular check on the spam filter and moderation queue for comments that for some bizarre reason should not go there but nonetheless do.

I apologize to those whose comments have been delayed too long because of that glitch.

 

 

Vridar Exposed. True Confession.

I am painfully aware of the number of series I have started on Vridar and that are still not complete. The most recent one is my series of posts examining the arguments for and against the term “rulers of this age” in 1 Corinthians 2:6-8 meaning spiritual powers as opposed to earthly authorities (in particular Herod, Caiaphas, Pilate) or even the combination of earthly and demonic powers.

The reason for this waywardness is that as I go through an article or chapter point by point I always come across citations (or recollections in my own mind) that alert me to either an alternative explanation or a supportive collection of evidence. It is my habit, or is it a compulsion, to follow those citations, recollections, alternatives or contradictions, supportive or related information. And as I follow those side-tracks I often come across something that reminded me of a point I posted a while ago and that could be augmented further.

The additional information I want is often delayed in arriving because sometimes I can only access some sources by inter-library loan or an online purchase of a second hand book somewhere. Even if I can access a source sooner it still takes me time to read it and follow up further important-looking citations.

So do forgive me my out-of-control meandering through the many tributaries of information that deflect me from my original intention to finish a series within a handful of posts within a week or no more.

I do “promise” (fingers crossed behind my back) to finish at least the “rulers of this age” post this week. (Unless something I ordered online yesterday arrives sooner than I expected and opens up a whole new perspective that in itself needs further….. )

I should say to myself, No excuses. Just finish one job at a time as if I am a student with a deadline that has to be met or fail!

Reddit Criticisms of Vridar

A reader of this blog kindly notified me of a little discussion on Reddit about Vridar:

How reputable is Vridar (Neil Godfrey’s) blog?

The first thing that surprised me was that a Reddit discussion would even raise my name as a topic. I have no idea who the poster is but I would be interested to know his associations with anyone I have crossed swords with in the past.

He says Vridar fails to rely(?) ”

  • almost solely on academic sources” (that’s news to me)
  • posts “opinion pieces” (is there any discussion or argument that is not an expression of opinion?)
  • “avoids original research” (well, I am an amateur and my interests and purposes are all set out in the “About Vridar” sections of this blog)

Further, Vridar is said to “evoke a scholarly feel” with “bombast language and numerous citations”.  To my mind bombast language by definition cannot evoke any sort of scholarly feel. I used to provide very few citations but since partnering with Tim I have learned to lift my game in that respect.

But there is further criticism. Tim and I are said to “consistently downplay our armchair status”! Oh. Well, I don’t know how we could have made it any clearer that we are just a couple of amateurs as we have pointed out several times in our posts and as we make very clear in our “About Vridar/Author profile” sections. And as is surely clear from some of the commendations of this blog that we have posted.

And despite all the posts where we favourably cite scholarly arguments, because we do present reasons we believe other scholarly arguments are flawed, now that seems to be the real “no-no” and reason we are not to be trusted.

And from there the discussion proceeds.

I’d like to comment myself but don’t seem to be able to access that forum for some reason. Meanwhile, perhaps some sympathetic readers might like to add their own comments there.

 

Vridar Maintenance

Please note that we’re updating the WordPress theme right now. Things may look a bit “off” for a time. Thank you for your patience.

–Tim

Happy New Year, Dear Readers

By now 2018 has surely arrived for all of you. Thanks for your interest, both critical and positive. I’m looking forward to exploring new ideas and old ideas more deeply this coming year. No doubt Tim is, too.

Warning. I know many readers don’t like everything we write but I will but I do hope to be writing more posts again like the one I have begun recently on Olivier Roy’s Jihad and Death. Feel free to engage critically with the posts you don’t like. The name Vridar was taken from the main character in Vardis Fisher’s quasi-autobiographical novel, Orphans of Gethsemane. Vridar emerged out of a Mormon upbringing to find a new identity and exploratory understandings not only of religion but of humanity itself. At one point he opined

The human animal was a terrible thing, not only in its lack of capacity to change-itself, but in its contentedness with what it was.

The irony was that Vridar did demonstrate a capacity to change and to refuse to be contented with what he was, and that he made contact with many other Vridars along his journey. Here’s to whatever challenges and opportunities 2018 brings and hoping all goes well with you, too.

 

And for those of us on the wagon….

 

 

Vridar Maintenance

Greetings, Vridarians.

As your humble custodian and dishwasher, I would like you to know that we’ve implemented some updates here. The biggest change you’ll notice is that we’ve switched over to https/ssl for everything. So, if you noticed some glitches in the past 24 hours, that was most likely us, banging around in the kitchen.

Please let me know if you come across any problems. You can respond here (below), on Facebook, or via email (widowfield at gmail dot com).

Cheers!

–Tim

Blogging hiatus

For anyone who might be curious, I have not yet died but have eased off regular blogging these past few weeks while I catch up on some serious reading. So much has been researched and published in the fields that interest me in recent years and even months, and there are still so many old foundational “classic” works I have not yet cracked open, that I have decided to try to bring myself a little more up to date before resuming posting about any of these topics. (Even just to refresh my memory of some works I read years ago!)

I’ve also been trying to re-think the future standards and directions of Vridar.

 

Postings delayed

I have been wafted up into a strange land of night markets and street food, of friendly neighbours helping one another out, of different bird sounds and busy squirrels in trees and fish and monitor lizards in the tree-shaded canal, Thai long-tail boats taking people to work in the mornings and returning them in the evenings, of beautiful shrines and ancient temples. I am very lucky to be living where few “farang” (foreigners) are ever seen . . . the real Thailand. There’s a painful and ugly side, too, as there always is, even in Bhutan, but that makes the good all the more precious.

A halcyon holiday. More than another month to go here at Alcinous’s court.