SAN JOSE — The Sharks will have to pack some warm clothes for their upcoming three-game road trip that goes through Edmonton, Calgary and Denver, Colorado.But they’re leaving behind the baggage of a three-game losing streak, which ended Thursday with their 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Brent Burns broke a 2-2 tie with a goal at the 10:21 mark of the third period, as he celebrated his 1,000th career NHL regular season game in style.Still, it was a predictably ragged affair, with the rust of …
(Visited 109 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Are Moses and Jesus corroborated by extra-Biblical artifacts? Here’s the good and the bad about two interesting yet controversial finds.Was Ancient Hebrew the First Language?An article on Science News, accompanied by a photo of a rock with scratch marks, is titled “Oldest alphabet identified as Hebrew.” Bruce Bower’s sub-headline states, “Controversial claim argues that ancient Israelites turned Egyptian hieroglyphics into letters.” Further down, a diagram shows the markings transliterated from one of several slabs. The “stone slabs” were found “at several Egyptian sites” not specified, and are thought to be 3,800 years old, putting them into the time of the Hebrew sojourn in Egypt before the Exodus.The meaning of the letters depends on the work of one Douglas Petrovich:Israelites living in Egypt transformed that civilization’s hieroglyphics into Hebrew 1.0 more than 3,800 years ago, at a time when the Old Testament describes Jews living in Egypt, says archaeologist and epigrapher Douglas Petrovich of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada. Hebrew speakers seeking a way to communicate in writing with other Egyptian Jews simplified the pharaohs’ complex hieroglyphic writing system into 22 alphabetic letters, Petrovich proposed on November 17 at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research.The abstract of Dr. Petrovich’s upcoming paper begins on page 105 of the ASOR November 16, 2016 Paper Abstracts. Bower’s summary includes some eye-catching possibilities from Petrovich’s translation of the squiggles. Once he figured out the script, he found some Biblical names:Several biblical figures turn up in the translated inscriptions, including Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his half-brothers and then became a powerful political figure in Egypt, Joseph’s wife Asenath and Joseph’s son Manasseh, a leading figure in a turquoise-mining business that involved yearly trips to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Moses, who led the Israelites out of Egypt, is also mentioned, Petrovich says.In the comments after the article, Petrovich interacts with some critics, providing more detail and some corrections to Bower’s write-up. Petrovich is working on a book about his thesis. Other scholars are apparently taking this work seriously. The ID site Uncommon Descent mentions this article with interest. One commenter there thinks, “If this stuff holds up, it will be the final nail in the coffin for the longstanding JEDP style hypothesis.” The JEDP hypothesis (also called the documentary hypothesis) contended that Moses was not the author of the Pentateuch, but that different parts were written at different times and then stitched together by redactors. Perpetrated under the evolutionary assumption Moses could not have written such sophisticated material so long ago, the JEDP hypothesis has come under fire increasingly over the last century, now that earlier sophisticated writings have been found from other cultures.Are the Lead Codices the Work of Early Christians?A set of 70 codices made of lead plates bound together like notebooks, found in a Jordanian cave in 2008, has a checkered history of interpretation. They caused a media flap in 2011 with claims they contained the first image of the face of Jesus. Now, the UK’s Daily Mail claims the tablets contain interpretations of Jesus’ ministry that run contrary to the New Testament:The tablets suggest that Christ was not starting his own religion, but restoring a thousand-year-old tradition from the time of King David. They also suggest the God he worshipped was both male and female.Todd Bolen of Bible Places Blog, a Bible scholar and professor who lived in Israel many years, is our go-to guy for evaluating sensationalist claims. On March 11, 2011, he gave his first impressions of the codices, leaving room for the possibility they were authentic, because they didn’t seem like the kind of artifact a forger would make. He took great issue, however, with the leading promoter of the codices, a certain David Elkington, who Bolen feels has no credibility as a scholar and appears highly motivated to make money off the tablets. The artifacts themselves, additionally, have doubtful archaeological provenance, Bolen thought, because they were not found by archaeologists in situ, but had been shuffled between questionable characters in Jordan, including thieves.On April 4, 2011, Bolen followed up with additional evidence of forgery. He also poured cold water on the sensational write-ups coming from the Daily Mail and The Telegraph, adding more cold water in his April 11, 2011 blog entry that criticized the yellow journalism resulting from Elkington’s questionable claims. He was glad in his April 26, 2011 blog entry that the codices were seized by Jordanian police, saying, “This should allow a more thorough and honest investigation than has been done to this point.” By May 17, 2011, he joined in Thomas S. Verenna‘s condemnation of irresponsible journalists covering the story. Yet Bolen did not dismiss the artifacts themselves. “It is not clear if these items are authentic or forged,” he said in the March 11 entry. “….Personally I am inclined to believe that this find is genuine.” He based that partly on analysis of the inscriptions by a colleague. He took issue strongly, however, with the outlandish claim that they equal the Dead Sea Scrolls in significance.This is where the story gets interesting. The lead codices have resurfaced in the media with new results of dating methods that show they date back 2,000 years. Once again, the Daily Mail is at the forefront of sensationalist coverage, giving Elkington free rein to announce his ideas about what Jesus believed and taught. That’s a separate question from the date of the artifacts, which both Science World Report and Christianity Today agree look old, if the dating methods yielded correct results. From the Science World Report article:Now, to prove if the tablet is legit, the series of tests was conducted by Professor Roger Webb and Professor Chris Jeynes at the University of Surrey’s Nodus Laboratory from the Ion Beam Center. They confirmed that the tablet is compatible with a comparative sample of ancient Roman lead coming from the excavation site in Dorset.In a press statement, the experts mentioned that the tablet they tested “does not show the radioactivity arising from polonium that is typically seen in modern lead samples, indicating that the lead of the codex was smelted over one hundred years ago.”Furthermore, the crystallization analysis points out that the tablet is between the years 1800-2000 years old. The experts shared that “this provides very strong evidence that the objects are of great age, consistent with the studies of the text and designs that suggest an age of around 2000 years.”The codices, therefore, could present the earliest extra-Biblical mention of Jesus before the Tacitus inscription. The UK Mirror (another sensationalist newspaper) repeats the claims about an alternative view of Jesus, noting that the tablets also refer to Peter, James and John.Getting the dates right is an important step. Even accepting the antiquity of the objects, thereby disproving forgery, leaves enough wiggle room between the error bars to put the codices into the first, second or third centuries AD. Many questions remain about the authors of the texts, the identity of the “face” on one tablet, and the translation and interpretation of the text, which could differ from the age of the lead plates themselves. Answers need to come from more credible scholars than Elkington.Clearly, the last word is not with us on either of these finds. While interesting, we have, as Peter said, “a more sure word of prophecy” in the Scriptures themselves. How can anyone improve on the clear, cogent writings of the eyewitnesses of Jesus, like Peter, John, Paul, Mark, Jude, and close associates of the apostles, like Luke? How can one improve on five lengthy books written by Moses about contemporary events in Egypt? Those provide the supreme canon against which other sources must be measured.The secular media gets fascinated by extra-Biblical sources about Jesus and Bible characters, especially if they allegedly differ in some way from the Bible, and most especially if they present a politically-correct Jesus they can feminize or turn into a Hindu guru or non-supernatural moral teacher. The Gnostic gospels and Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code come to mind. Beware. Such claims usually rely on questionable artifacts stretched beyond what the original information can bear, sold to the gullible by hucksters seeking fame or fortune.The doctrine of inspiration (that the Bible is God’s word) includes the doctrine of preservation. The word of God does not entail secret missing portions that people needed to wait centuries later to dig up in some remote cave in Jordan or find under a hill Cumora in New York. The doctrine of inspiration includes consistency. It doesn’t allow a self-proclaimed prophet to appear six centuries late to contradict what the Lord Jesus said, or another to appear in New York with the “real” uncorrupted gospel. The doctrine of inspiration also includes the concept of perspicuity, meaning that the ordinary meaning of the text is clear. We don’t need to use the Bible like a crystal ball, looking for hidden messages or codes.We don’t re-interpret the Pentateuch based on what a rock in Egypt says. We don’t re-interpret Jesus based on what some lead tablets say. Those authors were not inspired to communicate God’s word to man. For all we know, the authors of the lead codices were members of a cult who had heard of Jesus and the disciples but made up their own ideas about them, just like Gnostics did in the second century, or like off-brand teachers do today. At best, archaeological finds confirm the historicity of the Bible and shed light on cultural and historical events of the time. These two discoveries might have value in those regards. Evaluation will require further analysis by scholars having the technical specialties in epigraphy, ancient languages and ancient customs. We share them only as developments worth watching.
Watch as two video essay maestros clash in good fun while arguing the pros and cons of contemporary film scores.Top image via Journal SentinalAfter the recent release of Every Frame a Painting’s excellent breakdown of why current film scores lack the enduring appeal of classics like Star Wars, Dan Golding just released a response video to Tony Zhou’s original piece while posing some new questions about the current state of film scores.The Marvel Symphonic UniverseThe intriguing video above was released a few days ago. It lays out a pretty convincing argument: While the Marvel cinematic universe certainly has many things going for it, memorable film scores are not one of them.While movie classics such as Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Harry Potter all have memorable soundtracks that provoke feelings of nostalgia and joy, Marvel seems to be lacking in this department entirely. Shouldn’t these billion-dollar products have a more profound audio impact on audiences? Tony Zhou breaks down the ins and outs of the situation, while explaining how movie soundtracks are produced, copied, and sometimes essentially stolen.By breaking down scenes from Iron Man, Captain America and Thor, Zhou demonstrates how the film scores (or lack thereof) could benefit from a few subtractions or mood changes. The Captain America clip proves especially frustrating after Zhou demonstrates what could have been.Temp MusicThe central focus of the video essay shifts halfway through to temp music. To put it simply, temp music is a score from a previously released film that is placed into the rough edit of the current production before the soundtrack has been composed.This is done to give the composer an idea of what the director wants for the film. This inevitably leads to many scores sounding strikingly similar to those of other movies.The similarities between 300 and Titus are surprising and undeniable and serve to further Zhou’s point of how lazy scoring has become. In a similar vein, while Mad Max: Fury Road’s shredding guitars might have been more the more memorable musical cue, there were still plenty of other sections that recalled Captain America: The Winter Soldier.Zhou addresses the problem of composers using temp music and borrowing cues from previously released scores:What changed everything was modern non-linear editing which allowed a director to put their favorite music in the movie and have the editor cut to it. Now the director points to the temp and says ‘make it like that.’We see composers such as Alexandre Desplat explain how directors will watch and listen to the temp track in the edit over and over again until their mind is set — and stuck. Zhou closes his argument by saying that reused scores, temp music, and unmemorable cues stem from the same place — playing things safe.A Theory of Film MusicNow let’s take a look at Dan Golding’s rebuttal essay in which he states that — even though Zhou’s presumptions are correct — everything is still okay. Although the Star Wars theme is the main focus of Zhou’s intro and overall message, Golding counters with the knowledge that the iconic Star Wars score was never all that original in the first place.Taking cues from films such as 1942’s King’s Row and 1963’s How The West Was Won, Golding explains how even the narrative structure and themes of Star Wars are not at all original. However, the film was still executed creatively and with a unique twist. Calling back to films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, George Lucas had originally intended on using classical pieces for the picture and had to be convinced otherwise. I’d say that was a close call.Image via MGM StudiosGolding goes on to discuss legendary contemporary composer Hans Zimmer. Zimmer changed the game of scoring films and pioneered the way computers are utilized in the process. The director could hear the music as it was being produced/composed and make changes or be more involved with the process, all while editing the film at the same time. This workflow was groundbreaking and many composers have followed suit.In a more traditional light, Golding talks about John Williams process for scoring Star Wars and the difficult nature of recording scores back in the day. For example, because it was so expensive to pay all the artists to come in and record, everything had to be meticulously planned out — and once the score was composed, the film could not be edited anymore. This is a fairly crazy notion, given how many changes contemporary films go through before hitting the silver screen.A key component to today’s approach is the cheap price that comes with this method. Hans Zimmer explains that, by using computers, he is able to personally touch every note in the score himself. By doing this,“you end up creating a landscape of sound rather than melodies and harmonies.”Marvels music isn’t hummable. Each film has a musical landscape, but they’re different not through melody, but through texture. This is the impact of digital technology on film music…. So are we living in an era where composers are told to play it safe? To copy temp tracks? Yes, most of that isn’t new. Remember, Hollywood film music isn’t about originality. It’s about new ways of working with proven formulas, and digital technology has changed that hugely. It’s creative unoriginality for our era of Hollywood.And, hey. If you find yourself in need of some epic, cinematic music for your next film score (and you don’t have that Hans Zimmer money), PremiumBeat’s got you covered.What do you think? Have soundtracks gotten better or worse? Let us know in the comments below!
Sachin Tendulkar has for the first time admitted that the match-fixing episodes in 1999-2000 had initially affected his game and the Indian team had to go through a difficult and painful phase as “spectators looked at us with suspicion”.Tendulkar said he was not in the right frame of mind during India’s disastrous tour of Australia where they were thrashed 0-3 in 1999-2000.”I can tell you that I was never approached by anyone, neither we had any discussions about the same in the team meeting,” Tendulkar told former South African Board President Dr Ali Bacher in an interview for Super Sport Channel.”I remember that there was a stage in 1999-2000 when it was very difficult as we were to play Australia. Before the series these things started making rounds. As a cricketer that’s the last thing I want.”You want your beloved game to be as clean as possible. I wanted the spectators to enjoy the contest and not look at us with suspicion. To play well, players need to be in right frame of mind and I can tell you that I was not in that frame of mind,” Tendulkar said, recollecting the disastrous series.The pain in his voice was evident as he gave the interview. “Every match you play and people pass on loose comments. This was really hurting me and the whole team,” said the maestro.Tendulkar felt that their historic 2-1 series win over Australia at home was the turning point. “I was sure that we needed to put up a very special performance against Aussies so that cricket lovers forget what has happened in the past and start enjoying the game again and move on. With grace of God we managed to do that.advertisement”We lost the first match at Mumbai. But in the next match at Kolkata we fought back from very bad position and won that match to level the series. Last match was even harder. At Chennai while chasing small total we lost eight wickets but won that Test match and series too.”I was happy for the fact we forced cricket lovers to forget about that bad chapter and start following cricket again.”Recollecting the horror days of match fixing, Bacher revealed that the South African Board was indeed approached by bookmakers.”We were directly approached by bookmakers to take their offer to the players through team meeting. Those were days when in couple of ICC meetings, I had raised this issue,” he said.With inputs from PTI