Fly – Day 23 of 30 Days [Biblically] Wild

Fly – זְבוּב (zevuv

dogfly image
Dog or stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans). Source: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/2648/stable-fly-dog-fly-control/

This post has been adapted from an earlier post:And the fly is saying…

Newman University is situated next to a reservoir and, over the last few days, the current system of very warm air over Britain has resulted in the (sort of) annual ‘infestation’ of flies on the Newman campus. I have to admit to rather enjoying the sight of them, dancing lazily in loose veils in the soft afternoon sun and their sudden appearance on a paper I am reading or scurrying across the desk. However, I am also aware that, for those living in halls, it can create feelings that are far less poetic! Nevertheless, it got me thinking about flies in the Bible and the wider Ancient Near Eastern traditions.

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Frog – Day 2 out of 30 [Biblically] Days Wild

Frog – צְפַרְדֵּעַ (tsephardea); βάτραχος (batrachos)

The Common Frog (Rana temporaria) also known as the European Common Frog or European Common Brown Frog. Image: Richard Bartz, Munich aka Makro Freak Source:MFB.jpg

An ambivalence of [to] frogs

About this time of year (June), millions of tiny froglets, that have just developed from tadpoles, will be making their first forays onto land. Frogs typify our often ambivalent relationship with nature. For many, they are the epitome of ‘otherness’ (the non-human). Continue reading

‘And the fly is saying…’: On flies, the campus, and the Bible

Newman University is situated next to a reservoir and, over the last few days, the current system of very warm air over Britain has resulted in the (sort of) annual ‘infestation’ of flies on the Newman campus. I have to admit to rather enjoying the sight of them, dancing lazily in loose veils in the soft afternoon sun and their sudden appearance on a paper I am reading or scurrying across the desk. However, I am also aware that, for those living in halls, it can create feelings that are far less poetic! Nevertheless, it got me thinking about flies in the Bible and the wider Ancient Near Eastern traditions.

[This post has been expanded and updated as Fly – Day 23 of 30 Days Biblically Wild.]

James Fly
Image by James Westwood

If I am in the minority among those living and working at Newman for rather relishing this phenomenon, I also have to concede that I appear to be a bit of an oddity where the ancients are concerned too! Flies appear to have been universally disliked, or at least, viewed as worthless pests and nuisances. Continue reading

1,765 years ago today – a father and his 2 children, a local temple, assembled witnesses… (P.Oxy.iv.658)

Exactly on this day, 1,765 years ago, in a small town in central Egypt, a father accompanied by his daughter and son entered the local temple and there, in front of assembled witnesses including at least one magistrate, offered a sacrifice to the gods on behalf of the Roman Empire and its new Emperor. This act appears to have been triggered by a campaign of enforcement to ensure that every member of the Empire participated in these sacrifices. Evidence suggests that, in June 250 C.E., an enforcement team was sent to investigate the scattered villages and towns of central Egypt. Those suspected of non-compliance were ordered to provide a certificate (libellus) of proof, signed by official witnesses, of their participation. For Christians living in this area, these were troubling times and potentially life-threatening choices lay ahead…

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