"The object of all good literature is to purge the soul of its petty troubles." ~ P.G. Wodehouse

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Caldecott on the Liberal Arts, again

Beauty for Truth's Sake: On the Re-enchantment of EducationI have recently finished reading Stratford Caldecott's, Beauty for Truth's Sake: On the Re-enchantment of Education. The first chapter on the Liberal Arts continues to be the most interesting for me, but the rest of the book brings together the importance of beauty's place in education. So much of the world whether music, mathematics, science, or architecture has beauty and order to it, as Caldecott has shown. It is an excellent book and a good argument for the place of religion in education.


After I finished the book, I thumbed through it for the places I had highlighted. This passage on page 28 still strikes a chord with me:

"The sheer amount of information available in every discipline is far too great to be mastered by one person in an entire lifetime. The purpose of an education is not merely to communicate information, let alone current scientific opinion, nor to train future workers and managers. It is to teach the ability to think, discriminate, speak, and write, and, along with this, the ability to perceive the inner, connecting principles, the intrinsic relations, the logoi, of creation, which the ancient Christian Pythagorean tradition (right through the medieval period) understood in terms of number and cosmic harmony."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Economist on the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

I must say that this is the highlight of my day if not my week. I have been bothered for weeks by the late arrival of my weekly Economist, but as a subscriber, I can have access to each week's full edition of the Economist on my iPod Touch from 4pm Eastern Standard Time on Thursdays. That beats the typical Tuesday/Wednesday arrival of the magazine.

All that is needed is the Economist app which can be downloaded for free. Then every Thursday late afternoon the current week's edition downloaded to my iPod Touch. I can then take it with me everywhere without needing an internet connection. And that isn't everything: there is even an audio version of every article. The Economist in the gym, on the road, on a walk.

So, on to "How to Cut the Deficit"...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

SBL Greek New Testament

The Society of Biblical Literature Greek New Testament has just been announced by SBL and is now available as a free download. It is currently available for Logos users. The pdf version is coming soon.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Longer Ending of Mark

A friend of mine asked me about the longer ending of Mark today. Mark 16:9-20 poses an interesting question because they are missing from some important early witnesses. There are also a additional verses found in some manuscripts (See Metzger, Textual Commentary on the New Testament, pp. 102-6).

As I was looking back through Mark 16:9-16 today, I was reminded about how this passage is such a collage of resurrection appearance episodes found in Matthew, Luke, and John. Mary Magdalene appears to Jesus as in John. There is an echo of the Lukan Emmaus story in Mark 16:12-13. Jesus gives the disciples a Matthean-like Great Commission, along with some pieces about the handling of serpents (which may reflect knowledge of Acts 28:3-6). The ascension of Jesus in Mark 16:19 also appears to indicate knowledge of Luke 24 and Acts 1, especially the final verse about the disciples preaching.

Recently, I have also noticed a couple features that may add to further evidence of Johannine influence. First, the deeds in 16:17-18 are called signs. Jesus' actions referred to as signs in John's Gospel. And second, Mark 16:9-16 is the only place in the Synoptic Gospels where the narrator uses the verb pisteuo. The verb is actually used three times vv. 14, 16, 17. In John, pisteuo is often used by the narrator.

These pieces of evidence along with the questionable manuscript history of Mark 16:9-20 suggests that this passage was added to Mark after its original writing and that the author of it most likely made use of the gospel traditions in the other three gospels.

For further reading, see Perspectives on the Ending of Mark: Four Views published by Broadman & Holman.

Friday, November 5, 2010

30th Annual Holocaust Education Week

Holocaust Education Week continues here in Toronto and on Monday, November 8th at 7:00pm Tyndale will be hosting one of the sessions. The session is entitled "My Personal Testimony." Holocaust survivor Sally Wasserman who was born in Katowice, Poland in 1935 will be telling of her experience. The evening should be an excellent opportunity to hear firsthand some of the horrible events that was the Holocaust.

The description of her story can be found here and reads as follows:
"When the war started, her family was expelled from their town and went to live in her father’s hometown, Dombrova. He was soon taken away and they never saw him again. When the Dombrova Ghetto was established, Sally, her mother and her young brother were forced to move to the ghetto. When the ghetto was liquidated, Sally’s mother hid her with an elderly Polish Gentile couple until liberation. She was 11 years old when she left Poland for a DP camp in Germany. There, she and 92 other Jewish orphans were sent to New York. Her mother’s sister then brought her to Canada in 1947."

This program is generously co-sponsored by Leonard & Eileen Gold for the children who were never given a chance to speak.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NIV2011 Available on the Web

The NIV2011 which is to replace the 1984 NIV and the TNIV is now available at www.BibleGateway.com. This change was announced in September 2009. It seems that Zondervan felt that there had been too much backlash against the TNIV, but they still wanted to have a gender inclusive version of the NIV. The NIV2011 is an attempt at a compromise. We shall see how it turns out. The initial discussion on the text at Evangelical Textual Criticism implies that the NIV2011 is closer to the TNIV that the NIV 1984. I will have to do my own checking, but I am aware that compared to the more recent translations, such as the NLT2004 and ESV, the NIV 1984 is the least gender inclusive. This should come as no surprise since it was translated before there was much of a gender inclusive discussion.