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

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thyen on an apocalyptic Son of Man in John's Gospel

"Die danielische Vision eines 'wie ein Mensch' aussehenden Himmelwesens und der sogenannte 'apokalyptische Menschensohn' spielen bei Joh keine Rolle" (Hartwig Thyen, Johannesevangelium, 205).

I should say that I couldn't disagree more. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Google Launches Dead Sea Scrolls Online Library

Just saw the news that the Dead Sea Scrolls are going digital on Google. This will be great for scholars worldwide as access to the text of the scrolls will be available to everyone. For texts that have a history of being shrouded in secrecy, this is great news! See the site here.

The Seventh Enoch Seminar in Camaldoli, Italy, 2013

The schedule has been set for the Seventh Enoch Seminar to be held in Camaldoli, Italy, July 21-26, 2013. Camadoli was the site of the Third Enoch Seminary in 2007. The theme of the Seventh Enoch Seminar is "Enoch and Synoptic Traditions." The line up looks great. More information can be found on the 4 Enoch site. Here is the planned schedule:


Arrivals - Bus from the Arezzo Railway Station (around 3:30pm--4pm).
Accomodation at Camaldoli
Welcome 6pm-6:30pm Opening session 6pm-7:45 -- Introduction (Loren Stuckenbruck)


8pm Breakfast
8:45am-10:30am -- Papers One and Two
11:00am-12:45am -- Papers Three and Four
1pm -- Lunch
4:00pm - 5:30pm -- Discussion groups (one group for each of the morning papers)
6:00pm-7:30pm -- Reading Session
8pm -- Dinner


8pm Breakfast
8:45am-10:30am -- Papers Five and Six
11:00am-12:45am -- Papers Seven and Eight
1pm -- Lunch
4:00pm - 5:30pm -- Discussion groups (one group for each of the morning papers)
6:00pm-7:30pm -- Reading Session
8pm -- Dinner


8pm Breakfast
8:45am-10:45am -- Short Papers (30m each in parallel sessions)
11:15am-12:45am -- Short Papers (30m each in parallel sessions)
1pm -- Lunch
Afternoon trip to the Camaldoli Eremo and the La Verna Convent.


8pm Breakfast
8:45am-10:30am -- Papers Nine and Ten
11:00am-12:45am -- Papers Eleven and Twelve
1pm -- Lunch
4:00pm - 5:30pm -- Discussion groups (one group for each of the morning papers)
6:00pm-7:30pm -- Wrap-Up Session
8pm -- Dinner


Bus to Arezzo Railway Station

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mark William Roche Quotes on the Liberal Arts

These quotes are from the Introduction to his excellent book Why Choose the Liberal Arts?

"The liberal arts build on one of the oldest ideals of learning which Socrates put into practice in ancient Greece. For Socrates it was clear that we learn more effectively when we pursue questions ourselves and seek the answers ourselves, when we embody what educators call 'active learning.' The student is actively engaged in the learning process, asking questions, being asked questions, pursuing often elusive answers in dialogue with others. Knowledge cannot simply be poured, like water, from one larger container into an emptier one (Symposium 175d). Socrates also made it clear that learning is most important and most successful when students are engaged in meaningful discussions, asking questions that will determine who they are and what they think about life's most significant issues. For example, what is human excellence? What is friendship? love? courage? How do we learn? What constitutes the just state? It is not by chance that the questions in Plato's Socratic dialogues often have life-or-death consequences, as in the question that forms the center of the Euthyphro: What is piety?...

"To know something is not simply to mimic the truth but to be able to give reasons and arguments for that truth; this level of reflection ensures that the student will be able to defend a view against the arguments of future opponents instead of simply succumbing to their persuasive rhetoric; will be ready to apply knowledge in changing circumstances; and will be equipped to build on existing knowledge and extend it, via the same principles of searching inquiry and rational reflection, into new areas" (pp. 6, 7).

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fifth Edition of Gundry's Survey of the New Testament

Robert Gundry's fifth edition of his Survey of the New Testament came out in June 2012 (just six months ago). The new edition has some added photos and a different pagination, but one of the biggest benefits is available online through Zondervan's "Textbook Plus." Students are able to create an account and have access to online quizzes and flash cards that match the "People to Remember," "Places to Remember," "Terms to Remember," and "How much did you learn?" sections at the end of each chapter. The focus of all these materials is clearly on student learning, and now there are multiple ways for students to engage in active learning.

Gundry's survey textbook is still one of the best NT surveys, in my opinion, because of the way in which students are encouraged to actually read the text of the NT rather than merely reading about background content. The historical, cultural, social, and biblical context information is not overwhelming and is taken bit by bit while being discussed with its relevance to specific pericopes of the NT. Gundry's survey provides an excellent way to read the NT and learn more deeply about its context.