I recently received a very passive rebuke from Matt on not posting on the blog in a long time. Which is strange because Matt is usually anything but passive. He was correct, however, in that I’ve been very absent from the blog. Because of that, I thought I would write a quick update on what is going on.
Since about October I’ve been in Cambridge working away at trying to get my thesis question more precise. I had been flirting for quite a while on the topic of Solomon and wisdom and I think it is finely focused enough. My overall question is how Solomon is characterised in the canon. It means lately that I’ve been spending a lot of time in the 1 Kings narrative trying to figure out what is going on. My conclusion so far is that it is anything but simple. I think there is a real tendency when we read to try and force characters in polar categories (good/bad, etc). This doesn’t appreciate the complexity that a character is represented as.
In other news, I was contracted to write a few dictionary articles (along with many others) for the new Lexham Bible Dictionary for Logos. This was a good experience and I’m happy I did it. But also a lot more distracting than I had anticipated and I am happy that I can concentrate on a few other things now.
Lastly, a paper of mine was accepted for an upcoming conference at Oxford in May. I will be presenting on the role of wisdom in the temple building account in 1 Kings. Now I just need to write it. Which is generally the trickier part.
Photo from National Geographic
I’ve only recently become aware of the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library. It is a fascinating website with some incredible pictures of the scrolls. You can search for the scrolls by site, language, or content. I’d highly encourage you to take a look and practice reading! Be sure to afterwards remember how thankful you are for printed critical editions!
You can see the site here.
New College, University of Edinburgh has posted a post-doctoral opening in NT. It is a part of the University’s Chancellor’s Fellowship program. You can read more here if anyone out there is interested in applying for the position.
HT Larry Hurtado
Christian Audio’s free download this month is the ESV Bible. You can check it out here.
Today is my second “official” day of research since moving to Cambridge to begin reading for the PhD in Hebrew Bible. My research will be done as a reader at Tyndale House during the next three years or so. Tyndale is a Biblical Studies research library that has a strong reputation as a facilitator of Biblical scholarship set in the context of Christian community.
This being only my second day here, I easily see these two themes. Everyday at 11:00am and 4:00pm readers emerge from their desks and gather for tea and coffee, taking a break from the workload to chat and get to know one another. Some of the readers, like myself, are here at Tyndale to conduct long term research, such as for their PhD, but there are also others who may be here for shorter amounts of time – from a single day to a sabbatical. This provides great opportunities to chat with scholars about your research and hear some feedback on your ideas.
In addition to daily tea and coffee, once a week the staff and readers at Tyndale gather for chapel to pray, sing, and listen to Scripture. Today’s chapel, being the first of the new term, was particularly focused on setting our scholarship within the larger context of worship and service to the Church.
During lunch today, George Guthrie (Benjamin W. Perry Professor of Bible at Union University), who is on sabbatical, gave an hour long presentation on “Technology & the Research Workflow.” This was a valuable time to hear from George on the tools that he uses and continues to refine for his own work. These include scanning, Google books, databases, and bibliographic software. It was a beneficial time for me especially as I am at the beginning of my project.
Today represents one of the largest reasons for wanting to do my research at Tyndale. Not only does it house one of the best research libraries for Biblical Studies but it also has a wonderful Christian ethos among its staff and readers that encourages one another to do the best work he or she can do. I am excited to see what the next 3+ years hold for me here.
Michael Law has posted three helpful applications for becoming a better writer on his blog www.timothymichaellaw.com. His three applications are: read, write, and edit. These applications are not a how-to for writing better, rather they are the practice of becoming a better writer. Some advice given to academics he writes,
“If you’re an academic read at least one piece every day that is not academic. If you imbibe only the fruit of the academic vine you shouldn’t expect to improve. “Academese” is one style of writing that champions proving, arguing, demonstrating, but it does not prize writing.”
Read the entire post here.
Mike Bird recently posted a 25 min. interview with N.T. Wright on his new Pauline book Paul and the Faithfulness of God. It’s a nice interview giving a bit of the history of the book and Wright’s understanding of Paul in the context of Jewish expectation of YHWH’s return to his people.
You can watch the video here.
Christopher Wright has an article over at Christianity Today on reading Old Testament law and the Christian life. The starting place for his article are two recent books: A.J. Jacobs’ The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible and Rachel Held Evans’ A Year of Biblical Womanhood which show how clueless many of us can be when thinking about how Scripture speaks today. In his article, Wright provides some helpful ways for us to think about how law still functions as Christian Scripture. My favourite line from the article:
The idea that all the imperative statements in the Bible should be taken literally, as if they all apply to me, is a nonsensical way of handling Scripture.
You can read the whole article here.
I’m several days behind the news but I thought it was still worth posting. On his blog NT Discourse, Steve Runge posted about his article due out next year that critiques Stan Porter’s linguistic framework that was used in his seminal work Verbal Aspect in the Greek of the New Testament, with Reference to Tense and Mood and subsequent projects. Critique always occurs in scholarly discussions but this one is much more personal for Steve because Stan was his Greek teacher and Steve even served as his TA.
Steve’s entire post is worth reading about the subsequent history between him and Stan as well as the stretches he went to in order to discuss the issues before deciding to write this article for publication.
You can read the post here.