First Post from Edinburgh

Greetings from Edinburgh. I landed on Tuesday after around 18 hours of travel. It was a bit shocking to finally arrive but I am excited to be here. Within a few short days, I can see why so many Edinburgh alums were sad when their programs ended and had to leave. It is such a lovely city. Each day I am shocked by the treasures I discover.

The first few days in Edinburgh were busy. Busy, busy. I spent the majority of my time trying to find a flat before Aubree arrives. After a couple of frustrating days of emailing, calling, and viewing around the city I found a nice flat that Aubree and I can call home. It is located just outside of New Town and is around a 20 min. walk to New College. After securing our flat I then opened up a bank account which was quick because I had all the right documents. The last couple of days I have been enjoying the city and exploring what she offers.

I plan on my next post will be about the visa application process for an American coming to the UK. I have reflected on this process for a bit and thought it my be helpful for others considering making the move. All the best to you who read this blog.

Scots Translation of the New Testament

Here was an interesting (and short) blog post from the New College Librarian on the 30th Anniversary of the translation of the New Testament into Scots. The New Testament is currently on display at the library at New College.

This post provoked a couple of thoughts: firstly, I was surprised that it wasn’t until 1983 that there was a translation of the New Testament into Scots (I have to admit my ignorance when it comes to the Celtic languages and this may not be a big deal because of the English translation of the New Testament). Secondly, the great need for good translations of both testaments for the many people groups with never seeing the Bible in their own tongue. Below is a 10-minute video of a people group receiving a translation of the New Testament into their own heart language.

Cultural Blunder Numero Uno

This is a previous post from another blog but I thought would share it as a part of the details of my family and I moving to Edinburgh.

Several months ago I began the application process for New College. Completing an application at New College is extremely easy because with the online account, you just upload your documents and when everything is uploaded you can then send your application with total peace of mind that you have submitted all that is needed.

My blunder, however, came at the very beginning of the application process: setting up an online account with the university. To begin the process you must enter your name (as it appears on your passport–otherwise getting your visa could prove quite challenging) and then your date of birth. Unlike the US where we normally give our date of birth as: mm/dd/yyyy the UK ordering is dd/mm/yyyy. Now, my birthday is May 16 (for those desiring to send me good things on that day–cash is always nice) which means I was entering in that I was born during the 16th month which may only occur in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Seeing as the University has not made the switch the official trekkie calendar it kept rejecting my enrollment.

I cannot emphasize enough how many times I entered my birth month as the 16th month hoping for Edinburgh to get a clue from all those TNT reruns! My hope continued in vain (Error: Please enter valid information). After several days (it felt like weeks) I emailed the university to inform them that their online enrollment was suffering from glitches (I know, I’m such a good samaritan). After emailing back and forth with a very helpful individual at the university he started troubleshooting the problem immediately: was it the software update, no the software is fine. Maybe, I should try using a different browser, no, same error. Maybe, try using a pc rather than a mac (I know, it’s funny to think about the mac being at fault or using a pc as the solution). Finally, I emailed him the actual error message. “Oh!”, he said (wrote). “You are entering in your date of birth wrong. In the UK, we enter our DOB as dd/mm/yyyy not mm/dd/yyyy like you do in the states.” Surely, I could not have made such an easily avoidable mistake. I mean–I can read. I do have a masters degree after all. I looked at that opening page nearly 30 times. But the next time I looked there was something different–something had changed (it really had not), next to the empty field box I saw it–dd/mm/yyyy. Now, I knew that I was bound to make cultural miscues during our time abroad. I just had no idea that it would come at the very FIRST step in the process. I’m sure those of you who know me are not at all surprised that I would misstep so early. All I can do is shrug and smile at your assessment.

Welcoming me to the Neighborhood

To begin, I am very excited to be blogging with my friend Matt. Matt had the unfortunate opportunity of meeting me while we were both students at Southeastern Seminary. So, I am honored (and a bit perplexed) that he would want to have his name associated with mine.

I will spend my first post telling you about myself personally and what some of my goals are with Secundum Scripturas. First, I married my lovely wife Aubree in 2006 and have called Raleigh, North Carolina home since that time. In August, Aubree and I journey to the Old World to study for an MTh (Scot speak for Masters in Theology) in Biblical Studies at New College, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Prior to coming to North Carolina I lived in a parallel universe known as Branson, Missouri (Country Music Shows, Hillbilly Comedy) where I completed a B.S. in Physical Education in 2006. After my time in Branson, Aubree and I then moved to Wake Forest, North Carolina where I completed a Masters of Arts in Christian Theology in 2011. In August, we set sail (actually flying) for Edinburgh to join the long line of tradition at New College.

What I hope to bring to Secundum Scripturas is a mirror to what Matt has already started. My main interest is interpreting the Old Testament theologically. I try and do this from a number of perspectives: detailed Biblical Studies research, Hebrew Discourse Analysis, Hermeneutics, Reception History, Philosophy, and Christian Theology. I have an interest in each of these areas and more but I’ll stop here. I am interested in how these fields intersect and hope that my posts will reflect this.

Along with posting on my research interests I will also devote some writing to moving, living, and studying in the UK.  I have benefitted from a couple of blogs as my wife and I begin the process to our move to Edinburgh. I hope that this blog can contribute and build on these other blogs and serve to give its readers a bit of insight into the process of making the move, living, and studying in the UK. Having been accepted to New College, these posts will be from a particularly Scottish perpective. I also hope this blog provides opportunity to meet new people, stay connected, and interact with my many friends and acquaintances that I have been blessed with these last few years from the Wake Forest area and abroad.