Friday, 26 December 2008
Within a matter of minutes, together with a group of seminary friends and students (Chee Keat and wife, Desmond, and Joel), we will be boarding Air Asia flight from Kuala Lumpur to Sandakan, a costal city in the east coast of the state of Sabah in East Malaysia. This is will be my long awaited REAL holiday for the year before the madness of 2009 begins.
I hope to have some good rest and, of course, good food in Sandakan.
Thursday, 25 December 2008
Wednesday, 24 December 2008
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Blogpastor has hinted that it is hard for me to slow down. I must confess that he is right. While I am officially on leave from the seminary, it is still "work" as usual for me.
The copy-editor of my first book to be published by T&T Clark has finally come back to me with some queries on the manuscript. Over the past few days, I have been working on responding to the issues raised by the copy-editor. Now that is out of the way, I can look forward to receiving the proofs sometime in late Jan 09. By then I would need to work on the indices of author and scripture references. If all goes well, the book should be on scheduled to be published in May 09. I am rather pleased with the progress.
My second book project that I have been working on over the past few months has been put on the back burner. Looks like I will only be able to pick it up again sometime in May 09 during the seminary's semester break.
For the next couple of days, I would still need to work on the brochure and registration form for the Edinburgh 2010 Study Process for ASEAN and Sri Lanka to be hosted by Seminari Theoloji Malaysia in 2009, and to respond to some of the queries from my postgraduate students.
The only time I can really look forward to some rest (without any access to emails and internet) would be my year end 5-day visit to Sandakan in Sabah. I am looking forward to this trip!
Monday, 22 December 2008
Interesting articles in this issue include:
- Forgotten Treasures: God's Prophets of the Old Testament
- 'O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing..."
- The Gift of Christian Doctrine
- Pastoral Visitation and Pastoral Care
- Have Christians Lost Their Minds?
- The Silent Retreat: Finding God in Stillness
- Food for Thought: The A-List of Spiritual Diets
- The Cost of Discipleship
- Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace
- The Sights and Sounds of Christmas
- The Darjeeling Limited
Sunday, 21 December 2008
PhD Studentship in Biblical Studies: the Use of the Old Testament in the New
Newman University College is offering a PhD Studentship in Biblical Studies for three years. The studentship is open to students from within the UK or EU, and the successful candidate will be required to take up the position on a full time basis on 1 April 2009 or earlier.
Applicants must have a good first degree (1st or high 2i) in Theology or Biblical Studies. An MA or MTh in Biblical Studies, or a closely related area, will be a distinct advantage, and a working knowledge of New Testament Greek is also highly desirable. It is important to demonstrate in the application evidence of the skills necessary to undertake independent research (e.g. details of research methods modules undertaken and/or successful dissertations completed). Those called for interview will be asked to supply in advance samples of their previous written work.
The successful candidate will be expected to focus on a specific topic within the general research area of the Use of the Old Testament in the New. She or he will be free to decide which book(s) of the New Testament and which aspect of the research area to study in depth(e.g. direct OT citations; OT allusions; the exegetical techniques of a NT author; the representation in a NT book of an OT narrative or characters; Septuagintal text-form; parallels in the Qumran texts, other ancient Jewish commentaries or Hellenistic literature; the biblical interpretation in the NT against the background of Second Temple Judaism; the contribution to this field of rhetorical or narrative criticism; the way the OT is used to develop the theological intentions of a NT author; comparisons between the use of the OT in the NT and other early Christian literature etc.). Candidates will be invited to state on their application form the aspect(s) of New Testament study in which they are particularly interested, and to outline a draft research topic/proposal.
The supervisory team will be:
Dr Susan Docherty (areas of expertise: Use of the OT in the NT,Septuagint, Second Temple Judaism);
Dr Martin O’Kane, Visiting Professor of Biblical Studies at Newman University College and Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies at the University of Wales, Lampeter (areas of expertise: Hebrew Bible,literary and inter-disciplinary approaches to the text).
For further information about the conditions of the Studentship, the application process and application forms please visit www.newman.ac.uk/studentships or contact:
John Howard Research Office Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org; tel. 0121 476 1181 ext. 2246).
For informal enquiries/discussion about the topic or the supervisory team please contact:
Dr. Susan Docherty (email@example.com;tel. 0121 476 1181 ext. 2231).
Please note that the College will be closed over the Christmas holiday period, so it will not be possible to respond to any enquiries between20 December 2008 and 4 January 2009 inclusive.
Closing date for applications: 23 January 2009; interviews to be held on 5 February 2009.
Saturday, 20 December 2008
Thursday, 18 December 2008
Well - technically, I am not on any holiday. My annual leave means that I don't have to go in the office, and I can work from home. There are heaps of things to do before Christmas - the copy-editor from T&T Clark has some queries on my manuscript that I need to attend to; preparation of lectures for next semester's class (I will be teaching Romans for the first time); brochures for Edinburgh 2010 to design, and a few papers to mark.
Well, to cut the story short, my good doctor friend to me to stay in bed for the next 2 days. Let's hope I get better before this weekend. I have to preach this Sunday - and I need to get back to "work"!
Wednesday, 17 December 2008
Monday, 15 December 2008
Friday, 12 December 2008
Thursday, 11 December 2008
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
Faculty of Divinity
Cambridge CB3 9BS
Second British National Patristic Conference
Wednesday 9th –Friday 11th September, 2009
CALL FOR PAPERS.
We are inviting all those engaged in the research and study of early and late antique Christianity to this conference. Our aim is to acknowledge the wide variety of institutional contexts and inter-disciplinary research cultures, trajectories, questions and approaches, encompassing the history, literature, theology, practice, and material culture of the early Church, including questions of the relationship between Early Christianity and other religions, philosophies and social contexts both within the Roman Empire and across borders.
The conference programme will provide opportunities for research presentation and discussion and will encourage communication and potential collaboration between participants.
The four keynote speakers are Frances Young (Birmingham), Stephen Mitchell (Exeter), Thomas Graumann (Cambridge), and Carol Harrison(Durham).
Researchers are now invited to respond to a call for papers of about 20 minutes in length, followed by discussion time.
Please provide the following information by 15th January 2009, to
or by hard-copy to
Faculty of Divinity,
Cambridge CB3 9BS.
1. Your name and affiliation (if any),
2. Paper Title,
3. Abstract of approximately 100-150 words,
4. Brief statement of your current recent research and writing if appropriate.
We would expect to give notice of acceptances by the end of February, 2009.
There will also be Workshops for Graduate students, grouped into areas of shared interests. Students are invited to indicate their area of interest and whether they would be prepared to make a brief, five-minute presentation of their work. The closing date for such offers is 1st May.
We look forward to hearing from you for what is looking like a very well subscribed conference with some very important contributions from researchers in our fields of study.
Monday, 8 December 2008
Ignacio Carbajosa and Luis Sánchez Navarro, eds.
Entrar en lo antiguo: Acerca de la relación entre Antiguo y Nuevo Testamento
Reviewed by David Creech
Lutz Edzard and Jan Retsö, eds.
Current Issues in the Analysis of Semitic Grammar and Lexicon I: Oslo-Göteborg Cooperation 3rd-5th June 2004; II: Oslo-Göteborg Cooperation 4th-5th November 2005
Reviewed by Frederick E. Greenspahn
Paul Foster, ed.
The Writings of the Apostolic Fathers
Reviewed by Taras Khomych
Robert P. Gordon
The God of Israel
Reviewed by Ben C. Ollenburger
Christiana de Groot and Marion Ann Taylor, eds.
Recovering Nineteenth-Century Women Interpreters of the Bible
Reviewed by Caryn A. Reeder
Ancient Letters and the New Testament: A Guide to Context and Exegesis
Reviewed by Matthew D. Montonini
Wisdom in Loose Form: The Language of Egyptian and Greek Proverbs in Collections of the Hellenistic and Roman Periods
Reviewed by John S. Kloppenborg
Mary E. Mills
Alterity, Pain, and Suffering in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel
Reviewed by Hallvard Hagelia
Reviewed by Mark Elliott
Peter M. Phillips
The Prologue to the Fourth Gospel: A Sequential Reading
Reviewed by John Painter
Thomas Römer and Konrad Schmid, eds.
Les Dernières Rédactions du Pentateuque, de L'Hexateuque et de L'Ennéateuque
Reviewed by John Engle
Der Prolog der hebräischen Bibel: Der literar- und theologiegeschichtliche Diskurs der Urgeschichte (Genesis 1-11)
Reviewed by Karl Möller
Christopher R. Seitz
Prophecy and Hermeneutics: Toward a New Introduction to the Prophets
Reviewed by Julia M. O'Brien
Between Woman, Man and God: A New Interpretation of the Ten Commandments
Reviewed by William Marderness
J. Samuel Subramanian
The Synoptic Gospels and the Psalms as Prophecy
Reviewed by Thomas J. Kraus
Reviewed by Edward J. Mills III
Sigve K. Tonstad
Saving God's Reputation: The Theological Function of Pistis Iesou in the Cosmic Narratives of Revelation
Reviewed by Tobias Nicklas
Ben Witherington III
The Letters to Philemon, the Colossians, and the Ephesians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on the Captivity Epistles
Reviewed by Timothy Gombis
Sunday, 7 December 2008
Saturday, 6 December 2008
Friday, 5 December 2008
Over the last couple of days, I have been thinking about the flow of the book, and decided to add another chapter, bringing it to a total of 11 chapters. In my attempt to consider the images used in 1 & 2 Corinthians, I am further convinced that Paul does not simple pluck these images from the vacuum, neither does he use them merely for the sake of rhetoric in order to enhance the force of his argument. Rather, Paul's choice of images is deliberate and calculated. These images are carefully selected not just simply to persuade, correct, or instruct the Corinthians, they are employed for a wider specific purpose: to build up the community and to create a Christian identity among the predominant Gentile community in Corinth.
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
This is my final week in Trinity Theological College, Singapore, working on my book. I must say I have grown to love this place. The library is a real pleasure to work in. With the semester break now on, the library is almost deserted and quiet.
The past 3 weeks or so have been productive for me. Not only I have done significant progress in my writing, I also have a clearer direction how the shape of the book will take. Should there be no more changes, there would be a total of 10 chapters of approximately 3,000-3,500 words for each chapter, a rather comfortable length for a chapter, giving a total book length of approximately 100-120 pages.
Monday, 1 December 2008
Friday, 28 November 2008
- new analysis tab
- phrase matching tool
- related verses tool
- new formatting for text export
- cross-reference window
- another new NT Greek diagram set supplementing the current NT Greek diagram available in BibleWorks 7
- the grammars by Wallace, Waltke & O'Connor, and Joüon & Muraoka (and to think that I actually had to pay to unlock those grammars in the past!!)
- Early Church Fathers
- Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai and Arabic Bibles
- OT Pseudepigrapha
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
On last Friday, the library was closed. So that means that I am "forced" to have a day off - something I would not complain. It was nice to have a day off just to refocus on the stuff that I have been working on, and also to have the opportunity to meet up with a couple of friends based in the National University of Singapore.
I also took the opportunity to walk around and explore the campus - here are some photos.
The imposing main entrance to the college, with the symbol of the cross clearly visible from the main road frontage, Upper Bukit Timah Road
Monday, 24 November 2008
Arrangements are being made to bring back the body for funeral service. Bishop Julius leaves behind his wife and 3 children.
Please remember the family in prayers.
For news report, please click on the following:
The Latin Herald Tribune
Asia Lutheran News
Last Saturday, I decided to take some time off from working on my book project to satisfy my fascination, curiosity, and interest in some of the interesting architectural designs of some prominent religious buildings in Singapore.
I visited the Church of St Mary of the Angels, a Franciscan parish, in Bukit Batok. The design of the sanctuary has won the prestigious President’s Design Award, Singapore's highest recognition award, and has been favourably mentioned in numerous publications and exhibitions.
The sanctuary of the Church of St Mary of the Angels is one example where the creativity of the human mind, the simplicity of contemporary design, the indigenous use of sculptures and spaces, and the emphasis on spiritual awareness for both the congregation and visitors collide to create an architectural wonder, inviting a sense of awesomeness from those who step into the sanctuary, calling them to worship the Creator and issuing a call for them to pause and reflect on their existence in this world.
I am struck at the minute details that have gone into the design of the sanctuary. Not only is the concept contemporary, but what amazes me is that its simplicity does not rob the sanctuary from being reduced to a mere functional space, as seen in many construction and renovation of large church halls in the Klang Valley in Malaysia.
The strategically positioned gigantic crucifix hanging from the ceiling, and placed above the altar in the mid air, reminds me of Christ’s work of redemption. I can only imagine as I walk towards the altar to participate in the Eucharist, this sculpture would naturally evoke in me a reminder of the passion of Christ.
As this sculpture invites me to focus on Christ, it also draws my attention to gaze upon the ceiling of the sanctuary where the shape of the cross dominates my attention. The clever design of using glass panel in the shape of the cross allows natural lighting to penetrate the sanctuary, giving one a sense of warmth. As my attention focuses on the crucifix, my thought is drawn to the finished work on the cross. But as I lift up my head looking at the cross on the ceiling, I am reminded of the truth that it is God who initiates this work of redemption by sending his son for all humanity. At I reflect on this, it is only natural that it draws me to fall down on my knees in worship of the creator God, constantly being reminded of my sinfulness and wretchedness who is in need of God’s grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness that flows through Christ on the cross to me. My thoughts lead me from the earth to the cross, and from the cross to the heaven, and from the heaven back to the cross, and from the cross to the earth.
A visit to this church has not only reminded me of the work of the cross, it has also caused me to pause for a moment to ponder over the purpose of my existence in this world, to reflect on the calling of God in my life and to reorientate my focus on Christ and his cross.
This visit to the Church of St Mary of the Angels is truly unforgettable. This is one excellent example of how by paying close attention to architectural and conception design would go a long way in inviting those who walk into the sanctuary to rightly focus on God and to worship him and him only. It is a real beauty where theology and architectural design converge to make a powerful and dynamic statement concerning our vibrant faith.
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Saturday, 22 November 2008
Fighting Words: The Origins of Religious Violence
Reviewed by J. Harold Ellens
From David to Gedaliah: The Book of Kings as Story and History
Reviewed by Marvin A. Sweeney
Jason Beduhn and Paul Mirecki, eds.
Frontiers of Faith: The Christian Encounter with Manichaeism in the Acts of Archelaus
Reviewed by Tobias Nicklas
Roland Boer, ed.
Bakhtin and Genre Theory in Biblical Studies
Reviewed by Timothy J. Sandoval
Reviewed by Jan Joosten
Studying the Old Testament: A Companion
Reviewed by Steed Vernyl Davidson
Stephen K. Catto
Reconstructing the First-Century Synagogue: A Critical Analysis of Current Research
Reviewed by Birger Olsson
Reviewed by Jonathan Bernier
The Bone Gatherers: The Lost Worlds of Early Christian Women
Reviewed by Paul Dilley
Deborah L. Ellens
Women in the Sex Texts of Leviticus and Deuteronomy: A Comparative Conceptual Analysis
Reviewed by Naomi Steinberg
Richard A. Horsley
Scribes, Visionaries, and the Politics of Second Temple Judea
Reviewed by Lester L. Grabbe
Ezekiel: A Commentary
Reviewed by Corrine Carvalho
Reviewed by Steven S. Tuell
Adriane B. Leveen
Memory and Tradition in the Book of Numbers
Reviewed by James W. Watts
David R. Nienhuis
Not by Paul Alone: The Formation of the Catholic Epistle Collection and the Christian Canon
Reviewed by Patrick J. Hartin
Matthew B. Schwartz and Kalman J. Kaplan
The Fruit of Her Hands: A Psychology of Biblical Woman
Reviewed by Corinne Blackmer
Jan G. van der Watt, ed.
Identity, Ethics, and Ethos in the New Testament
Reviewed by H. H. Drake Williams III
Géza G. Xeravits and József Zsengellér, eds.
The Book of Maccabees: History, Theology, Ideology (Papers of the Second International Conference on the Deuterocanonical Books, Pápa, Hungary, 9-11 June, 2005)
Reviewed by Pierre Keith
Friday, 21 November 2008
Thursday, 20 November 2008
I listed 5 courses in the poll and asked the students to select one that would most likely appeal to them as an indication of interest. This would help me design and prepare for a course that would meet the interest of the students.
The 5 courses are:
3) The Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament
4) New Testament Theology
5) Mission in the New Testament.
And the results are in now, and the surprising verdict is as follows.
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
How time flies. It's been more than a week since I arrived Trinity Theological College, Singapore, working on my second book project. I have been enjoying my time here, utilising the excellent resources available in the library.
The spacious reading room
View from the reading room, looking out to the courtyard and halls of residence
I particularly like the triple-volume height reading room which creates a generous sense of space for those who are working here. The clever use of glass panels surrounding the reading room not only allows the morning sun to penetrate it, giving a sense of warmth for the readers; it also allows one to look out to the aesthetically landscaped courtyard and halls of residence, providing one a necessary and welcome change of scenery from the books and computer screens.
Would anyone fancy a game of chess in the library? This is my favourite spot in the reading room
Thus far, my time has been rather productive working on my book, and have written about 15,000 words since I arrived Singapore. I have a better sense of the direction of the book and how I would like the flow of my argument to take. Since I have intended this book to be targeted at a rather popular level catering to an informed audience, I have to be mindful in limiting my footnote references and staying clear on the main course of getting the message across without being dragged into the seemingly unending scholarly debates of some of the wider issues.
What am I working on? I am looking at how Paul uses images/metaphors in his Corinthian correspondence with the specific purpose of building up the community, leading to the creation of a Christian identity; and how we can also appropriate Paul's teaching in the context of the 21st century church in the contemporary setting in Asia. I will blog more about this in the coming days.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Monday, 17 November 2008
Sunday, 16 November 2008
The End of Biblical Studies
Reviewed by Ulrich H. J. Körtner
Displacing Christian Origins: Philosophy, Secularity, and the New Testament
Reviewed by Clare K. Rothschild
Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan
The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus's Final Week in Jerusalem
Reviewed by Craig L. Blomberg
Katherine J. DellOpening the Old Testament
Reviewed by Bill T. Arnold
Reviewed by George Heider
Brad E. Kelle and Megan Bishop Moore
Israel's Prophets and Israel's Past: Essays on the Relationship of Prophetic Texts and Israelite History in Honor of John H. Hayes
Reviewed by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer
Jens Kreinath, Jan Snoek, and Michael Stausberg, eds.
Theorizing Rituals: Issues, Topics, Approaches, Concepts, Annotated Bibliography
Reviewed by Brian B. Schmidt
Daniel A. Smith
The Post-Mortem Vindication of Jesus in the Sayings Gospel Q
Reviewed by William Arnal
Rachel Weeping: Jews, Christians, and Muslims at the Fortress Tomb
Reviewed by Samuel Thomas
Emily Teeter and Douglas J. Brewer
Egypt and the Egyptians
Reviewed by Roxana Flammini
Ben Zion Wacholder
The New Damascus Document: The Midrash on the Eschatological Torah of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Reconstruction, Translation and Commentary
Reviewed by Gregory L. Doudna
Jürgen Zangenberg, Harold W. Attridge, and Dale B. Martin, eds.
Religion, Ethnicity and Identity in Ancient Galilee: A Region in Transition
Reviewed by Christoph Stenschke
Saturday, 15 November 2008
The Last Words of Jacob and Joseph: A Rhetorico-Structural Analysis of Genesis 49:29-33 and 50:24-26
The Shema and Early Christianity
'Known by God': The Meaning and Value of a Neglected Biblical Concept
Tiberius Claudius Dinippus and the Food Shortages in Corinth
Semantic Variation within the Corpus Paulinum: Linguistic Considerations Concerning the Richer Vocabulary of the Pastoral Epistles
Searching for the Holy Spirit in the Epistle of James: Is 'Wisdom' Equivalent?
Tyndale Bulletin has also recently joined the journals in ATLAS who provide online copies for 5 years ago and earlier. This is good news as we are now able to access full text of Tyndale Bulletin online!
Friday, 14 November 2008
Book writing is progressing rather well - written about 7,800 words in 3 days. I have finished the bulk of the introductory chapter, and another main chapter. I will blog about my book project in some depth later. Stay tuned!