Monday, 31 March 2008

Study Tour Following the Footsteps of St Paul is ON in May 2008

In collaboration with World Discovery Travel (M) Sdn Bhd, Seminari Theoloji Malaysia invites you to join Dr Lim Kar Yong, Lecturer in New Testament Studies, on a specially designed 11-day guided tour to Greece from 18 - 28 May 2008.

Take an unforgettable trip by following part of Paul’s Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16:1-18:22). Come and see, feel, and take a walk with Paul in the cities he visited. Listen to the special on-site lectures and investigate the connection between the archeological evidence and social-political settings of the ancient cities evangelised by Paul and his fascinating correspondence with the churches he founded. Discover the biblical significance of these cities and read the letters of Paul with new and fresh insights.

Some of the highlights of the tour include:
  • Places with biblical significance including Kavala (biblical Neapolis – Acts 16:11), Philippi (Acts 16:12-40), Thessaloniki (biblical Thessalonica – Acts 17:1-9), Veria (biblical Berea – Acts 17:10-15), Athens (Acts 17:16-34), Corinth (Acts 18:1-17) and Cenchrea (Acts 18:18).

  • Kalambaka and the spectacular Byzantine monasteries.

  • Delphi.

  • Thermopylae, Tempi.

  • 1-day cruise to the lovely islands of Aegina, Poros and Hydra.

  • 1-day free time in Athens with options to explore the historical sites and museums, take a day-trip, or to shop!

This study tour is also offered as a 3-credit hour elective course for STM programme. Further information on the fees, reading and course requirements will be provided upon request.

A detailed itinerary and further information can be downloaded here.

For further information on the tour, please contact:
Sarah Yap ( or Ruth Tee (
Seminari Theoloji Malaysia
Lot 3011 Taman South East
Jalan Tampin Lama Batu 3
70100 Seremban
Tel: 06-6322815 Fax: 06-6329766

Friday, 28 March 2008

2008 SBL International Meeting: Online Programme Book Available Now

The online programme book for 2008 SBL International Meeting in Auckland is now available.

My paper is slotted on July 7, the morning of the first full day of the Conference.

Click here for the abstract of my paper, "A Chinese Cultural Reading of the Quotation of Genesis 2:24 in the Household Codes of Ephesians: A Message to the Parents?"

Thursday, 27 March 2008

I Have Been Tagged: List of 5s

I have been tagged by Pearlie. The previous time I was tagged, I was extremely slow in responding (in other words - I did not do anything about it!).

But this time, I think I better redeem myself. I promised Pearlie earlier that I will respond to the tag. The timing could not have been better. Someone commented that my blog lacks personal information about myself, and that it would be good for the readers of my blog to know something about myself, apart from my academic interests. So hopefully this meme will give all of you a glimpse into my personal life.

List of Fives

What was I doing 10 years ago (March 1998)?

1) I was preparing to go for seminary after being informed that my application had been successful in January 1998 (in fact, this news came on my 30th birthday! Coincidence?).

2) I was very delighted to be informed that I was awarded an International Student Scholarship by the seminary. The scholarship covered all my tuition fees, and it was worth approximately US$20,000. Who says God does not provide?

3) I quit my job that I enjoyed tremendously with a very reputable property developer.

4) I established my own property consulting firm while waiting to go to seminary. My former employer was kind and generous enough to engage me during the interim period for some of their projects. This provided for the very much needed extra cash.

5) I commuted between Penang and Kuala Lumpur for some months as my mother had a very complicated open heart surgery in Penang, and was being admitted and discharged from the hospital several times. It was a very stressful time, and I was torn whether to proceed with plans for theological studies or to postpone it. In fact, I kissed my mother goodbye on her hospital bed on August 31, 1998, the day I flew half way round the globe to Boston. To cut the long story short, she is still alive today.

5 things on my to-do list today

1) Mark (grade) papers (now piling up!)

2) Write a response to the lecture to be given by Robert Jewett at the Romans Symposium in Sabah Theological Seminary. Deadline: March 29, 2008. Oh dear - I still have not read Jewett's massive commentary on Romans yet.

3) Write an article for the Malaysia Association of Theological Schools Journal 2008. Deadline: Easter 2008 (opps....).

4) Write my paper to be read at the Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting in Auckland, July 2008.

5) Finalise all the logistics for the Greece Trip in May 2008: Following the Footsteps of Paul with my colleagues.

6) I have to add one more: spending some time with the students - to provide a listening ear and to help them in whatever little ways I could.....This should be my priority...the rest can wait a little while, I guess.

5 Snacks I enjoy

1) Chocolates

2) Cookies (especially chocolate cookies, better still, double chocolate)

3) Tau Foo Fah

4) Keropok (all sorts of keropok, especially fish and prawn)

5) Goreng Pisang

5 Things I would do if I were a billionaire

1) Build a specialist library which includes a residential centre for biblical studies in Malaysia or in the region of South-East Asia in order to promote biblical studies and research for Asian scholars (something like Tyndale House in Cambridge).

2) Establish a scholarship fund to enable deserving scholars from South East Asia to pursue doctoral studies in biblical studies and theology in Asia of elsewhere (something like Langham Trust established by John Stott)

3) Endow a chair for New Testament Studies in each of the seminaries/bible colleges in Malaysia.

4) Set up a Welfare and Educational Fund for the benefits of those in full-time Christian vocation. Most of those working in Christian organisations in Malaysia are paid below the average income earner - it's time something is done to help them ease their financial burden especially in the areas of health care, children's education and caring for aged parents.

5) Buy books, and more books, and even more books, and employ a library assistant to help me organise my personal library! On second thoughts, this would not be wise as I would have established a specialist biblical studies library. It would have been better if I reinvest the money so that activities 1-4 above could be further expanded.

5 of my bad habits

1) Buying books and exhausted my book allowance for the whole year in the beginning of the year.

2) Buying more books even when my budget does not allow it. I need to repent from this.

3) Having a love-hate relationship with the 5 snacks I listed above. No wonder I could not lose weight despite eating salad for lunch (without any salad dressing!) and jogging almost everyday!

4) Multi-tasking, and in the end, nothing gets done.

5) Missing the deadlines (opps....Did I just say that?).

5 places I have lived

1) Kota Bharu, Kelantan - where I was born and grew up until I left home for university.

2) Johor Bahru - where I went to University and had my first job. I stayed in JB for more than 7 years.

3) Petaling Jaya/Kuala Lumpur - where I have been living since 1993, except for the few years I was away for studies.

4) Boston, USA - where I studied at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary from 1998-2000.

5) Lampeter, Wales - where I did my PhD at the University of Wales from 2003-2006.

5 jobs I've had

1) KGV-Lambert Smith Hampton - my first job working in a property consulting firm.

2) Tan & Tan Developments Bhd - now part of IGB Group, where I was involved in business development and marketing research - a place where I spent significant number of years before going to seminary.

3) Andaman Consulting - my property consulting firm that I established to help me earned my keep while waiting to go to seminary.

4) Executive Secretary in a para-church organisation, working among the young graduates.

5) Lecturer in New Testament Studies, Seminari Theoloji Malaysia since 2007.

5 people I tag

I decided to tag some of our students in the seminary (some of you have been tagged by Rabbi so I would not include you). I know it's a very busy time for all of you as we are into the final few weeks of the semester - so no pressure on you if you are not able to respond to the tag.

1) Ruth - a student in the seminary that always look forward to the weekends in church. That's because during the weekends, we become colleagues in the church office (I work in the church during the weekends). That's when we are equals and she can "hentam" and "taruh" me without incurring the wrath of the lecturer.

2) Gerrad - Gerrad is in my pastoral group. This gives you an opportunity to blog. You have been quiet for some time but nice to see that you are back at blogging recently. You write very well. Do keep it up.

3) Perng Shyang - faithful reader of my blog from the Chinese Department who has a penchant for books as well. I suspect his secret ambition is to outdo my collection by the time he completes his seminary studies!

4) Lal Rawn - my hardworking postgraduate student from Myanmar. Give yourself a well-deserved break!

5) Desmond Kok - don't let thesis writing wear you out. Remember you are not alone in this journey. So take a break, but don't have a kit kat. Instead, do the meme!

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

JSNT March 2008 Issue in Now In Print

The latest issue of the Journal for the Study of New Testament Vol 30 No 3 (March 2008) is now available.

For the contents of this issue, click here.

Simon J. Gathercole

Ryan S. Schellenberg

Christopher Zoccali

Michael Peppard

David A. deSilva

Book Review:
James G. Crossley, Why Christianity Happened: A Sociohistorical Account of Christian Origins (26--50 CE) (Louisville & London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006), ISBN 978-0-664-23094-4, 0-664-23094-6 (pbk), xvi + 232pp., $24.95

Daniel Marguerat, Les Actes des Apotres, (1--12) (Commentaire du Nouveau Testament Va [Deuxieme Serie]; Geneva: Labor et Fides, 2007), ISBN 978-2-8309-1229-6 (pbk), 446 pp., Euro52.00

Dagoberto Lopez Sojo, `Abraham, padre de todos nosotros . . .'Analisis estilisticoargumentivo de Rm 4,1-25. Abraham, paradigma de fe monoteista (Cahiers de la Revue Biblique 64; Paris: J. Gabalda, 2005), ISBN2-85021-170-9 (pbk), 384 pp., Euro60.00

Monday, 24 March 2008

A Sermon on Why Bible College is Unscriptural and Wrong!

I have just come across a very interesting sermon titled, ""Why Bible College is Unscriptural and Wrong." As a seminary lecturer, this automatically intrigued me. I thought that it might be good to check out what this preacher had to say about the topic. At the same time, I also wondered why a pastor of a church would bother preaching a sermon against bible college/seminary and entitle his sermon in such a polemical manner. So I listened to the sermon he preached on February 10, 2008.

The pastor gave 5 reasons why he strongly believes a bible college is unscriptural and wrong. Let me highlight two of them and the following is extracted from the website of the church the pastor belongs to (the website listed 4 reasons, but in the sermon, the pastor provided 5):

1. The Blasphemy of Bible College

"But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ." - Matthew 23:8-10

In the previous verses, Jesus clearly prohibits the use of 3 terms in reference to pastors and religious leaders: Rabbi, Father, and Master.

A perfect example of the fact that Bible colleges are completely patterned after worldly institutions is their "Masters" degree program. In an effort to perfectly mirror worldly schools, Bible colleges will confer titles such as "Master of Divinity," "Master of Education," and "Master of Pastoral Theology" upon their graduates. This is a clear violation of the teaching of Jesus Christ that such titles are off limits and belong solely to him.

Just as it is blasphemous for a Catholic priest to be called "Father," or for a Jewish leader to be called "Rabbi," it is equally blasphemous for a Baptist preacher or educator do hold the title of "Master." To say that it is wrong for Catholics and Jews to use these titles and then to use one of them ourselves is utter hypocrisy. This inconsistency and hypocrisy stems from an attempt to be patterned after the worldly school system.

2. The Only Mention of "College" in the Bible is Associated with a Female Preacher

"College" is mentioned only one time in the Bible in two parallel passages:

"So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her." - 2 Kings 22:14

"And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college:) and they spake to her to that effect." - 2 Chronicles 34:22

Personally, I do not believe that anything in the Bible is incidental, coincidental, or accidental. If Bible College was such an important part of God's program, then why is it never mentioned in the Bible in a positive light? Many will point to Elisha's "School of the Prophets" as a scriptural mandate for Bible college. However, does the Bible really speak of a "school" of the prophets?

If you repeat a lie often enough, people will begin to believe it. The reality is that the word "school" is also only mentioned one time in the Bible, and it has nothing to do with Elisha:

"And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus." - Acts 19:8,9

The "school" of Tyrannus, just as the synagogue, was a place that Paul and the other disciples went to preach to unbelievers. It was not a training instution for God's people, but rather for the world. Paul went there simply to win souls, just as he went to the synagogue to win souls.

Therefore the only mention of "college" in the Bible involves a woman preacher, and only mention of "school" in the Bible involves people disputing with the word of God. This cannot be an accident.

For the rest of the article, click here.

To listen to the sermon, download it here (make sure you listen to the 3rd reason why the preacher believed the bible college is wrong - go to the 31st minute of the sermon - it literally blew me away when I listened to his extremely ingenious , imaginative and creative interpretation of Gen 2:23-25 as a text against not only the bible college in particular but other colleges/tertiary institutions in general as well!).

Oh dear....what am I doing teaching in a seminary? Should I resign from STM and look for another job? Could we be wrong and unscriptural in calling my colleague, "Rabbi"?

Oh dear...Repent! Repent!! Kyrie Eleison.....

Saturday, 22 March 2008

The Upper Room in Art

CT posted an article depicting the Last Supper in Art.

"Believers who grew up hearing the stories of Holy Week find that its familiarity can rob it of its force. At our worst, we treat the events in Jesus' last week as mere chapters in a book we've grown to consider a comfort rather than a disturbance."

"One way Christians make afresh the events of Holy Week is through art. Visuals of Jesus washing Peter's feet, or of Judas walking away from the Last Supper, money bag in hand, remind us of all the complex experiences and motives real people have. They also allow us to experience the heightened emotions of such events, as we imagine, for example, the shock of Jesus' announcement that his followers would desert him in his final hours. The following images, a collection of art spanning time, geography, and culture, allow viewers to have a seat around the table in the Upper Room, listening and watching as Jesus reveals what's to come in the hours leading up to his death."

Good Friday Service at PJGH

Good Friday has just passed. I had a tiring day preparing for the sermon that I had just preached in the Good Friday Evening Service at Petaling Jaya Gospel Hall. The sermon was an expansion of a devotional article I wrote for Asian Reflections 2008. I find that preparing for a sermon always turns out to be a spiritual exercise for me. This Good Friday's sermon was not an exception - it was a good reminder for me too.

Petaling Jaya Gospel Hall, Jalan Gasing

Text: John 18:15-27
Title: Do We Hear the Rooster Crow?

“…and at that moment a rooster began to crow.” (John 18:27)

The story of Peter’s denial is carefully crafted in the Fourth Gospel. Jesus’ interrogation by the High Priest (18:19-24) is sandwiched between the two accounts of Peter’s denial of Jesus (19:15-18; 25-27). This structure highlights the bold response of Jesus by contrasting Peter’s cowardly denial. Jesus’ bold response, sets in the context of his impending crucifixion and death, demonstrates the cost of courage while Peter’s denial illustrates the emptiness of his earlier boasting (13:37-38. Cf. Mark 14: 29-31; Matt 26:33-35; Luke 22:33-34). Jesus affirms his own identity in defence of his disciples (cf. 18:8) while Peter denies his own identity as Jesus’ disciples in defence of himself. Jesus confronts his interrogators denying nothing, and Peter falters, denying everything.

Peter probably did not realise his own human failures in denying his master three times – at least not until he heard the rooster crow. “And at that moment the rooster crow” (18:27) signifies a defining moment for Peter. He suddenly realised who he really was and discovered something he knew that he should not do.

How many of us have never done something we knew we should never do? Or perhaps we have been justifying ourselves in doing those things we know are contrary to God’s holy scriptures, moral values, character and integrity? Remember, we can also be like Peter as we are drawn step by step into deeper compromise of our faith until our confession is nothing but a continuous denial of our Lord. In times like this, by the grace and mercy of God, we need to hear the rooster crow. We need those defining moments in our lives to remind us how far fallen we have been from our walk with the Lord and how we need to refresh and renew ourselves once again in our service for God.

Remember, Peter’s denials and failures do not place him in the realm of beyond redemption, for we see later in John 21, Peter is restored and recommissioned by the Lord. But the most important thing is this: Do we hear the rooster crow?

Friday, 21 March 2008

TEE at Kuching: Some Personal Reflections

In one of my earlier posts, I promised to share some brief reflections on my 2 weekend trips to Kuching teaching a course on Biblical Interpretation at our extension there. So this is my slightly "delayed" post.

One of my greatest struggles and challenges was this: How would I cover all the necessary topics in a compressed fashion to the students in Kuching, so that they would be able to have a fairly good grasp of the principles and methods of biblical interpretation?

I must confess it was not easy for me. In my lectures, I moved rapidly from one topic to another, without having the full assurance that the students had fully grasped the concepts. Unlike our on-campus full-time students, we have the luxury of teaching the course over a period of 14-weeks and there is sufficient time for the students to attempt tackling the topics covered before they start writing their exegesis paper. So technically, by the time they write an exegesis paper, they would have, theoretically, mastered the principles of exegesis. However, this was not really the case with our extension centre. All the written assignments are only due 6 months later, including the exegesis paper itself. So the problem I have is this: How certain am I that the students have a full grasp of doing a word study, cultural and historical background, etc, before they embark on attempting their exegesis paper? If they do any of these assignments wrongly, there would not be any opportunity for me to highlight their mistakes or errors. In other words, chances are that whatever errors they might commit in some of these assignments might be reflected in their exegesis paper as well. It would be too late by then for any corrections to be made.

Being a highly practical and hands on course, I am also aware of the lack of access to good theological library for our extension students. For example, I was not able to demonstrate how they could effectively use some of the theological dictionaries and lexicons available in our campus library in Seremban. However, thanks to Internet technology, much of the materials are also easily available online.

Despite the constraints, I find the enthusiasm of the students very commendable. They faithfully sat through the lectures, sacrificing their two weekends by listening to me. They raised very pertinent and relevant questions related to biblical interpretation. There was no doubt that I thoroughly enjoyed teaching them, despite the punishing pace and tight schedule we had (not to mention the experience of having my flights cancelled and delayed to and back from Kuching on the second weekend). To all of you in Kuching, thanks for making the class lively and a real joy to teach.

Recognising that our TEE students may not have the luxury of doing theological studies full time, this model of having classes spread over 2 consecutive weekends seems to fit in their schedule pretty well. As such, I am still exploring various methods of how to deliver my lectures in such a concentrated and condensed format in future so that the students might benefit the most out of it. As such, I would welcome any ideas to further improve the course. Any contributions out there?

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Day of Prayer and Fasting - 4: More Photos on the Stations of the Cross

Here are some more photos of the various Stations of the Cross the seminary students have creatively put up. I'll let the photos do the talking.

For more photos, please visit Perng Shyang's and Swee Lang's blog).

Some of our students have blogged about their reflections, including one rather humorous incident involving the translation of the liturgy into Chinese:

Wesley Wong - 1, 2

BTW, what happened to the English Department's students - no blog entry?

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Day of Prayer and Fasting - 3: The Day LKY was Crucified

The Day of Prayer and Fasting on March 19 at the seminary is also the day the the budding NT scholar was "crucified."

As I highlighted in my earlier post, my pastoral group was in charge of setting up one of the Stations of the Cross depicting the crucifixion of Jesus. As their lecturer, I was given the privilege to be the first to experience the "crucifixion." Two of my other students "nailed" me to the cross. It was scary though. Many questions crossed my mind - what if one of the guys holding the hammer missed the nail and hit my hand? What if an accident occurred and I was really "nailed"?

While we had a good laugh over it, it was an unforgettable experience. As I reflected over it, I realised it must have taken our Lord much courage to face those trying and painful moments. I could not imagine the pain and suffering that our Lord had to go through. Today's Station of the Cross has given me a deeper insight and better glimpse of Good Friday, one that I would always remember and cherish.

Day of Prayer and Fasting - 2: Stations of the Cross

Part of the seminary tradition in helping the community to commemorate the Holy Week is the setting up of the stations of the Cross. This year, all the 14 pastoral groups participated in this activity. Lots of time, energy and efforts have been put in by the students. Coupled with creative minds, some of the stations of the Cross are very provocative, causing many to pause and reflect on the journey of Jesus to the Cross of Calvary and what it means for us to be his followers as we struggle to live out our faith as minority within a predominantly Islamic context.

My pastoral group is responsible to put together the station depicting the crucifixion of Jesus. We decided that we would use symbols and images to highlight the event. As a result, the students put together a wooden cross on the floor, with a hammer and several nails being displayed next to it.

With the help of a couple of friends holding the nail and the hammer, a person was able to lie down and experience what it meant to be nailed to the cross.

To help us in our reflection of and meditation on the crucifixion of Jesus, we played the song by Ray Boltz, Feel The Nails. This is a very powerful and moving song. Listen to it, and allow the song to challenge us to love our Lord deeper and to have the courage to follow him in his steps. So come and see, feel, experience, and reflect on the way of our Lord to the Cross.

Lord, may we have this desire to follow after you closely, this courage to stand firm in our devotion to you, and this commitment to remain faithful to you, always. Amen.

Day of Prayer and Fasting - 1

Today is Fast and Pray Day for the seminary community. All the pastoral groups have also put their creative minds together to set up 14 stations of the Cross on the the seminary grounds. It is also the day the budding NT scholar is being crucified on the cross (Yes! No kidding....more updates, reflections and photos soon)

Monday, 17 March 2008

Review of Biblical Literature, March 14, 2008

The following new reviews have been added to the Review of Biblical Literature:

RBL is pleased to offer the following reviews of
Joel S. Kaminsky, Yet I Loved Jacob: Reclaiming the Biblical Concept of Election, as well as Kaminsky's response to those reviews. All were originally presented in November 2007 at the SBL Annual Meeting in San Diego.
Reviewed by Benjamin D. Sommer
Reviewed by Jacqueline Lapsley
Reviewed by Ellen F. Davis
Reviewed by Joel N. Lohr
Reviewed by Patrick D. Miller
Response by Joel S. Kaminsky

Egbert Ballhorn and Georg Steins, eds.
Der Bibelkanon in der Bibelauslegung: Methodenreflexionen und Beispielexegesen
Reviewed by Daniel R. Driver

Richard J. Cassidy
Four Times Peter: Portrayals of Peter in the Four Gospels and at Philippi
Reviewed by Patrick J. Hartin

Ira Brent Driggers
Following God through Mark: Theological Tension in the Second Gospel
Reviewed by Elliott Maloney

Katharina Galor, Jean-Baptiste Humbert, and Jürgen Zangenberg, eds.
Qumran, The Site of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Archaeological Interpretations and Debates (Proceedings of a Conference held at Brown University, November 17-19, 2002)
Reviewed by Kenneth Atkinson

Jeffrey Stackert
Rewriting the Torah: Literary Revision in Deuteronomy and the Holiness Legislation
Reviewed by Eckart Otto

Robert J. Karris, ed. and trans.
Works of St. Bonaventure: Commentary on the Gospel of John
Reviewed by Mark Elliott

Kuching TEE - Some Photos

I came back from Kuching late last night - both my flights to and from Kuching were either cancelled or delayed. The price to pay for flying a low cost carrier.

As per last week, I am really tired today. But it was a joy teaching a bunch of enthusiastic students in Kuching.

Here are some photos of the TEE class in Kuching (thanks to Simon for the photos). I will post a brief reflection later on, after I catch up with my rest.

A group photo of Kuching TEE students

Were they attentively listening to me or ???

Someone caught me in action!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Kuching - 2nd Weekend

I am off again to Kuching, (literally, the city of cats) this afternoon to teach the second part of the course, Biblical Interpretation, at our Kuching extension centre. Last week's trip was very tiring and it took me a couple of days to recover (I think I have to admit that age is fast catching up). However, I must admit that the great food is an excellent trade-off!

BibleWorks Classroom Tip #14: Verse List Manager

Another classroom tip from the folks at BibleWorks.

Tip 1.14: Working with the Verse List Manager

The Verse List Manager is a useful tool for working with search results and creating verse lists for later study and usage in other tasks in BibleWorks. This classroom tip will highlight several ways of creating saved verse lists and also guide you in using the Verse List Manager to extract verse references from electronic documents for viewing and for searching within BibleWorks.

Click here for the tip.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Tyndale Toolbar: Bible Tools on Hand at All Times!

I have been wondering for some time whether there is a toolbar specifically designed for biblical scholars that is easy to navigate, and yet contain all the useful information that I need to do my research with a few clicks. I need not look very far now. David Instone-Brewer, Senior Research Fellow in Rabbinics and the New Testament at Tyndale House, has come up with this toolbar that I have been dreaming of.

Reading his latest Tyndale Tech Email leaves me with amazement and excitement. David has this gifted capability and creativity to continue to surprise the readers of his occasional updates. This time, David has gone the extra mile, not only in designing a very useful Tyndale Toolbar for biblical scholars, researchers, students and anyone interested in biblical studies, but also in including some very interesting features in this toolbar.

So, don't waste anymore time. Make sure you check out the features of the highly useful Tyndale Toolbar, and perhaps respond to David's call for Tyndale's Webpage design competition.

I have taken the liberty to reproduce David's latest Tyndale Tech Email below:

Time is too short to keep opening programs or hunting for web pages for simple things like looking up a Bible text or finding bibliography. So I wrote the Tyndale Toolbar to save time. Pick up your own free copy from It isn't the prettiest toolbar on the planet, but for Biblical scholars it is the most useful.

Speaking of pretty things, are you artistic? I'm announcing a webpage design competition. Technical expertise is NOT needed. You need an eye for what looks good (see below).

1) Tyndale Toolbar: Translation tools
2) Tyndale Toolbar: Bibliography tools
3) Tyndale Toolbar: Bible lookup tools
4) Tyndale Toolbar: Links to the best of the web
5) Tyndale Notices: News, Opportunities, Questions, Events
6) Tyndale Toolbar: Gadgets
7) Webpage Design competition

1) Tyndale Toolbar: Translation tools

A set of tools to translate Greek, Hebrew and other ancient languages, plus some modern ones.

Type in plain ascii or Unicode (download Unicode for your computer here) or just copy & paste. The 2LetterLookup links just need the first 2 letters, then you can pick from a list. The Perseus lookups automatically trawl round the mirror sites till it finds one which is awake.

2) Tyndale Toolbar: Bibliography tools

Find books and articles on subjects you are researching.

Online copies are often available through TynCat which links straight to Amazon online books, or GoogleBooks (which are now surprisingly good).

Articles are found through Tubingen's fantastic IxTheo, which is almost as good as ATLA, and better, for some things.

3) Tyndale Toolbar: Bible lookup tools

Quick lookup for passages in the top English translations or original languages.

The Hebrew is the Westminster Leningrad (ie a BHS without the typos) and the Greek is the same as NA27 & UBS4, with Rahlf's LXX.

If the translation you want isn't here, look in the next tool.

4) Tyndale Toolbar: Links and News

Links to the best on the web, including 70+ English translations online!

Lots of other resources for scholars, teachers and preachers.

Some of the links go to pages of selected links to even more wonderful sites.

5) Tyndale Toolbar: Links and News

This notice board is where we can share news with other scholars. If you hear about or organise an interesting conference or event, tell others here. Do you know about a bursary or scholarship or Sabbatical or research opportunity? Have you heard about a worthwhile opening, or are you looking for good staff? Share what you know here, with fellow Biblical Studies and Theology scholars.

Just send an email to

6) Tyndale Toolbar: Gadgets

I've included one gadget for you - an email checker. It keeps an eye on several accounts and clicking on one logs you straight into the web account without needing a password.

There are lots more gadgets here for you to play with. Some are fun. Some are useful.

Don't worry about running out of room - the gadgets drop off the end and show up when you click on the double-arrows.

Like the idea? Pick up your own free copy from

7) Webpage Design competition

You are probably familiar with Tyndale's webpages. Informative but not inspiring. At least, that's what I'm told. I'm not good at this visual stuff. So I need your help. If you produce an inspired design, you could be on every page ("page design by....).It might be the start of a new career!

Simply copy the page at and redesign it. So get out your Photoshop or whatever program makes you feel the most creative, or even Word or Publisher if you wish, and send me a mock up of the web page. You don't need to produce any code or stylesheets or working menus. I'll do that. Your contribution is the design - the colors, layout, font, graphics, menu position etc Please include colours for Hover over and Visited links (if these are different). Send your entry to me, attached to a reply email. Closing date: May 1st. The best will go on show and the winner will be famous.

I will be one of the judges, so let me tell you what I like and don't like:

I like usability
e.g. having a full menu always available so you can go anywhere from anywhere (many websites send you to the home page or obscure part of the page to find the full menu)

I like clarity
e.g. using a plain background which doesn't interfere with reading the text, and using fonts which can be rescaled by the user (using the menu View: Text size) (many sites use CSS with fixed font sizes so you have to zoom the whole page)

I like easily updated pages
Personally, I hand-craft html, php & MySQL, but most people prefer WYSIWYG. Unfortunately CMS (Content Management Systems) are often too limiting, so if you propose one, make sure it is very flexible - ie you can add code easily and put anything anywhere. GooglePages are a good compromise, so I integrate these into the site for pages which other people need to update - e.g. staff pages. See mine at So the design has to allow for this kind of integration of pages within a frame.

Actually, most of this doesn't apply to your design. I'm just getting it off my chest. So let your imagination go! And show me what you've come up with. Don't worry about the technical side of things. If it looks good, we can probably find a way to make it work.

Kuching - Food!

I think the above cartoon aptly describes me - in terms of size! I ate so much in Kuching last weekend where I conducted the course, Biblical Interpretation, at our extension centre - the folks there really know how to feed me. I had 4 meals a day, excluding the tea breaks.

When I went for a jog this morning, I suddenly felt some unusual heaviness....must be result of all the great food. Gosh - I will be in Kuching again this weekend to complete teaching the course. How am I going to survive with all the food? Resistance is futile...

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

BibleWorks Classroom Tip #13

I am a bit slow in posting tip from the folks at BibleWorks.

BibleWorks Classroom Tip #13
Changing the Verse List Sort Order

After you perform a search, the verse list in the Search Window shows your search hits sorted according to a generally-accepted book order, Genesis through Revelation. But perhaps you are teaching a class on Philippians, and consistently want to view the search results in Philippians before viewing the rest of the search results? In this Classroom Tip we will look at how to change the verse list sort order and describe some sort order strategies that you may find useful in your classroom and for personal study.

Mark & Method: 2nd Edition

I noted with delight that Augsburg Press has released the 2nd edition of Mark and Method: New Approaches in Biblical Studies edited by Janice Capel Anderson and Stephen D. Moore. Written by a team of impressive scholars, the contents of this edited volume are as follow:

  • Introduction: The Lives of Mark, Janice Capel Anderson and Stephen D. Moore

  • Narrative Criticism: How Does the Story Mean? Elizabeth Struthers Malbon

  • Reader-Response Criticism: Figuring Mark's Reader, Robert M. Fowler

  • Deconstructive Criticism: Turning Mark Inside Out, Stephen D. Moore

  • Feminist Criticism: The Dancing Daughter, Janice Capel Anderson

  • Social Criticism: Crossing Boundaries, David Rhoads

  • Cultural Studies: Making Mark, Abraham Smith

  • Post-Colonial Criticism: Echoes of a Subaltern's Contribution and Exclusion, Tat-Siong Benny Liew

This book makes an excellent collection to those interested in exploring recent approaches to biblical studies by using Mark as a test case.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Interesting Facts of 2008 Elections

The people of Malaysia made history in the 12th General Elections. And Malaysiakini runs an interesting article highlighting some interesting facts of the elections.

2008 polls - interesting facts
Mar 10, 08 6:20pm

Barisan Nasional only gained about 51 percent of the popular vote from the 7.9 million ballots cast on Saturday.

However, it took 63 percent of the seats contested - or 140 of 222 seats in Parliament.

Interestingly, its peninsula-wide popular vote was only 49.79 percent, which effectively means that the opposition received the majority vote in this part of the country.

However, when converted to parliamentary seats, BN has 85 of the constituencies in the peninsula, while the opposition bagged 80.Almost 40 percent of the BN's seats are in Sabah and Sarawak - 55 out of 140.

In 2004, BN won about 64 percent of the popular vote nationwide and 92 percent of the 219 parliamentary seats on offer then.

As the dust settles on the 12th general election, we highlight a number of quirky facts and figures.

Election trivia
The youngest candidate was PKR’s Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, who is 26. He defeated Seri Setia incumbent Seripa Noli Syed Hussin.

The oldest candidate was grandma Maimun Yusuf, 89, who contested in the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat. She lost her deposit.

56 also-rans from opposition parties and independent candidates lost their deposits after failing to secure one-eighth of the votes cast.

The largest majority was won by DAP’s Teresa Kok against BN’s Carol Chew, by 36,492 votes in the Seputeh parliamentary seat in Kuala Lumpur.

The smallest majority was just 14 votes for BN’s Hamdi Abu Bakar who beat Abu Bakar Haji Hussain of PAS in the Pengkalan Baharu state seat in Perak.

Four pivotal players in the Lingam tape scandal also won: Loh Gwo Burne (who recorded the footage), Wee Choo Keong (lawyer who represented VK Lingam’s brother during the inquiry) and R Sivarasa and Sim Tze Tzin (listed as witnesses but eventually not called). All four are from PKR.

There will be two ‘lone rangers’ in Parliament: Zulhasnan Rafique, the sole BN survivor in Kuala Lumpur’s 11 parliamentary seats - he took Setiawangsa; and DAP’s Chong Chieng Jen who won Bandar Kuching in Sarawak - the remaining 30 parliamentary seats went to BN.

The biggest number of candidates was in the Sukau state seat, Sabah, where eight candidates ran, including five Independents.

Debutant politicians
Prominent blogger Jeff Ooi - whose campaign was done online and funds were raised through his website - won the Jelutong parliamentary seat in Penang for DAP.

Other bloggers are Tony Pua (DAP, Petaling Jaya Utara parliamentary seat), Elizabeth Wong (PKR, Bukit Lanjan state seat) and Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (PKR, Seri Setia state seat).

Civil society activists who succeeded were Charles Santiago (DAP, water-privatisation issues), Edward Lee (DAP, local community), Elizabeth Wong and R Sivarasa (PKR, human rights).

Biggest blows
The losses in BN component parties will result in vacancies in various ministries, forcing a cabinet reshuffle.

S Samy Vellu (Works Ministry)
Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (Women, Family and Community Development Ministry)
Zainuddin Maidin (Information Ministry)
Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin (Rural and Territory Development Ministry)

Deputy ministers
Chia Kwang Chye (Information Ministry)
G Palanivel (Women, Family and Community Development)
Tan Chai Ho (Home Ministry)
V Veerasingam (Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry)
S Sothinathan (Natural Resources and Environment Ministry)
Donald Lim (Tourism Ministry)
Fu Ah Kiow (Internal Security Ministry)
M Kayveas (Prime Minister’s Department)

Parliamentary secretaries
Chew Mei Fun (Women, Family and Community Development Ministry)
P Komala Devi (Education Ministry)
Lee Kah Choon (Health Ministry)
Ng Lip Yong (Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry)
S Vigneswaran (Youth and Sports Ministry)
Rahman Ibrahim (Home Ministry)
Dr Mohd Ruddin Ab Ghani (Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry)
Yew Teong Look (Federal Territories Ministry)

The full team from the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry all lost in the polls.

All top MIC leaders were wiped out - president, deputy presidents, two vice-presidents, women's chief and youth chief (one of the three vice-presidents, KS Nijar, did not contest).

Post-election quotes
Anwar Ibrahim, PKR de facto leader, quoted in Star today
Some mentris besar in the past spent half-a-million ringgit to renovate their offices. Such things cannot be an example in this new administration.

Nurul Izzah Anwar, Lembah Pantai MP at a press conference yesterday
(On whether she will vacate the seat to force a by-election so that her father, Anwar Ibrahim, can re-enter politics after a five-year ban): I have already started working in my constituency. The question does not arise.

PPP president M Kayveas, quoted in Star today
Prior to the elections, Barisan Nasional had kept on telling people to show their dissatisfaction through the ballot box. Now they have really shown it.

Sungai Petani losing BN candidate Zainuddin Maidin, quoted in Star today
It is not that they love PKR or PAS more that they voted against me. The Chinese showed their resentment because of the economic backlash they often complained about. So, PAS and PKR should not be overly proud of their win (in Kedah).The people may have to pay a price for their decision.

Monday, 10 March 2008

CBD Academic Closeouts Sale

ChristianBook Distributors is having some good academic closeouts sale at the moment. Among some of the bargains include the New International Biblical Commentaries series at a unbelievable price of US$4.99 per book!

Don't miss this opportunity if you would like to pick up some of the commentaries in the popular NIBC series.

Click here to check out the sale.

Back from Kuching

I returned from Kuching late last night - was really exhausted after almost non-stop teaching over the weekend. Will be taking some needed rest today - need to recharge for another coming weekend of non-stop teaching in Kuching.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Teaching Biblical Interpretation Course in Kuching

In a matter of few minutes' time, I will be heading to the airport, taking a flight to Kuching, the exotic capital of Sarawak. Over the next 2 weekends, I will be teaching a course on Biblical Interpretation for our Kuching TEE Centre.

Do remember us in your prayers.

10 New SBL Online Books: Free Access for Two-Thirds World

Earlier on, I highlighted the very encouraging International Cooperation Initiative undertaken by SBL Publications in making several books available online for free for scholars from the Two-Thirds World, and Malaysia is one of the beneficiaries of this initiative.

For the month of February, SBL Publications is adding ten new books to the Online Books Programme as follow:

Tauberschmidt, Gerhard. Secondary Parallelism: A Study of Translation Technique in LXX Proverbs. Academia Biblica 15. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2004.

Brant, Jo-Ann A., Charles W. Hedrick, and Chris Shea, eds., Ancient Fiction: The Matrix of Early Christian and Jewish Narrative. Symposium 32. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005.

Russell, Donald A. and David Konstan, eds. & trans., Heraclitus: Homeric Problems. Writings from the Greco-Roman World 14. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005.

Pardee, Dennis. Ritual and Cult at Ugarit. Writings from the Ancient World 10. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2002

Penner, Todd and Caroline Vander Stichele, eds., Contextualizing Acts: Lukan Narrative and Greco-Roman Discourse. Symposium 20. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003.

Clarke, Emma C., John M. Dillon, and Jackson P. Hershbell, eds., Iamblichus: On the Mysteries. Writings from the Greco-Roman World 4. Atlanta, Society of Biblical Literature, 2003.

Roncace, Mark and Patrick Gray, eds., Teaching the Bible: Practical Strategies for Classroom Instruction. Resources for Biblical Study 49. Atlanta, Society of Biblical Literature, 2005.

Moore, Stephen D. and Janice Capel Anderson, eds., New Testament Masculinities. Semeia Studies 45. Atlanta, Society of Biblical Literature, 2003.

Smith, Richard, A Concise Coptic-English Lexicon: Second Edition. Resources for Biblical Study 35. Atlanta. Scholars Press for the Society of Biblical Literature, 1999.

Finlan, Stephen. The Background and Content of Paul’s Cultic Atonement Metaphors. Academia Biblica 19. Atlanta, Society of Biblical Literature, 2004.

For the complete list of books available, click here.

Stations of the Cross — Without the Cross?

The following article appears in CT Online:

Stations of the Cross — Without the Cross
Episcopalian liturgy for Stations of the Millennium Development Goals truncates the gospel, critics say.
Susan Wunderink posted 3/06/2008 10:00AM

In this season of Lent, many Christians in liturgical traditions have been meditating on the Stations of the Cross, a series of events — biblical and traditional — depicting the story of Jesus' death.

This year, however, the Episcopal Church is promoting new devotional material for Lent: the Stations of the Millennium Development Goals. The church's Episcopal Relief and Development office created a liturgy based on the United Nations plan to eliminate extreme poverty and other global ills, and sent e-mail to church leaders encouraging its use "in lieu of the traditional Stations of the Cross service."

Mike Angell of the denomination's Office of Young Adult and Higher Education Ministries designed the stations for a September 2007 young adult conference. While the traditional Stations of the Cross meditation has 14 stations (though this has varied through church history), the Episcopalian Stations of the Millennium Development Goals liturgy has only eight stations, one for each goal.

Station four, on reducing child mortality, reads:

Every three seconds a child under the age of five dies. A disproportionate number of these children live in developing countries, without access to clean water or basic medical care.
For personal reflection and prayer: Lord, help us to love and care for little children—the least of these who are of your family. Protect and heal them with your divine power.

Each station includes "activities and worship experiences for the liturgy." For station four, the church's document suggests, "Provide black and white drawings or outlines of children's faces. Have pilgrims color the faces. While the group is coloring, ring a bell every fifteen seconds to recognize that another child died from a preventable water-borne illness."

At the end of each station, the group is to pray a modified version of the Eastern Orthodox prayer known as Trisagion in which "Have mercy on us" is changed to "Transform us / That we might transform the world."

"There has been a little controversy about the Stations of the MDGs," said Luke Fodor, network coordinator for the church's relief arm. "At Episcopal Relief and Development, we're here to just take care of problems. We're not interested in theological discussions or politics in the church. We're to take care of the least of these, and that's our mandate. We [at ERD] didn't create this; we produced it for churches to use as they see fit."

But critics say the liturgy and the church's promotion of it during Lent is idolatrous. The Anglican blog StandFirm posted excerpts from the liturgy under the introduction, "Gitcher fresh hell here."

Kendall Harmon, canon theologian of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and editor of The Anglican Digest, said the liturgy is based on a "terribly truncated version of the baptismal covenant" and reveals a theological mindset that is un-Trinitarian.

"It runs the risk of replacing Christ with the church and the activity of Christ with the activity of the church," Harmon said.

Edith Humphrey, William F. Orr professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, criticized the document's theology for similar reasons.

"Like the song, "God Has No Hands But Our Hands," it forgets the sovereignty of God," she said. "God does use us, but he's the initiator. It's so sad to see the gospel diluted to simply being kind to others. I don't think that a gospel like that really communicates the grandeur of God and what he's done for us in Christ."

Continue reading the rest of the article here.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

The Bible and Critical Theory Book Reviews Feb 2008

The Bible and Critical Theory book reviews are made available free for the Review of Biblical Literature Readers. This free access has been extended to 31 December 2008. Please contact Sarah Cannon at Monash University ePress ( for further information.

The Bible and Critical Theory Volume 4, Number 1 (February 2008)
Edited by Dr. Julie Kelso with Associate Editor Dr Roland Boer

Ehud Ben Zvi, ed.,
Utopia and Dystopia in Prophetic Literature
Reviewed by Roland Boer

Melody D. Knowles, Esther Menn, John Pawlikowski, and Timothy J. Sandoval, eds.,
Contesting Texts: Jews and Christians in Conversation about the Bible
Reviewed by Michael Carden

R. S. Sugirtharajah, ed.,
Voices from the Margin: Interpreting the Bible in the Third World
Reviewed by Bridget Culpepper

Eric S. Christianson,
Ecclesiastes through the Centuries
Reviewed by R. Christopher Heard

Mark McEntire and Joel Emerson, Raising Cain, Fleeing Egypt and Fighting Philistines
Reviewed by Soren Holst

Virginia Burrus and Catherine Keller, eds.,
Toward a Theology of Eros: Transfiguring Passion at the Limits of Discipline
Reviewed by Mark Manolopoulos

Tikva Frymer-Kensky,
Studies in Bible and Feminist Criticism
Reviewed by Judith E. McKinlay

Wesley J. Bergen and Armin Siedlecki, eds.,
Voyages in Uncharted Waters: Essays on the Theory and Practice of Biblical Interpretation in Honour of David Jobling Reviewed by Peter D. Miscall

Graham S. Ogden,
Reviewed by Peter D. Miscall

Ehud Ben Zvi,
History, Literature and Theology in the Book of Chronicles
Reviewed by Christine Mitchell

Marcel Danesi,
The Quest for Meaning: A Guide to Semiotic Theory and Practice Reviewed by Mark Sneed

Andrew P. Wilson,
Transfigured: A Derridean Rereading of the Markan Transfiguration
Reviewed by Mark Sneed

Elaine M. Wainwright,
Women Healing/Healing Women: The Genderization of Healing in Early Christianity Reviewed by Kristi Upson-Saia

Marvin A. Sweeney,
Form and Intertextuality in Prophetic and Apocalyptic Literature
Reviewed by Thomas Wagner

Review of James G. Crossley,
Why Christianity Happened: A Sociohistorical Account of Christian Origins (26â?"50 CE)
Reviewed by Richard Walsh

Review of Biblical Literature: March 5, 2008

The following are new additions to the Review of Biblical Literature.

Dale C. Allison Jr.
Studies in Matthew: Interpretation Past and Present
Reviewed by Bogdan G. Bucur

Alec Basson
Divine Metaphors in Selected Hebrew Psalms of Lamentation
Reviewed by Christine Treu

John J. Collins and Craig A. Evans, eds.
Christian Beginnings and the Dead Sea Scrolls
Reviewed by Matthew Goff

Jeffrey A. Gibbs
Matthew 1:1-11:1
Reviewed by Charles L. Quarles

John H. Hayes and Carl R. Holladay
Biblical Exegesis: A Beginner's Handbook
Reviewed by David Allen

Philippe Hugo

Les deux visages dâ?TÃ?lie: Texte massorétique et Septante dans lâ?Thistoire la plus ancienne du texte de 1 Rois 17â?"18
Reviewed by Gerrie Snyman

Brad E. KelleAncient Israel at War 853-586 BC
Reviewed by Ernst Axel Knauf

William Loader
The New Testament with Imagination: A Fresh Approach to Its Writings and Themes
Reviewed by Séan P. Kealy

Megan Bishop Moore
Philosophy and Practice in Writing a History of Ancient Israel
Reviewed by Ralph K. Hawkins

Annette Steudel, Eibert Tigchelaar, and Florentino García Martínez, eds.
From 4QMMT to Resurrection: Mélanges qumraniens en hommage à �mile Puech
Reviewed by Kenneth Atkinson

Jerry L. Sumney
Philippians: A Greek Student's Intermediate Reader
Reviewed by Robert Keay

Gerald H. Wilson
Reviewed by Katharine Dell

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Peter O'Brien Visits STM

Dr Peter O'Brien, Senior Research Fellow from Moore College, Australia is visiting STM today. He will be giving a special lecture on "New Perspectives" on Paul at the postgraduate seminar at 11.15am. Tomorrow (March 6), he will be speaking in the community chapel.

Dr O'Brien is the author of numerous articles, books and commentaries including Colossians and Philemon (WBC); Ephesians (Pillar NTC); Philippians (NIGTC); co-author or editior of Salvation to the Ends of the Earth: A Biblical Theology of Mission; Justification and Variegated Nomism: A Fresh Appraisal of Paul and Second Temple Judaism. Vol. 1: The Complexities of Second Temple Judaism; and Justification and Variegated Nomism: A Fresh Appraisal of Paul and Second Temple Judaism. Vol. 2: The Paradoxes of Paul. He is currently working on the commentary on Hebrews for the Pillar New Testament Commentary series.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Malaysiakini Goes FREE

I am going off topic in this post.

Kudos to Malaysiakini - it now goes free for a week from today. You can log on to Malaysiakini for alternative news, particularly those related to the upcoming general elections. Make full use of this opportunity.

Spread the good news around.

Election Fever Hits STM!

As the nation prepares for the 12th General Election to be held on March 8, the election fever is heating up among the students and colleagues in the seminary. Creative juice never seems to cease flowing. Even I am not spared - a colleague from church designed the following poster for me.

Check out the following:

Anthony Loke standing for election?

Please give me a vote.

Wesley Wong Vs Chen Guan Xi.

Look what the students have done to the dorm room door .

Monday, 3 March 2008

McKnight's 8 Marks of A Robust Gospel

Scot McKnight, in responding to the "problems of our global crisis like AIDS, local catastrophes of senseless violence, family failures, ecological threats, and church skirmishes," raises the following questions:

"Do we have a gospel big enough for these problems? Do we have the confidence to declare that these robust problems, all of which begin with sin against God and then creep into the world like cancer, have been conquered by a robust gospel?"

So what is a robust gospel? What makes the gospel robust? According to McKnight, there are 8 marks of a robust gospel:

1. The robust gospel is a story.

2. The robust gospel places transactions in the context of persons.

3. The robust gospel deals with a robust problem.

4. A robust gospel has a grand vision.

5. A robust gospel includes the life of Jesus as well as his resurrection, and the gift of the Spirit alongside Good Friday.

6. A robust gospel demands not only faith but everything.

7. A robust gospel includes the robust Spirit of God.

8. A robust gospel emerges from and leads others to the church.

Continue reading the rest of the article here.

Do you agree with McKnight? Does our understanding of the gospel include the above 8 marks?

Sunday, 2 March 2008

How to Get Research Published in Journals

Ashgate has just announced the publication of How to Get Research Published in Journals, Second Edition by Abby Day ($49.95/£25.00).

"Now in its second edition, this internationally best-selling book has been revised and updated. It focuses on helping people overcome some of the most common obstacles to successful publication. Lack of time? An unconscious fear of rejection? Conflicting priorities? In this, the first book to address the subject, Abby Day explains how to overcome these obstacles and create publishable papers for journals most likely to publish them.

"She shows how to identify a suitable journal and how to plan, prepare and compile a paper that will satisfy its requirements. She pays particular attention to the creative aspects of the process. As an experienced journal editor and publisher, Dr Day is well placed to reveal the inside workings of the reviewing procedure - and the more fully you understand this, the greater the chance that what you submit will be accepted and published.

"For academic and research staff, in whatever discipline, a careful study of Dr Day's book could be your first step on the road to publication."

This book sounds very useful and timely to the budding NT scholar, who is trying to get some of his crazy ideas in print (if he can find the time to do so in the midst of his teaching, supervision of postgraduate students, administrative duties, and having 2 "jobs" at the same time).