Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Biblical Text Suffers at Hands of Modern Txting

While I wasattending the Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting in New Zealand, I came a cross a rather interesting article that I have reproduced below.

While the research findings highlighted below as carried out in New Zealand seem to be true as well in other parts of the developed world, I doubt the results would be very much different if similar research is carried out in Malaysia. Based on my conversations with many pastors coupled with my personal experience, it seems to me that the level of biblical literacy among church goers has dropped significantly over the years, particularly among the younger generation.

If similar bibleathon is carried out in Malaysia, would there be any takers?

Biblical text suffers at hands of modern txting
By JENNY LING - The Dominion Post Saturday, 19 July 2008

The church faces a "crisis" as the number of people bothering to read the Bible plummets, research has found.

Daily readership of the biggest-selling book in history has dropped to about 10 per cent for both the Christian and total population as the ancient text competes with modern technology and changing modes of communication.

The Bible Society, which undertook the research, is now working on a raft of "creative strategies" - including websites, podcasts, audio broadcasts and text messaging - to get the younger generation hooked.

Society spokesman Stephen Opie said though the Bible was readily available, with 60,000 copies sold last year, it was "tending to sit on the shelf" in homes.

"That is a very scary prospect for the future of the church. The Bible is fundamental to Christianity," he said.

"People aren't understanding it, they don't know it and they don't know the over-arching story. It is a crisis - especially for the church."

Modern technology such as the Internet and mobile phones had played a big part in the slump, Mr Opie said.

"Communication is getting short and sharp. People are moving away from reading large chunks of text.

"People would rather plug in their i-Pod in their ears than open up a bible."

More than 3300 people responded to the society's online survey between March and June.

The findings were part of a report entitled Bible Engagement in New Zealand: Survey of Attitudes and Behaviour.

They show that while 68 per cent of all New Zealanders owned a bible, just 23 per cent read it at least once a month.

A mere seven per cent read the book daily and nine per cent read it every week.

Mr Opie has been assigned the role of "reconnecting the post-modern generation" with the publication.

But on the Kapiti Coast there are no such fears, as members of the Anglican Church conduct a "Bibleathon" to celebrate the centenary of the parish.

The group started a cover-to-cover reading aloud of the Bible on Wednesday and are scheduled to finish this afternoon.

Just over two million people - about half the population - identified themselves as affiliated with a Christian religion in the 2006 census.

Bishop Richard Randerson said the fact 24 per cent of Christians read the text weekly or more was significant.

The retired dean of Auckland's Holy Trinity Cathedral said despite an overall decline in church attendance in the past 50 years, there was a much deeper sense of engagement with the Bible and the Christian faith.

"People belong to a church out of choice, and not from habit.

"Choice indicates a greater commitment."

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

CT Interviews Gordon-Conwell's New President

CT runs an interview with Dr Dennis Hollinger, the new President of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, my alma mater. The interview is reproduced below. It gives us a little glimps of the direction where Dr Hollinger might just take in helming Gordon-Conwell.


Coordinating the Head, Heart, and Hands
New president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary seeks to hold together what others pull apart.

Veteran administrator Dennis Hollinger takes over August 1 as president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, relieving interim president Haddon Robinson. Hollinger, who previously led Evangelical Theological Seminary in Myerstown, Pennsylvania, will also serve as professor of Christian ethics. Charlotte pastor James Emery White, who preceded Robinson, lasted only one year, leaving in June 2007. Hollinger spoke with CT editor at large Collin Hansen about contemporary challenges for theological education.

What experience and insight do you bring to Gordon-Conwell after your stint as the president of Evangelical Theological Seminary?
One of the things I bring is a combination of higher-ed administration, including the last four years as seminary president, 11 years of pastoral ministry, and 11 years of full-time seminary teaching.

Tell me a little bit about your personal formation. What theologians have influenced you?
The writings of C. S. Lewis have been very significant. I'm eclectic in my theology. I have drawn from the wells of Wesley, Calvin, Augustine, and the Anabaptist tradition. One thing that characterizes my own life and my approach to ministry and theological education is holding together what people tend to pull apart. My book Head, Heart and Hands reflects that approach. Those oriented toward the head have said that if we get our biblical and theological knowledge down, that will really put us in the good spot for the rest of our lives. The heart-oriented folks say that if our hearts are strangely warmed by God, that will develop Christian maturity. Others focus more on the action side. What I do in that book is argue that not only must all three be present, but also that they really need to nurture each other. That insight stems from my background of having worked in a number of different denominational settings.

Do you see the tensions between evangelicals stemming primarily from the head, the heart, or the hands?
Our perspectives are never purely theological. We're shaped by our context. We're shaped by our personalities. We're shaped by our experiences in life for good and ill. When we do theological education we need to be aware of the context that has shaped us. That carries over into ministry, because then we recognize the way in which we take the Word of God. It's transcendent, but we always bring it into the midst of a very specific context, meeting people with their unique personalities, hurts, and struggles, particular cultural backgrounds, and particular geographical locations.

What are some of your top priorities as you prepare to take over the seminary?
I don't think it's the job of a president to individually develop a vision and come in and impose it on an educational institution. My hope would be to develop a collaborative process between trustees, faculty, alumni, the larger church, and through that process to determine the best ways to do theological education today. One of the goals I have is to help the seminary develop world Christians who can effectively and faithfully lead the church, especially as it faces some daunting issues from the culture and from within — theological issues, cultural issues, and the like.

What are some of those internal and external challenges?
We are continually struggling with issues surrounding the nature of the church. There are so many different models out there. We have to prepare people for a wide assortment of churches. We tend to be a bit monolithic in our vision, thinking that one approach will do it. We have a lot of debates going on in ecclesiology, where evangelicalism has not been strong. We face a lot of ethical issues, and that is my area of expertise. There are significant bioethics issues and continual issues in sexuality, such as homosexuality. We continually need to face the racial issues. I think the Obama campaign has certainly demonstrated that we have a lot of unfinished business in that area. Part of the task in theological education is to help people navigate their way amidst the complexities and do so in a way that isn't politicized. That's one of the dangers we have when we jump into these issues. We're known more for our political stance than we are for our principled orientation and our theological undergirding.

There is significant diversity within the broader seminary community. How would you describe Gordon-Conwell's unique contributions?

Outsiders often overlook our three campuses, which do rather unique things. The South Hamilton campus is a fairly classical approach to theological education. The center for urban ministries in Boston is focused on urban contextual education. The Charlotte campus follows the adult-education model with weekend classes and short-term intensives. We'll be focusing on more online models, particularly hybrid models that combine online education with classroom experience. So my sense is that Gordon-Conwell is well poised for the future to cover the spectrum of delivery systems and address a broad spectrum of issues, because we have multiple campuses.

One of the keys that Gordon-Conwell will be working on is how we maintain the integrity of those three orientations while utilizing the unique resources for the other campuses. We want that urban fervor to come up to South Hamilton and some of the classical to go down to Boston. That's one of the challenges: that we not end up with three seminaries, but be able to really draw the strengths of each and enrich the other campuses.

Inerrancy is a perpetual concern for seminaries, as we've seen with Westminster Theological Seminary and the revised statement of faith for the Evangelical Free Church of America, which is affiliated with Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. How does this ongoing concern about inerrancy affect Gordon-Conwell?
Gordon-Conwell has always had a strong commitment to the inerrancy of Scripture while recognizing the broad genre of Scripture — that is, that God did not reveal himself to us in just one way. When we talk about the truthfulness of Scripture, we also have to recognize that his richness speaks to us in multiple ways through Scripture. Sometimes we have allowed our views of inerrancy to lead to very monolithic interpretations of Scripture. We need to be careful about that. When we're studying a poetic genre we have to understand that as poetry, which is not the same as an historic rendition or an apocalyptic rendition or a prophetic utterance. Gordon-Conwell has a strong history of trying to emphasize those things. Certainly the Gordon Fee and [GCTS Old Testament professor] Douglas Stuart book How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth, which is used in so many colleges, reflects that.

Another controversial issue is gender roles. How do you anticipate managing the ever-present complementarian/egalitarian debate at Gordon-Conwell?
I haven't been there yet to get all of the nuances. I can simply tell you that one of the criteria that they had for president was a person who would be supportive of men and women in their preparation of ministry. That doesn't mean that everyone at Gordon-Conwell is, but it was significant enough institutionally that that was one of the criteria established in terms of presidential characteristics.

Is that a longstanding rule for Gordon-Conwell?
I don't know. I do know that A. J. Gordon himself had a fairly strong support of women in ministry going back more than 100 years ago.

Will you continue to write in your field of social ethics and bioethics?
I hope to. My contract gives me four weeks a year for writing and research, and I want to continue to keep up in the field and do some writing. I doubt that's going to happen in the first year. I'm just about ready to send a manuscript into Baker. I have a contract with them for a book called The Meaning of Sex: A Framework for the Moral Life.

Collin Hansen is a CT editor at large and author of Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist's Journey with the New Calvinists.

Monday, 28 July 2008


I think age must be catching up. I don't think I can do what I used to do some years ago. The running around in the pass few days has taken a toll on me and caused a raised blood pressure reading just now!

Let's recap what I had been doing in the pass few days:

On Thursday morning, I led chapel in the seminary, and at night, taught a class on the Gospel of Mark to a group of students who signed up for the course through Church Based Theological Education (CBTE). Stress was building up....

On Friday, I worked in the church office the whole day, taking my lunch time off to drop my parents at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for their flight to Kota Bharu. Then I rushed to Bandar Kinrara for my 8pm class where I was invited by Pearlie to do a 5-week bible studies series at her church, Life Methodist Church Puchong. I was late because of the horrendous traffic along the highway. Even more stress now....

On Saturday, again, I taught from 9am-5.30pm for CBTE. Then at 9.20pm, I was supposed to take a flight from Subang to Kota Bharu and join my parents there (We were planning to hand over my parents' house in Kota Bharu to the new purchaser). The flight was delayed to 11pm, and I only arrived Kota Bharu at midnight. Further stress...

On Sunday, I was busy the whole day, clearing and throwing away most of our unwanted personal stuff from my parents' house. It was not until almost midnight that I rested.

This morning at about 8am, I received an SMS from the airline, FireFly, that my scheduled flight from Kota Bharu at 10.40pm was "retimed" (nice alternative word to use for flight delay) to 12.25am! If I were to take this flight, it would mean that I can only arrive Subang at 1.30am - provided there will be no further 'retiming"- and by the time I reach home, it would be way pass 2am. There would be no way i could wake up at 6am to drive to the seminary in time for the 8am chapel. So I decided to change to an earlier flight at 12.40pm. That means it only gave me 3 hours to pack the rest of our stuff and run some errands for my parents in Kota Bharu. Even further stress....

Well, I made it to the airport, just in time to check in, catch my flight to KL and take a deep breath.

No wonder by the time I got home at about 2pm, my BP was raised!

I need to slow down. Now it's rest for me for the rest of the evening - to regain strength for the rest of the week.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Review of Biblical Literature July 23, 2008

The following reviews have been published:

Roland Boer
Rescuing the Bible
Reviewed by D. A. Carson

April D. DeConick
The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek

John H. Elliott
1 Peter: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary
Reviewed by Pheme Perkins

Jane DeRose Evans
The Coins and the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Economy of Palestine
Reviewed by Mark R. Fairchild

Albert V. GarcilazoThe Corinthian Dissenters and the Stoics
Reviewed by Stephan Joubert

Suzanne Watts Henderson
Christology and Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark
Reviewed by W. R. Telford

Helen Leneman
The Performed Bible: The Story of Ruth in Opera and Oratorio
Reviewed by Elisabeth Birnbaum

Paul L. Maier, trans.
Eusebius: The Church History
Reviewed by Sabrina Inowlocki

Pheme Perkins
Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels
Reviewed by Peter J. Judge

Jean-Michel Poffet, Daniel Brizemeure, Noël Lacoudre, and Émile Puech
Le Rouleau de cuivre de la grotte 3 de Qumran (3Q15): Expertise - Restauration - Epigraphie
Reviewed by Brian Schultz

Alfred Rahlfs; Detlef Fraenkel, ed.
Verzeichnis der griechischen Handschriften des Alten Testaments: Bd. I, 1: Die Überlieferung bis zum VIII. Jahrhundert
Reviewed by Johann Cook

Wayne G. Rollins and D. Andrew Kille, eds.
Psychological Insight into the Bible: Texts and Readings
Reviewed by E. H. Scheffler

Deborah W. Rooke, ed.
A Question of Sex? Gender and Difference in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond
Reviewed by Athalya Brenner

Phillip Sigal
The Halakhah of Jesus of Nazareth according to the Gospel of Matthew
Reviewed by Roland Deines
Reviewed by Dorothy Jean Weaver

Johann Anselm Steiger and Ulrich Heinen, eds.
Isaaks Opferung (Gen 22) in den Konfessionen und Medien der frühen Neuzeit
Reviewed by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

Jan G. van der Watt
An Introduction to the Johannine Gospel and Letters
Reviewed by Tom Thatcher

Friday, 25 July 2008

Codex Sinaiticus Goes Online

Reuters recently reported on July 21 that the oldest complete NT manuscript, Codex Sinaiticus, is now made available in the cyberspace. This is good news indeed. I was really delighted to have the opportunity to take a glimpse of the Codex Sinaiticus some years ago when I visited the British Library.

I tried accessing the Codex Sinaiticus website a while ago, hoping to have another glimpse of the Codex. But I was not able to because there were more than 100,000 concurrent connections!

BERLIN (Reuters) - More than 1,600 years after it was written in Greek, one of the oldest copies of the Bible will become globally accessible online for the first time this week.

From Thursday, sections of the Codex Sinaiticus, which contains the oldest complete New Testament, will be available on the Internet, said the University of Leipzig, one of the four curators of the ancient text worldwide.

High resolution images of the Gospel of Mark, several Old Testament books, and notes on the work made over centuries will appear on as a first step towards publishing the entire manuscript online by next July.

Ulrich Johannes Schneider, director of Leipzig University Library, which holds part of the manuscript, said the publication of the Codex online would allow anyone to study a work of "fundamental" importance to Christians.

"A manuscript is going onto the net which is like nothing else online to date," Schneider said. "It's also an enrichment of the virtual world -- and a bit of a change from YouTube."

Selected translations will be available in English and German for those not conversant in ancient Greek, he added.

Dating from around 350, the document is believed by experts to be the oldest known copy of the Bible, along with the Codex Vaticanus, another ancient version of the Bible, Schneider said.

The vellum manuscript came to Europe piece by piece from Saint Catherine's Monastery by Mount Sinai after German biblical scholar Konstantin von Tischendorf found a number of folios there in 1844. He was allowed to take some to Leipzig.

Tischendorf returned to the monastery in 1859 with Russian backing and acquired the biggest section of the Bible for his imperial sponsors. It remained in St. Petersburg until the Soviet Union sold it to the British Museum in 1933.

"The first section was clearly a gift to Tischendorf, but that's not so clear in the case of the second portion. The monks all signed a contract at the time, but the rumor persists that they were given a raw deal," said Schneider.

"And there is probably some truth to this."

Subsequent discoveries meant that the original Codex, missing roughly half the Old Testament, is now housed at four locations in Europe and the Middle East.

The project, launched in cooperation with the Russian National Library, the British Library and Saint Catherine's Monastery, also details the condition of the Bible, believed to have been written by early Christians in Egypt.

"I think it's just fantastic that thanks to technology we can now make the oldest cultural artifacts -- ones that were once so precious you couldn't show them to anyone -- accessible to everyone, in really high quality," said Schneider.

Review of Biblical Literature July 16, 2008

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

Kevin L. Anderson
"But God Raised Him from the Dead": The Theology of Jesus' Resurrection in Luke-Acts
Reviewed by Lidija Novakovic

Norbert Baumert
Sorgen des Seelsorgers: Übersetzung und Auslegung des ersten Korintherbriefes
Reviewed by Helmut Schwier

Jon L. Berquist, ed.
Approaching Yehud: New Approaches to the Study of the Persian Period
Reviewed by Armin Siedlecki

Adela Yarbro Collins
Mark: A Commentary
Reviewed by Edwin Broadhead

Johanna Dorman
The Blemished Body: Deformity and Disability in the Qumran Scrolls
Reviewed by T. M. Lemos

Douglas R. Edwards and C. Thomas McCollough, eds.
The Archaeology of Difference: Gender, Ethnicity, Class and the "Other" in Antiquity: Studies in Honor of Eric M. Meyers
Reviewed by Aren M. Maeir

Avraham Faust
Israel's Ethnogenesis: Settlement, Interaction, Expansion and Resistance
Reviewed by Kenton L. Sparks

Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert and Martin S. Jaffee, eds.
The Cambridge Companion to the Talmud and Rabbinic Literature
Reviewed by Joshua Schwartz

Mary Gerhart and Fabian E. Udoh, eds.
The Christianity Reader
Reviewed by Mark Reasoner

Rowan A. Greer and Margaret M. Mitchell
The "Belly-Myther" of Endor: Interpretations of 1 Kingdoms 28 in the Early Church
Reviewed by D. Jeffrey Bingham

Christiana de Groot and Marion Ann Taylor, eds.
Recovering Nineteenth-Century Women Interpreters of the Bible
Reviewed by Athalya Brenner

John Jarick
1 Chronicles
Reviewed by Steven L. McKenzie

Anne Lapidus Lerner
Eternally Eve: Images of Eve in the Hebrew Bible, Midrash, and Modern Jewish Poetry
Reviewed by Lieve M. Teugels

Andrew M. Mbuvi
Temple, Exile and Identity in 1 Peter
Reviewed by David G. Horrell

André Munzinger
Discerning the Spirits: Theological and Ethical Hermeneutics in Paul
Reviewed by Lee S. Bond
Reviewed by Victor Paul Furnish

Stephen W. Need
Paul Today: Challenging Readings of Acts and the Epistles
Reviewed by Steve Walton

Barclay M. Newman, ed.
The UBS Greek New Testament: A Reader's Edition
Reviewed by Steven R. Johnson

Bridget Gilfillan Upton
Hearing Mark's Endings: Listening to Ancient Popular Texts through Speech Act Theory
Reviewed by W. R. Telford

Jan G. van der Watt
An Introduction to the Johannine Gospel and Letters
Reviewed by D. A. Carson

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Someone Just Wanna Have Fun

I think it's that time of the year in the seminary where pressure is mounting, and students somehow just need to find some creative ways to release their tension and reduce stress level. So I became the latetst "victim" and see what they did to my car yesterday!

One my colleagues was so shock when she saw that. She asked me to remove my car immediately as she thought that I parked my car at the spot reserved for the handicapped driver, and that the authorities from the seminary was trying to send a loud message to me!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Faculty Positions at Singapore Bible College

Faculty Positions at Singapore Bible College

Singapore Bible College announces the following faculty positions.

The School of Theology (English) invites applications for teaching positions in the Theology and New Testament Departments beginning January 2009.

Theology Department
The successful candidate is expected to teach graduate level courses in Systematic Theology and also in Historical and Contemporary Theology which we hope to develop in the near future.

The applicant should possess a PhD or ThD in Theological Studies, ability as an effective teacher and communicator, spiritual maturity, and proven Christian character.

New Testament Department
The successful candidate is expected to teach graduate level courses in Hermeneutics, Greek grammar and exegesis, as well as courses in any part of the New Testament.

The applicant should possess a PhD or ThD in New Testament or Bible Exposition with a NT emphasis, ability as an effective teacher and communicator, spiritual maturity, and proven Christian character.

In addition, applicants must have a willingness to work as a team player, enjoy and promote collegiality amongst co-workers, be involved in mentorship relationships with students, and contribute to theological education’s goal of training effective, theologically-minded leaders for ministry in the 21st century.

Finally, applicants should also have a commitment to ministry evidenced by at least three years of pastoral, teaching, or missionary/para-church experience preferably in a cross-cultural setting.

Resumes may be sent to

Dr. Calvin Chong,
Academic Dean,
School of Theology (English)

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Singapore Bible College is an independent and interdenominational theological institution with over 500 students representing over 20 countries. The school is accredited by the Asia Theological Association.

Monday, 21 July 2008

On the Way Home...

SBL International Meeting at Auckland is now is my little short break in New Zealand.

I am now in transit at the new Changi Terminal 3. My Singapore Airlines flight to KL will be in another hour's time, so I have some time to blog.

It has been a great trip to New Zealand! I must say I enjoyed SBL Meeting, meeting up with friends, and the short trip to Nelson, Abel Tasman National Park and Wellington (will post some photos later). But I dread to be back at work in the seminary tomorrow - there will be piles of things waiting for my attention - thesis and papers to mark, lectures to prepare, my manuscript to be edited before sending it off to the publisher in the next few weeks, and church matters to attend to.

Nevertheless, it's still great to be back home.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Review of Biblical Literature July 1, 2008

I am catching up with the Review of Biblical Literature. Here are what were published on July 1, 2008.

Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, S.J., and Tom Thatcher, eds.
John, Jesus, and History: Volume 1, Critical Appraisals of Critical Views
Reviewed by Mark A. Matson

Carol Bakhos, ed.
Current Trends in the Study of Midrash
Reviewed by Siam Bhayro

David Catchpole
Jesus People: The Historical Jesus and the Beginnings of Community
Reviewed by Paul Foster

John Granger Cook
The Interpretation of the Old Testament in Greco-Roman Paganism
Reviewed by David Lincicum

Hubertus R. Drobner; Siegfried Schatzmann, trans.
The Fathers of the Church: A Comprehensive Introduction
Reviewed by Wilhelm Pratscher

Zev Garber, ed.
Mel Gibson's Passion: The Film, the Controversy, and Its Implications
Reviewed by W. R. Telford

Brad E. Kelle
Ancient Israel at War 853-586 BC
Reviewed by T. M. Lemos

Thomas J. Kraus
Ad fontes: Original Manuscripts and Their Significance for Studying Early Christianity: Selected Essays
Reviewed by Christopher Tuckett

Amy-Jill Levine, ed., with Maria Mayo Robbins
A Feminist Companion to the New Testament Apocrypha
Reviewed by Heike Omerzu

Yuzuru Miura
David in Luke-Acts: His Portrayal in the Light of Early Judaism
Reviewed by Steven Cox

Stephen W. Need
The Gospels Today: Challenging Readings of John, Mark, Luke and Matthew
Reviewed by Peter J. Judge

Birger A. PearsonAncient Gnosticism: Traditions and Literature
Reviewed by Philip L. Tite

Richard D. Phillips
Reviewed by Knut Backhaus

Brant Pitre
Jesus, the Tribulation, and the End of the Exile: Restoration Eschatology and the Origin of the Atonement
Reviewed by John A. Dennis

Shmuel Safrai, Zeev Safrai, Joshua Schwartz, and Peter J. Tomson, eds.
The Literature of the Sages: Second Part: Midrash and Targum, Liturgy, Poetry, Mysticism, Contracts, Inscriptions, Ancient Science and the Languages of Rabbinic Literature
Reviewed by Marvin A. Sweeney

Rivka Ulmer, ed.
Discussing Cultural Influences: Text, Context, and Non-Text in Rabbinic Judaism
Reviewed by Joshua Schwartz

Laurence M. Vance
Guide to Prepositions in the Greek New Testament
Reviewed by Paul Elbert

Robby Waddell
The Spirit of the Book of Revelation
Reviewed by Jan A. du Rand

Mark Wilson
Charts on the Book of Revelation: Literary, Historical, and Theological Perspectives
Reviewed by Jan G. van der Watt

Magnus Zetterholm, ed.
The Messiah in Early Judaism and Christianity
Reviewed by James H. Charlesworth

Friday, 18 July 2008

American Baptist Seminary of the West: NT Position

The following announcement came through the Society of Biblical Literature's website:

Position Announcement for Openings

The American Baptist Seminary of the West (ABSW) invites applications for a faculty position in New Testament at the rank of assistant or associate professor. The initial three-year appointment (tenure track) may begin as early as August 2009.

Candidates must possess the Ph.D. in NT; commitment to theological education for church ministry within the Christian tradition; ability to teach effectively within a multi-cultural, broadly ecumenical context in the M.Div. and M.A. programs of the Seminary and the M.A. and doctoral programs of the Graduate Theological Union (of which ABSW is a member); ability to do inter-disciplinary and contextual work; a theological orientation compatible with a broad evangelical heritage; and promise of scholarly achievement beneficial to the church and academic communities.

ABSW is an EEO employer and maintains a policy of nondiscrimination with respect to all employees and applicants for employment.

Send a letter of application describing interests in teaching and research, dossier, and three letters of recommendation to:

The office of the Dean,
New Testament Search,
American Baptist Seminary of the West,
2606 Dwight Way,
CA 94704-3029.

Review of applications will begin September 15 and continue until the position is filled.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

SBL International Meeting, Day 5: Speaking to A Small Group

On Day 5 of the SBL International Meeting, the highlight was the opportunity to meet up with a small group of Asian students studying at the University of Auckland (well, one or two have already graduated).

I was invited by CW to speak to a group of his friends at his place. I was given the topic, "Paul's understanding of the mission of the cross of Christ and its implication on our Christian life" in this mid-winter Christmas party talk (well, Christmas comes early in New Zealand). I shared from Paul's mission in Corinth and showed some slides from my 2 previous trips to Corinth.

CW did a good job in organising this event. He is a good cook as well, preparing a sumptuous meal for all of us, and the best apple crumble that I have ever tasted.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

A Little Break from SBL International Meeting

On July 9, we had the afternoon free from the conference. So together with Moses and CW, we decided to make a trip up to the Skytower. After all, it was a very gorgeous day, so we were guaranteed a great view from the top. I have no regrets of my visit.

I let the photos do the talking!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

SBL International Meeting: It's A Small World

One can never really know who one will meet at SBL meetings. It was a joy to catch up with Bruce Winter and Bob Jewett, and also meet other new friends. But it was a pleasant surprise to meet Stepher Haar at the conference. Stephen was with us at STM last year for a semester, and he lightened my teaching load by taking a couple of NT courses away from me. I was grateful for this as Stephen was there at the right time. I was preparing for my PhD examination and had to be back in the UK for a month for my viva. Stephen is now the Academic Dean of the Australian Lutheran College in Adelaide.

I also caught up with Peter Lau whom I met last year at Tyndale House, Cambridge. Apart from Peter, I had the joy of meeting Dr Moses Khor from Tabor College Victoria, Melbourne. Moses hails from Malaysia, and he is recently featured in The Star (read the article for some interesting story about Moses' life). He is also the former pastor of two of my current students in the seminary, Chee Keat and Simon.

Of course, it was great to have fellow blogger friend, keropok lekor, at the conference. He is a medical student at the University of Auckland who decides to sign up for SBL Meeting (if you are wondering what has medical studies got to do with theology, then ask keropok lekor!).

It's a small world. And I must say that while the papers from the conference would feed my academic interest, it is the people that make it memorable.

Monday, 14 July 2008

SBL Interenational Meeting Day 4: July 9

July 9, the 4th day into SBL International Meeting, was the day I read my paper in the Paul and Pauline Literature Session. Together with me were 3 other papers being presented in the morning session, highlighted below.

Michael Godfrey, Australian Catholic University

Johan Strijdom, University of South Africa

Kar Yong Lim, Seminari Theoloji Malaysia

Gerard M Ellis, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

I think my paper was just average. However, it did generate some interesting discussion among some of the participants during the coffee break time. I am very appreciative of the feedback received. Now the task ahead is to try to polish up the paper and, hopefully, get it published in one of the journals soon.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

SBL International Meeting Day 3: July 8

I have been rather late in posting some reports concerning SBL International Meeting. This is partly due to my tiredness after getting home from the meeting on most days. Plus, being in the thick of winter in New Zealand does not help. Although it is 8pm at night after dinner, my body is already feeling like it is close to midnight.

For the 3rd day of the conference held at University of Auckland, I decided to attend the session organised by Catholic Biblical Association in the morning. The good news was that there were only 2 papers presented. As such, we had more time to interact with the papers. Instead of the usual 30 min, we had about 45 min for each paper.

The two papers were presented by 2 established NT Catholic scholars:

Mary L. Coloe, Australian Catholic University
John 1:51 - 2:13: The Missing Pentecost

Francis J. Moloney, Salesians of Don Bosco
The Structure and Theology of Mark 15:1-47

I went for a couple more morning sessions and 3 afternoon sessions. They were not very exciting, at least for me. Anyway, I would not complain. The 2 papers by Mary Coloe and Francis Moloney contained much information to ponder over for the next few days.

Oh, by the way, I think Pearlie will like the chiastic structure presented by Moloney in his paper!

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Catching up with Friends in Auckland

Apart from attending SBL International Meeting in Auckland, I also took the opportunity to catch up with friends who live in the City of Sails as well. It was a great joy to meet up with Paul and Robert from Malaysia last night. Paul moved to Auckland about 1.5 years ago to pastor Kelston Community Church.

Needless to say, our fellowship was over dinner at a Malaysian restaurant in Auckland. Just look at the amount of food we had!

Paul and Robert also introduced me to Dr Max Liddle. Max has been a missionary to India and taught at Bible College of New Zealand. Max is very generous to donate 10 boxes of books from his personal library to STM library. Thanks, Max, for those books which we truly appreciate and we promise you that we will take good care of them.

I have just finished repacking the books donated by Max, waiting to be shipped to STM by next week.

Monday, 7 July 2008

SBL International Meeting Day 2, July 7

The SBL International Meeting begins full swing today.

I decided to attend the Paul and Pauline Literature session with the theme on 1 Corinthians and Colossians in the morning. A total of 5 papers were presented.

Oh-Young Kwon, Whitley College

Christopher Forbes, Macquarie University-Sydney

Peter Marshall, Marshall Enterprise Learning P/L

Laurence L. Welborn, Fordham University

Rosemary Canavan, Flinders University

Out of these papers, I particularly enjoyed L. L. Welborn's presentation. Click on the above link for an abstract of his paper.

In the afternoon, I attended the BibleWorks demo session. Although I have been a BibleWorks user for some years now, I still picked up some new tips on how to use this powerful software even more effectively.

It was a fruitful day for me. I look forward to tomorrow's sessions.

SBL International Meeting, Auckland - Day 1

The first day of the SBL International Meeting in Auckland went by without much incident. I did my registration at the School of Engineering, picked up the tote bag, and then met up with a fellow Malaysian medical student in Auckland, who despite having nothing to do with theology in his studies, decided to sign up for SBL Meeting. I suspect he might be the only non-biblical studies student in SBL meeting. Welcome to SBL, CW, and I hope you enjoy and learn something from the conference.

The powhiri followed the registration. Powhiri is the traditional Maori welcome ceremony. I decided to give this event a miss as I have witnessed this in my earlier trip to New Zealand.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Off to SBL International Meeting

I am at Kuala Lumpur International Airport now, waiting for my flight to Auckland for SBL International Meeting. My paper is now slotted on Wednesday morning, 9th July.

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?"

If I have the chance, I will post some news about the meeting.

Greece Trip (15): What is She Doing?

What is my colleague doing?

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Review of Biblical Literature June 24, 2008

I have been a bit slow in posting the Review of Biblical Literature.

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

Hans Dieter Betz, Don S. Browning, Bernd Janowski, and Eberhard Jüngel, eds.
Religion Past and Present: Encyclopedia of Theology and Religion: Volume 1: A-Bhu
Reviewed by Dirk van der Merwe

Bradford B. Blaine Jr.
Peter in the Gospel of John: The Making of an Authentic Disciple
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek

Markus Bockmuehl and Donald A. Hagner, eds.
The Written Gospel
Reviewed by David C. Sim

Sebastian Brock
The Bible in the Syriac Tradition
Reviewed by H. F. van Rooy

Jack Cheng and Marian Feldman, eds.
Ancient Near Eastern Art in Context: Studies in Honor of Irene J. Winter by Her Students
Reviewed by Aren Maeir

Gregory W. Dawes
Introduction to the Bible
Reviewed by Randall L. McKinion

Jane DeRose Evans
The Coins and the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Economy of Palestine
Reviewed by Mark A. Chancey

Victor Paul Furnish1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians
Reviewed by Eduard Verhoef

Mark D. Futato
Interpreting the Psalms: An Exegetical Handbook
Reviewed by Howard N. Wallace

John Goldingay and David Payne
Isaiah 40-55: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary
Reviewed by Chris Franke

Maria Gorea
Job: Ses précurseurs et ses épigones ou comment faire du nouveau avec de l'ancien
Reviewed by James L. Crenshaw

Nathaniel Helfgot, ed.
The Tanakh Companion to the Book of Samuel
Reviewed by Ralph K. Hawkins

Paul M. Hoskins
Jesus as the Fulfillment of the Temple in the Gospel of John
Reviewed by Mary L. Coloe
Reviewed by Nicholas H. Taylor

Ådna Jostein, ed.
The Formation of the Early Church
Reviewed by Markus Oehler

Bart J. Koet
Dreams and Scripture in Luke-Acts: Collected Essays
Reviewed by David L. Tiede

Jerome H. Neyrey
Give God the Glory: Ancient Prayer and Worship in Cultural Perspective
Reviewed by Tony Costa

Birger A. PearsonAncient Gnosticism: Traditions and Literature
Reviewed by James F. McGrath

Calvin J. Roetzel
2 Corinthians
Reviewed by Frank J. Matera

Karl Friedrich Ulrichs
Christusglaube: Studien zum Syntagma pistis Christou und zum paulinischen Verständnis von Glaube und Rechtfertigung
Reviewed by Günter Röhser

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

NT Position: Moravian Theological Seminary

I have just come across the following announcement:

Moravian Theological Seminary is accepting applications for a faculty appointment in New Testament studies, to begin Fall 2009.

Moravian Theological Seminary offers graduate degrees and continuing education programs to prepare men and women for effective leadership and service in congregational, pastoral counseling, teaching, and other ministries. We are committed to diversity in our faculty. Our student body represents a wide range of Christian traditions and includes some students from other religious traditions.

We seek applicants with a Ph.D. or equivalent, who have experience in ministry, lay or ordained, and who can effectively bring strong academic scholarship into conversation with ongoing issues in the life and mission of the Church. Candidates with advanced ABD status will be considered.

Review of applications will begin on September 15, 2008.

Applications should be sent to
Dr. Frank L. Crouch,
Moravian Theological Seminary,
1200 Main Street,
PA 18018.

Applications should include a letter of interest, indicating one’s approach to teaching in a seminary setting; a c.v.; three letters of reference; and a transcript of one’s doctoral work. (Applications may be sent by email, but we need a hard copy of an official transcript.)

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Review of Biblical Literature June 14, 2008

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

Jim W. Adams
The Performative Nature and Function of Isaiah 40-55
Reviewed by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

Ward Blanton
Displacing Christian Origins: Philosophy, Secularity, and the New Testament
Reviewed by Claire Clivaz

Brian Brock
Singing the Ethos of God: On the Place of Christian Ethics in Scripture
Reviewed by Jan G. van der Watt

Walter Brueggemann
Praying the Psalms: Engaging the Scripture and the Life of the Spirit
Reviewed by Patrick D. Miller

Albert Eichhorn; trans. Jeffrey Cayzer
The Lord's Supper in the New Testament
Reviewed by Sakari Hakkinen

Volker Gäckle
Die Starken und die Schwachen in Korinth und in Rom: Zu Herkunft und Funktion der Antithese in 1Kor 8,1-11,1 und in Röm 14,1-15,13
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek

Mike Graves and David M. May
Preaching Matthew: Interpretation and Proclamation
Reviewed by Craig S. Keener

Gina Hens-Piazza1-2 Kings
Reviewed by Randall L. McKinion

Fredrik Lindgard
Paul's Line of Thought in 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10
Reviewed by Thomas Schmeller

Jacob Neusner, ed.
The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary: Volume 8: Tractate Yebamot
Reviewed by Rivka Ulmer

Jean-Marc Prieur
La croix chez les Pères: (du IIe au début du IVe siècle)
Reviewed by Marco Frenschkowski

Mark Roncace and Patrick Gray, eds.
Teaching the Bible through Popular Culture and the Arts
Reviewed by Leonard Greenspoon

Brian S. Rosner
Greed as Idolatry: The Origin and Meaning of a Pauline Metaphor
Reviewed by H. H. Drake Williams III

David T. Runia and Gregory E. Sterling, eds.
The Studia Philonica Annual: Studies in Hellenistic Judaism: Volume XIX, 2007
Reviewed by James E. Bowley

Andreas Wagner, ed.
Primäre und sekundäre Religion als Kategorie der Religionsgeschichte des Alten Testaments
Reviewed by Mark W. Hamilton

New Issue of Tyndale Bulletin Arrives

The new issue of Tyndale Bulletin Vol 59/1 (2008) has just arrived in the mail.

The contents of this issue related to NT studies are highlighted below:

Conceptualising Fulfilment in Matthew by J. R. Daniel Kirk

Expulsion from the Synagogue? Rethinking a Johannine Anachronism by Edward W. Klink III

The Deliverer from Zion: The Source(s) and Function of Paul's Citation in Romans 11:26-27 by Christopher R. Bruno

John or Paul? Who was Polycarp's Mentor? by Kenneth Berding

The Measure of Stewardship: Pistis in Romans 12:3 by John C. Poirier.