Friday, 31 October 2008

Happy Reformation Day

Today reminds me of my visit to the Reformation Monument in Geneva during the Christmas season 2007. What happened in 1517 on this day changed not only the course of church history but human history as well.

"I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen." Martin Luther.

"I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess." Martin Luther.

Happy Reformation Day.

NT Position at Augustana College

AUGUSTANA COLLEGE invites applications for a full-time tenure track appointment in New Testament to begin with the 2009-2010 academic year. The successful candidate will be familiar with the historical, cultural, literary and theological dimensions of the New Testament texts, as well as the history of their interpretation within Christianity.

Normal teaching load is two or three sections per trimester (seven sections per year total);four of these will be contributions to the college’s Christian Traditions requirement.

The successful applicant must have completed the requirement for a Ph.D. in New Testament prior to the beginning of the 2009-2010 academic year.

Augustana College is a selective liberal arts college of 2,500 students, most of whom live in residence halls on a wooded 115-acre campus.

Rock Island, Illinois is one of the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa, a diverse metropolitan area on the Mississippi River with 400,000 residents.

Augustana College is an equal opportunity employer and actively encourages applications from women and persons of diverse ethnic backgrounds. We do not discriminate based on age, race, color, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability or creed. Details about Augustana, our expectation of the faculty, the selection process, and the Quad Cities are all available at the Faculty Search website;

Send a letter of application, curriculum vita, graduate transcript, statement of teaching philosophy, sample of scholarly work, and three letters of recommendation to:

Search #118-09
RE/New Testament Cmte.,
C/O Dr. Jeff Abernathy,
Dean of the College,
Augustana College,
639 – 38th Street,
Rock Island, Illinois 61201.

Questions may be directed to the chair of the department, Ritva Williams, at

Further information about the Religion program may be found at

Review of applications will begin December 1, 2008.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Snippets of Life of a Faculty Member in Seminary During the Long Vacation

The long year end vacation has officially started last week. The seminary campus is rather quiet now, except for a handful of thesis writing and postgraduate students who stay back during the vacation to utilise the library for their research.

But what about the faculty? The general perception among the students is that during the long vacation, the lecturers are very free. But is this true?

Let's have some snippets of my life in the seminary for this week:

Monday, 27 October
The nation celebrated Deepavali, so it was a public holiday. But I returned to the office to work on my preparation for the upcoming Doctor of Ministry module on 'Advanced Hermeneutics and Homiletics' that I will be co-teaching with my colleague in March 2009, but details of which would be given out to the candidates at the DMin orientation to be held on November 3. So I needed to get ready the course outline, bibliography and the reader to be distributed to the students during the orientation next week. In the night, a group of students came to my office to chill out and had some 'ciku and coffee/tea' party.

Tuesday, 28 October
A group of us spent the entire morning in a meeting finalising the details of the Southeast Asia Edinburgh 2010 Missions Conference to be hosted by STM in June 2009. From the afternoon right up to the night, I continued to work on the Doctor of Ministry module and compiled the reader to be distributed next week. A student volunteered to help me make copies of the articles to be included in the DMin reader, whose timely assistance was greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, 29 October
Continued to work on the Doctor of Ministry module right up to the afternoon. Finally completed it, and arranged for the 1000-page reader to be photocopied. Then in the evening, I graded a paper submitted by one of my postgraduate Master of Theology students. In between these tasks, I reviewed several new applications for our next academic year intake. In the midst of busyness, I still managed to have lunch with one of our students. It was good to catch up with him.

Thursday, 30 October
Today will be another packed day. I will be conducting an oral comprehensive examination for one of our Master of Theology students, followed by a series of interviews with four potential Doctor of Ministry and Master of Theology applicants. Then I will be rushing back home to Kuala Lumpur in the evening to take my mother to her doctor's appointment.

Friday, 31 October
I will be on leave today - not to have a break but to take my father to his doctor's appointment. This will be another long day of waiting in the hospital. The good news is that I will have some time to catch up with my reading in the waiting room.

Saturday, 1 November
It will be back to work in the church office....I will be dead by Saturday night. Good thing I do not have anymore Sunday preaching engagements until December.

Is there any free time for me?

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Thoughts about Giving


I have learned in my personal Christian journey and ministry in church that this is so true - just so true. Why can't we share and give freely? Why can't I share and give freely too?

Monday, 27 October 2008

Scripture's Doctrine and Theology's Bible

A new book edited by Markus Bockmuehl and Alan Torrance titled Scripture's Doctrine and Theology's Bible: How the New Testament Shapes Christian Dogmatics is now published by Baker Academic.

In recent years, we have witnessed a growing interest (not to mention a growing body of literature) in the intersection of biblical studies and theology. According to the publisher, this book is a result of "an illuminating symposium held at the University of St. Andrews that assembled a group of world-class biblical and systematic theologians to answer this fundamental question: To what extent, and on what grounds, does the New Testament shape and prescribe Christian theology?"

"As the contributors explore this question, they address the specific way in which the New Testament does or should shape dogmatics. Part 1 deals with how the Bible informs particular aspects of Christian doctrine and praxis. Part 2 examines how the New Testament has shaped influential theologians of the past century. Part 3 moves from analysis to synthesis, drawing a vision for the New Testament's normative role in forming theology and ethics. Here is engaging dialogue for scholars in both biblical studies and theology as well as their students."

The list of Contributors is without doubt impressive:

Markus Bockmuehl (University of Oxford)
James Carleton Paget (University of Cambridge)
R. W. L. Moberly (University of Durham)
Jan Muis (University of Utrecht)
Oliver O'Donovan (University of Edinburgh)
Alan J. Torrance (University of St. Andrews)
Kevin J. Vanhoozer (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)
Benedict Thomas Viviano, OP (University of Fribourg)
J. Ross Wagner (Princeton Theological Seminary)
Bernd Wannenwetsch (University of Oxford)
John Webster (University of Aberdeen)
N. T. Wright (Bishop of Durham)

For Table of Contents, the Introductory Chapter by Markus Bockmuehl and the first chapter on The Septuagint and the “Search for the Christian Bible” by J. Ross Wagner, please click here.

Looks like this book will make it to my personal library soon...

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Antidote to Gossip??

Living in a seminary community can be an enriching experience, but it can also be a rather frustrating one, particularly when unfounded gossips spread - and they can really spread like wildfire and, at time, can hardly be contained - especially when they have something to do human relationships.

Perhaps the carton may be a good antidote to gossip? So are we game for another version of STM Handbook?

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Band of Brothers in STM

The 3 of us DO share some similarities...However, someone cheekily says that someone important in the seminary is missing from the photo. Guess who...

Friday, 24 October 2008

NT Position: Bangor Theological Seminary

Bangor Theological Seminary announces an NT position:

Bangor Theological Seminary will appoint an Assistant Professor of New Testament beginning academic year 2009-2010. Ph.D. or the equivalent required. Person must be able to serve as the only professor in the field, teach Greek, have broad interests in contemporary hermeneutics, and be supportive of the seminary’s mission.

BTS is an Open and Affirming, Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer.

Send a CV and an application letter to

Dean Glenn Miller,
Bangor Theological Seminary,
2 College Circle, PO Box 411,
Bangor, Maine 04402-0411

Include in your letter whether you are available for interview at the SBL meeting in Boston. More information about Bangor Seminary and this position can be found on the Seminary website.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

PhD Scholarship at St John's, Durham on Biblical Literacy in Digital Age

The following announcement came through the BNTS list. The generous scholarship will appeal to those who are interested in communicating the gospel in the digital age.

CODEC, St John’s College, University of Durham
PhD Research Project
Communicating the Gospel in a Digital Age or
Biblical Literacy in a Digital Age
£11,000 bursary per annum (plus academic fees paid)

CODEC has been awarded funding from The Methodist Church of Great Britain to establish a research project exploring either the impact of the digital age on the communication of the Gospel or the use of the Bible in the Church and in an increasingly digital society.

We are seeking a student with outstanding potential to pursue research in the above areas based at St John’s College at the University of Durham and within the newly established CODEC research centre in collaboration with the Director of Research, Revd Dr Peter Phillips.

St John’s offers a wealth of research collaboration opportunities including the Wesley Studies Centre, Cranmer Hall and the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Durham. The research supervisory panel will bring together support from each of these centres, while the PhD will be undertaken through the normal University of Durham graduate processes.

While pursuing this research you will be expected to work together with other researchers, academic members of staff and ordinands at the various associated centres. You are expected to have a good Masters degree or at least a high 2.1 BA (Hons) (or equivalent) in Theology or a related subject. Candidates with a high 2.1 in Media or Computing Studies or related subjects as well as a postgraduate qualification in Theology will also be considered.

Ideally you will have an active interest and/or experience in more than one of the following areas:

communication, media, postmodernism, biblical literacy, missiology/evangelism.

You should have good computer skills. Good written- and verbal-communication skills are essential as are the ability to work as part of a developing research community, be self-motivated and pro-active.

The successful candidate will be expected to complete the PhD programme including the publication of relevant research papers and academic articles, as well as contributions to academic conferences and the dissemination of the conclusions reached during the research.

Candidates will provide a formal research proposal as part of the application process.

Interviews will involve the presentation of this research proposal to a panel.

For an informal discussion or an application form and further particulars please contact

Dr Peter Phillips,
Centre for Biblical Literacy,
Tel: 0191 334 3896,
Mobile: 0787 633 7157

Closing date: 31 October 2008

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

New Bible Study Magazine by Logos Bible Software

Logos Bible Software has launched a new magazine called Bible Study Magazine. Published 6 times a year, Bible Study Magazine will deliver "tools and methods for Bible study, as well as insights from respected voices in the church and biblical scholarship."

This brand new magazine promises to feature the following in each issue:

Feature Stories - Great interviews and articles with the biggest names in the church and biblical scholarship help you connect the Bible to your ministry and life.

Bible Study Tips - Thoughtful and engaging authors tackle the tough passages in Scripture and explain difficult concepts in a way that helps God's Word make sense.

On the Cutting Edge - Fresh perspectives from the best biblical researchers on archaeological and historical findings.

Not Your Average Bible Study - Encounter God by yourself or with other believers with an ongoing Bible study in each issue.

On Teaching - Get advice from seasoned pastors and teachers on how to teach from the Bible.

D.I.Y. Bible Study - Learn how to effectively use Bible study tools with our how-to guides.
In the NewsKeep informed about the latest news in biblically related topics, discoveries and events.

Thoughts from the Church Fathers - Read the Bible along with those who have come before you and learn from their wisdom.

Greek Word Study without Greek - Contextual insights about specific words in four easy steps.

If Only Someone Would Explain It to Me - Top scholars explain complex biblical concepts.

What They Don't Tell You in Church - Challenging facts about the Bible in the ancient world.

I Dare You Not to Bore Me with the Bible - See things you never noticed in biblical passages that you've read dozens of times.

A Moment with God - Encouraging stories of people finding devotional time in the midst of a hectic schedule.

Bible Comics & Puzzles - The best comics and puzzles related to the Bible.

Shelf Life - Stay on top of the latest books and commentaries about the Bible.

Sounds pretty interesting. I will ask our library to subscribe to the magazine, and I can't wait to get hold of the copy to do a proper review. For those who can't wait to receive the inaugural November-December 2008 issue, click here for a preview.

To subscribe, click on the photo above, or here.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

It's Hard Work but We Had Some Fun

Yes, it was hard work for all the faculty after the end of the first day of our annual faculty consultation. But we had some fun as well.

This evening, we went out for a nice dinner at Kensington. See all the cheerful faces....

Monday, 20 October 2008

Faculty Planning

For the students, the long year end vacation has begun after the Graduation Service on Saturday. But for the faculty, there is still work...and more work....and even more work.....

Files for the Faculty Consultation...

Not only do we have to mark all the assignments and exams, we also have our annual planning and consultation retreat from Oct 20-21 to evaluate the past year and to plan for the year ahead. The next two days will be packed for us - then it is back to marking papers and exams for me, preparing for the courses I will be teaching next semester, and getting ready for the Doctor of Ministry orientation. Once all this is done by the first week of November, I will be looking forward to my 1-month research and writing at Trinity Theological College, Singapore.

Vacation? Nah....the budding NT scholar still has to work hard....

Me, A Student?

Someone from the seminary community asked me earlier on, "Are you a student?" This is not a joke. It is a serious question, as this person is unsure whether I am a student or lecturer.

Oh my, what have I done, or....better still, what have I not done that someone in the community believes that I am actually a student?

Saturday, 18 October 2008

STM Commissioning Service and Graduation Dinner

As we approach STM's Graduation Week, the campus has been transformed into a hive of activities. Families, relatives, and friends of the graduands are already to share the joy of their as they receive their scrolls later this afternoon in the Graduation Service.

In line with our tradition, we had our Commissioning Service to send off our graduands and Graduation Dinner to celebrate the completion of their studies yesterday.

Dr Ezra Kok (right) speaking at the Commissioning Service, interpreted by Mr Chew (left)

Praying for all our graduands

Graduation Dinner

SBL Forum: Student Creative Project

There is a very interesting post published in this month's SBL Forum written by James D Findlay. Titled "Student Creative Projects: Aural and Video Productions as Biblical Exegesis," this article highlights James' experience in encouraging his students to find ways "into the joyful task of creative and responsible interpretation in ways that make sense for their own lives and experiences."

Click here to read the article - it's worth reading it.

As a lecturer, I have been struggling how to give the necessary space for my students to express their creativity in exegesis classes. Perhaps I might give James' idea a try in my next semester's course on Exegesis of Romans. Who knows, we might even discover some hidden talents.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Review of Biblical Literature Oct 13, 2008

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

Edward Adams
The Stars Will Fall from Heaven: Cosmic Catastrophe in the New Testament and Its World
Reviewed by Lorenzo DiTommaso

William Sanger Campbell
The "We" Passages in the Acts of the Apostles: The Narrator as Narrative Character
Reviewed by Jean-François Racine

Andrew D. Clarke
A Pauline Theology of Church Leadership
Reviewed by Stephan Joubert

Benjamin Fiore
The Pastoral Epistles: First Timothy, Second Timothy, and Titus
Reviewed by Korinna Zamfir

Bas ter Haar Romeny, ed.
The Peshitta: Its Use in Literature and Liturgy: Papers Read at the Third Peshitta Symposium
Reviewed by Robert A. Kitchen

Daniel Hillel
The Natural History of the Bible: An Environmental Exploration of the Hebrew Scriptures
Reviewed by Norman Habel

Werner G. Jeanrond and Andrew D. H. Mayes, eds.
Recognising the Margins: Developments in Biblical and Theological Studies
Reviewed by Peter R. Rodgers

Matthew Levering
Ezra and Nehemiah
Reviewed by Ralph W. Klein

Graham S. Ogden
Reviewed by Ludger Schwienhorst-Schönberger

R. J. R. Plant
Good Figs, Bad Figs: Judicial Differentiation in the Book of Jeremiah
Reviewed by Mark Brummitt

Fernando F. Segovia and R. S. Sugirtharajah, eds.
A Postcolonial Commentary on the New Testament Writings
Reviewed by Jonathan A. Draper
Reviewed by Hans Leander

Robert B. Stewart, ed.
Intelligent Design: William A. Dembski and Michael Ruse in Dialogue
Reviewed by Christopher Heard

Ilse Wegner
Eine Einführung in die hurritische Sprache
Reviewed by Ignacio Marquez Rowe

Stephen Westerholm
Understanding Matthew: The Early Christian Worldview of the First Gospel
Reviewed by David C. Sim

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Chair/Reader in Ancient Judaism/New Testament: Durham University

University of Durham announces a position for Chair/Reader in Ancient Judaism/New Testament.

The announcement is reproduced below:

The Department of Theology and Religion seeks to appoint a Professor or Reader in Ancient Judaism or New Testament, from September 2009. Candidates should be able to teach undergraduates and supervise research projects in both fields, though the preponderance of their own research may fall more in one field than the other. The postholder will be expected to teach, to supervise doctoral research, and to publish research at the highest international level.

The academic field here labelled ‘Ancient Judaism’ is taken to cover the post-exilic period up to and including rabbinic Judaism of the Talmudic era. The postholder will be joining a number of colleagues whose research covers aspects of this field, including Prof. Robert Hayward, Dr. Stuart Weeks, Prof. John Barclay and Prof. Francis Watson. The latter two also teach and research in New Testament, along with Dr. Stephen Barton and Dr. William Telford.

Closing date for the application is 28th November 2008; interviews early in the new year 2009.

For enquiries on application process (online) contact

For enquiries regarding the job and the Department contact

For further information, please click here.

Monday, 13 October 2008

How Does A Biblical Scholar Spend His Long Vacation? Second Book Writing Project at TTC - Part 1

Barring unforeseen circumstances, it looks like I will be heading down south to Trinity Theological College (TTC) for 4 weeks (from Nov 10 - Dec 5, 2008) to work on my second book project on Paul's correspondence to the Corinthians. I wish I could stay longer, but that's all the time I could afford. Being a junior and new lecturer at STM, I do not have the luxury of an extended sabbatical where I could spend concentrated time in my writing project. As such, the best I could spare is to squeeze 4 weeks out of the year end long vacation to go away to work on this book, and do the best I could out of these 4 weeks.

TTC is very kind to allocate an apartment on-campus for my 4-week stay where I could have access to the excellent library resources and facilities.

Busy Week Ahead: STM Graduation

This coming week will be a busy one. It's not only the end of the semester but also the seminary's graduation week. A total of 65 students will receive their scrolls this year in various certificates, diplomas and degrees. Congratulations to our 2008 Graduates!

Some of the activities planned throughout this week are as follow:

16 October, Thursday:
Farewell party for graduating students at 8.00pm

17 October 2008, Friday:
Commissioning Service at 11:00am
Community Lunch at 1:00pm
Graduation Rehearsal at 2:00pm
Graduation Dinner at 7:00pm

18 October 2008, Saturday
Graduation Service at 4:00pm (Tea reception at 3:00pm)
Speaker: The Rt Rev Albert Vun, the Bishop of The Anglican Diocese of Sabah.

To all our graduating students, I wish you all the best as you serve the Lord in his ministry.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Clergy Appreciation Day

October 12 is Clergy Appreciation Day. To all clergy and full-time workers in the church and other Christian organisations, and particularly the pastoral team of my church, I would like to thank God for all of you.

You work very hard and long hours, often to the extent of neglecting personal needs, in order to give us spiritual comfort and direction in our journey of faith. You do so much, care so much for us, yet you receive so little in return. You tried your best to guide us into deeper relationship with God, yet at times we choose not to listen to you.

Therefore on this Clergy Appreciation Day, I would like to take a moment of two to acknowledge and celebrate the efforts of your leadership and guidance. I thank God for calling you into his service and ministry, to shepherd his church, and to care for his flock.

May God bless you as you continue to guide us into a deeper relationship with him.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Books again....

Pearlie blogs about her reading plan for the next 21 years, and that's not discounting the many books she will buy. And Canaanland's Sale is now on, and I have to resist the temptation to even go anywhere near the bookstore (which is rather close to my house). That's because I am too broke to buy any more books. So I think I will just be contented with the cartoon below...

Friday, 10 October 2008

More Disciples Needed in Biblical Studies

My colleague, the Rabbi, has often publicly made it known that he has been praying for 12 disciples to be trained in the field of OT for the Malaysian church. He has successcully trained one who is now on the faculty of STM. But he is still on the aggressive lookout for 11 more. Any takers to do postgraduate studies in OT under the Reb?

I, too, have been praying for more quality disciples to be trained in the field of NT. At the moment, I have two working under me in for their postgraduate studies, and perhaps potentially another one next year. But we need more. Like what the Reb says, he is not going to be around forever, same goes for the budding NT scholar too.

It takes at least 7-10 years to train someone to be a specialist in biblical studies, be it in NT or OT. The usual path is the 3-year Master of Divinity track, followed by a 2-year Master of Theology, then another 3-5 years of PhD studies.

Let's assume this - both the Reb and I start mentoring one disciple each in 2009 in his/her Master of Theology studies in OT and NT respectively. By the time this person completes his/her PhD in OT/NT, that would be in 2014/15 at the earliest, provided we can secure all the necessary funding, and there is no further unforeseen circumstances that would derail our planning, and that all studies are done full-time, a luxury that not many can afford. This is a very long wait indeed.

Would the Reb and I be still around by then? Only the Almighty knows. As such, would any potential disciples like to take up this challenge? At the same time, would anyone out there like to support (both spiritually and materially) such a candidate for his/her studies?

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Special SBL Membership Rate

Under the International Coorperation Initiative, the Society of Biblical Literature is now making its full and student membership subscriptions very affordable to scholars and students from countries "with a GDP per capita substantially lower than the average GDP per capita of the USA and the European Union." Malaysia is one country falling into this category.

As such for a Malaysian, a full membership is now only US$15 (normal rate US$65) and a student membership is US$10 (normal rate US$25). To take advantage of this reduced membership rate, one needs to download a special membership form and submit it to SBL.

I would strongly encourage all my students interested in biblical scholarship, particularly those who would like to do further postgraduate studies, to take advantage of this offer and sign up as a member of SBL.

For further information on SBL membership, please click here. For benefits of membership, please click here.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

My Teaching Load for 1st Semester 2009

This is how my teaching load for the 1st semester of 2009 looks like:

1) Exegesis of Romans
2) Exegetical Method - co-teaching with the Rabbi
3) Advanced Hermeneutics and Homiletics - a DMin course, co-teaching with Dr Philip Siew
4) Biblical Interpretation - TEE course
5) Supervision of 3 MDiv students writing thesis in NT
6) Supervision of 2 MTheol students writing thesis in NT
7) Potentially, another 2 new MTheol students will be working on NT

Someone still thinks I have time to goyang kaki... :-)

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

NT Position at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

My alma mater, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, is advertising for a faculty opening in New Testament.

According to the announcement, "The candidate for this position must have a demonstrated capacity for rigorous academic scholarship, exemplary classroom leadership, a foundational commitment to the local church and an abiding sense of personal holiness as demonstrated through the practice of Christian disciplines." In addition, "The person seeking this position must demonstrate a competence in classroom teaching. Ability to supervise masters level theses is also a requirement. The precise courses would be chosen to reflect the particular research and experience strengths of the professor, but the expectation is that the professor will be able to teach basic and intermediate Greek, exegetical method, Jewish and/or Greco-Roman backgrounds, and Greek exegesis (a variety of NT books). Specialization in Gospel literature preferable. Additionally, teaching experience or capability in one or more of the following areas would be desirable: New Testament Theology, Biblical Theology, or New Testament Ethics."

Closing date for the application is November 15, 2008.

For further information, please click here.

Should I apply?? Whack.....Dream on, Kar Yong!

Monday, 6 October 2008

Review of Biblical Literature Oct 3, 2008

Here are the new reviews that have been added to the Review of Biblical Literature. Of particular interest is the Global Bible Commentary edited by Daniel Patte. The other is the commentary on Matthew by Ben Withierington. With the large number of books he published, I wonder how he would find the time to do so. Any wise words for the budding NT scholar?

Andrew Bernhard
Other Early Christian Gospels: A Critical Edition of the Surviving Greek Manuscripts
Reviewed by Christopher Tuckett

Augusto Cosentino
Il battesimo gnostico: Dottrine, simboli e riti iniziatici nello gnosticismo
Reviewed by Birger A. Pearson

Katharine J. Dell
The Book of Proverbs in Social and Theological Context
Reviewed by Dorothy Akoto

Karin Finsterbusch, Armin Lange, and K.F. Diethard Römheld, eds.
Human Sacrifice in Jewish and Christian Tradition
Reviewed by James W. WattsJoel B. Green1 Peter
Reviewed by Paul J. Achtemeier

John Paul Hozvicka
A Primer on Biblical Studies
Reviewed by John Vassar

Steven L. McKenzie and John Kaltner
The Old Testament: Its Background, Growth, and Content
Reviewed by Francis Dalrymple-Hamilton

Daniel Patte, ed.
Global Bible Commentary
Reviewed by Alexander Negrov

Finny Philip
The Origins of Pauline Pneumatology: The Eschatological Bestowal of the Spirit upon Gentiles in Judaism and in the Early Development of Paul's Theology
Reviewed by Justin K. Hardin

Aicha Rahmouni; J. N. Ford, trans.
Divine Epithets in the Ugaritic Alphabetic Texts
Reviewed by James R. Getz Jr.

Varda Sussman
Oil-Lamps in the Holy Land: Saucer Lamps: From the Beginning to the Hellenistic Period: Collections of the Israel Antiquities Authority
Reviewed by Noam Adler

Ben Witherington III
Reviewed by David C. Sim

Sunday, 5 October 2008

NT/Early Christianity Position: Ursinus College

The announcement for NT/Early Christianity Position at Ursinus College is reporduced below.

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, New Testament / Early Christianity

Ursinus College invites applications for a tenure track Assistant Professor position in religious studies to begin in fall 2009. Area of specialization: New Testament studies, Early Christian studies. Desirable subspecialties: feminist and postcolonial theory, religions of the Mediterranean/Greco-Roman world, Hebrew Bible, and/or Second Temple/Rabbinic Judaism.

A Ph.D. in religious studies or equivalent is required by the start of employment. Teaching responsibilities will include introductory courses in religious studies, courses in the candidate's area of expertise, and an interdisciplinary liberal studies seminar for first-year students. The successful candidate must demonstrate a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching in a liberal arts setting and should be comfortable teaching teaching a wide range of subject material. He or she will also mentor student research, carry out a continuing program of scholarly activity, and help develop the College's religious studies and relevant interdisciplinary programs.

Send letter, curriculum vitae, transcripts, documentation of teaching, and three letters of recommendation (at least one of which should address teaching) to

Nathan Rein,
Dept. of Philosophy and Religious Studies,
Ursinus College,
P.O. Box 1000,
Collegeville, PA 19426.

Applications should be received by Nov. 10, 2008 to ensure full consideration; the search committee plans to hold preliminary interviews at the Society for Biblical Literature meeting in Boston.

For more information, please contact Prof. Rein at nrein at ursinus dot edu (no email applications, please) or 610-409-3000×2571.

Ursinus College, established in 1869, is a highly selective, independent, co-educational, residential liberal arts college of 1600 students located 25 miles northwest of center city Philadelphia. Ursinus College is an EEO/AA employer. In keeping with the College’s historic commitment to equality, men and women, and members of all racial and ethnic groups are encouraged to apply.

Cleaner Earns More!

I have been looking for a cleaner for my house for some time now, just to help out my parents with some cleaning chores. It's been rather difficult to find one, and the average going rate is about RM50-60 for a 3-4hour session. That started me to do some basic calculations. If a cleaner can do 2-3 sessions a day, and works 6 days a week, just imagine how much the potential take home pay can be.

This is a real revelation to me. Imagine a cleaner can earn so much more than a lecturer with a PhD teaching in a seminary!

I wonder whether I am in a wrong profession. Perhaps I should set up LKY Cleaning Services - be my own boss. No, call it Kairos Cleaning Services - timely service with a smile!

The benefits are quite obvious:
  • higher income
  • I could just focus on homes in my neighbourhood - that would mean I can cut down on travelling, tolls, and petrol. Suddenly my real income increases by another RM500.
  • I can sell my car - and save on road tax, insurance and the hire purchase that I currently service. Another RM550 monthly contribution to my real income.
  • more physical activities - that means burning more calories, a sure way to shed the unwanted pounds in my body.
  • oh yes - there are quite a number of expats living in my neighbourhood - perhaps I can just focus on these households - they might just want an English speaking cleaner, and perhaps I can charge a premium for my services
  • no need to prepare for lectures
  • no more marking papers and pulling out my hairs
  • no more complaints from my students about my standards being too "high" and "unachievable" that in turn cause them nightmares
  • and the list goes on

Not a bad idea, ah.....Whack...wake up...wake up...It's just a dream...a wishful dream....nevertheless a dream worth serious consideration...whack again...wake up...wake up...

Saturday, 4 October 2008

2009 SBL International Meeting Call for Papers

It seems like it's not too long ago I was at the 2008 SBL International Meeting in Auckland, presenting my paper (that's July). Now, the 2009 SBL International Meeting call for papers is already in place.

Next year, the International Meeting will be held in Rome. I have a couple of papers I would like to submit, where I would like to continue developing some Asian (or more particular, Malaysian) reading of the Pauline corpus. But at this stage, I am very uncertain whether I will even make it to Rome. It is going to be a very costly conference to attend!

Hopefully, I won't be like St Paul, arriving Rome in chains...

Friday, 3 October 2008

Themelios September 2008 Issue Now Available

The latest issue of Themelios, Volume 33, No 2, September 2008, is now published. Themelios, now operated by the Gospel Coalition, is published as a FREE digital journal beginning 2008. The contents of previous issues are archived online, but only a limited full-text articles are available.

Click here to view the journal online.

NT Wright at Gordon Conwell

NT Wright will be speaking at my alma mater, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary on November 18, 2008.

Bishop NT Wright is the invited guest speaker at the Fall Pastor's Forum on the topic of Between God and the World: Reading John in Tomorrow's Church

According to Gordon-Conwell's website, "John’s Gospel is both majestic and intimate, a book for pastors, theologians, evangelists and - not least - those concerned to relate the gospel to tomorrow’s world of culture, society and politics. This seminar will offer a refresher course in understanding John and thinking through its powerful message for the church and world - and for ourselves!"

Specific topics that Bishop Wright will address include...

(1) The Word and the World

(2) Sings of Glory, Seeds of Hope

(3) The Shepherd King and His Helpers

(4) The Spirit and the Church's Mission

For further information, please click here.

If I am able to attend SBL Annual Conference in Boston, I would not have missed NT Wright's session at Gordon-Conwell.'s just a wish to attend SBL....just a dream...

Thursday, 2 October 2008

NT Position: Regent University

NT Position available at Regent University. The announcement is reporduced below.

Regent University’s School of Divinity invites applications and nominations for a tenure-track faculty appointment at the rank of assistant or associate professor.

The appointment involves responsibility for teaching and research in various aspects of New Testament studies.

Interest in and aptitude for teaching biblical languages and hermeneutics are also desirable.

A PhD and an aptitude, as a teacher, to become proficient in multiple forms of delivery are required. University or seminary level teaching experience in a relevant field is desirable. In addition to teaching and professional research, the position entails advising students and participating in committee work. The successful candidate must also demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the Renewal (Pentecostal/Charismatic) perspective in Christianity. Ministerial credentials are preferred.

Applicants should send a letter of interest, transcripts, curriculum vita, and a brief statement of their Christian experience and philosophy of education in relation to ministry. In addition, letters of support from three referees should be sent to the postal address. NOTE: Letters of support should come directly from the referees, not from the applicant.

New Testament Studies Search Committee
c/o Paula Finch
Office of the Dean
School of Divinity
Regent University
1000 Regent University Drive
Virginia Beach,
VA 23464

Applications can be submitted online here.

Curriculum vita or resume can be submitted electronically in PDF or Microsoft Word format to Paula Finch at

Priority will be given to applications received by January 15, 2009.

Regent University is a culturally diverse community that actively encourages women and members of all racial/ethnic backgrounds and cultures to apply. More information regarding Regent University can be found at Applicants will receive consideration without discrimination because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, or disability.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

500th Post

Wow....I hit my 500th post!

Didn't know I can have so much to talk and write....(well, it's really nonsense some of the time...).

Thanks to all for your support and continuous reading of my blog.

Pastoral Group 2008

To all my pastoral group members, I wish you all the best for your final exams. For those who will be graduating in the next few weeks, I wish you the Almighty's abundant blessings as you prepare yourselves to serve the church.