Saturday, 28 February 2009

Hallelujah Rojak!!


This sign caught my attention while I was taking a walk in one of the night markets near the seminary recently.

Friday, 27 February 2009

The Mark of a Good Missionary


Mark demonstrates the mark of a good missionary in the making.

Last Sunday, Mark, who is on 6-month assignment with the seminary, joined us for a banana leaf Indian lunch after church. He attempted to eat the way Indians would eat - by using hands! And he did a pretty decent job too.

Bravo, Mark.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Books...books...books...

I have recently just renewed my car's road tax, and received the tax rebate of RM625. So I decided to put the money into good use by getting myself a belated brithday gift. No price for guessing that I bought some books from my wishlist at Amazon.

So this is what I got for myself. I wonder whether my student, Perng Shyang, would be envious of this.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Collect for Ash Wednesday


Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
AMEN

Ice Blended Coconut Shake


When I was in Melaka recently, I took a drive along the road leading to the Klebang beach. Along the way, I saw a long queue at a stall by the roadside, and it caused a bit of a traffic jam. So my curiosity took over, and I decided to see what was going on. It turned out that the stall was selling ice-blended coconut shake. Well, it looked really nice, so I decided to have a try. No regrets...

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

An Open Letter to A Friend

Dear Jonathan,

I must confess that I was a bit at a loss after we ended our conversation and parted ways. You have remained much in my thoughts and prayers. I was not sure what to say to you after you expressed your desire to quit the ministry and return to the marketplace. You shared with me your struggles and the circumstances that led you to make this very difficult decision. You also shared with me the kind of responses given by your leaders as you informed them of your decision to leave the ministry.

First, I have to confess that I do not pretend to know all that you are going through. I do not have all the answers nor solutions to your difficult situations. But I feel your pain and the emotional turmoil you are going through. I share the heavy burden that are weighing you down. I see your tears flowing down as you share your heart with me. I feel the hurt that is deep within you as many have misunderstood you in your decision making process.

This I do know about you, my dear friend and brother. I know that you have never doubted God's calling in your life as you make that sacrificial decision to resign from your job at the peak of your career to enter seminary. I know you are very passionate about teaching and preaching God's word, as this has been clearly demonstrated in your ministry. I know you are deeply committed to the vision and burden that God has placed in your heart as you have shared this many times to me during our many sessions of "teh tarik" together, right up to the wee hours in the morning.

People say to you that you have betrayed your calling. Let me assured you that you did not. When God calls you into full-time ministry, God does not call you alone into ministry. God also calls the community of faith into partnership with you in your ministry. It is not you who have betrayed your calling. It is the people of God who have betrayed their calling in failing to adequately provide for your needs.

People say to you that you do not have enough faith to trust in God to provide for your needs. But let me assured you that I have not seen anyone with a deeper faith in God. It is not you who do not have faith. It is the people of God that have failed in exercising their faith in ensuring that your materials needs are taken care of.

People say to you that you run away from God by leaving the ministry. I know deep in your heart, you love God. No, you do not run away from God. It is the people of God who have run away from God by failing in their responsibilities in caring for you.

Jonathan, I know that deep within you, you care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. I know you have sacrificed so much for them. I know you really love them. I know this is a very difficult decision you make.

I pray that the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus as you return to the marketplace. Therefore, go in peace, Jonathan. Go and serve the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might in the marketplace. Go and be an authentic witness of God in the marketplace as you strive to become a living exegesis of the gospel of Christ in the marketplace. I know that your workplace will be very blessed to have you there.

I will remember you in prayers. I promise you that I will conitnue to journey alongside you as you make this transition back to the marketplace.

Your fellow sojourner in this journey of faith,
Kar Yong

Monday, 23 February 2009

Formation of BibleWorks Interest Group


The BibleWorks interest group will be established in Seminari Theoloji Malaysia soon. Read the announcement that I circulated recently below.
----------------------------------------------

I understand that a number of you already have BibleWorks installed in your computer. BibleWorks is a very powerful software for exegesis and research, but many of us still do not really know how to make full use of this software.

As such, a number of us are interested in maximising our investment in this software by forming the BibleWorks Interest Group. The primary purpose of this interest group is for us to learn how to make full use of this software, and discover how this software could aid us in our bible study, preaching, teaching, and exegesis. In addition, we also hope that this software could help us appreciate all the hard work we have put into learning the Greek language, and we attempt to demonstrate that with a little knowledge of Greek, it can go a long way to help us appreciate the scripture better. Finally, we anticipate that BibleWorks would help us dig
deeper into the scripture and, in turn, love the scripture more.

So if you are interested to find out more, please get in touch with us.

Details of our first meeting for the BibleWorks Interest Group are as follows:

Date: Tuesday, 24 February, 2009
Time: 4.30-5.30pm
Venue: L4

What to bring: your computer loaded with BibleWorks (preferably version 7, although version 8 has just been recently released), and if you have one, your copy of Wallace's grammar.
No need RSVP - just turn up.

Please note that this is not a workshop - it is not a lecture either. It is an interest group - which means we will be learning together. There will be areas we don't even know. So let's discover BibleWorks and the scripture together!

Hope to see you on Tuesday, 24 February!

Dr Lim Kar Yong

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Exploring Paul Conference, Saint Paul University


To celebrate the year of Saint Paul, the Faculty of Theology and the Faculty of Philosophy of Saint Paul University are proud to host jointly a one-day conference on Exploring Paul.

Papers may be on any aspect of Saint Paul's life and thought, from his historical circumstances to his philosophical and theological endeavours and the associated problems of interpretation.

The date of the conference is Wednesday, April 29th, 2009, to be held at the Saint Paul University.

Papers are to be a maximum of 25 minutes reading time.

Please send an abstract (1000 word maximum) by March 10, 2009 to:
Richard Feist
Dean
Faculty of Philosophy
Email: rfeist@ustpaul.ca

Confirmed Participants include:
  • Normand Bonneau (Theology): Story Line and Behavior in Paul: Salvation-Historical Consciousness
  • J. Kevin Coyle (Theology): Paul after Paul: Early Christian Readings (or Not) of the Apostle?
  • Richard Feist (Philosophy): Paul's Cynicism
  • Raymond Jahae (Philosophy): Reflections on Paul's Teaching on the Law
  • Jim Pambrun (Theology): Creation and New-Creation in Paul: a Reflection on the Aesthetic Moment in Apocalyptic Genre

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Review of Biblical Literature 18 February 2009

The latest reviews added to the Review of Biblical Literature on February 18, 2009, are as follows:

Bill T. Arnold and Bryan E. Beyer
Encountering the Old Testament: A Christian Survey
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6473
Reviewed by Elmer A. Martens

Gabriele Boccaccini, ed.
Enoch and the Messiah Son of Man: Revisiting the Book of Parables
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6135
Reviewed by Thomas J. Kraus

Mark J. Boda, Daniel K. Falk, and Rodney A. Werline, eds.
Seeking the Favor of God, Volume 2: The Development of Penitential Prayer in Second Temple Judaism
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6148
Reviewed by Carla Sulzbach

Ignacio Carbajosa
Las características de la versión siríaca de los Salmos: Sal 90-150 de la Peshitta
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=5748
Reviewed by José Alvarez

Victor A. Copan
Saint Paul as Spiritual Director: An Analysis of the Concept of the Imitation of Paul with Implications and Applications to the Practice of Spiritual Direction
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6243
Reviewed by V. Henry T. Nguyen

Sidnie White Crawford
Rewriting Scripture in Second Temple Times
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6524
Reviewed by Stephen A. Reed

Jan Dusek
Les manuscrits araméens du Wadi Daliyeh et la Samarie vers 450-332 av. J.-C.
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6319
Reviewed by Aaron Koller

Michael Attyah Flower
The Seer in Ancient Greece
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6620
Reviewed by John Mason

David G. Horrell
1 Peter
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6662
Reviewed by Peter H. Davids

Martin Illert, ed.
Doctrina Addai; De imagine Edessena = Die Abgarlegende; Das Christusbild von Edessa
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6797
Reviewed by Ilaria L. E. Ramelli

Temba L. J. Mafico
Yahweh's Emergence as "Judge" among the Gods: A Study of the Hebrew Root Spt
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6798
Reviewed by Robert Wafawanaka

Daniel Marguerat
Les Actes des Apôtres (1-12)
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6249
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek

Herman J. Selderhuis
Calvin's Theology of the Psalms
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6513
Reviewed by Mark Elliott

Ekkehard W. Stegemann; Christina Tuor-Kurth and Peter Wick, eds.
Paulus und die Welt
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6239
Reviewed by Jens Herzer

Graham H. Twelftree
In the Name of Jesus: Exorcism among Early Christians
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6407
Reviewed by David Frankfurter

Thursday, 19 February 2009

BibleTech: 2009


For all publishers, programmers, webmasters, educators, bloggers and anyone interested in using technology to improve Bible study, this piece of news might of interest to you, if you have the time and resources to travel to the States to attend this conference.

BibleTech:2009
will feature twenty-eight presentations from leading figures in the field of Bible and Technology. Not only will you find out about the latest developments in Bible and translation software, but you will learn about cutting edge Bible study and ministry tools available on the web. If you are curious about technology, passionate about the Bible, and eager to know the latest in Bible software and online ministry, then BibleTech:2009 is definitely what you’re looking for.

The official BibleTech:2009 schedule is available on the conference website.

You can also view the complete list of conference speakers and get to know them by visiting their blogs and other personal pages.

Some of the topics to be presented in the conference include:
  • Formal Equivalence Versus Dynamic Equivalence: How Digital Texts Can Break the Conundrum
  • Exploring Biblical Languages: The Use of Field Works Language Explorer in Biblical Studies
  • Organizing the People, Places, and Things in the Bible
  • Software Tool for Bible Translation
  • A Case Study: Using Technology to Teach Exegesis in Higher Education"
  • The Background of the New BiBIL Interface and a Free Converter Tool for the Legacy Fonts"
  • Becoming a Digital Disciple
  • Sermon Painting: Using Digital Projection to Illustrate a Sermon
  • The Near-Future of the Bible: Scenarios, Methods and Structures of Futures Studies
BibleTech:2009 will be held March 27 and 28, at the Hilton Seattle Airport, across the street from SeaTac International Airport. Registration is $149.95 per person, which includes: conference fees, three catered meals, and a conference T-Shirt. Registration information is available online.

General registration and check-in for all conference attendees will begin at 8:00 AM on Friday, March 27. The first sessions will start at 9:00 AM on Friday, and the conference will conclude on Saturday, March 28 at 6:00 PM.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Asbury Names New President


I am delighted to know that my former Professor of World Missions at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Dr Timothy Tennent, has been elected as the 8th President of Asbury Theological Seminary. This will be a great loss to the Gordon-Conwell community, but I am sure he will be a great blessing to Asbury. Congratulations, Tim, and I wish you all the best and God's blessings as you take on this new role at Asbury Theological Seminary.

Below is the press release from Asbury Theological Seminary.

ASBURY SEMINARY ELECTS NEW PRESIDENT

WILMORE, Ky. (Feb. 17, 2009) – Timothy Craig Tennent, Ph.D., of Ipswich, Mass., has been elected the eighth president of Asbury Theological Seminary by the Board of Trustees. Asbury Theological Seminary, a private graduate school in the Wesleyan tradition with an enrollment of more than 1600 students, offers master’s and doctorate degrees in theology, biblical studies, missions and ministry studies.

Tennent, 49, comes to Asbury Seminary from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass., where he has served as professor of world missions and Indian studies since 1998.

Dr. Dan Johnson, chairman of the Board of Trustees stated, “The board is very excited about the unanimous election of Dr. Tennent. Dr. Tennent is a scholar’s scholar, a professor’s professor. He is a world Christian with world vision who will take Asbury Seminary into wonderful new arenas.”

“I am honored to have been selected to be president of Asbury Theological Seminary,” Tennent says. “We are delighted to be moving to the historic and beautiful garden area of central Kentucky. My wife, Julie, and I have always said that wherever God sends us, we will go. God has taken us to China, India, Nigeria and many beautiful churches in the southern United States and in New England. Now we have the great opportunity to help Asbury work with a global constituency and play a stronger role in preparing ministers from around the world for God’s work around the world.”

Tennent received his M.Div. in 1984 from Gordon-Conwell; the Th.M. in ecumenics, with a focus on Islam from Princeton Theological Seminary; and did graduate work in linguistics (TESL) at the University of Georgia. He completed his Ph.D. in non-western Christianity with a focus on Hinduism and Indian Christianity in 1998 at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

He is also one of the first four graduates from a new leadership development program funded by the Lilly Foundation and developed by the Lexington Seminar.

The leadership training program “covered innovation in everything from theological practice, shared governance, fundraising, negotiating personal dynamics in education to working with boards,” Tennent says. “During the three-year program, I met with dozens of deans and many presidents from schools across the theological spectrum, and learned a great deal about many of the unique challenges that we are facing today.”

Tennent is passionate about classical, orthodox theological education.

“I am alarmed by the growing trend away from serious theological reflection and do not believe that the church will be adequately prepared to face the challenges of pluralism and post-modernism without a more robust theological preparation,” he says. “I am also passionate about the emergence of the Majority World Church. I believe that the Western church continues to have an important role in global missions, in partnership with the increasingly vibrant Majority World Church.”

About Asbury Theological Seminary:
Asbury Seminary is a Christ-centered graduate school in the Wesleyan holiness tradition. Our faculty, staff, and students come from a variety of denominations and cultures and we offer a number of degree options in three campus locations — Kentucky, Florida and Virtual. We believe each person has a purpose. We are a community called… For more information, please visit asburyseminary.edu.

Interpretation: Revelation as a Critique of the Empire


The latest issue of Interpretation focuses on the book of Revelation, also known as the Apocalypse of John. Titled as "Revelation as a Critique of the Empire," this issue also addresses the issues faced by "Christians living in the complicated religious and political environment of imperial power."

The essays in this volume "describe the enduring challenges faced by Christians who claim loyalty to the reign of God while experiencing the reign of secular authorities."

The essays in this volume, as extracted online, include:

REVELATION'S VISIONARY CHALLENGE TO ORDINARY EMPIRE • CRAIG R. KOESTER
Revelation addresses the ordinary challenges facing Christians under Roman rule, some of whom were struggling while others were affluent and complacent. The book’s visions seek to alter the way they see the political, religious, and economic dimensions of imperial life and to call them to renewed faithfulness to God and the Lamb.

JOHN'S IRONIC EMPIRE • DAVID R. BARR John’s Revelation wrestles with the question of how Jesus’ followers were to live under the imperial domination of Rome. While some see John as establishing an alternative imperial system, attention to the irony with which the story is told reveals a more compelling critique of power.

ACCOMMODATING “JEZEBEL” AND WITHDRAWING JOHN: NEGOTIATING EMPIRE IN REVELATION THEN AND NOW • WARREN CARTER Revelation addresses a struggle over how followers of Jesus might negotiate the complex imperial realities of Roman rule. The call for societal distance and disengagement resists and seeks to conceal other voices that urge greater levels of societal interaction. Revelation also raises the urgent issue of how contemporary followers of Jesus might negotiate the world's most powerful empire—the one we in the United States inhabit.

BABYLON BOYCOTT: THE BOOK OF REVELATION • ALLEN DWIGHT CALLAHAN Revelation challenges contemporary readers to escape the impending destruction of global imperialism, and calls upon Christians to boycott the imperialist political economy that murders “all the peoples of the earth” (Rev 18:24). To be true to their conscience and to their God, those in true solidarity with Jesus must withdraw from the evil system in which they live or suffer the consequences of their complicity with it.


Check out also the 7-day promotion where you could log in for free and have access to all its previous issues.

I think this is a very timely issue for those of us living in Malaysia in the midst of the current political situation.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Reviews of Biblical Literature February 11, 2009

Below are the additions to the Reviews of Biblical Literature on February 11, 2009

John M. G. Barclay and Simon Gathercole, eds.
Divine and Human Agency in Paul and His Cultural Environment
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6554
Reviewed by Stephan Joubert

George J. Brooke and Thomas Römer, eds.
Ancient and Modern Scriptural Historiography/L'Historiographie Biblique, Ancienne et Moderne
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6542
Reviewed by Ernst Axel Knauf

Maurice Casey
The Solution to the 'Son of Man' Problem
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6442
Reviewed by Paul Owen

David J. Chalcraft, ed.
Sectarianism in Early Judaism: Sociological Advances
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6468
Reviewed by Boris Repschinski

Martin Ebner, ed.
Herrenmahl und Gruppenidentität
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=7023
Reviewed by Christoph Stenschke

Mary Ann Getty-Sullivan
Parables of the Kingdom: Jesus and the Use of Parables in the Synoptic Tradition
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6577
Reviewed by Dan O. Via

Rowan A. Greer and Margaret M. Mitchell
The "Belly-Myther" of Endor: Interpretations of 1 Kingdoms 28 in the Early Church
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=5977
Reviewed by Thomas J. Kraus

Stefanie Ulrike Gulde
Der Tod als Herrscher in Ugarit und Israel
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6029
Reviewed by Matthew Suriano

Yigal Levin, ed.
A Time of Change: Judah and Its Neighbours in the Persian and Early Hellenistic Periods
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6443
Reviewed by Oded Lipschits

J. G. McConville and Karl Möller, eds.
Reading the Law: Studies in Honour of Gordon J. Wenham
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6459
Reviewed by Eckart Otto

Benjamin Edidin Scolnic
Thy Brother's Blood: The Maccabees and Dynastic Morality in the Hellenistic World
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6178
Reviewed by Lester L. Grabbe

V. George Shillington
An Introduction to the Study of Luke-Acts
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6523
Reviewed by Nils Neumann

Stanley D. Walters
Go Figure! Figuration in Biblical Interpretation
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6390
Reviewed by Paul Elbert
Reviewed by Richard S. Briggs

Timothy L. Walton
Experimenting with Qohelet: A Text-Linguistic Approach to Reading Qohelet as Discourse
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6120
Reviewed by Andreas Wagner

Friday, 13 February 2009

Library of New Testament Studies, Volume 399


I have just received the proofs for my upcoming book that will be published by T&T Clark in May 2009. So it is official now - my work on Paul's sufferings in 2 Corinthians will be part of the Library of New Testament Studies monograph series(formerly known as the Journal for the Study of New Testament Supplement Series), Volume 399. The book is also featured in the 2008-09 T&T Clark biblical studies catalogue, which can be downloaded here.

With the help of some friends, (Vic Cern, who will be compiling the indexes of Authors and Scripture References; and Sarah and Ruth, who will be checking the accuracy of references), I will be working hard to read the proofs carefully for the final time before it finally goes to the printer. This would keep me very busy for the next few weeks.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Free Online Trial to SAGE Journals till 31st March 2009


SAGE Journals are now offering a free online trial for their Theology and Biblical Studies journals until March 31, 2009. All you need to do is to register by clicking here, and you will have access to full-text access, browse abstracts and perform simple and advanced keyword searches.

SAGE journals for Theology and Biblical Studies include the following:

  • Biblical Theology Bulletin
  • Currents in Biblical Research
  • Feminist Theology
  • Irish Theological Quarterly
  • Journal for the Study of the New Testament
  • Transformation

  • Journal for the Study of the Old Testament
  • Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha
  • Social Compass
  • Studies in Christian Ethics
  • The Expository Time
So please make use of this opportunity to do all the necessary research, more so if you or your institution does not subscribe to any online journals search engine.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Review of Biblical Literature February 5, 2009

The following have been added to the Review of Biblical Literature Februaru 5, 2009.

Armin D. Baum
Der mündliche Faktor und seine Bedeutung für die synoptische Frage: Analogien aus der antiken Literatur, der Experimentalpsychologie, der Oral Poetry-Forschung und dem rabbinischen Traditionswesen
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6546
Reviewed by Lars Kierspel

Mark J. Boda and Paul L. Redditt, eds.
Unity and Disunity in Ezra-Nehemiah: Redaction, Rhetoric, and Reader
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6677
Reviewed by Andrew E. Steinmann

Aaron A. Burke
"Walled Up to Heaven": The Evolution of Middle Bronze Age Fortification Strategies in the Levant
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6471
Reviewed by Friedrich Schipper

J. Edward Ellis
Paul and Ancient Views of Sexual Desire: Paul's Sexual Ethics in 1 Thessalonians 4, 1 Corinthians 7 and Romans 1
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6446
Reviewed by James W. Aageson

Steven D. Fraade, Aharon Shemesh, and Ruth A. Clements, eds.
Rabbinic Perspectives: Rabbinic Literature and the Dead Sea Scrolls (Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium of the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature, 7-9 January, 2003)
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=5898
Reviewed by Moshe J. Bernstein

Elizabeth Frood
Biographical Texts from Ramessid Egypt
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6083
Reviewed by Roxana Flammini

Susan Gillingham
Psalms through the Centuries: Volume 1
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6425
Reviewed by Joachim Vette

Geoffrey W. Grogan
Psalms
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6589
Reviewed by Paul Sanders

Peter Harrison
The Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6421
Reviewed by Mark Elliot

Donald E. Hartley
The Wisdom Background and Parabolic Implications of Isaiah 6:9-10 in the Synoptics
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6538
Reviewed by Stephen Moyise

Lechion Peter Kimilike
Poverty in the Book of Proverbs: An African Transformational Hermeneutic of Proverbs on Poverty
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6641
Reviewed by Philip J. Nel

J. G. McConville
God and Earthly Power: An Old Testament Political Theology, Genesis-Kings
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6466
Reviewed by Phillip Camp

Scot McKnight and Joseph B. Modica, eds.
Who Do My Opponents Say That I Am? An Investigation of the Accusations against the Historical Jesus
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6474
Reviewed by Samuel Lamerson
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek

Karen B. Stern
Inscribing Devotion and Death: Archaeological Evidence for Jewish Populations of North Africa
http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=6370
Reviewed by Steven Fine

Monday, 9 February 2009

Eerdmans Sale is On






The seminary BookServices is now taking orders for books published by Eerdmans at a special discounted price for STM students only. This is an excellent once-a-year opportunity to build up one's library at affordable prices. There are some pretty good books that have just been released or due to be released soon. Don't miss it!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Ancient Syriac Bible found in Cypurs??

Reuters reports on "ancient" Syriac Bible found from smugglers in Cyprus. The news article is reproduced below.

----------------------------------------------

NICOSIA (Reuters Life!) – Authorities in northern Cyprus believe they have found an ancient version of the Bible written in Syriac, a dialect of the native language of Jesus.

The manuscript was found in a police raid on suspected antiquity smugglers. Turkish Cypriot police testified in a court hearing they believe the manuscript could be about 2,000 years old.

The manuscript carries excerpts of the Bible written in gold lettering on vellum and loosely strung together, photos provided to Reuters showed. One page carries a drawing of a tree, and another eight lines of Syriac script.

Experts were however divided over the provenance of the manuscript, and whether it was an original, which would render it priceless, or a fake.

Experts said the use of gold lettering on the manuscript was likely to date it later than 2,000 years.

"I'd suspect that it is most likely to be less than 1,000 years old," leading expert Peter Williams, Warden of Tyndale House, University of Cambridge told Reuters.

Turkish Cypriot authorities seized the relic last week and nine individuals are in custody pending further investigations. More individuals are being sought in connection with the find, they said.

Further investigations turned up a prayer statue and a stone carving of Jesus believed to be from a church in the Turkish held north, as well as dynamite.

The police have charged the detainees with smuggling antiquities, illegal excavations and the possession of explosives.

Syriac is a dialect of Aramaic - the native language of Jesus - once spoken across much of the Middle East and Central Asia. It is used wherever there are Syrian Christians and still survives in the Syrian Orthodox Church in India.

Aramaic is still used in religious rituals of Maronite Christians in Cyprus.

"One very likely source (of the manuscript) could be the Tur-Abdin area of Turkey, where there is still a Syriac speaking community," Charlotte Roueche, Professor of Late Antique and Byzantine Studies at King's College London told Reuters.

Stories regarding the antiquity of manuscripts is commonplace. One case would be the Yonan Codex, carbon dated to the 12th century which people tried to pass off as earlier.

After further scrutiny of photographs of the book, manuscripts specialist at the University of Cambridge library and Fellow of Wolfson College JF Coakley suggested that the book could have been written a good deal later.

"The Syriac writing seems to be in the East Syriac script with vowel points, and you do not find such manuscripts before about the 15th century.

"On the basis of the one photo...if I'm not mistaken some words at least seem to be in modern Syriac, a language that was not written down until the mid-19th century," he told Reuters.

(Editing by Michele Kambas and Paul Casciato)


NT Position at University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

I have just been alerted concerning the following NT position:

The College of Christian Studies at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor seeks applications for a tenure-track faculty appointment at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor in New Testament to begin August 2009.

The College of Christian Studies is committed to preparing men and women for service to churches as well as providing core courses on the Bible for all the University’s undergraduates. The College currently has seven full-time faculty with over 200 majors and minors.

UMHB, an institution of 2700 students in affiliation with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, seeks active, committed Christian faculty who are enthusiastic about accomplishing our University Mission to prepare students for leadership, service, and faith-informed discernment in a global society. UMHB emphasizes small class sizes, personal student attention, and teaching excellence.

Located in the heart of central Texas just 55 miles north of Austin and 40 miles south of Waco, UMHB is situated in Belton, Texas. Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio are within a 180-mile radius of the campus. Belton is a friendly, small town with excellent public schools. It also has a picturesque deep-water lake with excellent boating and fishing opportunities.

Faculty Responsibilities: teaching excellence; mentoring/advising students; curriculum development; research; active involvement in professional organizations; service to the department, college, university, and the community.

New Testament Professor’s Responsibilities: The successful candidate will be able to teach New Testament Survey and upper-level New Testament courses as well as Old Testament Survey. Full-time faculty have a 12-hour teaching load (4 courses) per semester.

Qualifications: Ph.D. in New Testament, excellent teaching and communication skills. Because of the specific mission of the College of Christian Studies, the successful candidate must be a member of a Baptist church.

Salaries & Benefits: Competitive salary commensurate with experience, excellent benefits including Day One medical and dental insurance for employees, retirement plan with match and free tuition to UMHB for employees and their dependents.

TO APPLY: Please submit a completed UMHB employment application along with cover letter, CV, transcript copies and evidence of quality teaching performance to www.umhb.edu (Resources and Services, Employment) or by mail to

Human Resources Department,
UMHB,
900 College Street,
Belton, TX. 76513.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until position is filled.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Tired....Exhausted...

It has been a very exhausting week for me, commuting between KL and Seremban, and rushing from the seminary to the hospital and then home everyday. Dad was warded in the hospital for 9 days, and he was finally discharged this afternoon. Hopefully, life would go back to normal next week, but again, I dread to face the days ahead. There would a huge pile of things that will be waiting for me that I did not manage to look into this past week. It will be a busy, busy week ahead. Well, someone in the seminary said that if you are busy, you have bad time management. Does that aptly describe me?

Anyway, thanks to all who supported me in your prayers. And I was glad that I was able to cancel some of my speaking engagements for the coming weeks - that would give me time to recover.

Some "Silly" Quotes...

Over the past couple of weeks, in the midst of my conversations with friends in the seminary, several rather interesting quotes were remarked. Well, it's still early in the semester, but I guess pressure is already mounting, and this may have led to some creative juice manifesting itself in these quotes. Well, I guess it's one of those magical moments that someone just burst out with something worth remembering.

On what is bad time management.
"If you are busy, you have bad time management" - never mind if you never even get your work done, or it takes you 5 months to draft a simple letter, all you need to do is NOT to be busy.

On whether one should read a post in the forum, in light of the bad time management quote above.
"You can read it if only you have excellent time management skills, else forget it."

On why a single guy would not date a very charming girl.
"Hey, this is your last bus. Don't miss it," says a friend, referring to the girl.
"I would rather miss the last bus than hop on the wrong bus," came the reply.

On changing thesis topic:
Student: "I would not really want to change topic. I would not want the pie to fly at my face."
Lecturer: "It is better to have the pie fly at your face now than to have the other pie and then find out that you have problem swallowing it and that it causes indigestion."

On blogging.
A: 'Bloggers and those who read blogs are a bunch of people who like to spread gossips."
The Budding NT Scholar: ".....you know you are one if you read this!"

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Kirby Liang Institute for Christian Ethics Newsletter and Conferences

The Kirby Liang Institute for Christian Ethics at Tyndale House, Cambridge has just released its latest newsletter. Click here for the Winter 2009 issue of the newsletter.

KLICE also announces 2 conferences, details are as follow:

“Responding to Secularism: Christian Witness in a Dogmatic Public Culture”
24 April 2009, Tyndale House, Cambridge
10.00am - 5.00pm

- a day conference on mission and contemporary culture co-sponsored with the Gospel and Our Culture Network (www.gospel-culture.org.uk)

Programme:

Dr Dominic Erdozain (King’s College, London) on the growth of secularity in modern British culture

Prof John Stackhouse (Regent College, Vancouver) on public engagement in a secularised culture

Rev Dr Andrew Kirk (formerly University of Birmingham) on Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age

Dr Elaine Storkey (TEAR Fund) on responding to the secularist worldview

For further details and booking form click here or contact Tania Raiola on administrator@tyndale.cam.ac.uk or 01223 566606.

------------------------------------------------

Justice: Rights and Wrongs. A Colloquium”
with Prof Nicholas Wolterstorff (Emeritus, Yale University)

May 21-22 2009 Christ Church, Oxford

Sponsored by the McDonald Centre for Theology, Ethics and Public Life
(Oxford) and the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics

Speakers:
Prof Onora O’Neill (British Academy; Philosophy)
Prof Roger Crisp (Oxford; Philosophy)
Prof Timothy Endicott (Oxford; Law)
Prof Julian Rivers (Bristol, Law) (former KLICE Advisory Council Chair)
Dr Bernd Wannenwetsch (McDonald Centre; Theology)
Dr John Perry (McDonald Centre; Theology)

Co-chairs:
Prof Nigel Biggar (McDonald Centre)
Dr Jonathan Chaplin (KLICE)

KLICE doctoral grantee Joshua Hordern (Edinburgh) will prepare a
precis of the book for conference registrants.

Prof Wolterstorff’s book,
Justice: Rights and Wrongs (Princeton University Press, 2008) presents a distinctively Christian theory of justice and rights and has been hailed by Richard Bernstein (New School for Social Research) as "the most impressive book on justice since Rawls's A Theory of Justice".

This event is the 2009 KLICE Annual Book Colloquium.

McDonald Centre website: http://users.ox.ac.uk/~mcdonald/

Further details will appear on the McDonald Centre website and the KLICE website soon. For a registration form contact Jonathan Chaplin on 01223 566625 or klice@tyndale.cam.ac.uk.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

NT Position: Walsh University

Walsh University announces one full-time, tenure track opening beginning July 1, 2009, for someone with the administrative experience to serve as Chair of the Division, with the academic credentials to teach graduate and undergraduate courses preferably in the areas of New Testament and Moral Theology, and the scholarly record to warrant appointment at the rank of Associate Professor.

Applicants should be knowledgeable about and committed to the Catholic theological tradition and be able to contribute to enhancing the Roman Catholic identity of Walsh University, and the development of lay ecclesial leaders.

Review of applications will begin March 1, 2009, and will continue until the position is filled. Complete details about and the application procedures regarding this position can be found by linking to: https://walshjobs.simplehire.com

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

My Paper Proposal for 2009 SBL International Meeting Accepted


In less than 3 days after I submitted my paper proposal for the 2009 SBL International Meeting for the Paul and Pauline Literature Programme unit, I received an email from the Chair of the Programme Unit that my paper proposal has been accepted.

For this year, I hope to work on Romans 13:1-7. Let's see how this will develop over the next few months. This year's SBL paper is the second in the series of papers that I am developing in the area of contextual hermeneutics, and hopefully over the years, these paper will culminate into a collected essays on contextual hermeneutics that will be my 4th book project.

Whether I will eventually make it to SBL International Meeting in Rome is another issue. For now, I am glad my paper has been accepted and this gives me the inspiration to work on it.

Fixed Term NT Lectureship in NT, Oxford University


The Theology Faculty of Oxford University proposes to appoint to a fixed-term Departmental Lecturership in New Testament Studies in association with Mansfield College. It is hoped to appoint from 26 April 2009, but the proposed start date for this post is flexible. The finish date of the post will be 30 April 2011.

This post will be associated with a lecturership at Mansfield College and will have a research focus in New Testament studies. The postholder will be expected to teach in the areas of New Testament offered in the Final Honour School of Theology.

The successful candidate will be appointed on Grade 7, with a salary of £28,839.

The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate:
  • an ability to teach in the areas of New Testament offered in the Final Honour School of Theology;
  • have a research record at an appropriate level of achievement for the candidate’s career; and
  • the potential to produce research of distinction in the future.

The postholder will be required to provide 36 lectures per year or equivalent (in seminars and classes) for the Theology Faculty; to provide, for every week of full term, six hours per week of tutorial teaching or equivalent for Mansfield College; to undertake examining and, where appropriate, graduate supervision; and to contribute to administration in the College and Faculty.

Further particulars, which all applicants are asked to consult, can be downloaded from the Faculty website at www.theology.ox.ac.uk, or by clicking here.

Eight copies of applications, including a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, and two academic references, should be sent by post to
Mrs Frances Jenkins,
Faculty Board Secretary,
Theology Faculty Centre,
41 St Giles,
Oxford OX1 3LW, UK,

or (for overseas candidates only) one copy by e-mail to frances.jenkins@theology.ox.ac.uk for receipt no later than noon on Friday 13 February 2009.

Candidates wishing to have an informal discussion about the post may contact Dr Paul Joyce (paul.joyce@theology.ox.ac.uk – 1865 278897). It is expected that interviews will be held on Friday 6 March 2009.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Acts Seminar at the BNTS: Call for Papers

I have just received the following announcement from the BNTS E-list:

CALL FOR PAPERS
The Book of Acts seminar at the British New Testament Conference
University of Aberdeen
3-5 September 2009


I am writing to invite papers for the Book of Acts seminar group at this year's British New Testament Conference. The conference takes place at the University of Aderdeen, 3 to 5 September 2009.

This seminar aims to be a forum for considering Acts from various angles:
historical, literary, textual-critical, theological, archaeological, the social world, possible links/parallels with other biblical and ancient writings, and so on.

We are very happy to include discussion of topics which relate Acts to the wider contexts of Luke-Acts and the Pauline corpus, where they are relevant and helpful to the study of Acts. Papers are welcome from both research students and more established scholars.

If you (or someone you know) is interested in offering a paper, please make contact with me as soon as possible (ideally by the end of April, and by the end of May at the latest), so that we can make plans. It would be helpful to have a working title and brief sketch of the topic (s) which the paper would cover. Papers could be longer, requiring a whole seminar session for discussion (90 minutes) or shorter, filling half a session (45 minutes). Responses by post, fax or email are all fine, although email is preferred.

Our practice in the Acts seminar is that papers are available on the British New Testament Society web site a few weeks before the conference, so that seminar members can read them in advance. We then ask the paper's author to give a 10-15 minute summary before we discuss the paper. This approach maximises discussion time, which is a major reason we meet together.

Please pass the word around about the Acts seminar, and encourage others who may wish to offer a paper to contact me soon. Do forward this email to others who may be interested. A copy of this notice is attached in PDF format ; please will you display it on your departmental/college notice boards?

If you have any questions about the seminar, please do get in touch with me.

With warm regards
Steve Walton <s.walton@LST.ac.uk>

Sunday, 1 February 2009