Friday, 26 June 2009

Wheaton Seeks Candidates for the Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies

Wheaton College announces search for candidates for the Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies. Does this mean the Greg Beale, my former NT Professor during my time at Gordon-Conwell, is leaving Wheaton?

Biblical & Theological Studies/Grad Theological Studies — Wessner Chair Of Biblical Studies

WHEATON COLLEGE (IL) seeks candidates for the Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies. This endowed position is a full time, tenure-track appointment to begin in August 2010. The successful candidate will have a Ph.D., evidence of outstanding teaching, and a distinguished record of research and scholarship in New Testament studies. The position involves mentoring doctoral students, teaching doctoral seminars and playing a leading role in the master's program in biblical exegesis. Teaching load involves 12 semester hours per year.

Application deadline: September 30, 2009.

Send letter of interest and curriculum vitae to:
Ann Gerber,
Wessner Chair Search Committee;
Wheaton College;
Wheaton, IL 60187-5593,
or via email to:

Application forms will be sent to promising candidates.

Wheaton College is an evangelical Protestant Christian liberal arts college whose faculty affirm a Statement of Faith and adhere to lifestyle expectations. The College complies with federal and state guidelines for non-discrimination in employment. Women and racial ethnic minorities are especially encouraged to apply.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Off To Rome

I am flying off to Rome for SBL International Meeting shortly. I will not be updating much of my blog as I have decided not to bring my laptop with me. It is good to "fast" from some online presence for a more than a week!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

My "New" Look!

This is the latest photo I received in my inbox, in light of recent developments in my life. Looks like someone is having a little bit too much time in his hands.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

My Book Finally Arrived!

My book that has been recently released by T&T Clark, "The Sufferings of Christ Are Abundant in Us: A Narrative Dynamics Investigation of Paul's Sufferings in 2 Corinthians", finally arrives in the mail today!

1. Click here for the news update at my seminary's website
2. See also the announcement of my book at the University of Wales Lampeter's website and the Department of Theology and Religious Studies' blog.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Review of Biblical Literature June 12, 2009

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

Roger David Aus
The Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus and the Death, Burial, and Translation of Moses in Judaic Tradition
Reviewed by James Crossley

Mark G. Brett
Decolonizing God: The Bible in the Tides of Empire
Reviewed by Roland Boer

Régis Burnet
L'évangile de la trahison: Une biographie de Judas
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek

Chaim Cohen, Victor Hurowitz, Avi Hurvitz, Yochanan Muffs, Baruch Schwartz, and Jeffrey Tigay, eds.
Birkat Shalom: Studies in the Bible, Ancient Near Eastern Literature, and Postbiblical Judaism Presented to Shalom M. Paul on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday
Reviewed by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

Daniel K. Darko
No Longer Living as the Gentiles: Differentiation and Shared Ethical Values In Ephesians 4.17-6.9
Reviewed by William R. G. Loader

J. Harold Ellens, ed.
Miracles: God, Science, and Psychology in the Paranormal: Volume 1: Religious and Spiritual Events
Reviewed by Susanne Heine

Gene L. Green
Jude and 2 Peter
Reviewed by Peter H. Davids

Michael P. Knowles
We Preach Not Ourselves: Paul on Proclamation
Reviewed by H. H. Drake Williams III

Tremper Longman III and Peter Enns, eds.
Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry and Writings
Reviewed by Francis Dalrymple-Hamilton

Jerome H. Neyrey and Eric C. Stewart, eds.
The Social World of the New Testament: Insights and Models
Reviewed by Heather McKay

Leo G. Perdue
The Sword and the Stylus: An Introduction to Wisdom in the Age of Empires
Reviewed by Benjamin G. Wright III

Stanley E. Porter and Christopher D. Stanley, eds.
As It Is Written: Studying Paul's Use of Scripture
Reviewed by Rodrigo J. Morales

Tom Thatcher and Stephen D. Moore, eds.
Anatomies of Narrative Criticism: The Past, Present, and Futures of the Fourth Gospel as Literature
Reviewed by Steven Hunt

Peter T. Vogt
Deuteronomic Theology and the Significance of Torah: A Reappraisal
Reviewed by Trent C. Butler

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Lecture by Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam

Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam will be delivering a lecture on "The Church in A Broken World" at the seminary on June 25, 2009, 7.30pm. All are welcome.

For further information, please click here.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Getting Used to "New" Title in the Seminary

Over the last few days, students have been calling me "Reverend", after my ordination last Sunday.

Gosh - is this the new title I have to get used to? Or are these students just having some fun in poking me?

Whatever it is...remember the message of the photo above....Haha...not very fitting for a Reverend, right!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Working on My SBL International Meeting Paper

Over the next few days, I'll be busy working on my paper to be read at the Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting in Rome, to be convened in 2 weeks' time.

In my paper entitled "Reading Romans 13:1-7 with Multiple Lenses: Some Reflections from A Multi-Faith Context with Malaysia as A Test Case", I attempt to employ the methodology developed by social scientist, James C. Scott (in both his works, Weapons of the Weak: Wveryday Forms of Peasant Resistance and Domination and The Art of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts), in reading Romans 13:1-7, especially in understanding the public discourse of the ruling elites and the hidden transcript of the masses in reacting to subordination, resistance and hegemony of the powerful elites.

It is interesting to note that James Scott develops his theory based on his fieldwork among the Muslim rural peasants in Kedah, the northern state in Peninsular Malaysia, in reacting against the Muslim ruling elites. I hope to extend Scott's discussion to include how the minority middle-class Christians in urban setting response to the Muslim ruling elites by drawing on both the public discourse and hidden transcript embedded in Romans 13:1-7. This paper will be an initial attempt to investigate whether Scott's theory developed among the majority Muslim rural peasants in Malaysia can be profitably extended to include the minority, middle-class urban Christians in Malaysia.

However, time is fast running out, and my paper remains very sketchy. Am I a chronic procrastinator?

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

2nd Semester Begins

Dr Alex Tang (right) with Rev Dr Wong Tik Wah (left) as his interpreter

The second semester officially began yesterday with the tradition of the Quiet Day Retreat. This year, Dr Alex Tang was here with us and shared on the theme of "Knowing God and Knowing Self."

Dr Alex Tang has graciously posted his messages for both of his sessions on his blog (click here and here). I am sure he discovered that all the fears he had of speaking at the seminary are clearly unfounded!

Monday, 15 June 2009

My Ordination as a Minister of the Gospel

I was ordained by the Evangelical Free Church of Malaysia yesterday as a minister of the Gospel - and Alex, who was there to witness and celebrate my ordination, has already posted the photos in his blog.

I would to thank all of you who celebrated and rejoiced with me in my ordination yesterday. Thank you for your prayers, well wishes and gifts. I greatly appreciate it.

Photo: Courtesy of Alex. I will post more photos later.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Review of Biblical Literature June 8, 2009

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

A. Berlejung and P. van Hecke, eds.
The Language of Qohelet in Its Context: Essays in Honour of Prof. A. Schoors on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday
Reviewed by Max Rogland

Joshua A. Berman
Created Equal: How the Bible Broke with Ancient Political Thought
Reviewed by Mark Leuchter

Constantine R. Campbell
Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek
Reviewed by C. Michael Robbins

Sang Youl Cho
Lesser Deities in the Ugaritic Texts and the Hebrew Bible: A Comparative Study of Their Nature and Roles
Reviewed by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

A.-F. Christidis, ed.
A History of Ancient Greek: From the Beginnings to Late Antiquity
Reviewed by Douglas Estes

Lowell K. Handy
Jonah's World: Social Science and the Reading of Prophetic Story
Reviewed by Karl Moller

Richard A. Horsley
Jesus in Context: Power, People, and Performance
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek

Peter Jeffery
The Secret Gospel of Mark Unveiled: Imagined Rituals of Sex, Death, and Madness in a Biblical Forgery
Reviewed by J. Harold Ellens

Anke Joisten-Pruschke
Das religiöse Leben der Juden von Elephantine in der Achämenidenzeit
Reviewed by Robert A. Kugler

Katrin Keita
Gottes Land: Exegetische Studien zur Land-Thematik im Hoseabuch in kanonischer Perspektive
Reviewed by Sven Petry

Edward W. Klink III
The Sheep of the Fold: The Audience and Origin of the Gospel of John
Reviewed by Cornelis Bennema

Chaim Navon
Genesis and Jewish Thought
Reviewed by Bradley Embry

Albert Pietersma and Benjamin G. Wright III, eds.
A New English Translation of the Septuagint and the Other Greek Translations Traditionally Included υnder That Title
Reviewed by Wolfgang Kraus

Thomas R. Schreiner
New Testament Theology
: Magnifying God in Christ
Reviewed by Panayotis Coutsoumpos

Katherine M. Stott
Why Did They Write This Way? Reflections on References to Written Documents in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Literature
Reviewed by Werner H. Kelber

David Shepherd, ed.
Images of the Word: Hollywood's Bible and Beyond
Reviewed by Christopher Fuller

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Getting the Best out of BibleWorks 8

Dr David Instone-Brewer of Tyndale House has written an extensive review and offered some excellent tips for using BibleWorks 8 in the lastest issue of Tyndale Tech.

Please click here for David's post.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Jesus Matters: A Product of both the Old and Young

I have just met Dr David Shenk in the seminary a couple of days ago, and he graciously gave me the latest book that he co-edited that is just hot from the press, Jesus Matters: Good News for the Twenty-First Century (Scottdale: Herald Press, 2009). Shenk was really enthusiastic about this book. This is because it is not simply another book about Jesus.

After reading the book, I can understand David Shenk's excitement. The uniqueness of this book is that each of the 17 essays is written by at least 2 authors - an established senior scholar/leader and one or more young adults - to consider the various ways Christians encounter and experience Jesus. Some of the topics included in this book are: Jesus and the Bible; Jesus and creation; Jesus and the Kingdom of God; Jesus and God; Jesus and the cross; Jesus and salvation; Jesus and mission; Jesus and the church; Jesus and other religions; and Jesus and the future. Some of the authors include Stanley Green, Michele Hershberger, William Shenk, Mark Thiessen Nation, Tom Yoder Neufeld, Willard Swartley, Jack Suderman and April Yamasaki.

This book is written in a very engaging manner, and is suitable for use even in bible-study groups and Sunday school classes.

What is particularly great and unique about this compendium of essays is that the reader not only listens to the voice of a season scholar/leader, one also gets a glimpse of how a young adult struggles to make sense of his/her faith in the contemporary world. I really like this book because it forces both the old and the young to listen to each other, learn from each other, engage with each other, and to work together.

I wonder in the Malaysian context, if a book such as this is commissioned where each essay is both written by a senior leader/scholar/pastor and a young adult, what result would this project accomplish? Would the senior leader listen and engage the younger generation? Would the younger generation learn from the wisdom of the old? I think I would like to see such a book being birthed in Malaysia.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Of Plagiarism...Agony...and Anguish

My colleague, the Reb, blogged about headaches and time wastage in having to write 12 warning letters to the seminary students for offences such as late submission of assignments and, most of all, plagiarism! I concur with the Reb that the what we have detected thus far is simply the tip of the iceberg.

I have been agonising over the issue of plagiarism since I started teaching in the seminary. Personally, I have detected a fair number of plagiarism. This is something I just simply could not understand - why can't the students just footnote it? Is it that difficult to just footnote it?

More than anything, it causes me deep pain and anguish every time I have to confront the students concerning issues of plagiarism. No matter how stern my warning is concerning the crime of plagiarism in the beginning of every course I teach, I still have students ignoring the plea for academic integrity both in the submission of assignments and theses.

Beyond wasting my time (which can be profitably used otherwise in my research and writing) in checking the references and sources, beyond the sleepless nights I experience in agonizing over the issue of having to confront my students, and beyond the disappointment that some of the students actually blamed the lecturers for exposing their act of plagiarism, is the issue of why the students continue to plagiarise despite all the warnings. Have we not considered plagiarism as a crime which is a deeper reflection of the fundamental issue of our integrity, character formation, and honesty? And if we cannot be honest with ourselves and uphold academic integrity while being trained in the seminary, can we remain faithful when we serve in Christian ministry in the future?

Someone once told me that he is shocked to hear that would-be-pastors would commit plagiarism and he wondered about the future of the church if such candidates were sent to seminary.

My plea is this: please do not plagiarise. Just footnote it. Be honest with yourself - before God and human. It causes the lecturers more pain than the students will ever know when we detect the act of plagiarism.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Review of Biblical Literature May 28, 2009

The following new reviews have been added to the Review of Biblical Literature on May 28, 2009:

Frédéric Amsler, Albert Frey, Charlotte Touati, and Renée Girardet, eds.
Nouvelles intrigues pseudo-clémentines-Plots in the Pseudo-Clementine Romance: Actes du deuxième colloque international sur la littérature apocryphe chrétienne, Lausanne-Genève, 30 août-2 septembre 2006
Reviewed by Matthew W. Mitchell

Moshe Bar-Asher, Dalit Rom-Shiloni, Emanuel Tov, and Nili Wazana, eds.
Shai le-Sara Japhet: Studies in the Bible, Its Exegesis and Its Language [Hebrew]
Reviewed by Bálint Károly Zabán

A. Philip Brown II and Bryan W. Smith, eds.
A Reader's Hebrew Bible
Reviewed by Hallvard Hagelia

Leonhard Burckhardt, Klaus Seybold, and Jürgen von Ungern-Sternberg, eds.
Gesetzgebung in antiken Gesellschaften: Israel, Griechenland, Rom
Reviewed by Ernst Axel Knauf

Jaap Dekker
Zion's Rock-Solid Foundations: An Exegetical Study of the Zion Text in Isaiah 28:16
Reviewed by Máire Byrne

Jason König and Tim Whitmarsh, eds.
Ordering Knowledge in the Roman Empire
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek

Diana Lipton
Longing for Egypt and Other Unexpected Biblical Tales
Reviewed by Amelia Devin Freedman

Antti Laato and Jacques van Ruiten, eds.
Rewritten Bible Reconsidered: Proceedings of the Conference in Karkku, Finland
Reviewed by Sidnie White Crawford

Bryan M. Litfin
Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction
Reviewed by H. H. Drake Williams III

I. Howard Marshall
A Concise New Testament Theology
Reviewed by Edward J. McMahon II

Scot McKnight and Joseph B. Modica, eds.
Who Do My Opponents Say That I Am? An Investigation of the Accusations against Jesus
Reviewed by V. George Shillington

Chaim Navon
Genesis and Jewish Thought
Reviewed by David M. Maas

V. Henry T. Nguyen
Christian Identity
in Corinth: A Comparative Study of 2 Corinthians, Epictetus and Valerius Maximus
Reviewed by Thomas Schmeller

Fabrizio A. Pennacchietti
Three Mirrors for Two Biblical Ladies: Susanna and the Queen of Sheba in the Eyes of Jews, Christians, and Muslims
Reviewed by Carole R. Fontaine

Friday, 5 June 2009

Review of Biblical Literature: May 23, 2009

The following new reviews have been added to the Review of Biblical Literature on May 23, 2009:

Ismo O. Dunderberg
Beyond Gnosticism: Myth, Lifestyle, and Society in the School of Valentinus
Reviewed by Marvin Meyer

Elisabeth Esch-Wermeling
Thekla-Paulusschülerin wider Willen? Strategien der Leserlenkung in den Theklaakten
Reviewed by Richard I. Pervo

Israel Finkelstein and Amihai Mazar; edited by Brian B. Schmidt
The Quest for the Historical Israel: Debating Archaeology and the History of Early Israel
Reviewed by Ralph K. Hawkins

Richard A. Horsley, ed.
In the Shadow of Empire: Reclaiming the Bible as a History of Faithful Resistance
Reviewed by Roland Boer

Tal Ilan, Tamara Or, Dorothea Salzer, Christiane Steuer, and Irina Wandrey, eds.
A Feminist Commentary on the Babylonian Talmud: Introduction and Studies
Reviewed by Joshua Schwartz

Walter C. Kaiser, Darrell L. Bock, and Peter Enns; edited by Kenneth Berding and Jonathan Lunde
Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament
Reviewed by Stephen Moyise

David Marcus, ed.
Biblia Hebraica Quinta: Ezra and Nehemiah
Reviewed by Andrew Steinmann

Russell Pregeant
Knowing Truth, Doing Good: Engaging New Testament Ethics
Reviewed by M. Eugene Boring

Leo G. Perdue, ed.
Scribes, Sages, and Seers: The Sage in the Eastern Mediterranean World
Reviewed by James L. Crenshaw

Tammi J. Schneider
Mothers of Promise: Women in the Book of Genesis
Reviewed by Ellen White

David Valeta
Lions and Ovens and Visions: A Satirical Reading of Daniel 1-6
Reviewed by Jordan M. Scheetz

H. G. M. Williamson, ed.
Understanding the History of Ancient Israel
Reviewed by Walter Dietrich

Robert W. Yarbrough
1, 2, and 3 John
Reviewed by Tobias Nicklas

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

TEE Weekend in May

I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I had a very busy 2 weekends in the month of May teaching a course on Biblical Interpretation for our Theological Education by Extension programme.

Here is a group photo of the students who took the class with me, and endured a total of 28 hours of gruelling time of instruction. I hope they have learnt something in the course.

For a perspective of one of the students who took the class, please click here. (Thanks, Janelle, for the post).

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Review of Biblical Literature May 15, 2009

The following new reviews have been added to the Review of Biblical Literature on May 15, 2009

Noam Adler
A Comprehensive Collection of Oil Lamps of the Holy Land from the Adler Collection
Reviewed by Jodi Magness

Janice Capel Anderson and Stephen D. Moore, eds.
Mark and Method: New Approaches in Biblical Studies
Reviewed by Renate Viveen Hood

Roger S. Bagnall, ed.
Egypt in the Byzantine World 300-700
Reviewed by David Frankfurter

Johanna Brankaer and Hans-Gebhard Bethge, eds.
Codex Tchacos: Texte und Analysen
Reviewed by Michael Kaler

David B. Burrell
Deconstructing Theodicy: Why Job Has Nothing to Say to the Puzzle of Suffering
Reviewed by F. Rachel Magdalene

Warren Carter
John and Empire: Initial Explorations
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek

Raymond F. Collins
The Power of Images in Paul
Reviewed by Nils Neumann

Craig A. Evans, ed.
Encyclopedia of the Historical Jesus
Reviewed by Christoph Stenschke

Susan Haber; edited by Adele Reinhartz
"They Shall Purify Themselves": Essays on Purity in Early Judaism
Reviewed by Jonathan D. Lawrence

Mika Hietanen
Paul's Argumentation in Galatians: A Pragma-Dialectical Analysis
Reviewed by Johan S. Vos

Jerome Murphy-O'Connor
St. Paul's Ephesus: Texts and Archaeology
Reviewed by Jan Van Der Watt

Marvin Sweeney
Reading the Hebrew Bible after the Shoah: Engaging Holocaust Theology
Reviewed by Jon D. Levenson

Benedict T. Viviano
Matthew and His World: The Gospel of the Open Jewish Christians Studies in Biblical Theology
Reviewed by Boris Repschinski

"The Sufferings of Christ Are Abundant in Us" is Released

I am pleased to announce that my book, "The Sufferings of Christ Are Abundant in Us: A Narrative Dynamics Investigation of Paul's Sufferings in 2 Corinthians" has been released by T and T Clark for the UK market.

For the US market, the scheduled date for release is July 2009. Pre-order through is available at a price of US$92.51 (retail price is US$130.00), even after a rather attractive discount of 29%!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Review of Biblical Literature, May 9, 2009

The following new reviews have been added to the Review of Biblical Literature on May 8, 2009.

John Ashton
Understanding the Fourth Gospel
Reviewed by Craig R. Koester

Yitzhak Berger
The Commentary of Rabbi David Kimhi to Chronicles: A Translation with Introduction and Supercommentary
Reviewed by Amos Frisch

Reimund Bieringer, Emmanuel Nathan, and Dominika Kurek-Chomycz
2 Corinthians: A Bibliography
Reviewed by Victor Paul Furnish

Michael F. Bird
Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission
Reviewed by Andreas J. Kostenberger

James K. Bruckner
Reviewed by Brian D. Russell

Billie Jean Collins
The Hittites and Their World
Reviewed by Willemijn Waal

Cornelia B. Horn and Robert R. Phenix Jr., eds. and trans.
John Rufus: The Lives of Peter the Iberian, Theodosius of Jerusalem, and the Monk Romanus
Reviewed by Ilaria L. E. Ramelli

Dirk J. Human, ed.
Psalms and Mythology
Reviewed by Jeffery M. Leonard

Patricia A. Kirkpatrick and Timothy Goltz, eds.
The Function of Ancient Historiography in Biblical and Cognate Studies
Reviewed by Ernst Axel Knauf

Ilana Pardes
Melville's Bibles
Reviewed by Michael Kaler

Stanley E. Porter, ed.
Dictionary of Biblical Criticism and Interpretation
Reviewed by Christoph Stenschke

Blazej Strba
Take Off Your Sandals from Your Feet! An Exegetical Study of Josh 5, 13-15
Reviewed by Ovidiu Creangă

Daniel J. Treier
Introducing Theological Interpretation of Scripture: Recovering a Christian Practice
Reviewed by Edward W. Klink III

Robert L. Webb and Betsy Bauman-Martin, eds.
Reading First Peter with New Eyes: Methodological Reassessments of the Letter of First Peter
Reviewed by Bonnie Howe