Friday, 31 July 2009

Review of Biblical Literature, 30th July, 2009

The following new reviews have been added to the Review of Biblical Literature. Noteworthy is the fair and useful review by Warren Carter on Seyoon Kim's Christ and Caesar: The Gospel and the Roman Empire in the Writings of Paul and Luke. Another review that deserves attention is Tat-siong Benny Liew's What Is Asian American Biblical Hermeneutics? Reading the New Testament.

Keith Bodner
1 Samuel: A Narrative Commentary
Reviewed by Tim Bulkeley

J. Bretschneider, J. Driessen, and K. van Lerberghe, eds.
Power and Architecture: Monumental Public Architecture in the Bronze Age Near East and Aegean
Reviewed by Aren Maeir

Adela Yarbro Collins and John J. Collins
King and Messiah as Son of God: Divine, Human, and Angelic Messianic Figures in Biblical and Related Literature
Reviewed by Stephen Reed

Stacy Davis
This Strange Story: Jewish and Christian Interpretation of the Curse of Canaan from Antiquity to 1865
Reviewed by David M. Whitford

Michael B. Dick
Reading the Old Testament: An Inductive Introduction
Reviewed by George C. Heider

Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Andrea L. Weiss, eds.
The Torah: A Women's Commentary
Reviewed by Yael Shemesh

Friedhelm Hartenstein
Das Angesicht JHWHs: Studien zu seinem höfischen und kultischen Bedeutungshintergrund in den Psalmen und in Exodus 32-34
Reviewed by Mark W. Hamilton

Brad E. Kelle and Frank Ritchel Ames, eds.
Writing and Reading War: Rhetoric, Gender, and Ethics in Biblical and Modern Contexts
Reviewed by Pierre Johan Jordaan

Seyoon Kim
Christ and Caesar: The Gospel and the Roman Empire in the Writings of Paul and Luke
Reviewed by Warren Carter

Tat-siong Benny Liew
What Is Asian American Biblical Hermeneutics? Reading the New Testament
Reviewed by Jae Won Lee

Evan Powell
The Myth of the Lost Gospel
Reviewed by Sarah E. Rollens

Moses Taiwo
Paul's Rhetoric in 1 Corinthians 10:29b-30
Reviewed by Mark A. Jennings

James W. Thompson
Reviewed by Alan C. Mitchell

Jason A. Whitlark
Enabling Fidelity to God: Perseverance in Hebrews in Light of Reciprocity Systems in the Ancient Mediterranean World
Reviewed by Ryan D. Chivington

STM Southern Roadshow

Over the last weekend, we had our Johor Bahru roadshow in conjunction with the seminary's 30th anniversary celebration.

The celebration started with a thanksgiving service held at St Christopher's Church on Saturday, followed by a dinner celebration at the Grand Straits Restaurant.

On Sunday, we held STM Sunday services at various churches. I preached at Good Shepherd Anglican Church in the morning and Holy Light Presbyterian Church in the evening.

For me, it has been a good trip, albeit a very tiring one, catching up with friends and partners of the seminary. We have been blessed by the churches who opened their doors to us and friends who opened their hearts.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

STM Graduation Photo

We had our annual graduation photography session last week.

I wish all the graduating students all the best as they rush to complete theses, essays, and all the academic requirements by September 11.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Of Thesis and ...

Having had to see 5 thesis writing students over the past few days is sufficient to make one very tiring. Since Tuesday morning until just then, I have been literally seeing all my thesis writing students (3 MDiv and 2 MTheol students) non-stop. As the final deadline of submission is nearing, it is even more crucial that these students have their theses ready for submission to the readers/examiners.

Supervising thesis is a mixed bag, and I am sure the same goes for my students. But all I can say is that one particular student finds great joy in the midst of writing thesis....He has blogged about it. Needless to say, he was on cloud nine last night. What I saw him, he was in such a jovial mood that he could not even park the car he was driving in its proper parking position! I wish him all the best!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Fascicle 90/2 Issue Now Available

I am a bit late in highlighting this. The latest issue of Fascicle 90/2 (2009) is now available online at or

Articles featured in this issue include the following:

H.G.M. Williamson: «Do We Need A New Bible? Reflections on the Proposed Oxford Hebrew Bible», pp. 153-175

J. Kilgallen: «Acts 28,28 . Why?», pp. 176-187

G. Granerød: «Melchizedek in Hebrews 7», pp. 188-202

L. Marulli: «A Letter of Recommendation? A Closer look at Third John.s 'rhetorical' Argumentation», pp. 203-223

E. Kellenberger: «Gottes Doppelrolle in Ijob 16», pp. 224-236

C. Ziegert: «Die großen Zahlen in Num 1 und 26: Forschungsüberblick Und neuer Lösungsvorschlag», pp. 237-256

R.J. Merecz: «Jezebel.s Oath (1 Kgs 19,2)», pp. 257-259

A.A. Di Lella: «Tobit 4,19 and Romans 9,18: An Intertextual Study», pp. 260-263

J.C. Edwards: «Reading the Ransom Logion in 1 Tim 2,6 and Titus 2,14 with Isa 42,6-7; 49,6-8», pp. 264-266

Libri ad Directionem missi, pp. 301-304

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Uppsala University: Position for Chair in NT Exegesis

I have just received news of the following appointment.

Uppsala University
hereby declares the following position to be open for application:
Chair in New Testament Exegesis at the Department of Theology.
Starting January 1, 2010.

Job description:
Responsibility for research and education at the postgraduate level within the subject area of New Testament exegesis and development with the same area. Teaching and thesis supervision at the doctoral level, and advanced and undergraduate level which also may include interdisciplinary teaching. Individual research. Information concerning research and program development and participation in the planning of research projects. Planning (including attracting external funding), management of and participation in research projects.

Administrative assignments, including management assignments within the Department and Faculty of Theology and in other levels at Uppsala University may also occur.

Eligibility requirements:
Pursuant to the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance (HF 4 c 5 §), an applicant is qualified for the position of Professor if he or she has demonstrated both scholarly accomplishments and teaching skills. Further, the Uppsala University Hiring Ordinance states that general eligibility for teaching posts includes the broad ability necessary to carry out the duties of the position in full. The University Ordinance requires further that, in order to be appointed Professor, an applicant must have demonstrated scholarly accomplishments through independent research work considerably greater than those required for the title of Associate Professor (Reader/Docent). Experience in planning and directing research projects will also be taken into account. The Ordinance also requires that, for appointment as Professor, the applicant must have demonstrated the teaching ability necessary for the post and furthermore, unless special circumstances obtain, must have completed a training program in college teaching relevant for teaching at the University. The appraisal of teaching skills covers the planning, execution and evaluation of teaching, as well as thesis supervision and

The ability to teach in Swedish or English is a requirement. A successful applicant without knowledge of Swedish will be expected to be able to teach and to take part in departmental meetings in Swedish within two years.

Assessment criteria:
In the appointment primary consideration will be given to academic competence and teaching skills, with special attention paid to academic competence, including the ability to work interdisciplinary within the Faculty of Theology. However, these assessment criteria will be weighed in such a way that an applicant who is judged to be a much more skillful teacher than a somewhat more academically qualified applicant could be ranked higher than the latter applicant.

Equal care will be taken in scrutinizing teaching skills and academic competence. Academic competence is primary assessed after weighing quality and quantity of the referred academic work, consideration paid to depth and range.

Academic qualifications to be considered are the extent of independency of initiate and managing research projects and to contribute to an international academic discussion by publishing in international journals or by publishing monographies and anthologies primary in international well-known publishing houses. In assessing pedagogical skills, consideration will be paid to documented experience of the planning, execution and evaluation of teaching, as well as of examination and thesis supervision. Documented experience of pedagogical development work and pedagogical management will be considered. For more information, see ‘Guidelines for Hiring Teachers,' Chapter 7, Guidelines for Assessing Qualifications of
Teachers .

Assessment criteria, other skills: In addition to the criteria above the extent of a dministrative and other skills which are of significance for the subject and duties of the position will be taken into account. Administrative skills are also demonstrated in developing and managing the activities and staff. Attention will also be paid to the ability to interact with the surrounding community and to inform the public about research and developmental work and capacity to cooperate with others will be considered. More information can be found in the University's Guidelines for Recruitment of Faculty , chapter 7: “Guidelines for Qualifications Assessment in Recruiting Teaching Staff”. In this recruitment the University will give priority to the applicant who, after a holistic assessment of competence and skills, is judged, alongside documented qualifications, to possess the greatest potential for performing and further developing the relevant duties and for advancing the subject area. Personal circumstances (such as parental leave) that can be advantageous for applicants in the assessment of qualifications should be included in connection with the presentation of qualifications and experience.

The University strives to attain a more balanced gender distribution among its faculty. As the majority of faculty members at the level of professor are men, the University especially encourages women to apply for this Chair.

Information about the position may be provided by
Eva Hellman,
Head of Department,
phone number +46 18 471 2694
( ).

Union representatives are
Anders Grundstrom, SACO-rådet, phone number +46 18-471 5380,
Carin Söderhäll, TCO/ST, phone number +46 18-471 1996, and
Stefan Djurström, SEKO, phone number +46 18-471 3315.

Application process :
A pplications must be written in English or Swedish and include the following documents in three hard copies :
  • an account of academic activities and teaching experience (CV),along with copies of grades, diplomas, certificates and otherdocuments referred to. The portfolio of teaching qualifications mustbe set up in a manner that makes it possible to assess the quality of these qualifications. The portfolio should contain course evaluations and quality judgements from the director of studies or corresponding.
  • a brief summary of academic, teaching and other activities,including a short discussion of which survey, results and achievementsthat the applicant deems relevant for the appointment. Starting pointfor the summary should be the University's Guidelines for Recruitmentof Faculty , chapter 7: “Guidelines for Qualifications Assessment inRecruiting Teaching Staff”. Personal circumstances (such as parental leave) that the applicant deems relevant should be indicated in the resumé of qualifications and experience.
  • a list of academic and teaching-related works being brought to bear. Among these, applicants must indicate a maximum of ten publications or other works that are to be considered as primary.
  • a brief policy statement of what the applicant intend to do to develop research and teaching primary regarding the New testamentexegesis but also regarding interdisciplinary cooperation within the Faculty of Theology.
  • publications (no more than 10) numbered according to the publications list as described above, in three separate packages (these can not be sent by e-mail).
  • in this recruitment procedure, the Appointment Committee may make use of interviews, trial-lectures and referees. The applicant shouldtherefore submit a list of referees well-acquainted with the applicant's professional accomplishments and capacities as well as personal qualities that may be of relevance for the position, e.g. his or her ability to co-operate with others, leadership skills and working methods.
Applications, marked with log number UFV-PA 2009/168, must be addressed to the Vice-Chancellor of Uppsala University and must reach the postal address:
P.O. Box 256,
SE-751 05
fax +46 18-471 20 00,
e-mail .
by September 15, 2009 .

Applications sent by fax or e-mail must be followed by a signed original not more than one week after the deadline for applications. The Uppsala University Hiring Ordinance and Guidelines for Hiring Teachers are available on the home page: and

Monday, 13 July 2009

A Politician In The Making?

Someone captured this photo of a seemingly hardworking lecturer. He appeared to be involved in the community life of the student, helped in the weekly gardening, dirtied his hands in clearing the rubbish, and sweated it out under the hot sun - all these happened only when someone was there taking photos. Once the cameraman walked away, this person appeared to walk away too.

Hmm...a potential politician in the making?

Friday, 10 July 2009

Latest Issue of Berita STM

The latest issue of Berita STM is now published.

Please click here to download the seminary newsletter and read about the latest news and happenings.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Please Mix With Water

Someone captured this rather humorous situation in the chapel today, as a result of a recent incident.

To appreciate the background of the story that happened last week, please read this post.

Approaches to Paul: New Book by Zetterholm

I have always lamented that there is a lack of a textbook particularly for my postgraduate students who are beginning their research on studies on Paul. How does one plough through all the recent studies on Paul, from the New Perspective on Paul to Paul and Roman Empire; from Feminist to postcolonial interpretation of Paul; and from Paul and Ethnicity to multi-disciplinary approaches to Paul? Even within the New Perspective school, how does one address all the divergent views that emerged within those who subscribe to the New Perspective on Paul?

The task of a beginner in trying to make sense of the complex developments in the studies on Paul in the last two decades or so is a daunting one. There are endless list of works to read, but where can one go and find a clear, concise discussion of the issues, and where the dynamic interaction with all the history of modern Pauline scholarship is clearly presented in a thorough and balanced manner?

I finally find my answer in the new monograph by Magnus Zetterholm from Lund University, which arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago. Zetterholm's new book, Approaches to Paul: A Student's Guide to Recent Scholarship, is an excellent and indispensable book that every beginning and seasoned student of the studies on Paul should have. Zetterholm not only engages with recent development of the studies on Paul, he also surveys the history of relationship between Paul and Judaism. He also reviews the works of the works of Lyoyd Gaston, Peter Tomson, Stanley Stowers, Mark Nanos, Caroline Johnson Hodge, Frank Thielman, A. Andrew Das, Simon Gathercole, Stephen Westerholm, Neil Elliot, Kathy Ehrensperger, Davina Lopez, amongst others, in a critical, yet balanced manner.

Zetterholm has done a great service to those who wish to have a clear, thorough and yet concise survey of recent scholarship on the studies on Paul. At the same time, those who would like a glimpse on recent development in Pauline scholarship would also find Zetterholm's work extremely beneficial.

This book is highly recommended.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

5 Thesis Writing Students

It's been crazy since the second I stepped into office this week after returning from Rome. I have 5 thesis writing students who will be graduating this semester, and all their thesis are due for submission within the next few weeks, and I have to read all these theses by this week.

I have 2 postgraduate Master of Theology students who have done excellent research on "The Concept of Indwelling Presence of Spirit-Paraclete in Jesus' Farewell Discourse in John 14-16" and "A Proposal for the Structure of Luke' Travel Narrative."

Apart from the postgraduate students, I have another 3 Master of Divinity students doing NT thesis under me. One is working on "Echoes of Scripture in 1 Peter" and the other on "The Function of the Faithful Sayings in the Pastoral Epistles." One other is doing it in Chinese (yes - I have to supervise one Chinese thesis - and I am still shaking my head in disbelief!) working on 1 Cor 8-10 on the issue of food sacrificed to idol. This is a rather interesting thesis arguing that the issue that Paul is dealing with in 1 Cor 8 and 10 is not the issue of social location of the meal (whether the meal is held in the temple or private home) but the issue of what type of meal being served (whether it is a religious meal or a social meal). This thesis would have an impact in understanding the social networking of the Chinese community in the country.

I wish all my thesis writing students all the best!

Back From Rome

I am now back from Rome, after attending a fruitful SBL International Meeting. It was a great conference.

I presented my paper, and I was quite please with the response generated.

I might blog about my Rome trip later. For the time being, it's back to work.

Note: Photo courtesy of SBL website - This was the first session on the Paul and Pauline Literature Seminar. If you look carefully, you might just detect me sitting somewhere on the right!