Friday, 26 February 2010

High Pile of Papers to Mark

Today is a public holiday, but I guess it is work as usual for me. When I look at the high pile of unmarked papers sitting on my desk, I would not have felt at ease to take the day off. These are papers that have come in from the class I taught last year for both the Doctor of Ministry and the Theological Education by Extension programmes. I know that if I do not get passed marking the papers, I will be receiving an earful from the students pretty soon.

So it is work as usual.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

2 PhD Positions at Groningen

The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, is offering two PhD positions.

One position is concerned with the Jewish Revolt against Rome while the other position may be filled with biblical studies (Jewish Scripture, Ancient Judaism, New Testament, Early Christianity).

For further information, see

For PhD position Theology and Religious Studies, please forward enquiries to:
For PhD position The Jewish Revolt against Rome, please forward enquiries to:

Take note that the deadline for submission is March 1st, 2010

Displaying Greek Fonts in Class Handouts

This is for the students taking my Exegesis of Mark course. I use Bibleworks fonts for all references to Greek in the handouts. For those who need to download BibleWorks fonts, please click on the link here and follow the instructions in the page. Once installed, you should be able to view the Greek fonts.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Another LKY in STM?

Two years ago, I blogged about the existence of a Mini Kar Yong in the campus. This year, a number of students and colleagues have mentioned that there is now a Kar Yong look-alike. In fact, a few people have mistaken both of us.

Do we actually look alike? Or are we long lost brothers?

Now imagine this scenario in chapel. The real LKY is preaching, and the LKY look-alike is interpreting - would this cause confusion?

Friday, 19 February 2010

Gospel of Mark @ PJEFC

The Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God:
The Earliest Narrative

From March 7-28, over a period of 4 Sundays, I will be teaching a course on the Gospel of Mark at Petaling Jaya Evangelical Free Church.


“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1): these are the first few words found in the prologue of the Gospel of Mark, often regarded as the earliest eyewitness account of the life and ministry of Jesus in the New Testament. What is this “good news of Jesus Christ” according to Mark? How does Mark tell the unique story of Jesus Christ? What does Mark hope to achieve by telling the story the way he tells it? In this course, we will examine and unpack the structure and major theological themes in Mark’s narrative. We will also discover that Mark’s Gospel still challenges and invites us to a fuller understanding of what it means to be authentic disciples that embody “the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1) in our lives.


March 7, 14, 21, 28


11:15am - 12:30pm

Thursday, 18 February 2010

University of Oxford Doctoral Studentship in Abrahamic Religions


The Oxford University Theology Faculty intends to offer a three-year studentship (up to £25,000 per annum) to a doctoral student intending to write a dissertation on a comparative aspect of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The successful candidate will work under the supervision of Professor Guy G. Stroumsa, the newly appointed Professor of the Study of the Abrahamic Religions, and Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall.

The successful candidate will have a good Master’s degree in Theology or in the Study of Religion (including studies germane to the advertised studentship), or will have completed all the elements of such a degree by September 2010.

He or she will be expected to have made an application for doctoral study in the Oxford Theology Faculty by Friday, 12 March 2010, and to have met the usual criteria for acceptance.

The successful candidate will pay the usual fees to college and university, and will be eligible for such conference grants as are open to other doctoral students in the Faculty of Theology. He or she will be subject to such procedures for transfer and confirmation of status as are prescribed in the regulations, and the award will be terminated if doctoral status is suspended for any reason.

The award is not renewable after three years of doctoral study.

Applicants for the award should write to:
by Friday, 12 March 2010.

They should supply a one-page CV/resumé, including details of their educational experience (including full information about all courses taken at Master’s level and the title of any dissertation or thesis undertaken in that context), and a supporting statement of approximately 500 words describing their intended research project and explaining how their research falls within the area covered by this studentship.

The awarding committee will assess applications also on the basis of the materials submitted for the doctoral application to the Faculty, which need not be submitted twice; candidates should ask their three referees, however, to refer directly to their suitability for this studentship in the references they write in support of the doctoral application.

SBL International Meeting 2010 - Giving It A Miss

I have decided that I will not be submitting any papers for this year's SBL International Meeting to be held at Tartu, Estonia. For the past 5 years, I have been attending the International Meeting, but for this year, time does not permit me to take a week's leave. But I will be looking forward to next year's International Meeting to be held in London in conjunction with 400th Anniversary celebration of the KJV Bible. I hope by then, I would have a couple of papers ready to be presented.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Review of Biblical Literature February 9, 2010

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

Michael F. Bird
Introducing Paul: The Man, His Mission and His Message
Reviewed by Tony Costa

Craig A. Blaising, Carmen S. Hardin, and Quentin F. Wesselschmidt, eds.
Psalms (2 volumes)
Reviewed by Gert T. M. Prinsloo

Delbert Burkett
Rethinking the Gospel Sources, Volume 2: The Unity and Plurality of Q
Reviewed by Tobias Hagerland

Greg Carey
Sinners: Jesus and His Earliest Followers
Reviewed by Burgert De Wet

Andrie Du Toit; edited by Cilliers Breytenbach and David S. Du Toit
Focusing on Paul: Persuasion and Theological Design in Romans and Galatians
Reviewed by Sheila E. McGinn

Carole R. Fontaine
With Eyes of Flesh: The Bible, Gender and Human Rights
Reviewed by Robin Gallaher Branch

J. R. Daniel Kirk
Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God
Reviewed by Jens Herzer

Kenneth L. Schenck
Cosmology and Eschatology in Hebrews: The Settings of the Sacrifice
Reviewed by Thomas Kraus

Gerhard Sellin
Der Brief an die Epheser
Reviewed by Angela Standhartinger

Benjamin D. Sommer
The Bodies of God and the World of Ancient Israel
Reviewed by Gilbert Lozano

David Toshio Tsumura
The First Book of Samuel
Reviewed by Phillip Camp

Edna Ullmann-Margalit
Out of the Cave: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Dead Sea Scrolls Research
Reviewed by Samuel Thomas

Monday, 15 February 2010

PhD and Post-Doc Fellowships at Dominican Biblical Institute

Dominican Biblical Institute announces the following scholarships:

DOMINICAN BIBLICAL INSTITUTE , LIMERICK, IRELAND in association with Mary Immaculate College, UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK, seeks applicants for two scholarships to be awarded to suitably qualified candidates, beginning September 2010.

The first is for a PhD on: The Transformation of Scripture in 1 Corinthians. The amount of the scholarship is €15,000 per year plus fee waiver, for three years of full-time study.

The second is for a one-year Post-doctoral fellowship on: Gospel Origins: The Case for Proto-Luke (rather than Q). This scholarship is oriented to publication and provides €25,000 for one year of full-time study.

For further information, contact
Thomas Brodie, email:,
tel. 353 (0)61 – 490 605.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

University of Agder: RM200,000 PhD Research Fellowship in Theology

For those interested, the PhD fellowships offered by University of Agder in Norway are worth considering. Note that you will receive an annual salary of 353 200 NOK - that is more than RM200,000! Am I not tempted to do a second PhD?

The closing date is April 15, 2010. Check out the following announcement from the University. Shortlisted candidates will be flown in for an interview.

Two Doctoral Research Fellowships in Theology at the Faculty of Humanities and Education Ref. 3/10

The University of Agder invites applications for two full-time doctoral research fellowships in theology. The Ph.D. stipends are for a period of three years, and the research fellows will be associated with the doctoral program in Religion, Ethics and Society at the Department of Religion, Philosophy and History, which is part of the Faculty of Humanities and Education. More information about the program may be found at the website by clicking here.

The starting date for employment will be determined upon agreement with the Faculty. The employment location is Kristiansand.

The Ph.D. research fellowships are posted in the general field of theology and are open to all theological projects containing an empirical component (cf. the description of the doctoral program for details).

The Department of Religion, Philosophy and History offers an active and exciting academic environment with a scholarly emphasis on empirical religious studies. At present, the department has over 30 persons in the academic staff, six of whom are Ph.D. research fellows. A major research project is currently ongoing in the field of religion as an aesthetic practice.

The successful applicant must have a Master’s degree within a relevant academic field.

Further provisions relating to the position as PhD Research Fellow can be found in the Regulations Concerning Terms and Conditions of Employment for the Post of Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Research Fellow, Research Assistant and Resident, available for download at

The positions require that the applicant is able to work in a goal-oriented, organised, concentrated and independent manner. Applicants will be assessed on the basis of the project proposal, awarded examination marks, and any previous research and development work. Relevant practical experience and good teamwork skills will also be emphasised.

Applicants must develop a project proposal, which is to accompany the application. The proposal is to be a maximum of 8 pages (including references). It should describe and discuss the applicant’s proposed research topic, relevant theoretical perspectives, and initial methodological plans for engaging empirical material within the chosen conceptual framework. It should also contain a tentative timeline for completion within three years, and a preliminary bibliography.

Short-listed applicants will be invited for interviews.

Women are encouraged to apply. The University of Agder also aims to increase the number of academic staff from immigrant backgrounds. Persons from immigrant backgrounds are encouraged to apply for the position.

The successful applicants will have rights and obligations in accordance with the current regulations for the Civil Service.

Final decisions regarding appointment will made by the University of Agder’s Appointments Committee for Teaching and Research Positions.

The positions will be remunerated within the State salary scale, salary plan 17.515, code 1017, salary grade 45 (353 200 NOK). A 2 % compulsory pension contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund is deducted from the pay according to current statutory provisions.

In accordance with §25(2) of the Freedom of Information Act, applicants may request that they are not identified in the open list of applicants. The University, however, reserves the right to publish the name of applicants. Applicants will be advised of the University’s intention to exercise this right.

Applicants must submit their application and CV online. Please use the link “Send application” on the website

The following documentation should be sent in three hard copies to the address given below:

- Certified copies of diplomas and letters of reference

- List of academic publications

- Master’s thesis (if applicable)

- Other academic publications (no more than 10)

- Project proposal (no more than 8 pages)

Applicants are also asked to submit their application and CV online. Please use the link “Send application” on the website. It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit complete documentation (in triplicate) prior to the announced deadline (see below).

Application and CV with complete information about education, practical experience, and other academic activities should be sent in three hard copies to the following address:

Human Resources Office, University of Agder, Service box 422, NO-4604 Kristiansand, Norway, quoting “ref nr. 3/10”. Closing date: 15 April 2010.

For further information regarding the positions and the doctoral program, please contact professor F. LeRon Shults (tlf. 00 47 38142071; epost professor Pål Repstad (tlf. 00 47 38141554; epost: or the Director of the Department, Dr. Årstein Justnes (tlf. 00 47 38141558; epost:

In case of discrepancies between the Norwegian and the English version of this description, the Norwegian version takes precedence.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Liverpool Hope: Head of Dept of Theology

I have just been alerted concerning the following position available at Liverpool Hope University.

Head of Department of Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies
(Ref: 2ATRS200)

Liverpool Hope University
, a liberal arts University with a unique ecumenical Christian foundation, has already achieved significant recognition in teaching and research. For example in the 2008 RAE the University submitted 14 FTE members of staff with 75% of the work submitted subsequently being graded at 2* or above, including some at the 4* level. There are over 40 research students in the department and previously completed PhDs have been published by, among others, Oxford University Press, Ashgate, Epworth and Paternoster. Teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate level is central to our mission; student numbers are good and recruitment both in the subject and the University more widely is buoyant.

There is now an opportunity for an energetic, forward-thinking and academically distinguished scholar to join our University and take responsibility for the department of theology, philosophy and religious studies. We are looking for an exceptional candidate with an outstanding reputation to inspire, motivate and lead colleagues in their research and teaching. Candidates should have a sound record of research at an international level and an academic profile sufficient to enable them to hold the title of Professor. The department of Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies is central to the University’s strategic development and we are investing significantly for the future. This is hence a key post that offers the opportunity to work with others to take the subject, Faculty and University forward.

While applications from candidates in any area of Christian Theology are invited, those whose area of expertise lies centrally within the fields of Biblical Studies (especially New Testament), Church History, Systematic Theology or Theological Ethics are particularly encouraged to apply.

For further information of the position, please click here.

For an informal and confidential discussion please contact

The Revd Professor Kenneth G.C. Newport
Pro Vice Chancellor
Liverpool Hope University
L16 9JD

0151 291 3242 (P.A.)

For an application form and further details:
tel: 0151 291 3661 (24 hrs)

Thursday, 11 February 2010

More Books for the New Year...

Order from Dovebooks

Order from CBD

For the past few weeks, I have been picking up some great bargains from Dovebook and CBD. To my delight, all my orders have arrived. The order from CBD is a real steal as the total purchase price for the 7 books, inclusive of shipping, comes up to be about RM150 only while Dovebook offers 50% discount for shipping and another 10% off as promotional offer for the new year. So the above books would ensure that I have some good company over my coffee breaks for the next few weeks.

Together with my earlier purchase, I have exhausted my book allowance for the year. Sometimes I wish books could be made cheaper by publishers for bona fide scholars from the Two-Thirds World. If not, how else could we ever keep up with scholarship in our teaching and research?

Coffee....that's life!

Despite his busyness, the budding NT scholar still finds time to chill out with friends. A few weeks ago, together with my partners-in-crime, we checked out Espressamente-Illy at Pavilion for a real Italian brew. If only there is a Espressamente-Illy Cafe in Seremban, perhaps I might consider having some of my smaller sized classes there, just like what we did at Starbucks.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Talk by Sisters of Islam

STM Institute of World Religions is organizing a talk on Justice and the Rights of Woman in Islam by Ms Sharifah Zuriah Aljeffri from the Sisters of Islam on March 4, 2010.

Please refer to the flyer for further information.

Where Have I Been?

I have taken a 3-week break from blogging. It's not that I don't have anything to blog about. Yes, I have been extremely busy, but that does not mean I can't find time to blog. I've decided that perhaps it's good to take a short break just to refocus a bit on a few things that require quite a fair bit of my attention.

So I'm back....So watch this space!