Wittenberg Bricks

Happy Reformation Day! I could not pass up blogging on this little Lego creation by Chris Wunz – “The 95 Theses.” This vignette depicts the historic day when Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Schlosskirche in Wittenberg, Germany. The event sparked the Protestant Reformation on October 31, 1517.

I love the statues and stained glass above the doors. See Chris’s Flickr set for detail shots.

HT: VignetteBricks

The Cash Cow Lurks!

“Who loves you baby? Who gives you good credit? Who says you’ll regret it?”

Ok, so here’s an experimental post . . .For it to make any sense, you first need to watch the embedded video below. Seriously, don’t read past the YouTube stuff below until you’ve watched it!

Now, that you’ve listened to this great little video, “The Cash Cow” by Steve Taylor, read the following posts:

Now, I’m sure that the folks who participated in this bovine gathering sincerely believed they were bringing their needs and the needs of the nation to God. If there is a time we should be praying, it is now. Still, the symbolism is too uncanny. Uncanny enough that even the secular world can pick up the biblical parallels. It’s too bad that the folks who organized this gathering did not pick up on them.

Are we now drinking water made heavy with ground gold dust?

From the Valley of the Shadow of the Outlet Mall
To the customized pet-wear boutique
From the trailer of the fry chef
To the palace of the sheik
The Cash Cow lurks
The Cash Cow lurks
The Cash Cow lurks

TLG to Charlesworth’s OTP

Each semester I help NT Interp students with their word studies/Greco-Roman & Jewish background studies. TLG (Thesaurus Linguae Graecae) is an exhaustive resource for searching through Classical literature. Here at GCTS we have an online subscription that’s available to students, staff, and faculty. The results list that TLG provides uses the Latin titles of Greek works, and rarely do seminary students know Latin (at least at this seminary). Some of the texts particularly helpful for the New Testament are the relatively early Jewish and Christian texts in the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Given that the OTP is not covered by the Loeb Classical Library, it can be difficult to track down English translations.

To remedy this I’ve started to put together a table that lists the TLG title (along with other pertinent information) and correlates it with the beginning page number for that work in Charlesworth’s Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (vols 1 & 2). I’ve also included library location information on a few works like Josephus, Philo and the Greek Magical Papyri. The location information that I’ve given is specific to the Goddard Library – but using the standard Library of Congress call numbers.

The table is a work in progress. I hope to add more information in the future. For instance, not all English translations available in the OTP are translations from the extant Greek text. E.g. the translation of 1 Enoch in the OTP is a translation from the Ethiopic text, so the English translation should be used carefully when looking at the Greek fragments available in TLG. I hope to add this kind of information for each work, as well as information on where to find English translations of the Greek – if available. Page numbers in Charles’ Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament (APOT) will be added. It would also be helpful to reference the Loeb Classical Library volume numbers for specific works of Josephus and Philo. Another future revision may include information on the Greek literature written between the first century B.C. and the first century A.D. (BCE and CE for folks like NTWrong and Jim West!) I stand corrected by NT Wrong! BTW, the Bishop’s post on Early Judeo-Christian texts has a fantastic categorization of these texts by genre and date. Fantastic!

Here’s a link to the table (it’s a sloppy conversion to HTML from an Excel document, but I’ll clean that up later.

TLG to OTP Chart

Those lucky enough to own the Accordance module don’t have to worry about this too much – they’ve got both English and Greek texts available to them in parallel, and the English texts are translations of the Greek rather than the other Ancient languages represented. The Logos version (which has been in prepub forever, but due in November) has the Greek text, but as of now Logos does not have English translations from the Greek (but rather links to Charles’ APOT.

A few links of interest:

Lego Reference Desk

I put together this little Lego vignette depicting me at the Reference Desk at the Goddard Library of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. I decided to pick my favorite part of the year for the scene – the first Reading Week – when all of the Interpreting the New Testament (NT502) are working on their word studies. I’ve seen this frantic look all too often. I feel sorry for the harried students, but it’s nice to feel needed. ;^) Here’s a link to the Brickshelf Gallery, and here’s another to my Facebook album.

un-stinking-believable “academic” salaries

The comic strip, “Piled Higher & Deeper” (aka PhD) recently highlighted the comparative average salaries of folks in the “academic” profession. It’s un-stinking-believable that university presidents make $320,616/year! My goodness. What do University Presidents do anyway? I mean, it’s the deans and faculty that do all the work (not to mention the librarians). 😉

Addendum: In case you were wondering, here’s where the librarians stack up in the academic world.

Kamell & Blomberg on James

The Zondervan blog, Koinonia has just announced the release of Craig Blomberg & Mariam Kamell’s new commentary on James in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. The series looks like it will have some helpful features that emphasize the structure of the book and the setting of each passage within that structure. Kevin Stern at the DTS Book Blog gives a helpful description.

Over the next five weeks Blomberg & Kamell will be writing posts for Koinonia on the Epistle of James.

I’ve posted on a few of Mariam Kamell’s papers in the past. She blogs at The GreekGeek’s Bletherings.

ICC Commentaries Online

Mark Hoffman (of Biblical Studies & Technological Tools) and Rod Decker (of the NT Resources blog) have both posted lists of International Critical Commentaries (ICC) that are available online. These titles are all in public domain and are completely free. Some of them are still widely referenced today. Of course it’s “old” scholarship, but as Rod Decker remarks, It’s “not a bad collection for the price.”

  • See Hoffman’s Biblical Studies & Technological Tools page for OT ICC.
  • See Decker’s NT Resources page for NT ICC.

Thanks Mark & Rod!

Illuminated World – A Glossy Gospel

This looks interesting (from BoingBoing):

…a Swedish adman and former CEO Dag Soderberg is leading a team called Illuminated World that’s reinterpreting the Bible as a magazine – complete with sidebars, coverlines, and subheads. He’s using the straight text, for the most part, but embellishing it with Bennetton-style photos and pull quotes. (See rushkoff @ boingboing)

From the Illuminated World website:

Remarkably, the revolutionary new Bible reached unprecedented sales in Sweden. Illuminated World increased the market for bibles by almost 50 percent without cannibalizing normal bible sales. (Link)

While this Bible “magazine” looks quite “artsy”, the concept is not new (for good or for ill). Thomas Nelson has published “Refuel” for teenage guys and “Revolve” for teenage girls.

Now, I’m all for contextualization of the Gospel, but at what point does the “context” get in the way of the Gospel? As rushkoff notes, “Something about the combination of an advertising perspective with the Bible feels like a contradiction.” Does Scripture need to be made “trendy” for a modern audience?