Friday, 21 September 2007

drop study of biblical languages from seminaries?

just about to finish teaching an intensive one semester elementary hebrew class for the final year students (for those who didn't take hebrew at all) before they graduate so that at least they know a little hebrew and know enough how to use it when reading an ot commentary like wbc or icc series. this group of 5 students elected to stay on (2 dropped out along the way) in spite of their heavy workload and schedule to try to get a grasp of the hebrew language. 3 cheers for their preseverance and staying power!

the debate still goes on whether seminary students should spend so much time studying biblical lanaguages when especially in malaysia they are already struggling with the english language (many of the students come with chinese or tamil as their first language or mother tongue and malay as the language of study in the government schools). english is to many of them their third language. they already truggle with english grammar and to load onto them greek and hebrew grammar? the seminary council has recently deliberated whether to drop even greek as a compulsory subject for credit (hebrew is already an optional subject or elective). that will be a drastic move as it means a seminary graduate can opt to study his 3 or 4 years in a semianry without doing elementary greek or hebrew!

the debate is not new in the west as one can see the links in higgaion as well as the logos bible study blog:

let's hear it from you guys out there. should a future pastor while being trained in seminary be not required to even learn elementary greek and hebrew?

Joachim Jeremias

Lest we forget. NT scholar Joachim Jeremias was born on 20th sept.

(from wikipedia entry)
Joachim Jeremias (1900-1979) was born on 20 September 1900 in Dresden and spent his formative years in Jerusalem, where his father, Dr. Friedrich Jeremias worked as a provost for the Lutheran Erlöserkirche (Church of the Redeemer). He studied theology and eastern languages in Tübingen and Leipzig. At Leipzig he completed by his Dr.phil. (1922), Dr.theol. (1923), and Habilitation (1925). His mentor was the renowned Gustaf Dalman After Jeremias gaining his degree in 1925 at the University of Leipzig, he was appointed in 1938 as the Georgia Augusta Professor of Theology, until his retirement in 1968. In 1976, Joachim Jeremias moved from Goettingen to Tübingen, where he died on 6 September 1979.

The research work of Joachim Jeremias covers historical, literary, philosophical and archaeological studies, especially for the Hebrew Bible and Rabbinic texts relevant in a critical analysis of the New Testament to reconstruct the historical environment of Jesus in context. The achievements of Joachim Jeremias found national and international acknowledgment, recognized by the admission into the Göttinger Academy of Sciences in 1948 and the award of honorary doctorates from the universities of Leipzig, St. Andrews, Uppsala, and Oxford. He was also made a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and the British Academy. In 1970 he was made an honorary fellow of the Deutsche Verein zur Erforschung Palästinas.

some of his publications include:

(with Walther Zimmerli) The Servant of God (1957; German ed., 1952)
Jesus' Promise to the Nations, trans. S. H. Hooke (1958; German ed., 1956)
Infant Baptism in the First Four Centuries, trans. D. Cairns (1962; reprinted, 2004; German ed., 1958)
The Sermon on the Mount, trans. Norman Perrin (1963; German ed., 1959)
The Lord's Prayer, trans. John Reumann (1964; German ed., 1962)
The Problem of the Historical Jesus, trans. Norman Perrin (1964; German ed., 1960)
Unknown Sayings of Jesus, trans. Reginald H. Fuller (1964; German ed., 1949)
The Central Message of the New Testament (1965; reprinted, 1981)
The Eucharistic Words of Jesus, trans. Norman Perrin (1966; reprinted, 1977; 3d German ed., 1960)
Rediscovering the Parables of Jesus (1966; abridgement of The Parables of Jesus)
The Rediscovery of Bethesda, John 5:2 (1966; German ed., 1949)
The Prayers of Jesus, trans. John Bowden et al. (1967; German ed., 1958)
Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus: An Investigation into Economic & Social Conditions During the New Testament Period, trans. F. H. Cave and C. H. Cave (1969; German ed., 1967)
New Testament Theology, trans. John Bowden (1971; German ed., 1971)
The Origins of Infant Baptism: A Further Reply to Kurt Aland, trans. Dorothea M. Barton (1971; German ed., 1962)
The Parables of Jesus, 2d ed., trans. S. H. Hooke (1972; German ed., 1958)
Jesus and the Message of the New Testament, edited by K. C. Hanson, Fortress Classics in Biblical Studies (2002)

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

October - Pastors' Appreciation Month

cbd calls october 'pastors' appreciation month'. one can remember your pastor by getting him a well-deserved gift like a good book to read. since i no longer am pastoring a church full-time now that i am lecturing in stm, looks like i need another category: 'part-time pastors' appreciation month'! any takers?

Monday, 17 September 2007

biblical studies carnival

for those wishing to join in and read good biblical studies blogs (o.t and n.t.), once a month a biblical studies carnival is organized and hosted by a different blog.

try the above link to go to william tyler's site for the biblical studies carnival. it includes at the bottom a link to the archives or go the link below:

Tours to Israel

Here is something to start off the new week with a smile for a gloomy Monday back here in malaysia (where rain is forecast for the next few days):


Here is a new historical twist to Holy Land Tours:

The Moses Tour leaves Cairo, Egypt, once every forty years. Featured cuisine: quails, strange white stuff, and water from our Rock fountain. Dessert: milk and honey at end of tour.

The Elijah Tour— sometimes you may feel alone atop lovely Mount Carmel. Only one way airfare necessary. Return in a chariot of fire. Qualification: must eat like a bird.

The Saul of Tarsus Tour— ride the donkeys to Damascus. Strange visions in magic hours on the road. Live in four-star dungeons, probable shipwreck on bonus adjunct rider tour to Rome. Bring materials for letter writing.

The Isaiah Tour— if you hear a voice saying, “Go,” you'll enjoy Servant Airlines' tour to different northern cities.

The Noah Tour. Not for claustrophobics, a special 365 day cruise around the world. Paradise, Paramedics, Paratroopers. A para-everything. Visit gopherwood ark building factory.

The Ruth Tour— wherever we go, you'll go. Wherever we eat, you'll eat. Our tour will be your tour.

The Balaam Tour— play the original donkey videogame with special voice module.

The Sarah Tour— lots of laughs. Don't go if eighty-nine years old. May return with extra family members.

The Jonah Tour leaves Cleveland, Ohio; destination Los Angeles, California. Arrives Israel by no choice of your own. This tour is “made in the shade.” You'll know your tour guide in the airport under the sign “We won't go!”

The Simon Peter Tour— ride the fishing boats on the Sea of Galilee, water-walking option available, see the famous memorial of the falling sheet on the rooftop in Jaffa, view the videocassette of the original version of “True Confessions.” Visit the 1995 Jerusalem rooster-crowing contest.

And finally, the Jesus of Nazareth Tour— who knows where he will lead? His words to us are “Follow me.”