Saturday, May 29, 2010

A break... sort of.

So, I finally walked yesterday, graduating from the Talbot School of Theology with an MA in New Testament. I originally started out as an MDiv and was probably about two-thirds of the way done, but I wanted to focus on biblical studies and not do all the practical theology, so here I am. I will be heading to Durham, NC soon to look for an apartment in the Fall, so please pray for us that we'll be able to find a decent place for us to begin a new family together! What else will I be doing? Well, as one of my classmates said yesterday, "I'm going to inhale books during the time off." I don't know about that kind of speed, but I do have a bunch of books I wanted to read, as well as get a chance to think more about potential research topics for my thesis at Duke. Oh, and I might take the darn GRE's again for my future PhD apps, so if anyone has any good tips (for verbal), please share your wisdom.

Anyway, some books on queue:

What are you reading these days?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Say what?

Though I've learned a lot from the many scholarly articles and monographs that I read this year thus far, sometimes, I do understand what John Piper meant, when he said, "Using technical jargon that only insiders understand and that often conceals ambiguity." There are times that I feel like I'm reading pages and pages of one long sentence, to eventually be plopped down onto a conclusion which I'm not quite sure how the author arrived at.

Anyway, on this thought, it made me think of a few funny videos that pokes fun (well, the first one I think was serious, but the second was not) at "technical jargon" that seems to mean nothing and say nothing. Enjoy the monographs my friends, but do remember, sometimes it's just better to say it in 5 words instead of 500 (oh and apologies in advance for some foul language in video #2):

Friday, May 21, 2010


I'm sure you have heard the cliche, "Do not judge a book by its cover." Well, the more I read/buy books, the more I'm convinced that the cliche is oftentimes wrong. I mean, who doesn't like the way this book looks on the outside? Regardless of whether or not you read the book, you gotta admit, it's a cool cover. One other book that I recently added to my wish list, is one I saw on my Google Reader feed, from a review by Andy Rowell, who is a ThD student at Duke.

Here's the cover:

The book is hot off the press (April 2010) and I have to admit, I didn't really read what Andy had to say about it, the cover just got me. Not to mention Tim Keller wrote the forward to the book. Seems to me, sometimes a book should be judged by its cover.

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What's next?

When I first began at Talbot about 5 years ago, I started out as an M.Div student, going part-time while working full-time at a bank. I took Saturday classes and night classes, not really enjoying the PT (practical theology) classes while loving the biblical studies classes (systematic theology was ok... I think I liked it more before seminary). My goal was never to be some senior pastor at a church later on, I just liked teaching the Bible and wanted to just make a living doing that. Took a year off after some difficult family situations, and after a few Greek exegesis classes, my goals changed completely: I just loved reading all these texts, monographs, articles, etc. that I recognized that things were changing in my own heart. In about a week, I will finish my time at the Talbot School of Theology, get hitched this summer to my super awesome fiance, and get ready to move across the US to attend Duke Divinity School for their MTS program in the Fall. I'm still not exactly sure where this will all lead (I am shooting for a PhD, but you all know how hard that is.), but what I do know is this: I love studying the New Testament critically and if I can get paid doing that, count me in.

What's next? Not sure. All I know is something at Durham, North Carolina. Other than that, only God knows.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fall 2010

I'm studying for my Hebrew final right now, but also began to look at some of the course listings for Duke for Fall 2010 after I got an email from the director of admissions. Some of these classes are doctoral seminars but they do allow MTS students with permission, so I'm hoping to get into some of them!

Here are some of the possibilities:

(1) New Testament Colloquy: Intertextuality in the Book of Revelation
(2) Exegesis of Luke with Dr. Kavin Rowe
(3) Exegesis of Romans with Dr. Douglas Campbell
(4) NT Theology with Dr. Kavin Rowe
(5) Greek Exegesis of Mark with Dr. Joel Marcus
(6) Greek Exegesis of Galatians with Dr. Susan Eastman
(7) Pauline Anthropology with Dr. Susan Eastman
(8) Questions in the Study of Ancient Judaism with Dr. Joel Marcus
(9) Studies in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha with Dr. Anathea Portier-Young

I'm hoping I get to take at least a few of these classes.

Until then, יְשׁוּעָתָה לַיהוָה

Thursday, May 13, 2010


When I took a class on the history of rock and roll at UCLA specifically focused on The Beatles, I found out just how pervasive their lyrics/songs were, even decades after their time. I started seeing/hearing references and allusions to The Beatles and it became clear to me that they were even more influential than I had previously imagined. It seems to me that the culture of ancient Greece as well as the Roman adaptations of it in the Roman Empire had a similar impact on Western culture. In my class on the cultural context of 2 Corinthians, we talked briefly about the different gods being worshipped in the city of Corinth in the first century. One of them is Asclepius, the god of healing:

Also, here is Hermes:

Do you notice anything? One of the primary symbols for Asclepius is his rod, a rod with an intertwining serpent. And relatedly, Hermes also carries a caduceus, a serpent with serpents in double-helix formation with winged tips. Both of them look very similar to the modern symbol for medicine.

I visited the website for Yale School of Medicine and this is at the top banner:

Interesting, no?
Seems that long before The Beatles were taking us by storm, the Greeks have been influencing the centuries following.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Right now, I feel like I am in a...

Swamp! If you look at the monthly blogpost counts on the right side, you can see that as the months went on in 2010, my posts went from 12-7-6-6 to currently 1 in the month of May. Not that I live to blog, but I do like to read and think through things from time to time, and blogging helped me with that, but unfortunately, I've been swamped with a lot of school work. Here's what's been on my plate the past two weeks:

(1) Write a research paper on apocalyptic literature for a backgrounds class
(2) Write a research paper on the Greco-Roman concept of parresia
(3) Read Suetonius' De vita Caesarum and write a paper on it
(4) Read and critique a collection of essays from E.A. Judge titled Social Distinctives of the Christians in the First Century
(5) Read and write a review of Ronald Hock's The Social Context of Paul's Ministry
(6) Read and critique Timothy Savage's monograph Power Through Weakness: Paul's Understanding of the Christian Ministry in 2 Corinthians
(7) Read and write a paper on "Peter's Declaration of Jesus' Identity in Caesarea Philippi" in Key Events in the Life of the Historical Jesus
(8) Read and write a paper on Christianity in the Greco-Roman World
(9) Hebrew final. Yay.

Dang. This is the most reading and writing I've ever had to do in such a short span... most of it is good reading, but still, I feel very swamped right now. So in case you were wondering if I was getting lazy, there you go.