Oxford University Press has a new resource for biblical studies that probably gives us a glimpse on what research tools will increasing look like in the future. Oxford Biblical Studies Online puts an absolute wealth of material at your fingertips in just seconds. According to their database they have 7,691 reference entries and book chapters, 1074 images and maps, calendars, lectionaries, Bible texts including Apocrypha, timelines, and weight and measurement tables–all browsable or searchable.
They are having a free trial running through May. Here is how you can access it:
It is a very special occasion when a father has the opportunity to preach at his son’s ordination service. Richard Hays had this opportunity on March 8 at the ordination of Christopher Hays at La Crescenta Presbyterian Church, La Crescenta, California. You can read the full text of the sermon here; the following quote is an observation on the scroll in the Book of Revelation that I find very familiar in my own experience:
This scroll, it seems, contains the revelation of God’s hidden designs for all history. So we go to school for years and study Greek and Hebrew, or even Akkadian and Ugaritic, in hopes that we might be deemed prepared and worthy to read that mysterious text. But the seer John is insistent: “No one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look into it” – not even if they have a Ph.D. in Old Testament. And so he weeps bitterly. You have to understand how frustrating this would be: all those years of study, all this vast erudition – it all comes to nothing. No one is worthy.
And to Chris, I wish you a fruitful and rewarding ministry.
If I am ever insane enough to pay about $100,000 for a watch (all while people are on this planet are starving to death) this is definitely the one I would buy, the Urwerk 202:
It’s not that I’m crazy about its looks or new design, rather, what has me hooked is the explanation of the watch’s inspiration:
Urwerk has its origins in the town of Ur in Mesopotamia. In 6000 BC, Ur’s inhabitants, the Sumerians, defined the very first unit of time; thus laying the foundation for the measurement of time as we know it today. Our work is a tribute to this past so much linked up to our present.
Now, if they would only reduce the price by about $99,500 I’d buy it in a heartbeat.
I put together a teaser trailer for my article in hopes of having a bit of fun with scholarship and getting people to read the article–who says scholarship has to be boring. You’ll need Quicktime to view the trailer (I had issues that I’m trying to resolve with YouTube–the video format is pretty small to try to accommodate those with slow connection speeds).
Samson’s Last Laugh
My short article on a pun I identified in the Samson narrative is now published. If you are a member of the SBL you can download the volume at the SBL site and you can always find pre-publication versions and offprints of some of my writings on the “My Curriculum Vitae” page. Let me know what you think.
Sam Meier, assoc. prof at Ohio State, has a new book coming out in June titled Themes and Transformations in Old Testament Prophecy. As the title suggests Meier discusses repeated themes in the prophets and charts their diachronic changes. It looks like a book you’ll want to buy. Here is the table of contents:
2. The Prophet and the Divine Council
3. Is the Future Determined?
4. What Do You See?
5. The Manner of Revelation
7. “Thus Said Yahweh”
8. Poetry, Prose, and the Prophets
9. Writing the Prophets
10. Dating the Prophets
12. Prophets as King-Makers
13. The Chariots of Men and of God
Chariots and Horses and the Prophets
God’s Chariot and Horses
14. Continuities in History
15. Reliable Prophets in the Context of Change
Paying the Prophet
The Prophet as Bearer of Bad News
Does a Prophet’s Prediction Come to Pass?