SansBlogue  
Monday, February 27, 2006
 
Amos Commentary goes on sale ::

Over the weekend I set up PayPal and organised the sales side of the Amos commentary. So now people can buy online with secure payments by credit card. Your US$25 gets you a copy of the CD by airmail (package and mail included), for US$40 (or less than most paperbacks) institutions can buy the CD and put the files on an Intranet server potentially accessible by many staff or students at the same time (try that with an Interpretation volume ;)

So, please do try to ensure that YOUR institution has a copy, the peer reviews were good:

Revd Dr Robert Bos, National Director of Theology and Discipleship, Uniting Church in Australia
I think the Amos commentary is superb. ... The whole layout is very logical and easy to navigate - and incredibly useful! ... The language is also very accessible for the non-specialist.
Dr Gene Tucker, Prof Emeritus, Emory University, ex-president of SBL
...an excellent project, and a fine commentary on Amos. I will be making use of it as I finish up my own commentary on the book.
BTW if you would like a review copy, just write to me tim@bible.gen.nz and let me know which scholarly journal or popular magazine the review will appear in...




 
Blogging by Columns? ::

Rachel often has really interesting and useful things to say about blogging and blog design, I really think she may be onto something with the suggestion of tagged columns.

At the SBL Biblioblogging session back in November it was clear that some people only like blogs that are focused and deal with one clear range of topics. But also clear that others like blogs (their own and others) that include the wider variety that makes up real life (now there's a biased way of expressing myself ;) .

Rachel's suggestion would allow us (unfocused bloggers) to accommodate both approaches and people with one blog. I might have a Biblical Studies and Teaching column, and a Hypertext and Digital Life column and then a little one for the Rest of Life as I Know It. Those who like variety could read all columns the focused people could focus on one...


Saturday, February 25, 2006
 
Reading Abram/Abraham ::

I'm very busy trying to finish 3,500 words on Abraham which will make four double page spreads in a coffee table book on the Bible. The job has a tight deadline, which coincides with the start of teaching for the year, and the deadline for SBL paper submissions.

Writing on Abraham for such a work raises all sorts of questions. Not least: How does one deal with the issues of history/historicity? It's not just that minimalism and maximalism (or whatever we call those tendencies) are busy fighting over the ground, but even "simple" things like Ur. It is true that the majority of scholars who seek to identify "Ur of the (anachronistic) Chaldeans" identify it as Ur (home of the famous royal tombs and ziggurat) in southern Mesopotamia (as Claude Mariottini did recently in his blog). But, does that ring true? Would a later scribe, redactor, writer of historical fiction or whomever have called that Ur "of the Chaldeans"?

Now the theologian and literary reader in me wants to claim that the location does not really matter. If so why discuss it in the 950 words I have for "Abraham’s birth and early life"? (Problematic title, since the Bible hardly mentions either much ;) But then I know that readers will want to know, people like to connect stories with places. And I suspect that the publisher may well want to get permission for a nice photo of something like the Royal Standard of Ur to enrich the page...

So, follow my theological and literary nose? Give the readers what they want (even though I cannot in all conscience give them what they really want - a neat tidy andexcitingg identification)? Or bow to the needs of my employer?

So, that's why there is a near scholarlyconsensuss on identifying Abram's Ur as the famous one!


Friday, February 24, 2006
 
Biblical Studies Humour ;) ::

If any of you do not read Stephen C Carlson's Hypotyposeis you really should not miss "On This Day in Biblical Studies...", it will be good for your health!


Wednesday, February 22, 2006
 
First entry for the Bible Dictionary ::

I was delighted this morning to get the first draft of a contribution to the Bible Dictionary. Having a contribution, even a draft, somehow makes the project more real. However, I have recruited only two of "my" twenty-five authors so far, so we have a long way to go.

Otherwise the day was very busy with preparing the Justice in the Bible course, getting data online in the University's proprietary LMS is less straightforward than Moodle! But I got there in the end, though the result is not pretty. A Cecil (as the LMS is called) trainer is due to meet me sometime, maybe I can get them to show me neater and better ways to set it out... anyway the result is no time for a "proper post" - all those posts I want to respond to are still waiting, so at the bottom of this one is a pic from our holiday:
Lyttleton Harbour from Corsair Bay (Lyttleton is the harbour for Christchurch, NZ's second largest city!




Tuesday, February 21, 2006
 
Blogging in Time Between ::

I'm in "time between" mode, back from holiday, but the semester is just gearing up, and I'm not ready. So, blogging will take back seat to getting the necessary preparation, meetings and other jobs done to get the year underway, and launch Amos. But... it seems a shame not to offer something to all those who have been panting for sansbloguery these last dry weeks, and I have to do something to keep alive the spirit of holidays during this busy period... So... each day - till life returns to normal - I will try to post one photo from our South Island trip each day for a while even if I get to post nothing else! (Maybe the NZ tourist board will then sponsor SansBlogue for big bickies and I could retire to live in Hokitika :)

Since my last post promised "deserts" here is the nearest thing NZ can offer:
View from Mt John, Tekapo

Filed in:


 
Launching Amos ::

For ten years, a whole decade, the bulk of my spare-time has been dedicated to working out how a hypertext Bible commentary differs from a print one, I've been doing this by writing a web-based commentary on Amos. As I noted back in December, at last version 1.0 of this commentary has been finished and peer-reviewed. This is a big step, since it means both that:
  • the work has been assessed in a formal way by others who know what they are talking about and judged valuable (or 1000 users a day are not wrong ;)
  • and students and scholars who want to cite the commentary now can cite a stable fixed and unchangeable edition
  • and maybe now I can focus more on trying to persuade others to write commentary in similar format to enlarge the series - a big step towards that will be a simple manual for authors describing what to do (both the mechanics and the rhetoric i.e. both how to write so we can convert it to hypertext delivery and what to write differently from a print commentary

You are invited!

if you live in Auckland, or can get there on March 10th, you are invited to the official launch party, at 7:00pm at Carey Baptist College, 473 Great South Rd, Penrose, Auckland

RSVP to anne.adlam@carey.ac.nz

There will be good espresso coffee, hot chocolate and deserts [sorry, "desserts", I can't spell - BTW those who want deserts see next post, almost] , so do say you'll come!


Thursday, February 16, 2006
 
Old Testament Library ::
Stephen, always quick to pass on useful things, pointed me to John Goldingay's "An OT Library for Ministers" (he got the tip from Christchurch blogger Paul Whiting). Goldingay's list is entertaining and useful.

Entertaining because it is always interesting to see what others would put on such a list, and because of the brief comments, e.g. on survey books:
J. W. Drane - Introducing the Old Testament (Harper), liberally conservative
L. Boadt - Reading the Old Testament (Paulist), conservatively liberal
which in my view nicely sums up both works! And useful because the list is so sensible (well at least in my, dead biased, view).

Then I noticed how "out of date" it felt. Does anyone still use paper concordances in the age of BibleWorks seven? Though, on a third look some of the "out of date" feel came from the presence of older classic works, like both Eichrodt AND von Rad's Theology of the Old Testament. (Though, of course the list WAS published way back in 2001 ;)

So, I wondered, (exactly what Stephen asked me in his email): What would we put on such a list today? I plan over the next few days/weeks to return to the question, if others join in we might get a really good list going... I'm sure Jim would like a couple of more skeptical historical works in there somewhere... Though, Jim, (this relates to an issue Chris and others have raised in your recent conversations) remember that the list is intended for "Ministers", so I assume has pastoral and preaching needs in mind.

For today my suggestion is that we replace the Englishman's Hebrew-Chaldee Concordance by the freeware e-Sword, and Even-Shoshan's concordance by either BibleWorks or Libronix - quicker and easier than paper!




Wednesday, February 15, 2006
 
Forgive me mothers and fathers, it has been over a month since my last post... ::

In case you thought I was dead, or had stopped blogging, I am delighted to announce that after the rush of getting Amos finished and "published" (on which more very soon), the busyness of Christmas and the end of both academic and civil years, and an unheard of three week (!) holiday, I am back, normal blogging will resume as soon as possible. Though I have some 480 Biblical Studies blog posts to read, without mentioning the 79 on Hypertext and the others!

Yesterday morning I was watching seals south of Kaikoura, and then a leisurely lunch at a vineyard we passed, but later this morning I am back to work, so no more blogging just yet...

As you can see, from this little video, the sea was "a bit lumpy" for the whale-watching, I was sick, but the two sperm whales seemed fine!


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