SansBlogue  
Monday, April 30, 2007
  Amy-Jill Levine in Auckland
I've never met Amy-Jill Levine, but she has a fine reputation as a New Testament scholar and I've listened to the lecture Phil Wilson posted to his Teaching the Kingdom site. As well as being an Orthodox Jewish feminist New Testament scholar (already an intriguing combination) she is an engaging and humorous presenter.

If you live in, or within reach of, Auckland this is one biblical studies lecture you should NOT miss!

The small print:

At: The University of Auckland, LawSmall Law Building, 9-17 Eden Crescent, Auckland
On: Monday , 18th June, 2007
At: 6.00am - 7.30pm
Cost: Koha (Donation)

Even smaller print:

Jesus and Judaism: Why the connection matters


By Amy-Jill Levine, E. Rhodes and Leona B Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Department of Religious Studies, and Graduate department of Regligion.

Amy-Jill's recent publications include:



Saturday, April 28, 2007
  Genesis 1:27 prose or poetry? And other issues.
Genesis 1 is highly polished and condensed language. Although full of repetitions each has its place and purpose. What's more the words carry huge theological weight (as the preface to the Bible) as von Rad put it: "These sentences cannot easily be overinterpreted theologically."

Today I'll focus on 1:27, the heart of the account of the creation of humanity (1:26ff.) Although there has been debate it seems to me clear that the chapter is prose not poetry.1 However, the arguments are much less clear for 1:27.

I won't repeat (except particularly good phrases ;-) John's fine presentation, just summarise it:
  • 1:27 is formed of three lines each of 2+2 word units
  • these elements are not co-ordinated, mere juxtaposed
  • "each part repeats and at the same time builds on the preceding part" (I am less careful than John, so I'll call it parallelism!)
This gives the verse a very strongly poetic "feel". But:
  • the sign of the accusative is repeated three times in one verse!2
  • the vayyiqtol form of verb is rare in poetry
  • the rest of the chapter is highly repetitive too
  • John sees (if I understood right) the four beat lines as atypical of poetry - here I disagree with him, I think four beat (I'd prefer to say word unit) lines are commoner in more recent poetry, perhaps especially of the 2+2 sort we have here.
So, is it prose or poetry?

Yes!

By which I mean that a hard and fast distinction between prose and poetry is no more appropriate in Hebrew than in English. And this verse stands somewhere near the centre of the blurry boundary zone between them. (As does much prophetic speech.) I'll acknowledge that I have oversimplified in the past, simply calling this verse "poetry". [I am about to start yet a second sentence with a conjunction, grammarians beware ;-) - why is English so pernickety about unnecessary detail?] But, I would have erred equally (if oppositely) if I had called it "prose". It is both and neither.

Which means, I think, that we are to take its "parallelism" quite seriously:

וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים | אֶת־הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ
בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים | בָּרָא אֹתוֹ
זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה | בָּרָא אֹתָם

and he created | God || the human | in his image
in the image | of God || he created | him
male | and female || he created | them

The repetition of different forms meaning "he created" (or perhaps - see John's post - "formed") the common subject ("God", repeated by the verbs "he created") as well as the rhythm give a strongly parallelistic feel already.

So, in what does the image of God consist in humanity? Evidently not appearance or any other such surface and changeable quality - for it is in humanity as "male-and-female", as the puzzling change from singular to plural ("him" to "them") signals. It can only be in this very unity in diversity. Sexuality is both the "image of God", and as Jerome reminds Christian theologians: "Sexual categories do not apply to the Godhead." [* to another post ]



1. On this and other scholarly and technical matters do see John's article/posts "Is Gen 1:27 Poetry?" and the more recent "Genesis 1:26-28 - Exegetical Odds and Ends", Wayne's post "translating the poetry of Gen. 1:27" and the fine discussion it elicited in the comments and David Clines (1968) classic "The Image of God in Man". [RETURN]

2. See my posts: The new magical imperial toolkit: percentages, prose and poetry and The new magical imperial toolkit: part 2 [RETURN]

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  WKA cafe
The other week we tried Voila on the other side of Sandringham Road, so we thought we'd try the cafe on the opposite corner. It goes by the name WKA whether we are meant to pronounce this: Orca? Weka? Walker? or just say the letters, I don't know. Maybe cafes with obscure names should provide a guide ;-)

The small and interestingly shaped space has a cottagey feel, there are tables outside, and apparently a partly covered courtyard (it was cold when we went, so we did not venture out). The decor is comfortable and there is a good supply of magazines. Though given the small space no couches.

Coffee: OK my long black came with water in a china jug (extra points) but the Allpress beans had been extracted giving a slightly bitter taste (so not an "excellent", or even quite a "good"). Barbara's Moccachino was "good, but a bit sweet" perhaps too much chocolate syrup or not the best syrup?

Food: Good I had "Lamb's Fry and Bacon" (Liver and Bacon to non-Kiwis) and B. the pancakes. The pancakes were Kiwi/Scottish style thick ones with blueberries in the mix and generous fruit as a side to the stack. The liver was (in both senses) well cooked (those who fear parasites in under-cooked liver need not tremble, but equally it had not been toughened by over-cooking either) and the gravy pleasantly spiced (perhaps a touch of juniper as well as orange) and spicy with a little chili. The bacon (with both pancakes and liver) was a tasty streaky.


WKA Cafe
572 Sandringham Road
PHONE: 0-9-846 1967

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007
  Audio comments
Hmm. Thanks to those of you who via Text comments, and emails, warned me that the audio comments feature was not working. It wasn't. But now it is... I have not changed anything, just slept on it overnight (I had a long meeting in the evening so could not fix it then.)

So, I assume the problem was the Evoca end... I will try to watch the system and see if it is reliable enough to use. I will also try MyChingo to compare. In the meanwhile do keep trying, and letting me know if it is broken!

PS: Comment by Mike

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007
  Creation video
Stephen Cook posted on Sunday a fine student video of Genesis 1. If you don't read Biblische Ausbildung then do take a look, the execution is superb it is "The Creation Account" on YouTube.
If it was an assignment - I get students to "perform" biblical texts as an integrative assignment in several classes - I would have liked to see more emphasis on the structures of the text, esp the seven day one, and on the end in Sabbath not merely rest but also worship. But that's the scholar once again examining the teeth of donated equines, and this equine has magnificent colours!

PS, to any future students reading this, I don't expect this quality of execution for the assignment, though I dream of getting it and astoundingly often do!

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Monday, April 23, 2007
  Stalky and Co. (schoolboy humour)
I've been reading Stalky and Co. for Librivox as my non-family non-work hobby recently, the nine chapters are ready for proof listening, so please if you enjoy a touch of schoolboy humour from time to time do pick a chapter and listen - just let me know the time of any stumbles or mistakes you spot! Thanks...

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  Home cured salmon
Photo from Kent Wang.
It's a long time since I posted a recipe. One that has been a favourite in our family for the last few months is Gravlax. I know the name (unless you are in the know) sounds disgusting - which is why I put "home cured salmon" in the title ;-) But gravlax is delicious, a Scandinavian treat. And easy as.

Just take a piece of fresh salmon (or - if you are worried about parasites in uncooked fish - of commercially frozen salmon, the details of why are explained in the Cooking for Engineers article on Gravlax) make sure you remove ALL the little bones.
Photo by Claudecf
Mix sugar, salt and dill (to taste, but about equal quantities sugar and salt, loads of dill if it is fresh or smaller quantity if dried - dried works surprisingly well).

Place the fish on a sheet of cooking paper, coat with plenty of the mix. Wrap, and refrigerate for 12 hours (24 is too long and 6 leaves you with almost sashimi).

Slice diagonally with a very sharp knife. Eat as you would cold smoked salmon - but much more as it is so cheap!

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  New posts to "5 Minute Bible"
I've posted another mp3 to my new audio blog 5 Minute Bible the latest concerns the genre of Jonah, and the clues provided by Jonah 1:1. Do listen and comment, and if you have a blog or web page please link to this new venture, so that other people spot that it is there! BTW, if you want to link just to the posts on a particular Bible book or topic the tags provide a way to do that e.g. http://5minutebible.com/labels/jonah.html lists posts on Jonah (just the one so far) while http://5minutebible.com/1 sam.html leads to that book and http://5minutebible.com/labels/genre.html to those concerned with that topic. There are links to these tag pages at the bottom of each post...

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Sunday, April 22, 2007
  Voila!

The lower half of Sandringham Road used not to be cafe territory, and the "village" is still dominated by good cheap Indian restaurants, 2 dollar shops and Lotto outlets, but Voila! offers a standard cafe, with the extra twist of French crepes and a selection of patisserie. The service, menu and prices are typical of other cafes of this type, with the prices on the upper end of suburban Auckland - but it was humming when we arrived, and only quietened about 10am the people of Sandringham must rise earlier than the rest of central Auckland. As with Eifel en Eden Voila! gets a lot of people calling in for bakery, as well as breakfast customers.

Coffee: good. We could not see the brand identified, but it was organic and fair trade. The barrista was in training, but even so the result was good, with only a slight touch of bitterness betraying a beginner - she was closely supervised ;-) the long black came with a water jug, though not full points for presentation as the jug was metal :( however the decoration of chocolate syrup on the moccachino made up for this small lapse!

Food: Good: Barbara's big breakfast was almost too much, and my mushrooms were big, fat and juicy, and there was plenty of tasty added bacon. (Not as smokey as I like, but that's a rare find nowadays.)

Voila!
573 Sandringham Rd
Sandringham
Auckland City
09-846 8393

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Friday, April 20, 2007
  Cool tool: Use a map
Thanks to Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day for pointing out Useamap, you can generate shareable maps, like this one for our bach - be envious, be very envious! If anyone is thinking of visiting Carey we are here, convenient for the motorway... and if you are looking for inspiration in Auckland try the BBC!

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  Tyndale House and "Snap Shots"
I went to the Tyndale House website to get the URL for the brilliant Unicode font kit to give to some graduate students. Simple enough task... except... it seems the site has a "feature" called SnapShots enabled.

This pops up a dirty great window over the whole area around any link that your mouse strays over with a "pretty" thumbnail image of the page the link points to. All I wanted was to see the URLs... I tried clicking the "Disable" and the "Options: Disable for all sites" buttons on the SnapShots popup.

But to no avail.

I can think of another word to describe this "feature"! But I won't "say" it here ;-) I say the sooner either **apShots enables their "Disable for all sites" button, or FireFox learns to block these wretched popups, or David removes the "feature" the better! David, if you read this, great site, wonderful resources, thanks for the emails, BUT please stop SnapShots and preserve my blood pressure ;-)

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  Finally Feminist?
Finally FeministAs part of the colloquium God and Gender (mentioned in my "El Shaddai as the breasted god" the abstract of my paper is already online!), to be held at Carey in July, there will be a public forum on John Stackhouse's book Finally Feminist. For those interested there is a good (though favourable and biased) review by Susan Wise Bauer on the Christianity Today website "On Slippery Slopes, the Blogosphere, and (oh, yes) Women: The place of women in the redemptive community."


Thursday, April 19, 2007
  Announcing... 5 minute Bible
Well, I have decided to carry the experiment with audio blogging a bit further. I've set up an audio blog 5 Minute Bible in which I plan to post occasional audio segments of 5 minutes or so (I hope 5 mins or less once I get the hang of the genre!) about the Bible. Sometimes they'll be more devotionals, sometimes more lectures ;-) that's just the way I am. There is the facility to post text comments or send me audio comments that I can post to the site - I still don't know a better way, but have not yet - O beloved Alex - given up on perhaps using MyChingo for this...

For now audio comments are a bit clunky, but I'm slowly getting there...

Two posts so far:<shameless.plug>Please feel free to post critical comments on your blogs - with a clear link to 5 Minute Bible - that way people may begin to find this stuff and give me an audience ;-) </shameless.plug>

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  Eisenbrauns free book: serendipity or design
Holy Spirit and Religious Experience in Christian Literature ca. AD 90-200I have just received my free book from Eisenbrauns. Biblioblog readers will remember that JPS announced this splendid scheme whereby if you subscribed to one of the RSS feeds, and were quick to respond to the Pavlovian stimulus of the words "free books" you might get sent a totally free book.

It may be serendipity, but I'd assume design played a part... Mine is Holy Spirit and Religious Experience in Christian Literature ca. AD 90-200. A little off my usual stamping ground (though less than a millennium away ;-) but it is by John Eifion Morgan-Wynne. Basically his doctoral thesis, supervised by James D.G. Dunn. John Morgan-Wynne was my New Testament tutor at Regents, many years ago, and a man who the description a Christian, scholar and gentleman fits in all parts! So I am delighted with this pleasant surprise.

Thank you Eisenbrauns! (I hope the scattering of links in this post boosts your Google ranking enormously ;-)

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  The wars of religion
Just when I thought it was over, that the wars of religion had at last ended, when Mac notebooks were being sold as cheaply as PCs, and if need be could even run Windows, I read this Biblical Fonts and Mac Woes: A Solution

The latest Tyndale Tech makes me thank God daily that I was created a PC user not a Mac addict ;-)


Update and confession: Since I was taken to task recently for not mentioning all the good features in a service I mentioned in passing, I'd better confess, the Mac woes with Unicode that the Tyndale Tech email focuses on are mainly for people using MSWord. People who have wordprocessors designed with the needs of Hebrew in mind as Danny of Deinde points out (in Latest Tyndale Tech: some clarifications) probably have something almost as good as a PC, even if the machines still normally come with one mouse button missing ;-)

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Saturday, April 14, 2007
  Mesopotamia website review
The British Museum has upgraded its online presentation of it's Ancient Near Eastern collections with a teaching website (I do not know when the upgrade was done as I could find no publication date :(

The site (http://www.mesopotamia.co.uk) is aimed at school children, and both simplifies and breaks the material down into very small "chunks". On the whole this works well, but occasionally it is frustrating. The site is visually stunning. However, it was perhaps planned a while ago as the images look very small on a high resolution laptop screen (and sadly there is no facility to enlarge them).

Slingshot stones from Lakish
The information is at beginner level, but could be used to provide tertiary students with an overview and context. I looked particularly at the "Siege of Lakish" section (under "Assyria" and "Warfare"). Detail from the frieze is presented and highlighted by softening the "background", this is most effective, both directing attention but also showing context.

The section works by stepping through the "story", navigation is crude - simply "forward" and "back" arrows with some additional popups - but this helps keep wandering minds from straying. Actually I think this is a shame as it fails to use one great advantage of electronic texts the ability to encourage and facilitate serendipity and exploration.

It is interesting to compare this with other presentations of the topic.

BM Mesopotamia: uses html (with a touch of Flash) to create a visually stunning and therefore engaging introduction to the topic. But it oversimplifies and does not allow (much less encourage) exploration.

The Virtual World Project offers a virtual tour of Tell ed-Duweir (just click on "Lachish"). This is rich and interactive, it begs one to start exploring. It may be too complex for school students - at least as they begin, but you could use the BM offering to get them into the topic. The downside of the "Virtual World" approach is the time and effort - unless they have a bigger version of the images and other resources in their pockets, it is already looking small on a 1400x1050 screen, and will be a pain to upgrade.

Lastly (because in most respects least) my short video (using still photos) on this topic. Uses Windows Media (via the excellent PhotoStory) so a relatively low demand if hi-ish tech approach. It introduces the topic, but like the BM site does not allow or really encourage exploration.

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Friday, April 13, 2007
  Sounds like Shaddai in Song 2:7
Bob MacDonald in a comment to my post "El Shaddai as the breasted god" (below) points to Song of Songs 2:7 and the "sounds like..." effects there. The verse reads:
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles or the wild does:
do not stir up or awaken love until it is ready! (NRSV)
 הִשְׁבַּעְתִּי אֶתְכֶם בְּנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִַם
בִּצְבָאוֹת אוֹ בְּאַיְלוֹת הַשָּׂדֶה
אִם־תָּעִירוּ וְאִם־תְּעוֹרְרוּ אֶת־הָאַהֲבָה
The phrase concerned is the middle line above and transliterates as something like: bitseva'ot 'o be'aylot hassadeh which (it is suggested) sounds like two names of God each with the preposition prefix b: יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת where tseba'ot = "hosts" as in LORD of Hosts and אֵל שַׁדַּי 'el shadday. It is this pair of possible "sounds like..." effects together in a context that speaks of "adjuring by..." that suggest an intended association.

(Biblical) Hebrew loves such effects. They are hugely common especially in prophetic speech and in poetry. However, it is only - as perhaps is the case in this verse - where there are pointers suggesting the association that we can have any confidence that it was either intended by the writer(s) or likely to have been perceived by the hearers.

(BTW, I think that in this case, as in the one I discussed below, these sound effects do not tell us much about the meaning of the words used - but they may, probably do tell us about the meaning effects of the passages concerned!)

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  Evoca: "audio blog" not merely podcast
I mentioned a few days ago that I was trying out Evoca, a new tool for audio blogging. I have called it "audio blogging" rather than "podcasting" for two reasons, which I think between them (but especially the second) make an audio blog very different from a podcast:
  • Podcasts tend to be more like radio broadcasts with often interviews, intro music etc. while Evoca is brilliant in allowing the sort of comment on something I have seen or read rather like a blog post but audio not mere text.
  • Evoca allows audio comments, most existing podcasts do not.
The browser based microphone in Evoca is a brilliant idea, make it a Firefox plugin like Performancing (sorry, now called ScribeFire but still a great aid to bloggers), and I'd be hooked. I am really keen to get more audio comments - see sidebar for the tool. I'd love to hear what some of you I have not met face to face sound like!

Playing with Evoca has convinced me of the utility and fun of such "audio blogging".

But, the cost of getting enough storage to host an audio blog at Evoca is too high for me (US$5/month = 60 per year, for which I'd expect far more hosting features). So, if I do start a parallel SansAudioBlog ;-) or whatever better name I actually think up, I'll need to host the comments only on Evoca, or find another tool to record visitors remarks, and host the posts as "normal" podcasts, probably using Podifier to make and upload them. Actually, since Evoca seems to have no way for me to attach comments to posts (except using their full price service) I need means for that too...

Hey someone Blogger or Wordpress or some new one-person-band how about it? A blog engine that produces RSS for Podcasts with audio comments and a cool browser mic like Evoca's... now that could fly!

(I thought for a minute that the PodPress addin for Wordpress might be it, but as far as I can see it does not permit audio comments. MyChingo does but with a clumsy Java applet and then with similar cost problems to Evoca.)
______________________________________
A voice comment from the President!

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  God and Gender colloquium: my abstract
As I currently plan it my paper for the colloquium, with the title:

The image of the invisible God: (an)iconic knowing, God and gender

Will comprise two main sections, the first:

Aniconic knowing: God beyond gender

Beginning from evidence that the Christian theologians of the formative period (the “fathers of the church”) understood that God was beyond gender categories. Will then argue that the gods of polytheism are commonly gendered, and that this is almost inevitable, because these gods are often imaged in human form, and anthropomorphic images can - indeed almost must - suggest gender. By contrast the Hebrew Bible insisted that God is aniconic (not to be imaged – unimaginable?) and therefore resisted any simple gendering of God.

Iconic knowing: Jesus and the Father

However, the New Testament presents Jesus (a male human) as “the image of the invisible God” and he talked of God as “Father”. This double imaging of the invisible God has resulted in a tendency to imagine God as male. I will suggest that a closer look at Jesus' use of father language shows that it does not simply gender God. Indeed such male imagining of God distorts theology, and also therefore distorts the sayings of Jesus on which it is based.

At least, that's the idea. I will try to blog parts of the argument here, for comment and discussion. In the meanwhile I would appreciate any comments on the abstract!

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Thursday, April 12, 2007
  Video, audio and (biblio)blogging
AKMA concludes his post "Visions" with the quasi-throwaway remark:
By the way, I’m very positively impressed with the way Josh has implemented video segments — there’s no reason someone couldn’t be doing comparable work in responsible theological, educational communication. Plenty of institutions already have more ample facilities than Josh’s; all it would take is the determination to do it.
I'm not convinced the problem is "determination", I think it is time. That, and the lack of credit that such activities get from employers. (For some hints of the attitudes that underlie this see for example the discussion of April DeConick, Tenure and Blogging by both Stephen Carlson Blogging and Academia and Mark Goodacre Blogging and Tenure 2 and his earlier post).

I know that my attempts at blogging are largely made on my own time... however, I have been inspired by playing with Evoca (see the side bar for an opportunity to post audio comments) and will be experimenting with some simple audio blogs. (Video for now takes too much time and skill...)

Here is the first:

Humour in the Bible: Part One: Introducing Saul

This is a short (about 12 minute) MP3 discussing 1 Sam 9:1ff..

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  El Shaddai as the breasted god
In preparation for the colloquium on "God and Gender"1 I have been corresponding with another participant (she's a psychologist and spiritual director - not a biblical scholar) and in the course of the conversation the claim that the name אֵל שַׁדַּי ('el shadday often rendered "God Almighty") might mean "the breasted god", because of the association of שַׁדַּי shadday with שָׁדַיִם shadayim "breasts".

The proposal rests on two false assumptions:
  • that שַׁדַּי shadday is somehow etymologically or morphologically related to שָׁדַיִם shadayim (it is not notice the doubled ד d)
  • that such a morphological connection of itself implies a connection of meaning, Barr laid into that one long long ago ;-)
However, there is at least one interesting passage where the verbal echo functions powerfully. In Gen 49:22ff. where dying Jacob blesses Joseph using a string of divine names and epithets:
... by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
by the name of the Shepherd,

the Rock of Israel,
25 by the God of your father, who will help you,
by the Almighty (shadday) who will bless you
with blessings of heaven above,

blessings of the deep that lies beneath,

blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26 The blessings of your father
are stronger than the blessings of the eternal mountains,

the bounties of the everlasting hills;

may they be on the head of Joseph,

on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.
Here the echoes of שַׁדַּי shadday "Almighty" with שָׁדַיִם shadayim "breasts" resonates strongly, and perhaps is echoed more weakly (in sense if not by sound) with the "eternal mountains" and "everlasting hills" of the next verse. The effect is perhaps to mitigate the exclusively male patriarchal feel of the blessing - especially since שָׁדַיִם shadayim is paired with that most female of words רָחַם racham "womb".

So, not a "breasted god", but a God who consistently and persistently fulfils the ideas of this blessing in the gift of childbirth and motherhood. (For YHWH is persistently described as the giver of birth, even as the midwife of human life, and even or most poignantly when fertility of the womb is withheld.)
__________________________________

1. Organised by the new Centre for the Theology of Gender and hosted by Tyndale-Carey Graduate School in July. [RETURN]

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  List of posts by tag


  El Shaddai as the breasted god
In preparation for the colloquium on "God and Gender"1 I have been corresponding with another participant (she's a psychologist and spiritual director - not a biblical scholar) and in the course of the conversation the claim that the name אֵל שַׁדַּי ('el shadday often rendered "God Almighty") might mean "the breasted god", because of the association of שַׁדַּי shadday with שָׁדַיִם shadayim "breasts".

The proposal rests on two false assumptions:
  • that שַׁדַּי shadday is somehow etymologically or morphologically related to שָׁדַיִם shadayim (it is not notice the doubled ד d)
  • that such a morphological connection of itself implies a connection of meaning, Barr laid into that one long long ago ;-)
However, there is at least one interesting passage where the verbal echo functions powerfully. In Gen 49:22ff. where dying Jacob blesses Joseph using a string of divine names and epithets:
... by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
by the name of the Shepherd,

the Rock of Israel,
25 by the God of your father, who will help you,
by the Almighty (shadday) who will bless you
with blessings of heaven above,

blessings of the deep that lies beneath,

blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26 The blessings of your father
are stronger than the blessings of the eternal mountains,

the bounties of the everlasting hills;

may they be on the head of Joseph,

on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.
Here the echoes of שַׁדַּי shadday "Almighty" with שָׁדַיִם shadayim "breasts" resonates strongly, and perhaps is echoed more weakly (in sense if not by sound) with the "eternal mountains" and "everlasting hills" of the next verse. The effect is perhaps to mitigate the exclusively male patriarchal feel of the blessing - especially since שָׁדַיִם shadayim is paired with that most female of words רָחַם racham "womb".

So, not a "breasted god", but a God who consistently and persistently fulfils the ideas of this blessing in the gift of childbirth and motherhood. (For YHWH is persistently described as the giver of birth, even as the midwife of human life, and even or most poignantly when fertility of the womb is withheld.)
__________________________________

1. Organised by the new Centre for the Theology of Gender and hosted by Tyndale-Carey Graduate School in July. [RETURN]

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007
  BBB on Torah Translations
This is instead of a simple HT to the previous post. Those interested in translation issues should read Anon's post Torah translations: Red-Stuff on Better Bibles Blog this focuses on Genesis 25:30–31 and examines the translations offered by
As well as fine discussion of the literary quality of the translations of this text, there is also an excursus on Jewish translation traditions, and the beginnings of an interesting and impassioned discussion - great!


More Anon! Please...


  Books I want to own: part one?
The Commentator's Bible: The Jps Miqra'ot Gedolot: ExodusSomehow I missed this when it was published. But I want one. The Commentator's Bible: The Jps Miqra'ot Gedolot: Exodus is apparently a translation into English of the Rabbinic Bible, and has translations of Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Nahmanides, Rashbam, and other medieval Jewish commentators alongside the Bible text. Just for Abraham Ibn Ezra's sensible and often insightful remarks alone it would be worth the US$75 asking price, it has to be a steal at Amazon's discount...



Or is it?



Berel Lerner (Western Galilee College, Israel) commenting on the Amazon page writes:

Just by checking the sample page available on the JPS website, I immediately saw that much of Ibn Ezra was missing.

So, if anyone has seen the volume, is Berel right, or is this a volume I want to own?

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007
  Noted for my students
Most readers of Sansblogue will already know of Scott McKnight's JesusCreed. But some any who don't may like to know that he has begun an interesting series of (long) posts reviewing:

Goldingay, John. Old Testament Theology: Israel's Gospel: Old Testament Theology. InterVarsity Press, 2003.

One quote from G. that I liked was this:
The NT is then a series of Christian and ecclesial footnotes to the OT, and one cannot produce a theology out of footnotes
Since I've often claimed (tongue only half way to my cheek) that the NT is the first Christian Theology of the Old Testament ;-)

He also has a new(ish), but more frequent series on "Song of Songs" the first one is at: Love in the Key of Delight 1 and the second at: Love in the Key of Delight 2


Sunday, April 01, 2007
  Making a bricks with no straw
Well, its the archaeological silly season again! How I wish newspapers would publish more real information, or archaeologists would write blogs.

The Jerusalem Post has an article "First Temple wall found in City of David" which though it seems to claim (probably as Jim Davila notes because of a misprint!) that a wall from Solomon's temple has been discovered. The only scrap in the article that seems like a fact is this:
Dr Eliat Mazar the archaeologist "reporting" the find.
A 20-meter-long section of the 7-meter-thick wall has now been uncovered.
The temple would hardly have had 7m thick walls! So what we seem to have is a massive, presumably not casemate, wall that Eliat Mazar seems to be dating to the Iron 1 period, probably in the "city of David" area of Jerusalem near where she reported the large building (part of this building? the city wall?). How frustrating!

(Jim W also notes the find. All he can add is that:
It’s probably a bit early to say that the wall proves the existence of a 'davidic empire.'
Tyler also merely notes the find. How I wish either archaeologists would keep silent till they publish a report, or they would keep blogs, so we at least knew something to discuss sensibly when students come asking questions!

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