April 2008


Ehrman and Wallace had a debate 4-5 April 2008 on the textual reliability of the New Testament for the the Greer-Heard lectureship at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  Here’s a summary at Reclaiming the Mind.  In addition, Tim Ricchuiti gives summaries of Michael Holmes, Dale Martin, David Parker, and William Warren.

HT: Summa Philosophiae

Here are the papers to be presented at the New Testament Seminar for the Easter term:

21 April: Stephen C. Barton, ‘The economy of the kingdom: theological reflections on money matters in early Christianity’

28 April: Postgraduate presentations:

    i. Susan Mathew, ‘Reciprocity in the Pauline Mission: Reflections on the Role and Status of Phoebe in Rom 16:1-2′
    ii. Kristian Bendoraitis, ‘My Father in Heaven’ and ‘Angels of God’: Matthew’s Only Omission of Angels (Matt 10:32-33; Luke 12:8-9)

5 May: No meeting due to Bank Holiday

12 May: Walter Moberly, ‘”Interpret the Bible like any other book?” Requiem for an Axiom’
(N.B. This meeting will start at 4.00 pm and will be a joint session with the members of the Old Testament Research Seminar)

16-17 May: Durham-Duke Symposium

Here it is…PC X

All of the above have been our favorite things since we arrived home from our holiday and found out that our boiler is broken. A broken boiler means no heat and no hot water. Brrr! Thankfully we have friends (thanks Brad and Abi!) that lent us a space heater, and other friends (Cavins and Manz fams) that let us use their showers. So, we’re going back many decades to a life where you boil water for dishes or a quick bath…and you all huddle in one warm room in the house for the majority of the day. We’re on Day 5 of the Arctic living. The ‘boiler guy’ has promised that the parts he needs will be here and that he’ll be here to do something about this…but we haven’t heard from him today yet.

The biggest part of the hassle has actually been dealing with our property managment company–North East Property Lettings, who say they ‘go that extra mile in looking after our tenants by giving our properties the upmost care and attention.’  I’d be happy if they just went the first mile with me.  They apparently think 5 days without heating and hot water isn’t a problem and that rush ordering parts is apparently the 3rd mile that’s not required.  I don’t want to be an England basher, but this reflects a different level of customer service that is expected between the US and UK that shows up through all parts of life here.  So, I’m praying for divine patience and grace and giving thanks for the people in the UK who make up for what their companies don’t provide. 

[Update: The repairman finally came and things are back in order.  So no excuses for not getting back into work!]

When the English Football (~soccer)season started in August, and I decided that I would attempt to keep up with teams this year.  I’ve done slightly better than last year, but it has mostly been a year of international rugby and cricket for me.  As far as I can tell there are no college sports to watch on TV, so professional sports are your focus.  Football definitely is the most popular and your local football team gains all the attention. The domestic cricket season runs from April to September, domestic rugby union from September to May, and domestic football from August to May.  From what I’ve heard, football draws from middle to working class, while rugby and cricket are more middle to upper class.

I finally made it to my first football game this weekend.  I saw Sunderland play Manchester City with my older son.  Other than Newcastle (which I tend to hear more about), Sunderland is the other local premiership team (they were promoted from a lower league this year).  They dominated the game but unfortunately lost, based partially on poor officiating.  A couple of interesting differences from US sports … 1) alcohol is sold but you can’t bring it into the seating area, 2) the away team fans only enter through specific doors and all their seats are together with police separating their seats from the locals’ in the stands, 3) the concession stands closed as soon as the second half started, 4) one side or the other was constantly singing fight songs.  It was quite an experience.  I definitely hope to see more, but the tickets are much more expensive than other sports so it won’t be too often.

Wikipedia has a decent article about general football stuff.  The most interesting thing is the league structures: the leagues are ranked (premiership, championship, league 1, league 2,…) and are all connected.  Although there are different leagues they aren’t separated into major league-minor league divisions–any team could potentially play in the top division.  At the end of the season the bottom 3 teams are ‘relegated’ to the next lower league and the top 3 teams are ‘promoted’ to the next higher league.  There is also the Champions league, which is the pan-European league of teams and only the top teams in a country can participate in this league.

Sorry for the sparse posting for the past couple of weeks.  I’ve had a few things going on such as…

At the end of March I turned in a second chapter for my 18 month review.  It’s on Cyril’s view of deification.  He’s got interesting stuff on 2 Pet 1.4 and particpation.  I hope to do a couple of posts about it.

Last week I spent a few days down at Tyndale House (Cambridge) with Mark Mathews, another Durham NT student.  It was a good trip, and Mark’ a great traveling partner. 

  • My main task was to think about ‘methodology’, or rather how to make the jump from patristics back to Paul, so I read mostly about hermeneutics theory–one or two meanings in the text, theological interpretation, postmodernism, Gadamer, wirkungsgeschichte, history of interpretation, etc.  Again, the topic’s worthy of a couple of posts.  If any of you have good recommendations I’d appreciate it.
  • We checked out Galloway & Porter, which has a decent variety of biblical studies/theology monographs, especially LNTS.  (They’re better stocked on gospels stuff).  They specialise in seconds and returns so most volumes are £6-9, and I got one for £1. 
  • We stumbled upon a place for great burgers–Revolution.  We had to go back the next day.

Hmmm…what else.  I found out that both of my SBL proposals got turned down.  That’s a bummer.  I knew the Paul one was a long shot with the competition, but was hoping for the Irenaeus on to pan out. 

We’ve been getting snow off and on for the past couple of weeks, though it’s not been cold enough for it to stick.  Last night it stuck so we got to have a nice snowball fight this morning–a little different for this Texas boy.

We’re leaving today to go visit Inverness and Loch Ness for Easter (aka spring break) for the week, so it’ll be a bit before I post again. 

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