Sunday, March 25, 2012

Enjoying Florida!





Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Ray Apicella Lecture at St. Thomas University, Florida



Friday, March 23, 2012

Off to South Florida

I'm delighted to be a Visiting Scholar at St. Thomas University in South Florida this weekend!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lecture on Aramaic Dialects & Linguistics

The Hyvernat Lecture with Prof. G. Khan at Catholic University this afternoon:

Snapshot with Prof. Ed Cook and with Susan Sullivan, who is finishing up her doctoral dissertation with Ed.

From Whose Womb?



Among several fine talks at the 2012 MAR-SBL was one on the reception of Job 38:29 in the early and medieval Latin West by Shannon Marie McAlister, Catholic University. It was quite fascinating to hear how folks such as Augustine, Gregory, and Aquinas wrestled with the idea of God having a female womb and the question of whether this idea was really a true threat to belief in God’s full transcendence from creation (as some modern theologians firmly assert). Gregory affirmed that God does indeed have a womb and “private parts” as well! Aquinas cross-referenced texts such as Proverbs 8:24-25 and Job 38:8, which similarly envision creation as birthing…

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

MAR-SBL Plenary: P. Kyle McCarter



The conference plenary address was a very engaging talk by Kyle McCarter of John Hopkins University, “Cain and the Kenites.” The discussion was so fascinating that most of us were taking notes the entire time. Drawing on cross-cultural comparisons, including especially studies of the Bedouins and of the Sleb/Slīb tribe of the Arabian desert, Dr. McCarter offered a model of a particular tribal lifestyle that accounts for the seemingly contradictory traits of the Cain-related people of the Hebrew Bible. These traits include the sinning-ancestor, the special mark, the trade of the blacksmith (see Tubal-Cain, Gen 4:22), the role of political “neutral” (see the clan of Heber the Kenite, Jdg 4:17), and so much more!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Virtual Hebrew Keyboard on Windows 7

I participated in several interesting sessions at the MAR-SBL today, including one the SBL Fonts and Keyboards by Christopher Hooker. A Cool thing that I learned, which I did not know before, is that Windows 7 can open up a virtual keyboard for you with active keys labeled with the correct Hebrew letters and vowels. All you do is hit the start icon in the lower left and in the little search box type in “on screen keyboard.” Awesome! Below is a screen-shot with the BHebSIL Keyboard, which I downloaded free from the SBL site (click to enlarge): 


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I’ve Arrived in New Brunswick

The 2012 Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting of the SBL is upon us. It should be good…


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

“Sound Theology”…



HT: BibleWorks on Facebook

Monday, March 05, 2012

Genesis 6:2 Sculpture

At the Corcoran Art Gallery in DC this weekend we saw this marble artwork by Daniel Chester French (American, 1850-1931): The Sons of God Saw the Daughters of Men That They Were Fair, modeled by 1918, carved 1923.


Saturday, March 03, 2012

Banksy's Lipstick Creation

Some readers of this blog may already know this story and this artwork, but it was new to me this week.

This past Tuesday morning, one of the students in the formation group that meets at my house brought in a chapter about God wearing lipstick from Rob Bell's Book, Sex God (ASIN: B000NW11QC). In the chapter, which stressed the key importance of reverencing the image of God in humanity, Bell recounts a diary-extract from a certain Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin DSO. The entry contains the story about the odd grace of the arrival of lipstick at a liberated German concentration camp. Gonin, who was among the first British soldiers to liberate Bergen-Belsen in 1945, wrote as follows:

“It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don't know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for these internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.”

A student in formation group mentioned the artistic creation of Banksy based on the selfsame diary entry. I tracked down an image of Banksy's work: