Back to School

I’ve finally done it. Applied to go back to school, and today was accepted at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Am looking at getting an M.Div. of Christian Ministry. Now with the application and all that entails out of the way, can focus on registering (and paying) for classes.

I’ll be starting off slow. Still have my job and three kids in the house, one of whom is not far from college herself. And not sure how the “all online” will really work out. Not planning on moving to Kentucky any time soon. Guess that everyone is doing things online right now anyway, what with Covid and all. Anyway, if I’m going to be reading, might as well read for “credit”…

Thinking about starting with Elementary Hebrew and/or Elementary Greek, which are both remedial/prerequisites anyway. My self-taught Greek probably couldn’t get me excused from taking a formal class, my Hebrew even less likely.

As a working guy having been out of school for a while now, I found this post pretty thoughtful. Worked through most of those thoughts getting to this point.

One Afternoon In May

As I finished my last call of the workday, the power went in and out a couple times in quick succession. Then, it stayed out (it is back on now, surprisingly). It has been very windy, so I went outside to see if something had caused any damage to the house.

First, I found a package from Michael Aubrey on my doorstep:

A History of Ancient Greek

All arrived in good condition! Michael and his wife, Rachel, are in the process of some big changes, so he was looking at whittling down some of his book weight. I jumped at the chance to “help”. From his blog:

For ourselves (Michael and Rachel Aubrey), we are currently transitioning to serve with Wycliffe Bible Translators. We have been offered a ministry assignment creating digital Greek & Hebrew tools and resources, grounded in contemporary linguistics for advancing bible translation, resources that integrate corpus linguistics and the digital humanities for the benefit of minority Bible translation. Because our assignment with Wycliffe is directly connected to the purpose of Koine-Greek.com, we hope that transition will also mean more opportunity for regular writing about Ancient Greek linguistics here based on our work with Wycliffe, along side the continued work on our Comprehensive Grammar of Hellenistic and Early Roman Greek.

https://koine-greek.com/2019/06/06/from-the-editors-transitions/

You might consider helping them out with support, if you find the work they are planning to engage in worthwhile…

Setting my new-to-me books to the side to continue problem solving on the power, I found my neighbor in shock (I was soon to follow) at the size of the tree the wind had knocked down just up the road from us:

Crash!

Luckily, not a bit of damage to the house, and as I mentioned, power is even back on now. I did end up missing our church’s prayer time on zoom. Little bummed at that. But glad to be back on the grid earlier than I thought I might be!

Origene: Commento

So, after spending a day (yesterday) in the historical center of Roma, the Forum Romano, then the Palatine Hill, and then finally the Colosseum, it was time to head to the Vatican Museum.

It was decent. I mean to say, there was plenty to enjoy. They really want you to see it all, in the order they have chosen. There really isn’t a way to skip galleries, focus on a particular area or style, etc. You just have to plod through. If such thoughts points me out as unrefined, so be it.

But following the museum, Kim was gracious and accepted that I might enjoy a visit to a libreria on the streetside – a libreria devoted to patristics and theology, with some psychology, student and children’s books as well. So, I picked through to find something interesting and purchased Origine: Commento al Vangelo di Giovanni:

Cover art for Origine: Commento al Vangelo di Giovanni

Looks interesting, at the intersection of a couple loves – theology, biblical studies and language. And not just Italian! Greek, too, on facing pages.

<insert squealing noises here />

Two days into Italy. Many more to go. Leaving the big city and headed for the countryside tomorrow afternoon. Ciao!

Used Books Day

Friday, my wife had to be dropped off in Easley. I decided to go the extra distance and make a run to Mr. K’s Used Books. Supporting such a trek was the fact that my wife had set aside a box of books to trade in, while cleaning out her office.

Turns out that most of the books were not accepted as trade-in. But, with the little bit I had made, I was able to pick out a couple interesting items:

And the opportunity to review the leftovers scored me a textbook on genetics that my wife no longer cared to keep. Score!

Well, I decided I would run the remainder to the local Salvation Army store, along with some clothes and kid-size puzzles in the back of the car. Turns out that often enough I can make some pretty good discoveries. This time I came away with a copy of Robert Schalkoff’s Artificial Intelligence: An Engineering Approach.

Linguistics & Biblical Exegesis: Motivation

The final three chapters, chapters 6-8, were a nice bridge from the shortened specifics of linguistic study and history towards a sounder study of scripture. Six focused on issues directly relating to Hebrew, seven to Greek, with eight being a well-spoken defense, a resounding “yes” answer to the question, “Is it all worth it?”

Chapter 6 focused on issues with Hebrew linguistics, and my background and grasp of Hebrew is smaller than it is for Greek (itself not all that great). I’ll admit that as the author spoke on the troubles of understanding the verbal stems and their potential relations, I was intrigued. But I also felt like I was at the top of a fog-covered mountain trying to find my way back down, visibility at minimum.

The difficulty of a small amount of source material for determining meaning and truly taking advantage of modern linguistics, itself bent towards the study of living languages and their communities, was articulated perfectly, however.

This paucity of data led nicely into the next chapter on Greek, where the opposite was the case: too much data, especially recently, has made cohesive wholes difficult, resulting in a lot of published work being derivative as well as incomplete.

Greek, too, has received tons of attention regarding its verbal system, with arguments over the representation of tense and/or aspect, and how to understand the voice system (active/passive with a ton of deponency) or a middle system expressing subject affectedness with a coordinated, “default” active system. Aubrey covered this material well. Overall, the information was an easy read, and not incredibly argumentative. He even got to give a nice shout-out to his wife (I have a link to the sited work below).

The final chapter was the cherry on top of the whole effort. If one has gotten through to this point, they are hopefully on the same page already. But in case one has gotten that far, and is still wondering if linguistics is really worthwhile when doing biblical studies, the affirmative answer is laid out clearly. As another commentator before me has said, it would be perfectly reasonable to read this chapter first, and let the passion drive through to reading the rest. I actually preferred it being final, as it allowed for a dense center, a bit of sharp reality, and then an uplifting final note that should leave the reader ready to study some more.



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