Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blog Moving to ΑΓΑΠΗΣΕΙΣ

From now on, go to ΑΓΑΠΗΣΕΙΣ to keep up with my blog and my resources on the Letter of James. Check out my Recent James Scholarship page there.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What I'm Reading Now

Here are the readings that I have started with the New Year in the different categories...
1 Hermeneutics
  • Bruce Longenecker, Rhetoric at the Boundaries: The Art and Theology of New Testament Chain-Link Transitions (2005)
2 Theology
  • Oscar Cullmann, Christ and Time: The Primitive Christian Conception of Time and History (1950)
3 New Testament
  • George Guthrie, The Structure of Hebrews: A Text-Linguistic Analysis (1994)
4 Letter of James
  • Chris Morgan, "The Doctrine of God in the Epistle of James" (ETS paper, 2007)

5 Textual Criticism

  • David Alan Black, ed. Rethinking New Testament Textual Criticism (2002)
6 Greek
  • Devine & Stephens, Discontinuous Syntax: Hyperbaton in Greek (1999)

7 Early Church

  • Kirsopp Lake, trans. 1 Clement (75-110 A.D.)
8 Historical Christianity
  • Sinclair Ferguson, John Owen on the Christian Life (1987)
9 Old Testament

  • James Barr, Old and New in Interpretation: A Study of the Two Testaments (1966)
10 Jewish Backgrounds
  • James VanderKam, An Introduction to Early Judaism (2001)
11 Linguistics

  • William Alston, Illocutionary Acts & Sentence Meaning (2000)
12 Papuan Languages

  • Mark Donahue, "One Phrase Structure" (2000)
13 Discourse Analysis
  • Robert Longacre, Joseph: A Story of Divine Providence. A Text Theoretical and Textlinguistic Analysis of Genesis 37 and 39-48 (2003)
14 Translation Theory
  • Timothy Wilt, ed. Bible Translation: Frames of Reference (2003)
15 Missions
  • John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad! The Supremacy of God in Missions (1993)
16 Teaching Theory
  • Lingenfelter & Lingenfelter, Teaching Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Learning and Teaching (2003)
17 Marriage & Family
  • Tim & Joy Downs, The Seven Conflicts: Resolving the Most Common Disagreements in Marriage (2003)

18 Men & Accountability
  • Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin's Path to God (2000)
19 Book Reviews
  • Larry Hurtado, The Freer Biblical Manuscripts: Fresh Studies of an American Treasure Trove (2006) -- reviewed by Hernández

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Planned Reading Categories

One of the new disciplines I have begun with the new year has been to follow a planned reading schedule across a variety of categories. In the past I have tended to focus my reading and research too narrowly on one topic to theexclusion of other areas. To combat this tendency, I have decided to pinpoint a significant number of reading categories and follow a plan to read in each category every week. To succeed in this I must read in several categories each day. Here are the reading categories that I have outlined so far in addition to daily Bible reading...
  1. Hermeneutics
  2. Theology
  3. New Testament
  4. Letter of James
  5. Textual Criticism
  6. Greek
  7. Early Church
  8. Historical Christianity
  9. Old Testament
  10. Jewish Backgrounds
  11. Linguistics
  12. Papuan Languages
  13. Discourse Analysis
  14. Translation Theory
  15. Missiology
  16. Teaching Theory
  17. Marriage & Family
  18. Men & Accountability
  19. Book Reviews
Obviously, a lot of these categories are closely related or overlapping, and there may be a surprising lack of fiction and other areas to some people. Well, this is the plan for now. I may adjust it quarterly, and if I find that it's too difficult to read in this many areas every week, or if it's too weird to only come back to a book once or twice a week, I'll adjust the schedule. For the first week of the year, however, I got through all the categories in 6 days and it worked just fine to pick up where I had left off 6 days earlier.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Life Changes with the New Year

I'm not usually one for making New Year's resolutions. But this year December had already been a time for thinking about changes that I needed to make in my life.

It started when my wife returned to the highlands in order to take our kids back to their school to be involved with classmates in all of the activities that come at the end of the school term. Therefore, I was alone in our remote village for two weeks at the beginning of December, and this kind of solitude always gives me opportunity to reflect on my role as a husband and father as well as to evaluate other areas of my personal and ministry life.

I was further prepared to make changes with the New Year when I was invited to meet with a group of men on a weekly basis to discuss a book together and to encourage and pray for one another. So I now had some outside accountability to keep up with the changes I was about to make.

So when the 1st of January came, the Lord had prepared me to put into action several ideas that had been rolling around in my head for some time.
  • Start each day in prayer and live more consistently aware of God's presence
  • Lead my family in worship each morning and evening
  • Exercise on a regular basis each week
  • Follow a planned reading schedule each day across a variety of categories

After one week, all of these disciplines have been put into practice very consistently. Now, how many weeks does it take to start a new habit? The challenge for me will be the many transitions that we face each year, moving between different parts of the country with different tasks and daily schedules in each place.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Greek Books Online

The storefront at right is the latest bookseller with which I have done business online. I found a copy of David Hutchinson Edgar's Has God Not Chosen the Poor? The Social Setting of the Epistle of James for only £15.00 on Abebooks from Galloway & Porter. Of course, I also had to pay £5.50 in shipping and the exchange rate with the British Pound is hurrendous, but it was still almost half the price for what I could find this book for elsewhere. Merry Christmas to me! My fear is that this may be the second time I have purchased this book--is my other copy back in the States?! I wonder if Edgar's take on the rich and poor in James has anything to say about my book buying habits... Anyway, this must be one of the newest buildings in Cambridge, but the family has been running this business for over 100 years. I wonder if their great-grandfather ever thought they'd be making transactions in mere seconds with a U.S. customer living in Papua New Guinea! Thanks Galloway & Porter!

For those who don't pay ginormous internet charges, more and more books are becoming available online. When I got back from the village, I noticed that Rod Decker had blogged here about Carnegie Mellon University’s free online Universal Digital Library. I've already provided a link on this page to Rod Decker's excellent New Testament Resources page. Here is a sample of Greek resources that Rod found quickly at the Universal Digital Library...

A Brief Introduction To New Testament Greek, with Vocabularies, by Green
A Critical And Exegetical Commentary On The Revelation, by Charles
A Grammar Of New Testament Greek, by Moulton, Howard, Turner
A Grammar Of The Greek New Testament by Robertson, A. T
A Grammar Of The New Testament Greek by Buttmann and Thayer
A Grammar Of The Old Testament In Greek, Thackeray
A Greek And English Lexicon Of The New Testament by Robinson
A Greek-English Lexicon Of The New Testament, Grimm, Wilke, Thayer
A History Of Classical Greek Literature by Mahaffy and Sayce
A Manual Of Greek Historical Inscriptions by E L Hicks
A Pocket Lexicon To The Greek New Testament by Alexander Souter
A School Grammar Of Attic Greek by Goodell, Thomas Dwight
A Short Grammar Of Classical Greek by Adof Kaegi
An Elementary Greek Grammar by Goodwin, William Watson
An Intermediate Greek English Lexicon by William S Holdsworth
An Introduction To Greek And Latin Palaeography by Thompson
An Introduction To Greek Epigraphy Part I by E S Robert
An Introduction To The Study Of New Testament Greek, by Moulton
Essentials Of New Testament Greek by Huddelston
Greek Particles In The New Testament, by Margaret E Thrall
Hebrews In The Greek New Testament, by Wuest
Lessons In New Testament Greek: a Secondary Course, by Green, S. Walter
Syntax Of The Moods And Tenses In New Testament Greek, by Burton
Teach Yourself New Testament Greek by D F Hudson
The Expositor’s Greek Testament by Nicoll, W. Robertson, et al
The Grammar Of The Greek Testament by Samuel, G. Green
The Greek Testament by Morris Jastrow Jr
The Greek Testament Englished by William Burton Crickmer
The Greek Testament by Henry Alford
The Interlinear Literal Translation Of The Greek NT, by Berry, George Ricker
The Minister And His Greek New Testament by Robertson, A. T.
The New Testament In Modern Speech, by Weymouth
The New Testament In The Original Greek by Brooke Foss Westcott
The New Testament Rendered From The Original Greek by James A. Kleist
The Old Testament In Greek According To The Septuagint, by Swete
The Riverside New Testament A Translation by William G. Ballantine

Of course, many of these may be restricted to 15% free usage online.

Village Visit & Luke Workshop

I'm sorry, I meant to leave one last post in October, explaining that I would be away in the village for a translation workshop. We left on 25 October and I didn't get back to the internet world until 12 December.

In that time, the 11 languages we work with produced alphabet picture books and drafted the last four chapters of Luke. We also hosted a national translator (pictured above) from a language southeast of Aitape who needed technical support in his work. It turns out that his language may be distantly related to some of the inland languages we already work with. Maybe I'll find time to report more on this last workshop here, but I'm not promising.

The last few weeks have been focused on family, and we took a short vacation to Lae just before Christmas.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Greek Bible Study

Here's a new site for learning biblical Greek, called Greek Bible Study.

The graduated reader ability is especially cool. Select which chapters of Mounce you have covered, and the biblical text has ellipses for the words not learned yet. It will be better if they can eventually add all word frequencies to this function.

And I really like their philosophy of ministry and motivation...

The site is privately funded. It is not affiliated with any particular denomination or group, so that it might remain theologically neutral, encouraging the reading of the Scriptures themselves, God's Holy Word.

This work is being done as a service to the body of Christ at large, to the glory of God. May our prayer to God be: please teach us Your Word.

Another tool to help "everyday be Greek day"! (in the words of Scott Hafemann)