Sep 20, 2014

More Similarities between Moses and Jesus

A couple of days ago I posted on some similarities between the birth of Moses and the birth of Jesus (see here). James Gray has now posted a table with a fairly extensive list of similarities between Moses and Jesus in general (see here).

Sep 19, 2014

A Daily Dose of Greek

There are many ways to keep up with the Greek that you learned in seminary. If your way is not working for you, you might consider signing up Rob Plummer's "Daily Dose of Greek." Plummer is a professor of Greek and New Testament at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. The plan is fairly simple. Sign up by email and starting October 1, you will be emailed a link to a two minute "daily dose" video five days a week. You can check out the website and view the introductory video here. There are also resources available at the website.

HT: Brandt Vanroeckel

Sep 18, 2014

The Birth of Moses and the Birth of Jesus

Recently while working through Exodus, it struck me that there are a number of similarities between the birth narratives of Moses and Jesus. Consider the following list.
  • Both birth narratives are associated with Egypt
  • Both birth narratives occur during times of oppression (Egypt, Rome)
  • Both birth narratives involve potential infanticide
  • Both birth narratives involve a non-biological parent (Pharaoh’s daughter, Joseph)
  • Both birth narratives highlight the role of the mother
  • Both birth narratives involve a baby who will deliver his people
  • Both birth narratives involve population concerns (growth of the Israelites and the census in Luke)
  • Both birth narratives note the placement of the child (Moses in a basket, Jesus in a manger
  • Both birth narratives highlight the etymological significance of the naming of the child (Exod 2:10; Matt 1:23-25)
  • Although not strictly part of the birth narrative, the accounts of both Moses and Jesus move quickly from birth to adulthood (little is said related to childhood and adolescence)

Sep 17, 2014

How to Research Well

The Study Hacks blog has a helpful post discussing the correlation between the best young professors and research. According to the post, the following four characteristics typified these professors and their research habits.

  • The exemplary faculty did not wait for “ideal” times to write.
    As Boice explains: “waiting for ideal times such as binges induces more than mere uninvolvement…[i]t can also bring procrastination and dissatisfaction.”
  • The exemplary faculty instead maintained a regular writing habit.
    As Boice explains: “[they] pay close attention to regiment…[those who] did not establish a regiment of writing regularly did not establish productivity.”
  • The exemplary faculty put thought into how to be more productive.
    As Boice explains: “[new faculty] would do well to take more notice of knowledge, usually untaught in open systematic ways, about survival, including self-management.”
  • The exemplary faculty looked for outside help in improving their academic productivity.
    As Boice explains: “The quick starters depicted here, unlike their counterparts, were proactive in soliciting collegial advice. They were quick to dismiss the idea that they had to figure out the subtle rules of productivity on their own.”

Sep 16, 2014

How Long It Takes To Read The World's Most Popular Books

See this article and infographic listing 64 of the world's most popular books, including the Bible, with estimates related to total reading time of an average reader reading 300 words per minute.

HT: Matt Larsen

Sep 15, 2014

The Didache

David Capes has posted on the Didache here. He provides a good summary of this early Christian document. I also found it interesting that he taught a series on the Didache in a church context. Unfortunately, I am not sure that most Christians would be interested in such a study. 

Sep 14, 2014

The Dating of Deuteronomy and the Suzerain-Vassal Treaty Forms

I think that too much is often made of the similarities between the suzerain-vassal treaty forms and the books of Torah, most notably Deuteronomy. But whatever the similarities exist between Deuteronomy and the treaty forms seem to better fit the extant second millennium forms rather than the much later Neo-Assyrian forms. If correct, this supports a much earlier date of composition for Deuteronomy than is typically held in critical scholarship. So I think that Aaron Koller is spot on in his article "Deuteronomy and Hittite Treaties" in Bible and Interpretation here. See the abstract below but make sure to read the article.
"There has long been one very good reason to consider dating Deuteronomy far earlier than the seventh century, and to the second millennium BCE: certain core elements of the book seem to be based on treaty forms most similar to the Hittite treaties known from the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries BCE. That Deuteronomy relies on the form of a treaty is another well-established consensus position in biblical scholarship."