Monday, December 31, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
New Book by our Dean and President, Ian Markham
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Here is a Christmas family photo of us with my mom and dad, their three children, grandchildren, and inlaws. It was taken at my sister Lisa's home in Maryland. Catherine, Rebecca, and I are in the upper left:
And here is our own little family, just the three of us:
Monday, December 24, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
The Wreath of God (humor)
Friday, December 21, 2007
Dr. Lawrence Edmund Toombs, 1919-2007
Larry was born on April 1, 1919 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and though he left it as a young man, "The Island" always held a strong place in his heart. He attended Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown. After graduating with a BA and BSc from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, he entered graduate studies in Chemistry at the University of Toronto. In 1943 he returned to Charlottetown and served as a meteorologist attached to the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. He received a BD from Pine Hill Divinity Hall in Halifax in 1948 prior to his ordination by the Maritime Conference of the United Church of Canada. He then earned a PhD in Old Testament studies at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. He remained at Drew, joining the faculty of the Theological School and eventually becoming Professor of Old Testament studies. As an ordained minister, he fulfilled pastoral duties at Madison Methodist Church among others.
He returned to his native Canada in 1968 to teach at Union College in Vancouver, before joining the faculty of Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) in Waterloo, Ontario in 1969. He was named Professor Emeritus upon his retirement from WLU in 1984.
While at Drew, Larry nurtured an interest in archaeology, which was to become the great passion of his career. After studying the discipline at the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) in Jerusalem and the Institute of Archaeology in London, he practiced and taught archaeology with distinction for 40 years. He participated in Near Eastern excavations at Jericho, Shechem, Tell el-Hesi and Caesarea Maritima, where his colleagues and students knew him as the "master stratigrapher", or "El Hakam" ("the wise one"). The ASOR awarded Larry the P. E. MacAllister Field Archaeology Award in 1998 in recognition of his career as a teacher and his contributions to the field of Palestinian archaeology.
A remarkable teacher, possessed of wisdom, patience and the ability to instruct and entertain at the same time, Larry influenced generations of students in theology, archaeology and Biblical studies. He was awarded the WLU Outstanding Teacher Award of 1980. WLU has established a Bursary in Honours Archaeology and the Larry Toombs Award in his name.
He was predeceased by his parents Edmund and Elizabeth, seven elder brothers and sisters, and stepson John Hicks.
He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Frances Carolyn (nee Wilson), and former wife Carol Ellison (nee West) of Mississauga, mother of his daughter Millicent, his son Edmund and Edmund's wife Alicia. He was a loving stepfather to Angela and her husband Barry Josslin, Christy and her husband Corby Nicol, John's wife Pamela, and Kellie and her husband Terry Bauman. Several grandchildren fondly remember "Tschomis", as do many great-grandchildren.
At Larry's request there will be no visitation or funeral service. Cremation has taken place and a private family memorial service will be held at a later date. As`an expression of sympathy, donations to the Canadian Cancer Society or St. Mary's General Hospital Foundation would be appreciated by the family. Cards are available at the Henry Walser Funeral Home (519-749-8467), to which arrangements have been entrusted.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
"Music of the Bible Revealed"
From Suzanne Haik-Vantoura, LA MUSIQUE DE LA BIBLE REVELEE. Numbers 6:22-27, the "Priestly Blessing. " "Cover" rendition and reprise (with solo, chorus and accompaniment with lyres and harps) by the San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble (SAVAE).
One of the highlights of the recent SBL meetings in San Diego for me was a small-group session discussing with J. Clinton McCann Jr. some of his forthcoming work on the psalms. In that work he very, very briefly mentions the work of Suzanne Haik Vantoura, who claims to have deciphered the accent marks of the Hebrew text, reconstructing them as ancient musical annotations giving us access to the original melodies of biblical poetry.
What do you all think of this slideshow based on Vantoura's work? (She died Oct. 22, 2000; to read a bit about her, click here.)
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Tomb of Omri Discovered?
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Now in Print: My Review of Sweeny on Prophetic and Apocalyptic Literature
Just received in the mail, hot off the press, my copy of the latest issue of the Hebrew Studies journal. It contains my review of Marvin Sweeney's fine collection of essays on the prophetic and apocalyptic literature: Review of Form and Intertextuality in Prophetic and Apocalyptic Literature, by Marvin A. Sweeney, Hebrew Studies 48 (2007) 370–373.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Here is Dean Markham's announcement made in his dean's commentary post this morning:
Virginia Theological Seminary is a school that loves the Bible. We are committed to the serious study of the Bible, which includes the learning of the Biblical languages. We recognize the centrality of the Bible as an authority in the life of the Church. Given all this, our gift to our alumni and friends (indeed the entire VTS community) is an opportunity to study the Bible. You will find this morning on our website ‘Bible Briefs’. The goal is to provide a short introduction to the different books in the Bible – an introduction you can download, print out and use for individual or group study. Perhaps as the Lectionary turns to a new book of the Bible, you might print out the relevant pamphlet and read that prior to attending a service; perhaps in your own Bible study, you might read an appropriate pamphlet to prepare you for a particular book of the Bible. VTS is deeply committed to biblical literacy. This is a small contribution to increasing that literacy.As we enjoy this Advent season and prepare for the moment when we celebrate the birth of the Eternal Word among us, so we recognize that we learn of the Eternal Word through the pages of Scriptures. Here is a tool that helps us all understand the text of Scripture. The Very Rev Ian Markham, Dean and President
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Encore Post: Without Hanukkah, No Christianity!
In 2006, Newsweek online had a great Hanukkah meditation by Rabbi Marc Gellman, celebrating the Maccabees without apology.
One thing I liked about the piece is Gellman's stress that without the Maccabees, Christianity would never have happened. That's right: We Christians owe this little Jewish family of antiquity a very great deal. Without the Maccabees we would have no Hebrew Bible / Old Testament, and without the Old Testament, there could be no Christianity. In this image, they are first meeting as a family to commit to resisting Antiochus and the Selucids:
Here is a short excerpt from Gellman's piece:
Now imagine if this one man, Mattathias, and his one family, the Macabees, had just gone out and bought togas and said to hell with Judaism. Imagine. If he had done nothing to save Judaism. Then, 167 years later, the baby born in the manger might not have been Jewish. He might not have come to fulfill any biblical prophecies because nobody would have remembered the Hebrew Bible or the prophets or the line of King David. Jesus would have had to fulfill the prophecies of Plato—and Plato had no prophecies. No Judaism would have meant no Christianity.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Contributors to this collection of digital meditations include co-creators the Rev. Lonnie Lacy (VTS ’06) and the Rev. Casey Shobe (‘06), the Rev. J. James Derkits (’06), the Rev. Susan Fawcett (’06), the Rev. Allison Liles (’06), the Rev. Eric Liles (’07), the Rev. Ryan Kuratko (’06), the Rev. Lauren Kuratko (’05), the Rev. Allen Pruitt (’07), and the Rev. Melody Shobe (’06). Devo-to-Go is available at www.ecmgsu.org/podcast.htm.
Devo-to-Go, a co-production of Cathedral Young Adults at Christ Church Cathedral in Houston, Texas and Episcopal Campus Ministry at Georgia Southern University, is a series of digital meditations meant to help Christians move along their own spiritual journey toward the Light, to help people listen for how God might be speaking to them today.
“With the emergence of new technologies like iPods and other portable media players,” said the Rev. Lonnie Lacy (’06), assistant rector of Trinity Church in Statesboro, Georgia, “people are now more connected to the digital world than ever before. At the same time, they're increasingly isolated from God and one another. Devo-to-Go is our attempt to bridge the gap - to stage a meeting between the advent of personalized media and the Advent of the Christ who comes to make us one.”
Launched last Advent with great success, Devo-to-Go was followed by a Lenten series that gained a surprisingly large international following. Continued Lacy, “We think that such committed listenership points to a basic hunger on the part of many people for daily connection with God that is thoughtful, accessible, and relevant to their everyday lives.”
On January 23, 2008, Lacy and the Rev. Matthew Moretz will be leading a three-day continuing education conference at Virginia Seminary entitled Small Churches on the Web: Effective Evangelism in the Age of the Internet. The course will introduce participants to some basic principles of web page design, and to the many web technologies that are accessible to congregations, even those with limited resources. For more information about this course or to register, visit http://www.vts.edu/education/events/.
Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church and was founded in 1823. Committed to a theology which is orthodox and open, Virginia Seminary prepares men and women for service in the Church worldwide, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas. The Seminary currently represents more than 40 different dioceses and 9 different countries.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Grimmy Cartoon Sent In By Chuck H.