Monday, September 28, 2009

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is a most significant and holy day in the Jewish calendar. Even if they don't observe other holidays and rites, many folk will put aside all work, fast, and attend services on this day of demonstrating repentence and making amends to God.

The "Judaism 101" WebSite has a brief audio clip that plays a portion of the "Kol Nidre" prayer, which forms part of the traditional evening service that begins Yom Kippur. Click here to listen to the clip.

Here is a Jewish meditation for use on Yom Kippur:

Compassionate God, let the promise be fulfilled: "I will bring peace to the land; you shall be serene and unafraid. I will rid the land of vicious beasts, and the sword of war shall be set aside. They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor ever again shall they train for war. Justice shall roll down like waters, righteousness as a mighty stream."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Book in Final Proofs

I've been spending much of the weekend going over final-proofs and index-proofs for the upcoming publication of a book I am co-editing: Thus Says the Lord: Essays on the Former and Latter Prophets in Honor of Robert R. Wilson (click here). We plan two presentations of the book to Dr. Wilson, one at Yale at the end of October and the other at the Society of Biblical Literature Meetings in New Orleans at Thanksgiving time. I'm very much looking forward to it all!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Homily on Ezekiel 37

Right-Click to Download Audio File

I've received such nice words about the homily that I posted Wednesday that I thought I would re-post a similar homily on Ezekiel 37 that I gave in the VTS chapel in March 2008. It is 12 minutes long, and the file is about 5 MB in size, so a broad-band internet connection is recommended. To download, click on the image above, or right click here and choose "save as." Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Homily Today on Psalm 1

At the weekly Seminary Eucharist today, I gave the homily presenting my exposition of Psalm 1, the psalm of the day. I'm posting it here online for all who are interested. Because the sermon was a bit over 13 minutes long and resulted in a rather large sound file, I have split it into two parts, each about 3 or 4 MB in size and about 7 minutes long. To download part 1, right-click here. For part 2, right-click here. Enjoy! (You can also hear the homily directly using the "Sermons and Homilies" box on my seminary faculty page: click here.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

VTS Colloquium on Chinese Biblical Hermeneutics

Before attending the lovely reception and dinner this evening, I heard two excellent talks this afternoon at the Conference on Chinese Biblical Hermeneutics being held here at the Seminary this week. The first paper was by Philip Chia of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who addressed reading Amos 5 as a "social text" rather than a text for reading as a personal, spiritual exercise. By a "social text" he meant a text to be read with a sense of social responsibility, consciously aware of social needs within our current global realities. The second paper I heard was by Li Zhe, also of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She looked at the Rape of Daughter Zion in Lamentations 1 (see v. 10b and cf. Ezek 23:39&44), comparing it to modern literature and films on the Japanese atrocities against women at the fall of Nanking during World War II. I was reminded again of the stories we were told when in China of the terrors inflicted on China by the Japanese, of which most Americans have little knowledge.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Taping a DVD in New Canaan, Connecticut Today

-- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On Assignment in Connecticut

I'm being treated very well up here... This is my room at the Maples Inn.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, September 13, 2009

One Hundred Thousand Visitors

This blog has officially passed the 100,000 visitor milestone. Thank you all for your support!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Elie Wiesel on Rashi, the Great Premodern Commentator

Most readers of this blog will be familiar with Rashi, the great biblical and Talmudic commentator of the Middle Ages. Not too long ago I posted a link to Rashi's classic commentary on the Hebrew Bible available online (click here). Today I received the news that Elie Wiesel has a new book on Rashi (click here). Here is a short video, in which Wiesel makes a few comments about Rashi's significance. Enjoy!

Rashi by Elie Wiesel from Tablet Magazine on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Water Slide at the VTS Labor Day Picnic

We had our annual VTS Labor Day Picnic on Monday, but this year there was something new: an inflating water slide! At first, Rebecca was not so sure about it, but before long she was having such a great time with it that it was almost impossible to extricate her from it...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Bishop Joseph Visits from Renk, Sudan

This is somewhat dark snapshot, but it captures a moment at the dinner we had at the seminary here tonight for Bishop Joseph Garang Atem, bishop of Renk, Sudan. For an earlier post from a visit to VTS when he was principal of Renk College, click here. A list of visiting teachers of Hebrew and Greek that we have sent to Renk College can be found by clicking here.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Fall Semester Launched at VTS

It was a bit rainy around noon, as we lined up to process at the opening Eucharist of the 2009 fall semester. Here is the view from the faculty line at the back of the chapel:

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Civil War Graffiti at the Seminary

Virginia Theological Seminary was confiscated and used as a Union hospital during the Civil War. The buildings and grounds were used to house 1,700 wounded Federal troops and to bury 500 of their comrades. Here is a photo I snapped today of one of the bricks on the lower south wall of my office building, Aspinwall hall, with some examples of graffiti from some of the Federal troops. I believe it names one of the regiments represented on campus.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Audio: "What Does a Biblical Scholar Do?"

The Society of Biblical Literature has a new e-publication called "Teaching the Bible: an e-pub for high school teachers" (click here). It looks to provide a number of basic resources on biblical scholarship. This audio caught my attention: "What does a Bible scholar do?," by Moira Bucciarelli. Basically, she went to the last SBL meeting in Boston and asked a variety of professors about what they do for a living. Then she edited all together into a 5-minute MP-3 audio introduction to how a typical SBL attendee approaches the Bible. To download the mp3 from the SBL site, right-click here.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

New Faculty Duplex Rising

The controversial new faculty home at the far west of the VTS campus is starting to look recognizable. Still lots of outside brickwork to be done, not to mention the entire interior...

-- Post From My iPhone