Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Loss of the Seminary's "Lincoln Tree"

Tree surgeons this morning cut down the "Lincoln Tree" in our neighbor's backyard. Apparently carpenter ants had eaten the core of the tree. In her book Search for the Invisible Helen Reid described the "large and stately oak" as follows: "During the Civil War...When federal troops took over the Seminary and used it for a hospital, they cut down many trees to use for firewood and other purposes. ...President Lincoln, on a visit, noticed the handsome oak and asked that it be spared for future generations to admire" (p. 71).

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Monday, June 28, 2010

National Press Club: OBO Launch

Oxford University Press treated my wife and I to a delightful reception at the National Press Club in DC last night from 6-8pm. I'm on the editorial board of the Biblical Studies module, which is set to launch in a few months. The OBO project is the most ambitious, most expensive project Oxford has launched in decades. To check it out, click here.

OBO Launch

We each took home a OUP-OBO burlap tote-bag, with a signature USB-stick, a handsome OBO coffee-mug, gift certificates and other goodies!

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Paving our driveway at the Seminary today...

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bishop Lee Portrait

At lunch today, I saw the new portrait of Bishop Peter James Lee hanging in Scott lounge. It was done by artist Richard Fennell. It is said to capture the wisdom and experience of a man who led the board of trustees of the Episcopal Church's largest seminary and who skillfully navigated through years of complicated diocesan issues.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

iOS 4 Up and Running!

As of just about 1:15pm Eastern Time (I'm in Alexandria, VA), the new operating system from Apple for the iPhone went live for free download. The download took about half and hour, and went off without a hitch. I must have been one of the first in the nation to download, and I'm enjoying this new system. For a good walkthrough, click here. Below is a 10 minute YouTube overview:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

English Grammar to Ace Biblical Hebrew

Zondervan mailed me a free copy of the little book, English Grammar to Ace Biblical Hebrew by Miles Van Pelt. I am thinking of either requiring or recommending it the next time that I teach Beginning Biblical Hebrew. I do find that many of my seminary students struggle with grammatical concepts because of a lack of traditional education in English grammar. This resource should help with that, since it provides quick, user-friendly orientation to such things as conjunctions, prepositions, types of adjectives (attributive, predicative, substantive), mood, tense, and aspect, and so on.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Howard Lerner Sculpture: Ezekiel's Vision

Do pay a visit to the website of Howard Lerner art (click here).

The sample sculpture below depicts Ezekiel's initial vision of God's throne-chariot (oil on wood, tin, found objects; 96H. x 48W. x 30”D. inches). The artist uses old, mundane objects in his art, thus asserting that everything is included in true spirituality. Included in the sculpture is a disk labeled "Hashmal - Electrum"; a bellows labeled "Ruach"; the panels of a light-shade used as scroll parchment; and a cut-glass light-fixture representing the firmament of heaven, atop of which sits God's-name.

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Tchoga Zanbil (Blues Power Band)

Give a listen to this blues tune, TCHOGA ZANBIL, which is actually based on a fascinating archaeological site in Iran. Tchoga Zanbil is an ancient Elamite complex built about 1250 BCE, and which contains a great ziggurat (one of the few extant outside of Mesopotamia).

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Sunday, June 06, 2010

A Hike to the Rocks!

We were at the Episcopal Retreat Camp at Shrine Mont this weekend. The whole family hiked 1,065 ft in elevation to "the rocks," getting this view of Shrine Mont below:

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Friday, June 04, 2010

Ezekiel 5 at Schwarzrheindorf

During a break from grading exegesis papers this morning, I surfed over to the images from the Ezekiel Cycle at Schwarzrheindorf, a church from the 12th century c.e. crusading period. Shown above is the south cross vault and images of a prohetic symbolic act depicting God's judgment of Judah from Ezekiel 5. Beginning at the far left and moving counter clockwise we have Ezekiel using a sword as a razor (5:1); weighing the shaved hair in balances (5:1); striking one-third with the sword; and scattering one-third to the wind, but preserving a remnant in his belt (5:2-3).

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Teaching Slide: The Canonical Shape of 2 Isaiah

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I created this slide (click to enlarge) during this past Spring Semester, to help illustrate why 2 Isaiah (chps 40-55) should not be read apart from the book as a whole. Isaiah 40 is anticipated by words of promise and comfort in the first part of the book. A trajectory running from the first to the second half of Isaiah is present, making key theological points including the idea that God's work in 2 Isaiah is part of a long-range plan of salvation and not just a political re-patriation of exiles.