Friday, October 31, 2014

Homily on the Death of Moses


My chapel team has been doing services at the Seminary this week, and my sermon Wednesday, 10/29/14, was on Deuteronomy 34, the Death of Moses. It is about ten minutes long. To listen, or to download the MP3 file, click here. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Social and Economic Life in Second Temple Judah, by Samuel L. Adams

It was a privilege to travel down to Union Seminary in Richmond on Tuesday, to be part of a panel reviewing Sam Adam’s new book on society and economics in Judah, especially in the Second Temple era.


The Forum was videotaped and is available free on Union’s website. If it is hard to find, you may download the video by clicking here. Enjoy!

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I spent a few hours in Union’s magnificent seminary library. By coincidence I happened to settle in right below the portrait of John Bright:


Friday, October 03, 2014

Ezekiel 1:22, The Gleaming Expanse (Firmament)

As scholars have long noted, the heavenly platform of God’s chariot-throne seen by Ezekiel is the  רקיע, the cosmic expanse. The Hebrew term occurs infrequently in Bible, in places such as Genesis 1:6-8, 14; Pss 19:1; 150:1; Ezek 10:1; Dan 12:3. For my Prophets class this afternoon, I thought it would be nice to post some fresh images of the expanse. I particularly like the chaos-serpent in the J. Walton image at bottom!



Ezekiel’s Wheel: An Incursion of the Multidimensional?


My prophets course this semester is now in full swing, and we are reading Ezekiel’s vision of the fantastic wheels this afternoon (Ezek 1:1-28). Last academic year, John D. Willard was taking a course with me and shared the above image. This is his commentary, which I find just fascinating:

In the early 1990s, as part of my job, I visited the Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Fulton, Maryland. There was a group doing a project that involved modeling what multi-dimensional objects (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th dimensions) would look like if they passed through our three dimensional world. This was at a time when computers were slow and the graphics capabilities of the average computer were slim or non-existent. They had huge computers with independent roof-top cooling units. This was impressive stuff!

One of the project managers showed me a graphic model of one of these 5th or 6th dimensional objects. It appeared to be a flower-looking object with sections rotating in one direction, with a lower segment moving in the opposite direction. In the model, it moved around the screen several times. I suddenly remembered the passage from Ezekiel 1:16 of the wheel within a wheel.