Friday, 24 December 2010

new bible-translation website

check out this new website. not sure exactly where it stands in terms of its theology but still worth checking pout some of the articles and podcasts.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Sunday, 12 December 2010

sealed jar discovered at qumran

What’s inside? Sealed jar discovered at Qumran – site of Dead Sea Scrolls

View Qumran - discovery of sealed pot in a larger map

Qumran was occupied between 100 BC - AD 70.
The sealed pot was found 50 meters south of it.
Photo by James Emery, CC Attribution 2.0 Generic
An intact, sealed, jar has been discovered at Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in nearby caves.

A multinational team of scientists have been analyzing the jar and their findings are set to bepublished in the journalArchaeometry. If you have a subscription (or access to a library with one) you can already see the article on the publication’s website.

“The finding of an intact and sealed storage jar is an extremely rare event,” the researchers write. The discovery “provides a unique possibility to analyse its last contents.”

Altogether nine scientists are credited in the paper. Kaare Lund Rasmussen, of the University of Southern Denmark, is listed at the lead author.

The jar itself was excavated in 2004. It was found about 50 meters south of Qumran in an uninhabited area that may have been used for agriculture. Animal bones and pottery shards were unearthed nearby. The group that found it was led by Randall Price of Liberty University and Oren Gutfeld of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

Pictures of the jar are published in the journal article. The rights to them appear to be held by the excavation group and a request to have them republished on this website was not granted as of press time. 

“The intact jar, named Jar-35, was sealed with an overturned bowl fastened as a lid,” Rasmussen’s team writes. “When the lid was lifted and a camera lowered into the interior, a deposit up to 3 cm thick was discovered lining the bottom and the sides.”

for the rest of the article, pls read here.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

monotheism in the ot?

Did Anyone Believe in One God before the Greeks?

By Richard S. Hess
Earl S. Kalland Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages
Denver Seminary
December 2010
The critical view of Israelite religion has traditionally understood that monotheism was present in Israel at the time of Josiah in the late seventh century. This view has been an important one in defining the role of Josiah in his policy of centralization of the cult and other matters reflecting his ambitions for the creation of a greater kingdom.
However, recent studies have argued that the life of Josiah as described in the book of Kings is a fictional creation from the post-exilic period or later that has been retrojected into the earlier period. Behind this lay the argument that monotheism did not exist in the pre-exilic period. Instead, it is to be found only in subsequent ages, perhaps the Persian or Hellenistic periods. It should be noted that this evaluation does not attempt to distinguish a philosophical monotheism such as emerged in the world of Classical Greece with its philosophers. Rather, the term monotheism is here understood simply as worship by the adherents of the religion of a single deity. Other terms, such as monolatry or henotheism, may describe aspects of this, but the term monotheism continues to be used broadly and will serve the purposes of this note.
for the rest of the article, read here:

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Thursday, 2 December 2010

lecture mp3


1st December 2010

Dr Craig Evans (Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia
Divinity College of Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada)

Monday, 15 November 2010

new scientific way to sort DSS

Science devises new method to sort Dead Sea Scrolls (Feature)
By Jean-Baptiste Piggin Nov 15, 2010, 1:06 GMT

Berlin - Physicists are on the verge of more breakthrough discoveries about the Dead Sea Scrolls, a stock of 2,000-year-old religious documents found in the West Bank desert, a Berlin science institute says.
From 1947 to 1956, an estimated 900 distinct documents were recovered by Bedouins and archaeologists from 11 caves near Qumran, a ruined settlement at the north-west corner of the Dead Sea.
The documents contain several books of the Bible, making them of vital interest to Jews, Christians and Muslims. All three religions are rooted in ancient Jewish doctrines. Unproved conspiracy theories have swirled round the scrolls for 60 years.

Some of the parchment scrolls were found intact, but many of the 17,000 torn fragments have been difficult to piece together.

To date, scholars have used a jig-saw-puzzle method, trying to match adjacent pieces by the words and style of script.

This week, Berlin scientists are to brief scholars on 21st century methods of sorting the fragments, which contain Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic writing and are kept at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
The new methods, which include shining X-rays through the parchment and papyrus, are guaranteed not to damage them.

for the rest of the article, read here.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

release of burma's most famous prisoner - that is good news

what is the news in the papers today? well, i seldom buy local newspapers nowadays for a very good reason. but i keep myself abreast with other news. the only piece of good news out there is the long awaited release of burma's most famous lady.


The Burmese military authorities have released the pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, from house arrest.
Appearing outside her home in Rangoon, Ms Suu Kyi told thousands of jubilant supporters they had to "work in unison" to achieve their goals.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner has been detained for 15 of the past 21 years. It is not yet clear if any conditions have been placed on her release.
US President Barack Obama welcomed her release as "long overdue".
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Ms Suu Kyi was an "inspiration", and called on Burma to free all its remaining political prisoners.
Ms Suu Kyi, 65, was freed after her latest period of house arrest expired and was not renewed by the military government.
Her release comes six days after the political party supported by the military won the country's first election in 20 years. The ballot was widely condemned as a sham.
for the rest of bbc's article, read here.

Monday, 1 November 2010

preview of dr peter lau's book

our newest faculty member, dr peter lau, is publishing his thesis as a monograph. here is a preview of the cover.

Friday, 29 October 2010

passing away of j.a. soggin

the biblical world mourn the loss of jan alberto soggin (or more commonly known as j.a. soggin) whose funeral is today on the 29th oct 2010. he was the author of numerous commentaries and books, notably the scm press old testament library volumes on 'judges' and 'joshua' and the popular 'an introduction to the history of israel and judah'.

Monday, 11 October 2010

robert alter's latest book

October 8, 2010

Englishing the Hebrew Bible

By David Curzon

All translators of the Hebrew Bible into English work in the shadow of the genius of the King James Version (KJV), done in the 17th century and still in wide use today despite its thee's and thou's.  The diction of the KJV has been modernized in the Revised Standard Version (1962) and the New Revised Standard Version (1989). Jewish translations, following the sequence and other features of the Hebrew Bible, and guided by rabbinic understandings, have been brought out by the Jewish Publication Society (JPS) and others.  
In the 1980s, the American literary critic and scholar Robert Alter began publishing original studies of the Hebrew Bible that yielded, among other books, The Art of Biblical Narrative and The Art of Biblical Poetry.  In 1987 he co-edited, with the late Frank Kermode, The Literary Guide to the Bible, a volume of essays by diverse authors on the books of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. Since then he has been publishing his own translations into contemporary English of, to borrow his titles, The Five Books of MosesThe David Story, and The Book of Psalms. The newest addition to this ongoing project, just published, is The Wisdom Books, consisting of Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. All of these translations, informed by both scholarly understanding and literary sensitivity, are accompanied by detailed commentaries free of jargon. Anyone interested in the Hebrew Bible should become familiar with Alter's undertaking. 
In the introduction to his latest volume, Alter helpfully explains the phrase, "wisdom books." As he writes, Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, while sharing "with Greek philosophy an inquiry into values and a disposition to reflect on the human condition," also form part of a broader corpus of Near Eastern "wisdom literature" characterized by a distinctly pragmatic, didactic, and sometimes skeptical bent. Within that broad category, the "God-obsessed" figure of Job stands out as one who "never wonders or speculates about God's existence." This aside, however, the three wisdom books remain, "in different ways, worlds apart from Genesis, Deuteronomy, and the Prophets."     


Wednesday, 6 October 2010

last week of classes in stm

this is the last week of classes in stm and exam week for final year students. next week is study week for the rest of the students and then followed by exam week. graduation day is 23rd october 2010. soo it will be marking exam and assignment papers for a month!

Monday, 20 September 2010


this blog uses the free clustrmaps to detail visitors to the blog.
in 1 year (from 20 sep 2009 to 20 sep 2010), there were over 10,365 visitors with the majority from malaysia and US, followed by singapore and UK.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

uni oxford conference on psalms in september

gonna miss this good one at uni of oxford this coming september.

speakers include the usual suspects like john barton, john day, sue gillingham, (including my doctoral supervisor dr philip johnston as a respondent), and people we only get to read in books like bill bellinger, geza vermes, Erhard Gerstenberger!, adele berlin!, jonathan margonet!, klaus seybold! peter flint! Frank-Lothar Hossfeld!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Jordan unearths 3,000-year-old Iron Age temple

Jordan unearths 3,000-year-old Iron Age temple

Ancient figurines are seen displayed as antiquities chief  Ziad al-Saad, unseen, announces the discovery of a 3,000-year-old Iron Age temple during a AP – Ancient figurines are seen displayed as antiquities chief Ziad al-Saad, unseen, announces the discovery …

AMMAN, Jordan – Archaeologists in Jordan have unearthed a 3,000-year-old Iron Age temple with a trove of figurines of ancient deities and circular clay vessels used for religious rituals, officials said Wednesday.
The head of the Jordanian Antiquities Department, Ziad al-Saad, said the sanctuary dates to the eighth century B.C. and was discovered at Khirbat 'Ataroz near the town of Mabada, some 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of the capital Amman.
He said the complex boasts a main room that measures 388 square feet (36 square meters), as well as two antechambers and an open courtyard.
The sanctuary and its artifacts — hewn from limestone and basalt or molded from clay and bronze — show the complex religious rituals of Jordan's ancient biblical Moabite kingdom, according to al-Saad.
"Today we have the material evidence, the archaeological proof of the level of advancement of technology and civilization at that period of time," he said.
for the rest of the article, read here below:

Monday, 6 September 2010

still despairing learning microsoft 2007 ribbon? try ubitmenu

not sure about you guys out there, but the reb has never been comfortable using the microsoft office 2007 especially the new ribbon. what was a good version (microsoft office 2003) has to be re-invented. while some people refer the new ribbon format, things have changed in their original positions and one has to re-learn them from scratch. what if one has no time to relearn all these key positions and memorizing them?

not to despair. there are some tricks available from microsoft website to learn about the ribbon (one can download tutorials and xlt workbooks on word, excel, powerpoint etc).

but there is a better way. download a small program (f.o.c. for personal users) called ubitmenu. it adds a small menu into the command bar of your microsoft called 'menu' in between the 'home' and 'insert'. click on the 'menu' and your old familiar microsoft office 2003 toolbars are pops down as another ribbon. presto!

that is far easier than re-learn the office 2007 ribbon. give it a try.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

free online journals till 15th oct 2010

sageonline is back and free till 15th oct. now is the time to search and save journal articles for free!!!!
stm students and tee students, pls take note.
search according to discipline or by journal titles.

what is logic in bolehland

in malaysia bolehland, if satire is not taken as satire but the truth, and if the imaginations of the macc prosecutor that a person strangles himself is the truth, then this doctor's logic makes more sense.

I love this Doctor !

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Heart only good for so many beats, and that it... Don't waste on exercise. Everyting wear out eventually. Speed up heart, not make live longer; that like say you extend life of car by drive faster. Want live longer? Take nap.
Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables? 
A: Ahhhh, what cow eat? Hay and corn. What are these? Vegetables. Steak nothing more than efficient mechanism of deliver vegetable to body system. Need grain? You eat chicken. Beef also good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And pork chop can give 100% recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine made from fruit. Brandy... distilled wine. That means they take water out of fruity bit; get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: If you have body and you have fat, ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Cannot think of single one, sorry. My philosophy: No Pain...Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU NOT LISTENING!!! .... Foods fried in vegetable oil. How getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only do sit-ups if want bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: You crazy? HELLO ...   Cocoa  beans! Vegetable!!! Cocoa beans best feel-good food around!
Q: Is swimming good for your figure? 
A: If swimming good for figure, explain to me whale.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle? 
A: Hey! 'Round' is shape!
Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets. 

AND. . . .
For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies:
1. The Japanese eat very little fat 
And suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat
And suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
3. The Chinese drink very little red wine 
And suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
4 The Italians drink a lot of red wine 
And suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats
And suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
Eat and drink what you like. Speaking American English is apparently what kills you.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

isaiah and empire colloquium

This colloquium (sponsored by Laidlaw-Carey Graduate School in Auckland, 
New Zealand) will explore cultural and theological implications of 
aspects of the book of Isaiah in the context of empire. Potential papers 
might include, but are by no means limited to:

* readings of particular texts in the light of ancient imperial contexts
* studies of the redaction history of Isaiah
* Isaiah (or a particular text) in contemporary "imperial" or
post-colonial contexts
* theological reflections
* cross cultural perspectives on Isaiah in imperial contexts
* contemporary political reflections

The colloquium will take place in Auckland, NZ, on 14th-15th February 
2011 (this is summertime in NZ but after schools have begun for the 
year). Since we intend to publish a book with the same title in 2011, 
draft papers will be circulated among participants in 2010 and final 
form submitted by April 15th 2011.

Please send enquiries and abstracts before 30th September 2010 to:

Dr Tim Bulkeley or
Dr Tim Meadowcroft


p.s. very tempted to write a paper on 'contemporary political reflections' based on isaiah 40-55 and malaysian politics. but time doesn't permit and time is a luxury for an academic dean, OT lecturer, assigned pastor, occasional writer, p/t doctoral student, and family guy!!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

scholarship changing with the times

Scholars Test Web Alternative to Peer Review

Andrew Councill for The New York Times
Dan Cohen, director of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, is among the academics who advocate a more open, Web-based approach to reviewing scholarly works.
For professors, publishing in elite journals is an unavoidable part of university life. The grueling process of subjecting work to the up-or-down judgment of credentialed scholarly peers has been a cornerstone of academic culture since at least the mid-20th century.


The latest on the arts, coverage of live events, critical reviews, multimedia extravaganzas and much more.Join the discussion.
Now some humanities scholars have begun to challenge the monopoly that peer review has on admission to career-making journals and, as a consequence, to the charmed circle of tenured academe. They argue that in an era of digital media there is a better way to assess the quality of work. Instead of relying on a few experts selected by leading publications, they advocate using the Internet to expose scholarly thinking to the swift collective judgment of a much broader interested audience.
“What we’re experiencing now is the most important transformation in our reading and writing tools since the invention of movable type,” said Katherine Rowe, a Renaissance specialist and media historian at Bryn Mawr College. “The way scholarly exchange is moving is radical, and we need to think about what it means for our fields.”
That transformation was behind the recent decision by the prestigious 60-year-oldShakespeare Quarterly to embark on an uncharacteristic experiment in the forthcoming fall issue — one that will make it, Ms. Rowe says, the first traditional humanities journal to open its reviewing to the World Wide Web.
Mixing traditional and new methods, the journal posted online four essays not yet accepted for publication, and a core group of experts — what Ms. Rowe called “our crowd sourcing” — were invited to post their signed comments on the Web site MediaCommons, a scholarly digital network. Others could add their thoughts as well, after registering with their own names. In the end 41 people made more than 350 comments, many of which elicited responses from the authors. The revised essays were then reviewed by the quarterly’s editors, who made the final decision to include them in the printed journal, due out Sept. 17.
Read the rest of the article here,