Saturday, November 24, 2018

G(r)eeking out over Online Tech Tools

My YouTube channel where I post all my instructional videos
It's been a whirl-wind couple of weeks culminating at SBL-AAR 2018, enjoying Thanksgiving, and getting back to work on grading and teaching. I wish I had more time to reflect on the SBL conference and the sessions that I heard but I think I'm just going to have to plunge into the end of the Fall semester since the final exams are coming around the corner in a few weeks. 
    That said, it was nice to see my 2nd blog post published at the Wabash Center for Teaching Theology and Religion as part of their ongoing series in online education. In the 2nd blog article, I write on the tech tools necessary for the would-be course designer and instructor to teach biblical languages online, focusing on the current course I'm teaching at North Park. The technology is available and affordable to teach beginning Greek (and Hebrew) well and effectively for today's online learning community. If you're curious, check out my blog article entitled: "G(r)eeking out over Online Tech Tools" here.
    Blessings as we head into Advent in one week's time. MJL

Friday, November 16, 2018

AAR-SBL 2018 in Denver: A Last Minute Invitation



As I do some last minute packing for the annual Society of Biblical Literature meeting in Denver this year (November 16-20, 2018), I wanted to give a final shout out to the plenary session of the Intertextuality in the New Testament Section which I co-chair with Alice Yafeh-Deigh at Pacific Azusa University.
    If you're like me, when I plan for SBL, I first get all my requisite business meetings, lunches/dinners with colleagues, and publisher's appointments all in my calendar first. Then on the plane, I thumb through the annual program and plan out what sessions I attend. If so, I hope you'll consider as you travel to Denver attending and participating in the session on Greco-Roman allusions in the New Testament. We have a stellar roster of leading New Testament scholars who work with the Greco-Roman material and texts which illuminate the interpretation of the New Testament. Their papers titles and abstracts are listed below. 
    Much ink has been spilt on the Old Testament echoes and the intertextuality between ancient Jewish discourse and the New Testament. Little has been done in analyzing systematically how the New Testament authors allude to Greco-Roman texts and artefacts and what exegetical methods they use to deploy such material. This session is an attempt to offer some initial explorations. Hope to see you there! MJL


S17-131


Intertextuality in the New Testament
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
11/17/2018
Agate (Third Level) - Hyatt Regency
Ancient Exegetical Methods in Greco-Roman Discourse and the New Testament
Each paper will be 25-30 min long. Peter Oakes will be responding after each paper for 10 min. There is a general discussion at the end of the session
Max Lee, North Park Theological Seminary, Presiding

Bruce Longenecker, Baylor University
Intertextuality in Pompeian Plaster: Can Vesuvian Artifacts Inform Our Expectations about Intertextual Expertise among Sub-elite Jesus-Followers? (30 min)

Abstract: Audiences of New Testament texts are often enticed into intertextual tropes embedded within those texts. One of the difficulties regarding the effectiveness of intertextual tropes pertains to the expertise required by the audience in order to recognize and appreciate them. Was expertise of that kind restricted to the educated elite (as evidenced, for instance, by Seneca), or were intertextual tropes appreciated by a broader segment of Greco-Roman society? This paper (1) addresses that issue by canvassing a selection of the archaeological data from the first-century town of Pompeii and (2) suggests the relevance of that data for the study of New Testament texts.

Judith M. Gundry, Yale Divinity School
Roman Household Religion and the Interpretation of 1 Corinthians 7:14 (30 min)

Paul’s discussion in 1 Corinthians 7 is widely assumed to address a Roman concern with mastery over the passions, or a Stoic ideal of freedom from distraction through celibacy. It is thus curious that virtually all scholars suppose that in 1 Cor. 7:14 Paul is addressing a “Jewish concern” with purity: “For the unbelieving husband γασται by his wife and the unbelieving wife γασται by her husband. For otherwise your children are κθαρτα, but as it is, they are για”... A more plausible reconstruction, as this paper will argue, is that Paul is addressing a Roman expectation of religious uniformity in the household, where religion played an important role (e.g., Plutarch, Tibullus, Hierocles). Apart from such unity, divorce may have seemed inevitable to the former Gentiles in Corinth. But, according to Paul, the unbelieving spouse who is willing to “live together” “is consecrated” to God – for the (also unbelieving) children are “consecrated” to God – similarly to the Christ-believer, who is a “consecrated one” (γιος). Hence, Paul forbids divorcing the unbeliever.

Paul Trebilco, University of Otago
Echoes in Ephesus: "From the beginning" in the Johannine Letters and in Ephesian Foundation Myths (30 min)

In 1 and 2 John, the phrase ‘from the beginning’ is used a total of ten times – a surprising number, given their short length. In each case, the stress is on ‘antiquity’ or on ‘foundations’. This emphasis resonates with the foundation stories of the cult of Artemis and other stories in the city of Ephesus; the sense of ‘looking back’ to antiquity was a vital part of what it was to be an Ephesian. In this context, it was entirely understandable for John as an author to speak of ‘what was from the beginning’, which for him referred to the one true ‘foundation story’, the one they had heard ‘from the beginning’, concerning the person, life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Peter Oakes, University of Manchester, Respondent 




Saturday, October 27, 2018

New Blog Series on Teaching Greek Online



This past summer, I received a teaching grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning Theology and Religion to design and implement an online course for 1st year Biblical Greek. Over the span of 3 months, I created 80+ instructional videos, posted them on YouTube, designed a course shell on the Canvas learning management system, acquired skills in new technologies and applied new pedagogies. But the best part was a series of workshops held at the Wabash Center where I talked a cohort of other theological educators on the strategies, successes and failures, best teaching techniques, most effective learning activities, and everything one could think of concerning how to teach any part of the theological curriculum in a fully asynchronous, blended, hybrid or flipped course.
     I was not sure whether I could pull of teaching Greek 1 and 2 in a fully online medium but it's happening. The course design I created this summer is something I'm using right now this academic year of 2018-19. The Wabash Center kindly asked me to do a series of blog posts (5-6 in total) where I describe my experience teaching Greek online throughout the next two semesters. The 1st of the blog posts on the Wabash website has been published. 
    Click here to hear how I changed my mind about online teaching, and what face-to-face learning experiences can and cannot be approximated online and how some online teaching practices actually serve our communities more effectively than on-campus ones.


Monday, September 24, 2018

Hourly Schedule for the 2018 Symposium on Violence

For those who cannot make the 2018 Symposium on the Theological Reading of Scripture this year on the North Park seminary campus, you can watch the sessions through livestream. I'll update the link here. I'm unsure if they will post recordings of the sessions but if they do, I'll be sure to make them available here on this blog. 
    Please click on the links below for the sessions and times of the symposium from Thursday evening September 27 through Saturday afternoon September 29, 2018. 

The Thursday and Friday sessions are: 
Click the schedule to enlarge

The final Saturday sessions are: 
Click the schedule to enlarge
Hope to see you there, in person or online! MJL

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The 2018 Nils W. Lund Memorial Lectureship

North Park Theological Seminary's Nyvall Hall
Home of the Annual  Nils W. Lund Memorial Lectureship
Live streaming links: here 

This coming September 26-27, 2018, North Park Theological Seminary is hosting its annual Nils W. Lund Memorial Lectureship which invites one Old Testatment lecturer and one New Testament lecturer to speak on their current research and how it is relevant to the mission and ministry of the church. 
    This year, our OT lecturer is Dr. Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford, The Carolyn Ward Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Languages at the McAfee School of Theology. She is the current OT editor of the Word Biblical Commentary series and will be giving the following lectures on Wed morning: 
Dr. Nancy L. deClaissé-Walford - The 2018 Old Testament Lund Lecturer

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

9-10:15am: Lecture 1 – “Let the Floods Clap Their Hands:  An Ecological/Feminist Reading of the Enthronement Psalms (Psalm 93-99)”
10:30-12pm: Lecture 2 – “The Embodied Praise of God in the Songs of Ascents (Psalm 120-134)”




    I'm especially excited that a mentor who was on my doctoral dissertation committee is the NT lecturer: Dr. Seyoon Kim, Emeritus Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has two major works that will be published within the next year: his long-awaited commentary on 1-2 Thessalonians in the Word Biblical Commentary series and a book on Jesus and Paul. The latter is the subject of his lectureship which take place Thursday morning: 

Thursday, September 27, 2018
9-10:15am:  Lecture 1 – “Justification & God’s Kingdom.” Part 1
10:30-12pm: Lecture 2 – “Justification & God’s Kingdom.” Part 2


    The Lund Lectures are live-streamed and the link for the livestream will be posted on the seminary website here. Scroll to the middle of the page and click "Watch Live" about 15 minutes before the 1st lectureship begins. 
    I hope many will join us in person and online. Best, MJL.


Monday, September 10, 2018

The 2018 Symposium on Human Violence


It's already here. The annual Symposium on the Theological Interpretation of Scripture hosted by North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago on September 27-29, 2018. The symposium has always been on the nose about choosing themes that reflect some of the burning questions and issues of our time. But this year's theme seems especially relevant in light of current events domestically (#blacklivesmatter, or even a typical summer on Chicago's south side) and internationally (the persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt, the armistice between a divided Korea, human trafficking which is equally a domestic issue, the Middle East). The 2018 Symposium theme is on human violence. 

     What is violence? Is violence ever a Christian option? If so, under what conditions? If not, what are the alternatives? How do we pastoral care for those traumatized by violence?

     When a person just a few years ago was gunned down in front of my flat, and I had to go out and scrub the blood from my sidewalk, I became even more personally invested in this topic. And I think many pastors and leaders of the church will be as well. I'm hoping our symposium will be a packed house where those thinking biblically and theologically about the problem of violence and the gospel's radical solution to it will find some answers and even more important questions.

     The poster has the roster and names of those scholars across the disciplinary fields of theological education (biblical studies, theology, church history, ministry and missions) who will be giving our plenary addresses (click on the poster above for a larger view). A special shout out to my academic mentor Dr. Seyoon Kim, Emeritus Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, who sent me an early copy of his paper entitled "Paul and Violence." 
     If interested in attending the Symposium, the 1st Thursday session is always free for visitors. After that, we ask that participants register officially for the symposium. North Park community members, students, and alumni, of course, receive a discount. More information is found here. Hope to see you there! MJL

Saturday, June 2, 2018

For Teachers Everywhere

I and my sons are big Golden State Warriors fans, since I was born in San Francisco, raised in the East Bay, and brainwashed my boys to love California teams over Chicago. It was a rough start for Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals but #30 helped pull out the win. Cleveland made a crucial mistake in the last seconds of play that could have ended the regular game time with their win, not Oakland's. I made a meme of the infamous episode in honor of all professors and teachers in education who know how the following feels:

Best! MJL