Thursday, January 2, 2020

Happy New Year! 2020 is the Year of Fresh Visions and Coming Announcements

Happy New Year! 2020 is the year of the rat, a year of creativity, clever thinking, energy, and optimism. I could use all of these coming months but not in a superstitious way ;)
    I have not done much with the blog because of an overwhelming amount of work: overload in teaching, heavy admin duties as chair of the biblical field at North Park, and some major research projects in the queue. I do plan on revising/relaunching the blog in the near future, along with relocating it, probably on I also have some big announcements on writing projects that I hope to make soon within the month.
    Stay tuned! Until then, may the Lord give you a fresh vision and fresh fire for Him and His work this new year! MJL

Sunday, October 27, 2019

AAR-SBL 2019 San Diego: Intertextuality in the New Testament

It's that time of year when anywhere between 10,000-12,000 religious scholars from around the globe (but mostly from North America) meet at the annual Society of Biblical Literature and American Academy of Religion meeting in San Diego from November 23-26, 2019. I'm continuing as co-chair of the Intertextuality in the New Testament Section and this year we have 5 sessions programmed at the annual meeting. Two of them are joint sessions shared with the Hebrews Section (i.e., the Letter to the Hebrews), two open sessions, and one we are sponsoring with the Composite Citations group. 
    I'm presiding over the first of our plenary sessions, and giving a response paper for the second. I'm preparing my response paper this coming week and look forward catching up with colleagues and friends at the meeting.
    Please join us for the sessions. Below are the session dates, times, locations, presenters and their paper titles. Blessings! MJL
S23-323: Intertextuality in the New Testament / Hebrews
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Sat 11/23/2019
28C (Upper Level East)

Theme: Intertextuality in the Letter to the Hebrews and the Old Testament/Jewish Literature
The Hebrews Section and The Intertextuality in the New Testament Section have collaborated for two joint plenary sessions. This is the first of two which features invited papers with responses that pay particular attention to the intertextual methods employed by the author of Hebrews with the Old Testament and Jewish literature.

Max Lee, North Park Theological Seminary, Presiding

Susan Docherty, Newman University Birmingham
Israel’s Scriptures in Hebrews (25 min)

David Moffitt, University of St. Andrews
Isaiah 53, Hebrews, and Covenant Renewal (25 min)

Lori Baron, Saint Louis University, Respondent (10 min)

George Guthrie, Regent College
High Priestly Sacrifice and “Intertextual Layering” in Hebrews (25 min)

Nicholas Perrin, Trinity International University
Two Psalms and a Priest Walked into a Bar: The Traditionsgeschichte behind Jesus’ Sacerdotal Sonship in Hebrews (25 min)

Erik Waaler, NLA University College, Respondent (10 min)

Discussion (30 min)
Business Meeting (0 min)

S24-125: Hebrews / Intertextuality in the New Testament
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Sun 11/24/2019
2 (Upper Level West)

Theme: Intertextuality in the Letter to the Hebrews and the Classical Tradition/Greco-Roman Literature
The Hebrews Section and The Intertextuality in the New Testament Section have collaborated for two joint plenary sessions. This is the second of two which features invited papers with responses that pay particular attention to the intertextual methods employed by the author of Hebrews with the classic tradition and Hellenistic/Greco-Roman literature.

David Moffitt, University of St. Andrews, Presiding

Kenneth Schenck, Houghton College
Echoes of Philo in the Sermon of Hebrews? (25 min)

Madison N. Pierce, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
The Origins of Prosopological Exegesis and Features of Its Use in the Epistle to the Hebrews (25 min)

Max J. Lee, North Park Theological Seminary, Respondent (10 min)

Scott D. Mackie, Independent Scholar
Divine Testing, Toil, and Confession of Divine Kinship in Philo, Congr. 163–180 and the Epistle to the Hebrews 12:1–17 (25 min)

Jason A. Whitlark, Baylor University
Humor in Hebrews: Rhetoric of the Ridiculus in the Example of Esau (25 min)

B. J. Oropeza, Azusa Pacific University, Respondent (10 min)

Discussion (30 min)

S24-220: Intertextuality in the New Testament
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Sun 11/24/2019
27A (Upper Level East)

ThemeComposite Techniques and Traditions

Sean Adams, University of Glasgow, Presiding
Seth Ehorn, Wheaton College (Illinois), Presiding

Sean Adams, University of Glasgow and Seth Ehorn, Wheaton College (Illinois)
What is a Composite Allusion? An Introduction to This Session and Its Aims (5 min)

Michelle Fletcher, King's College London
Reading Composite Allusions as Pastiche (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)

Sean Adams, University of Glasgow and Seth Ehorn, Wheaton College (Illinois)
Composite Allusions in Classical Authors (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)

Tavis Bohlinger, University of Durham
An Overlooked Composite Allusion to Genesis 15:6 in Pseudo-Philo’s Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)

S24-323: Intertextuality in the New Testament
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Sun 11/24/2019
Aqua 307 (Third Level)

Theme: Intertextuality in the Gospels and Acts

Isaac Morales, Providence College (Rhode Island), Presiding

Bruce Henning, University of Aberdeen
The Church’s One Foundation? Peter as the Messianic Temple Foundation in Matt 16:18 (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Rachel Yejee Park, Yale Divinity School
More Parallels between Jesus and Moses in Matthew 14:22–33 and Exodus 14:10–31 (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Hans M. Moscicke, Marquette University
Intertextual Allusions to Jonah in Matthew 27 (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

J. D. Atkins, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Where Is It Written That the Christ Must Suffer? An Intertextual Clarification of Luke 24:44–46 (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Michael Patrick Barber, Augustine Institute Graduate School of Theology
Holy Craps: Lot Casting and Priestly Traditions in Acts 1 (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

S25-130: Intertextuality in the New Testament
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Mon 11/25/2019
30C (Upper Level East)

Theme: Intertextuality in the Epistles

Alice Yafeh-Deigh, Azusa Pacific University, Presiding

Ryder A. Wishart, McMaster Divinity College
Cain and Abel in Second Temple Jewish Culture: The Intertextual Negotiation of Social and Theological Values (25 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Jackson Wu, International Chinese Theological Seminary
God is Not Justified by Wrath: Vindicating Paul’s Use of Psalm 51:4 in Romans 3:4 (25 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Josef Sykora, Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College
The Sword of God’s Judgment: Romans 13:1–7 and the Song of Moses (25 min) 
Discussion (10 min)

Michael M. C. Reardon, University of Toronto
The Corporate σῶμα in Epictetus and Paul (25 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Lastest Wabash Center Article on #LearningOnline in Theological Education

You can read the article online or download a PDF version here

Well, I have not been doing much posting on the blog (just way way toooooo busy) but I have been slowly working on publishing steadily again, starting with the Wabash Center's series on Online Teaching-Learning, then working on some lectionary articles with the Westminster  John Knox Press Series Connections (Lectionary B), and eventually going full steam to finish a long overdue monograph with Mohr-Siebeck. 
   For now, I hope those interested in online education will find this article helpful on "5 Tips for Effective Online Teacher-Student Communication" born from trial and error, mostly error, and learning to be a better teacher in the process. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year this 2019!

Happy New Year! From everyone I've talked to, we all seemed to have a really tough 2018, full of disappointment, distress, sometimes tragedy, illness, and disaster. I'm grateful that through the valley moments in my life, Christ the Good Shepherd does see me through all the time. If there is one thing to celebrate in 2018, it is His faithfulness.
    I have been thinking about a Bible verse which encapsulates 2018 and leads me into 2019. I've landed on John 3:30: "He must become greater, I must become less" (NIV). I think one of the reasons why 2018 was so hard was simply there was too much of me, too little of Jesus. As I repent about how let so many other things and circumstances shape me rather than the Lord, I'm praying that in 2019, there will much more of Christ and less of me. 
    2019 is the year of the pig, a symbol of festivity and joy. Let's hope that as Christ increases and we decrease, the fruit of walking with Christ and letting him form us will indeed lead to inexpressible joy. Blessings in the New Year! MJL

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


Intertextuality in the New Testament
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
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.