Yesterday afternoon I defended my thesis, “‘You Will Be Like the Gods’: The Conceptualization of Deity in the Hebrew Bible in Cognitive Perspective,” to faculty and students at Trinity Western University. I gave a brief 20-minute presentation and then answered questions from my thesis committee, from other TWU faculty, and from students attending. The entire process was supposed to take no more than 2 hours, but I spent a full 90 minutes just fielding questions. There was a lot of interest in the topic, which was nice.
The committee deliberated for less than ten minutes, and I was asked to make some very small structural revisions and was given an A+. Two professors afterward commented that it was one of the best theses the school had produced. The director of graduate studies, who was in charge of all the administrative processes, told me she usually doesn’t sit through the defenses, but she found it so fascinating she just had to stick around. I was very flattered. Afterward my wife got to speak with several other students and professors, and many of them made a point of congratulating her and thanking her for her support, which she greatly appreciated.
It was very nice to be back in the northwest and to see some old friends. I enjoyed being back on TWU’s beautiful campus and talking biblical studies again with mostly the same faculty, staff, and students. It was a wonderful trip, and thanks to a new prescription of Valium my flight anxiety was non-existent for the flight back. It’s been a nice week, and now I get to sleep in my own bed again.
Thanks to everyone out there who has supported me in one capacity or another, in person or in spirit, as I pursued this degree and my previous two. It has meant a lot to me, but I don’t often get the chance to express it. Thanks again.
PS – Information on how my thesis will be made available in the future should be forthcoming.
I will be live-tweeting and liveblogging tonight’s first episode of the History Channel and Prometheus Entertainment’s new series Bible Secrets Revealed. I will tweet comments live and update the blog after each segment. Should be fun!
UPDATED 8:05 PM: Evidently the History Channel in my area isn’t showing this until midnight here. Sorry to disappoint. Please check out Robert Cargill’s live-tweeting here.
UPDATED 7:53 PM: Just about ready to start live-blogging Bible Secrets Revealed. Tonight’s episode is entitled “Lost in Translation.” Don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with!
(HT Brian LePort) Daniel Wallace announces through The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts that images of the Chester Beatty Papyri are now available online on their Manuscripts page. Check it out!
While writing my thesis on biblical conceptualizations of deity in cognitive perspective, a very helpful article was Beate Pongratz-Leisten‘s article from Reconsidering Revolutionary Monotheism (her introduction to the volume is here), entitled “Divine Agency and Astralization of Gods in Ancient Mesopotamia.” I believe her discussion of divine agency, which incorporates some insights from cognitive theory, is particularly relevant to biblical notions of deity and to christology (you’ll notice if you’ve read Peppard’s look at the christology of Mark that they develop some of the same approaches to the notion of the divine). I highlight this paper now because Pongratz-Leisten has made a draft of her article available on academia.edu. If you’re interested in the topic, you should definitely give it a read.
I happened across a website yesterday called bibles.org that I am finding quite helpful as I work with the biblical texts in a variety of languages. Particularly interesting to me is the versions page, which contains links to pages with 590 different translations of the Bible in 470 different languages. The majority of the translations are not in the public domain, but the website has secured permissions from different publishers to host the full translations on their site. There are a variety of functions you can use once you get into the texts, too. Check it out.
As several bloggers have already noted, this coming
Monday, November 11, Wednesday, November 13, the History Channel will begin airing a series called “Bible Secrets Revealed.” A sneak peak is here. I plan to live-tweet the shows. If you’re interested, you can find my Twitter feed here. I will be using the hashtag #BibleSecretsRevealed.
UPDATE: The first installment of the series has been moved to Wednesday, November 13.
Nicolas Wyatt has evidently decided to upload his entire book Religious Texts from Ugarit to academia.edu. Download and enjoy.