24 June 2011

The Perennial Power of Envy

I'm currently meandering my way through Josephus' Jewish Wars (or The Judaean War); Having narrated about Aristobolus becoming the first High Priest to also declare himself King (by putting a 'diadem' on his head) and his resoluteness to maintain such a status (by arranging for the possible assassination of his brother, Antigonus--who, despite deep mutual affection, Aristobolus suspected of plotting to take control of his Kingdom), Josephus says the following:

...[B]ut [Antigonus] was slain by the body guards, and became an eminent instance how calumny destroys all good-will and natural affection, and how none of our good affections are strong enough to resist envy perpetually. Wars 1.3.4

20 June 2011

Paper Ideas

One of my goals is to submit a paper for a biblical conference in the next 6 months. So far, here are my three leading ideas that I would like to research further:

(1) Wisdom of Solomon and the Enigma of Natural Revelation
(2) The Messiah(s) of Judaism(s)
(3) The Resurrection of the Dead, New Creation, After-life, Visitation & the Kingdom of God In Jewish Texts of Antiquity: A Survey

I'm leaning towards #3; however, the argument that I'm developing for #1 may turn out pretty significant.

18 June 2011

I love McKays

The opportunity to get rid of books for instore credit at McKays (the best bookstore--period--in Knoxville) pays off; I spend one dollar today and got 11 books for myself and 4 for Kristen. I don't understand why people get rid of some of the stuff they bring in to the store--I don't think they know what they're eradicating their lives of.

Here are my 11:

Herodotus: The Histories

Plutarch's Lives (of Themistocles, Pericles, Aristides, Alcibiades & Cicero, Caesar & Antony).

Homer: The Odyssey

Homer: The Iliad

Eusebius: The History of the Church

Thucydides: History of the Peloponnesian War

Arrian: The Campaigns of Alexander

The Oxford History of Greece and the Hellenistic World (edited by John Boardman et al.)

Alexander the Great (by Robin Lane Fox)

Stonewall Jackson: The Good Soldier

Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography

14 June 2011


I have added a few books to my summer reading list, which is actually right on par--I have finished 1/2 Maccabees, 4 Ezra, Daniel & Isaiah (as well as two supplementary commentaries). I finished translating the Gospel of Luke last week; furthermore, I recently realized that I have translated well over half of the NT. Regarding Greek studies, I have no major summer plans--I simply plan on translating the Gospel of Matthew, reviewing them good'ole paradigms, and ensuring that I know all vocabulary occuring 5+ times in the NT.

Currently, I am reading the following:

(1) 2 Baruch

(2) Wisdom of Solomon

(3) "Studying the Historical Jesus: An Essential Guide." Charlesworth, James H. Abingdon Press: Nashville. 2008.

(4) "Constructing Jesus: Memory, Imagination, and History." Allison, Dale C. Baker Academic: Grand Rapids, Michigan. 2010.

I have also started researching the antebellum era and the Civil War. The following are the books I have begun reading on this subject:

(1) "Abraham Lincoln and the Second Revolution." McPherson, James. Oxford University Press: New York & Oxford. 1991.

(2) "Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era." McPherson, James. Oxford University Press: New York & Oxford. 1988. This book, recommended highly by Johnson's local Civil War expert (Dr. Linton), is widely regarded as the best single-volume history of the Civil War. James McPherson, not to be confused with the Union soldier who helped Ulyses Grant win at Vicksburg & who died in the Battle of Atlanta, was/is (?) professor of American History at Princeton. This book won the Pulitzer Prize.

(3) "Half Slave and Half Free: The Roots of Civil War." Levine, Bruce. Hill & Wang: New York. 2005. Originally published 1992.

I have also begun watching the best documentary out there about the Civil War: "The Civil War: A Film by Ken Burns." Evidently, this series of DVD's has helped numerous college students pass certain CLEP (and its equivalents) tests.

Believe it or not, I actually enjoy reading 5-7 different books daily (not to mention the innumerable articles I am sifting through for work).

11 May 2011

Summer Reading List

In addition to reading various works--commentaries, articles, monographs (all of which framed by Luke-Acts & John)--I have composed the following list. For this summer, I will generally focus on primary literature from the intertestamental period. Moreover, I have decided to emphasize a working knowledge of Jewish-apocalyptic literature (e.g. 1 Enoch, 4 Ezra, 2 Baruch) during this time period. I expect to affirm the notion that (Jewish) apocalyptic literature did not refer to the end of the world/space-time-universe; rather, this type of language was utilized in order to evoke national/political disasters (this notion obviously makes sense of the socio-political background during this time). I think that Jesus himself, in the so-called "little apocalypse" (Mark 13 & parallels), utilized this language not to predict his own second coming/the end of the world, but to announce a "national disaster" (i.e. the destruction of the temple in 70 C.E.).

Now, to the reading list:

Canonical Texts

1. Isaiah
2. Daniel

Apocryphal Texts

1. 1 Maccabees
2. 2 Maccabees
3. Wisdom of Solomon
4. Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach

Qumran/Dead Sea Scrolls

1. The Community Rule
2. Entry into the Covenant
3. The Damascus Document
4. The War Scroll
5. Jubilees
6. Tobit
7. The New Jerusalem
8. Apocalyptic Chronology
9. Historical Text A
10. Historical Texts C-E
11. Historical Text F
12. The Triumph of Righteousness
13. Time of Righteousness
14. The Renewed Earth
15. A Messianic Apocalypse
16. Commentary on Isaiah
17. Commentary on Psalms

OT Pseudepigrapha

1. 1 Enoch
2. 4 Ezra
3. 2 Baruch
4. Jubilees
5. Psalms of Solomon
6. Ladder of Jacob
7. Prayer of Manasseh

Secondary Literature

1. Isaiah by Barry Webb
2. Daniel by Ronald Wallace
3. An Essential Guide: The Historical Jesus by James Charlesworth
4. Jesus as a Figure in History by Powell
5. Biblical Greek: A Compact Guide by Mounce
6. Jesus and Judaism by E. P. Sanders
7. ???