Old Testament Audio Blog

My Horrible Experience with a Radio Contest

So... I had a horrible experience with a radio station giveaway last Friday. Let me preface this by saying that I have never won any kind of contest in my life. But, my wife registered us for this radio contest for which the prize was a trip to see one of my favorite bands of all time in one of my favorite vacation spots from when I was a child. (I'm intentionally being fuzzy on the details because I do not want a radio station suing me for defamation). Read More...

An Egyptian Perspective on the Red Sea: "Dude, ... I don't know if this such a good idea"

Last night I stayed up reading and thinking for a little while, and I decided to look ahead at today's Old Testament readings (Ex 14:21-15:1). I am not sure why exactly I was struck by this again last night, but for whatever reason I was struck by just how matter-of-factly Biblical stories are told sometimes. I am thinking here particularly of verse 23: "The Egyptians followed in pursuit..." No deliberation, no anything, just followed in pursuit. There is no Egyptian perspective whatsoever. So, I tried to think of some funny things that some of the Egyptians could have thought or said to one another if some Hollywood style comic relief were added to the story. And, here is what I came up with for some dialogue between one Egyptian soldier and another as they looked on at the sea that had been parted (please forgive my brutally terrible sense of humor): Read More...

Psalm 91 - Listening Companion

If you read lectionary readings for today, you may have recognized Psalm 91, which has inspired a significant amount of music over the years. So, I have embedded a YouTube video with some accompanying music if you would like to listen to it today. Honestly, I am not much on the video, but the song is nice. It is Eagle's Wings, which has become a staple of Christian worship music (in North America at least). Enjoy. Read More...

Psalm 117

The responsorial psalm in today's lectionary readings was Psalm 117. This is the shortest chapter in the entire Bible, whether for you that is the Hebrew Bible or the Old and New Testaments. However, though it is the shortest chapter, it contains a profound statement of universalism. The text reads: Read More...

Debating June's Audible Selections

So, I still had not used my Audible credits for June (which is very strange for me) until today. This month I chose two less academic titles. First, I chose Eugene Peterson's Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. I have heard a lot of people that I respect very highly speak well of Peterson's books, though a lot of them are not crazy about his Message Bible. So, I thought I would give this book a chance. From what I understand it is the first in a five part series, which makes me hope that it it worthwhile. That would make my Audible selections for next month considerably easier. Read More...

New Career Developments

Well, I learned this week that I would not be adjuncting at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans for the coming semester. They just hired two new full-time faculty members with one of them being in Sacred Scripture. I think this will be very good for the seminary and add to the sense of academic community in a way that having a number of adjunct faculty coming in and out never could. However, I must say I will miss seeing my students two days out of the week. I wish them all the best with their continued studies. Read More...

Teaching the 10 Plagues to Children

This past week at Vacation Bible School (=VBS) I helped with the rather difficult task of teaching the 10 plagues to children in Pre-K through 5th grades. Usually when this is done the teaching materials at least tone the stories down a bit due to the violence (i.e. the killing of the firstborn). However, I was shocked to find that the materials that we were using did not do so. Granted when the materials were chosen, the leaders of VBS probably assumed that the stories would be toned down. Read More...

Brent Bencaz, May He Rest in Peace

My wife and I found out yesterday evening that one of our family members passed away after a year and half battle with pancreatic cancer. Brent Bencaz will be remembered for a lot of things, but most of all for his cheerfulness and his smile. He will be sorely missed by his family members. I realize that most of my posts are about educational matters, but today I ask for your prayers for the family as we grieve and also remember good times over the coming days. May Brent rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon him. Read More...

A Huge Thank You to University of California and Villanova University

I know that I have written this in a couple of other places on the site, but I wanted to write a blog post just saying thanks to University of California Television and Villanova University for providing great video content on YouTube. I have put quite a number of their videos on the courses page of this site, and I just keep finding more and more useful information from them. I couldn't believe that I was able to find video lectures from the likes of Robert Alter, Jon Levenson, Lawrence Schiffman, and even David Noel Freedman. These are some of the top scholars in the area of Biblical Studies. Please be sure to check out University of California Television and Villanova University on YouTube. They have a lot of other interesting content as well outside of the area of Biblical Studies. I do not know that anyone involved with posting the videos will ever read this post, but in case you do, thanks a lot and keep up the good work. Read More...

A Note About My Supervising Professor

I came across a blog post about my supervising professor Christo van der Merwe yesterday through my friend Karyn's blog (which I mistakenly labeled as "new" in one of my previous posts). She linked into a Hebrew and Greek reader blog post entitled The Bruce Lee of Biblical Hebrew. Apparently, my supervising professor is like Bruce Lee. Read the post for details, but to boil it down it is because of his "use whatever works approach" in terms of linguistics. I have met Christo on several occasions when he has come to deliver papers at academic meetings, and my guess is that he would find it amusing to be compared to Bruce Lee, but be very modest about it. Read More...