The Greystone Chapel – An Advent Sermon   Recently updated!

This past Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent. I had meant to add to the sermon the lyrics of a song that just happened to come on while I was finishing writing the sermon. I was listening to Johnny Cash’s At Fulsom Prison and he closed out the concert with “The Greystone Chapel” written by […]


The Proselyte and the Prophet is finally in print and here!   Recently updated!

If you are at SBL you can pick up your copy at the Brill booth (don’t forget your #TgRuthSelfie!) or ordered it at Brill’s site.  


The End Is (Not So Very) Near

To go with the sermon I just posted, The Right Side of History.  


The Right Side of History   Recently updated!

This sermon was preached at St. Bartholomew’s, Nashville, TN on Sunday, November 13, 2016. The previous week Donald J. Trump had been elected as President of the United States.  Proper 28 (33) (November 13, 2016) First reading and Psalm Isaiah 65:17-25 98 Second reading 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 Gospel Luke 21:5-19 Karl Marx famously said, [History] […]


News from Nashville

This year, after nearly 20 years as both an faculty member and an academic administrator, I am on my first-ever academic leave and, as readers of the blog know, I am working my book on suffering and grace. But two months ago I was contacted and asked if I would consider spending my time in Nashville […]


Remembering our Dead

Elizabeth’s essay Día De Muertos: Eat, Speak, And Remember posted this weekend. It is a wonderful reflection on the importance of remembering those who have died. As some Christians create these atrocious “hell houses” and most Americans get a bit silly with their costumes, this season can also be a gracious reminder that we are never […]


Celebrate Your Love 

The following is an essay I wrote for the local paper that appeared in last Sunday’s edition. Tuesday was the 4th Annual Mack Brady Memorial Match. Penn State beat Ohio State 4-2.  Learning to Live: Celebrate Your Love A few weeks ago I was in Pittsburgh speaking about suffering and grace. I shared about the […]


Fall into the arms of God

Proper 19 (24) (September 11, 2016), Trinity Church, Tyrone, PA Readings: Exodus 32:7-14 Psalm 51:1-10 1 Timothy 1:12-17 Luke 15:1-10 Today is the 15th anniversary of the attacks on New York City and Washington, DC. Thousands lost their lives that day and thousands more have died in the conflicts since. Students in college today have […]


What is Targum?

It occurred to me this morning that I have never offered a definition or description of Targum and the Targumim on this site. Here is the entry I wrote for the Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible. The Hebrew term “targum” (plural “targumim”) literally means “translation,” but in the rabbinic period (c. 1st century – 7th century AD) the term came to refer specifically […]


A warning to linguists from Milton

The other day I came across this marvelous quote. With a wink and a smile, I offer this to my linguist friends. Of Education, by John Milton Language is but the Instrument conveying to us things usefull to be known. And though a Linguist should pride himself to have all the Tongues that Babel cleft the […]