The Curious Case of the Targum by Willem Smelik

A great introductory piece by my friend and colleague Willem Smelik. It contains thoughtful reflections on the task of translating sacred writ and the uniqueness of Targum. Not least of which is that it was never to stand on its own. A targum (an Aramaic translation of Scripture) is a translation that does not come alone: […]

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To blog or not to blog…that is the question. At least for graduate students.

During the Q&A period of the panel discussion with Bart Ehrman, Will Gaffney, and Larry Schiffman were asked about whether or not grad students should blog. There response was an unanimous “no.” Some of their specific reasons were concerns of exposure, that they might post things/opinions that could come back to hurt them in the job […]


The Life of a Blog from Cradle to Maturity (?)

UPDATE: My brother corrected my memory: he is the one who registered the name “pseudonymous.” My first blog attempt was anonymous, but fittingly, I suppose, I can no longer remember the name. The last session of the “the Blogger and Online Publication” group was a great success. Our chair James McGrath has an excellent summary of […]

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Blogging comes of age

I will be presenting in the Blogger and Online Publication session this year. It should be a fun and informative session. My presentation will be a bit more organic, or really, about the organic process of how my blog has developed over the last dozen years. The Life of a Blog from Cradle to Maturity (?) […]


SBL Professional Conduct Policy

Like all other SBL members I just received John Kutsko’s message about the new policy. These are the links to the policy and procedure documents. Somehow I think this will engender some vexatious comments.   Harassment may be defined as vexatious comment or conduct in relation to a person or group of persons on the basis […]

After the conference I look forward to a break for Thanksgiving on Tybee Island!

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Comic: Heaven (is Hell for philosophers)

From Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal  


Writing and swimming

Writing – it is like morning practice. 5 am, standing on the edge of the pool, the air is cold and chill, but the water is colder. Your arms are tight around your chest, crossed to keep in what heat your body is producing and you dare not open up to dive into the frigid […]

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Beautiful and Terrible Things — A Biblical Theology of Suffering and Grace 1   Recently updated!

This is my most recent idea for the title of a work coming out of my recent writings and talks on suffering. (See the page A Biblical Theology of Suffering for those links.) The quote comes from Frederick Buechner and is oft cited. I have used it for years in graduation speeches. The fuller context […]


“I Believe In Grieving”

This past week aired my “This I believe” essay for WPSU. You can find the audio and the text here. It is a part of a yearlong project we are doing called  “Learning to Live: What’s Your Story?”  We recognize and understand that when someone we love dies, we will grieve. We mourn the fact […]

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Who would believe in horsemanship but not horses?

No one. This is from “Existential Comics,” always a good read, and reminded me of Lamentations. I recall coming across those who argued that the biblical author(s) critiquing/challenging God about the justice of allowing Jerusalem to be destroyed was an example of the erosion of faith. It always occurred to me that it is quite […]