As those few of you who have been reading this blog for while know, this is the first writing in quite some time. There are several reasons for this, but the most important one is that though the graciousness of the board of Knox Seminary I am on sabbatical for the summer and the fall semester.
For those of you not familiar with a sabbatical, it traces its roots back to the “year of freedom” found in the Hebrew Bible. Every seventh year, all debts would be forgiven and everyone would start afresh. The academic sabbatical is slightly different from this.
My sabbatical has several purposes: first it is to allow me, after six (more like twelve) years of teaching to concentrate on renewing my studies, catching up with the latest research, and rekindling my excitement for teaching again; second the purpose is to allow me to write those things (articles and books) that have been on my mind/list for quite some time; third, the very term sabbatical indicates rest and some rest and renewal is expected so that I will come back with renewed vigor, new ideas for teaching, and lots of new ideas to share with my students.
As you might expect, this is not a time of vacation but a time of uninterrupted reading, writing, and creativity for new classes, books, and articles.
With all of this in mind, I hope to be able to blog every couple of days with new ideas about what I am reading, learning, writing, and preparing for my students in the fall.
I have just purchased a new computer. It is a MacBook Pro and while I have made fun of Mac uses in the past for being “a cult” because of their desire to get others to use the Mac and because of the incredible feeling that one gets in the Mac store, I must say that I have fallen victim to the cult. Having a Mac is one of the best decisions that I have ever made.
I have been using computers since the days when one used cassette tapes for memory. I remember when I bought the first computer that I ever had with a hard drive. Ten Megabytes, who would ever be able to use all of that? My first Modem was 300 baud and I literally could see the letters go across the screen. We have come a long way.
The thing that I like about the Mac is that it simply does what I want it to do. I don’t have to download drivers, set up things, etc. It just does what it is supposed to do. As a non-geek (disputable by some, ok most) I just want to turn on my machine and have it do what I want. A second thing about the new Mac-Book pro is that it is super fast. I open it and it is ready to go. I click on Logos Bible Software and it does not take minutes to open, but opens right away and is ready to use. I love that.
The amount of very inexpensive software is incredible. Right now I am typing on a program called “OmmWriter.” It not only gives me a beautiful background as well as wonderful background music that is not distracting, but it only cost $5.00. As an ADD person who constantly wants to check email, look at pictures, run things down on the internet, and a myriad of other things, this is just what I need.
Well, I hope to keep in touch with you every couple of days and tell you what a great thing it is to study all day.
Right now I am reading through Josephus (first-century Jewish historian) as well as the Dictionary of New Testament Background in preparation for a class I plan to teach in the spring called “2nd Temple Jewish History, Leaders, and Literature.” I also plan to spend a great deal of time reading and studying the nature of the very in Koine Greek literature (that will get your blood going). If you have any questions just leave a comment and I’ll try to get back to you soon.
Reading and Writing (but no rithmatic),