Can You Say "Stoked"? A History of the Interpretation of Mark's Gospel

Any day that you get over $400 worth of books without having to pay for them is a good day indeed! UPS, via a prominent theological journal, dropped off Sean P. Kealy's 2-volume set "A History of the Interpretation of the Gospel of Mark: Through the Twentieth Century" and I'm sooooo stoked; I seriously cannot wait to delve into these and write up a review for the journal!!! More than anything, though, I'm just pumped to get to learn from them. Hopefully, I will get to share some of Kealy's wisdom here on Pisteuomen. We'll see how it goes!

The Gospel of Mark Group

I just wanted to let everyone out there know that I started a group on Facebook titled "The Gospel of Mark Group". The group is open to anyone and will deal with all-things-Mark! I will start discussion threads (and have already) and you can too. So, if you haven't joined, be sure to. I think that if you click the link below, you can be taken to the group page (if you have a Facebook account!). Ideally, I think it would be a great idea for those interested in exegesis and interpretation to start a group for each canonical text. This could be a great thing and I hope people get involved!
Gospel of Mark Group

Here's a list of all who have joined so far (a list which I don't intend to keep updating but am providing just so you can get a feel for some of the people you might get to interact with):

* T. Micahel W. Halcomb
* Shane Raynor
* Owen Weddle
* Allan R. Bevere
* Tom Verenna
* Scott Storie
* Mark Goodacre
* James McGrath
* Tom Vansant
* Stephen Carlson
* Craig L. Adams
* Andrew Glos
* Richard Heyduck

If you're not part of the group, what are you waiting on! Sign-up and join!!!


Was Jesus Four-Eyed?

Someone may have thought so. Apparently, two Google searches, back-to-back, resulted in landings at Pisteuomen. The first search was: "Mary, mother of Jesus, raped". The second one was: "Four-eyed Baby". I don't know, maybe the line of thinking was that if Mary was raped, Jesus had some type of bodily impairment. Either way, it's always intersting to see how people end up at one's site! Needless to say, I've never seen a manger scene with a four-eyed baby Jesus!!!


Awarded Teaching Position At Cornerstone University

I just recieved an email from the Faculty Services department at Cornerstone University that I have been awarded a teaching position in the PGS (Professional & Graduate Studies) program there. The position offers placement in the accelerated program and is a bit different from the typical day-to-day course schedule. The official title is "Adjunct Faculty" so, this is not a tenured position but still, I'm very excited about the opportunity to get some classroom experience. Upon taking the job, some of the courses (among others) that I'd teach are:

* Principles of Biblical Studies
* Inductive Study of Ephesians
* Interpretive Analysis of Old Testament Literature
* Gospel Literature (emphasis on Mark) Yay!!!
* Mosaic Literature
* Christian Doctrine


A Costly Freedom: A Theological Reading of Mark's Gospel

I went out to sweep a foot of snow off of my front porch steps today when I noticed in the mailbox a package from ATR. Inside the envelope was a review copy of Brendan Byrne's "A Costly Freedom". I almost bought this a couple of months ago but now I'm glad I held off. I may post some thoughts about the book here on Pisteuomen as I jot down notes and begin writing the review. Needless to say, I'm quite excited about this one!


Update On My Life & Pisteuomen

Prior to the first of this year, I had been blogging for about a year and a half. In that time period, I never missed a day of updating Pisteuomen. However, with the advent of 2009, a few things changed and in many ways, I had to temporarily cut back on my blogging activities. While I plan to write a post some time in the near future with more specifics, here, I just want to be quite general as to what's been going on in my life.

First of all, just before the advent of 2009 (December 2008) I was quite busy on a number of projects. I was filling out PhD applications, finishing up two conference papers and doing my ministerial duties. As January rolled around, the motherboard on my computer melted and I had to get it replaced; this led to a nearly 2-week hiatus.

Second of all, when I recieved my computer back in mid-January, I needed to finish my two papers for the conferences immediately. This meant a 3-4 week leave from blogging.

Third of all, at the end of January, I started my own logo/web design business. Things have been going GREAT so far! This is not easy, however and drumming up business is quite a consuming task

Fourth of all, I have been interviewing with a local university to teach biblical studies. I should find out in a few days if I will get hired or not.

Fifth of all, I have been accepted to a number of PhD programs and am still waiting to hear back from a few before I make my final decision. This is an incredibly important decision as it will determine much of my future (both immediate and distant).

Sixth of all, I have been contacted recently by a number of reputable journals to write some reviews and whatnot for them. This too, takes time.

Seventh of all, I will begin working with a new German tutor this week...once again, time consuming.

Eighth of all, as many of you know, the wife and I are adopting. At this point everything is complete from our side. Now, we're just waiting for a court date, a child referral and to fly to Ethiopia to pick up our baby.

There are some other things I could list but that is enough for now. Needless to say, I have been incredibly busy and to be honest with you, I miss blogging. I plan to start back on a more consistent basis at the beginning of March; I'm hoping this works out! I plan on posting another update soon and hope to be sharing some exciting news with you then. Thanks to everyone for reading Pisteuomen and for encouraging me. I hope to be interacting with my readers again on a more consistent basis in the near future.


SBL Paper (Midwest Region 2009)

Yesterday went very well. I got GREAT feedback, some very good questions were asked and felt like I fielded all of the inquiries quite well. I had a good time. I noted in my last post that I'd post an audio version of the paper, so, that is below. Again, the paper was titled: "A 'New' Reason for Jesus' Death: Reading Mark Socio-Culturally". If you have any thoughts, comments or questions, please, feel free to leave them.

*A new, more user-friendly audio player has been posted. With this player, due to some of the fuzziness of the audio, it sounds at times like I have a lisp, which I do not. Anyway, enjoy!



I just arrived at Olivet Nazarene University for the 2009 Midwest Region SBL. I'm looking forward to some great papers and sessions today. I heard Beth McCabe speak a couple of years ago at SCJ and am looking forward to hearing her again. After hearing James McGrath at annual SBL last year, I'm also looking forward to his paper. I give my offering around 3:30. I will post an audio version of that tomorrow. For now, though, Happy VDay.


PhD Acceptance

I just got word that I was accepted for PhD work in New Testament studies. Of course, this is the first I've heard and there are still several institutions left to hear from. I don't want to give any details here but I will as soon as things begin to solidify. All I know is that this is great and that I'm soooooo excited that I'll get to do PhD work for the next few years!!!


Midwest Region SBL Paper

I just found the schedule/list of abstracts for the 2009 Midwest Region SBL in my inbox a little bit ago. I'm presenting in Gospels Section 5C which is on Saturday, February 14th from 3-3:30pm. This is right before James McGrath presents his paper. The title of my paper is: "A ‘New’ Reason for Jesus’ Death: Reading Mark Socio-Culturally". Hope to see some of you there!!!


ATR Book Review Up

One of my book reviews has shown up in the latest ATR. Here's the info:

Reviewed by T. Michael W. Halcomb in ATR/91:1 (150-51). Jesus: The Village Psychiatrist. By Donald Capps. Louisville, KY.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008. 192 pp. $19.95 (paper).

Free Meal at Denny's (Today Only!)

I just got back from Denny's where finding a parking space was kind of aggravating and standing in the cold MI weather wasn't too fun. But...I only stood outside for about 10 minutes. Then, I went inside and got a raincheck from the manager that is good until Feb. 13th. I decided to take the raincheck when I found out it was taking people over an hour to get their meals (not worth it!!!). It's all part of a promotion that Denny's is running today. If you go to the restaurant, you can get one of the Grand Slam meals for free. If you don't have the time to wait or don't want to, take your raincheck and be on your way!