Read The Pauline Corpus In 1-Year

A friend recently asked me to help create a reading plan that covered the Pauline Corpus in the time frame of a year. So, I used a nifty little app I have and I created the following timeline below, which goes from Romans to Hebrews (yes, I included Hebrews!). The plan starts at Feb 1 since the new year has already started but it can be modified easily enough. Also, it is only like 5-10 verses per day, which is easy enough, even in Greek. Anyway, here it is, enjoy:


Greek NT Reading Plan

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my New Year's resolution was to read the Greek New Testament at least once all the way through, from start to finish, this year. I set up a reading plan for myself, which is pretty rigorous given all the things I have going on. However, I am sticking to it. I'm pleased to say that I'm still on track. So far, I have completed both Mt and Mk. Tomorrow, I begin Lk, which will take about a week and a half. I will say, it has been very enlightening reading through the New Testament this way. I have really started to see the little idiosyncrasies of the writers, that is, the little phrases they like to use over, their favorite words or images, etc. This is very cool to pick up on. I've also noticed word connections throughout each narrative that I've never noticed before; something that I think would've remained lost on me if I had only continued reading in English. Some of these connections are incredibly valuable on the interpretive and theological scales and have definitely reshaped my view of both Gospels a little bit so far. Anyway, here's to reading Lk and staying on track!


A Manifesto of Scared, Anti-Intellectual Christians

We believe that Christians should be :
* Dim lights in the world, uneducated and not knowing much
* Afraid of learning, scared of being challenged
* Circular reasoners, ready to ignore other views
* Closed-minded people, childish in faith
* Stunted in spiritual growth, rejecting deep truths
* Antagonistic toward studying, lazy and lackluster congregants
* Slim on wisdom, ignorant in theological disposition
* Unskilled arguers, incapable of coherent thoughts
* Unprepared to give a defense, stupid in season and out of season
* Haters of difficult matters, suckers of pop-theology's breasts
* Advocates of cheap grace, seizers of anything surfacy and easy
* Critics of exegesis, deniers of the command to love God with the whole mind
* Pseudo-pietists, rejectors of academics
* Pharisaic to the core, Philistine-like to the bone
* Belligerent about the Bible, arrogant about Jesus
* Sell-outs to culture, attention-whores
* Offended easily, ready to crucify the learned
* Politically charged, unmotivated to serve
* Fakers of sanctification, unwilling to give the Spirit more to work with
* Adopters of fads, globally and missionally inept
* Distorters of scripture, first-rate prooftexters
* Tamed in desire to learn, un-hungry churchgoers
* Hoarders of Bibles, biblical illiterates by choice
* Deaf to a word finely spoken, blind to the need for good thinkers
* Prone to take someone's word for it, grovelers over motivational speeches
* Desirers of everything but Bible reading skills, the problem with today's church


Midwest SBL Paper Accepted

I just got word that my submission to the annual Midwest SBL meeting has been accepted. There, I will be presenting in the Gospels section and I will be building upon my previous work "Was Mark Framed? : Killing the Messenger in Mark’s Tragedy," 5th Annual Western Fellowship of Professors and Scholars, Manhattan, KS, October 8-9, 2010. The paper for Midwest that I am offering is titled: "Behold, I Send My Messenger" : The Content and Contour of Mark’s Tragedy. In April, I will take another approach to this topic when I present at a conference in Cincinnati, a paper titled "A Fine Tale Beautifully Told": Unmasking the Tragic Elements of Mark's Story. Additionally, I will be presenting at least 3 (but probably 4) other research papers at various conferences this spring, which means that this semester, I will have reached my 25th paper presentation. Needless to say, I'm up to my head in research and writing these days!


Jay-Z On God

I've been reading through Jay-Z's (Shawn Carter) recently released book titled Decoded, which I've quite enjoyed. Here's an excerpt from one of the sections of the book. While I do disagree with his conclusions, I think it is beneficial for many Christians, especially those who ignorantly and angrily bash him (see Youtube, here's an example of folks doing this on my page), to see. They seriously need to chill out. Anyway, here's what he says:

"My grandfather was a pastor—an Elder, they called them—in the Church of God in Christ, a Pentecostal denomination. He had the same name as my father, Abnis Reid, so they called my father AJ, for Abnis Junior. My grandmother Ruby was a deaconess in the same church. My father came from a strict, religious household, but sanctified churches are rooted in African traditions, so music, especially drumming—even if it’s only drumming by clapping your hands together—played a big part of the service. Worship is never a quiet thing in the Church of God in Christ congregation, people passing out, speaking in tongues, or tarrying for hours until they become possessed with the Holy Ghost and the church mothers, dressed in nurse’s uniforms, come and revive them.

My father’s parents were strict. Secular music like the Motown sound was forbidden in AJ’s house, but he snuck and listened anyway. The whole family had to be in church all the time, like four, five days a week. His three sisters couldn’t wear makeup or pants, and his two brothers spent most of the week in church, too. Church wasn’t a major part of my life growing up, as it had been for my father—soul in our house usually referred to the music. But when you grow up in a place like Bed-Stuy, church is everywhere. So is mosque. So are a thousand other ways of believing. Street corners were where all these different beliefs met—Pentecostals arguing scripture with Jehovah’s Witnesses, clean-cut brothers in bow ties and dark suits brushing past cats wearing fezzes and long beards, someone with a bullhorn or a mic and an amplifier booming out a sermon. We were all just living life, trying to get through, survive, thrive, whatever, but in the back of our minds, there was always a larger plan that we tried to make sense of. I was always fascinated by religion and curious about people’s different ideas. And like everyone, I’ve always wanted answers to the basic questions. Still, by the time I reached my teens, the only time I’d be anywhere near a church was when someone I knew died, and even then I wouldn’t necessarily go in.

But I wasn’t looking for church, anyway; I was looking for an explanation.

I think for some people life is always like those street corners in Brooklyn, with everyone arguing for the superiority of their own beliefs. I believe that religion is the thing that separates and controls people. I don’t believe in the fire-and-brimstone shit, the idea that God will punish people for eternity in a burning hell. I believe in one God. That’s the thing that makes the most sense to me. There’s wisdom in all kinds of religious traditions—I’ll take from Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, whatever. The parts that make the most sense feel like they’re coming from the same voice, the same God. Most of all, I don’t think what I believe should matter to anyone else; I’m not trying to stop anyone from believing whatever they want. I believe in God, and that’s really enough for me.

I don’t spend a lot of time on records talking about spiritual ideas in an explicit way, although I think a lot of my music sneaks in those big questions—of good and evil, fate and destiny, suffering and inequality. I think about life mostly in pragmatic terms: I think about behavior andintention in the here and now. But I also think about Karma. It’s a complicated idea that I’ve tried to make sense of. At the heart of a lot of these competing ideas of the afterlife and heaven and hell and thug angels and all that is the idea that if the universe is just, things have to even out eventually, somehow. And sometimes that’s a scary thought. I’ve done things I know are wrong. There are times when I feel like I’ve suffered for those things, that I’ve paid back for my mistakes in spades. But then there are times when I look around me, at the life I have today, and think I’m getting away with murder. It’s something a lot of us who come from hard places go through, and maybe we feel a certain amount of survivor’s guilt for it. I never imagined I’d be where I am today. There’s a line in Fade to Black, the concert film we did for The Black Album, where I say, “I sometimes step back and see myself from the outside and say, who is that guy?” Over time I’ve worked to get more clarity about my past and present and to unify my outside shell and soul, but it’s ongoing. Inside, there’s still part of me that expects to wake up tomorrow in my bedroom in apartment 5C in Marcy, slide on my gear, run down the pissy stairway, and hit the block, one eye over my shoulder."


New Site: Getting Ethiopic

In addition to the previous language sites I have designed, I decided today to go ahead and launch another one that is a work-in-progress. As the title of this post reveals, the site's name is "Getting Ethiopic". Right now, I have included media on the site that will assist folks in learning the Amharic Fidel / Feedel. Given that the Fidel is so intimidating and overwhelming, I felt this the necessary first step. I have included readings, videos, songs, interactive modules and more, to assist those wanting to begin learning Ethiopic languages. While most of the materials currently on the site focus on Amharic (modern Ethiopic), these resources will also assist folks in learning Ge'ez (classical Ethiopic). Given that this is an incredibly busy season in life for me, I'm not sure how often within the next couple of months I will get to add data to the site, which is another reason I chose to go ahead and launch it (no need to have it just being dormant). However, if/when I get the opportunity, I will update it. Anyway, head on over to Getting Ethiopic. Then, when you're done, check out my Getting Theological Languages portal and my other language sites: Getting Greek, Getting Hebrew, Getting Aramaic, Getting (Theological) German and Getting (Theological) French.


Halcomb Caricatured

So, Daniel McClellan decided that after watching one of my recent YouTube videos, that it would be fun to caricature me, you know, like those guys do that you see sitting at amusement parks with their pencils and easels, they guys who make you look all crazy and distorted and mis-shaped. Well, here's his rendition of me, which makes my face look super huge and quite oblong but actually did make me lol. Watch yourself around him or you just might be next. :)


Reading The Greek New Testament

One of the goals I have for myself this year is to read all the way through the Greek New Testament. Certainly, I have read a lot of it in Greek and have also hopped around quite a bit. But, I have never made myself read straight through. So, I'm giving it a go. Initially, I planned to use January to do it. But with several projects going on, I don't want to overwhelm myself, so, I pushed it back to include January and February. This seems much more manageable. Here's my reading plan:

NA27 Reading Schedule (Jan - Feb, 2011)

[X] January 01, 2011 Matt 1–5
[X] January 02, 2011 Matt 6–9
[X] January 03, 2011 Matt 10–12
[X] January 04, 2011 Matt 13–15
[X] January 05, 2011 Matt 16–20
[X] January 06, 2011 Matt 21–23
[X] January 07, 2011 Matt 24–25
[X] January 08, 2011 Matt 26–28
[X] January 09, 2011 Mark 1–4
[X] January 10, 2011 Mark 5–7
[X] January 11, 2011 Mark 8–10
[X] January 12, 2011 Mark 11–13
[X] January 13, 2011 Mark 14–16
[X] January 14, 2011 Luke 1–2
[ ] January 15, 2011 Luke 3–5
[ ] January 16, 2011 Luke 6–8
[ ] January 17, 2011 Luke 9–11
[ ] January 18, 2011 Luke 12–14
[ ] January 19, 2011 Luke 15–17
[ ] January 20, 2011 Luke 18–20
[ ] January 21, 2011 Luke 21–23
[ ] January 22, 2011 Luke 24
[ ] January 23, 2011 John 1–5
[ ] January 24, 2011 John 6–7
[ ] January 25, 2011 John 8–10
[ ] January 26, 2011 John 11–13
[ ] January 27, 2011 John 14–17
[ ] January 28, 2011 John 18–21
[ ] January 29, 2011 Acts 1–4
[ ] January 30, 2011 Acts 5–7
[ ] January 31, 2011 Acts 8–11
[ ] February 01, 2011 Acts 12–14
[ ] February 02, 2011 Acts 15–18
[ ] February 03, 2011 Acts 19–22
[ ] February 04, 2011 Acts 23–28
[ ] February 05, 2011 Rom 1–2
[ ] February 06, 2011 Rom 3–7
[ ] February 07, 2011 Rom 8–12
[ ] February 08, 2011 Rom 13–16
[ ] February 09, 2011 1 Cor 1–8
[ ] February 10, 2011 1 Cor 9–13
[ ] February 11, 2011 1 Cor 14–16
[ ] February 12, 2011 2 Cor 1–7
[ ] February 13, 2011 2 Cor 8–13
[ ] February 14, 2011 Gal 1–6
[ ] February 15, 2011 Eph 1–6
[ ] February 16, 2011 Phil 1–4
[ ] February 17, 2011 Col 1–4, 1 Thess 1–5
[ ] February 18, 2011 2 Thess 1–3, 1 Tim 1–6
[ ] February 19, 2011 2 Tim 1–4
[ ] February 20, 2011 Titus 1–3, Philem
[ ] February 21, 2011 Heb 1–10
[ ] February 22, 2011 Heb 11–13
[ ] February 23, 2011 James 1–5, 1 Pet 1–5
[ ] February 24, 2011 2 Pet 1–3
[ ] February 25, 2011 1 John 1–5, 2 John, 3 John, Jude
[ ] February 26, 2011 Rev 1–7
[ ] February 27, 2011 Rev 8–16
[ ] February 28, 2011 Rev 17–22