Archive for March, 2010

Turkey Preamble

Well, unbelievable, but true . . . the time has come! Here we are the night before one of our biggest adventures ever, and we are still peddling as fast as we can to finish the tick list of things to do. We find ourselves almost exhausted before we start! I have had an incredibly intense schedule in the weeks leading up to this trip, some of the pressure not of my own making. I managed to finish the work on producing the third edition of my New Testament Greek Primer, and I hope to have this for use in classes beginning this coming fall. I also turned in the manuscript for a new publication entitled Essays on Revelation: Appropriating Yesterday’s Apocalypse in Today’s World. This book of twelve essays, two each by six authors, myself included, will be published sometime later this year. Both of these manuscripts were turned in the same week. On top of that, I had the on-going development of my new multimedia platform for my classroom presentations. I currently am working on my course, Exploring the New Testament. Even just two or three lectures can take as many as 70–80 hours of development crammed into one week, often working all seven days.

Jean for her part has been pushed hard at her office due to the acquisition of another law firm by her firm. Some of this work required Jean to go to Tampa for several days to be the point person helping the new office in its transition. When you are out of town, naturally, all the things needing doing at home simply lie unattended. Then, the yard is coming awake from its winter slumber, and if the beds do not get treated and mulched now, you will have misery to pay in May. Further, Jean has been the sole agent responsible for researching, assembling, and securing all travel plans for this trip in all details with all the complications of being in five countries in a month’s time for academic research involving matters of the ancient world in foreign places whose names one cannot even pronounce. What an agenda!  And on and on the list goes . . .

But now, here we are, plans made, passports in hand, just two carry-ons for each of us packed till they want to pop: clothes, toiletries, ear plugs, lip-ice, first-aid emergency kit, shoes, hats, jackets, cameras, GPS devices, backup flash drives, batteries, battery chargers, iPhones, FM transmitters, AC adaptors, doubled-filled, insurance-approved, pill prescriptions, rain parkas, travel umbrellas, notebooks, maps, information print-outs from websites, books, travel guides, contact numbers, hotels reservations, car reservations, car insurance, museum schedules—ahem—well, you get the picture—loaded for bear!!

In the meantime, our good friend, Angela Nugent, will be riding herd on the house for us while we are away. She assured Jerry that she needed no study desk or table, preferring to sit Indian style on the floor, couch, or bed. Jerry did not believe her until the minute she landed in her room, and next thing you know, there she is, squatter’s rights already established on her bed in the guest bedroom with all her stuff arranged in a nice semicircle around her! Angela is Jerry’s secretary at the seminary and works in the Center for New Testament Textual Studies. She excelled in Jerry’s intro Greek class and yet is heavily involved in the local church. She enjoys women’s ministry, currently working with youth and women’s minsitry at Williams Blvd. Baptist Church. Angela is a gifted and skilled writer and hopes to establish a serious writing career in the future.

Stay tuned to this blog here. We will try to keep you posted, in as much as we have Internet access and some time late at night when we finally get in from the day’s trek. Europe has much better wi-fi distribution than the United States, so we may be able to log in and keep up fairly well, even throughout Turkey. We will just have to see.

I also plan to post to my drkoine Twitter account and to my Facebook account, as well as email. The Twitter account has a feed to this blog, so that you can check easily there as well. So you should have multiple ways of keeping in touch.

Pray for us, for our safety, for our health, for Angela, and for a good trip.

Check ya later!

The Movie Avatar

Have you seen Avatar? What struck me the most about Avatar were two connections I perceived with the book of Revelation: (1) a fantasia story told with incredibly astonishing images, but (2) really a story of our own society’s present predicament of conflicted loyalties and demoralizing, dehumanizing values that make us less human than humanoids and less moral than a species not even from this planet. Like the director James Cameron, I think John purposefully projected a fantasia story onto the mind’s eye in order to dramatize for believers the predicament of conflicted loyalties in the imperial setting of late first-century Asia Minor.

Saving Your Paperback Books

I cringe when I watch students first open up a newly purchased—and these days, expensive—paperback book. I can predict immediately by the way they handle the book that the poor publication will not last three years. Such a waste of money! And should the book be one that is a reference volume or an important older work that is no longer easily obtained, then the loss is even greater. I have a great little hint to help you save that paperback for years to come! Watch the video, and you will see a trick I learned many years ago that has saved me hundreds of dollars over the years.