Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Greek Luke Highlights in a Semester

Greek classes in Kansas City are fairly hard to come by; I took my first course online through a seminary in New Orleans (which is a mistake—never, ever, ever, ever, EVER take an online Koine class, especially if it's your first time), then had to take a specially designed intermediate course put together by my friend and New Testament professor at CBTS, David May. This spring (2013), there are no local NT Greek courses being offered in Kansas City, to my knowledge. However, I am eagerly looking forward to a class on the Greek text of Romans being offered by Nazarene Theological Seminary in the fall. In the meantime, I've decided to keep my Koine fresh by designing my own little study program on the Gospel of Luke.

For the first 17 weeks of 2013, I'll be working through selected passages of Luke using Martin Culy, Mikeal Parsons, and Joshua Stigall's Luke: A Handbook on the Greek Text (Baylor, 2010). I had originally planned to work through the entire text, until I realized that the Gospel of Luke contains 1,151 verses—which would mean I would be translating roughly 68 verses of text each week for a 17-week semester. At my friend Patrick's suggestion, however, I decided to select important English passages and translate the Greek text of those selections, instead. Below is my reading plan, in case you're interested in following along with me (or if you want to send me a better suggestion for one or more weeks). It's admittedly a rough overview of one of the most theologically intense narratives in the New Testament, but one that I feel will keep my Greek skills from getting too rusty before my Romans course next fall.

Week 1—January 1-6
Luke 1:1-4, 46-55, 67-80

Week 2—January 7-13
Luke 2:8-20

Week 3—January 14-20
Luke 3:1-23

Week 4—January 21-27
Luke 4:16-21, 5:33-39

Week 5—January 28 – February 3
Luke 6:17-38

Week 6—February 4-10
Luke 6:38-49

Week 7—February 11-17
Luke 7:11-17, 8:4-8

Week 8—February 18-24
Luke 8:26-39

Week 9—February 25 – March 3
Luke 9:12-17, 23-36

Week 10—March 4-10
Luke 10:30-37, 11:1-4

Week 11—March 11-17
Luke 12:22-34

Week 12—March 18-24 
Luke 15:11-32

Week 13—March 25-31
Luke 17:20-21, 18:31-34, 19:29-40

Week 14—April 1-7
Luke 20:45-21:6

Week 15—April 8-14
Luke 22:14-23

Week 16—April 15-21
Luke 23:32-56

Week 17—April 22-28
Luke 24:1-7, 28-32, 50-53

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

Taking a leaf out of my dear friend Jay's book (that is, Jay is my friend, not his book), I've decided to compose a few top-ten lists, just in time for the new year. As is the case with Jay's lists, these are in no particular order. Just a list of favorites. And they may very well change tomorrow.

The Last Temptation of Christ
Citizen Kane
The Big Chill
Barton Fink/O Brother Where Art Thou (it's a tie!)
Little Big Man
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
The Big Lebowski
Pineapple Express (I know, I know...)

Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
Everything Is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Last Temptation of Christ, by Nikos Kazantzakis
Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer
The Inferno, by Dante Alighieri
The Kingdom of God Is Within You, by Leo Tolstoy
Jesus for President, by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw
The Substance of Faith and Other Cotton Patch Sermons, by Clarence Jordan
The Greek New Testament, 4th Revised Edition, ed. by Barbara Aland et al.

"Kodachrome," by Paul Simon
"In the Early Morning Rain," by Peter, Paul, and Mary (Gordon Lightfood cover)
"Lost in My Mind," by The Head and the Heart
"Messes of Men," by mewithoutYou
"goodbye, I!," by mewithoutYou
"Grist for the Malady Mill," by mewithoutYou
"Sprawl II—Mountains Beyond Mountains," by Arcade Fire
"Helplessness Blues," by Fleet Foxes
"You Have Never Lived Because You Have Never Died," by Listener
"Rocky Mountain High," by John Denver
BONUS: "Send Me On My Way," by Rusted Root

TV Shows
The West Wing
Game of Thrones
The Walking Dead
Arrested Development
30 Rock
The Daily Show/Colbert Report (it's a tie!)
BONUS: Bob's Burgers. For a cartoon, it's such a smart, witty show.

Puerto Rico
Settlers of Catan
The Game of Things

Wendell Berry
William Trowbridge
Bin Ramke
Ron Padgett
Gabriel Gudding
Allen Ginsberg
William Blake
Billy Collins (I'm not ashamed to admit it)
Rainer Maria Rilke
Charles Bukowski

Books of the Bible (ah, what the heck—this one's in order)
1. Mark
2. John
3. Luke 
4. Matthew
5. 1 John
6. Revelation
7. Jonah
8. Amos
9. Hosea
10. Isaiah

Monday, December 3, 2012

Read Through LXX Isaiah in a Year—Part 1 of 356

Even the donkey knows where its food comes from (v.3).
Okay, so I'm not actually going to make a post every single day on the Greek text of Isaiah. You can now emit a sigh of relief. However, unless it becomes too taxing on my time, I do plan to occasionally post an update on how translation has been going. With my still-limited knowledge of Greek, it's going to be tough, but my hope is that this reading program will strengthen my ability a bit. Especially exciting is the fact that I get to be a part of a large group of participating scholars and students whose skills far outshine my own, so I have quite a reference network at my fingertips. I'm working on Isaiah 1:1-25 this week. Below are verses 1-5 with my own translation. If something doesn't look right, feel free to leave a comment.

(LXX Isaiah)

Chapter One
1O”rasiV h}n ei‹den HJsai¯aV uiJo;V Ajmw;V, h’n ei‹de kata; thæV IjoudaivaV kai; kata; IJerousalh;m, ejn basileiva÷ Ojzivou, kai; Ijwavqam, kai; A[caz, kai; Ejzekivou, oi’ ejbasivleusan thæV IjoudaivaV.

The vision that was seen by Isaiah son of Amos, that he saw concerning Judah and concerning Jerusalem, during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Ezekiah, rulers of Judah:

2A[koue oujrane;, kai; ejnwtivzou ghæ, o”ti KuvrioV ejlavlhsen, uiJou;V ejgevnnhsa kai; u”ywsa, aujtoi; dev me hjqevthsan.

Listen, Heavens! Pay attention, Earth!
For the Lord has spoken:
“I have raised and brought up sons,
but they have set me aside.

3E[gnw bouÆV to;n kthsavmenon, kai; o[noV th;n favtnhn touÆ kurivou aujtouÆ` Ijsrah;l dev me oujk e[gnw, kai; oJ laovV me ouj sunhæken.

The ox knows the one who owns it,
and the donkey [knows] where his owner feeds him[1];
But Israel does not know me,
the people do not understand me!  

4Oujai; e[qnoV aJmartwlo;n, lao;V plhvrhV aJmartiwÆn, spevrma ponhro;n, uiJoi; a[nomoi` ejgkatelivpate to;n Kuvrion, kai; parwrgivsate to;n a”gion touÆ Ijsrahvl.

Ah! How horrible!
A nation of sinfulness,
the people totally immersed in sin,
spawn of evil,
children of wickedness!
They have abandoned the Lord, and
they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel.

5Tiv e[ti plhghæte prostiqevnteV ajnomivan~ paÆsa kefalh; eijV povnon, kai; paÆsa kardiva eijV luvphn`

Why do y’all continue to be smacked around?
Why persist in wickedness?
The whole head in pain,
the whole heart in grief!

[1] Literally, the donkey [knows] the manger of his lord. I translated this phrase differently to avoid problematic and de-contextualized Christian parallels.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Work Through The Septuagint Text of Isaiah in a Year

With a nod to Septuagint blogger John Meade, a group of scholars, students, bibliobloggers, and Greek-lovin' laity has formed an online community to work through the Greek text of Isaiah over the course of a year. The read-through plan seems pretty feasible: roughly five verses a day, five days a week. Check out the Facebook group here.