Finland: Work, Eat, Play in Helsinki

At the beginning of 2018, I received an email from a professor I had never met before (Prof. Hannes Bezzel). He kindly considered my published dissertation “an important monograph” on the subject of “prophecy and foreign nations,” so he invited me to present a paper at the EABS conference held in Helsinki in August, 2018. He informed me that his research group did not have the funding to cover the flights and accommodation of the invitees, but promised that all the invited papers were to be published in an edited volume. I did not plan to attend this conference, especially when it was held closely after the SABS conference in Indonesia, but then I succumbed quickly to the temptation of publication. As you may know, publication is very important for junior researchers. 😉

Work

Therefore, at the end of my presentation and attendance at the SABS conference in Indonesia, I flew over half the globe to arrive at Helsinki and presented the paper at the “Prophecy and Foreign Nations” session on 01.08.2018. Here is the outline of the papers presented at the session (avaiable at the SBL website):

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Prophecy and Foreign Nations (EABS)
8/01/2018
9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Room: P 724 – Yliopistonkatu 3, Porthania

Theme: Foreign Nations in the Book of Ezekiel

Hannes Bezzel, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Presiding

Uwe Becker, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Presiding

Lydia Lee, North-West University (South Africa)
The Tyrian Ruler in MT and LXX Ezekiel 28:11-19 (24 min)
Tag(s): Latter Prophets – Ezekiel (Biblical Literature – Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint))

Reettakaisa Sofia Salo, University of Münster
Ezekiel 35: Tradition-Historical and Redaction-Critical Aspects (24 min)
Tag(s): 1 Esdras (Biblical Literature – Deuterocanonical Works)

Sarah Koehler, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Downfall Description: Doomed Edom in Ezekiel’s Speech (24 min)
Tag(s): Old Testament (Ideology & Theology)

Andrew Langley, University of Oxford
The Vindication of YHWH in Ezekiel’s Oracles against the Nations. (24 min)
Tag(s): Latter Prophets – Ezekiel (Biblical Literature – Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint))

Micaël Bürki, Université de Lausanne
“I’m a God,” “I Made the Nile”: The Pride of Tyre and Egypt in Ezekiel 28-32 (24 min)
Tag(s): Latter Prophets (not including The Twelve) (Biblical Literature – Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Latter Prophets – The Twelve (Biblical Literature – Hebrew Bible/Old Testament/Greek OT (Septuagint)), Ancient Near East – Neo-Assyria (History & Culture)

In order not to go over time, I presented a shortened version of my paper at the session. One of the invitees (Micaël Bürki from Université de Lausanne) did not show up to present his paper, (more…)

Reviews: Three More Comments on My First Book

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Prof. John Strong has kindly reviewed my first book on Review of Biblical Literature. If you have read my monograph entitled Mapping Judah’s Fate in Ezekiel’s Oracles against the Nations, you would know that I have cited and discussed his 1993 PhD dissertation entitled “Ezekiel’s Oracles against the Nations within the Context of His Message” (more…)

Announcement: Paper Accepted in Biblical Interpretation

15685152Do you still remember the Esther paper I presented at the SABS conference in Indonesia last July?

I am thrilled to announce that the paper was accepted for publication at the innovative academic journal Biblical Interpretation: A Journal of Contemporary Approaches (Dutch-based) in January 2019. (more…)

Resource: Two Great Books on the Textual History of the Hebrew Bible

For those interested in the textual history of the Hebrew Bible, I would recommend these two great books, from which I learn a great deal:

1. Ernst Würthwein and Alexander Achilles Fischer, The Text of the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Biblia Hebraica (3rd ed.; trans. Erroll F. Rhodes; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans: 2014). 20959398

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Book Reviews: Thankful for the Comments on My First Book

Prof. Johan Lust has kindly reviewed my first book Mapping Judah’s Fate in Ezekiel’s Oracles against the Nations. The review is published at Ephemerides theologicae Lovanienses 93 (2017): 152-153. For your reading convenience, here are the photographed pages:

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(more…)

Germany: How Much “Progress” We Have Made after 500 Years of Reformation!

It is our human responsibility to remember what has happened, to try to understand why, and to ask how things could have been different. It is our Christian responsibility to reassess the structures of our beliefs and the effects of these beliefs on others. It is both a human and a Christian responsibility to take an active role for the sake of the future and begin by rejecting dehumanizing views and actions.

Brooks Schramm and Kirsi I. Stjerna,

Martin Luther, The Bible, and The Jewish People (2012)


1. Introduction

October 31, 2017 will be the five-hundredth anniversary of the posting of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, which initiated the Protestant Reformation. You see, I was born and have grown up in a Protestant environment. I used to imagine Martin Luther a superhero, who had the guts and intellect to challenge the religious perversity in his time. How ignorant of me! I still think that Luther has some merits, but now I realize that Luther and his contemporary were also the “pioneers” promoting the “equality” between animals and human beings. Can we say that they were the earliest “animal rights activists”?

2. Martin Luther on the “Equality” between Human Beings and Animals

Luther equated the papal church to animals:

  1. In 1523, Luther called the popes, bishops, sophists, and monks “the crude asses’ heads” / “die groben Eselköpfe” (cited from That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew / Daß Jesus Christus ein geborener Jüde sei).
  2. In one Table Talk / Tischrede dated to 1533, he named the cardinals and bishops “bloodhounds” / “Bluthunde.”
  3. In another Table Talk / Tishrede dated to 1540s, he bestowed the title “a sow” / “eine Sau” upon his theological enemy, Johannes Eck.
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On a pamphlet entitled “Papstesel” (1523), Lucas Cranach the Elder, a German painter and a fervent follower of Luther, pictured the Pope as a monster with a donkey head, fish skin, female breasts, and oxen hoof. Photo credit: ZEIT Geschichte 05/2016: 33 (N/B: I have blurred the original picture).

Luther equated the Jews to animals: (more…)