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…)

Book Review: Thankful for Another Comment on My First Book

Prof. Corrine Carvalho has kindly provided the third review on my first book Mapping Judah’s Fate in Ezekiel’s Oracles against the Nations. The review is published at the Catholic Biblical Quarterly 80 (2018): 125-127. Below are the printed pages:

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Announcement: Paper Accepted in HTS Theologiese Studies/Theological Studies

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Do you remember my paper on Ezekiel’s Gog of Magog delivered at the SBL international meeting in Seoul last July? I am happy to announce that it has passed the double-blind peer review of HTS Theologiese Studies/Theological Studies (ISI listed, South Africa based)!

One of the anonymous reviewers mistakenly considers me a male, (more…)

Lecture: The Happy Ending in the Winter Semester 2014/2015

As a preamble to one of the last few lessons of the Hebrew tutorial I led on Ezekiel’s Oracles against the Nations (OAN), I showed the students the following anecdote (excerpt taken from http://tragicfarce.com/2012/09/06/gog-and-magog-are-at-work-in-the-middle-east-bush-told-chirac/):

But before Chirac could elaborate on that point, Bush veered into another direction.

“Jacques,” he said, “You and I share a common faith. You’re Roman Catholic, I’m Methodist, but we are both Christians committed to the teachings of the Bible. We share one common Lord”

Chirac said nothing. He didn’t know where Bush was going with this.

“Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East,” Bush said. ‘’Biblical prophecies are being fulfilled.”

Gog and Magog? What was that?, thought Chirac.

“This confrontation,” Bush said, “is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a new age begins.”

Chirac was bewildered. The American president, he thought, sounded dangerously fanatical.

After the call ended, Chirac called together his senior staff members and relayed the conversation.

“He said, ‘Gog and Magog.’ Do any of you know what he is talking about?”

Blank faces and head shakes.

“Find out,” Chirac said.

Well, guess whom the French government contacted to find out who Gog is? (more…)

Lecture: I Love Teaching!

Time flies! Can you believe that we’ve already passed the 9th week of this semester?! After the Christmas break, there’ll be 5 more lessons until I finish leading the course on Ezekiel’s oracles against the nations at the University of Göttingen. A few students and I, despite some initial struggles, still commit ourselves to climbing out of the warm beds and attending the class every Thursday morning at 08:15, and surely we’ve been rewarded with some fun in the class 😉 Here’s a summary of what we’ve done so far:

1. In week 2, we went through the ancient historiography relevant to the literary setting of the book of Ezekiel. Before the class, I cut out pieces of paper, on which were written relevant chapters and verses of biblical passages. In the class, the students rummaged through their bibles until they located those passages, and worked out what these texts were about. With several other quotes from extra-biblical sources, the students then rearranged the papers in a relative chronology and reconstructed the history of each foreign nation, taking into consideration the nation’s relation with Judah at the same time. After the students had presented the outcome on board, I then explained the history of each nation in more detail. This exercise, in my opinion, is a good way to get the students work closely with the primary sources. In this way, the teacher occupies less space to hand down year numbers, debates, facts and conclusions in a limited time span and opens more space for students to work out the inner logic of the data themselves. Here come the future historians! 🙂

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This is the history of the foreign nations that the students have reconstructed 🙂 In hindsight, I realize that I should have cut the pieces of papers in a bigger size, so that the words on the paper could be more clearly seen. Anyway, we were a small tutorial, so I ended up gathering the students around me and explained the history to them.

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Lecture: My First Teaching Day This Semester

Two days ago (on 23.10.2014), my excitement woke me up at 04.00. The chilling 6 degree Celcius could not damp or freeze my excitement. Having quickly climbed out of the warm bed, I reread the typed lecture notes over and over again. Just before my departure from home, I double-checked to make sure that the bibles, hand-outs, PowerPoints, computer, mouse, pens, sticky tapes and teaching cards were all lying safe and sound in my backpack. Then, I started my way slowly under the street lights to the university building where my first lesson in this semester was going to take place.

The whole building was lit up in warm yellow, there was one cleaner diligently mopping up at the entrance. (more…)