Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category
For the moment, anyway. I haven’t been posting a whole lot lately and I don’t plan to until after 2010: The Year of the PhD is over. So long, and thanks for all the comments. I’m freezing the threads now so that I don’t get distracted by new comment notifications.
There has been lots of hoo-ha recently in the biblioblog world (I was trying to type biblioblogosphere but my fingers just wouldn’t let me use such an awful word) about the lack of women who blog biblical studies. Some people have compiled lists of female bibliobloggers, some of which include me.
Um, okay. On the biblioblog list, this blog appears as a ‘related blog’ under the category of ‘Christian Spiritual, Theological, Homiletic, Patristics’. That is to say, I sometimes blog about biblical studies, but that is not the primary focus of the blog. That sounds about right to me. I blog about all kinds of things, and occasionally that includes my studies, though usually only when I come across something that I think might have wider interest for, say, pastors or other Christians. But if other people want to define things differently and include this as a biblioblog, that’s fine too. The more links, the merrier. Feel free to stick around if you find things you like. And if you can’t bear the pink and green, well that’s what the Lord gave us feed readers for.
Anyway, here’s some biblical studies. ;)
This is from Gerald Sheppard’s Wisdom as a Hermeneutical Construct in a section where he is examining Sirach 24:3-9 and observing some links to the Song of Songs:
It is possible that the choice of imagery in Sir. 24 is influenced by Song of Songs 3:6-11. The difficulty in dating the Song of Songs naturally complicates this hypothesis. However, early in the history of interpretation, the Song of Songs passage attracted exposition in terms of the ark of the covenant moving through the wilderness to Zion.
If one identifies Solomon with Wisdom, some interesting correspondences to the Sirach Song emerge. Solomon (the bridegroom?) comes up “from the wilderness” in procession that appears like a “column of smoke” (כתימדות עשׂנ, cf. Joel 3:3). Wearing his royal crown (v. 11), he rides a majestic litter (v. 6) or palanquin (v. 9) which is equipped with silver posts, a gold back, and a purple seat. Observers from Jerusalem watch enthusiastically. The daughters of Zion rush forward to greet him on what seems to be his royal wedding day.
In Sirach 24, instead of Solomon, the alleged author of the wisdom books, it is Wisdom who comes “circling” (v.5a) and “walking” (v.5b) through the cosmos in search of a resting place and an inheritance, as did Israel and the tabernacle in the wilderness. Just as Solomon’s royal litter appears as a “column of smoke,” her throne is in a “pillar of cloud.” Both are destined for the elect city of Zion. While Solomon rides on a portable throne, Wisdom is, likewise, carried on her throne in the transient pillar of cloud. With Solomon, the smoke is fragrant with “myrhh (sic) and frankincense,” two of the elements which compose the sanctuary’s perfumed holy incense with which Wisdom is intimately related in Sir. 24:15. (Sheppard:33 n.42)
I have previously noted various links between this passage in the Song and temple/sanctuary imagery, and also with NT passages about the coming of the bridegroom (most notably Mt 2:11). I don’t think I’ve ever explicitly connected it with the arrival of the ark in Zion after its journey through the wilderness before.
I’m working at the moment on the links between the Song and the wisdom literature, I don’t think the Song is wisdom literature, per se, but I do think that when you read the Song with the wisdom literature, it raises some very interesting possibilities indeed.
Anyone who’s anyone in the world of blogging and biblical studies appears on the Complete List of Biblioblogs. My blog, as you may have noticed, is not really dedicated to biblical studies, though there are occasional posts which would fit into that category. I am pleased to note, however, that Conversational Theology has just been included in the list of Related Blogs which “have a different primary focus (e.g. theology, ancient Near Eastern archaeology, devotional and homiletic approaches to the Bible) or are commercial rather than personal blogs – yet which contain some biblical studies material.” Mine appears in the list of Christian Spiritual, Theological or Homiletic blogs.
If you have any interest in biblical studies, it’s really worth checking out the whole list. Biblioblogging is a thriving business. David Stark (another WTS exile) has some interesting thoughts about it by way of N. T. Wright and Thomas Kuhn. I especially like the quote from Tom Wright about the need for ethics in blogging – and not hiding behind online pseudonyms.
Recently I seem to have come across a spate of bloggers who want to engage in online discussion and debate without being willing to share their identity. Not even a Christian name, in some cases. I think this is a really dangerous practice. Anonymity allows people to say things they don’t want to own. Personal attacks are easily made undercover of a false name. Unkind, untrue and uncharitable things can be said much more easily without any fear of reprisal or accountability.
But also, not having a name attached to an online person encourages us to forget that even on the internet we’re dealing with real people, who have real feelings, real life circumstances, real faith. These really are our brothers and sisters, not mere abstractions to be argued with in theory.
Of course there are situations where anonymity is wise or even necessary – I’m not expecting the Anti-Federal Vision Study Bible blogger to suddenly give his name. And I quite see that if you’re blogging about parish life, you don’t want to be giving away other people’s identities. But most of us are not putting anything or anyone at risk by blogging.
So, I won’t be adding the Undercover Theologian to my blogroll. Theology shouldn’t be done undercover, it should be shouted from the rooftops and proclaimed in the public squares.
A couple of days ago, I came across a cartoon which made me laugh. I remember thinking quite clearly, “I should blog this. But not until I’ve finished my paper. Because
Diana people will know that I’ve been surfing the net instead of writing my paper.” So now I’ve finished the paper and sent it in, so I went looking for the cartoon. It was one of Dave Walker‘s. It featured a person sitting at their computer with a speech bubble saying something like, “I can’t go to bed yet. Someone on the internet is WRONG.” I’m describing this in detail because I can’t find the cartoon anywhere. Huh.
The moral of this story is something like, “It doesn’t matter what other people will think: when you see something funny, blog it straight away.” ;)
ETA: Found it! Not one of Dave Walker’s after all. Must have been doing a little more surfing than I remembered! It’s from a site called xkcd.com
Just saw this on David Field‘s blog:
There is a difference between exercising a critical faculty and demonstrating a critical spirit.
Which I thought was going to say:
There is a difference between exercising a critical faculty and being a critical Faculty.
Though the difference may not be as great as it seems.
Okay, here’s a thing that’s been confusing me for a while. Consistently over the last six weeks, this post has had three to four times as much traffic as any other on the blog. Why?!? It’s short, there’s no other link to it, nothing. And, disappointingly, most of those visits haven’t resulted in the all-important click.
Is it just the spambots? But why would they target that, of all posts?
I’ve just seen what this blog looks like on Internet Explorer 6. Not a pretty sight. Apologies to those of you still using that sorry excuse for a web browser. I had tried it on IE7 which is not perfect but bearable. IE6 destroys both header and sidebar. Here’s an idea if you’re still stuck with IE6: download Firefox for free and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.