My Role as a Ph.D.-Educator in the Orthodox Church

I am briefly coming out of hiding (my apologies, but my life has become rather hostile to blogging activities for the time being) in order to address a growing concern that is bubbling up from a number of different places. I want to address what, in my opinion, is the role of the Ph.D.-educator in the Orthodox Church. I am, and hope to remain, a layman. I have no part in the…

Conciliarity in the Old Testament (Part 1)

I would like to express my apologies to my regular readers for the lack of content on this blog the past several months. Any number of factors have contributed to my hiatus, though suffice to say that sometimes a writer has to back away for a time and recharge the batteries. Hopefully, more regular content will appear in the future. I have been throwing around the idea in my head for a…

The Price of Kingship – Of Kings and Prophets, Episode 2

A weaker offering than last week’s pilot episode, “Let the Wicked Be Ashamed” meanders through the aftermath of Saul’s rebellion against the Prophet Samuel and the beginnings of the disintegration of Saul’s kingship. Very little of this episode is grounded in the biblical narrative, which is fine as it stands and expected of a serial television production, yet the plot seems to stall when it is not moved along by biblical events.…

Of Kings and Prophets: Pilot – A Review

I have eagerly waited for an updated cinematic or television adaptation of the narratives of 1-2 Samuel, specifically the Saul and David stories, which are ripe with dramatic subjects. The new ABC series “Of Kings and Prophets” shows promise in fulfilling my desire for such an adaptation, though it has some mostly negligible flaws. Regardless, it provides an opportunity for popular conversation about some troubling biblical topics that are often swept under…

Were David and Jonathan Gay? A Critical Analysis of a Popular Assumption

While I was teaching through the Deuteronomistic History (Joshua-II Kings) with my Old Testament class, we had pause recently to consider the relationship between David and Jonathan famously depicted throughout the latter part of I Samuel. This particular relationship garners the occasional popular treatment as an example of a celebrated, biblical homosexual relationship. There are any number of problems with this idea, but I want to offer a critical perspective on the issue in…

Making Sense of Isaiah 7:14 – “Young Woman” or “Virgin”? (Part 3)

  In part 1 of this series, we looked at the textual data regarding Isaiah 7:14 in multiple Hebrew manuscripts and translations into other languages. In part 2, we examined the “wibbly-wobbly” nature of prophecy and the way the biblical text is interpreted differently at different times to refer to different events within history. In this part, I wish to delve into the meaning of the words themselves within the socio-linguistic context…

Making Sense of Isaiah 7:14 – “Young Woman” or “Virgin”? (Part 2)

In doing the necessary research for the continuation of this series regarding the “Immanuel Prophecy” in Isaiah 7:14, it became apparent to me rather quickly that the scope of the issue and it’s perception vis-à-vis confessional rhetoric would demand far more than a simple scholarly exegesis. For this reason, I would like to make a few remarks regarding the context of the “Immanuel Prophecy” within the oracles of Isaiah of Jerusalem and the nature of…

Making Sense of Isaiah 7:14 – “Young Woman” or “Virgin”? (Part 1)

As we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of Christ, I want to take the opportunity to address an issue regarding the relationship between the Hebrew Bible and the Greek Old Testament (Septuagint), which gets a good deal of discussion during this time of year. I am speaking, of course, of the Emmanuel prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, which notably contains a disputed reference to what Christians have taken to be a prophecy of the virgin…

*UPDATED* On the Newly Published Hezekiah Royal Seal

News broke today of a royal seal of the Judaean king Hezekiah (II Kings 18-20) that was discovered in a 2009 excavation of the southern portion of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem by a team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem directed by Eilat Mazar. Written in Paleo-Hebrew script, the inscription reads לחז[ק]יהו.אחז.מלך.יהודה “Belonging to Hezekiah (son of) Ahaz, King of Judah.” Also on the seal is the image of a winged sun…

Update

Dear readers, Please accept my sincere apologies for the lack of recent content on this blog. I am happy to report that I have successfully defended my doctoral dissertation at the University of Chicago and will graduate on December 11. It has been a difficult last month or so in finishing the final draft and preparing the defense, but thankfully it is all over. I have also finished an in-town move that…