John led a conference for Licensed Lay Ministers on Preaching the OT
in June 2022. The transcripts of talks from that conference are posted on the
Biblical Interpretation page of this website with the preface LLM. (The versions are
mostly longer than the versions I gave at the conferences, and most of
them are also posted on this website under other guises.)
MP3 recordings of the talks 1-4 can be found via these links
Recording Session #1 Why Preach the Old Testament? https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oQoPm1Mjn2UIXU-98CRxfrg2oeCTLcZl/view?usp=sharing
Recording Session #2 Preaching the Stories https://drive.google.com/file/d/13lOIJSVk8WvxkMTFVHuMAmYmU-vA0T2U/view?usp=sharing
Recording Session #3 Preaching the Prophets https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bm6soanOBqjBTmbJdeNys1epK8HIZa2k/view?usp=sharing
Recording Session #4 Preaching the Psalms https://drive.google.com/file/d/1R9nqU0hDkOFx_s2AhotowPSN4Tp5yMUJ/view?usp=sharing
Kathleen’s Story Theory LLM Workshop talking points are posted on her Story Theory Page.
There’s a paper under Prophets on these chapters that studies them as
a curated compilation of short prophetic messages, assembled as a
series of units that critique Israel for its treachery and
waywardness, warn Israel of trouble that Yahweh will bring to it as a
consequence, and recollect events from Israel’s story that push it
towards reflection and change. In pressing it in this direction, Hosea
makes systematic use of ambiguity, allusiveness, and paronomasia as he
seeks to drive Israel to work out what his messages mean and what they
imply for it. His recollections of events related in the Torah and
Former Prophets also contribute to that agenda; in this respect his
recollection of Jacob’s story in 12:4–5 [3–4] is especially
significant. It is not clear whether he would have known the Genesis
story in the form we have it, but this uncertainty does not inhibit
comparison of his version of Jacob’s story and the Genesis version.
Both are sparing in their judgments on a person such as Jacob, which
contributes to the way Hosea makes the story a repository of ambiguity
and allusiveness that in this respect matches the rest of the two
chapters in contributing to an encouragement of reflection and change
on Israel’s part.
Joy: A paper by John posted under Other Papers
‘Rejoice in the Lord’, Paul says (Philippians 4:4). How does that work?
In the Scriptures there is:
Joy when God has done great things
Joy and celebration over everyday things
Joy in serving the Lord
Joy when things have been grim
Joy when you know you went wrong
The Oxford Interfaith Study Group had a session on the Messiah in
Christianity and in Judaism. John’s Christian version is posted under Theology.
Israel is a prominent topic in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures,
though it was not prominent in Christian theological reflection until
the aftermath of the Holocaust. Actually, over the centuries and in
the contemporary world there have been many Israels, and similar
theological issues repeatedly arise through the Scriptures and outside
them in connection with Israel. This article deals with these issues
as a set of recurrent questions in connection with the broad question:
What is the theological significance of Israel? See paper under Theology.
InterVarsity recently published:
Hans Boersma, Five Things Theologians Wish Biblical Scholars Knew
Scot McKnight, Five Things Biblical Scholars Wish Theologians Knew
John’s review article on the two books is under Biblical Interpretation
Check out Kathleen’s Creative Story Theory. Kathleen’s approach to Scripture is to engage through creative writing. Posts include creative writing examples, workshops, and academic papers.
Introducing the Psalms: Something John has done for a Study Bible, on the origin and
background of the Psalms and the different types of psalm. It’s posted
under the Writings tab.
John recently completed a paper on “Violence, Justice, Advocacy, and
Intercession in the Psalms,” which you can find under the Writings
Notes from John: As I have taught online at the Asia Graduate School of Theology in
Kathmandu and have simultaneously been writing a commentary on Joshua,
I have wondered what happens when we put Joshua and Nepal together.
What would happen if Joshua went to Kathmandu? How might he reflect?
See the paper on “Joshua Goes to Kathmandu” posted under the “Prophets” tab.
During recent decades, the Book of Joshua came to trouble people. More recently, it seems that hardly a month goes by without the publication of another volume on violence in the Scriptures or another conference or research project on the subject. In reading Joshua, one of my convictions is that we won’t get to understand the book unless we set its accounts of war-making in the context of the book as a whole. In addition, thinking more broadly about the nature of migration and settlement provides some illumination on the story Joshua tells. And if we can stand aside from our preoccupation with violence for a moment, we can discover a lot about what the Book of Joshua meant for Israel and how it works as a story and how thoughtfully it discusses tricky issues and what it emphasizes about God . . . .
The paper on “Reading Joshua” is posted under “Prophets.”