Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Great Essay On A. T. Robertson

For all you lovers of all things Greek, you'll want to read "A.T. Robertson and His 'Monumental Achievement'" if you get a moment. Lots of great stuff in there. Be sure you read some of Robertson's quotes at the end.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Our Class Is Visiting The Library Of Congress

On Thursday, Sept. 25, our Greek class will meet in Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. We have the wonderful opportunity to visit the Rare Books and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress. We will get to see the Complutensian Polyglot Bible (1514-1517), which contains the first printed Greek New Testament, and Erasmus’ Greek New Testament (1516). In addition to this, we will get to see things like a vellum manuscript, the Gutenberg Bible (1450s), the Geneva Bible (1560), the 1611 King James Bible (1611), and the Eliot Indian Bible (1663). Needless to say, this is going to be an opportunity our students will never forget!

That's one of the amazing things about being up here in D.C. You never know what kind of class you can create. All of these wonderful resources all around you. All of this history right at your fingertips. I'm grateful to the Lord that we get to teach in the capital, study in the capital, and, more importantly, represent our Lord Jesus Christ in the capital.

The Library of Congress staff is exceptional. They are concierges through and through. Special thanks to all of them, and especially Eric, for making Thursday possible. I can't wait!

Three Lectures On New Testament Greek

The Bible Society of South Africa is hosting three lectures on New Testament Greek in the coming weeks. Here are the descriptions for each:
  1. Tuesday, 30 September: The languages of New Testament times and the reason why the New Testament was written in Koine Greek. The history of the texts of the New Testament, examining the age and authenticity of the oldest existing texts. 
  2. Tuesday, 7 October: The focus will be on the translations of the New Testament, the types of translations, the value of different versions and the advantage of being able to work with the original Greek. 
  3. Tuesday 14 October: Looking at ways of using the Greek text for analysis and understanding will be shown with examples. Some of the dangers of mis-using the Greek will also be discussed.
The speaker is Lenora Jackson. Her bio on the event page reads as follows:
"Leonora Jackson is currently involved with the extended programme in the College of Humanities at Howard College, but was previously lecturing in the Classics Department of the former UDW where she taught New Testament Greek for 20 years."
All three look interesting. I'll be touching on each one of these issues on Wednesday and Thursday when I meet with our BIB515 students.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

What A Wonderful Class!

When one of our deans at Capital asked me to teach BIB539 Current Issues in New Testament Studies, I asked, "What would you like me to cover?" He replied, "Got any ideas that you think would be beneficial to students? A course they'll be interested in taking?" I thought about it a little while, and my answer was, "The New Testament Use of the Old Testament." Just think about how much the Old Testament is used in the New Testament. The truth is you can't really study the New Testament without dealing in some way, shape, or form with this important issue in New Testament studies. Well, I am so glad that we offered this class. And the students really appreciate it too. Our in-residency days on Friday and Saturday went very well. The students came ready to rock-n-roll in class. Yesterday the students got to teach most of the day. Their presentations and instruction couldn't have been any better! 

Do I really get to teach the Bible? in seminary? me? am I dreaming? really? 

Lord, thank you so much for saving me and turning my life upside down. Thank you for giving me this wonderful privilege to serve at Capital Seminary and Graduate School! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Studying The New Testament Use Of The Old Testament

Our BIB539 course, The New Testament Use of the Old Testament, is meeting this week in Springfield, VA. What a class! We met today, and we will meet again tomorrow. I better get to bed so I can be ready to go for tomorrow's class! I have a prayer request before I let you go. My voice started getting a little raspy by the end of the afternoon today. Please pray I don't lose it, at least not until class is over tomorrow. Thanks, y'all.

Hey, want to know what a great group of students looks like?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Congrats To My Friends On Recent/Forthcoming Publications

I've got two books for you to check out. My friends Paul Himes and Jacob Cerone, Greek scholar extraordinaires, have got some publications I have to mention.

Paul's book on 1 Peter is published. The title is Foreknowledge and Social Identity in 1 Peter. It'll be on my shelf in the near future. Here's the description from Amazon:
"What is the meaning and significance of foreknowledge in the book of 1 Peter, and how does the concept relate to the circumstances of its first recipients? Himes attempts to answer these questions by examining the concepts of both foreknowledge and social identity within the first century and how they fit into the theology of 1 Peter. 
In the process of elaborating the concepts of foreknowledge and social identity, this study provides one of the first thorough examinations of the words prognosis and proginosko in the literature of the time period when 1 Peter was composed and circulated. Himes argues that these words are linguistically relevant to how early hearers and readers would have understood the message of 1 Peter. 
In addition, this volume provides a thorough analysis of social-scientific criticism in 1 Peter, paying special attention to the various views about the social circumstances of the epistle's recipients. Finally, this book concerns itself with the biblical theology of 1 Peter, and with how the concept of foreknowledge functions as a word of comfort and hope to the beleaguered audience of this epistle."
Jacob's book has just been announced too. 1-2 Clement: A Greek Reader, by Jacob Cerone and Jason Anderson, is going to be a great resource for Greek students. Of the book, Jacob writes:
"If you are interested in an introduction to the Greek text of the Apostolic Fathers, it looks like GlossHouse will be publishing Greek Readers for the works within the corpus. My contributions to the project will be published in the collection of Ignatius’ letters (Smyraeans) and 1 Clement." 
And the publishers say this about the project as a whole:
"The goal of this book is to assist readers of the AF. Vague syntax and obscure vocabulary steer many away from reading the primary literature. The Apostolic Fathers Greek Reader (hereafter AFGR) will provide unique and unfamiliar vocabulary for any beginning student of the Greek language. The value of this book is to make accessible the apostolic literature in ways unique to primary and secondary extant literature. This book’s methodology seeks to assist beginning Greek readers to advanced reading abilities by providing assistance with vocabulary. Not only will this help improve student’s Greek skills but it will also introduce them to theological themes that shaped the early Church."
Congrats, brothers. So happy for both of you. Even happier for the people that will benefit from these valuable resources!

Viewing My Friend Jerry's Old Greek New Testament

My friend Jerry, the Library Technology Director at Lancaster Bible College, brought in his Mill Greek New Testament for me to see yesterday. Very, very cool. The owner of this particular New Testament had the pages of the Greek New Testament interwoven and bound with larger blank pages in the mid-18th century so that he could insert his own notes as he studied. It was a treat! Jerry showed me how you could tell the difference in his writing, pointing to how he used it over many years from when he was younger (wrote perfect) to older (wrote larger and with a shake). It was so cool to see how the author wrestled with textual variants throughout! This guy cared about his study of the New Testament. Made me even say a prayer that God would raise up many more like him.

Jerry, thank you so much for letting me flip through the pages of this beautiful Greek New Testament.

Great Classes This Week!

Our Greek classes went so well this week! I absolutely, 100%, totally loved spending time with the students up in Lancaster. Two days, 8 and a half hours each day, wide-open Greek fun. We covered lots and lots of material. Each of the students has been working through David Alan Black's Learn to Read New Testament Greek each week. They've also been viewing Logos' Learn to Use Biblical Greek DVDs in order to help them connect using Greek to the Bible software that every single one of our students has here at Capital. It's pretty amazing to see how far the students have come in two week and a half weeks. They are reading, pronouncing, and translating simple Greek sentences already.

We covered a lot. Seriously, that's an understatement. We walked through The Ten Exegetical Steps, we practiced our present and future active indicatives, and we talked about life and ministry, especially how the Great Commission is our mission. I know which chapter is going to be the hardest chapter for the Greek students. The lesson on the imperfect and the aorist is crazy difficult for students. Each time I've taught Greek I've seen the mist turn into a deep, dark fog around the time we get to that chapter. The students hadn't gotten to Lesson 7 yet in Dave's book, but we used a few hours today to cover it. What makes Lesson 7 so tricky? Well, if you've had Greek before, you know how difficult it can be to learn about the first and second aorist. First aorists aren't bad at all. You look for the past-time morpheme, the aoristic aspect morpheme, and the person-number suffix. But then there's the second aorist. Stem change? Really? No σα? "Why, Greek? Why?" But the students hung in there. They did a great job. By the end of the afternoon we set up a visual filter in Logos that marked all imperfect and aorist active indicatives in the Greek New Testament. Then we walked through the first chapter of Mark and James picking the verbs apart. They did great!

Class, great job!!!!!!! Thanks for your hard work in this class. I pray that it returns great eternal dividends in the form of lives changed by the faithful exposition of the Word of God, including your own.

One side note: Because our classes are blended, one of our students was able to travel from Lancaster from Philadelphia. If our classes weren't blended, that student just wouldn't be able to study with us. That's one of the many hallmarks of Capital Seminary. You don't have to take a hiatus from your ministry setting to fit in an education. Nope. We want our students immersed in the ministries where they live. We don't want to sever them from the church family that is making such big investments in our students' lives.

Great Time Hangin' With The SGA At LBC

I've been up in Lancaster, PA the last few days. I had a great time with my BIB515 class, but I'll talk about that in the next post. My trip to PA was action-packed. Breakfast at the Eden Resort, classes on Wednesday and Thursday, lunch with colleagues and students, etc. One of the highlights was hanging out with LBC's student government leaders. Rodney Carter and his co-laborers were so kind to put up with a country boy like me for a little while at the office and then later on at Chick-Fil-A for an LBC Seniors fundraiser. It's really wonderful to spend time with like-minded young men and women who want to see people's lives changed by the power of Christ. It's such a pleasure to be around people who view their ministries not so much as "leaders," but as "servants!" The best leaders are servants. So said the Lord Jesus Christ! Well, Rodney and the team sure taught me a lot about hospitality this week. Thanks, y'all. I can't wait to see you again. In the meantime, keep livin' for the gospel!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Throw Out The Lecture?

Brian Renshaw has another post that I can't help but bring it to your attention. In his post "Instructor vs. Learner Models of Teaching," Brian asks the question of all pedagogical questions: Should the lecture be thrown out? If not, how should we view the lecture. Great post. If for nothing else, go there and look at Exhibit 1.5 (you'll know what I'm talking about when you hit the link).

How To Use Logos Bible Software For Vocabulary

Trying to use Logos for your Greek vocabulary? Well, here are a few posts that you will want to check out.
  1. Just Announced: Free Greek and Hebrew Flashcard App
  2. Vocabulary Lists and Flashcards
  3. Vocabulary Helps (Greek, Latin, and Hebrew) (Brian Renshaw blog)
  4. Flashcards for Greek and Hebrew (This is the actual app.)
  5. How To: Creating Vocabulary Lists in Logos 5 (YouTube tutorial)

Monday, September 15, 2014

So Much Vocab, So Little Time

I received the following email yesterday from one of our Greek students:
"Dr. Hudgins, busy week coming up for me. Out of town with kids and grandkids Thurs - Sunday. Looking ahead, noted three large sets of vocabulary. Nouns and adjectives too. Any guidance on how to take on so many new vocabulary words?"
Here's what I suggested:
"Hey, brother. Here are a few suggestions: 
1. Write out your notecards. Or use an app like the Quizlet app mentioned on the syllabus
2. Flip through them repeatedly. 
3. Write the words out as you study them (even if you already have them written on a notecard); pronounce them as you study them. The goal here is to activate as many senses as you can. 
4. Study more than one day. 
5. Study more than once a day. Do bite size portions. Master that group and then move forward. But keep coming back to the ones you studied before. 
6. Ask someone else to quiz you. Call another student and quiz them, and they can quiz you. 
7. Pray. 
8. Sweat. 
9. Pray some more. 
10. Sweat some more. 
11. Take breaks. 
12. Create memory connections with each word. Think about the way it’s spelled or the way it sounds. Does that remind you of anything? Anything that helps anchor it in your mind will be helpful. 
Work hard, brother. I’m praying for you.

A Message To My Greek Students

Greek students, I'm so looking forward to seeing you! This week I'll be up in Lancaster (Wednesday and Thursday, September 17-18). Next week our Greek section in Maryland will be meeting in Greenbelt (Wednesday and Thursday, September 24-25). I'm so excited that I get to see you in the classroom that I made a video! You can view it here. (Be sure you click the link; the image below is just a snapshot of the video.)