Sometimes I have more subjects to blog about than days in the week (and I try not to post more than one blog a day and five a week). I’m in a virtual cornucopia of good reading, upcoming projects, and joyful occupation with scripture.
So, here are some tidbits and things to come . . .
I’m reading several books at once (as usual) and enjoying them all immensely. One I will be blogging about soon is Michael Legaspi’s The Death of Scripture and the Rise of Biblical Studies. I was floored by his talk at Society of Biblical Literature last November in New Orleans. Legaspi teaches at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. His new book, just out from Oxford University Press is about the disaster of the academic approach to the Bible. It has been the death of scripture. It has meant a turn away from the scriptural Bible to the academic Bible. Legaspi’s book is a history focusing on the pivotal personality behind modern Biblical criticism, Johann David Michaelis (1717-1791). I’ll summarize and say more about the book in coming weeks. See it here on amazon.
I have, for the past month, been serving my synagogue community and a whole list of people who have asked to be added to the list with a daily email list of Torah and Gospel readings with extremely concise commentary. It is called the Daily D’var, and I have to say that the added discipline of reading and commenting daily has been a spiritual renewal for me. As if I wasn’t reading enough Bible and theology before, now this daily discipline has added structure and is like my first cup of coffee every morning. You can see it here and even email to request to be added to the list.
In keeping with my desire to help everyone discover scripture, I found that I had a hard time recommending any regular program of reading for secular people whose lives I get to be part of. That led me to start a new project: Torah 101: Not Just for Beginners. For new readers of Torah, it’s a beginning; for experienced readers it’s a fresh start.. I will be posting weekly commentary from a theological, spiritual sense of the weekly portion. I suggest that people read these at the Shabbat table after Friday dinner. Late next year I will compile the Daily D’var material and the Torah 101 material into a book for use in the home. The Torah 101 readings may seem unduly brief, but the idea is for non-Bible readers to have an entry-door into the world of Torah that skips the detail and hard stuff, showing the main idea, the theology, and the spirituality of Torah. See Torah 101 here.
Shavuot is coming. I won’t have time to add any more writing to my Shavuot Haggadah, but it has so much material in it, that even incomplete it should add greatly to your celebration of the Holy Day. You can access it here. Eventually it will be a printed book.
I have started a group interested in touring Israel, January 2-14, 2011. We’ll hike Galilee and Golan. We’ll tour Jerusalem. We’ll have Shabbat in the desert (near Beersheva) after spending Friday night in a Bedouin-style tent. We’ll discuss “Yeshua in Context” issues on site in many locations. Interested? Email me today and be added to the group. See more about the Israel Tour here.
Finally, work on Yeshua in Context is in the final stretch and it will come out in August as a paperback, shortly thereafter as an audio book produced by Vine of David and then also as an ebook produced by a Messianic Jewish company which is one of the few doing ebook conversions in the U.S. (yes, we Messianics can claim that we are at the cutting edge of ebook technology!). Want to pre-order? I’m taking names and email addresses now (no money yet). Just email me at email@example.com (or firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will add you to the list. When the paperback is ready, I’ll send you a PayPal link to pay and then you will be among the first to get it in August.