I have been trying to work today and get caught up with the five billion things that need to be done before the fall semester begins. Next to nothing has gone right, including this post, which I am now retyping as the web development software I was using in the other window succeeded in crashing Firefox.

My reading is about the only thing that I’ve managed to keep up. I finished the second volume of Isaac Asimov’s Guide to the Bible today. I find his fiction a snoozefest much of the time, but he’s a good read when he’s lecturing. His primacy focus in this commentary on the New Testament is the historical occurences and dates behind the various verses. The confusion between the various Herods in the gospels, for example, delights him, and allows for pages and pages of thoughtful asides. His approach to the birth narratives is also very good. He is not tough enough on Acts, though; he accepts the speeches at face value, rather than reveal them as Thucydides-style summaries.

The little NT Greek that I have picked up this summer greatly enhanced my enjoyment of this particular tome, however. Asimov is forever pausing to explain the Greek/Hebrew/Latin/English train wrecks that the NT is full of, and I wouldn’t have understood these comments as well a month ago.

Reading his commentary also reminded me that I haven’t redrafted my paper on agricultural metaphor in the NT and sent it to a journal yet – and this, in turn, prompted me to write out a long list of everything I have to do by late August. It’s a depressingly long document.

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