My latest book, Following Jesus: An Illustrated Guide to the Places of the Holy Land according to the Gospel of Mark, will be released soon by Armour Publishing under the STM Series.
There will be a launch for the book on September 21 at Luther Centre. More information will follow soon.
Tentative selling price is RM75 per copy during the launch for Malaysian market only. The retail price is SGD$36 or RM110.
For those of you who would like to have a preview of the book, please click here.
Over the past few months, I have been busy conducting several Christian education seminars in a number of churches. A few things amazed and surprised me.
First of all, the response to these seminars had been overwhelming. For example, more than 200 people filled the hall at the Klang Chinese Methodist Church for the session on the the History of the Bible held on March 6, 2019.
Secondly, there is great hunger in wanting to delve into reading the Bible. There were many great questions raised in all the sessions, and some of them I do not even have any answer. Through these questions, I was able to reflect further and think through many issues as well.
Finally, the level of commitment shown by those who came for the classes is very commendable. I taught a consecutive 5-nightly sessions from 730-1030pm in early April at Sidang Injil Borneo Kuala Lumpur. About 90 people signed up for the class and they braved the massive traffic jam to the classes every night after a long day at work. This level of dedication brought much encouragement to me.
Below are some photographs taken at some of the sessions I taught over the past couple of months.
March 8, 2019: Klang Chinese Methodist Church. Session: History of the Bible
March 16: St Paul's Church, Petaling Jaya. Session on the Origins of the New Testament.
April 1-5: Sidang Injil Borneo Kuala Lumpur (SIBKL). Session: The Gospel of John
Finally, Porter believes that my book "will undoubtedly provoke further investigation of metaphor use in identity formation in the Corinthian correspondence and elsewhere. This work is a valuable resource for anyone considering the social-scientific analysis of metaphors and their use in the Corinthian correspondence."
Overall, the review by Porter on my work is generous and encouraging, his critique on the weaknesses of the book is fair and courteous, and his comment on my methodological framework for analysis on metaphor is positive and welcoming.
Please click on the file below to read the review.
More than 90 people filled the hall at Bangunan Yin, the venue for the course on the Parables of Jesus organised by Sidang Borneo Injil Kuala Lumpur, one of the fastest growing churches in the Klang Valley.
Held nightly from 7.30-9.30pm over a period of 5 days (9th to 13th April 2018), this course was part of the well-executed Christian Education programme of the church.
Committing themselves to a total of 15 hours of lectures and discussion for 5 consecutive evenings clearly demonstrated the dedication of all who registered for the course. As an instructor, I was humbled by their deep desire to learn and understand the Bible, and the efforts they put in to dig deeper into the Scripture.
This is probably the 6th year I have been privileged to teach at this church. I am constantly amazed at the response of the people and their commitment to their continuous Christian development and growth. A number of those who have taken some of these classes have gone on to further theological studies at local seminaries. As an instructor, it was truly my joy to see the positive growth of the people in the church.
Image: Associated Press. The newly renovated library
After 3 years of renovations, the ancient library of St Catherine Monastery located at Sinai has reopened its doors to the public. This is good news indeed as the library houses the world's second largest collection of early codices and manuscripts. It is claimed that the collection of ancient manuscripts at St Catherine Monastery is outnumbered only by the Vatican Library!
One of the highlights of the collection is Codex Sinaiticus, the earliest complete New Testament dated back to the 4th Century.
I hope to visit St Catherine Monastery again in the future!
Oil lamps have been in used for thousands of years across cultures. The decorative elements also changed overtime to reflect the religious and cultural practices of the day.
At the Centre for Bible Engagement, we have in our small collection a number of replicas of oil lamps dated from the 1st century to the 5th century, with the latter period depicting clear Christian symbols such as a cross and christogram in the form of "Chi-Rho" after Christianity was declared as recognised religion in the Roman Empire, as seen in the photographs below. This is one example where Christianity deeply influenced the way of life and daily practices of the Christ-followers.
All the replicas were acquired during our biblical study tours or personal trips. I would like to acknowledge the gift of the oil lamp replica with the symbol of the cross by one of the pilgrims in our study tour to Greece in May 2017.
Over the past few months, the Centre for Bible Engagement, Seminari Theoloji Malaysia, has been acquiring a number of significant archaeological replicas and biblical exhibits as teaching aids for our biblical studies courses. Students in the coming academic year will greatly benefit from these exhibits. We hope that the teaching of the Bible will come alive with these replicas helping us understand the historical and cultural background of both the OT and NT worlds.
The photo galleries below are just a small sample of what we have at CBE. Our aim is to make all these available for public viewing as well. In the near future, we hope to be able to conduct tours and lectures based on these exhibits for the benefits of Christians in the country. More information will be forthcoming in the weeks to come.
We also wish to thank all those who have generously donated some of these items for our educational purpose.
A new Greek New Testament produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge, has finally been published by Crossway. A labour or more than 10 years, this edition of New Testament Greek "seeks to make a distinctive contribution by providing a text of the Greek New Testament that is based on the most recent scholarship and is rooted in the earliest manuscript witnesses, dating primarily from the fourth and fifth centuries and earlier." Edited by Dr. Dirk Jongkind (St. Edmund's College, University of Cambridge) and Dr. Peter Williams (Tyndale House, Cambridge) and their team of scholars, they adopt a philological approach to reevaluating the manuscripts available by reexamining spelling and paragraph decisions, and scribal habits to inform editorial decisions.
Why is there a need for another Greek New Testament? Aren't the NA-28 and SBL Greek New Testament sufficient for scholarly work? Click on this link to find out why there is yet a need for this edition.
The good news is that this edition of Greek New Testament published by Tyndale House is not only available in the print edition but also available FREELY FOR EVERYONE digitally. Click on this link to start reading the Greek text immediately. There are a number of options of reading this text - in Greek, in original language interlinear, and in reverse English interlinear.
There is no reason not to read the Bible in its original language and the Greek New Testament published by Tyndale House is a welcome addition to the tools already available for students and scholars.
I am very pleased to inform that all copies of my recent publication (Metaphors and Social Identity Formation in Paul's Letters to the Corinthians) that are in my stock have all been sold.
I would like to thank everyone in Malaysia for your continuous support for my work and ministry.
For those who are still interested to purchase the book, please click here for options of how to order the book. I will not be holding anymore stock in future.
My other publication, Jesus the Storyteller: Hearing the Parables Afresh Today, is still available at RM45 per copy. Please get in touch with me if you are keen on purchasing this book.
For the month of October, Logos Software is having a very good sale on selected reference works published by Yale.
In addition, the free book of the month on offer is the commentary on Romans in the Anchor Yale series by Joseph Fitzymer, with options to purchase a couple more commentaries on Habakkuk (by Francis I. Andersen) and Galatians (by J. Louis Martyn) at additional cost of US$2.99 - this is a real deal!
Resources on sale include:
1) The entire Anchor Yale Bible Commentary set - you may choose to purchase the entire OT and NT series, or opt for either OT or NT set.
2) Selected works on Jonathan Edwards
3) Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library
4) Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
5) and others.
Now is a good time to build your digital library, if fund permits of course.
I am a Lecturer in New Testament Studies, Director of Postgraduate Studies, and the founding Director of the Centre of Bible Engagement at Seminari Theoloji Malaysia. You can find out more about me by clicking here.
My engagement in conversation with issues, reflections, and concerns related to my vocation as a seminary lecturer and theological education in general. Opinions expressed in this blog are strictly my personal views and do not represent the official position of the seminary