So you’re invited to a team cooking event which will feature foods from around the globe and from different time periods. What do you do? Well, if you’re the team from Yale, you grab recipes from 4,000 year old clay tablets, and you make an ancient Babylonian meal.

You can read the article which accompanies the video here. I wish the article included the recipes. I think they would be interesting to read, and perhaps I would make one of the dishes. The lamb dish sounds interesting.

How does one say bon appétit in Akkadian?

I think that everyone, or at least nearly everyone, who engages in serious Bible study is aware of N.T. Wright.
N-T-Wright The Rt. Rev. Dr. Nicholas Thomas Wright (known to friends and colleagues as Tom) is the former Bishop of Durham (England) and is currently Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St. Mary’s College in the University of St. Andrews (Scotland). He has lectured and written extensively on the New Testament, and has produced an English translation of the New Testament for use in studying the scriptures.

I have read, enjoyed, and used several of Bishop Wright’s works, including Surprised by Hope and volumes in the New Testament For Everyone series. I would recommend these, and his other works, to anyone interested in learning more about the scriptures and Christian theology. In addition to receiving accolades for his writings, Bishop Wright has a reputation as an engaging speaker and inspiring teacher. Few of us will have the opportunity to hear him in person or to enroll in his courses. Until now.

NTWrightOnline-400pxBishop Wright, in collaboration with David Seemuth, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Wisconsin Center for Christian Study, has established N.T. Wright Online to offer online courses. The courses are delivered through Udemy, and one can enroll through N.T. Wright Online or through Udemy. The courses feature video lectures by Bishop Wright with supplemental written material to enhance learning and online quizzes for review. As usual with online courses, there is an area for discussion with other students.

The courses are not inexpensive but are reasonably priced given the stature and depth of knowledge of the instructor. Current courses include: Paul: A Biography; The Acts of the Apostles; Romans; Philipians; Galatians; The Storied World of the Bible; and Simply Jesus. If you want to “try before you buy”, you can enroll in a free short course on Philemon. This will allow you to explore the format, engage in discussion, and help you decide whether to enroll in another course.

My experience is that the courses deliver what they promise: they are engaging and informative. Bishop Wright not only increases your knowledge but also trains you how to engage with Scripture. He strikes a good medium between the purely academic and meditative approaches to Scripture. You learn facts about history, culture, and language, but more importantly you learn how to apply Scriptural principles to your life.

P1120871_Louvre_stèle_de_Mésha_AO5066_2For several years the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has engaged in projects to make digital photos of items available on the Internet. One project which garnered much attention is the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, launched in December 2012 in collaboration with Google. This site allows one to view and search high-resolution images of the complete Dead Sea Scrolls archive. Recently the IAA announced the Rockefeller Museum Online project which makes available online digital images of all artifacts in the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem. This is the first time time that the whole collection of a museum will be available in digital images online. The museum, originally named the Palestine Archaeological Museum, was established with funds donated by John D. Rockefeller in 1938. The name was changed after the 1967 war. The effort to place the collection online is funded by a grant from David Rockefeller, the son of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

MazzoliBible2Dino (neé Leopoldo) Mazzoli, a retired artist, has created a handwritten and illustrated edition of the Bible. Mr. Mazzoli worked ten years to produce the 23 volume (1,473 page) masterpiece which includes about 5,000 color illustrations. The edition includes the full text of the Christian Community Bible. Sample pages from the work can be seen on Mr. Mazzoli’s web site and in news stories in Visual News and the Catholic Herald. The entire work is available for the iPad and iPhone in the iTunes App Store; all proceeds from the sell of the app go to the Claretians, who translated and produce the Christian Community Bible.

“Sunday, April 12, is the date the global Orthodox church will celebrate Easter Sunday, according to the Julian calendar. For the first time, perhaps in centuries, Iraqi and Syrian Christians, many of whom are Orthodox, will not celebrate Easter Westminster_Abbey_martyrs_stitch_cin their home churches, but rather in camps for refugees and displaced people.” (Timothy C. Morgan, Gleanings, NY Cardinal, ‘AD’ Producers Step Up Campaign against Mideast Persecution,
7 April 2015)

Persecution and killing of people due to their religious beliefs in the MiddleEast and Africa ought to weigh heavily on our hearts and minds. Those persecuted and their families should be in our prayers. But we need to do more. We need to speak out against the violence and intolerance, and we should assist those who have lost homes or livelihoods as a result of the persecution. Two websites which provide information on the situation and offer avenues to assist are 21martyrs and The Cradle Fund. I encourage you to visit these sites, read news reports from the regions, and prayerfully ask God to guide you in assisting our friends and enemies in the affected areas.

sunrise-153600_1280“To put it at its most basic: the resurrection of Jesus offers itself, to the student of history or science no less than the Christian or the theologian, not as an odd event within the world as it is but as the utterly characteristic, prototypical and foundational event within the world as it has begun to be. It is not an absurd event within the old world but the symbol and starting point of the new world. The claim advanced in Christianity is of that magnitude: Jesus of Nazareth ushers in not simply a new religious possibility, not simply a new ethic or a new way of salvation, but a new creation.”
— N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope, p.67

Recommended reading for today: Seven Stanzas at Easter by John Updike.