Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

May 17, 2009 at 3:06 pm (Personal)

Okay, so I decided to transform this blog some time ago (January to be exact) into a place where I could blog about all the “little” things in life that bring pleasure (see my About page for more info). I kinda got sidetracked with school and have not really posted since then, but now that it is summer, I’m hoping to actually keep up on this concept I’ve created for this blog.

First up: the Egret is back for the spring and summer! Well, sort of. He has visited the pond outside GCTS once so far (that I’ve seen, of course) and I haven’t seen him since. I’m anxiously awaiting to see him again, and hope to finally get a picture next time he visits!


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Apparently, Mischief is My Middle Name!

February 23, 2009 at 3:38 pm (The Silly Zone)

“Mischief is your middle name, but your first is friend. You are quite the prankster that loves to make other people laugh.”

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

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Christmas Survey

December 20, 2008 at 11:41 pm (Personal, The Silly Zone)

Okay, so in the spirit of the season, I stole this little survey from Diana, who stole it from someone else, etc, etc. I haven’t done one o’ these little things in awhile and I though it’d be fun.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Well, Calvin and I have only ever put up a tree once, and it was artificial. Then it fell apart and we figured we’re never there for Christmas anyways so why bother? But when we do finally start putting up our own tree, it will be artificial, as it was for both our families.

3. When do you put up the tree? See above question – we don’t!

4. When do you take the tree down? The one time we put it up, it stayed up for months…

5. Favorite gift received as a child? Hmm…probably the Super Nintendo.

6. Hardest person to buy for? My mom and my father-in-law.

7. Easiest person to buy for? Probably Calvin since I know him so well.

8. Do you have a nativity scene? Only if the little nativity in the snow globe we have counts.

9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Neither.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I’m not sure. Nothing sticks out.

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually November, but it doesn’t get completely done until the week before Christmas.

12. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No I don’t think so.

13. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Egg nog! (If that counts as something to eat…)

14. Lights on the tree? If we had one, yes, and they would be colored.

15. Favorite Christmas song? O Come Immanuel, O Holy Night

16. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel so far.

17. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? No way.

18. Angel on the tree top or a star? As I mentioned before…no tree! Actually I think I’d prefer a big bow.

19. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning.

20. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The rampant consumerism, and having to deal with it for that month at work.

21. Favorite ornament theme or color? Snow/winter stuff probably.

22. Favorite for Christmas dinner? I’m not a big fan of ham, so I really prefer Turkey or Roast Beef…but Ham is the Christmas dish so that’s what I always get.

23. What do you want for Christmas this year? I don’t know. Books I don’t have time to read, games I don’t have time to play….

24. Who is most likely to respond to this? Well I’m not really putting out a call to respond.

25. Do you read the Christmas story from the Bible with family? No.

26. What is your favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Story…you’ll shoot your eye out!

27. Do you pretend Santa for your kids? Don’t have any kids, but when we do we have decided that we’re not going to do the whole Santa thing.

28. Do you hang stockings? Where and how? My family does, his doesn’t.

29. Does your family have any birthdays near Christmas? Yes, Calvin’s is the 28th!

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Mid-Semester Update

October 30, 2008 at 10:59 am (Personal)

Wow, so it’s been awhile since I’ve posted! I thought I’d give a personal update for anyone who still reads my “personal” blog.

Classes are moving along. I’m finding Greek to be rather enjoyable, and I’m doing extremely well in it. Ugaritic is becoming a bit boring, I’m tired of all the vocalization stuff. I’m also tired of this school’s language pedagogy, which seems to insist that if a “rule” isn’t true 100% of the time, than it’s not worth learning. (Greek being the exception – I find their Greek program to be fairly good.) Might as well memorize everything instead. Silliness. I may post more on this on The Floppy Hat at some point.

Ugh. No comment.

I am once again reminded of what a great church Calvin and I attend. It’s exactly what we need at this point in our lives, and in turn we are able to minister there with joy. We’ve been doing some interesting stuff with the youth ministry, which actually leads me into…

Personal Life
We’ve started playing D&D on a semi-regular basis with some students from the youth ministry, at church – didn’t I say my church was awesome? This is my first real exposure to D&D. Previously, my only familiarity with the game was through D&D-based PC and console games like Neverwinter Nights and Baldur’s Gate. I’m finding that it’s a real blast (I always knew I was a real geek at heart)! Calvin and I have also gotten back into Magic: the Gathering, a hobby of ours that has been neglected for a couple years. I’ve re-read some old favorite fictional fantasy books of mine, and we’re having fun watching a vast variety of movies with our semi-new Netflix account. Alas, my spare time for hobbies is not as large as I would like it to be, and I am certainly more stressed than I would like to be right now. But at least I’m not (yet) a quivering mass of jello like I was this time last year.

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The Floppy Hat is Open for Business!

September 15, 2008 at 6:47 pm (The Floppy Hat™)

Calvin and I just started a new joint blog dedicated to our academic pursuits, which you can find at We just put up an explanation for the new site on the blog, so I won’t repeat that here! Go! Read! Bookmark!

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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

September 4, 2008 at 12:01 pm (Ancient Languages, Church, Theology and the Bible) (, )

Yesterday and today, I read over Doug Mangum’s series of posts comparing the new ESV and NLT study Bibles. Of particular interest to me was the third and final part in the series, where Doug compared the study notes of the two Bibles. In the course of his post, Doug pointed out several notes where he felt that the ESVSB over-theologized based on the Hebrew grammar. I scanned the Book of Jonah, available for viewing online, myself, and felt he was fairly justified in his points of contention with several of these notes.

When Doug ended with the statement, “what I’ve seen so far leads me to think it will be a worthwhile addition to the study bible market,” it started me thinking about whether or not I would say the same thing. I am in agreement with Doug in that I would be interested to see how the rest of the study Bible turns out (and certainly before making any bold judgments on the overall quality of the ESVSB – which I wouldn’t do based on one excerpt). However, considering the notes of the ESVSB brought this thought to my mind: in general (not speaking now of the ESVSB specifically) can a study Bible that makes theological or hermeneutical claims based on the Hebrew grammar, and on closer inspection, it turns out these claims are flat out wrong (or at least highly tenuous), really be considered “worthwhile”?

My problem is this: those of us who know the Biblical languages (or in my case, Hebrew and Aramaic, Greek to be added in this coming school year) have a great responsibility toward those who do not. There is enough self-perpetuated ignorance among lay people as it is, without those who have training in Biblical languages to be spreading more of it around. To me, this is almost unforgivable. Consider the general audience of study Bibles: the average Bible-minded Christian who doesn’t know Hebrew or Greek, and really has no resources to look up something a study Bible says about the language to verify its accuracy.

When it comes to interpretations based on the English, at least the lay person has English resources, if they so chose to utilize them, to look up and see if the information being given has some credence. However, when a claim is made based on the original language, what further resource does the lay person have? They are left with basically two options: trust that the person writing the study notes knows what they are talking about and accept what they say, or try to find someone personally who knows the languages to verify it with them. Since there are, sadly, hardly a glut of people running around in local churches who have a handle on Hebrew and Greek, most are left with option one. There is the option of looking in commentaries by people who know the languages to see if they say something similar, but ultimately it’s the same idea: they can’t know for themselves.

Therefore, I repeat what I said earlier: those who know the languages have a great responsibility. We cannot afford to be careless in our statements based on Hebrew words or grammar. There are hundreds of thousands of people depending on the accuracy, diligence, and scholarship of study tools to get it right. I, of course, realize that we are all human and we all make mistakes, nor do any of us have unlimited knowledge, and some are further down the road of understanding the languages than others. Obviously, there will always be some enterprising person who will make something of nothing regardless of how careful one is. However, to the very best of our ability and knowledge, when we are dealing with educating lay people (which study Bibles, among other tools, ultimately purport to do), we must be very careful in how we use the biblical languages to add theological meaning to the text.

Of course, ultimately, this would all be solved if every Christian would learn the Biblical languages. I am in full agreement with my husband there.

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September 2, 2008 at 12:36 pm (Education)

Classes start next Monday (the 8th), and I’m all registered!

Ugaritic with M. Kline
Greek I with E. Keazirian
Targumic Aramaic with D. Stuart (Independent Study)
History of the Exegesis and Reception of Genesis with K. Madigan (HDS)

On top of all this excitement, the CBD booksale is this Saturday! I’m hoping to score some good finds this year.

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History of the Exegesis and Reception of Genesis: Seminar

August 31, 2008 at 4:41 pm (Books, Education, The Floppy Hat™, Theology and the Bible) (, , , )

Well, I’m as registered as I can be for my HDS class this fall (it’s limited enrollment, and apparently I won’t know for sure if I got in until the week class starts, though the prof thought it was likely I’d get a place). I just ordered my text books off of Amazon. They basically consist of a bunch of commentaries, ancient to new, on Genesis. What could be better!? The Genesis section of my library just more than doubled with the addition of the following, and I’m thrilled about it:

  • Genesis: Interpretation by Walter Brueggemann
  • Homilies on Genesis and Exodus by Origen (Author), Ronald E. Heine (Translator)
  • Augustine: On Christian Doctrine by D. W. Robertson
  • Saint Augustine on Genesis: Two Books on Genesis Against the Manichees and on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis : An Unfinished Book by Saint, Bishop of Hippo Augustine (Author), Roland J. Teske (Translator)
  • On Genesis by Bede (Author), Calvin B. Kendall (Translator)
  • Calvin’s Bible Commentaries: Genesis, Parts I and II: by John Calvin
  • Ramban Commentary: Genesis by Charles B. Chavel (Author), Narhmanides (Author)

The only book I couldn’t find was the following:

  • St. Ephrem the Syrian: Selected Prose Works, translated by Joseph Amar and Edward Mathews.

It appears to be out of print, and I can’t even find used. If anyone knows where I might get my hands on a copy let me know! I’ve tried several of the major used book stores online, but I could be missing something!

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Tour de Japon – At Zanarkand

August 25, 2008 at 9:04 am (Personal, Sortofgeeky) (, , )

“At Zanarkand” is one of my favorite musical pieces from a video game – it has been since I heard it for the first time upon starting up Final Fantasy X, in fact. The piano version (both from the game and the arrangement from the piano collections CD) is beautiful, but recently I found a version performed by orchestra on YouTube – and it is absolutely stunning. In a number of places the strings add a gorgeous, bittersweet note to the piece that sends chills down my spine.

This orchestra also did a number of other pieces from Final Fantasy that are quite good, but this one is by far my favorite. If you’re interested in the others, just search for “Tour de Japon” on YouTube.

Anyways, if you’re at all interested, have a listen:

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Jeremiah 3:9

July 29, 2008 at 10:08 am (Ancient Languages, Theology and the Bible) (, , )

Thanks to everyone who posted a comment on my previous post regarding what Harvard class I should take. I appreciate the input! There’s still time, if anyone else wants to comment. 🙂

I was translating Jeremiah today, and I ran across this problem in 3.9:

וַתֶּחֱנַף אֶת־הָאָרֶץ

Here’s the problem: how to translate? You see, the vowels clearly indicate that this is a Qal. (Alas, the vowels didn’t really copy and paste properly. Just take my word for it.) Unfortunately, the Qal definition of this verb is something like, “to be defiled.” This is a problem because there is a direct object marker after the verb indicating that the noun “the land” is the direct object of the verb. So, what it literally says is “she was defiled (DO) the land.” Obviously that makes no sense. The stative definition can’t take a direct object. At first I thought, okay, perhaps the DO is really the preposition “with,” as per the end of the verse, “and she committed adultery with the stone and with the tree.” Unfortunately, “she was defiled with the land” really doesn’t make sense in context. The land didn’t defile Israel, Israel defiled the land, which is clearly stated properly elsewhere. So, we either have two options: remove the DO marker and thus we are able to make “the land” the subject so that it reads, “the land was defiled,” or, change the vowels on the verb to make it a Hiphil, which would make it read, “and she defiled the land,” which obviously makes much more sense, and also fits the context better, since here we are primarily focused on Israel’s actions, not the land.

After consulting BDB I see that I am not (of course) the first to notice this problem, and BDB lists both options for resolving this. My question is, is there really a textual problem here? Did the Masoretes mess up the vowels on the verb, or include an extra DO marker? Or, is this some sort of poetic thing, where they just liked the way it sounded regardless of what we say the “definitions” should be?

Of further interest is that apparently this phrase is not in the LXX, though I’m not sure about the other versions. (BHS has a textual note but I’m not entirely sure what it means!)

This would be interesting to put some further study into, but, today I must forge on ahead in my translation.

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