Easter in the Ruins

corinthbemaandacrocorinthtb011601091_2011_04_25_05_58_23As Provost at Gordon, Dr. Mark Sargent often has the opportunity to travel for various purposes and responsibilities he has in his role as a leader in higher education. On a recent accreditation team visit, he went to Greece. This essay is his response to visiting that land:

In early spring the scarlet poppies of Greece fill the cracks of the marble ruins. They crop up alongside the dust of tourist paths, and mix with the thistles in the open grasslands, not so much in clusters but in scattered blossoms, like drops of blood sprinkled over the fields.

When I visited Ancient Corinth some ten days ago there were a few poppies growing between the rust-colored stones of the Bema, or the public rostrum, where the Apostle Paul appeared in 51 A.D. before a Roman tribunal, accused of “persuading people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.” The proconsul—brother of the philosopher Seneca—dismissed the charge even before the defendant had an occasion to speak. This was, after all, an intramural quarrel, weighty perhaps for the poor Jewish community but irrelevant to the edicts of Rome . . .

Feeding Five Thousand

Hunt_Steve_2008_11_19_02_49_281_2009_09_16_05_12_42Congratulations to Steven Hunt, associate professor of biblical studies, for the release of his new book: Rewriting the Feeding of Five Thousand: John 6.1-15 as a Test Case for Johannine Dependence on the Synoptic Gospels in Studies in Biblical Literature, vol. 125, ed. by Hemchand Gossai (New York: Peter Lang, 2011).

From the publisher:Rewriting the Feeding of Five Thousand reveals the connection between John and the Synoptics with a focus on John 6.1-15. Statistical analyses establish the percentages of verbal and word order agreement between John 6.1-15 and the Synoptic parallels. An analysis of contextual agreements between the narratives in John and the Synoptics facilitates observing the percentage of agreement between them on a verse-by-verse basis, the average percentage of agreement between them, and the average percentage of agreement between them when Johannine material without parallel in the Synoptics is excluded from the data. Furthermore, this book analyzes the Matthean and Lukan redaction of Mark in their versions of the feeding of the five thousand and their influence on the Johannine narrative, as well as how John’s narrative can be understood as a thorough rewriting of the Synoptic accounts.”