Some helpful pieces on planning and study

I’ve been finding a number of really helpful pieces on different aspects of planning, research and study recently, and here share three of my favourites. Here is a belter of a piece by the wonderful Katherine Firth about ‘Taking a critical distance break’, explaining the very helpful process of stepping back from a project you’re engrossed in, to give yourself time and head space to see what’s really going on, what’s most important, how things fit together, etc. Here is a very helpful piece on Continue reading →

Sharing possessions in Acts

I recently gave a paper to a joint meeting of the Book of Acts and Use and Influence of the New Testament seminars at the British New Testament Society meeting in Liverpool. My full paper, offering an exegetical discussion of the sharing of possessions in Acts, especially in the early chapters, continues to be available for download for a short time here. It’s strictly work in progress, so please don’t cite it as a published work. I’d welcome feedback and comments. I’m also now making Continue reading →

A fascinating discussion of Matthew Novenson’s The Grammar of Messianism

There’s a really interesting conversation about Matthew Novenson’s fascinating The Grammar of Messianism going on at Syndicate, the home of many such book discussions, at present. A key claim of the book is that it helps to think about ‘Messiah’ passages in Jewish and Christian texts as engaging in a ‘language game’ in which they use the term in a variety of ways—and this is better than the ‘idealist’ tradition of constructing one view of ‘Messiah’ and then reading the texts in the light of Continue reading →

John Goldingay’s The Old Testament for Everyone series

It is my custom to read the whole Bible every year in my daily Bible reading, and I try to ring the changes on the system I use to do that each year. Over the year recently ended (I am not good at beginning exactly on 1 January!) I was using a reading system set up by a particular organisation and I became irritated by the devotional comments provided with the readings—some were just plain wrong, and lots were at best poor exegesis of the Continue reading →

An excellent new book on fixing academic writing problems

Inger Mewburn, Katherine Firth and Shaun Lehmann,How to Fix Your Academic Writing Trouble:A Practical Guide London/New York: Open University Press, 2018ISBN 978-0-3352-4332-7xi + 163 pages; £23.99 (paperback) £20.51 (Kindle edition) This outstanding short book will be of immense value to research students and their supervisors. The authors aim to address common issues which PhD students face in writing their thesis, and provide practical advice on how to tackle those issues. All three authors are experienced in advising and helping research students to write at universities in Australia, and their academic expertise ranges across Continue reading →