Last week was the first day of class. Since Northern Seminary is on the quarter system, we have three quarters of classes plus the summer session. As I return to class, I also return to blogging.
I have not posted to the blog since last August. It has been a long absence from blogging, but I felt that it was necessary to take a hiatus from blogging every day in order to concentrate on reading and writing to accomplish the goals I had set for my sabbatical.
At the end of the Spring Quarter 2012, I went on sabbatical. The sabbatical lasted from July to December 2012. The sabbatical was dedicated to reading, writing, and doing research for several writing projects. I spent these six months working on several projects that I needed to finish during this time away from teaching. This is the reason I did not blog while I was on sabbatical.
During my leave of absence, I accomplished the following projects:
1. I wrote a paper, “The Theology of Prayer in the Book of Chronicles.” This paper was presented at the Christian Scholars’ Conference held at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN on June 7-9, 2012. This paper will be included in a book titled The Theology of Prayer in the Hebrew Bible, which will be published in 2014 or 2015.
2. I wrote an article, “Acquiring Wealth in the Ancient Near East.” This article will be published in the summer 2013 issue of the Biblical Quarterly.
3. I wrote an article, “The Trial of Jeremiah and the Killing of Uriah the Prophet.” This article will be published in 2014 in the Jewish Bible Quarterly.
4. I wrote a book, Rereading the Biblical Text: In Search of Meaning and Understanding. The book will be published in June 2013.
5. I began my research on another book which will deal with the slave laws in the Old Testament. The research is well under way and I hope to finish the manuscript at the end of the summer.
As can be seen from the accomplishments listed above, I had a very busy sabbatical. In fact, most days I read until midnight. This kind of schedule forced me to dedicate every day to reading and writing. When faced with this kind of work schedule, something must give, and unfortunately, I chose to stop blogging and use my time for other academic projects.
Today I return to blogging. It is encouraging to know that many of you missed reading my daily posts. I received many emails from readers who wrote asking me when I was going to blog again. My students understood my absence from my web page, but they also were waiting for a new post. So, with the end of my sabbatical, I can dedicate time to post again on a regular basis.
This quarter I am teaching a course of the Minor Prophets. Each week my students will study one of the Minor Prophets. Today, our focus will be on the prophet Amos. Since we will be reading Amos, I decided to provide a brief introduction to this amazing prophet. The article on Amos will be posted later today.
I want to thank you for your patience while I was away. Thank you for your emails and for your words of encouragement. It is gratifying to know that many people follow my blog regularly and that they are enjoying reading my posts on the Old Testament. Thank you for your support and encouragement.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary