The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes wrote, “Furthermore, my child, you must realize that writing books involves endless hard work, and that much study wearies the body” (Ecclesiastes 12:12 NJB).
Writing many books involves endless hard work, and the same hard work is required when writing one book. It is for this reason that I am planning to take time off from blogging to write a book. Writing a book requires hard work and time off.
As I prepare to take time off from blogging, I take to heart the words of Sirach. He wrote, “A scholar’s wisdom comes of ample leisure; if a man is to be wise he must be relieved of other tasks” (Sirach 38:24).
As I begin to take this mini-sabbatical, I remember the words of Jesus ben Sirach, the same words quoted above. Two things drew my attention to Sirach’s words. First, Sirach said that a scholar’s wisdom comes from “ample leisure.” Although a sabbatical is not leisure time, it offers the kind of time a professor needs to develop his or her scholarship. I hope that this coming mini-sabbatical will be very productive.
The other statement of ben Sirach that came to my mind was his declaration that anyone who desires to be wise “must be relieved of other tasks.” These words are true. Anyone who desires to write and publish needs to be relieved of other tasks to concentrate on reading and writing. This is the reason I need to take time off to finish my book.
My book will deal with the character of the God of the Old Testament. My book will be a dialogue with Gregory Boyd and his book Crucifixion of the Warrior God. Boyd and I agree on some things and we disagree on many things.
John Gill, in his discussion of Ecclesiastes 12:12 wrote, “what one writer affirms, another denies; what one seems to have proved clearly, another rises up and points out his errors and mistakes; and this occasions replies and rejoinders.” There is much wisdom in these words. That is the reason I want to enter into a dialogue with Boyd.
Beginning today, I will take time off from blogging regularly. I may write a post here and there, but nothing on a regular basis. I will be back in March 2020. I hope by the time I return the manuscript of my book will be finished.
Until then, I invite you to read some of my previous studies. Below are links to series of studies on a multitude of topics. I am sure you will find one or more topics you will want to explore.
Enjoy reading. I will return in March.
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
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EXPLORING ISSUES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
10. Studies on Hosea
16. Studies on Moses