Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hermeneutical Bridge [Video]

Last semester I took my required basic exegesis course in biblical Greek. Students were given a list of several texts to choose from for our final paper. I chose Mark 15:22-39, Mark's account of the crucifixion of Jesus.

Our professor challenged us to find a good "hermenutical bridge" that would give us a way of interpreting the selected text for a sermon. Put another way, the bridge was intended to help each of us find the theological center of the passage.

This video [30.7 meg - broadband recommended] is the result of my own effort to interpret Mark 15:22-39. Inside are images meant to provoke the viewer into a deeper contemplation of the text. Artistic works from all over the world (including Austin's very own James B. Janknegt) appear in the video. The movie soundtrack is untitled track one from the album "( )" by the Icelandic band Sigur Ros. A live version of their song may be downloaded here (scroll to the bottom of the page).

UPDATE: archive.org is working again! Please try again if you were unable to view the movie earlier.

In Memorium: St. Valentine

Happy St. Valentine's day everyone. It is easy to forget that this day has roots in Christian martyrdom. The word "martyr" is based on a Greek word μαρτυρέω, generally translated as "witnessing" or "giving testimony" to an event for which the speaker has direct knowledge. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under date of 14 February."
The popular customs associated with Saint Valentine's Day undoubtedly had their origin in a conventional belief generally received in England and France during the Middle Ages, that on 14 February, i.e. half way through the second month of the year, the birds began to pair. Thus in Chaucer's Parliament of Foules we read:

For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne's day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.

For this reason the day was looked upon as specially consecrated to lovers and as a proper occasion for writing love letters and sending lovers' tokens.
Have a wonderful afternoon and evening, everyone.

Monday, February 13, 2006


This photo was taken from a path near the garden in Jerusalem.
Originally uploaded by whatnext.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Temple of Artemis

Taken from afar in Gerasa.

"The Temple of Artemis was built in the 2nd century A.D. The columns are 12 m high and each drum weighs 20-40 tons. Artemis was the virgin goddess of nature and the hunt (the Romans called her Diana). The daughter of Zeus and the twin sister

Temple of Artemis
Originally uploaded by whatnext.
of Apollo, Artemis was one of the most popular Greek deities. She was like “Mother Nature,” life-giving and supportive on the one hand, but cruel and destructive on another. Artemis was also the patron goddess of a temple at Ephesus, whose well-being was threatened by the presence of the Gospel (Acts 19)."

[Description taken from BiblePlaces.com]