Author Archives: CraigT

MtE Update – August 2020

  1. News from the Justice and International Mission Cluster  (August 3)
  2. The most recent Synod eNews (August 6)
  3. Next edition of MtE. If you have something you would be able to prepare for inclusion in the next issue of Mark the Word, please let Rosemary or Suzanne know!
  4. See the latest update as to what has been happening at Hotham Mission
  5. This Sunday August 9 we continue our new preaching series following the prophet Ezekiel. The focus text this week will be Ezekiel 6.1-10, with the set reading from Matthew as well, see here for comment on the Matthew text.  If you’ve not already looked at them, some background info on Ezekiel can be found from the Bible Project’s summary of the book in two videos — Part 1 and Part 2 (about 15 minutes in total) — and from Professor Christine Hayes’ introduction to Ezekiel in her Yale lectures (about the first 30 minutes of this lecture; this is the material we are presently using on our weekly discussion groups).
  6. A brief account of ministry of the saint(s) commemorated this Sunday can be found here: August 8 – Mary Helen MacKillop  

MtE Update – July 30 2020

  1. Hotham Mission staff and our food support program feature in this ABC news clip this week (short – only a couple of minutes!)
  2. Our Old Testament overview studies continue – Wednesday evenings and Friday afternoons; you are welcome to join at any time. Details here
  3. This Sunday August 2 we continue our new preaching series following the prophet Ezekiel. The focus text this week will be Ezekiel 1.1-28, with the set reading from Matthew as well, see here for comment on the Matthew text.  
  4. A brief account of ministry of the saint(s) commemorated this Sunday can be found here: July 31 – Ignatius Loyola  

MtE Update – July 24 2020

  1. News from the Justice and International Mission Cluster 
  2. The most recent Synod eNews (July 23)
  3. Our Old Testament overview studies continue – Wednesday evenings and Friday afternoons; you are welcome to join at any time, even just to suss it out! Details here
  4. This Sunday July 26 we begin a new preaching series, this time following the prophet Ezekiel. The focus text this week will be Ezekiel 1.1-3, although we’ll here the whole of the first chapter, in addition to the set reading for this week from Romans and the gospel reading. For comment on the Romans and Matthew readings, see here.  
  5. A brief account of ministry of the saint(s) commemorated this Sunday can be found here: July 30 – William Wilberforce

MtE Update – July 17 2020

  1. The second part of our Intro the OT study has begun! All are most welcome — it’s easy to pick up if you’ve not covered the earlier video material (although doing a catch-up would be great ‘lock-down’ time-filler!). Groups are presently scheduled for Wednesday evening and Friday afternoon; more details here. If you’re planning to join for the first time, let Craig know so you can be added to the ‘Zoom’ link list!
  2. The most recent Synod eNews  (July 9)
  3. Beginning next Sunday, another preaching series, this time following the prophet Ezekiel.
  4. This week July 19 Peter Blackwood is our preacher, with a focus on the RCL readings from Romans and Matthew. Some introductory comment on the readings for Sunday can be found here.
  5. A brief account of ministry of the saint(s) commemorated this Sunday can be found here: July 18 – Macrina of Nyssa

MtE Update – July 9 2020

  1. The second part of our Intro the OT study series begins next week. All are most welcome — it’s easy to pick up if you’ve not covered the earlier video material (although doing a catch-up would be great ‘lock-down’ time-filler!). Groups are presently scheduled for Wednesday evening and Friday afternoon; more details here. One group presently has about 12 members and the other about 8 — we may be able to add a further group if there’s more interest. If you are planning to join for the first time, let Craig know so you can be added to the ‘Zoom’ link list!
  2. News from the Justice and International Mission Cluster  (July 3)  and July 6
  3.  The most recent Synod eNews  (July 3)
  4. Advance notice of another preaching series coming up from about the end of July!
  5. A friends of Vallore fundraising appeal
  6. This week July 12 Bruce Barber is our preacher, with a focus on the RCL readings from Romans and Matthew, looking again at the selection from Paul’s letter to the Romans. Some introductory comment on the readings for Sunday can be found here.
  7. A brief account of ministry of the saint(s) commemorated this Sunday can be found here: July 12 – Desiderius Erasmus

MtE Update – July 2 2020

  1. We’ve got another preaching series coming up from about the end of July, after following Paul to the end of chapter 8 in Romans.
  2. Our ‘Illuminating Faith’ continues to serve the wider church in its provision of study and worship materials. The latest addition is the full content of the study series which some have recently been enjoying — an introductory survey of the Old Testament from the perspective of modern scholarship. You can have a look at the landing page for Illuminating Faith here.
  3. A friends of Vallore fundraising appeal
  4. This week July 5 we continue with the set RCL readings, looking again at the selection from Paul’s letter to the Romans. Some introductory comment on the readings for Sunday can be found here.
  5. A brief account of ministry of the saint(s) commemorated this Sunday can be found here: July 5 – Willem Visser ’t Hooft

Illuminating Faith – PART 4 of Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures

This Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures series provides a survey of the Old Testament, utilising some excellent online lectures and materials from Christine Hayes at Yale University. These lectures are a solid and engaging introduction to the OT as a whole as well as an introduction to critical historical work done on the OT over the last two centuries.

The material for each week of PART 4 of this series is given below, in a form modified slightly from the original resources.

(The original lecture series and its associated resources can be found here. The ‘Sessions’ tab brings up the full list of lectures, and clicking on each brings up the video, text and any other resources (occasional handouts, etc.) relating to that session.)

A book companion to the series as a whole, which at least group leaders and perhaps group members might consider buying, is The Jewish Study Bible: Second Edition. It is not exactly cheap – being around $AU65 new. As well as providing a non-Christian reading of the Hebrew Bible, it has a great deal of comment in the margins of each page as well as introductory essays to each of the Old Testament books and scholarly articles on history, interpretation, and so forth. It is a book which will likely serve purchasers well for a long time. A look at the ‘Look Inside’ feature for the book on Amazon might be worthwhile, if you’re considering getting a copy. See here for a range of online sources for this book.

Preparing for the discussions

Prior to each session, watch the lecture via the links below, or read the transcript. There is also an audio-only version of the lectures available on the course homepage under the ‘sessions’ tab — click on the session you want and the audio can be downloaded at the bottom of the session page.

There is often a section of biblical text which it would be helpful to read in conjunction with Hayes’ lectures, and usually a reference to the Jewish Study Bible (JSB) which will assist those who have a copy. The collection of lecture transcripts can be downloaded individually from the session details below, or as a zipped file here:

The Sessions

  • Part 4 Session 3 – Video 22; lecture transcript
    • Bible
    • JSB
      • Introduction to Ezra and Introduction to Nehemiah (JSB pp. 1666-71 and 1688-9)
      • “Reading Biblical Poetry” (JSB pp. 2097-2104)
      • “Historical and Geographical Background to the Bible” (JSB pp. 2055-2062)
  • JSB
    • Introduction to Joel (JSB pp. 1166-7)
    • Introduction to Daniel (JSB pp. 1640-42)
  • JSB
    • Introduction to Esther (JSB pp. 1198-9)
    • Introduction to Ruth (JSB pp. 1578-9)
    • Introduction to Jonah (JSB pp. 1623-5)
    • “The Religion of the Bible” (JSB pp. 2021-2040)

Illuminating Faith – PART 3 of Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures

This Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures series provides a survey of the Old Testament, utilising some excellent online lectures and materials from Christine Hayes at Yale University. These lectures are a solid and engaging introduction to the OT as a whole as well as an introduction to critical historical work done on the OT over the last two centuries.

The material for each week of PART 3 of this series is given below, in a form modified slightly from the original resources.

(The original lecture series and its associated resources can be found here. The ‘Sessions’ tab brings up the full list of lectures, and clicking on each brings up the video, text and any other resources (occasional handouts, etc.) relating to that session.)

A book companion to the series as a whole, which at least group leaders and perhaps group members might consider buying, is The Jewish Study Bible: Second Edition. It is not exactly cheap – being around $AU65 new. As well as providing a non-Christian reading of the Hebrew Bible, it has a great deal of comment in the margins of each page as well as introductory essays to each of the Old Testament books and scholarly articles on history, interpretation, and so forth. It is a book which will likely serve purchasers well for a long time. A look at the ‘Look Inside’ feature for the book on Amazon might be worthwhile, if you’re considering getting a copy. See here for a range of online sources for this book.

Preparing for the discussions

Prior to each session, watch the lecture via the links below, or read the transcript. There is also an audio-only version of the lectures available on the course homepage under the ‘sessions’ tab — click on the session you want and the audio can be downloaded at the bottom of the session page.

There is often a section of biblical text which it would be helpful to read in conjunction with Hayes’ lectures, and usually a reference to the Jewish Study Bible (JSB) which will assist those who have a copy. The collection of lecture transcripts can be downloaded individually from the session details below, or as a zipped file here:

The Sessions

  • Part 3 Session 1 – Video 15; lecture transcript
    • Bible
      • Amos 1-9
    • JSB
      • Introduction to The Twelve (JSB pp. 1139-42)
      • Introduction to Amos (JSB pp. 1176-7)
  • Bible Project on
    • JSB
      • Introduction to Hosea (JSB pp. 1143-4)
      • Introduction to Isaiah (JSB pp. 780-784)

Ezekiel – That they might know I am the Lord

Over the period from August to October 2020 — COVID-19 willing!!! — our principal focus for Sunday sermon reflections will be the writings of the prophet Ezekiel.

Ezekiel appears in the Revised Common Lectionary cycle about 10 times, although largely as a ‘supporting artist’, complementing other readings or events in the liturgical calendar. Our 2020 series will be to look more closely at the preaching of the prophet himself, now supported by whatever other texts pops up in the Lectionary on those Sundays.

Ezekiel is a ‘long haul’ read, and attention to the whole of the text in detail would take a couple of years of Sundays! We will, instead, draw from the text via a series of themes central to Ezekiel, in order to develop a picture of his proclamation and what it might mean for us today. The principal text(s) for the coming Sunday’s reflection will be made known via the weekly MtE Update posts on our home page.

Preparing for the series

Whether you are going to be following the services online or attending MtE once we’re back for worship post-COVID-19, you’ll find it helpful to read the whole of Ezekiel. It’s a long text, and may take a couple of sittings.

Good support for this reading can be found from the Bible Project’s summary of the book in two videos — Part 1 and Part 2 (about 15 minutes in total) — and from Professor Christine Hayes’ introduction to Ezekiel in her Yale lectures (about the first 30 minutes of this lecture). A text intro with a structural breakdown of the book can be found here.

Commentaries

Two possibilities include Nancy Bowen’s ‘Ezekiel’ (Abingdon Old Testament Commentary – full range of purchase options), or Bruce Vawter and Leslie J. Hoppe’s ‘Ezekiel: A New Heart’ (International theological commentary – full range of purchase options. The Interpretation commentary series is also a reliable resource; the Ezekiel one can be previewed here, with a full range of purchase options (paperback) here (hardback and e-versions are also available). These three commentaries haven’t been sighted (libraries are not yet open on the COVID-19 regime!) but can be expected to be quite accessible and are commended on the basis for the quality of the series of which they are parts.

For the intrepid, Robert Jenson’s Ezekiel is a thorough commentary from a historical-theological perspective. Full range of purchase options, also available on Kindle.

MtE Update – 26 June 2020

  1. Hotham Mission at Work update
  2. This week’s Synod eNews
  3. A friends of Vallore fundraising appeal
  4. This week June 28 we continue with set RCL readings, looking again at the selection from Paul’s letter to the Romans. Some introductory comment on the readings for Sunday can be found here.
  5. A brief account of ministry of the saint(s) commemorated this Sunday can be found here: June 28 – Irenaeus
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