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Re: [XTalk] NT Intro

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... First, a basic question: Since your request is focused on a NT Intro, what kind of department do you have in mind? It makes a great deal of difference
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 4, 2005
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      At 01:34 PM 2/4/2005, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
      >Let me put my question about the construction of an ideal NT another
      >way.

      First, a basic question: Since your request is focused on a "NT Intro,"
      what kind of department do you have in mind? It makes a great deal of
      difference whether it is in a department of Religious Studies, Classics,
      Theology, Ancient History, or what.


      >1. What material would you like to see in a NT Intro that is not there
      >now.

      I like to see basic methodology discussed and illustrated, with
      end-of-chapter exercises. I'd like to see each method described in terms of
      their interconnected intellectual history as well as bare-bones "recipes"
      for how to do it. The new part would include N.T. Wright's methods, as well
      as standard "Critical Scholarship" exemplified by the Jesus Seminar. I
      don't know how you could boil down Wright in any useful way to a size
      usable in an NT introduction, but hey, you invited us to dream, didn't you? <g>


      >What problems or issues that are not or are now only cursorily
      >discussed would you include?

      Wright

      >What issues of culture context would you expand upon?

      Oh boy. First of all, best-guess portraits of what Nazareth, Bethlehem,
      Bethsaida, were like, e.g. what would a typical day look like, from dawn to
      sunset, from the perspective of (a) a 'carpenter', (b) a fisherman, (c) a
      tax collector, and (d) a woman, assuming Galilee as the setting. Also a
      portrait of what it would have been like to be in Jerusalem before and
      after Passover, and maybe throw in Bethlehem as part of this Judean
      package. Add in what a meal would be like, and make a class assignment to
      stage a typical Jewish meal of Jesus's life for everyone to participate in.
      Maybe divide the class in two groups, one to host a "Galilean" meal, and
      the other one to host a "Passover" meal. For starters <g>.

      >2. What would you have included in this Intro if it could somehow be
      >computer animated and graphics intensive?

      I would also like to see the text available as *fully interlinked
      hypertext,* making it easy to quickly access
      * Biblical citations in any major translation or in Greek,
      * Dictionary definitions of key words
      * Maps
      * Encyclopedia articles (Here I would call the ABD an encyclopedia
      rather than a dictionary!)
      For example, if you're reading along and encounter the word, "pharisee," by
      right-clicking on it you could immediately pick from a menu facilitating
      access to a basic one-line definition, an encyclopedia article, a
      concordance of citations, etc (if the word is a place name, the drop-down
      menu would include "map"). And while I'm at it, I would want these clicks
      not to *replace* the entire screen with a new screen, but would reformat
      the screen with a sidebar with the referenced information, with scrollbars
      if needed, so you could see the new material without leaving your "place"
      in the text.



      >Among my wish list would be a 3D tour of the Temple,

      Agreed! Including the outer courts, and the approaches.

      >an animated map of the Roman campaigns in the Jewish war, and a map which
      >shows the progress of the Hellenization of Palestine and of Herod's building
      >activities in the historical sequence in which they were undertaken.

      I'd expand this a little to include everything from the Macabbees to Bar
      Kochba and Masada, with special emphasis on the differences between Judea,
      Samaria, and Galilee. For example, the maps should show the political
      divisions of Palestine in different background colors.


      >I'd like to see reconstructions, not photographs of the ruins, of the
      >cities cities Paul visited.

      Throw in a 3D animation of a boat trip such as Paul took, including one of
      the storms!


      >Dream with me people!


      What I'm calling 3D animations would be where you sit in a special chair
      with one of those simulator helmets on, so your 3D tour of the Temple would
      set up like you were going through it on a Segway, and the sea voyage,
      which you'd take in the special chair with helmet on, would move around
      like you were sitting on the boat. These are not far from what pilots are
      already using to train in. If you really want dreaming, let's add weather
      simulators (nothing like a dash of a gallon of water to help you feel 'at
      one' with Paul, or the scorching heat of the Middle Eastern sun.

      Hey, is that enough dreaming for now???
      <g>
      Bob

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    • Richard Mallett
      I have been following the discussion on an ideal NT introduction with interest, and noted especially Bob s message of Feb. 4th. regarding maps etc. What maps
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 20, 2005
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        I have been following the discussion on an ideal NT introduction
        with interest, and noted especially Bob's message of Feb. 4th. regarding
        maps etc. What maps / atlases would you recommend (printed or online)
        on which one could plot (say) the movement(s) of Jesus around Palestine
        (preferably one showing contemporary roads etc. that he would have
        travelled on) ? Do you know of any that include the different political
        divisions of Palestine in different background colours that Bob mentioned
        ? I guess one would need 'zoomable' maps (or different maps in
        different scales) to show (a) Palestine as a whole (and, if the voyages
        of Paul and the locations of the early Christian churches are included,
        the Mediterranean / Aegean area) and (b) the Galilee / Decapolis /
        Jerusalem areas.

        Richard Mallett.
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