Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Nathan Fish's Song

My son, Greg, is a songwriter. His oldest, Nathan, who will be six years old on June 12, improvised this song. There is a whole whopping 14:20 of Nathan and Eli singing on Greg's YouTube page. I excerpted about 1 minute of that long video, to let you see Nathan's creation.

It was a total improvisation, and starts out saying that Jesus Cares for us Everyday, but soon reminds me of Santa Claus. See if you don't almost hear a transition to "You Better Watch Out!", before transitioning back to a Christian song:

Sabbatical Begins

Grades Submitted on Time.

Yesterday our grades were due at 9:00 AM. I turned mine in at 8:54 AM. Yoohoo! I spent the remaining portion of the day getting ready to move stuff from my office to home, where I will spend most of my time working.

Workspace Set up at Home.

My workspace will be located downstairs in our family room. I moved an 8 foot table in there this morning, and will be taking books, articles, files, etc. home to work on the dissertation. Yoohoo!

Cubs tied for Best Record in Major League Baseball!

Previously, they were tied for that honor with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but now . . . it's with the Tampa Bay Rays! Were they perennial losers before just because of the word Devil in their name?

Friday, May 23, 2008

To Rick Brannan on Aposiopesis

I read Ricoblog with some regularity. Rick Brannan is a software engineer with Logos Bible Software, and blogs regularly about Greek. He is passionate about the Pastoral Epistles and Patristics. In his entry from yesterday, he called aposiopesis the word of the day. Rico just discovered the term in a commentary by R. T. France. I remember when I first discovered the term, so I wrote a piece about it. I think I'll leave a comment on Rick's blog pointing to this comment.


I have enjoyed following your blogs for a long time now. I first became acquainted with the term aposiopesis back in 1973, when I was taking a course on the book of Hebrews. The course was based on the English Bible, but I was a second year Greek student, so I ran into this phrase:

ὡς ὤμοσα ἐν τῇ ὀργῇ μου·εἰ εἰσελεύσονται εἰς τὴν κατάπαυσίν μου
in Hebrews 3:11; 4:3; 4:5 (apodosis only).

I was puzzled by the English translation:

“As I swore in My wrath,
They shall not enter My rest,” (NASB)

I may not have known very much Greek, but that didn't square with what I knew the Greek said. I searched for the answer, and found aposiopesis. I have been searching to figure out just where I found the term. In my search this morning, I have found A. T. Robertson's Word Pictures, where in his entry on Mark 8:12 mentions the usage of ει instead of ου being a case of aposiopesis, imitating the Hebrew use of im. Robertson calls Mark 8:12 (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, εἰ δοθήσεται τῇ γενεᾷ ταύτῃ σημεῖον) the only instance of aposiopesis in the NT, except for quotations from the LXX (citing the above-mentioned references from Hebrews). Interestingly, he does not mention aposiopesis in his comments in Hebrews.

BDF §372(2a) references this usage of ει with the indicative of reality as the manner in which the Hebrew particle אִם was translated.

Something curious happened about three years later. My younger sister was enrolled in the same Hebrews course. She had also studied Greek, and noticed the "if they shall enter into my rest" in the passages. As I mentioned, the course was based on the English Bible. Her instructor was really not all that proficient in Greek. My sister asked him the question, "Why does the Greek say 'if they shall enter' when the English says 'they shall not enter'?" He responded, you'll have to ask the Greek teacher that. Instead of asking the Greek teacher, she asked me. I glibly responded, "That's just a case of aposiopesis."

Now, more than 30 years later, I am teaching Greek at the same institution. Aposiopesis has been one of my favorite, lesser known figures of speech found in the Bible.

Thanks for your good work at Logos, and for helping many of us use technology to further our study of the NT text.



Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jim Edmonds is a Cub

Jim Edmonds has been a very good baseball player in the past. After last night's game, the Cubs announced his signing, and optioned Felix Pie to the AAA Iowa Cubs, to make room on the Cubs roster. Check the story here from the official Cubs page.

I have mixed feelings about this. I have hated Jim Edmonds for years (in the Christian charity-sense of hating the guys on the opposing teams)!!!! Often, when commenting about how much I hated him (to fans of the St. Louis Cardinals), I admitted his quality, and even that "if he was one of our guys I would probably love him."

Still, he's 37 years old (for those of my generation that is old when it comes to playing baseball). He is in decline. Still, he is rumored to have signed for the prorrated MLB minimum. He may be in the lineup today, as the Cubs battle the San Diego Padres (the team that recently released Edmonds). Ironically, 2-times former Cub Greg Maddux will pitch for the Padres, which would normally mean that left-handed batting Edmonds would be in the lineup. He was released by the Padres because he was not hitting well. I hope he comes out of his slump quickly. Jim Edmonds' career stats available here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Praise (and Prayer) of a Child

My daughter facebooked me, and embedded something on my Fun Wall. It reminds me of Psalm 8:2 and Matthew 21:16, though it is taken from the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. I liked it, so will share it here for you. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


This posting tests out a new function designed by the Logos Bible Software company called RefTagger. It is described here. What it is to do is to insert a link for anything that it recognizes as a Bible reference, like Romans 8:28. When you click on the Bible Reference, and window with the contents of that text should pop up.

I think it works just fine!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Super Mom

A belated tribute to Emily Fish, a.k.a., Super Mom!

You can watch this video here, or on my son's site. To get a high resolution download, check out

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Pass the Word Along . . .

The guy in this video looks familiar:

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Back from St. Louis

It's always nice to see the Cubs win. I made the trip yesterday with my son-in-law, Steve Robinett. I had assumed that he was a Cardinals fan, but he is not, so we got along really well. Nobody in our section was drinking excessively--in fact, most people in our section were not drinking at all :), which made it nice. The Cubs scored six runs in the 4th inning and won the game 9-3. Ted Lilly pitched a quality start, going 7 innings and even hitting a double.

My friends, Jerry and Linda Mitchell, from the Joliet area were there with some of their friends. I had told them where we were going to be sitting. We had been phone-tagging some, but really hadn't talked (It's easy to miss a cell phone call in a stadium when it's noisy). When we descended from our section, there they were! It was good to see them (my digital camera is still in my car--I'll try to post a photo later.) When I was walking to the parking garage (we only had to pay $5 for parking), I listened to a voice mail from Jerry Mitchell, telling me that they would try to see me as I descended from my section. Thanks for finding me!

I have a new phone, the Samsung Blackjack II. It is a smartphone, combining my PDA and cell phone into one device, which even has a smaller footprint, which is nice. One of the things the phone has is built-in GPS. I got the GPS going with Google Maps, and was messing around with it before the ballgame started. I had the GPS on my phone locate me. I'll post a couple pictures, taken directly from screenshots on my phone. One shows my location on a map. The other one shows my location on a satellite image. When I zoomed in, in pinpointed my location in Busch Stadium. We were sitting in the nosebleed section, but the seat was great. I'll post a 3rd picture, taken with the cell phone camera during batting practice, showing our view of the playing field. Pretty cool!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Off to St. Louis to see the Cubs

Wow! I was really hoping to go see a different team that is is 1st place. I will be seeing a 1st place team, but it's the Cardinals that are in 1st, not the Cubs. The Cubbies have had 2 very disappointing losses in a row:
  1. Kerry Wood's blown save on Thursday against the Brewers (that put the Cardinals 1/2 game ahead of the Cubs
  2. Last night's loss (5-3) at St. Louis in 11 innings.

What disappointed me most in the loss last night was NOT the walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th. Soriano did some things to drive me crazy:

  1. His gross misplay of two very catchable fly balls in the 7th inning
  2. His free-swinging approach at the plate, flailing away at nearly anything that comes within five feet of the strike zone

His 2-run homer in the 9th atoned for the above sins, but he really hurt us!

Today we have Ted Lilly pitching against Kyle Lohse. I hope it is last year's version of Ted Lilly, instead of what we have seen so far this season. I'll post some photos from the game (hopefully a scoreboard shot showing the Cubs won) after I get back home.

Because I have a friend named Charlie who lives in Tennessee, I need to be careful about scoreboard photo shots. :)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

ESPN's Sports Center is Very Helpful

If you follow a particular sports team, watching ESPN's Sports Center can provide some interesting information about your team. The Cubs-Brewers game was on ESPN last night, and the Cubs won 19-5, to keep them in a tie for 1st place with the surging St. Louis Cardinals (the Cubs are ahead of the Cardinals by percentage points.)

Sports Center informed me of three interesting facts:
  1. that the Cubs set a franchise record of 17 wins in April
  2. that the Cubs are 14-1 this season when scoring 4 runs or more in a game (the one game that they lost was Tuesday night against the Brewers when they lost 10-7)
  3. that the Cubs are 1-0 this season when scoring 19 runs or more in a game.

Thank you, Sports Center! Actually, the Cubs are 15-1 this season when scoring 4 runs or more in a game: wins by scoring 4 runs or more on April 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 30; only loss of the season when scoring 4 runs or more on April 29.

Eamus Catuli!