The end of my sabbatical has arrived. The task list is complete: LiDAR model of dig built and posted, final report done and published, courses rebuilt for the spring. My one regret is cancelling the Travel Seminar to Greece starting 1 January 2022. With omicron, there are too may uncertainties and too many risks. The decision was reasonable; but the disappointment remains.
After two delays, I am now two days into a sabbatical. I am amazed how many little details in my academic life need work. That work has begun with this website. With Flash gone as of 1 January 2021, I have had to re-record my New Testament lectures into .mp4 content. That work is done and they can be located under my Teaching menu. I have also linked in updated lectures from THL310.
But I have also started reading. First on my stack is Craig Keener’s Christobiography.
He articulates the genre of the Gospels and compares them to the conventions of the biographies produced in the early Empire. He is asking what ancient readers of such works would expect in terms of “historical information and flexibility in presenting that information” (p. 24). How this study might challenge a doctrinal understanding of inspiration and its corollaries (in the LCMS) will keep my interest.
For the second time this year, hopes for a sabbatical to work on the final report about the NIP have yielded to the needs of students. A second faculty search has failed, and so I will be in the classroom this spring teaching about the Bible, interpretation, and the story of Jesus, rather than publishing archaeological research about early Christianity. Although I am disappointed, my students always come first. I am sprinting to be ready for classes beginning 13 January. Archaeological remains were in the ground for centuries. The final report will come in less time.
I am very pleased that, if several factors come together, I will have a 6-month sabbatical beginning in January of 2020. The purpose of this sabbatical will be to pull together and publish in digital format materials for the Northeast Insula Project derived from fifteen field seasons (2002-2016) and the study season in 2019. Look for materials to appear here, on Digital Commons, and on Academia.edu.