More on Idolatry, but Not Really…

Roland Boer was kind enough to take the time to respond to my thoughts on his initial post about the critique of idolatry in Isaiah.  I do want to respond to his new post, but I really don’t have time today.  So for the moment let me just say that Roland’s response is basically the reason why I like the blogosphere and engage with other people in this virtual space.  This is an instance where a well-known and established author and scholar has taken the time to engage in discussion with a second year doctoral student. And it’s not like I’m Boer’s student or anything.  We don’t even live on the same continent.  Additionally, his response is measured and considerate, which it certainly needn’t have been (being a scholar and being impolite are, unfortunately, not mutually exclusive).  I still don’t really know how blogging fits in with my broader academic life, but at least one of the reasons that I like it so much is that I get to engage in discussions with exceptional minds.  So, thanks for the response Dr. Boer, I’ll give it a think.

A Nice Development…

Well here’s a nice little development.  It turns out I’m going to be going to SBL after all.  I’d resigned myself some time ago to missing the annual meeting in New Orleans, but due to a happy turn of events, and some help from a number of different parties (a thousand thanks to all of them), I get to head on down to the Big Easy for a few days come November.  The one bummer is that I don’t get to do the full lecture and translation time for Intermediate Hebrew for that Tuesday (I TA for the class), but that’s a concession I can live with.  And I imagine the IH students will be happy to have the day off as well.

Now I have to set about the task of deciding which sessions I want to attend.  Too bad I’m way too late for the biblioblogger’s dinner, but I guess I’ll just have to find some other way to meet some of my online acquaintances in person.  In any case, if you’re gonna be at SBL I hope to see you there.  And if you see an average sized guy (read here, a kinda short guy) with glasses, a very likable disposition, and a name-tag that says “Colin Toffelmire,” please stop me and say hi.

New Stuff…

So here’s the new WordPress page. I won’t bore you with the reasons for the move from blogger, but suffice to say I’m happy so far. Also I’ve added a page for online Hebrew resources. Feel free to check it out, and of course to suggest additional content.

Updated blogroll…

I’ve added a bunch of new blogs to the blogroll today, mostly as a result of the recent discussion among a number of bibliobloggers regarding women and biblioblogging. Thanks to April and Pat for pointing several of them out. I’d already been visiting some (especially Boulders to Bits, which is a favorite that just never got added for some reason), but others were brand new to me and a couple of them even deal with Hebrew linguistics and discourse analysis, and so are particularly welcome. I freely admit that I cherry picked the blogs that talk about stuff I’m interested in, cause that’s how my blogroll rolls (hehe, get it? get it?).

An aside regarding the conversation about sexism in the biblioblogosphere. Though I think that the conversation has gotten a little nasty on both sides at times, Judy reminds us men that we just don’t have as much invested in this issue as women do. That may seem obscenely obvious, but it’s something that I know I often forget. That said it’s not too surprising that some of the women who blog about academic biblical studies are a little pissed. But why are some of the men?

As an aside to the aside. April writes, “I have to say that it is striking how immediately aggressive and sexualized some of the male reaction to my gender blogging has been, and how the humor used (including the cartoons and some of my colleagues reactions to those cartoons and circulation of them) turned women like me into either bitches, madams, or dominatrixes.” First of all, I agree that a lot of the vehement reaction from some bloggers was striking and aggressive (and not in a good way). Second, with regard to the cartoons, I assume she’s referring to these cartoons posted by Jim Linville. The reason I mention these specifically is because I linked to them and noted they were funny in my previous post and I wanted to clarify. I don’t think they are funny because they portray women as bitches or madams. I took them ironically, as attacks on men who think of women as “bitchy” when they behave in a way that would get a man the label “aggressive.” In other words I saw them as ironic feminist digs at a sexist culture.

Why John Hobbins and Alan Lenzi are Awesome…

Speaking of blogs I really like, I just read a great comment response over on John HobbinsAncient Hebrew Poetry. The post itself is, of course, excellent and stimulating as usual, but his extended response to one of his commentators is just brilliant. Reading it was, for me, one of those moments when you find somebody else articulating perfectly thoughts you’ve been mulling over for a while but just couldn’t quite spit out. I have this experience regularly on John’s blog. Though, I should also note, he remains mistaken in his belief that Hebrew has a tense-based verbal system ;).

Update: Not surprisingly John’s response led to an extended discussion regarding the nature and respective merits of deism/theism and agnosticism between John and a reader (and scholar) named Alan Lenzi. On the substance of the discussion I tend to come down on John’s side (not very surprising), but I appreciated Alan’s point of view and the way that he expressed himself. Very often discussions like this are filled with invective and varying levels of unkindness. John and Alan, however, manage to have a discussion in which they disagree strongly without (to be blunt) behaving like jackasses. This is rare and refreshing. I wonder if the reason for their ability to converse civilly on such an incindiary subject is a product of both intellectual humility and intellectual rigor. I think that it is.

Crap…

Crap, I’ve been added to a list.  I commented on a post over at Hebrew and Greek Reader and in reward for my thoughts Daniel and Tonya (they are two people right?) put me on their list of student bibliobloggers.*  Which means that now I have to actually pay some attention to my poor old blog.  For the past three weeks or so I’ve been right on the verge of taking randomcolin off the air for good, but I suppose that, now I’m on a list and all, I should try to live up to this great trust.  Though on an upnote, I did make their top ten list for their favorite comments recently, huzzah!

If you’re into Greek and Hebrew or linguistics generally (and who isn’t?!) go check out Daniel and Tonya’s blog, it’s excellent.  Plus they like Derek Webb and so must be very nice people indeed.  Plus they go to school at Stellenbosch and study with Christo van der Merwe, which is unassailably cool.

*For the record I hate this term, but as there are whole websites and tracking systems and rankings devoted to biblioblogs (a blog devoted, at least in part, to biblical studies), to say nothing of the annual SBL bibliobloggers’ dinner, the name is clearly here to stay.