My thesis is finished, I’m back from the dead

The English part of this blog has witnessed to more than eight months of my uninterupted absence. With the Czech part, it was a little bit better – only five months. This silence was given by my involvement in master's thesis writing, which was accompanied by a number of difficulties, some of them almost insurmountable.

  • I was loaded with responsibilities at the School of Missions and Theology probably more than ever.
  • My second son (now 9 months old) joined my first son in giving me much joy and much headache.
  • In the last four months of writing, the universe seemed not to be happy about me meeting the deadline. My wife got sick, kids got sick, I got sick and went to a surgery, our bedroom became uninhabitable, all kinds of people suddenly needed my assistance, … and I could continue.

My Paper on the Exodus and Conquest

hyksos-ahmoseThe last of the three papers that I wanted to edit and publish is about the exodus of Israelites from Egypt and their subsequent conquest of Canaan. I uploaded it to Academia as usual. It is the paper that I wrote for Old Testament background class, which was my last and definitely one of the best. The professor has presented us with very well organized and intriguing data. I don't think that it's my professional bias speaking out of me. It was really interesting. 

My Paper on the Logic of 1 Corinthians 11:2-16

head-covering<personal INFO – CAN BE SKIPPED>Ok, I'm back. The last six months were extremely exhausting. In order to avoid one extra year of my masters studies, I had to take four classes in five months. This is comparable to a full time student's plan. I also had to teach a new course on the Corinthian letters (but NT is not my area of expertise!) and to go on missions trip to Bosnia and on business trip to Missouri. My life was adventurous. And extremely stressful. My wife Anička [Anitschka] was lion-hearted as usual, but still I hope that we'll have a substantial rest this summer.

My second son was born in the beginning of this month. We named him Saul. Saul Buban. He's big, beautiful, and a very good boy. He hates to be alone and to be hungry, which makes us both happy (because we like to be with him) and even more busy. Our older son is doing well too.</personal>

So much for personal info. I have three papers from the last semester to edit and publish on Academia.edu. I'll start with the one that I did for NT exegesis class. It's aim is to expose the logic of 1 Corinthians 11:2–16. These are the most salient points of my exegetical proposal. 

Two Of My Recent Papers on Academia.edu

Deer 🐖 readers of this blog, sorry for not posting anything since the Deluge or so. I've been busy going to Romania on Christmas, writing two super duper papers (see bellow), taking care of my wife who's eating for two again and interpreting for my dean from CTS during his lectures on our bible school and last, but not least at all, preparing to teach The Corinthian Letters, which only two weeks ago was totally out of my area of expertise. 

Some preliminary musings on my future doctoral studies

What made me think about doing a PhD?

star-trek-boldly-goIf you asked me four years ago (~2013) as a super young part-time assistant teacher if I want to pursue a PhD in biblical or theological studies, my answer would be highly irresolute. I did like what I'm doing as an assistant teacher and I did want to do more of that, but raising my qualification was something that seemed too expensive and time consuming. I got my first university degree in 2014 and while I did want to pursue masters, I wasn't all that eager to apply for it because it wasn't required on my current position (Czech law allows accredited institutions of our kind to hire people with no degree at all). I had my own books, my responsibilities, my relatively secure place in school administration. Why would I want to add more labor and toil to it? 

More Than a Half Way Through

As I mentioned earlier on this blog, this past semester has been enormously stressful. Labor ipse voluptas works well for me, but enough is enough. This labor was, on the other hand, rewarded by confirmed completion of the first part of my MTh program. This means that I should now be working on my thesis proposal. It also means that I'm done with courses. No more traveling to Brussels in the busiest time of my full time job and no more lectures. Not that I'd feel nostalgic, but in spite of my persistent intellectual willfulness, after those scattered 10 weeks of listening to professors, I feel kind of… “formed”. My views on certain matters in the fields of Bible and theology have changed over the past 2 years. I'm not really sure whether the school itself would like it. I'm pretty sure though that all of my 8 professors do bear responsibility for this development. 

My Paper on Historical Criticism

I feel compelled to present you with another paper that I wrote last semester. It's full title is The Historical Critical Approach: It's Definition, Reception, and Significance and you'll find the paper on Academia.edu. It was written for OT Exegesis class. My assignment was to define and evaluate historical critical method. I took advantage of this homework to cover many issues and thus to develop preliminary research for my thesis. Issues I attempted to cover and things I wanted to say are probably too many for a paper like this. But as I said, it's for a higher good. 

Hilastērion and Faith in Romans 3:21-26

I returned from my last course at CTS this last Thursday late at night, just a couple of days before these terrible attacks. This time, the course was focused on New Testament exegetical methods. The professor has presented some enjoyable material. Was only my Greek a little bit better, I would enjoy the course even more. But it wasn't. And as I was exposed to delicacies of diagrammatical analysis, I found my preparedness wanting, as also all of my classmates did. I hope I'm ever gonna catch up on killer Greek like this! (But Hebrew is first. So one step at a time.)

One particular homework that we were assigned to do was to prepare an exegetical sermon. I picked up Romans 3:21–26 for my homework, which is probably one of the hardest passages for exegesis ever. I won't share the whole sermon, just the most salient points with particular reference to the word hilastērion in Romans 3:25. 

It’s exactly when

… it all looked exceedingly grim
in the meanest din
between devil and his twin
you were kindly redeeming my sacrament of sin
as I exercised the whim
you were hidden in

it's exactly at the moment of my foulest lust
for the things unjust
infirmities of the past
you became my very very own inconoclast
as my time was being sowed
you were reaping rust

it's exactly on the fracture between you and me
between burning tree
and his fantasy
you were tightly seizing me by letting me be free
as you left the Plato's cave
I went to meet Thee