Reading Isaiah as Christian Scripture

Tax Day: What should a PhD student in Biblical Studies donate?

Posted in Humor by Bacho on April 5, 2011

April 18th is the Tax Day.  Right now we all scramble to figure out where all of our Burger King receipts are for tax deductions.  Here is a list of ideas for what to donate to charities for tax deduction purposes.

Emmaus Secondhand Superstore reported these top 10 strangest donations:

1. Prosthetic Leg
2. An urn containing human or animal ashes
3. Bag of human hair
4. A birds nest (complete with Earwigs)
5. A coffin
6. Used and unwashed underwear
7. A set of dentures
8. 10 blown light bulbs
9. Sacks of potatoes
10. A personal diary with entries

This inspired my list of Top 10 Strangest Donations for PhD students in Biblical Studies:

10.Your German Vocabulary Flash cards

9.Starbucks Gold Card [without any balance on it]

8.Used Highlighter

7.A pile of xerox copied reviews of Brevard Childs’ The Struggle to Understand Isaiah as Christian Scripture

6.Expired library card

5.Bible Adventures Nintendo Video Game

4.Your PhD rejection letter from the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford

3.Sing Along CD for “Biblical Hebrew” by Victoria Hoffer and friends

2.SBL Annual Meeting Program Handbook

1.Your picture with Raphael Golb

Meet the Bernhard Duhm of the Moster Truck World

Posted in Book of Isaiah, Humor by Bacho on April 3, 2011

Bernhard Lauardus Duhm [10/10/1847 – 11/1/1928] was a German Old Testament scholar and theologian.  He studied theology at the University of Göttingen, where he had as instructors Albrecht Ritschl, Heinrich Ewald and Julius Wellhausen.   In 1873 he became a lecturer at Göttingen and subsequently an associate professor of Old Testament studies. In 1888 he relocated to the University of Basel, where he was one of the more influential Old Testament scholars of his time.  Today he is remembered for his pioneering work in Isaiah studies.  While the multiple authorship of the book of Isaiah was already a theory in circulation, Duhm’s commentary outlined the three-part division of the book as 1st Isaiah [Isaiah 1-39] , “Deuterojesaja” [Isaiah 40-55], and Tritojesaja” [saiah 56-66].

Now…meet another pioneer, the Bernhard Duhm of the Monster Truck world: Ryan Anderson, who became an Monster Truck sensation since he performed the first ever flip in Las Vegas during the recent Monster Jam World Finals.  This is amazing.  Almost as amazing as the impact of Bernhard Duhm on Isaiah studies.

The Winner of the Best April Fools’ Day Joke: IKEA

Posted in Humor by Bacho on April 1, 2011

Dating Tips for single PhDs in Biblical Studies

Posted in Dating tips for a single PhD, Humor by Bacho on March 30, 2011

This is a tip #3.  It is kind of different.  You are a PhD student in Biblical studies who is nearing the end of this academic hazing.  Your research on scented symbols in the Song of Songs has been consuming all of your time.  You can hardly smell yourself.  No time for social exploits.  Yet you do not want to appear as a person devoid of romantic interludes in the company of your SBL friends.  What do you do?  You need to check out the CLOUD GIRLFRIEND.  The new service allows you to create the perfect girlfriend.  You know, the one who will write on your Facebook wall in Ugarit, follow your tweets about the Old Assyrian cuneiform and Sumerian orthography, and otherwise make her ghostly presence evident through social media.  According to the site, here is how it works: “Step 1: Define your perfect girlfriend. Step 2: We bring her into existence. Step 3: Connect and interact with her publicly on your favorite social network. Step 4: Enjoy a public long distance relationship with your perfect girl.”

So if you are not yet ready to admit to your friends that you do not have a significant other due to the all-consuming PhD research project, you can do better than just put on your Facebook relationship status “Complicated”.  Go ahead give the Cloud Girlfriend a try.  But also remember Walker Percy who said, “You can get all As and still flunk life.”  So go ahead and get that scented research done.

So You love Karl Barth…Prove it!!!

Posted in Humor, Karl Barth by Bacho on March 13, 2011

So you say you love John Calvin, Karl Barth, Huldrych Zwingli, John Piper…Whatever.  I do not buy it.  I say, “Prove it.”  Here is Miljenko Bukovic, a Mexican-born newspaper vendor who has spent roughly $4,000 over the past 10 years tattooing his body with sketches of his favorite American actress, Julia Roberts.  82 tatoos.  One passionate obsession.  So its time to hit your favorite tattoo parlor and see if they can come up with a picture of your favorite theologian, scholar, pastor…


New Scholarship for PhD in Biblical Studies…Or not?

Posted in Humor, PhD Funding Ideas by Bacho on March 13, 2011

As you know this site provides, from time to time, unusual ideas for raising funds for PhD in Biblical Studies.

I would call this a Delaware Mystery Scholarship…

On Monday, a motorist called police after spotting what appeared to be money blowing in the breeze along U.S. Route 23 in Delaware, OH.  The officer who promptly arrived to the scene reprted that it looked like the field was growing money.  The bills were spread out all over the median and in between the north and southbound lanes of U.S. 23.  There was so much cash floating aorund that it took several hours for police to collect it all.  The total ammount could be around $100,000.  Police checked with FBI, local businesses and banks.  Nobody is missing this money.

According to 10TV News, “Police did not release any addition details about the money, including the exact location where it was found.  They are hopeful that the rightful owner of the cash can help provide those details.”  So if you could stop by the police station and guess the exact location and the amount of cash, you might score a hefty scholarship for your PhD in Biblical studies.  Keep in mind, if you guess wrong you might delay your research for a decade or so…

God takes no bull from us…

Posted in Humor, OT Theology, Theological Interpretation by Bacho on March 6, 2011

Here is just one peculiar example of why we need:

a.Grow in our capacity to read in the original languages

b.Updated English translations

Psalm 50.9:לא-אקח מביתך פר

Literal: not-I-will-accept from-your-house bull

RSV: I will accept no bull from your house

NRSV: I will not accept a bull from your house

Is YHWH not willing to take any bull from us in the literal or figurative sense?  What, albeit wrong but intriguing implications might the more colorful reading have on our theology?  Preaching possibilities seem to be endless…

How to properly honor your Phd Viva examination.

Posted in Humor, PhD Research by Bacho on March 6, 2011

The PhD viva examination, or thesis defense, represents the culmination of the PhD examination process.  It is a rite of passage in your academic apprenticeship.  A trial to be addressed confidently.  The gateway to joining the academic community as an independent teacher or researcher.  So how does one properly celebrate this momentous occasion?  While my moment of glory is far, far away, I have begun to prepare for it.  Here is sneek peek into a commemorative dance that I have been working on…

What in the world?

Posted in Humor, Life, Life of Fatih by Bacho on March 3, 2011

This morning I got the following message on this blog:

“I have been looking for a dating site that is free for STD dating for people with Herpes? Carol J.”

Why would someone in their right mind think that a site titled “Reading Isaiah as Christian Scripture” would be a good place to post that message?

OK.  I have to go read Proverbs 5.1-6.

Dating Tips for single PhDs in Biblical Studies

Posted in Dating tips for a single PhD, Humor by Bacho on March 2, 2011

So you are a single PhD trying to mingle at SBL in order to meet that special someone.  Here is a tip #2: you need to smell good.  Put away your old aftershave.  Thanks to the Telegraph, here are some fragrances that will guarantee to make you stand out:

10.‘Play Doh’ fragrance:
Demeter’s Play-Doh Fragrance is definitely different… you can get scents of Earthworm and Mushroom.

09.’Dirt’ perfume:
You can now smell of soil, too. Demeter’s Fragrance Library has released a ‘Dirt’ fragrance.

08.’Gin & Tonic’ perfume:
Some people just love Gin & Tonic. Others love it so much they’d spray it on themselves every day just to get that wonderfully alcoholic whiff all the time. That is why Demeter produced a Gin & Tonic fragrance into their ‘Happy Hour collection’

07.Republic perfume, the ‘political fragrance’:
American politics is a keen subject for many, some people might just get the common urge to smell like a politician. No fear, the Republic Fragrance is here. It is a complex fragrance blend that stands for conservative values, love of country, and a strong family unit. If this doesn’t appeal to your political values, you can purchase the Democrat and Independent scents too.

06.Biotherm Homme Force:
Infused with spring water scents and absinthe. Absinthe is not your typical aftershave ingredient.

05.Star Trek aftershave:
“Tiberius” is named after the William Shatner character Caption James Tiberius Kirk, and is a spicy scent with citron zest and black pepper.

04.Stilton cheese perfume:
If you’re a vegetarian, however, you can have a nice cheese fragrance. Released by Stilton Cheeses, it smells like wonderfully mature blue stilton. If you like to eat it, why can’t you smell of it?

03.Bacon oil scent:
The plain smell of bacon. To be purchased from

02.An aftershave made from cow urine by Gou Brands Private:
The latest in a line of products made from bovine waste to be launched in India.

01.Burger King fragrance:
The fast food giant Burger King is launching a men’s body spray known as “Flame”. It declares to be a “scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat.”