Although it is now 2013, I'd like to mention three special blogs that I encountered in 2012.
1. The first is Derek Leman's Messianic Jewish Musings.
Derek Leman is a Messianic Jewish rabbi. I actually visited Derek's
blog once or twice prior to 2012, since he travels in biblioblogger
circles, like me. But 2012 was the year when I officially became a
Derek Leman enthusiast! It started with a post that he wrote about slavery in the Torah.
At the time, I was not thoroughly acquainted with Derek's work and
background, and so I was expecting the post to be a typical conservative
Christian whitewash of slavery in the Bible. But it wasn't, for Derek
acknowledged and wrestled with hard issues. Moreover, I learned
something from reading the post, such as the view some have proposed
that the slave in Exodus 21 who is released on the seventh year is not
an Israelite (this view does not regard ivri in Exodus 21:2 as
meaning a Hebrew Israelite), as well as other ideas. I learned that
Derek has an M.T.S. in Hebrew Bible from Emory University, and I saw by
looking at his blog posts and online discussions that he is very well
acquainted with scholarship on the Bible, Second Temple Judaism, and
rabbinics. I subscribed to his Daily D'var, which is his daily
commentary on the Torah and the Gospels, as well as his Daily Isaiah,
which is his commentary on the Book of Isaiah, and, like his post about
slavery that drew me to his work, these daily commentaries that he sends
out interact with scholarship and wrestle with difficult issues. There
are plenty of Messianic rabbis out there who clearly don't know what
they're talking about when it comes to the Bible and Judaism, but Derek does
know what he's talking about. I'm happy to journey with him as someone
who seeks to understand the Bible from a scholarly perspective, and
also as a person of faith.
2. One day in
2012, a man named Lee Harmon commented on my blog and said that he was
including my blog on his blogroll. I checked out his blog, The Dubious Disciple,
and I liked what I saw. Lee reviews a lot of books, and his reviews
manage to capture the essence of books in a succinct and readable
manner. And, on the days when he is not reviewing books, he blogs about
odd details in the Bible. Often, he teaches me something that I did
not know before. Sometimes, he just asks questions. In any case, I
read him every day, whatever he blogs about. A while back, Lee sent me
his latest book, John's Gospel: The Way It Happened, and my blog posts about that will be appearing soon!
3. On July 29, 2012, I wrote a post in which I commented about a piece by Erin Thomas on Rachel Held Evans' blog, entitled Embracing Faith As an Aspie.
Under my post, a young law student from Signapore, Samuel Tee, who
himself has Asperger's Syndrome, left a comment. I learned about
Samuel's blog, Sam's Place,
and I added it to my blogroll. To be honest, I don't always feel
comfortable reading blog posts about Asperger's Syndrome, probably due
to my own insecurities. But I really enjoy Samuel's blog, for a variety
of reasons. Samuel talks about his experiences in Signaporean
evangelicalism, which I find interesting, and he also discusses the
Bible and Christianity. I appreciate his thoughtful, methodical way of
looking at issues. And, overall, I identify with his story,
particularly his attempts to cope with life as a person with Asperger's.
Kinder gentler Islam
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