Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lots of Class

This semester, I have to be loaded for bear every Wednesday. It's the one day of week when I teach all day long. I start at 9:00 a.m. and stop at 8:00 p.m., with lunch and supper in there somewhere. It's a long day, but I'm not complaining. When it goes well, it's actually a lot of fun. Here's the schedule of classes:

New Testament

Today we're looking at 2nd Peter and Jude. Many of my students are involved in some sort of church work. Some of them plan to be pastors and teachers. So when we take up these two letters, I like for my classes to notice what the New Testament does and does not mean by the term false teacher. That's important to know.

Life of Paul

We've made it to the Sixties. Having appealed to Caesar, Paul is under house arrest in Rome where (I think) he'll write the so-called Prison Epistles. I prefer to call them the Captivity Letters. We'll start by reviewing the history from Acts and by noticing markers in these four letters (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon) that make them appear to come from the same period in Paul's life.

General Epistles

Today the class will start walking through 2nd Peter. I never get tired of the add to your faith section of the first chapter. Seems like that passage was standard sermon material in the church of my youth. Just a thought: Is there anyone in the Christian world you'd talk about as Peter talks about his opponents in this letter? Who? Why?

Introduction to World Religions

A whirlwind tour of (some) Islamic history. During the Dark Ages of the Christian world, Islam was leading the way in virtually every area of human learning. This is where we got Arabic numerals, for example. I like them better than Roman numerals, don't you?


Tonight's class will be the third in a series of four lessons I'm teaching at the Colonies Church of Christ here in Amarillo. In the providence of God, there were people who decided to just get over the unconventional character of Ecclesiastes and welcome it into the Jewish Scriptures. We cannot be sufficiently thankful for that.

So, I 'm curious. If you were in my shoes today, how would you approach any or all of these classes? What are some of the best resources (books, articles, websites, videos, etc.) for these subjects? I like to hear what other people have noticed and learned.


Wade Tannehill said...


Have you seen Choon-Leong Seow's commentary on Ecclesiastes in the Anchor Bible series? It is like two commentaries in one.

The "comments" sections provide a good overview of each passage. Just reading through those sections is great for preaching or application. The "Notes" sections are more scholarly when you want to go deeper.

I know this is the standard format of AB, but Seow seems to have done better with this format, keeping the two types of sections distinctive, than some other authors in the series.

Frank Bellizzi said...


I have seen but haven't read the Seow commentary. He certainly has a good reputation. Thanks for mentioning this. Btw, is Seow a former member of the Churches of Christ?

Most of works on Ecclesiastes that I've read are older. My two favorites are the books by Robert Gordis and Graham Ogden.

Wade Tannehill said...

I don't know what Seow's religious background is, but he did graduate from Pepperdine.

Dusty Chris said...

Try Ray Vanderlaan's 'Follow the Rabbi' series. He a a fantastic resource and a great Bible teacher that comes from a Jewish perspective.

Anonymous said...

You only work that many hours once a week? Try theater!!!!!!!
S Bellizzi-Davis

Frank Bellizzi said...

I'm not Wonder Woman. Just a teacher. . .

newheights said...

Sounds like such fun.