Saturday, February 17, 2007

Peterhouse, Oldest College in Cambridge

The oldest college in the University of Cambridge is Peterhouse, so name, of course, after Peter the Apostle. Founded in 1284 by Hugo de Balsham, Bishop of Ely, Peterhouse is, nonetheless, the smallest College in Cambridge.

The foundation of Peterhouse dates from 1280, when Hugo de Balsham, the Bishop of Ely, planned to start a college on land that is now part of St. John’s College. In 1284, he transferred to the present site with the purchase of two houses to accommodate a Master and fourteen “worthy but impoverished Fellows”, and Peterhouse was founded. A hall was built two years later; this is the oldest college building in Cambridge. Balsham died in 1286, bequeathing a sum of money that was used to buy further land.

In the early seventeenth century, under the Mastership of Andrew Perne, the College was known as a center for Arminianism.

Would you like to see more of Peterhouse. Here are three ways to see more. Take a Virtual Tour of the college, view the Peterhouse Photo Album, or view the 3-D Map.

To the left are the chapel doors. Observe the date on the right hand door, 1630. Above and to the right is the chapel interior. To the right is the court from the chapel doors.

Below is the Master's Lodge, built in 1702 by a Peterhouse Fellow, Dr Charles Beaumont, for his own residence. He willed the house to the college, and upon his death in 1727, the college occupied the house as the Master's Lodge and has done ever since.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Fitzwilliam Museum

Less than satisfied with my level of productivity today because I'm not feeling completely well, I have decided to take a break from research to visit The Fitzwilliam Museum. It looks like a fairly good museum. Best of all, it's free. I was able to view only about three fourths of one floor of exhibits at The Fitzwilliam Museum. It is quite an impressive museum. The portion I viewed is antiquities, Persian, Egyptian, Roman, Grecian. There is a lot to see. I look forward to returning to the museum to continue working my way through other collections. In particular, I hear that the museum has a nice collection of illuminated Bibles. Some of you may wonder what an illuminated Bible is. Here is a picture of a page from an illuminated Bible. "Illuminated" is the term antiquarians use. "Illustrated" is the term lay folks might use. Most illuminated Bibles and prayer books date from the Middle Ages. Skilled scribes adorned manuscripts, Bibles and prayer books, with pictorial or graphical designs, with borders, with ornate initial letters, or with miniature pictures in colors and gold.

Monks at Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, took on a variation of a modern scriptorium by preserving Medieval illuminated Bibles and Books of Heures (prayer books) through microfilm and microfiche. For anyone interested in their work, it is well worth a stop. The monks are pleased to accommodate visitors.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bruce M. Metzger Died February 13 (1914-2007)

Update: For a great sequence of tributes to Dr. Metzger, click here.
Mike Holmes, a colleague in our close neighboring institution back home, has written the obituary for Metzger for the Society of Biblical Literature.

I find the following story ironic and strangely coincidental, if I may say this respectfully. On Tuesday, February 13, during our chapel here at Tyndale House, during the announcements time, a Greek New Testament was held up with a query as to whom it belonged. David Baker, who led the chapel service, noted that the GNT bore the signature of Bruce M. Metzger, surely a prize to whomever the testament belongs. Little did any of us know at the time that Bruce Metzger would die that day.

Bruce Metzger, authority on biblical manuscripts, dies at 93

February 14, 2007, 2:04 PM EST

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Bruce Manning Metzger, professor emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary and an authority on Greek manuscripts of the Bible, has died at age 93.

Metzger, who was born in Middletown, Pa., died Tuesday of natural causes, according to The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home Princeton.

At the time of his death, he was the George L. Collord Professor Emeritus of New Testament Language and Literature at Princeton Theological Seminary.

The son of Maurice and Anna Metzger, he earned a bachelor's degree from Lebanon Valley College in 1935, a bachelor of theology degree from Princeton Seminary in 1938 and a doctorate in classics from Princeton University in 1942. He became an ordained minister with the Presbyterian Church in 1939.

Metzger began his teaching career at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1938, where he stayed in the New Testament department for 46 years. During his time at the seminary, Metzger developed 25 courses on the English and Greek texts of books in the New Testament.

He was also involved with committees in the production of three new editions of the Scriptures: the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament (1966), the Reader's Digest condensed Bible (1982) and the New Revised Standard Version (1990).

In 1986, Metzger was elected to the American Philosophical Society in the class devoted to the Humanities and in 1994 he was awarded the F.C. Burkitt Medal by the British Academy for his contributions to biblical studies.

Metzger is survived by his wife of 62 years, Isobel Mackay Metzger, two sons and a sister. A memorial service is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 20, in Princeton.

Read another account at the Home News Tribune.

See John Piper's
Personal Tribute to Bruce Manning Metzger at the newly inaugurated Desiring God Blog.


I respectfully reserve comment for those who knew Professor Metzger personally. I knew him only through his works, and what significant works they are. My first introduction to him was in reading the UBS Greek New Testament while in college and then his Lexical Aids.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Reading Day

Among the various things I have been doing today, reading has definitely dominated my time. One of the areas in the library that has drawn me is the thesis and dissertation bay. The holdings of theses and dissertations are from British universities, particularly from graduates who have done research here at Tyndale House.

Many, perhaps most, of these theses and dissertations have become published books, mostly in series such as SNTS, JSNTS, or JSOTS. It is fun (Is that the right word, Jeeves?) to see the dissertation versions of many
books that I have read. There are too many to recall or to list. One of interest was to take a look at D. A. Carson's dissertation from 1975 which later became a book, Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility: Biblical Perspective in Tension. Another dissertation that caught my attention today is that written by N. T. Wright in 1980, "The Messiah and the People of God: A Study in Pauline Theology with Particular Reference to the Argument of the Epistle to the Romans." Wright, to my knowledge, never published his dissertation. Nevertheless, upon reading his dissertation today, it is plainly evident that his dissertation anticipated the trajectory that his work has taken to this day. His ideas and thinking are plainly expressed, at least in seed form, throughout his dissertation. His The Climax of the Covenant: Christ and the Law in Pauline Theology gives significant expression to much of his dissertation but expands significantly upon it, in that the book also addresses Paul's Letter to the Galatians.

Bah, Humbug, You Grinches!

Phew! I didn't contribute to global warming. Or, did I? These doomsdayers are killjoys, grinches who find a way to steal joy from every event. Bah, humbug! You grinches, you're not stealing my joy! I sent flowers. I squeezed them real tight and sent them via wire all the way across the Atlantic Orcean and halfway across the American continent. When they arrived on the other end, they instantly expanded to their normal size, full, beautiful, and fragrant. Take that, you Valentine Flowers Grinches! Here are the beautiful flowers, straight from America, no jet transportation required.

Valentine bouquets 'are bad for the planet'

By Nicole Martin

The Valentine's Day bouquet — the gift that every woman in Britain will be waiting for next week — has become the latest bĂȘte noire among environmental campaigners.

Latest Government figures show that the flowers that make up the average bunch have flown 33,800 miles to reach Britain.

In the past three years, the amount of flowers imported from the Netherlands has fallen by 47 per cent to 94,000 tons, while those from Africa have risen 39 per cent to 17,000 tons.

Environmentalists warned that "flower miles" could have serious implications on climate change in terms of carbon dioxide emissions from aeroplanes.

Andrew Sims, the policy director of the New Economics Foundation, said: "There are plenty of flowers that grow in Britain in the winter and don't need to be hothoused.

"Air freighting flowers half way round the world contributes to global warming.

"You can argue the planes would be flying anyway but the amount of greenhouse gases pumped out depends on the weight of the cargo."

Vicky Hird, of Friends of the Earth, said: "We don't want to be killjoys because receiving flowers can be lovely but why not grow your own gift?"

The figures also revealed that imports of roses from Ethiopia have grown from zero to 130 tons a year since 2003.

Kenya is the second biggest exporter of flowers after the Netherlands, followed by Colombia and Spain.

In total, Britain imports more than £315 million of flowers, with the typical Briton spending £39 a year on them.

"That's very little when you think what we spend on CDs, coffee and even lipstick," said a spokesman for the Flowers and Plants Association.

He said the boom in Third World flowers would help poorer countries to build schools and boost the economy.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Research Concentration

My initial concentration was upon revisiting a paper that I initially wrote for and presented at the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, November 2005. At the time of presentation, the paper turned out to be quite different from what I initially expected. Since then, the paper has taken a more firm and developed form. The paper, initially titled "The Ox and The Man: The Use of Deuteronomy 25:4 in 1 Corinthians 9:9," has morphed into, "The Muzzled Ox and the Abused Apostle: Deuteronomy 25:4 in 1 Corinthians 9:9." I have brought research for the essay up to date, I believe, and have it almost prepared to submit for publication. I have not yet decided to which journal I would like to submit it.

Now, as I gather information, the focus of my research at Tyndale House library has turned to three areas. I am scheduled to complete three essays for publication before the end of December.

First is an essay on Paul's Letter to the Romans for the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. It will be a reworking of another essay I presented at the 2004 meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society in San Antonio, Texas. The paper was titled, "They Exchanged the Truth of God for the Lie: Echoes of Adam and of Israel in Romans 1:21-25." I anticipate that the essay will bear a different title because it will be broader, less narrowly focused, less technical, and more thematic in its approach.

Second is an essay for an edited book titled, The "Faith of Jesus Christ:"
Exegetical, Biblical, and Theological Studies. It will be published by Paternoster. Michael F. Bird, lecturer at Highland Theological College, and Preston M. Sprinkle, a recent graduate of University of Aberdeen, are the editors. The working title of my essay for this book is "The Faithfulness of Jesus as a theme of Pauline Theology."

The third essay that I am working on is one for a five views book on the relationship between Israel and the Church. It will be edited by Chad Brand and published by Broadman & Holman. I will let readers wonder and guess which of the five views I will be presenting.
  • Traditional Dispensational View.
  • Progressive Dispensational View.
  • Kingdom Theology Perspective.
  • Traditional Covenant Theology Perspective.
  • New Covenant Theology Perspective.

Farewell to Trond

Today, my friend Trond Skinstad of Norway left for home. He was here for about a month of study. He plans to return in May to continue his research and writing project.

Here Trond and I pose in front of the William Tyndale portrait the graces the wall near the entrance of Tyndale House. Tyndale House is truly an international community with someone present from virtually every continent.

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Tribute to Two Great Men: Abraham Lincoln & William Wilberforce

I am old enough to remember when we actually honored President Abraham Lincoln by commemorating his birthday, before Americans fell into the ugly trend of taking most holidays on Monday and treating the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln' and of George Washington (February 22) as one generic holiday called "Presidents' Day," which no one actually celebrates, except car dealers and certain other businesses by holding big sales.

On this day, February 12, it is fitting and proper that we should honor two men who shared a portion the same century, the nineteenth, but were separated by an ocean, accomplis
hed the extraordinary feat of ending slavery in their respective nations: William Wilberforce (1759 - 1833) and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). Due principally to the indefatigable efforts of Wilberforce, slavery was outlawed in the British Empire on March 25, 1807, just under two years before Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12.

The story of William Wilberforce's labors to bring slavery to an end in the British Empire is told in the movie to be released this month (Feb 23, 2007), Amazing Grace, the account of the influence Jo
hn Newton, former slave ship captain had upon Wilberforce. This is the bicentenary of John Newton's death. Dying on December 21, 1807, the former slave ship captain lived long enough to see slavery ended in his beloved homeland and throughout the British Empire.

William Wilberforce is one of many favorite sons and graduates of St. John's College, Cambridge University. Suitably, St. John's College Chapel narthex features a marble statue of William Wilberforce seated.

For an account of factors that played roles in Wilberforce's conversion to follow Christ Jesus, look here.

Thanks to the labors, courage, and sacrifice of William Wilberforce and Abraham Lincoln, our world is quite different from what it once was. Slavery is no more in Britain and America. Most regrettably, slavery persists in altogether too many places in the world, most notably in Africa, where Muslims continue to enslave non-Muslim Africans. For further details, read
The Unknown Slavery: In the Muslim world, that is -- and it's not over.

136 Inches--That's a Lot of Snow

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Beautiful Sunday Afternoon in Cambridge

The day began overcast, prompting me to carry my umbrella when I went to church on the east side of town at Eden Baptist Church. Rev. Julian Handyman returned to the pulpit today after an extended absence of six months due to illness. He preached a fine sermon on Jeremiah 45. I appreciated the worship service. The sanctuary was filled. Many students attended.

When I emerged from church, it was obvious that I would not need my umbrella today. What a beautiful day in Cambridge! The temperature was around 55 to 60 Fahrenheit, perfect for a Sunday afternoon stroll about Cambridge. First, I took a tour of the King's College Chapel, begun in 1441 and completed in 1547. What an exquisite structure! I learned that the stained glass windows, which took 30 years to complete, were removed piece by piece and stored in a safe place throughout the duration of World War II. The windows are priceless. They depict the biblical narrative, Old Testament on the upper portion of the panels and the NT on the lower portion. Click on the picture to the right to read the description of the windows.

As beautiful as the windows are, the eleganc
e of the ceiling is the definitive feature of the Chapel. The ceiling consists of interlaced ornate ribbing that form fans. Keep in mind that the ceiling is 80 feet high. Imagine the scaffolding required to hold the artisans who constructed the ceiling. If you ever come to Cambridge, you will want to tour King's College Chapel. It is truly grand!

Another cathedral in England that features this exquisite fan vault is the Bath Cathedral.

Sunday afternoon was still young when I had to leave the Chapel, due to an Evensong service that was scheduled to begin shortly. So, I continued on to several other colleges, but I will tell more of these at another time and offer some pictures as well.