I LOVE lulu.com (for self-publishing needs)!

http://www.lulu.com is a self-publishing company that allows anyone to print up and sell their own book.  They even offer assistance (for extra $$$) in marketing your book on amazon.com.

Its easy – just upload the pdf of your book that you wrote.  When it comes to cover design, you can simply upload your own cover jpeg file.  Or, they have a cover-designer with some really nice free stuff.  Then you choose elements like hard- or soft-cover and the size of the pages and binding.  Within 10 minutes, you can be ready to order it (though actually printing and shipping does take a while).

Why did I use it?  When I was at the stage in my thesis of printing out the whole thing (almost 250 pages), I found out that lulu does it cheaper (with binding and cover design) than printing it out through a local print shop or in the university.  Now, when it comes to the official thesis, you need to follow university regulation, but I wanted to print up a copy that I could proof-read.  I am a better reader (with an eye for mistakes) when I have a printed copy in front of me.  So I ordered it on lulu and it was great.  It looked fantastic.  Also, after I submitted my thesis, I printed up another copy through lulu that I will use in my viva (defense) and also I can print up copies from lulu for my supervisors once I pass (fingers crossed).

Also, I can see lulu being helpful if you have something that you, as a lecturer, want your students to read (let’s say over 75 pages long) that you wrote.  It is quite cheap and you can make it look very nice and professional.  Also, I wonder if you send a book manuscript to a publisher in a nice form from lulu, would it be more attractive?  I don’t know….

Anyway, the best part is that it is cheap and has lots of professional add-ons and an easy-to-use cover designer. If I can do it, anyone can!

NB: I know that Ken Schenck has used it; see HERE.

British NT Conference paper accepted

The paper will be given in the Hermeneutics seminar (my second year giving a paper there).

Here is the title and abstract:

Mirroring-Reading Paraenesis and Moral Discourses in an Ancient Letter: Sexual Immorality in Romans and 1 Thessalonians as Test-cases

Over twenty years ago, Prof. John M.G. Barclay wrote a seminal article (JSNT 31: 73-93) on the important subject of ‘MirrorReading a Polemical Letter’.  Barclay demonstrated concern for how scholars reconstructed the nature and arguments of presumed opponents (especially in Paul’s letters); he argued that often such mirrorreading lacks methodological precision and care.  His proposed criteria have aided in refining scholarly approaches to studying epistolary polemics.
The act of mirrorreading, though, takes place even when ‘opponents’ are not of primary concern.  There is also the matter of the author’s approach and response to intra-church moral concerns.  Historical and social reconstructions are sometimes useful for the purpose of determining whether the author was exhorting his readers in a generic way (standard paraenesis), for preventative reasons, or for reparative purposes.  This paper will explore a methodology, building on the work of Prof. Barclay, for mirrorreading moral discourses and paraenesis cautious of overinterpretation and other pitfalls.  The matter of sexual immorality in 1 Thessalonians and Romans will serve as test-cases.

In my thesis I did a lot of mirror-reading and the thought kept coming across my mind – ‘Why is Paul hammering away at this issue here in imperatives?  Are they struggling with this issue?  Is it just a standard request with no grounding in the audience’s behavior?’

On some occasions I found it hard to believe that Paul would be repeatedly making such commands if there were really no serious issues among the letter recipients.  Anyway, we will see how this goes.  Perhaps it will become an article, maybe not…

NB: the Hermeneutics seminar gave me a full session (90 min.) for this, which means 45 for the paper and quite a bit of time for questions.  So, if you are coming to the BNTC, please consider attending my paper as I would enjoy feedback.

New CBR online (with my article!)

The new issue of Currents in Biblical Research is now online HERE.

This is a journal I actually like to read and they have all sorts of topics covered.  If I were to personally subscribe to a journal (you know, if I came into some money), it might be this one.  Another one would be Interpretation.

About my article (on Paul and ethics); it was actually fun to write and the SAGE people were great.  I highly recommend publishing with CBR.

JSNT Booklist now online

I recommend, given the number of books reviewed and the number of pdf files to choose from, that you first look at the index and see which authors you want to look up.  Otherwise, it is organized by topic, NT author, or group of letters.  That does make it convenient in some ways.  My only concern is that the reviews are too short to be really useful except to whet one’s appetite and encourage one to order the book for the library!