The Euphemist

Reflections on Jewish Studies and many other subjects big and little, by a perpetual student who sometimes searches a little too long for just the right word ...

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Christian, truth seeker, husband, son, brother & uncle, Lutheran pastor, musician (cello, etc.), Jewish Studies grad student, intellectual historian, aquarium enthusiast & pet owner, philologist, astronomer, Norwegian-American, Ford pickup driver, buffoon.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

10 Ten Reasons I'm doing this Jewish Studies thing

Top Ten things I'm trying to accomplish with the Spertus MSJS Degree Program (not necessarily
in order):

1. Learn especially to understand the post-exilic "Second Temple"
period (roughly corresponds to "intertestamental" period + period
of very early Christianity).

2. Use that knowledge to understand early Christianity more clearly
and in a new light.

3. Use that knowledge to respond knowledgably to people's questions
about the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi library, and many other
things that people get funny ideas about.

4. Sharpen my knowledge of the History of Ideas, world views, and "intellectual history."

5. Get out of an intellectual rut by pouring new stuff into my skull that
I wouldn't have otherwise thought of.

6. Sharpen my Hebrew, Greek, & Latin (The Gk & Lt will be involved in my
own research into the "Second Temple" era), & probably learn a bit of Aramaic
eventually as well.

7. Prepare for eventual work on some kind of doctorate degree.

8. Exercise my mind so as to help prevent Alzheimer's.

9. Probe the very roots of my own Christian faith.

10. Learn better to understand and spread the Good News of Yeshua Ha Mashiach.

UPDATE: two more things

I read my list & realized it somehow didn't seem like it mentioned the Jews that much, so I thought I'd add these two things:

11. To further love & appreciate the Jews and "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Psalm 122:6).

12. To learn what there is to learn about the Jewish perspective on history, culture, religion, etc., to learn a "second opinion" from a people who have all along been a part of Western civilization and yet a distinct civilization of their own as well.

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