Daily Gleanings: Book Reviews (28 June 2019)

Mike Aubrey discusses six recent and forthcoming books in the area of Greek linguistics.


Mark Ward reviews Dirk Jongkind’s Introduction to the Greek New Testament Produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge (Crossway, 2019).

About half of the review summarizes the book. Approximately the other half interacts with ch. 7’s proposal of a biblical-theological view of textual transmission.

For the full review, see Mark’s original post.

Daily Gleanings: Open, Free Access Resources (27 June 2019)

The proceedings of last project EAGLE (Europeana network of Ancient Greek and Latin Epigraphy) conference from 2016 are openly accessible.

HT: AWOL


The Friedberg Jewish Manuscript Society has an online, freely accessible archive of manuscripts and transcriptions from the Cairo Geniza.

HT: Jim Davila, Stephen Goranson

Daily Gleanings: New Releases (26 June 2019)

Cover image for Newly available from SBL Press is Gideon R. Kotzé, Wolfgang Kraus, and Michaël N. van der Meer’s edited collection, XVI Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies: Stellenbosch, 2016. According to the Press,

This book includes papers given at the XVI Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS), held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 2016. Essays by scholars from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America identify and discuss new topics and lines of inquiry and develop fresh insights and arguments in existing areas of research into the Septuagint and cognate literature. This is an important new resource for scholars and students who are interested in different methods of studying the literature included in the Septuagint corpora, the theology and reception of these texts, as well as the works of Josephus.


Matthew Crawford’s new book, The Eusebian Canon Tables: Ordering Textual Knowledge in Late Antiquity (OUP, 2019), has now released. It may, however, still be en route to some retailers (e.g., Amazon as of this writing). Per the publisher’s description,

One of the books most central to late-antique religious life was the four-gospel codex, containing the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. A common feature in such manuscripts was a marginal cross-referencing system known as the Canon Tables. This reading aid was invented in the early fourth century by Eusebius of Caesarea and represented a milestone achievement both in the history of the book and in the scholarly study of the fourfold gospel. In this work, Matthew R. Crawford provides the first book-length treatment of the origins and use of the Canon Tables apparatus in any language.

HT: Larry Hurtado

Daily Gleanings: Avoiding Distraction (25 July 2019)

Michael Hyatt and Megan Hyatt Miller discuss how to avoid drifting along without accomplishing what you mean to.

The discussion is directed most immediately at leaders. But as with many such things, there are direct lines of application in other contexts too (e.g., those of us who need to avoid drifting off course from completing a degree or writing project).


Cal Newport discusses digital distractions and how to avoid them on the Entreleadership podcast.

Daily Gleanings: Insights from Freedom (24 June 2019)

Freedom releases Insight for Chrome. According to Freedom, Insight

is a simple plugin that shows you where you are spending your time in Chrome.

Insight tracks the time you spend on websites in Chrome, and provides a simple display so you can see where you’re spending your time. You can drill down into individual sites and see your daily time on each site.…

We’ve built Insight to be privacy-conscious. All of the tracking data is stored locally and not sent anywhere (the cloud, our servers, etc.). You can also disable tracking and hide sites, if you want to.

For more information or to try Insight, visit the Chrome Web Store.


The Freedom blog has a helpful essay on managing time (i.e., managing yourself in time) to cut through the clutter of distractions. The piece comments, in part,

Most people understand the importance of managing their time, but they’re thinking about it in the wrong way. They mistake efficiency or “busyness” for a sustainable time management strategy.

Getting things done is a crucial piece of time management — but it’s just one of many. In today’s age of infinite choices and distractions, deciding what not to do is just as important.

A solid time management strategy, then, is all about stacking the deck to make the right choices as often as possible.

Effective time management starts with a clear vision of your core goals and values. Racing through a dozen minor tasks might be less valuable than a single difficult one that’s more aligned with your vision. The question shifts from “How can I get the most done possible?” to “How can I have the most impact on what matters most?”

The essay also identifies four common productivity killers: decision fatigue, overwhelm, procrastination, and lack of efficiency. Others have made similar lists in the past. But a particularly helpful contribution Freedom makes with this piece is to structure time management strategies under each of these headings. So if you know a particular problem you have, it’s quite easy to read through the section on that problem for some ideas about how to start overcoming it.

For this outline and additional reflections from Freedom, see the original post.

Online Spiritual Formation in Christian Higher Education

What is the nature of spiritual formation? How is it possible to work toward formation in online education? Or, is it?

Questions about Online Education

In recent years, questions like these have often been raised and discussed. Christian institutions of higher education have grappled with market forces. They’ve wrestled with an increasing presence of online initiatives.

In so doing, sometimes serious concerns have been raised. If online students are physically absent from their institutions, does not this absence negatively affect students’ spiritual formation?

Moving toward an Answer

The answer I’d like to give is, in short: “No, online education isn’t necessarily any more problematic than physically face-to-face education when it comes to fostering students’ spiritual formation.”

Each mode—whether online or face-to-face—includes challenges. Sometimes the challenges are common to both sides. Sometimes they’re unique to one or the other. But in neither case do the challenges necessarily make either mode inappropriate for institutions concerned with students’ spiritual formation.

It doesn’t seem like that long ago, but for about the past decade, I’ve primarily worked in online education in one way or another. This began from force of necessity—employment is a very good thing, especially when you have a family in the mix.

Over that time, as both an online professor and an online administrator, I’ve made (and still make) plenty of mistakes. I’ve seen spiritual formation both grow out of this online context and fail to do so. Yet for all intents and purposes, this has looked to me an awfully lot like what we might experience also if we’re working at formation physically face-to-face.

“Play” as an Approach to Spiritual Formation

But why and how does this happen? And how can Christian educators can move toward doing better at online spiritual formation?

As an attempt at answering these questions, I’m grateful to Theological Education for carrying my essay “Gaming the System: Online Spiritual Formation in Christian Higher Education” (52.2 [2019]: 43–53). This essay is reproduced in full below with permission.

My main argument is that the to-and-fro movement of “play” lies at the heart of what enables spiritual formation. And that’s true whether this formation happens online or onground.

If you’re in Christian higher education in whatever capacity (e.g., students, faculty, administration), I hope you find the essay helpful in framing how we might approach spiritual formation online. And as always, I welcome your comments and further discussion below.

For faculty, staff, and administrators, what have you found to be effective “moves” for you to make to encourage online students’ spiritual formation?

For students, what “moves” have your faculty, staff, or administration made that you felt particularly encouraged your spiritual formation?

Header image credit: Ben White via Unsplash