04 August 2009

cheating on my first love

i've known for years that I'd like to study and write more on the book of Jeremiah. i find the book of Jeremiah fascinating - a wonderful mixture of different poetry, and actions, and confessions, and oracles. the order of the book puzzles everyone. then the prophet himself is fascinating. and the theological message of repenting, but disaster is still coming, appears to be a paradox - and doesn't fit with any kind of happy feel good theology. i could spend aeons studying it. Jeremiah is the obvious book to focus in for my doctoral research.

at the same time, last year i was offered that temporary temporary position working on the database with the Werkgroep. it involved labelling of parts of speech and valancy, and also creating structural outlines (something i think only a few people find fascinating). someone had already done the book of Jeremiah, but Ezekiel had to be done - and so that was my project.

i've spent the last year with Ezekiel, feeling a bit like i was cheating on my first love. but the story gets worse!

although i still find the book and person of Jeremiah more fascinating (and wouldn't mind spending years and years working on it), the book of Ezekiel - in all its oddity - has grown on me. i still think that anyone who'd purposely study Ezekiel is slightly 'soft in the head' but the puzzle of how the pieces in each chapter fit together grammatically and rhetorically - has captured my imagination.

and i've thus chosen to change my dissertation project. that i was as far along with my own research in Jeremiah as i was in analyzing the data in Ezekiel makes it feasible - and since my head is more immersed in Ezekiel, this switch is also more practical. it is also becoming more obvious that i will still to get ask similar questions about how to understand the text in all its syntactical complexity - just now for the book of Ezekiel - and then later for Jeremiah. i'm excited about the shift and the possibilities, although making the transition this summer has thus far had negative consequences for my intended summer project of finally making those revisions on my Calvin Sem ThM thesis :(

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