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From the Notebook

First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pi...

First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pitsak, a Medieval Armenian scribe and miniaturist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My family went through another rough patch over the last week, to go along with the rough patch we hit about a month ago. So once again, writing projects got pushed back. I’m hoping to get back on track and to finish the Kindle Version of Nixon’s Guide in the next couple of weeks.

Self education:

– Audio Course: From Jesus to Constantine, A History of Early Christianity by Prof. Bart Erhman, one of The Great Courses from The Teaching Company. In this series of lectures, Prof. Erhman focuses on the early history of the Christian Religion, from a strictly historical perspective. It was extremely fascinating, and I highly recommend it for those interested in religion.

– Audiobook: Sayings of Confucius, a libriVox recording (free to download), edited by Charles Eliot, from the Harvard Classics. This public domain translation of Confucius’ Analects has its positives and negatives. I would definitely read Confucius before trying to grasp his sayings in quick audiobook succession. I used it as a way to refresh my memory, and I intend on listening to other classic books that I’ve already read for the same purpose.

– Read Second Maccabees, NLT (I). This work provides interesting insight into the world of Judea before the Christian era. It is the subject of much debate, but as a standalone ancient text, it holds the interest of the reader and provides a compelling historical narrative.

– The Gospel of Thomas, edited and translated by Dr. A. Nyland. The translation is heavily noted, with preference given to the literal over the literary. Along with the complete sayings of Jesus, New Testament parallels are also given. It’s a fascinating look into what likely constituted a great deal of Q. One can also see obvious exegesis in the New Testament parallels, meaning the Thomas Gospel probably predates much of the canonical Gospels. I hope to write a series examining in greater detail each of the individual sayings of Jesus found in Thomas. There is a lot of good, some confusion, a little malice, and a lot more apocalypticism in Thomas. The text is absolutely necessary in trying to get a better handle on the Historical Jesus.

– Read Tyrannus Nix by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. A tirade/poem against Nixon published in 1969, it includes the standard assortment of claims regarding fascism typically found among leftwing thinkers of the time. Still, it’s a fun book to read aloud, as Ferlinghetti has a fantastic way with words. Would not recommend though.

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