Just when I decided to get back to blogging regularly Reading Week comes and as it turns out I will be offline, unplugged, and out of country. You will have to wait until I am back in country to find out about Satan in the Book of Chronicles as well as sundry topics in Job and Qohelet.
In the meantime I will be publishing some posts from previous years (since I tend to do more content blogging, there are a tonne of interesting posts in the archives).
So I haven’t heard anything from visitor number 500,000 from Oakville Ontario, so now the free book will go to visitor number 499,999 who hearkens from Boulder, Colorado and visited early in the morning last Saturday 3 October. If that person doesn’t come forward, then I will try number 500,001, who visited from Tel Aviv, Israel who visited from a link from the Arabic wikipedia.
If any of these don’t work, then I will have to draw a name from a hat of blogs that linked to this post!
This blog has now reached over 500,000 readers and is (kind of) going strong. I imagine that I would have hit 500,000 a lot sooner if I somehow managed to avoid the blogging lulls over the years. I’m hoping I am back on track with some regular blogging, though only time will tell!
I would like to thank my readers — especially those who continued to look for signs of life when there was none! I hope that my blog posts, as well as my larger codex website is a useful resource for all who are interested in studying the Bible and other matters of faith — such as tattoos!
Number 500,000 Who Are You?
As I mentioned in a previous post, to celebrate my 500,000th reader, I decided to give away a book. The lucky winner visited this website Saturday 3 October at 8:29 am from Oakville, Ontario, Canada. (If this person doesn’t identify themselves, then the runner-ups are from Israel and the United States)
If you are this person from Oakville, all you have to do is email me (codex [at] biblical-studies [dot] ca) and confirm that it was actually you who was number 500,000 by telling me your operating system and what web browser you viewed this site with. If I don’t get anyone claiming the prize then I will post the next closest, etc., until there is a winner.
While some readers may see this as a garish ploy to attract more readers to my blog, as this blog approaches its 500,000th visitor, I want to give away a book. So here’s the deal: if you are number 500,000 I will send you a free book (I’ll give you some options and you can choose).
I figure that number 500,000 should visit sometime this week — spread the word!
Well, I am pretty much unpacked and starting to get organized in my new digs at The King’s University College. While I don’t officially start at King’s until July 1 (right now I am on “holidays” from Taylor University College), the folks here have been nice enough to let me into my office early since I wanted to get settled and working as soon as possible.
My new office is huge and even has its own bathroom (King’s bought a hotel as their new campus in the 1990s). My family took some pictures, so I will have to upload them for all to see.
My blogging as been pretty infrequent (as you all know!), though I am hoping to get back on track as I get settled into my new position at King’s. At the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies annual meeting in Ottawa at the end of May I was actually awarded the Norman E. Wagner award for Technology in Biblical Studies — in part for my blog and Codex website, so I guess I better get back at it!
Speaking of my website, I am in the middle of a huge redesign and updating. I am moving to a content management program (Joomla!) so that it will be easier to keep up to date. I have renamed the site slightly. Now it’s “Codex: Resources for Biblical, Theological, and Religious Studies.” If you want to see a preview of the new site (which is still in process of being updated), you can check it out at http://biblical-studies.ca/codex. I hope to have it live before too long.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more.
Assistant Professor of Theology (Biblical Studies)
The King’s University College
9125-50 Street, Edmonton, AB
Canada T6B 2H3
780-465-3500 x. 8102
tyler [dot] williams [at] kingsu [dot] ca
So, as I mentioned in a previous post, I had the chance to review a prepublication edition of Barry Bandstra‘s Genesis 1-11: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2008; Buy from Amazon.ca or Amazon.com). As a result of the nice blurb I wrote for the publishers, I received a free copy of the book when it was published. As it turns out I ended up with two free copies, and while I like to read, I find reading one at a time works a bit better.
To make a long story short, what all this means is that I have an extra copy of Bandstra’s new book — it’s actually still in the original shrink wrap! And then I thought since I have been so inconsistent in blogging for the last number of months, I wanted to reward my faithful readers who kept me on their blogrolls and continued checking for new posts (and even emailed me to see if everything was alright!).
Since I can’t give everyone a new book, I need some method of picking a winner. I could do something random like I have done before, but I figured I should somehow benefit from this massive giveaway. So here’s the deal. I will give the book to the individual who leaves the most humorous anecdote, joke, or faux pas about teaching or learning biblical Hebrew. Perhaps it was something another student did in class or a humorous way that your professor tried to teach a particular aspect of Hebrew grammar — it can even be a humorous resource for teaching Hebrew (a comic, short video, whatever!). I’m pretty much open to anything related the Hebrew that will make me smile and/or chuckle — I just want to give away a book. After one week, I (and perhaps my TA) will decide on a winner. And then presto! I will send you Bandstra’s book for absolutely no charge!
So let the free book giveaway begin!
(For those waiting with bated breath for my next “Yahweh – A Moral Monster?” post, I have it pretty much written and may upload it later today. Right now I have to go shopping with my teenage daughter… so pray for me! )
UPDATE: The unicode problem is fixed, though it looks like I will have to redo the Unicode Hebrew in old posts if I want them to show up right. The issue was when I installed WordPress at my new host, I failed to change the character set from the default to UTF-8. D’oh!
So it looks like Hebrew and Greek will now show up fine. The question is whether or not I will bother to go through all my old posts and fix them!
Thanks for all of the suggestions.
OK, as you may have noticed in my last few posts, as well as looking back in my archives, my blog is having some problems with unicode Hebrew. The following line of Hebrew is represented as a string of question marks in my browser:
הבל הבלים הכל הבל
As far as I can tell, this happened after I moved my blog to a new host provider. I can’t figure out what the problem is. I have the message encoding for pages and feeds set to UTF-8, which I believe is correct. Is there some other setting hiding somewhere that I am unaware of?
Anyone have any ideas?
I have transitioned to a new host provider for my website and blog and everything appears to be working fine and dandy. I was pleased that there was really no down time, though my blog looked goofy and wasn’t entirely functional until this morning. I am really impressed with my new web host — I get tonnes of disk space and bandwidth, multiple mySQL databases, unlimited email accounts and as many domains as anyone would possibly want. Very nice.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I am going to re-enter blogdom and will try to post regularly. I have thoroughly enjoyed blogging over the last couple years and have appreciated the number of emails I have received wondering if everything was well and asking why I stopped blogging. Let’s consider it a sabbatical and move on!
I am glad to hear that Jim West has decided to follow Jesus to blog again. His new blog may be found at http://jwest.wordpress.com. Welcome back Jim!
OK, I don’t know why it has been so hard to get back to blogging. Last semester I was teaching an overload and with other volunteer responsibilities I just found it hard to blog. This semester I am teaching a lighter load, though once you are out of the habit of blogging, I find it extremely difficult to get back to it. But I am determined that I will get back to blogging regularly.
I wanted to announce however, that this blog and my web site may be down for a day or so as I change internet hosting providers. I am moving my domain to a new host that will allow me multiple mySQL databases and multiple domain names so that I can install and play with moodle and a number of other things. The transition may be smooth and you won’t notice any interrupton in service, but I thought I should note it in case you think my blog was hacked like Jim West’s blog (I can’t believe someone went and deleted his entire blog!).
OK, I know I keep saying I will get back to regular blogging. This time I (hopefully) mean it!
I have been swamped with the beginning of the semester things like writing syllabi, updating course webpages, and — perhaps the most time consuming — converting my PowerPoint lecture slides to Keynote (which, btw, I quite like). Of course, it is never as simple as just converting my slides; I must edit and update them as well, which takes even more time!