Archive for the ‘reading’ Category

Constantine’s Bible

13 May, 2019

Constantine’s Bible: Politics & the Making of the New Testament – David L. Dungan

I enjoyed, and since less Greek grammar and more Byzantine politics, I pro’lly enjoyed more than Junia. LOL.

Lemme sum up… any errors in summing up, are my fault, sorry.

  • Jesus had followers, but since they thought he would return quickly, didn’t really write much down right away.
  • At this time, Greek philosophy demanded accuracy of who wrote what, and was the teacher’s teaching being faithfully taught.
  • There were many Christian scriptures floating around.
  • There was not a list of all of the New Testament books until ~300 years AFTER Jesus.  (I think I heard on a podcast, “The Table of Contents of your Bible, is not scripture.)
  • Eusebius ~325  list the  books that were “acknowledged as genuine by all”,
    • the Four Gospels
    • Acts of the Apostles
    • 13 Epistles of Paul
    • I John
    • I Peter
    • Revelation of John “if properly interpreted”
  • Eusebius lists the following as “disputed – though approved by many”
    • James
    • Jude
    • 2 & 3 John
    • 2 Peter
    • Hebrews
  • Constantine becomes Roman Emperor 312 – with the help of Christian God in a vision… and soon Christianity is the state sponsored religion, and Constantine assembles council to decide what it means to be Christian, and soon after there are less “other” Christian texts.



Junia – the first woman apostle

9 May, 2019

Junia – the first woman apostle, by Eldon Jay Epp.

In Roman’s 16, the Apostle Paul writes regarding Junia. Epp shows, through language study, grammar, other literature of the time that

  • There was a woman, named Junia
  • There is no evidence of Junia being used for a male during that time
  • there is plenty of evidence of Junia being used for female during that time
  • That she was an Apostle, not a term St Paul used lightly
  • She was a prominent Apostle

Never noticed this throw-away verse back when I was a kid, raised in a conservative “women should be silent in church” denomination. And, to be honest, wouldn’t have noticed it had I read the verse a few weeks ago.

Epp also points out that for first centuries of the Church theologians recognized Junia as female. But recently, some have said “Junia can’t be female, because Junia was an Apostle” or have said “Junia was a recognized HELPER of the Apostles”.

What to believe? … well, I don’t read New Testament Greek, so I may have to trust Professor Epp.

Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret

1 May, 2019

MsS quickly read Ms Judy Blume’s classic “Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret” and suggested it to me.

Totally my cup of tea, kid writing letters to God. And Margaret seems delightful. But, not really a fun read for me.

Did chat with MsS about a few parts of it. So that’s good.

The Thing About Jellyfish

9 February, 2019

I highly recommend The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin.

MsSqueaky read it, and wanted me to read it. The introduction, she had just gone to bed, so I went in and said “I’m hooked.” The first chapter, nice, I’m sure she wasn’t sleeping yet, so went to tell her “I’m really liking it so far”.

I really enjoyed it. I loved learning new things about jellyfish, I liked how sections were started with a “how to do a science report”, I loved the main character and her voice and the choices she made were totally in character, I liked the conflict with others, not because anyone was bad, but just different. I wish I had a science teacher like the one in the book. I hope I can be as awesome as the parents. I like how the story was born of a rejected magazine article, LOL. And…I’m glad I don’t have to go back to middle school ever again.

MsS and I chatted about the book today while walking in the snow.

A few quotes, just to give a hint of the flavor of the book, and I’m just flipping pages, I don’t have a favorite passage, but in no particular order, here are some examples of the text.

“Thank you, might Thor,” he said, “for showing us your seminal receptacles.”

I whipped around, the hiss already coming out of me. “Just go, Mom. I don’t. Want. You. Here.”

If I wanted to pass seventh-grade science, I was going to have to speak out loud.


Akata Witch

6 February, 2019

Akata WitchNnedi Okorafor

Your standard kid discovers they have powers, teams up with other kids and fights the big bad.  Like Buffy, HarryPotter, the Xmen,…

Started slow.

Good, but I wanted more of her descriptions of Africa and her magic system.

Great finale.

African Violet and Other Stories

25 January, 2019

African Violet and Other Stories – a collection of short stories, short listed from 2012 Caine Prize. 

LOL, as luck would have it, evidently one of my favorites of the book won the Caine Prize that year.

The stories I liked most were

“Bombay’s Republic” – Rotimi Babatunde

“The Verge” – Rachel Zadok


Shade’s Children

5 December, 2018

Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix.

It was alright, quick, entertainment.

Blue Jean Buddha

29 November, 2018

Blue Jean Buddha: Voices of Young Buddhists, edited by Sumi Loundon.

About two dozen personal essays about young Buddhists in America. As expected, some good writing, some poor writing. And as I should have expected, young people who are Buddhists, are pretty much young people. Weird, huh?

My favorite bit, the first essay, a woman wrote about an episode where she was screaming profanities at her boyfriend.

Maybe Ms Joplin understood it  better than me…




Best American Poetry 2016

26 November, 2018

Finally finished a poetry anthology I got back in summer of 2017…which ain’t bad for me, actually finishing a book that I paid full price for.


Veterans Day – observed

12 November, 2018

today, to observe Veterans Day, I read the childrens the beautifully illustrated

And the Soldiers Sang

by J. Patrick Lewis & Gary Kelley.  Tells a story of the 1914 Christmas Truce along the Western Front. I almost cried when a German showed a picture to the protagonist and said “Meine Tochter”.

We also talked about trench foot, snipers, trenches, poison gas, rats getting fat off corpses and ears.

We also watched a couple of  videos from the Auckland War Memorial Museum.