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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Speak Babylonian?

I saw an article on BBC today about a new online poetry archive that is bringing ancient Babylonian writings to the public. The language is known in academia as Akkadian, and it ceased to be a living language about 2000 years ago. As a student of Hebrew and Arabic, related Semitic languages, this was obviously of huge interest to me. The article also links to the archive of the poetry, and if you speak Arabic or Hebrew you will recognize some of the words and forms.

The Professor in the interview about the archive has also released a book designed to a person to teach himself Akkadian. I might pick this up since I'll eventually study other Semitic languages if I go on to Ph.D. studies someday.

The product has only been released in the U.K. so far, but it will be out worldwide sometime soon.
Complete Babylonian: A Teach Yourself Guide

For some reason, I just love learning dead languages!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A real Interfaith Moment

A friend posted this on Facebook and I just had to share. In my opinion, this is how all Christians should be living out the teachings of Jesus. The saying "love your neighbor" comes from the story of the Good Samaritan.

25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"

27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'[c]; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[d]"

28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

30In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

-Luke 10:25-37