This week I started back into lectures and tutorials again. I am studying Biblical Exegesis and Theological Explorations this semester, both of which I am enjoying so far. Most of my modules this year will be exegesis-based; next semester I am studying the Pentateuch in Hebrew and John’s Gospel in Greek. I am not exactly playing to my strengths, but I thought that it would be healthy to push myself to achieve in the areas in which I am slightly weaker. I was disappointed to find out that I wasn’t going to be able to take another Hebrew module this semester, although I will probably be permitted to audit it. I was even more disappointed to discover that I will not be able to audit Richard Bauckham’s classes as they are so full. Bauckham retires at the end of this year. His long-term replacement, Marcus Bockmuehl has already started and will be leading the John’s Gospel module that I am taking in the second semester.
Life in my new accommodation is great. The friends with which I am sharing — Simon and John — are both great housemates. Our lifestyle is generally a bit removed from that of most undergraduates; being out of the centre of town helps on that front. The meal from a few nights ago provides a good example: roast beef off Royal Doulton plates, followed by apple crumble and fine port, with candles and classical music. We don’t eat that way every day, but we will do so at least once or twice a week. We entertain quite a lot at the moment. Simon and I cooked enough lasagne to feed over thirty people over the weekend, which was a lot of fun.
At present my reading schedule has been set back a bit, largely due to indiscipline and lack of motivation. I have bought over a dozen books since returning to St. Andrews (mostly ficition) and have already started to read some of them. John picked up a number of large boxes of books on two separate occasions at a local auction for about £1 a box and has graciously sold on some of the books at a very cheap price.
At present I am reading Richard Bauckham’s Bible and Mission: Christian Witness in a Postmodern World (whilst I wait for my pre-ordered copy of Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony to arrive), John Milbank and Catherine Pickstock’s Truth in Aquinas, Justification and Variegated Nomism: Volume 2—The Paradoxes of Paul, John Barton’s Reading the Old Testament: Method in Biblical Study and Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (watching the fabulous BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice with my brother Jonathan encouraged me to read more Austen).