State of the Projects, Jan 2019

It’s been a long time since I wrote a post like this. But I think it’s time to resume an end-of-month personal reflection.

Language Logging

January was always going to be a bit weird on this spectrum. I logged 58’33” altogether. 6’31” for Gaelic (not very much), 38’60” for Greek, and 13’12” for Latin. This was skewed in a couple of ways – firstly I took a week of holidays to start the year. Technically I was working that week, but not very much. Then I taught a full intensive week of Greek, 5 hrs a day. So, that has certainly altered my stats.

In the coming month I am looking to increase some of these hours, but just as importantly, shift as many of the ‘quality’ categories up as possible. That is, the more of these I can make high-volume, high-comprehension, in-target-language as possible, the better.


Teaching and Tutoring

This year I’ve tilted a fair bit more to teaching and tutoring Latin and Greek. I only truly have a handful of students, a mix of online and a few in-person, high-school kids and independent adult learners. It’s nice to have some upper-level high-schoolers, because they are doing texts and that forces me/means I get paid, to read classical literature.

I’ve also kicked off this year with online group classes. I’m really excited about this, for several reasons. Firstly, the opportunity to teach a few things I’ve long wanted to explore more: (1)  a continuous course using the Italian Athenaze, taught primarily in Greek; (2) a more free-flowing communicative Greek class. Secondly, I’m pleased to be able to offer a somewhat more affordable option than one-to-one sessions. Thirdly, I’m interested in expanding it to a series of connected courses that range across the levels.


Apostolic Fathers

Tauber and I started work on a project to do a new, open access, version of the Apostolic Fathers. This is designed to feed in to some broader work on a Greek reading environment, particularly oriented to learners, but also as a project in its own right. Tauber and I have completed the initial work of correcting our text, which you can see here:

Next will be the process of lemmatisation, morphological analysis, and then incorporation into some of our broader work.

It’s also been a good experience in some of the work that will go into resurrecting and moving my ‘Digital Nyssa’ project forwards this year.


Last (August?) I started a koine greek language podcast ( which has been going (strong) since then, weekly at any rate. But it has been quite a struggle. I struggle both with having enough linguistic competency to talk about things, and with having things to talk about. But it’s been a good experience overall and I intent to continue with it. I have some plans to improve things, but it will take some time (and effort)


The year ahead

This year I’m continuing with doing some online adjuncting for one college, and if a minimum class size is reached, teaching Greek for another. These help pay some of the bills. I enjoy teaching. I do not quite so much enjoy marking piles of student papers.



Sad to say there is precious little research being done by me. It took virtually a whole year for a good quality article to go through review, get a revise-and-resubmit, and then get turned down last year. I don’t get any funding, resources, or time to put towards research, and the nature of my work, and my home life, tends to eat up almost all my time.

Research, except for funded academics, is entirely unpaid labour. And, while I vocationally committed to carrying on genuine research, the simple conditions of labour more than anything else constrain what I can achieve.


That’s all from my office this month.

State of the Projects, February 2017


Still waiting on examiners’ reports. They nominally have 3 months, so I don’t expect a result before the start of March anyway. I’m feeling less anxious, mainly because I have other things to worry about.


Totally unsuccessful so far. 7 rejections and 1 job cancelled to date. I have a few more applications out there, but expect them to fail as well.


I revised what I think of as my ‘major’ article on partitive exegesis, and sent it back to a colleague for a second read-through. This month I’m working on turning my paper on Chrysostom from a conference last year into a paper, and it’s progressing well enough. I hope to churn through the rest of it in the next two weeks.

Beyond that, I have a good 6 or 7 other articles to work on this year. Some are revising old material and turning them into publishable material. Others are just ideas or things I think could be articles.


I said previously I was working on a translation of Gregory of Nyssa’s De Deitate. That’s continuing at a slow pace. I did teach a short intensive course on the text, which was helpful for me personally. My main ‘slow-down’ is that I am also preparing the text to be a patristic reader text, which takes more time but gives me a more useful resource.

I’ve also started work, with a friend, on producing an English version of Hilary of Poitier’s Tractatus Mysteriorum. I expect that will take us most of the year.

Blogging plans

I plan to blog more this year, and more than just these updates. Weekly you should get a nice series on Greek and Latin textbooks, and also weekly I intend to write about what I’ve been reading, hopefully starting in a couple of days time. So that will be fun for all.


State of the Projects: August 2016

Well, July was a busy month, what with Trinity debates all over the internet to keep up with, teaching a Greek intensive on Gregory of Nazianzus’ Oration 29 (a lot of fun, though we did not finish the text), and being sick for the last two weeks (an ear infection, which has left me with blocked Eustachian tubes which remain blocked ’til this very day…).

Nonetheless, we are progressing. The thesis is progressing I should say. I finished up a draft of chapters 5 and 6, which are kind of a double-header that looks at Proverbs 8 in Patristic interpretation, with a focus obviously on Hilary and Basil, and Acts 2:36. This month I am diligently at work (and 7000 words words in) to a second double-chapter, chapters 7 and 8 which look at the use of John in Hilary and Basil (excluding John 1, which received its own chapter earlier on; I suppose that weights my thesis towards interpretation of John, but only on the basis that pro-Nicenes spend an inordinate amount of time talking about John themselves).

My goal is to have these chapters 7 & 8 drafted by the end fo the month, as well as a conclusion chapter. That will bring us to a full first draft. I’ll then launch into a barrage of (a) secondary reading, (b) revision and proof-reading.

In the meantime and on the non-thesis side of life, I am simultaneously looking for a place to live for the short term, and looking for a place of employment for the long. We shall see! I am sure the good Lord has them both in hand.

The Acts of (Paul) and Thecla: a romance about chastity

This past week I’ve been leading a small group (quite small!) through the 2nd century text, ‘The Acts of Paul and Thecla’. It’s a very interesting text which relates the story of how a young betrothed woman in Iconium meets Paul, becomes entranced by the teaching of Christ, goes through various trials, and emerges as an independent Christian teacher and leader.

One of the very intriguing features of the text is that it is essentially an ‘Ancient (Christian) Novel’, drawing on the structures of other ancient novels of the same period, but refracted through a Christian lense. That creates a very interesting dynamic, because ancient novels are, by genre, romances involving a pair of paramours who go through various trials to be united at the end. The Acts of Paul and Thecla is similarly constructed, so that it is a romance between Thecla and Paul. But with a twist! Already by the time of this text a strong strand of early Christianity is placed on sexual chastity, and particularly virginity and abstinence. While Thecla and Paul are depicted in romantic terms, they are in a romance that is united primarily by a devotion and affection for Christ. The sexual undertones are employed to depict the triumph of chastity, and the threats to Thecla repeatedly center around threats to her virginity. In this way the text artfully (re)combines what appear to be two disparate motifs (romance and perpetual chastity) into a romance about chastity in which the narrative climax and resolution is not the sexual union of the two protagonists, but the tension and danger of sexual threat to the female protagonist, and the conquest of that threat and the victory of virginity.

There’s much, I’d say, to find theologically problematic, even disturbing, in this novel, but that’s no reason not to read it. As I keep saying, our knowledge of ‘Koine’ as a language, and our understanding of early Christianity, are only ever enhanced by stepping outside the Canonical Garden.

Reflections on AARSBL15

Well, I’m wrapping up from the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting 2015, and thought I’d compile some thoughts from it.

Travel to/from

Since I had to foot the bill for my own flights, I flew Korean Air from Sydney to Atlanta, via Korea. That is not very direct. I do really like KAL though, and a layover in the Grand Hyatt Incheon was very welcome on the way over. There’s only a 1hr layover on the way back, which wasn’t so bad in the end, particularly as my first flight (Atlanta to Seoul) was fairly empty and I had multiple seats to enjoy. 23/25hrs travel time is a lot, and people ask if it’s worth it. I don’t know, because I don’t know how one actually quantifies the value of conferences.


My first impression of Atlanta is that the airport is huge, since it took 20 minutes to walk from my gate to Immigration control. The conference took place in Downtown Atlanta, which is a weird phenomenon in itself. I understand why US cities have deserted inner cities, but it’s still odd because in Australia the center of cities remain a hub of activity. Here, it was actually difficult to find shops/restaurants/anything that would actually serve you. Still, I managed to make do.

My Paper

I arrived on the Friday and my paper was on the Saturday afternoon, so nice and early in the program. I presented a portion of my research with the title, “Is Basil a pro-Nicene exegete? Patterns of scriptural usage in Against Eunomius“. Overall I think it went well, and was well received. The question time and discussion afterwards was also valuable (more so than the single question I had at Oxford Patristics), and gave me a few things to think through/follow up in my research.

Other sessions

On the Saturday morning I attended a session in the Religious Competition in Late Antiquity section, and listened to a range of papers on martyrdom that were quite interesting. Also on Saturday I attended some papers in the Theological Interpretation of Scripture section, focused on the Trinity and/in the Bible. I was particularly interested to hear Matthew Bates speak, and that was indeed all I had anticipated.

On the Sunday I attended two sections in the Applied Linguistics section, which allowed me to meet quite a few people that I had interacted in with online about Greek, Linguistics, and Pedagogy. So that was good all round. There was then a second section of the Development of Early Christian Theology looking at tools and practices of Exegesis, that was again quite rewarding, though I ducked out of the last paper because I was too tired to pay attention properly.

I took Monday morning off (see below), and attended a single section on the Monday afternoon, again in the Development of Early Christian Theology section, a review panel of David Michaelson’s book, ‘The Practical Christology of Philoxenos of Mabbug’, which is something I knew virtually nothing about (apart from having met David earlier in the year at Oxford Patristics). I was richly rewarded by all the speakers and appreciated having my horizons broadened outside my narrow 4th century world.

Tourist Life

I have a lot of thoughts about America and Americans, but this isn’t the place for them! You’ll have to elicit them in a less public forum. On the Monday I did get out and went to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Site, along with Ebenezer Baptist Church, King’s tomb, and the King Center. I found this really interesting and moving. The history of race relations, injustice, and racism in Australia has parallels to America, but really they are very different histories in many respects.

Anyway, now I am back in Sydney and tomorrow I will be back into thesis writing.

State of the Projects, November 2015

October went by too quickly, in my opinion. I delayed this post a few days to get some important things done:

Patristic Readers

The great news is that a few minutes ago I approved the final proof and now you can purchase a print copy of the Martyrdoms of Polycarp and Perpetua! It has taken me a lot longer to get the first volume to print stage, but not to fret. I think the Gregory reader can be done by early next year.

Available now at createspace, and Amazon.


I was actually very productive through October. I wrote about 15000 words doing analysis of Basil’s exegesis, but I reached a point where I decided that I was doing too much ‘tree’ work and not enough ‘forest’ work. Essentially, it felt like going through a forest and individually tagging every single tree, which was an enlightening experience but not very workable for a thesis. Also, I thought this would turn into a very boring, and overly long, thesis. So I stopped that and rethought my whole structure. That was helpful, but also slowed me down somewhat.

Currently I’ve been working over some of the material for chapter 1, but with an eye to the broader structure of the thesis. I’ve also been doing some more secondary reading more broadly.


I agreed early on the year to do a series of talks for a friend’s church’s retreat weekend. I wouldn’t say I regret agreeing to it, but now it’s coming up quickly and of course I am busy as usual. Not the least, I said I would speak on ‘Living in a post-Christian world’ and that is hardly a simple series of talks! Anyway, it is coming together and must come together because there is a deadline!


Likewise, I am off to the annual SBL conference later in November, and looking forward to it. It will be another good chance to present on Basil and to interact with the broader scholarly community, something a little difficult here on the bottom of the world. I did say I would re-write my draft paper though, and that is something that needs to happen over the next two weeks.

So, lots done, and lots to do.


State of the Projects, October 2015

Wow, September. It went by.


I spent the first two weeks of the month over in Mongolia. It was a busy trip, though perhaps a little less busy socially than my last one in April. I taught a small Masters’ class, taking them through selected portions of Luke’s gospel in Greek. Overall it went quite well. My Mongolian is definitely getting worse, and this was frustrating for me at times, to not be able to express myself as fluently as I’d like or as I’d previously been able. I also had occasion to preach three times, and was able to join in the celebration of the seminary’s 20th anniversary. A good time all round. I was sick for 10 days though.


Since my return I have settled directly into a steady work-focus. Each day I set aside the first portion of the day to directly working on the thesis, and in the last two weeks, that means I’ve written 6653 words of what I think will be chapter 3. Right now it’s labelled chapter 6. I’ve been analysing every scriptural reference that Basil makes in Against Eunomius (284 of them), under three major types, and so far I’ve completed one of those three sub-types (the smallest one, roughly 15% of references). However, I’d say it’s on track and going well. I should have most of Basil completed by the end of the year, leaving Hilary for the start of next year, and scheduled to complete on time.

Patristic Readers

Not much progress here, though in the last two weeks I’ve begun to set aside some time to move my current texts forward. Hopeful (as always), that this month can finally sort out the cover and move volume one to print.


Not too much else going on project-wise. I’ve scaled back a little bit of my tutoring, which is helping focus on the thesis. I’ve got two journal articles I’m working up over the next month or so. I’d like to get back to some other fun things like a Greek Reader, but these things take time and leisure and most of my leisure is spent either in the gym so I don’t go crazy in the office, or trying to master French and German before my candidacy finishes so that I don’t seem like an ignorant PhD graduate who only reads English literature.

More scattered reflections from Oxford

I hope you don’t mind these rambling conference dispatches:

Day 3 at Oxford Patristics. I enjoyed some interesting papers on Gregory of Nyssa. It’s always tricky at a conference to go to papers that are not directly tied to your interests, but are tied enough that you will (hopefully) learn something new and broaden your understanding. Hearing a paper that quite directly touches on your interests, that’s a rare find!

I went to one paper about the debates among Evangelicals over Eternal Functional Subordinationism, which was (and still is a bit) a hot topic for some sectors of Evangelicals. This paper was looking at how accurately both sides have read Augustine. I had hoped for more from it, I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know.

I spent some more time with the Digital Humanities session, and then sat around with a few powerhouses of DH afterwards. It was fascinating and enlightening to listen to them bounce ideas of each other in this intersection of geekdom and humanities/classics/patristics.

One of the great things about conferences is those moments when you realise that (most?) scholars are just like you: whenever one thinks about one’s own work there are many caveats, insecurities, and sense that it’s only barely ‘just there’; whenever you think about someone else’s, you assume there is this huge wealth and depth of knowledge of everything that backs it up. No, usually they’re just barely there like you. It’s comforting. I mean, sometimes there is a vast knowledge of everything, and that’s both scary and good. And sometimes there’s people who act like they have a vast repository of all knowledge, and you should just not worry about those people and move on with your life.

Part of me feels like I could write a series of posts deconstructing imperial and academic culture and empire of Americans, but this is probably not the time or the place.

Here are things that make conference life better (not just this one):


  1. Have a clear structure to your paper
  2. Have a clear handout for your paper
  3. Talk loudly, at a measured pace, with confidence
  4. If English is not your native language, speaking softly will not improve this problem.
  5. Respect your audience. They choose to give their precious attention and time to listen to your obscure and not-really-relevant-topic paper (all papers are like this, in the end. If it was universally relevant you would have written a monograph already and done a book tour).


  1. Don’t shift to let people through to a seat, move over so they can sit where you are.
  2. Don’t leave unnecessary empty seats – they’re unnecessary!
  3. Do your absolute utmost for the cause of silence. Of course some noise is unavoidable throughout the whole conference area, but noise accumulates quickly. Whether in a session or out, keep quiet.
  4. If you don’t have a good question, don’t ask it. We don’t need your soapbox issue.


More rambling tomorrow, or the next day!

Some scattered reflections from Oxford

It’s the morning of the 3rd day of the conference here.

Firstly, one could play ‘beard bingo’ here. There are several different types to watch out for: 1. Hipster theologian, 2. American college professor, 3. 18th century gentleman, 4. Orthodox priest, 5. American college professor ‘alternative’.

But more seriously, yesterday was the first full day of talks. My paper was on the first slot, and I had a good number turn up, 20-30, which I thought was very generous. I didn’t deliver as well as I’d have liked, but it was okay. I had one question, which I think I answered quite competently. So overall it went well.

I spent the rest of the morning primarily listening to papers on ‘Varieties of Arianism’. The topics listed interested me more than most of the other Basil presentations.

It must be quite challenging for non-English-native speakers. I know that many of them have excellent English, but the choice to present in English and face the difficulty of trying to speak at a high level in not your native language, or else to speak in your native language but then have a much smaller audience, must be difficult. I did sit in on one paper in Italian of which, I confess, I understood very little.

Since I’m staying with a student friend here, I took a couple of hours off and did some touring around the colleges with him. He’s a reformation history guy, and quite a good tour guide to boot.

In the afternoon I attended a workshop session on Digital Humanities. An area of great interest to me but about which I am not very well informed. It wasn’t the most enlightening, but it was enlightening.

Two back to back receptions in the evening and then another dinner in an English pub. Yes, I can see why English pubs are popular in a way that Australian ones are not.

I’ve enjoyed a good chance to meet a range of people, and had some fruitful discussions with some researchers in my area, which has been encouraging.


Patristic Readers – Gregory of Nyssa’s Ad Simplicium

As promised, I have a new short pdf text up at Patristic Readers, it’s Gregory of Nyssa’s Ad Simplicium, De Fide.

I decided to tackle this short text after finishing up Ad Ablabium, partly because the latter is too short for a print volume by itself, partly because I thought it would prove a very manageable short text dealing with a related topic, i.e. continuing in the vein of Gregory’s Trinitarian theology. The Greek is not overly difficult, and the high amount of repetition should be of great benefit to students with less developed skills. I commend it to your reading leisure!

How I stopped blogging and started writing a thesis

Not entirely, but I am writing here a lot less, and it’s probably (at least partially) a good thing?

This isn’t (entirely) a ‘sorry for not blogging more’ post, it’s ‘here’s how I raised my own productivity’ post.

Firstly, I don’t take my computer home at night and don’t have any internet at home anyway. So I don’t write up thoughts and posts in the evening which is one time I normally would. In fact, I try not to do anything too much work-related at home, even on weekends.

Secondly, and I’ve talked about this a little before, I have two measures on my computer to stop procrastination. One is that I have a filter set up on my web browser to stop me using time-wasting sites for more than 25 mins a day between 8am and 5pm. Secondly, I use Freedom to basically shut down the whole internet for myself. Previously this has been frustrating, since I often need some minimal web functionality and I’ve used anti-social to block only some sites, but now I just shut down the lot and defer anything that needs ‘checking’.

Thirdly, and this is the new development for me; I’ve upped the ante in using Freedom, I now block out about 2hours at a time. And throw my phone into a drawer as well. This way it’s just me, itunes, and my work. Overall it means I get around 6 or more productive, focused hours per day. Today I read and annotated almost a whole book, and achieved some other sundry tasks too (patristics and language related mainly).

So that’s what’s working or me. Disconnecting from lots of things to just connect with the one task in front of me.

State of the Projects, May 2015

I spent a considerable amount of time in April writing up material on Ephesians, and then 2 weeks in Mongolia teaching Ephesians. That was useful, productive, but not very PhD related.

Patristic Readers

As I write this update I am quite seriously about an hour’s worth of work away from launching a second pdf volume. So let me go ahead and tell you that the text is Gregory of Nyssa’s Ad Ablabium. I just need to compile and format the final vocabulary list, and format a few pages into proper shape, and then compile the pdf. So that should be done by early next week.


Has been a bit slow. I have a good 3.5 month run now before any other major obligations, and finishing of the Gregory volume will free me up too. So I am going to be reading and writing a great deal on Basil and Hilary for the next 3 months and should make some substantial progress.


Perhaps one reason for less side-projects is that I have 7-10 hours of tutoring work going on each week, and that is about the right amount for me. It means less of those delightful projects get done, but conversely it means more income, and I do quite enjoy teaching languages and reading texts.


Next on my list is International Patristics at Oxford in August. You can read my paper abstract here.

State of the Patrologist

No, not state of the Projects. That would be in a few days. Today I’m just going to write about what’s been happening, what’s coming up, etc..

On the weekend I flew back home from Mongolia, where I taught Greek exegesis of Ephesians over two weeks. It was a good time, both the teaching and the chance to reconnect to many friends, Mongolians and foreigners, in country. I was also glad to be among brothers and sisters at my two churches there. I have another trip planned for September.

Obviously posting has been slow here; I have a few more posts to work through talking about figurative language. And an insight or two on language learning based on my recent trip.

Disappointingly, I missed out on grant money to head to SBL this year, so I’m now looking at self-funding my way over there. I suspect that’s where most of my tutoring money will be directed for the next six months. I think, having already written a paper, and just the timing of presenting this year with a section theme that is spot-on for my thesis topic, it is probably worth the money (if conferences are ever worth the money).

I’m really hopeful to get the next Patristic Reader done within the next 2 weeks. I would say 1, but that may be too ambitious. It’s quite close to finishing. There has been no real progress with my cover design though, which is a little frustrating. That is almost all that’s holding back print editions.

Tomorrow (or today, depending on when you get this), Latin 1 with Conversational Koine Institute kicks off. I’m working over the material for the first lesson this very day, and it will be a lot of fun. If you’ve been thinking about some Conversational and Introductory Latin, don’t miss out, go and enrol now.

No more trips planned until August, so looking forward to settling down and writing a chapter or two of the thesis over the next 3 months.

Triple language overload

The Patrologist has been quiet lately because he’s in Mongolia teaching Ephesians in Greek. It’s really a test of one’s linguistic competencies to explain the intricacies of Pauline grammar and theology in a third language while your notes are in your first. But it doesn’t leave much time for blogging. Some semi-regular thoughts on all things Patrology will resume the following week. In the meantime, let me just say what’s up with the crazy thought process behind Ephesians 4:16! That sentence is all over the place.

State of the Projects, April 2015

Apparently I didn’t write a March edition? Probably because I spent the end of February madly trying to complete a paper and several grant applications.

It’s really a daunting discipline to write monthly updates like this. it makes me aware of how painfully slow progress can be!

Patristic Readers

I finally released some revisions to Perpetua. I should have tackled that immediately while teaching through the text. Lesson learn.

The next volume is actually not that far off completion, but I have not been able to carve out enough time to finish it off. I have less than ten pages worth of text to go, and then just checking some frequency numbers, writing some introductory material, and compiling the pdf version. If I can find the time, it could be done by the end of April.

Getting these to print is proving slower than anticipated. I guess this is the downside of working with a designer who is doing it as a side-project. I will try and get it moved along.

Papers and PhD

I worked quite hard towards the end of Feb to finish off a paper that was accepted for SBL Annual in November, so that was quite pleasing. I’ve been making slow but steady progress this month on the PhD, with some interesting reading on Basil and on Origen.

Upcoming trip

This month I’m travelling back to Mongolia for a 2 week intensive teaching block on Ephesians. So I have spent a quite considerable time writing materials on the book. Actually, I write a kind of ‘working commentary’ similar to what I have posted up for Galatians. This is incredibly time consuming – it takes me anywhere between 1-3 hours to comment on about 10 verses of text. It is ‘easy’ writing in once sense, i.e. I am not weighed down with the demands of writing a for publication volume and don’t really need to do all that much wide reading, but it just takes a lot of time to write very detailed comments on the Greek text. (Let alone the preparation I have to do to help my students understand Paul’s Greek in the Mongolian language).

But the long-term pay-off is certainly worth it. Having a self-written commentary is a highly productive way of organising one’s own thinking and notes for the future. I can just ‘refer to myself’ when I teach or preach upon the same material in the future.


To be honest, I haven’t found time for anything else. I’ve been doing some tutoring here and there, very enjoyable, and try and squeeze some not-quite-on-topic reading in, but time is a scarce resource at the moment especially for side-projects. Once back from Mongolia I have a good 3.5 month block without large engagements or overseas travel, so I am optimistic that will be a very good working block.

State of the Projects, February 2015

Wow, January flew past! I suppose two weeks of Greek school and one of Latin would do that.


I’ve settled into my desk space at university and begun to find my place in the research again. My desk is covered in books and a couple of computer screens, and I think I’m moving back to the point where I know what I’m talking about, which is great. It looks like I’m going to aim to present two papers this year, so hoping that (a) they get done and (b) they get accepted and (c) I don’t get hammered into oblivion if (a) and (b) occur.


I had hoped to get some online groups off the ground, but I didn’t quite have enough interest, so that is on hold for now. I will be in at Moore college doing some work on tutoring tutors: helping 2nd and 3rd year students mentor 1st year students through Greek. This is exciting apart from the ill-fated persistence of Erasmian pronunciation.

Patristic Readers

I’ve just finished revising Polycarp and will upload a revised version shortly. I have some revisions to make to Perpetua as well. I’ve also completed 1/3 of the work for the 2nd reader, and now that things are more settled I think I’ll make good progress on that.

Not happening

I haven’t had much chance to do any audio or video recording lately, but it’s something I’d like to get back to. I’d also like to get back to the Greek Natural Reader text.


What the Patrologist does for a summer break

It is, of course, the summer in the Southern hemisphere. We are now into the second week of the Greek summer school, and we’ve moved on from Polycarp’s Martyrdom to Perpetua’s. The text of Perpetua is quite a fascinating one. If you read the Greek recension, you get a number of interesting linguistic features, as well as an exposure to ‘translation Greek’. At the same time, there are very interesting theological elements in the text: the idea of special benefit from prayer immediately connected to baptism, receptivity to visions and prophecy in keeping with Montanist tendencies, special efficacy of prayer connected with being a confessor, what appears to be a transfer from eternal punishment to heavenly reward for someone already deceased on the basis of Perpetua’s prayer, and other such interesting elements.

It’s also a pleasure to read with a group of students. They continue to both point out things I have missed or occasionally misunderstood, as well as ask questions I have not really thought of. I’m looking forward to revising the Patristic Reader edition.


In the rest of my time I have been trying to reorient myself in my studies, as well as prepare materials for a week of Latin the following week. In the midst of this I’m also trying to organise and plan out the year. So it’s plenty busy here. And then on my downtime I’m tackling M. Aubrey’s thesis on the Greek perfect.

2015, State of the Projects

And we’re back…


I thought I better get back into the blogging saddle before too much of this year sailed by. I hope you all had an enjoyable break. Christmas and New Year fall in summer here in the southern hemisphere, so there is a lot of swimming going on.



As of Jan 1st my student status switched from part-time to full-time, so this is where most of my attentions will be from now on. There will no doubt be the war of staying-on-focus vs. beautifully tempting side-projects. I’ve picked up a desk at the uni and will be sitting at it for long stretches of time.


This week and next I’m taking an Advanced Koine group at the Macquarie Ancient Languages School, we’re reading through the Martydom accounts of Polycarp and of Perpetua and Felicity. A great benefit of reading through these texts with others is that they have lots of questions I don’t know the answer to because I didn’t think about it! So I’m making a lot more notes.

Patristic Readers

I’m still making slow progress forward on the 2nd reader; I will also be updating and revising the 1st reader. I am noticing quite a few things that can be improved as my class works through it, and there are some formatting issues with repeated text that are a real shame (that they got through my system, I guess even digital scribes make textual errors).

Audio / Visual

I have some more raw footage to edit and post, but it’s always so time consuming. It’s more WAYK Greek. Then we might see about some Latin too this month.


If you’re one of my students, individual sessions should start again next week. As far as classes go, it looks like online Patristic Greek will go ahead for certain, just a matter of timing, and still exploring other options. If you’re Sydney based and have an afternoon free, I might try and do a small group on campus at Macquarie as well.


It’s going to be an exciting and great year, I can tell you. And this is the place to be for all your Greek, Latin, Patristic related rants and not-quite-rants.

State of the Projects, December 2014

I have to say, this has probably been the least productive month on record for quite a while here at The Patrologist.

Greek Natural Reader

No progress

Patristic Readers

Still negotiating with a graphic designer to do the cover for the first print edition. Minimal progress on the second text.


I wrapped up teaching and exams, and have completed marking for a single subject, one more to go next week.


Minimal progress.

Audio and Video

I didn’t do a lot of audio recording this month, but I did commence some video work, as you will have seen in the recent WAYK videos.


Reasons (or excuses?)

Nov 19-21 we flew back to Australia and this was very disruptive. On the Mongolian end there was a lot of leave-taking as well as wrapping-things-up to be done. I underestimated how disrupted things would be on the arrival end too. Without a permanent place to reside, it is much harder to settle, especially settle into productive academic routines. Also there have been numerous ‘hellos’ and other errands to deal with.

In good news, I have been successful in a scholarship application, which means I will indeed be able to study full-time on the doctorate next year. Over December I should be able to settle a little more and begin making forward progress with both ‘main’ things and side-projects.

State of the Projects, November 2014

This past month has been a little more productive. This current month I am relocating 10,000km so that will be a little disruptive.

Greek Natural Reader

Last month I wrote chapter 3 and recording chapter 1. This month I hope to write chapter 4, and review and record chapter 2. If all goes well, in December I will be able to write a bit more.

Patristic Readers

I successfully completed the first edition of Passio Perpetuae et Felicitatis. Great! At present I am putting the finishing touches together for a combined volume of Polycarp and Perpetua, for a first print edition.

This month I’ve begun work on the next volume.


One teaching class to go, and three exams to administer. Then marking, final grades, and done for this truncated semester.


No progress this past month, as planned. Have timetabled some slots in to begin work again this present month.

Audio recording

As you might see on the Audio page, I’m experimenting again with recording audio of texts. Some I’m doing systematically, others more haphazard (i.e. the NT). I try and do a session or two a week.

Video recording

This month I’m scripting up some WAYK videos for introductory Latin and Greek, to be recorded once I get back to Australia.