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Scott Starbuck (2006-Present), Senior Lecturer of Theology

Right out of the gate I want to share how excited I am that Will Kynes will be joining the department next fall. Not only is Will a wonderful scholar and teacher, his arrival underscores the department's commitment to teach the whole of scripture, Old and New Testament, and to teach it well. This year at Manito Presbyterian Church we read through an important study, The Juvenilization of American Christianity, by Thomas Bergler. As I read through this book with the congregation, I became more and more convinced of the wisdom of God in providing 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books --the length, complexity and even unfamiliarity of the biblical text to keep us from falling into reductionist perspectives that are more reflective of our culture than the breadth and depth of the biblical texts. With Will's competence as an Old Testament scholar and his extra-abilities with the Wisdom Tradition, students will be well-served intellectually and spiritually.

I was fortunate to be given opportunity to deliver several papers this year. In February I spoke on "Irony in Psalm 45" for the Whitworth University Faculty Forum. This presentation was a generalized revision of a paper I delivered in May 2012 at the Pacific Northwest meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. I will present this paper, revised and detailed, one final time for the National Meeting of the Catholic Biblical Association of America, in August. After three scholarly hearings, it should be ready for publication. If you can't tell immediately from the title, I argue that Psalm 45 was intended as ironic discourse and should be read as such; that is, theologically, in both Old and New Testaments. This actually was a project I stumbled onto when translating a number of psalms (42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, and 50) for Timeless: Ancient Psalms for the Church Today (ed. R. Mark Shipp. Abilene Christian University Press), which is currently in production. If you are a musician, you may want to look to this resource for modern musical vocal exegesis of the psalms that is theologically informed. More recently, I just returned from presenting a paper at Seattle University for the Hebrew Bible Section of the Pacific Northwest Society of Biblical Literature. The paper, "Scribed Virtual Reality: Cultic Hypostasis and Double Entendre in Isaiah 30:27-33," is an exegesis of the prophet's use of paranomasia to fulfill his divine commission, which is famously described in Isaiah 6 and quoted by Jesus when he tells the parable of the soils.

This year I taught the M.A. in Theology course Old Testament Theology, Hebrew I and II, Messiah, and Psalms. I had the joy of working closely with two M.A. students throughout the year, as well as working with one B.A. student in an independent study of the Ugaritic (Canaanite) language and texts. I also taught a number of courses at Gonzaga University. Sometimes I do not know if I am coming or going: serving as a full-time pastor and teaching nine courses between both universities this year. It has been truly a gift to work so closely with such fine students in these classes, but as I grow older I find that I cannot keep spinning such a schedule, especially if I am to write a much-needed book on Messiah as Biblical Theology. Because of this, next year I will teach only at Gonzaga as a visiting professor so I can commit to writing what I have learned over the last 11 years by teaching the Messiah course at Whitworth. Think of me, will you, each day between 9-11 a.m. as I try to turn blood into ink!

Blessings to you wherever you may be....and remember...there is always time to work on or to start learning Hebrew!

Scott Starbuck



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