文憑課程

明華神學院文憑課程第三學期(4月至7月)開辦科目範疇不變,課題卻增新且豐富,鼓勵您,一起硏讀神學,對信仰暸解更深!

歡迎報讀或旁聽本院最新學期文憑科目:

寫作技巧(一及二)(DCS002)

寫作技巧(一)

講師:張秀貞博士

日期:8/5 (六)

時間:早上10:00 – 中午12:00

地點:明華神學院

寫作技巧(二)

講師:潘靄君牧師

日期:5/5 (三)

時間:晚上7:00 – 9:00

形式:ZOOM

聖公宗研習/實踐神學

聖公會傳統之… (DAN005/DPT007)

信徒普遍都知道聖公會有着很濃厚的禮儀傳統,本課程讓信徒從多角度去認識聖公會傳統。

講師:聖公會牧師及教省音樂總監

日期:23/4, 30/4, 7/5, 14/5, 21/5, 28/5 (五)

時間:晚上8:00 – 9:30

形式:ZOOM

聖經硏習

聖經研習導論 (DCS003)

讓學員從當代不同的釋經進路,更全面認識如何從文本中去理解當中的意義,為未來在聖經研究的學習打好基礎。

講師:劉榮佳牧師

日期:3/6, 10/6, 17/6, 24/6(四)

時間:晚上7:00 – 9:00

形式:ZOOM

約翰福音深入研讀 (DBS006)

本課程會帶領學員以簡單扼要的方式去理解及明白約翰福音當中的內容,寫作目的,寫作背景,與猶太經典傳統的對比,以及當中的神學思想,使學員能夠從不同向度認識約翰福音,以及其與當下基督徒群體的意義何在。

講師:潘正行牧師

日期:4/5, 11/5, 18/5, 25/5, 1/6, 8/6, 15/6, 22/6(二)

時間:晚上7:00 – 9:00

形式:ZOOM

教會歷史

教會早期教父的見證及影響 (DCH003)

早期教父的見證及著作大都對後世教會有很深遠的影響,是研究基督教歷史和神學思想史的重要依據。我們將研究一些早期教會的著作,嘗試了解這些著作怎樣影響教會。本課程將研究教會的教義如何發展。教父們的著作是教會信仰的基石,對現在教會的事工和禮儀發展有很大的貢獻和影響。本課程涵蓋早期教會有影響力的教父例如安提阿的聖依納爵,聖坡旅甲和希波的聖奧古斯丁。

講師:李安業牧師

日期:19/4, 26/4, 3/5, 10/5, 17/5, 24/5, 31/5, 7/6(一)

時間:晚上7:00 – 9:00

形式:ZOOM

實踐神學

實踐神學導論 (DCS005)

這科目是讓學員從牧區制度認識教會現況,包括社區環境、資源及需要,另外,帶出群體牧職對教會發展的重要性。

講師:潘靄君牧師

日期:6/5, 13/5, 20/5, 27/5 (四)

時間:晚上7:00 – 9:00

形式:ZOOM

探索當下富爭議的倫理課題(下)(DPT002)

今期,讓我們再從倫理課題中,繼續探索基督教的價值取向如何回應新時代的發展及需要。

講師:梁少珍牧師

日期:2/6, 9/6, 16/6, 23/6, 30/6, 7/7, 14/7, 21/7 (三)

時間:晚上7:00 – 9:00

形式:ZOOM

Ming Hua Launches Worldwide Online Tours Project

Ming Hua Librarian Dr Helen Cheung introduces the new international learning initiative.

The pandemic has changed the way people around the world live their daily lives. We face common challenges in the way we work and study, as well as similar economic and emotional issues. In the education field, online learning has become one of the hot global topics for further development. As libraries are places for life-long learning, librarians are asking themselves how they can help people to gain new skills for the post-pandemic era. 

This year, therefore, Ming Hua Library has developed an international learning project titled “Worldwide Online Tours” with Japanese institutions and the Libraries Research Group of Charles Sturt University, Australia. This “Worldwide Online Tours” project employs easy to use and low-cost IT tools, including a smartphone, a smartphone stabiliser, a microphone and an online platform, such as Zoom. It involves librarians, faculty, teachers and students in different places, developing online tours about their universities/colleges, churches, libraries and cities. Through creating online tours and acting as tour guides, students can enhance various skills, such as their language skills, subject knowledge and IT skills.

The project aims to benefit both students and people from different sectors of society, including those who are elderly, sick or disabled and cannot go outside, but can take part in a tour as a member of an online audience. 

To help potential participants understand the project better and to showcase its benefits, a live online tour of Tokyo was organised on 9 January this year by Ming Hua Faculty and a research member of the project, Yoko Hirose Nagao. The tour was conducted in English, Cantonese and some Japanese. Yoko, who was in Tokyo, acted as the guide tour, while Revd Dr Lam Chun Wai, Dr Helen Cheung and Ricky Choi from Ming Hua acted as hosts in Hong Kong, and provided translation and IT support. Ming Hua Principal Professor Gareth Jones also joined the event.

The tour attracted a worldwide online audience of 71 people, mostly from Asian countries due to the time zone. Most of the online audience were librarians, faculty and teachers, students and some elderly people who are unable to go outside. The feedback from the pilot study “Tokyo Online Tour” was positive and members of the audience said they enjoyed the tour very much. For the next stage of the “Worldwide Live Tours” learning project, a number of schools and libraries in Hong Kong and Japan have confirmed their students will create online tours for collaborative learning. Ming Hua is also planning to do a live online tour of its campus as part of the project later this year.

We will share information on when the next online tour will take place in due course.   


Yoko Hirose Nagao leads the virtual tour
A street in Tokyo explored during the tour
Librarian Dr Helen Cheung and Revd Dr Lam Chun Wai provide support from Ming Hua

點滴在明華

聖職志願人畢業在即 – 回顧與展望。

Ryan Cheung 張梓賢

轉眼間便三年。這三年的聖職培訓中,我經歷了生命中三件重大的事:親人得患重病、香港社會運動、全球疫症大流行。這三件事皆讓我感到札心,並誘發我常常默想三條問題:上帝需要怎麼樣的僕人?教會需要怎麼樣的牧者?香港社會需要怎麽樣的教會?感謝上主,透過明華神學院給我三份禮物:給我空間煉淨心靈;給我知識以作裝備;給我愛以認識祂是愛。我深信,這「四個三」會成為我未來生命的養份,一直滋潤我的心田,並提醒我的召命為何。

Tim Cheung 張文偉

「信耶穌就不能半途而廢」,這是二年級時,在聖馬提亞堂一位長者常說的話。這也成了我的座右銘。明華三年,蒙主厚恩,在學術與靈性上大有得著。古今神學經典,教會傳統禮儀,理論實踐皆有習得。其中印象最深者要算是臨床牧養教育課程(CPE)。不但學到實用的探訪與牧關技巧,更能深入認識自我,更好的準備自己踏上牧職事奉之旅。而且,三次牧區實習,不但與弟兄姊妹建立深厚情誼。更能接觸不少新型事工,猶其在新冠疫情中,限聚令下,實體聚會無奈暫停。然而,卻讓我有機會接觸網絡事工,如網上啟發課程,主日崇拜直播的安排,於我而言,都是新鮮事。畢業在即,將離校園,但神學之路絕不就此中斷,反而是一個新開始,就如開首長者勵勉,絕不能半途而廢。期待將來在牧職事奉上繼續努力,不斷更新長進。

Francis Yu 余鋒倫

許多事情,當我們回望時,才會看得更加清楚。我相信明華在過去幾年所帶給我的各樣知識、見識、啟發、洞見、經歷,也是一樣,在未來的日子,會逐漸呈現出它對我的影響。不過,有一點我尤為深刻、而且不得不提的,就是要始終成為一個與基督同行的人:和其他的門徒一起,圍在他身邊,聽他的道,陪伴他走他走過的路,吃他吃過的苦頭,並且在他的復活之中找到希望與新生,也找到我們真正的身份,與生命的歸屬。我希望我能在將來事奉的路上,始終成為一個與基督同行的人。

Postulant Claire Wang reflects on her time at Ming Hua

Claire Wang came from St. James’ Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Taiwan to study at the College.

Six months ago, I left home for Hong Kong, a whole new land with cultures and societies I had yet to experience and people I had yet to meet, to study theology at HKSKH Ming Hua Theological College. With the uncertainties of the pandemic and the recent turmoil in the city, many people around me thought it was unfeasible to come. Yet God has revealed his plan for me through my days in Hong Kong. By spending time with people who have spent their lives here, I have come to know this place in its authentic spirit.

The thing God gave me as I embarked on my journey in Hong Kong and Ming Hua, and for which I am most grateful looking back now, was an open heart. It has enabled me to become closer to people and this city. Every time my fellow postulants (and their families) invited me to have lunch together, I’d always gladly say yes. The quality time I got to spend with them has infused me with brand new perspectives through the stories they shared of the area we lived in and our Church in Hong Kong. Regardless of the differences in language or gender, I have developed precious friendships with these wonderful people.

When the leader of the servers at St. John’s Cathedral invited me to do the thurification, I replied that I would try my best, although I expressed my concern, as I had never been a thurifer before. What I received in return was overflowing kindness from the leader of the servers, the priests, and other servers in teaching me and sharing their experience of the liturgy with me. The feeling of nervousness was replaced by a peaceful mood.

Whenever I was in need or had questions, helping hands were everywhere, and feedback was always generously provided. I walked with people, listened, and talked to them, put their words in my mind, and I saw the image of Jesus through them.

We all mingle together as one body in Jesus Christ to live out the great commandment. I came as a stranger, yet God has once again shown me his love through my brothers and sisters in Hong Kong. No matter where God might lead me in the future, I will always remember the sincere hospitality people shared with me. In the same way, I will spread this heavenly love with others I encounter.

Meet the Faculty: Reverend Professor John Kater

As Revd Professor John Kater celebrates his 80th birthday, he tells us about his early days as a priest, working in Panama and how he came to Ming Hua.

For someone who had a strong vocation to be a priest, starting your career in insurance may seem like an unusual move, but that is exactly what Revd Professor John Kater did.

He explains that at the time, it was very common in the US to require candidates for ministry to work in the secular world for two years between university and going to seminary. “I spent a year writing fine print for an insurance company and hated it,” he remembers.

After a year, John moved from the Diocese of Virginia to the Diocese of New York, which did not have the same requirement, and he was able to go straight to General Theological Seminary. He was ordained when he was 25 – 55 years ago.

“I became a priest because I could not imagine doing anything else. What I really wanted to do was work through the Church,” he says.

His first post was as an assistant at Christ Church in Poughkeepsie, New York, but he did not stay long. “It was the late 1960s and a very tumultuous time in the US. I was very much involved in the civil rights movement in New York, and I was unhappy with the way the Church had responded. In my 28-year-old arrogance, I decided parish ministry didn’t have a future,” he remembers.

Instead, John decided he wanted to be a university chaplain and teacher, and to do that, he needed to have a doctorate. As a result, he went to McGill University in Canada to do a PhD.

While he was writing his doctoral dissertation, he was invited back to Poughkeepsie to teach at Vassar College, covering for a member of faculty while they went on sabbatical. “They made it very clear that it was just for one year,” he says. He stayed for 10 years. “My title was visiting professor and I visited for longer than many of their full-time faculty.”

Meanwhile, his former parish in Poughkeepsie had a new rector who asked him to come back and lead an alternative Sunday afternoon service. When the rector was later elected Bishop of Western North Carolina, John become priest-in-charge while they looked for a new rector. “After a search process of almost a year, I was elected rector of the church I had left because parish ministry had no future. I was there for 10 years,” he says.

During his time in Poughkeepsie, John had got to know a priest from Panama who was religious education coordinator for Latin America. When he was elected as Bishop of Panama, he asked John to take over his old parish.

“I told him I was in the perfect parish and would never consider leaving to go to another parish. It was really true. Once I gave Poughkeepsie a chance, it was a wonderful parish and a very happy time. I also said the only other thing I would ever consider doing was something in education.”

It turned out that the Bishop was also looking for an education officer, so John agreed to visit Panama to find out more about the job. As soon as he arrived, he knew it was exactly what he wanted to do.

He worked in Panama as the education officer for six years, and started a church in his second year after realising he missed the community.

“I had an amazing six years in the Diocese of Panama. I always say I had three fat years and three lean years when the military dictatorship really took off, culminating in the invasion,” he says.

The US invaded Panama four days before Christmas in 1989. “Being invaded by your own country is a hard experience. I had been to a birthday party and come home and gone to bed. At about 1am, my neighbours banged on my bedroom window and said, ‘Padre, padre, the gringos have invaded.’ The sky was red over the parts they were bombing. About 20 minutes later my cousin called me and said, ‘Are you having an invasion down there?’ I said, ‘Yes, I think we are.’ He said, ‘I saw it on the Tonight Show. I’ve never talked to anyone in an invasion before.’ I pointed out I had never been in an invasion before!”

John remembers celebrating the Eucharist with his neighbours in his living room on Christmas morning a few days later, while two people sat on his front stoop with pistols in their hands. “I don’t think there is any aspect of my work since that time that does not show the effects of that experience. This is what you are wrestling with when you talk about the Church in the real world,” he says.

Meanwhile, Church Divinity School of the Pacific in California had approached John three times about taking up a job there.

“I had always declined. Finally, on the fourth time, they told me they were not asking me to apply for a job, they just wanted me to come and let them explain it to me,” he says.

By this time, his parents were getting older, and his mother’s health was deteriorating, and John felt it would be good to be closer to them. He also realised that the job was exactly what Panama had been preparing him to do. “I went back to Panama and resigned and spent 27 years as Professor of Ministry Development at the seminary in California,” he says.

In 2005, he had three students from Asia, one from Japan, one from Korea and Dorothy Lau from Hong Kong. He was due to spend six weeks of the summer at Saint Andrew’s Seminary in Manila, and these students invited him to give a lecture in their countries while he was in Asia.

“I came to Hong Kong and Revd Ian Lam asked me if I would come and teach at Ming Hua for a semester. I said I would when I retired, so I have been coming to Hong Kong since 2007,” he says.

The intersection between the world and theology

At Ming Hua, John teaches Practical Theology, Introduction to Ministry and Christian Education for the Bachelor of Theology programme. He is also teaching Sacred Texts and Education for the College’s new Doctorate of Educational Ministry, which is offered in partnership with Virginia Theological Seminary.

He explains: “I have always been interested in practical theology, in the intersection between the real world and the world of theology. I have always had one foot in the parish and one foot in academics.”

He is also interested in Anglican studies and how the Anglican Church and tradition functions outside of an Anglo context.

“I grew up in Virginia and went to theological college in New York, both places where Anglicanism is very deeply rooted. When I went to graduate school, I was really intrigued about what it means to be an Anglican in a place where most people are Roman Catholic and speak French. I then spent six years in Panama where Catholicism is woven into the culture. I think my interest in Anglicanism really comes out of those experiences,” he says.

John has written a number of books, including two church history books in Spanish, which he co-authored with a historian at an ecumenical seminary in Costa Rica, a book on right-wing Christianity in the US titled Christians on the Right: The Moral Majority in Perspective, and a book titled Finding Our Way: American Christians in Search of the City of God, about applying a liberation theology to the US. He has also written Following Jesus: Six Marks of Discipleship, the 2018 Lenten study book for Hong Kong , and A Pastor’s Story, about his time working in Panama.

Reflections on the Cross

Dr Matthew Jones shares the sermon he preached at the College’s Good Friday Vigil.

For the past few days, we have walked with Jesus through Holy Week. We have listened to reflections, we have had discussions and we have thought deeply about the significance of the events of this week. Today, we have now come to that dreadful moment, that horrible moment, and yet also that wondrous moment, where our eyes are drawn to the cross. That symbol of awful death and torture that we cannot look away from or ignore or gloss over with nice and comfortable words. That cross which looms up before us here and now with Christ broken and beaten upon it.

The cross is first and foremost a device created for torture and pain; it is not a symbol of glorious sacrifice or noble death, but of agony and humiliation. Death by crucifixion was a punishment reserved for criminals, slaves, and political or religious agitators, and it was a slow and agonising one at that. As Christians today, we must be aware of this pain and agony, particularly when we see the many pictures and images of Christ hanging peacefully and happily on the cross. These images are not a realistic picture of what the cross is or what happened on it. The cross is an instrument to kill, rough wood on which nails are hammered into skin and on which Christ is hung up in the burning sun for all to see, and to die humiliated and alone. It is bloody and it is horrific, we cannot escape this reality. As Christians we must take this suffering on the cross seriously, it is not a glorious or romantic death, but a shameful and violent one. 

 At the heart of the cross event is violence and evil, it is a symbol of man’s inhumanity to man, it shows the evil that humanity is capable of. The cross stands as the shameful reminder of how human beings can treat their fellow brothers and sisters. It is an example not only in the world of 1st century Palestine but also in our world today in the 21st century. We live in a world full of violence, a world in which we see constant stories of cruelty and the destruction of life. A world where, in many nations, torture is still commonplace, a world where murder is still a fact of life, where women are still beaten and raped and murdered, where children are abused, where human rights are violated for power, profit and greed. Where nations destroy nations, where huge parts of the national economy of many countries are spent on weapons to kill, maim, or poison. A world where mass genocide and murder are still witnessed, where prejudice and racism are still experienced on a daily basis. The shameful list goes on and on. 

And yet, in this world of bloodshed, despair and blindness, we see the cross standing as a symbol of God’s love for the world. Jesus comes into the world announcing the Kingdom of God. In the middle of all this violence and injustice he stands tall and proclaims a new way to live and a new way to be, a new way of life, a new covenant. It is the way of justice, liberation for the oppressed, forgiveness, a new order of love – a message lived out in word and action. A message of love in the midst of the world’s violence and blindness; a message that comes into direct conflict with the powers of evil. There is an inevitability that the way of God and the way of the world will clash; there can be no compromise here, as Christ’s journey to the cross reminds us again and again. The boundless love of God must clash with a world built on hostility and violence. Christ’s journey to the cross is inevitable because God’s way to confront a world of violence is not to fight fire with fire, but with the greater powers of love, forgiveness and hope.

The cross is the ultimate demonstration of Christ’s love, which is so complete, so total, that it involves an opening up to the world; it involves genuine risk and vulnerability. To truly love is to enter into the risk of relationship, to give oneself totally to others.

Christ’s love is so great that he gives himself to the whole world, he brings the message of freedom, joy, peace and love. How do we as human beings respond to him? We crucify him, we subject him to the humiliation and agony of the cross. Our cries of ‘Hosanna, Hosanna’, very quickly turn into the cries of ‘Crucify, Crucify’. We kill the one person who can set us free. We do not listen; we reject him and turn our backs. Christ himself knew this would happen and predicts it throughout the Gospels. In John 3: 19-20 Jesus says: “And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed.”

And yet, it is through this death and resurrection that Christ saves us, it is through this death that we are set free. Jesus suffers not just because he comes into conflict with the forces of violence and evil, but also because it is the means to bring freedom from sin and the way to restore our relationship to the Father. To bring us back into fellowship with God. Or as the Epistle reading for today puts it: “…by his wounds you have been healed. For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.” (1 Peter 2: 24-25)

The Kingdom of God that Jesus preached about is a Kingdom based on principles of love, equality, justice, unity and peace. It is a Kingdom that opposes all things that oppress and enslave us in life: pride, greed, prejudice, racism, sexism, hatred and division. Jesus challenged the old world order of revenge, payback, condemnation and self-centeredness. He came into direct conflict with the world because he did not accept the way things were but sought to transform them. 

As a result, he made enemies, he disturbed people, he made them uneasy and unsettled. He criticised the way in which some of the Chief Priests and Pharisees interpreted the Law, their hypocritical way of life and the way things were done (Matthew 23: 13-36). He healed on the Sabbath to make the point that it was a day to save life not to oppress it (Luke 6: 6-11). He ate with sinners and outcasts (Mark 2: 15-17) and chased moneylenders out of the temple (Mark 11: 15-19). He upset the establishment and upset the conventional world order, it is no surprise then that they plotted against him and put him to death. It became the conflict between the new way of love and justice and the old way of violence and injustice.

The cross of Christ stands as the symbol of God’s non-violent love in the world. It shows us what violence can lead us to – in this case the death of an innocent man who spoke words of peace and love. But his death on the cross is not a defeat, but a victory, it shows us that the way of God is the way of humility, servanthood, and forgiveness. It is the way of total love. In John 15: 13 we read: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Christ’s love on the cross is total and complete love in action, through his suffering Christ loves all people, even the very ones who spit, mock, beat and hammer the nails into his body. It is truly remarkable that in the midst of the pain, the despair, the humiliation, Christ loves and forgives his enemies. He meets their violence with love; he defeats their violence with love. The cross is the most powerful expression of them all; it shows us that violence is the enemy of God. That violence itself tries to destroy God, that violence stands in direct opposition to the God we worship and believe in.

In his death and resurrection, we see that violence is defeated. It defeats itself. To follow the way of violence is to follow the road that leads to death, destruction, revenge, division and hatred. We see in the cross the promise of the victory of non-violent love, it stands as a sign of hope. To paraphrase Daniel Migliore in his book Faith Seeking Understanding, the cross is the sign that God’s forgiveness is greater than our guilt, God’s love is greater than the powers of hatred, God’s way of life is greater than our way of death. God’s compassion is greater than the murderous passions of our world. God’s light has never been put out but shines even in the deepest night of savagery.[1]

Today we live in a world of violence, a world where Jesus is rejected again and again, mocked again and again, and crucified again and again. Because we do not listen, we fight among ourselves, we argue over politics, over power, over land and over money. We inflict suffering and injustice on others, the innocent who become victims. We seek to tear down and destroy all that is good in the world, we treat others and God with contempt.

Yet, it is through the love and forgiveness of Christ on the cross that this chain of violence and despair which enslaves our world can be broken. As Christians we are called to love and forgive like Christ, to live in this world of violence and meet it head on with Christ-like love which transforms all violence, death and despair into love and new life for all. We are called to take up the cross, to open ourselves to others, to enter into the risk of relationship, to make ourselves vulnerable, because we must love.

It is this kind of Christ-like love that compels us to act, when meeting violence, despair and injustice head on, we cannot and must not keep silent. We cannot live alongside things that are opposed to the love and forgiveness of God. We cannot passively accept the way of a dark and violent world because that is the way things are. We cannot keep silent and watch our Lord being crucified again and again, in yet another death, yet another violent conflict and yet another victim suffering. One of the Collects for the seven Melanesian Brothers, who were murdered in 2003, puts it this way: “We thank you that the event of the cross is not a past experience but a present reality for us. Empower us, your weak and vulnerable people, to recognise that the power of the cross for the liberation of people from evil is through humility and love.”[2]

 The cross is meaningful and powerful only if it is a present reality in our lives, if it is real and taken down from the pretty pictures or carvings in our churches that can gloss over its raw and bleeding truth. Only then can it be grounded in our lives and in our communities, only then can it make a real difference in the lives of God’s people. Only then can it stand as a symbol of God’s opposition to violence and injustice which we are called to carry in our own societies, contexts and present day realities.

The cross speaks to our world today. Its wood is real, the blood and sweat upon it are real, the nails that hammer flesh are real, and the power of God to save the world upon it is real. It is the means to face all the injustice and suffering of our world. It is the means for real love and reconciliation to flow and pour out upon all our communities, our cultures, and our contexts. It is the way to real divine love and the power to shine out in the darkness. We must never ever underestimate the power of love. Christ has saved the whole world with it and he has promised to be with us until the end of the age. So, if we stand with him, who can stand against us? 

Amen


[1] Daniel L. Migliore, Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology, Third Edition. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2014), 198.

[2] https://www.anglican.org.nz/content/download/4231/22681/file/Melanesian%20Martrys%20FAS.doc

Why Read the Bible in the Original Languages?

Revd Dr Jim West reviews Why Read the Bible in the Original Languages? by Takamitsu Muraoka.

This is an utterly exceptional book, with a message that every single student in seminary or graduate school must hear and heed.

Many things can be missed if the Bible is only read in translation, while a comparison of multiple translations of the Bible in any language shows the text differs in hundreds of places.

Why Read the Bible in the Original Languages? explores a range of linguistic issues relating to the three original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, as well as looking at matters of culture and rhetoric.

In part one, Professor Muraoka looks at the stories of a variety of Hebrew texts and how a grounding in Hebrew aids in both exegesis and application. He does not tell readers what texts mean based on the Hebrew text, but rather tells stories from his life which illustrate how those texts have been utilised and the contexts in which they have been interpreted. As such, this volume is an autobiography written by an expert in biblical languages to show how indispensable linguistic knowledge is, not only for sermons and studies, but also for life.

In the second part of the book, Professor Muraoka investigates Greek personal pronouns, the definite article, verbal forms, and finally Luke 7:36-50, all illustrated with moments from his life. Part three focuses on Aramaic, including discussions on the singular and plural, the language and culture, and Jerusalem.

Chapter four is extraordinarily interesting and may be the most engaging segment of the volume. It focuses the reader’s attention on the Septuagint as a bridge between the Old and New Testaments. It has a discussion on the various forms of love, including biblical love as understood by a 19th century Japanese politician who became a scholar, foot washing, and the Septuagint’s relationship to the New Testament.

The work ends with a conclusion, and indices of biblical texts, and Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words.

Professor Muraoka’s purpose is to tell the story of his life and how that life was impacted by reading the Bible without translations, explaining how having a direct knowledge of the biblical text actually enriches life and not just scholarship.

The book is not written for specialists, although everyone who studies Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic will learn a lot from it. Rather, it is a beautiful invitation to come to the Bible on its own terms and to hear its message in its own words. Everyone who is serious about understanding the Bible, but especially those charged with expounding it, need to be able to do this.

As I tell my students when we begin the study of Hebrew or Greek, the reason we need to study the biblical languages is because to fail to do so is to be akin to the medical doctor who never studied basic anatomy, and that is simply inconceivable.

Go and read this book. Share it with your friends. And then, go and learn Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic if you do not already know them. Your life will be enriched and so will your understanding.

Why Read the Bible in the Original Languages? by Takamitsu Muraoka (Peeters Publishing 2020)

Revd Dr Jim West is teaching Early Church History for Ming Hua’s BTh programme in the new semester.

Library uses book steriliser to combat Covid-19

Ming Hua’s Library has acquired a new book steriliser to help keep students safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The steriliser uses UV light to kill any virus particles or bacteria that may be present on books and documents. It can also be used to sterilise IT equipment in the library, such as computer keyboards, mice and hand-held devices.

The Library has been using the book steriliser to clean all returned library materials to ensure they are free from coronavirus. 

Ming Hua Librarian Dr Helen Cheung said: “Library users are welcome to use this steriliser when borrowing library materials.”

The new book steriliser

Early Bird Offer

Ming Hua is pleased to offer an Early Bird Discount to students who enrol for the Bachelor of Theology (BTh) or Master of Theology (MTh) programmes before January 31.

New students signing up for one BTh subject will receive a 5% discount, while those who opt for two subjects will be given a 10% one. 

People who enrol in three subjects will get 15% off and those who do the programme full-time and enrol in four subjects will receive a 20% discount.

New MTh students will receive a 10% discount on all subjects for which they enrol.

Principal Dr Gareth Jones said: “Our BTh programme is ideal for people who want to learn more about their faith, while our MTh gives students the opportunity to study theology in more depth.

“We are delighted to offer this discount to students who enrol early for one or more of our BTh and MTh subjects and we look forward to welcoming them to the College in March.”

The BTh costs HK$5,875 per subject and the MTh costs HK$14,500 per subject before the discount is applied.

For a full list of the subjects on offer next semester, please see here.

For inquiries:

Phone:     (852) 2521 7708
Email:      admission@minghua.org.hk
Messenger  http://m.me/hkskhminghua
Whatsapp   9530 7241

What’s on Offer?

From the Johannine literature to advanced practical theology, here is a full list of all the subjects on offer at Ming Hua for the BTh and MTh programmes in the new semester starting on 1 March.

Bachelor of Theology

Biblical Studies:

Introduction to Old Testament Studies (THL105)

This exciting subject offers an introduction to the Old Testament from the Pentateuch right through to the Minor Prophets. Students will be taught the basic scholarly tools and critical methods needed to study scripture, as well as gaining an understanding of how the Old Testament is formed, both as a whole and as collections of different books.

Lecturer: Dr Stephen Lim

Day & Time: Thursdays, 7pm – 9:15pm

The Johannine Literature (THL307)

From mystical reflection on the Word Made Flesh, to the apocalyptic Book of Revelation, the Johannine literature includes some of the most memorable and challenging writing of the New Testament. This subject will examine the Johannine literature in greater detail, looking at the genre, content and theology of his work.

Lecturer: Revd Ross Royden

Day & Time: Mondays, 10am – 12:15pm

Church History:

Early Church History (THL131)

Some of the most important doctrines of Christianity emerged out of the Early Church. This exciting subject will look at the contributions made by the Apostolic Fathers and Early Christian Apologists, as well as exploring church-state relations and the theology that emerged from the Councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon.

Lecturer: Revd Dr Jim West

Day & Time: Wednesdays, 7pm – 9:15pm (Available through Zoom)

Anglican Foundations (THL315)

This subject explores the development of Anglican faith and life within the broad catholic tradition of the Church. It examines the distinctive features of Anglican theology, looking at ecclesiology, ethics, worship and spirituality, as well as studying the writings of major Anglican theologians.

Lecturer: Prof Gareth Jones

Day & Time: Wednesdays, 7pm – 9:15pm

Practical Theology:

Practical Theology (THL120)

For students who are interested in how theology can be put into practice, this subject is a must. It looks at theology in action across a range of areas, including ministry, mission, worship and pastoral care. Students will not only develop an understanding of what is distinctive about practical theology, but they will also learn a range of methodologies appropriate to putting theological theory into practice.

Lecturer: Rt Revd Dr Patrick Yu

Day & Time: Mondays. 8pm – 10.15pm (Available through Zoom)

Christian Ministry (THL218)

The Church engages in a wide range of ministries both within the church and in the wider community. This interesting subject explores the practice and theory of Christian ministry, for both lay people and those who are ordained. It incorporates a number of contemporary issues, including cultural context, heightened public standards, issues of justice and the status of the Church in society.

Lecturer: Revd Dr Chun-wai Lam

Day & Time: Thursdays, 7pm – 9.15pm

Advanced Practical Theology (THL335)

Students taking Advanced Practical Theology will learn how to critically evaluate the methodologies of Practical Theology in the lived experience of the Church, as well as engaging with foundational texts of the discipline. They will develop complex theological reflection practices that demonstrate the interdisciplinary and transformative nature of Practical Theology in ministry and mission.

Lecturer: Rt Revd Dr Patrick Yu

Day & Time: Mondays. 8pm – 10.15pm (Available through Zoom)

Systematic Theology:

Introduction to Christian Theology (THL111)

This interesting subject offers students an introduction to Christian theology, covering areas as diverse as the meaning of revelation, the Triune God, and humanity and sin. Alongside helping students develop the skills they need for theological reasoning, it will also look at the role played by scripture and tradition in Christian thought, and the significance of context in shaping theological reflection.

Lecturer: Dr Matthew Jones

Day & Time: Tuesdays, 7pm – 9.15pm

God and Humanity (THL245)

The Bible tells us that humanity was made in the image of God, but what does this really mean? This thought-provoking subject will explore theological ideas relating to humanity, creation and our relationship with God. It will consider this relationship within the context of grace and salvation, as well as looking at contemporary approaches to describing God, such as feminist and postcolonial, as well as ecological and liberation discourses.

Lecturer: Dr Matthew Jones

Day & Time: Mondays, 7pm – 9.15pm

Master of Theology

Contemporary Approaches to Biblical Studies (THL511)

This interesting subject looks at major contemporary approaches to the study of the Old Testament and New Testament. It focuses on recent developments in Biblical Studies, paying particular attention to methodology, both in a theoretical framework and through an analysis of a variety of concrete exegetical problems. It also compares and contrasts different methods of biblical criticism.

Lecturer: Dr Stephen Lim

Day & Time: Tuesdays, 7pm – 9.15pm

Contemporary Issues in Practical Theology (THL519)

Contemporary society faces a number of issues ranging from poverty to gender equality to climate change. This challenging subject teaches students how to engage critically with these issues from a theological perspective. Students will learn how to apply cross-disciplinary research and a variety of practical theological models, including indigenous, feminist and social science perspectives, to develop new approaches to these issues and a deeper understanding of how the Church can respond to them.

Lecturer: Rt Revd Dr Patrick Yu

Day & Time: Mondays, 8pm – 10.15pm (Available through Zoom)

Classic Texts in Christian Theology (THL545)

Students taking this subject will have the opportunity to study at an advanced level some of the key texts that have helped to shape systematic theology and Church tradition. They will focus on the historical and theological context of the texts, as well as looking at their reception and influence on later Christian thought. Students will be encouraged to reflect deeply on the coherence, diversity, and continuing tensions within the Christian theological tradition.

Lecturer: Revd Prof Philip Wickeri

Day & Time: Thursdays, 2pm – 4.15pm

For inquiries:

Phone:     (852) 2521 7708
Email:      admission@minghua.org.hk
Messenger  http://m.me/hkskhminghua
Whatsapp   9530 7241