Global Classroom

Please follow the below instructions to view a lecture through Ming Hua’s Global Classroom.

  1. Go to our Global Classroom webpage here.
  2. Click the ‘Live’ button under the public lecture you wish to attend.
  3. Enter your name and click ‘Enter Room’ to attend the lecture as a guest.
  4. Click ‘Open Adobe Connect’ if you have Adobe Connect installed on your desktop/laptop. If you do not have Adobe Connect, you will need to install the application, then repeat steps 1 to 4.

文憑課程

明華神學院文憑課程自去年9月推出以來,分别在五大範疇,包括聖公宗研習、聖經研習、教會歷史、實踐神學及系統神學方面,為平信徒提供各類普及課程,為研習神學建立根基,擴濶對聖公宗信仰的認知,並為教會侍奉作好準備。

今年暑假,本院會開展下列新課程供有興趣人士選讀:

實踐神學:

輔導在信仰中 (DPT003)

當我們持續地牧養關顧(Pastoral Care)時,必會涉獵到「輔導」的知識和技巧。本課程會為學員介紹輔導學不同派別的基本理論和知識,並以批判的精神,一起分析和討論各理論在信仰中如何運用或需謹慎留意的地方,從而讓學員能有基本的輔導理論認識作根基,參與關顧的侍奉。

講師:鄧翊匡牧師

日期:23/6, 30/6, 7/7, 14/7, 21/7, 28/7 (二)

時間:晚上7:00 – 9:00

地點:Zoom

聖公宗研習 / 實踐神學:

教父母培訓課程 (DAN002 / DPT004)

聖公會以聖經、傳統和理性三門法碼作為基礎,互相平衡尊重。但往往變成三方面都未被堅持和重視,尤其是對聖經的研究和學習,在釋經和靈修所花上的時間都不成比例。我們會嘗試從教父母的由來、責任及如何實踐作為此課程的重心。

講師:張樹萱牧師

日期:9/7, 16/7, 23/7, 30/7, 6/8, 13/8, 20/8(四)

時間:晚上8:00 – 9:30

地點:Zoom (20/8 往聖匠堂現場實習)

聖公宗研習 / 教會歷史:

從教會歷史看聖禮神學 (DAN003 / DCH001)

基督教中有洗禮和聖餐兩項重要的聖禮。在教會歷史的發展當中,除了這兩項聖禮,有不少教徒也會承認其他的聖禮。關於聖禮,歷代教會爭論不休。本課程從《聖經》及教會歷史的角度,進行確立聖禮發展的探討。

講師:李安業牧師

日期:13/7, 20/7, 27/7, 17/8, 24/8, 31/8(一)

時間:晚上7:00 – 9:00

地點:環球教室(明華神學院)

Christianity and the Coronavirus

Bishop Patrick Yu responds to an article by Bishop Tom Wright on whether Christianity offers any answers about the pandemic.

A friend sent me this article today: (基督教與新型冠狀病毒 – 不解因為不用解釋), it is translated from Bishop Tom Wright’s article, ‘Christianity Offers No Answers About the Coronavirus. It’s Not Supposed To’. Another friend sent me the original on March 29, which I read and made a brief reply. Since the article seems to have gained traction in Hong Kong, I want to share my thoughts with you.

I will try to give a fair summary of Bishop Wright’s arguments. He asserts that: “It is no part of the Christian vocation … to be able to explain what is happening and why.” To support that assertion, he offers the following points: (1) Wanting to explain everything is a consequence of Rationalism, a recent phenomenon. (2) Instead, Christians should recover the biblical practice of lament. (3) God laments with us in our pain and (4) pastorally, “It is part of Christian vocation not to be able to explain – and to lament instead.” Out of the practice of suffering together good and new things may emerge.

What prompted his article seemed to be “knee jerk reactions” of “silly suspects” who were quick to conclude that the virus was God’s judgement of their favourite list of sins. I sympathise with his frustration.  There are people whose first reaction to any disaster is to blame. China, the first victim of the disease, has become the target of this kind of ‘explanation’ and some Christians are quick to enlist God to this game.  This phenomenon is not new; when the disciples encountered the blind man (John 9), their first reaction was to ask: “Who sinned?” Jesus redirected the question from past to future, from blame to solution. “He was born blind so that God’s work might be revealed in him.” Any tragedy can be an occasion to show God’s glory.

But it is a long stretch from this position to saying that explanations are no part of the Christian vocation. Wanting to know ‘why’ did not begin with rationalism, it is part and parcel of being human. We are rational beings who cannot help asking why? Even if we cannot know the answer to everything, surely by asking, we get some answers to some things, and the quest for explanations allowed civilisation to develop long before the rise of rationalism. The quest for explanations, the search for meaning, I argue, is uniquely the concern and vocation for Christians. To close the possibility that God may be telling us something through this ordeal is as dogmatic as jumping to easy answers. It can prove as dangerous; look at Ahab or any other king that shut their ears to the voice of the prophets.

Bishop Wright may be reacting against a prevailing theology of judgement which lies behind the ‘explanations’. In this theory, an angry God sends plagues to punish sins until people repent. But that is not the only way to look at judgement. The Greek word has the same root as the word crisis.  God made a world with certain basic principles about how we are to relate to God, creation and each other. When we act contrary to what I call the instruction manual, predictable consequences, i.e. crises, follow.   

The outbreak exposes the strengths and weaknesses across major ideological swaths of our world today. It exposes, arguably, the weakness of information control in China. It also exposes the weakness of a profit-based healthcare system in the United States, or underfunding public health in the United Kingdom, it is easy to make up your own list. For me, it exposes the ‘politics first’ approach to any issue. None of these explains the virus, but it explains why and how it wreaks havoc in different societies. Just as importantly, it explains why some countries do better than others. So, if we seek answers not to blame but to learn, it is the vocation of the Church, engaging Christians from different disciplines, to discern and heed the wake-up call the pandemic urgently poses. This challenge is global: the values displayed in our lifestyles are contrary to God’s reign on many fronts and on many levels. They are not so much sins in personal morality as systemic evils of Principalities and Powers. They weaken our human fabric which impacts our health. Instead of pointing fingers, Christians can exemplify collective reflection and repentance, which involve humility and clear thinking. For example, to what extent has the pandemic exposed the unjust global economic system and our devastation of the environment? In my enforced isolation, I have learned just how little material wealth I need to be happy; I have been rethinking my need to travel, especially my preferred way of cruising. Before we return to normal, let us examine what the new normal can be.

Similarly, Wright overstates his case for lament. Lament is not a substitute for questioning, nor does it somehow negate the need for repentance. The psalms are full of questions. Alongside the laments he cites in psalms 10, 13, 22 and 88, are many ‘whys’, some of them are rhetorical but others are pointed questions to God, not always asked politely. A random sampling took me to psalms 10, 22, 42, 43, 44, 74, 79, and 80. Psalm 22 itself begins with the famous question, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Perhaps Wright’s objection is directed more to the answering than the questioning, and he has a point. The Book of Job is the best example of ‘friends’ providing useless answers. But questions that are too big for answers do not exclude others that we can grasp or should grasp. Lamentations, which exemplifies what Wright recommends, has a counterpart in the Book of Jeremiah, who knew all too well why Jerusalem suffered such destruction, he did not simply lament, he sounded the alarm.

The issue is not lamentations versus answers or judgements, it is the order of Christian response. Judgement should never be the first response, Jesus showed us that, but he also pronounced judgements.  The parable of Lazarus and the rich man is uncomfortably direct, and we have “You will die in your sins, unless you believe in me.” We must first come alongside those who suffer, as Jesus did, and lament with them. Then, when we have fully become one with the sufferer, we go to work together to seek what answers might emerge that relate to the suffering. It is our vocation both to lament and to seek explanations, not to lay blame but move towards a fairer future.

The most disturbing part of Wright’s article is his portrayal of God.  “Some Christians like to think of God as above all that, knowing everything, in charge of everything, calm and unaffected by the troubles in his world,” he writes. God is not aloof but is rather grieved to his heart, and Jesus wept at the tomb of his friend. Well, I believe God laments with us, but I also believe God is transcendent, all knowing and very much in charge. History did not end with the crucifixion. God suffers with us, but God also, in resurrection, overcame sin and death for and with us, even “He shall come again in Glory to judge the living and the dead, and His Kingdom shall have no end.”

Now I do not believe for a moment that Bishop Wright deliberately commits theological errors, but he overstates his case, perhaps in a hurry to write a response to a bad sermon he heard or an article he read. This brings me to why I am writing to friends in Ming Hua. It is a reminder to take care and take time when we write and preach. Even when most of us will never write with the fecundity of Bishop Wright, someone is paying attention. The following faulty methodology caught my eye:  He overstates one truth in opposition to another, using either/or instead of both/and; and he used special pleading in the process, citing some passages while ignoring others. He may have given in to the temptation to make sensational claims against conventional opinion. I challenge you to find similar mistakes in my work! Most importantly, you must never take any authority at face value; even famous theologians have bad days.  Instead, keep a critical eye on the arguments themselves and not on the name at the front. Critical reasoning is our special calling as theologians in Hong Kong, particularly at Ming Hua.

Stay healthy, stay hopeful, stay faithful. Until we meet face to face.

With much affection,

Patrick Yu

Suffragan Bishop of Toronto, retired

Senior lecturer in Pastoral Theology

Biblical Hebrew for Beginners

Have you ever wished you could read the Old Testament in its original language? If so, we have good news! Ming Hua is delighted to announce a new language course in Biblical Hebrew.

The subject will help students develop the skills they need to begin to read the Old Testament in the language in which it was written.

Starting with an introduction to the basic grammar, syntax and the vocabulary necessary for reading the Old Testament, by the end of course, students should be able to translate simple passages into English.

They will also gain an understanding of the historical context and cultural significance of Biblical Hebrew.

Dr Stephen Lim, who will lead the course, points out that learning biblical Hebrew helps us to understand our translations better and also equips us with the tools to critique them.

For example, he explains that not all instances in which we see the names of Adam and Satan in our translations should be translated in this way. “Adam in Genesis 1-2 could be better translated as man or human, and Satan in Job 1-2, as the adversary, rather than the popular figure of Lucifer,” he says.

He adds: “This is not to mention that the very first word of the Hebrew Bible need not be translated as ‘in the beginning’, while the Hebrew words commonly translated as ‘formless and empty’ may not agree entirely with the idea of creation ex nihilio.

“These few examples alone might signal potential shifts of interpretation of our understanding of the Bible in relation to creation and cosmos. So if you want to learn this and more, you are welcome to join us!” 

The course, which is aimed at people with no previous experience of studying Hebrew, is open to anyone with an interest in learning the language.

Lectures will run on Mondays and Thursdays between July 20 and August 27 from 7pm to 9.15pm.

The course costs HK$5,875. For further details or if you would like to enrol, please contact us at admission@minghua.org.hk or Whatsapp 9530 7241.

New Sacred Music Department

Ming Hua is excited to announce the launch of a new Sacred Music Department at the College.

The Department, which is being led by Felix Yeung, Provincial Music Director of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, will offer an extensive education programme, including certificates in music theory, and courses on liturgical organ playing and choral conducting.

It will also offer lectures on the history of church music and liturgy, as well as publishing and promoting liturgical music written in Chinese and other Asian languages.

Sacred music has always been at the heart of the Anglican Church and the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui has a long tradition of nurturing church musicians and promoting sacred music to the public.

The new Sacred Music Department will take this commitment a stage further by offering musicians, conductors, organists, instrumentalists and singers support to further develop their interests and talent in this area.

Felix says: “Setting up this Department gives us the chance to offer structured programmes and approach church music in a deep and more systematic way.

“In the short term, we are hoping to offer some fundamental training for musicians in the Province. Over the longer term, we really want to develop at least a diploma, or even offer a degree at some point.”

Felix Yeung, Course Director, and King Chan, Course Administrator, of the new Sacred Music Department.

The Department will also seek to increase interest in sacred and liturgical music among members of the HKSKH and wider public, particularly the younger generation, through its education programme.

Other possible developments will include collaborating with different organisations, such as the Royal School of Church Music, to organise examinations and other activities.

“We want to give young musicians the opportunity to have some training. We see music as an opportunity to lead people to the faith,” Felix says.

The Department has been set up with the help of Bishop Andrew Chan, who has been keen to see a formal centre for sacred music established in Hong Kong for many years.

Bishop Chan says: “There is no other religion in the world which has inspired such great music as the Christian Church.

“The Holy Spirit gives composers the inspiration to write music of life according to the living faith of the Church. This music born of the Holy Spirit can be life-changing, encouraging, comforting and draws people into communion with each other.”

Among the courses that will be launched this autumn are a one-year Certificate on Music Theory, and short courses on Liturgical Organ Playing and Choral Conducting.

For further information or to sign up for a course, please contact Course Administrator King Chan at music@minghua.org.hk.

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) programme before August 7.

New students signing up for one BTh subject will receive a 10% discount, while those who opt for two subjects will be given a 15% one. 

People who enrol in three subjects will get 20% off and those who do the programme full-time and enrol in four subjects will receive a 25% discount.

New MTh students will receive a 15% discount on all subjects for which they enrol.

Discounts are also available to people already studying at the College, with existing BTh and MTh students eligible for a 10% discount on any number of subjects that they sign up for before August 7.

Principal Dr Gareth Jones said: “We have a great line up of interesting subjects on offer this term, ranging from a history of Christianity in China to a study of the prophetic literature.

“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 September.”

The BTh costs HK$5,875 per subject, while the MTh costs HK$14,500 per subject. The Early Bird Discount reduces these prices!

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

What’s on Offer

From prophetic literature to pastoral care, 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 September 7.

Bachelor of Theology

Biblical Studies:

Introduction to Biblical Languages (THL100)

For students who aspire to read the Bible in the languages in which it was written, this subject offers an introduction to Biblical Hebrew and New Testament Greek. Students will learn the alphabets of both languages, as well as their basic grammatical features and elementary vocabulary. They will also look at some of the cultural dimensions of the biblical texts that are preserved in the ancient languages, and consider the impact these have on how the texts should be interpreted.

Lecturer: Revd Dr Jim West

Day & Time: Wednesdays, 7pm – 9:15pm through Global Classroom

Introduction to New Testament Studies (THL106)

This interesting subject provides an overview of the various writings that make up the New Testament, ranging from the four Gospels to the apocalyptic literature. Students will look at the historical context of the books of the New Testament, as well as their literary and theological features. They will also be introduced to the basic critical skills used in New Testament interpretation, including exegetical skills, and consider the history of New Testament studies and the different critical approaches to New Testament texts.

Lecturer: Dr Stephen Lim

Day & Time: Thursdays, 7pm – 9:15pm

The Synoptic Gospels (THL208)

The three Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, all tell the story of Jesus’ life but in their own distinct ways. While they include many of the same stories, and at times use identical wording, they also contain notable differences. Students taking this subject will explore these differences in depth, looking at the historical, literary, cultural and religious contexts in which they were written. They will also assess these Gospels as a source for understanding Jesus and explore the puzzle of how they relate to each other.

Lecturer: Revd Dr Eric Lau

Day & Time: Tuesdays, 7pm – 9:15pm through Global Classroom

The Prophetic Literature (THL308)

The prophetic literature was written thousands of years ago, but it still resonates today. This subject explores the major theological and ethical themes of the prophetic literature in the Old Testament. Students will examine the writings’ historical, social, political and religious contexts, and look at how these contexts influence their interpretation. They will also explore what relevance these writings have for Christians today. Students will also have the opportunity to develop their exegetical and interpretive skills when exploring the texts.

Lecturer: Revd Canon Dr Eric Chong

Day & Time: Wednesdays, 10am – 12:15pm

Systematic Theology:

Being the Church (THL113)

The Church has a central place in Christian faith as the people of God are called out for life, ministry and mission. This subject explores the theological and scriptural basis for ‘being the Church’ and its implications for Christian living in the contemporary world. Topics explored include the traditional ‘marks’ of the Church, its unity and diversity in the ecumenical context, and contemporary critiques of church life and practice. A central focus throughout will be the perennial challenge for Christians in all times and all places to ‘be the church’ and what that means in a complex world.

Lecturer: Dr Matthew Jones

Day & Time: Tuesdays, 7pm – 9:15pm

Jesus the Christ (THL215)

There is one key question in the New Testament, and almost nothing else matters: “Who do you say that I am?” Christ asks Peter… and for 2000 years we have all been trying to answer. The teachings of Christianity try to express why and how the eternal God was (and is) present in Jesus of Nazareth, and they consider the key moments of the Gospel stories about Jesus as both historical events in the life of Christ, and Christian witnesses and testimonies to what people believed about this God-Man. ‘Jesus the Christ’ brings us face-to-face with the central figure of this religion and compels us to ask the deepest questions about his life, his identity, and his presence in today’s world.

Lecturer: Prof Gareth Jones

Day & Time: Wednesdays, 7pm – 9:15pm

The Triune God (THL316)

The Trinity is one of the most complex, yet central, doctrines of the Christian faith. This subject explores the development of the Christian understanding of God as ‘three persons in one God’, looking at the biblical origins of the doctrine, as well as key historical and theological developments in the first five centuries following Jesus’ death. It will also explore how the doctrine has been rejuvenated in recent decades and the implications this revival has for theology, ecclesiology, worship and interfaith dialogue.

Lecturer: Dr Matthew Jones

Day & Time: Thursdays, 2pm – 4:15pm

Church History:

Religion in Chinese Culture (THL257)

Students studying this subject will be given a fascinating insight into religious life in Greater China, as well as the Chinese diaspora in Asia and beyond, looking at the interaction of religion with society and culture in both historical and contemporary situations. The subject focuses on Daoism, Buddhism, Chinese folk religion and Confucianism, giving students an insight into the key issues in interpreting the relationship between traditional Chinese religion and Christianity, as well as looking at Islam and various minority traditions in China.

Lecturer: Dr Rowena Chen

Day & Time: Mondays, 7pm – 9:15pm

History of Christianity in China (THL346)

This thought-provoking subject will take a scholarly look at the contextualisation of Christianity in China. It will explore historical and theological definitions of contextualisation, indigenisation and enculturation, and look at how these are reflected in Christian texts, music, art and literature in China. Students will also have the opportunity to look at three key 20th century figures who played an important role in Christianity in China, namely the theologian T. C. Chao, the activist Christian leader Y. T. Wu, and the church leader Bishop K. H. Ting.

Lecturer: Revd Prof Philip Wickeri and Dr Rowena Chen
Day & Time: Wednesday, 2pm to 4.15pm

Practical Theology:

Pastoral Care (THL228)

This practical subject aims to prepare students for pastoral ministry in both the church and community contexts. Students will learn the key skills needed by people working in pastoral care, such as listening, connecting with people, communicating understanding and drawing out a person’s story. They will also consider practical issues, including professional boundaries, making referrals, and thinking theologically and reflectively about their work. The subject will cover common pastoral care situations and case studies, such as suffering, grief and loss, anxiety and crises.

Lecturer: Revd Lysta Leung

Day & Time: Tuesdays, 2pm – 4:15pm

Mission, Evangelism and Apologetics (THL238)

Mission, evangelism and apologetics do not happen in a vacuum but in a context. Although Hong Kong is currently going through challenging times, these circumstances create an opportunity to explore our identity as Anglicans with a strong history of being a church in China. This fascinating subject will consider mission and apologetics in the context of Hong Kong, as well as exploring the role of evangelism in growing a church and why being a Christian is still meaningful today.

Lecturer: Revd Prof John Kater

Day & Time: Thursdays, 2pm – 4:15pm

Master of Theology

Contemporary Theology in a Global Context (THL512)

All theology is contextual, in that it reflects the locations, situations and questions that surround the theologian. This subject is an exciting journey through some of these fascinating twists and turns, which will include exploring the relationship between theology and culture, the emergence of eco-theology in response to the environmental crisis, the contribution of feminist theology, and the emergence of distinct Asian theologies that see God in diverse and yet interconnecting ways. Students will explore their own encounter with God in their own context and the challenges, questions, and potentialities it raises.

Lecturer : Dr Matthew Jones

Day & Time: Mondays, 7pm – 9:15pm

Studies in Liturgy and Worship (THL518)

This interesting subject looks at contemporary scholarship on the relationship between worship and theology. Students will develop an appreciation of worship as a primary theology, and gain an in-depth understanding of the range of liturgical sources available, including prayers, lectionaries, rites, rubrics, music and performance, art and architecture, as well as understanding the place of culture in worship. They will also analyse the content, influence and contribution worship makes to theology.

Lecturer: Revd Dr Chun-wai Lam

Day & Time: Thursdays, 7pm – 9:15pm

For enquiries,

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

J-Term: Voices of Our Land

Ming Hua is excited to announce the return of J-term this July with a theme of Voices of Our Land. Whether they are from the past or present, different Christian traditions or other cultures, they speak to testify the presence of the Lord.

The Church We Are: Anglicanism in Hard Times

Hong Kong is a great city – with great challenges: political upheaval, economic distress, social inequality, health and welfare concerns. What is the Church’s mission in such times? As well as an introduction to Anglican evangelism and apologetics, this talk will address some important questions around the Church’s future life in our city.

Speaker: Prof Gareth Jones
Date: Monday July 6
Time: 7pm – 9pm

Friends or Enemies? Christian Tradition and Context in a Complex World

As Christians, we don’t think up our faith by ourselves; we inherit it from those who have come before us, stretching in a line all the way back to the first followers of Jesus. We call that inheritance our ‘tradition’ and nobody takes it more seriously than Anglicans! But we also live in a specific place and time – our context. How do tradition and context relate to each other? Sometimes they give us very different messages. So are they friends, or enemies? And how do we decide?

Speaker: Revd Prof John Kater
Date: Wednesday July 8
Time: 7pm – 9pm

Learning the Handan Walk: The Origin and Development of Religious Studies in China

The study of religion in China was restarted at the beginning of the reform era in the late 1970s. This lecture will look at the various twists and turns in the study of religion in China, focusing on Christianity. The academic study of Christianity has had a very positive influence on theology and the Church, helping churches to become more open-minded, more involved in society and more interested in contextualisation. In the present situation, reform and openness has taken a backseat to restriction and closed mindedness. How will this affect religious studies and Christianity in the future? What will this mean for the Church in light of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Speaker: Revd Prof Philip Wickeri
Date: Monday July 13
Time: 7pm – 9pm

Reading the Bible Other-wise in between East and West: A View from Southeast Asia

This lecture focuses on the currents of reading and interpreting the Bible in Asia from a Southeast Asian perspective. We will explore how particularly Asian strategies of reading emerge from South, East, and Southeast Asian contexts, and their significance for Christian faith and living. Ultimately, the lecture seeks to engage with and critique such Asian approaches and interpretations, not only in terms of what had been and what is, but also what is to come.

Speaker: Dr Stephen Lim
Date: Wednesday July 15
Time: 7pm – 9pm

College Eucharist

The Most Revd Dr Paul Kwong, Archbishop of Hong Kong, will celebrate the Eucharist. College Principal Professor Gareth Jones will preach.

Date: Thursday July 16
Time: 5pm – 6.30pm

Seeking God in the World: Challenges and Opportunities in a Changing Global Landscape

How does our location, situation and the questions we ask impact our theology? This lecture, which offers an introduction to the upcoming MTh subject ‘Contemporary Theology in a Global Context’, will explore the fascinating task of doing theology in a complex and changing world, exploring how our own encounter with God is shaped by our context, and looking at the challenges, opportunities and potentialities this creates.

Speaker: Dr Matthew Jones
Date: Wednesday July 22
Time: 7pm – 9pm

J-Term will be held at Ming Hua Theological College, Glenealy, Central, Hong Kong.

For further information or to register to attend a lecture please contact promotion@minghua.org.hk or WhatsApp +852 9640 2283

You can also register online here.

The Trial and Crucifixion of Jesus 書評

Revd Dr Jim West reviews The Trial and Crucifixion of Jesus: Ancient Texts and Modern Commentary by David W. Chapman and Eckhard J. Schnabel

This book offers readers the opportunity to examine primary sources relating to the trial and execution of Jesus – although the material does not directly cover the events concerning Jesus himself. Instead, it looks at documents about trials and crucifixion in general, written during and slightly later than the first century CE.

For instance, in part one, Eckhard J. Schnabel discusses Jewish trials before the Sanhedrin, an assembly of rabbis appointed to sit as a tribunal in every city in ancient Israel. He offers extra-biblical texts relating to topics such as Annas and Caiaphas, the two High Priests mentioned during Jesus’ public ministry, the jurisdiction of the Sanhedrin, and capital cases in Jewish law. He also covers the interrogation of witnesses, charges of blasphemy, seduction, and sorcery, the abuse of prisoners, and the transfer of court cases.

Part two, again by Schnabel, turns to Roman trials before Pontius Pilate, and discusses, by means, again, of extra-biblical texts, Pilate himself, the jurisdiction of Roman prelates, and various Roman legal niceties.

In part three, which is written by David W. Chapman, the book focuses on the act of crucifixion in all its gory details. It addresses what Chapman styles as ‘bodily suspension in the ancient Near East’, with Greco-Roman sources on the topic laid out, along with Hellenistic and Jewish sources. Chapman then provides something of a Who’s Who of crucifixion victims in Roman literature. 

This section is followed by a look at the ways in which various societies reacted to the act of crucifixion. Chapman closes out his very long third part with a listing of the taunts, curses and jests that were hurled at the victims of crucifixion. It is worth reading. Some of the taunts may be useful to readers of the volume at some point, especially if they are seeking a fresh rejoinder to hurl at some hapless, ill-prepared conference presenter.

There are, as one should expect, a fair number of illustrations in the book, and the work also includes a bibliography, an index of ancient sources, modern authors, and subjects.

The volume is a sourcebook of materials about trials and crucifixions in the ancient Mediterranean world, but it is not, strictly speaking, a volume about the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. The title is, accordingly, a bit inaccurate. It should have been titled Trials and Crucifixions in the World of Jesus, because that is what it is really about.

The inaccurate title notwithstanding, this is a fascinating sourcebook with mountains of important primary source materials, in their original languages as well as in translation, and with helpful commentary. The authors have done a lifetime of work and they are to be congratulated for it.

This resource belongs on every New Testament scholar’s shelf.

New Religious Education Programme Planned 宗教教育課程預告

在香港課程發展的框架下,宗教教育是在宗教教育、德育和倫理等等有關學生生命成長的學習範疇內,誠言,既是有關生命成長,老師的角色便顯得尤其重要,生命影響生命,老師的價值觀、信仰與生命如何,學生受影響也如何。

作為辦學團體,香港聖公會一直也關注基督信仰價值在教育場景及學生生命的展現,經過一段時間的觀察、探索及討論,在聖公宗(香港)小學監理委員會執行委員會主席陳謳明主教作顧問,由宗教教育中心主任彭培剛法政牧師和明華神學院營運主任潘靄君牧師所策劃,以協助學校宗教科老師推行及教授宗教教育的課程已正式開始籌備。

雖然現時仍在籌備的最初階段,但學院的課程策劃藍圖已大致完成。課程的目標以提供宗教教育科老師在教學方法及資源分享為主;課程內容則以宗教教育、倫理及聖經研讀作三大範疇,更以基礎神學概念作闡釋講授,務求讓老師在學習時,能先作信仰反省,讓學校的宗教教育更能回應學生的生命成長;課程的講師資源則由明華神學院的講師及香港聖公會的資深校長及老師擔任。此外,本課程亦將會向香港教育局申請認證,成為教師持續進修的認可課程;香港的課程認證以外,學院更計劃將來與澳洲查理斯特大學探討發展宗教教育的碩士課程。

潘靄君牧師在這籌備階段,將主力與不同學校作咨詢及交流,希望更了解老師在教授宗教教育上的需要及對資源/支援的期望,使課程設計及配套上能貼合前線老師的需要;此外,潘牧師亦會向已有完整宗教教育課程發展的天主教教會請教及交流,集思廣益。

這令人興奮的課程,將預計在明年九月推出。敬請期待!

Ming Hua Theological College is excited to announce plans for a new Religious Education programme aimed at teachers working in Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui schools.

The programme is being developed by Revd Odette Pun and Revd Canon Thomas Pang, of the Religious Education Resource Centre, in consultation with Bishop Andrew Chan, chairman of the Anglican (Hong Kong) Primary Schools Council.

While planning is still at an early stage, it is envisaged that the programme will cover three core areas, namely different methods of teaching religious education, ethics, and biblical studies, including some basic theology.

Revd Pun will be talking to the schools to find out more about what they would like to see included in the programme.

She will also be consulting the Catholic Church, which runs a similar programme for teachers at its school, to gain further insights into how the programme should be designed.

The course will be taught by Ming Hua faculty, as well as principals and teachers from Anglican schools in Hong Kong.

Once the programme has been developed, Ming Hua will seek to register it with the Education Bureau so that teachers who take it will receive a certificate and have it counted towards their continuing professional development.

The College hopes to be able to launch the programme in September next year.

Over the longer term, Ming Hua is exploring the possibility of offering a Master of Religious Education through Charles Sturt University.