MEMRA 2012 is open for registration!

Here’s the quick overview:

  • I’ll be offering courses in biblical Hebrew, biblical Greek, Ugaritic, biblical theology, and Old and New Testament.
  • Courses begin July 9, so you have plenty of time to register and plan. Right now students can register for either term in 2012.
  • Tuition is 50% off until June 1

There are a number of new items pertaining to MEMRA for 2012. Briefly…

  • The institute has a new website – very nice. Check it out! Its Moodle classroom site also has a new look.
  • After feedback from students and various Naked Bible readers, I have decided to trim the course offerings, focusing on ancient languages and my own niche specialties and unique contributions. For example, the dozen or so biblical theology courses are more topic-focused (and will of course revolve around different aspects of biblical theology oriented by the divine council worldview of the biblical writers). There are several entirely new courses as well.
  • There will be less reading in courses (in terms of page count) and (a lot) more video. This is one of the reasons for the July 9 start date. I basically want to have all the content on video when we start. Since I am redoing the Hebrew and Greek videos, that will be a challenge, but I think it’s obtainable.
  • All vocabulary for Futato and Black will be on video. Same for grammatical forms. The videos will record me going through vocab “flashcard style” and going through paradigms with visual cues to aid memorization.  Students will also be given access to the original PowerPoint files that were used for download. I will also be doing video overviews of each chapter and all the exercises. See the new MEMRA website for samples.
  • I have eliminated forums in the courses in favor of creating either Google groups for discussion or some other interactive network (I am reading about “BuddyPress” but can’t say I understand it. Google groups are quite manageable, though.
  • Despite the retention of the above (some sort of discussion or Q&A element), I will also be answering student questions via audio this year. It will result in a faster turn around. I get the question, decide whether the Google group (typing) is the best way to answer, and if not, I record a verbal answer and then post the audio file inside the course web page.
  • Note that I am offering Ugaritic, and actually have two years of Ugaritic in the course list. Last year the Ugaritic course fell short by a few people and was canceled. That won’t be the case this year (unless no one signs up) since I am already doing the videos for it. First year will be devoted to Schniedewind’s grammar, which is a bit unorthodox for typical language grammars, but less intense. Hebrew is recommended (it will be a help for sure), but not required. Second year will be devoted to going through Pardee and Bourdreuil’s grammar. But even in the first course we will be translating in the Baal Cycle.
  • I have also added (though not offered this year) intermediate courses in Hebrew and Greek. They focus on reading and exegesis.

Other Notes:

  • With the 50% discount, prices are basically the same as last year, and I aim to keep them that way.
  • If you have already taken a Hebrew or Greek course, I will give you a password to the new MEMRA Moodle site so you can access and download the new videos … when the first term begins, and if you request it. Contact me by email
  • Reminder:  The old MEMRA site will be taken off-line around January 15.
  • The new MEMRA classroom will open shortly two weeks before the term begins. Anyone who signs up for a course will receive an email from me at that time with a guest user name and password to enter the site. Then you have two weeks to get oriented and start with anyone preliminary / warm-up reading or memorization, just like last year.
  • You do not need a PayPal account to register for a course, though the payments go through PayPal.
  • When 2013 rolls around I will announce a 2012 schedule. (I’ll probably do that on December 22 after the world doesn’t end).
  • Please email me if you have questions, but please see the MEMRA FAQ first.

Some Requested Input

  • I purchased the cool theme for the new MEMRA site, but I don’t know how to get rid of the “G” icon that appears in the URL line and in the tabs for pages. Any help in that regard would be appreciated it, but I can live with it if there is no solution.
  • I have decided to ditch a donation link for the Naked Bible site. However, I am toying with the idea of offering recurring subscriptions of $5 per month. In exchange for your support of the Naked Bible, in addition to MEMRA I would hold a one hour (per month) webinar with subscribers. The focus would be research methods for biblical studies and various research tools (perhaps some hard copy, but mostly digital and internet). I’d basically introduce something along these lines each month. Still not sure about this. It costs money, and I’m no techie. I am thinking I could create a Facebook group (whatever they are called — I’ll ask my kids) to field questions while online for each webinar to cut that expense, but I have visions of seeing fifty popup questions on my screen all at once. All suggestions will be appreciated (including, “forget about it”). There is also the problem of scheduling this sort of thing relating to time zones (around the world, not just in the US/Canada).

That’s all for now. On to the Naked Bible podcast!  My goal is to have that ready Feb 1.