So, this year I've decided to set myself some clear goals for what I intend to accomplish--in the bent of the study of the NT--before the end of the next year.
1. To become conversant in at least one mystery school.
The aim, on the heels of my recent post lamenting the lack of familiarity with one side or the other in comparisons between the mystery, is to be able to carry on a conversation about a mystery school without reference to Christianity. A substantiative conversation, not a list of facts.
The Eleusinian cult seems the most obvious, because it was easily the most popular, at least in the earlier stages. It's also, at least to me, the least interesting. So right now I'm torn between Mithras and Magna Mater, though I'm leaning toward the latter.
2. Form a coherent definition of "Hellenism."
Far, far too often, the term "Hellenism" is used to mean "not Jewish." While I could give a broad definition of it, I couldn't give a terribly specific one--like indecency, I think I "know it when I see it." Which, of course, isn't good enough.
As with the above resolution, I'm not looking to become an expert. Just to be conversant.
3. To read at least 3 commentaries on Revelation
Pretty self-explanatory. It's a fairly large hole in my knowledge.
So, there we have it. My goals this year. What are yours?