Monday, March 06, 2006

Seminary Students Say the Darnest Things!

During the semester I have had some really good laughs at my students expense:

1. In a lecture on the book of Hebrews and I was trying to emphasis that the author's thesis is that "Jesus is Better". A better covenant, a better high priest, a better sacrifice, a better law, etc. I then said, "Jesus is better than ... starts with M and rhymes with 'poses' any idea?"
A student with straight face said, "Melchizedek".

2. In another lecture I asked my students who was the Syrian king who had the Jerusalem temple desecrated in 167 BC. The answer is Antiochus Epiphanes IV.
One student said, "Apocrypha-Faeces".

God bless seminary students.


eddie said...

and this is exactly why I dont speak up in lectures...

Chris Tilling said...

This really gave me a laugh!
But I remeber to this day one of my own fellow students in ST Andrews. A dear chap, but he always, I mean ALWAYS, put his hand up and asked a crazy question - the sort that couldn't be made up, you know, real creative crap. But it was so monotonous that it came to the point that, during lectures, we had an official competition going as to who could guess exactly when he'd put his hand up, stop watches and all.

It's probably comforting for the tax-payer to know what their money is going towards.

Anonymous said...

OK, these _are_ funny questions, but, if we're not careful, we might be tempted to forget that we must have said some pretty inane things in lectures and seminars when we were students too. Maybe we need to institute a theological version of the literary 'Humiliation' game David Lodge introduced in his comic novel Changing Places, where, to win, the players had to reveal embarrassing gaps in their reading. I remember, with toe-curling embarrassment, that I once managed to convince myself there was a concept called, ahem, 'forsenic' righteousness.

As for Chris's memory, this sounds very familiar. Back in the day, one of my fellow students had a particular hobby horse that he rode whenever appropriate, and, sadly, whenever inappropriate too; we never used stopwatches, but perhaps we should have.

Paulos said...

Most of the gaffes that I encounter come in the form of papers or exams. On an exam a couple of years ago, one student wrote about the fertile croissant.

NWMihelis said...

My personal favorite occured in a 9th and 10th grade Sunday School class. One of my best buddies was teaching (we team taught the class). He was relatively new to teaching 9th and 10th SS and was waxing eloquent on a Greek word in the text (I think we were in Ephesians, but I don't remember the term)that had an alpha privative. He was trying to explain the significance of the negation and referred to it as an alpha primate. I immediately had the image of a large male gorilla flash to my mind and just about wet my pants laughing!

Steven Harris said...

This reminds me of a conversation that took place in one of my classes last year:

Lecturer: (to student) That's the most stupid question I ever heard.

Student: But Dr Rainey says that in theology there's no such thing as a stupid question.

Lecturer: He obviously never heard that one.

J. B. Hood said...

My favorite classmates in seminary were the foreign guys who weren't afraid to say what was on their mind--Americans, believe it or not, do have a problem being too demure. One intense, dedicated African brother asked a professor--in class--about masturbation (particularly relevant given that he was away from his family studying at a seminary in America)...on more than one occasion, as the prof (a very modest sort from Wales) never could spit out an answer.

Celucien joseph said...

My french students crack me up on a daily basis. My americans students are notoriously known to think americanly in expressing themselves in a foreign language like French. Those of you who have studied a foreign language in high school or college (i.e. french, spanish) know exactly what I am talking about. Having said that, I know exactly what they mean when they express themselves in such manner (because I've been living in the us for the past 12 yrs). They also make fun of me (The Teacher) when I can't find the exact english expression or word to express my french thoughts.