It deserves to be mentioned again that no single book is ever the work of a single author much as laws of copyright or academic demand for originality would sometimes have us believe. This book is certainly no exception for it not only is the product of multiple interactions with various academics during the course of PhD research, but also bears the many imprints of people whose life experiences I have had the undeserved privilege of working with. In no small measure, I would like to thank my PhD supervisor, Prof Paul M. Joyce who has been exceedingly open to my ventures into the wilderness that surrounds the guild of biblical studies and abundantly patient with my slow return from it. It is his encouragement that gives me the boldness to experiment beyond my own comfort zone. My two examiners, Prof Hugh Pyper and Prof Johanna Stiebert, have been judicious with their critique of my work. I am grateful for their incisive comments that have pushed me to have greater clarity about the arguments here and more importantly, the way I read texts.

I am also thankful for the many people who have seen various versions of the chapters in this book. Prof Kate Crosby, Dr Pyi Phyo Kyaw and members of the Buddhist Writers Forum have given me valuable feedback for an earlier version of chapter 7. I am grateful to those who attended the paper presentations of a version of chapters 5 and 6 at Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting at Seoul that have helped to clarify several points. I would also like to thank the many friends who have read various parts of the manuscripts whom I shall regretfully leave unnamed here. I would like to say that I am unable to reciprocate the many good comments that are given and beg your forgiveness if they have not been fully addressed here. Nonetheless, they would remain with and perhaps continue to haunt me for future publications.

Last but most definitely not least, I would like to thank Papa, Mummy, Josh, my Parents-in-law, Pa and Ma, Adrianne and Weiliang for enduring our absence and giving me the space to complete the work of the PhD which is the basis for this book. Not forgetting, I am eternally grateful to my wife, Weishieng, who has been with me every step of the way with her unfailing commitment and unconditional love. Without whom, I am sure this book would have never seen the light of day.