Monday, October 13, 2014

C.F.D. Moule- Another Example of Humility

Humility is a great virtue in scholarship, or, for that matter, in any professional field. I am not talking about a false humility that paradoxically calls attention to itself in order to garner attention, i.e. a 'humble-brag.'

Recently, I posted some sterling words from G.B. Caird on this very subject. A contemporary of the great scholar, C.F.D. Moule, yet another giant of British N.T. scholarship in the 20th century, has some relevant words regarding a position of humility with his famous publication, An Idiom-Book of New Testament Greek.
C.F.D. Moule (1908-2007)

Moule comments in the original Preface (October, 1952) that he was invited by J.M. Creed to write a full grammar or syntax, but delays, distractions and the preference for studying idiom, produced this work, "an obviously incomplete idiom-book--an amateur's collection of specimens"(v.). Moule goes on to state: "My only hope  is that even with such limitations it may yet prove useful as a companion and supplement to the already existing commentaries" (v.).

Further Moule strikingly states: "If the present compilation makes any claim upon the attention of students, it will simply be as the work of a fellow-student who has seen something of what needs to be done but has not gone far towards the achievement" (v.).

And last, Moule expresses his gratitude to those who have plowed in this field before him:

"My indebtedness to those who have already written upon these matters is great, although not so great as it would have been if I had been faster and more diligent reader. In particular I am conscious of having done all too little reading of secular writings of the period, both literary and non-literary. But I here record my gratitude for so much of the works of the work of others as I have the capacity to receive" (vi).

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