Saturday, November 22, 2014

C.K. Barrett on the Role of a Theologian

I have been reading C.K. Barrett's essay, "Theology in the World of Learning", where Barrett defends theology as an academic discipline and was impressed with this quote among many others:

C.K. Barrett (1917-2011)
 If the Church were simply identifiable with an institution, and truth with a credal formula, then indeed theology would cease to be an academic discipline, however learned theologians might be. So far as theologians do make these identifications, they exclude themselves from equal intellectual commerce with their colleagues in other disciplines. But no theologian is required by his subject-matter, by his own terms of reference, to do this. The Bible itself knows no handy, external method for distinguishing false prophets from true, and reminds its readers that we walk by faith, not by sight. It is this fact that compels the intelligent Christian, and in particular the professional theologian, to constant sifting, examination, revaluation. If he is too lazy, or too cowardly, to face this process, he not only abdicates his academic responsibility, he apostasizes from the faith. Apostasy is far more likely to come from failure to think than from excess of critical zeal. Theology, one might say, never is, but is always becoming (Italics mine).

C. K. Barrett, New Testament Essays (London: S.P.C.K, 1972), 154.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Jim West's photos of George Raymond Beasley-Murray

Having an online conversation with Jim West today concerning the fact that little photographic evidence of George R. Beasley-Murray, a giant of a NT scholar, exists, Jim was kind enough to dig through some photos he took of him in the late 80's when they were able to spend time together.

Here is one, to whet your appetite:

George R. Beasley-Murray at St. Paul's Cathedral from the private collection of Jim West; used with permission

For the rest of Jim's photos, click here ( I especially like the one of GR Beasley-Murray entering the famed Tyndale House).

Thursday, November 13, 2014

C.F.D. Moule and the 'Moulies'

The 'Moulies' at Robinson College, Cambridge; SNTS Meeting, 1988: (From left to right)
Back row: Graham Stanton, John C. O'Neill, Eugene Lemcio, Peter Richardson, Andrew Lincoln

Center row: Jimmy Dunn, C.F.D. Moule, Stephen Smalley, Robert Morgan

Front row: Max Turner, Margaret Thrall, Douglas de Lacey, A.J.M, [Sandy] Wedderburn, Carl Holladay

Recently, I have been in correspondence with Eugene (Gene) Lemcio, Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Seattle Pacific University. We have been discussing, among other things, his doktorvater, the great C.F.D. (Charlie) Moule. As many of you know, Moule is in my pantheon of all-time great NT scholars, so this correspondence has been a real treat.

Gene has been nice enough to send the above photo to me and given his permission to reproduce here on NT Perspectives, as it comes from his private collection. He refers to the pic as "The Moulies," a photo mostly made up of Charlie's former doctoral students at the SNTS (Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas) meeting in Cambridge, 1998.  I say 'mostly' Moule's former doctoral students, because Gene notified me that the exceptions in the photo are as follows:

Stephen Smalley and Robert Morgan were undergraduate students of Moule's, but were profoundly influenced by him and remained lifelong friends. Also, John O'Neill was a colleague in the Divinity faculty before he left for Edinburgh University.

It is striking when you see this many great NT scholars in one picture, and even more striking that the man of small stature, pictured in the middle, was a profound giant in all of their lives and no doubt, in many others.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New Primer on the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis

It has been brought to my attention that there is a handy 45 page primer to give those of you a taste on the new and updated edition of the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis (NIDNTT). In this primer are the following features:

1. Moisés Silva unmasks a big pitfall of some biblical dictionaries
2.  A handful of surprises about the meaning of "holy" in the NT — courtesy of Moisés Silva's "exegetical tour" of Hebrews 3:16
3. Investigations of the NT words for father, love, Jerusalem, and Hell
4. A pastor discovers some extraordinary claims in 1 Timothy 2:5-6 — the rare passage which calls Jesus "mediator" and "a ransom for many"

To get ahold of this free resource click here.

Friday, November 7, 2014

New Page Added to the Raymond E. Brown Site

I have decided to add a page to the Raymond Brown website entitled, "The Ongoing Legacy of Raymond E. Brown: News, Notes, and Miscellany." My friend, Paul Anderson, gets the proverbial tip of the hat for helping me come up with the title.

What prompted my decision to include another page are two publications, one, just off the presses, and the other, forthcoming, that evaluate the legacy of Raymond Brown's work in both The Gospel of John and the Johannine Epistles, quite possibly the work for which Fr. Brown was known best.

Click here to see these publications and the new page.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Colin Brown and the Quote of the Day

Colin Brown
At the conclusion of his masterful essay "Quest of the Historical Jesus" (DJG, second ed.; 718-756), Colin Brown, Senior Professor of Systematic Theology, Fuller Seminary, offers an equally masterful conclusion when he writes:

There are many questions that we may put to the Gospels, but the most searching questions are those that the Gospels put to us (Italics mine; 752).

To this, I offer a hearty 'Amen'.