Monday, June 30, 2008
Books: To Keep or not to Keep?
Friday, June 27, 2008
Doug Moo on the 'center' of Paul's Theology
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Reflections on Father's Day: A Conversation with Bill and Bob Mounce
Here is part II of my interview with the Mounces.
1) Bob, how important was it for you to have your son follow you into ministry, speaking specifically of the academic route?
My desire for Bill had little or nothing to do with him “following me into the ministry.” It pleases me that God has directed him into this area of his great redemptive plan because his energies will benefit countless young students of the Word. Obviously, sharing the same profession brings great camaraderie and personal pleasure but had God led him into any other field I would want only that he performed it to the very best of his ability.
2) Bill, what was it about your dad that you wanted to emulate growing up?
Dad was always there. Dad isn’t the gushy kind of person to always play games and talk about feelings (slight stereotyping going on here), but he was always there, always supportive. I always knew dad loved me, and he was safety to me. Ever since I was two years old I went with Dad wherever he was preaching, even in Scotland. I just enjoyed being with him.
3)You both have seen your publishing and translation work intersect at various junctures. What is it like to team up on projects and do you find yourselves learning from the other?
Bill: Our work on the ESV actually was our first time to really work together. It was always fun because Dad was always gracious. If we differed on a passage, Dad always made it clear that it was my choice and it was okay to disagree. But I wanted our names together on a book, so the interlinear project fell right into my wishes. Dad has always been strong on the dynamic side of the translation debate, but he had to control himself a bit if his translation was going to work for an interlinear. I can’t remember how many times Dad said, “Now Bill, I have really come to the conclusion that you must translate meaning, not words.” “Yes Dad,” I would always respond.I should probably add that one of the other motivating factors in doing the project is that mom and dad are giving away all their royalties from the interlinears to the Jesus film project. In fact, now that they are in their late 80’s, Dad kept pushing me to finish my part of the work so that they would still be around to give the money away. I assured them that their half would always be given away.
Bob: Teaming up with Bill on several projects these past half dozen years has brought more personal satisfaction than anything I have ever done professionally. How could it be anything else? He took the NT Chairmanship of the ESV only on the basis that “his Dad could work on it with him.” I recall leaving a meeting with the publishers at some convention and Bill asking me if I understood what the decision made there meant -- the translation process would begin with us doing the first draft of the entire NT with it going for review to scholars who had each recently written a critical commentary on the specific book and then on to the translation committee as a whole. No, I didn’t realize what that would actually entail but four years later at the completion of the project I sure knew! A father couldn’t help but enjoy that sort of professional interchange with his son.
4) Tell me about the idea that came about for your blog SupportMinistry.com.
Bill: It was mostly frustration in teaching Greek. Learning the language can be so hard, and for most of the first year there is very little encouragement. But then I realized that blog-type entries that talk about translation issues could really be an encouragement, helping the students see why they are working so hard. I hope that over a longer period of time I can build up enough examples, some exegetical some devotional, that other teachers can use them as well to encourage their students.
5) Bill, could you share your thoughts about your father on Father's Day?
At times it feels a little unfair to have the family I have. I have had so many advantages because both my mom and dad believed in me, made opportunities available, and trusted me. They always demanded more of me, but always with kindness and gentleness. I remember once when I was struggling to finish the commentary on the Pastorals, I called Dad to moan about my overcommitment. Dad said in very typical fashion, “Bill, it will take just as long to do it today as it will tomorrow. So finish it now.” This is my Dad, and I love him.
I want to wish all fathers a happy Father's Day, especially my own, thanks, Dad!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Bob and Bill Mounce: An Interview on Their Innovative Interlinear
(Bill Mounce has provided an excerpt from Philippians that can be viewed here. For more information on interlinears click on Bill's website.)
3) Bob, how difficult was it to balance the dual concepts of making a translation make good sense while illustrating precisely how translation work should be done?
4) Bill, talk about the 4 different Greek texts used to complete this Greek text. What were some of the challenges in coming up with this composite text?
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Craig Keener's New Website
Great Article in the JGRChJ!
I just read the article and a few points stand out for me. First, Porter and Pitts discuss Paul's possible education as a youth, first in Tarsus and then later in Jerusalem. Regarding the former, Paul would have learned the basics of progymnasmata, and in the latter he would have had training in the oral Torah. Secondly, regarding curriculum specifics, Paul would have been exposed in his education to the Greek philosophers, poets, tragedians, etc. It was known in the ancient world to have anthologies of certain Greco-Roman authors such as Homer to quote from.
Another great item of this article is a much needed reemphasis on the idea of the ancient world being a 'book culture.' Porter and Pitts are right to insist that an oral and literary culture existed side-by-side. The general arguments against the book culture of the ancient world have stressed the high cost of materials (i.e. papyrus), the predominance of illiteracy amongst the masses, and the lack of printing capabilities are severely overstated as Porter and Pitts demonstrate.
As an aside, I also found a fascinating discussion in this article regarding how Paul may have read the Old Testament , i.e. 'aloud' or in 'silence'. It is been popular, based on the influential work of Paul Achtemeier (‘Omne Verbum Sonat: The New Testament and the Oral Environment of late Western Antiquity’, JBL 109 (1990), pp. 3-27 (15-19); in present article, 33n83) to assume that with Paul, as in all ancient reading, was vocalized. This influence among Pauline scholars has sought to detect oral dimensions within Paul's letters. In support of this, the example of the silent reading of Bishop Ambrose of the fourth century is marshaled for further support of this hypothesis. Criticisms of ancient vocalized reading, esp. by Frank Gillard (‘More Silent Reading in Antiquity: Non Omne Verbum Sonabat’, JBL 112 (1993), pp. 689-94 ; in present article, 33n84) cites many examples where silent reading was a well-practiced form.
Porter and Pitts conclusion on Paul's education and use of the Old Testament Scriptures is worth quoting:
...we believe that it is reasonable at least to explore the pos-sibility [sic] that Paul’s education combined elements of both the Greco-Roman grammar school and Torah training. His exposure to a range of texts, including both continuous texts and various types of anthologies and collections, helps perhaps to account for some of the features of his use of both Scripture and other ancient authors. Actual studies of such usage are of necessity preliminary, and may well always remain so, because the type of evidence that we have, while suggestive, is indirect and circumstantial. Nevertheless, we believe that it is worth exploring that Paul’s involvement in the Greco-Roman and Torah-based educa-tional systems can help account for both the material that he cites, and the way in which he cites it. (40)