Dale Allison on the History of Interpretation

Dale Allison observes how the patterns of most commentaries privilege recent works over older sources. Rather, he says the history of interpretation invites serious consideration for the following reasons. “Such history is intrinsically interesting in and of itself.” “It instills … Continue reading

Martin Hengel on a Young Discipline in Crisis: An Appraisal for the New Testament and Early Christian Discipline

The following is a summary and personal reflection on Martin Hengel, “A Young Theological Discipline in Crisis,” in Earliest Christian History: History, Literature, and Theology, Essays from the Tyndal Fellowship in Honor of Martin Hengel, WUNT, ed. Michael F. Bird and Jason … Continue reading

Chris Keith, Jesus Against the Scribal Elite, and Historical Jesus Scholarship

Chris Keith (blog; teaching post) is a writing machine and he is asking very insightful question in Historical Jesus Scholarship. Each year I ask, what is coming out this year by Keith? His texts are, for historical Jesus scholarship, ones that need to be frequently referenced for he is slowly influencing a field prime for change.

Here are group of videos Baker Academic Press posted about his new book Jesus Against the Scribal Elite (see here). This brief video will hopefully give you glimpse at the question he is asking and how it is a unique question. Continue reading

Clayton Jefford’s JECS Review of Nancy Pardee’s Dissertation

Nancy Pardee published her dissertation (2002 at University of Chicago) with Mohr Siebeck (2012): The Genre and Development of the Didache: A Text-Linguistic Analysis.

I used this book for a recent project on the Didache. I found this book valuable for multiple reasons. (1) She approaches the Didache text through text-lingusitic categories (or as Jefford says “= American discourse analysis”). Here, we see scholars taking discourse analysis and applying it to a major corpus of literature outside of Old and New Testament texts. (2) She applies informed discourse analysis principles to a 1st or 2nd century text. (3) She uses discourse analysis to assist elucidating form-critical units in the Didache. Thus, 4 stages of compositional development are identified in the Didache. 

Clayton Jefford, in a recent review (JECS 22, no. 2 [Summer 2014]: 297–98), says,

In my estimation this work will become a watershed reading for researchers in the field, where it will soon become obvious that there are two types of specialists in Didache studies: Those who acknowledge Pardee’s insights and take her observations seriously, and those who reconstruct the history of the text out of their own flights of fancy. (p.298)

This glaring review will most likely influence Didache scholarship through the lens of two types of work: (1) those who use Pardee, and (2) those who don’t use Pardee. So unless one can navigate the problematic composite history of the Didache and adequately respond to Pardee, she gives us the seminal work of Didache linguistic studies.

Here is Jefford’s review.

Here is Pardee’s volume.

1892 Housh Talk — Did Early Communities Have a Pauline Reading of Hebrews?

1892 Logo

Each Wednesday PhD students and SBTS faculty engage in useful dialogue, enjoy pour-over coffee, and experience the euphoria of tasting exotic cheese. In this 1892 Club, we converse with current leaders and theologians in the field of theological studies. Our topics of discussion vary and range with diversity, from writing and publishing, to academic societal involvement, to pressing topics in academia. Each week presents itself with new and refreshing times as a PhD student. Some of my favorite times in our 1892 Club and “Housh Talks” are the championing of open ideas, free thinking, mentorship, and peer friendship. To say the least, the 1892 Club is one of the more enjoyable times as an SBTS PhD student.

At the end of each semester, we have “Housh Talks”. A “Housh Talk” is a 6 minute presentation on an idea pertinent to your studies, with an 8 minute response of intense and focused dialogue immediately following. This is a wonderful time to test ideas, to publicly entertain nuanced thoughts, and to hear from critical thinkers across multiple disciplines. The name comes from Housh, one of the first Th.D. graduates from Southern Seminary in 1894. To make the name more intriguing, he was blind too. Therefore, the administration named these TED-like talks after Housh.
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Initial Thoughts on Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity

I’m currently reviewing Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity edited by Chris Keith and Anthony Le Donne. Thus far, I have been thoroughly impressed by their clear call to revisit and possibly jettison traditional criteria all the while making cogent, informed, and careful argumentation. This book is a compilation of multiple authors involved in Gospel and Historical Jesus related studies.

I have been studying Historical Jesus research for some time now (even my careless, ad hominem, atrociously edited thesis was on the overall movement). So, for the past number of years I’ve had an interest in Historical Jesus research and have tried keeping up on the plethora of sources. How Keith and Le Donne’s book escaped my attention, I have no idea!

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