A Jimmite Review
Jim West has recently, on his blog, enthusiastically (understatement) recommended Hans Hübner’s new Evangelische Fundamentaltheologie, and I must say, given his comments I am sorely tempted to drop my work and give it a read. Alas, that would be less than responsible.
But in true Jimmite fashion, I also want to give my hearty recommendation for another German language book that has recently, as I’ve worked through 1 Cor, been impressing my socks off:
Matthias Konradt’s Gericht und Gemeinde: Eine Studie zur Bedeutung und Funktion von Gerichtsaussagen im Rahmen der Paulinischen Ekklesiologie und Ethik im 1 Thess und 1 Kor (Berlin, Walter de Gruyter, 2003 – anything by this publisher is worth reading, eh Ben).
Not only is the exegesis exemplary, but it’s very clearly written, engaging and, for those of us who are self-confessed freaks, presents enough detail and footnotes to keep you going for months. It is a model of the highest level of scholarship.
The blurb on the de Gruyter webpage runs:
“The present study deals with St. Paul’s statements about judgement, but instead of examining them from a single perspective in their relationship to the discourse of “justification by faith”, it places them in the context of Pauline ecclesiology and ethics. It asks the concrete question of how St. Paul introduces the theme of judgement and in what contexts in order to structure community or set way marks for Christian life. The study focuses on the First Epistle to the Thessalonians and the First Epistle to the Corinthians.”To be honest, this summary is far to clinical to do the book justice; fascinating questions are asked and addressed that many would rather skim over in the name of faithfulness to Lutheran soteriology – at least that’s my suspicion.
Here is Tobias Nicklas’s SBL review, which he concludes with the words: ‘Der Band wird sicherlich bald einen wichtigen Platz in der Paulusexegese allgemein einnehmen und dürfte so zum Ausgangspunkt weiterer fruchtbarer Diskussionen werden.’
Hmm. Maybe I haven’t been Jimmitely enthusiastic enough.
OK, I’ll try again (allow for a little flexibility with the truth though): “This book is the best thing to have ever been written in NT exegesis, nay, in the world of literature whatever the subject. It is a paradigm changing, bomb in playground, theological and literary masterpiece that anyone who is interested in the bible should memorise from cover to cover. Including the footnotes and ISBN. If you don’t want to go to hell, read it”.
Me thinks this has perhaps become even more Jimmite than Jim.