'[Biblical] Scholars should read more ancient texts and less hypercritical and scholastic secondary literature'
(in Paul Between Damascus and Antioch, [SCM, London: 1997] p.11)
posted by Chris Tilling @ 11:07 PM
But you aren't working on your dissertation, are you Martin?Me: "Yes, I took the advice of Martin Hengel and so many others, to concentrate upon primary sources rather than engaging all the hypercritical hooey in the secondary lit."Examiner for my viva: *hearty laughter, then* "Begone with ye!" *followed by more hearty laughter*
The second part is too sweeping a statement - there are some scholars who could do with reading more of the latter! :) But I doubt anyone would dispute the former. There was a time when any scholar of the New Testament would have read widely in the classics in the original languages. We are specializing so much (and trying desperately to keep up with the secondary literature - OK, there Hengel definitely has a point) that we are definitely in danger of losing some of the breadth that previous generations of scholars had. So often the great insights come when one comes across something in a seemingly unrelated field and realizes a connection with one's own primary area of research.
JB, I hear ya!Hi James, "I doubt anyone would dispute the former". Yep, and it just makes me feel guilty!
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I am New Testament Tutor at St Mellitus College and St Paul's Theological Centre, London. I'm also a Visiting Lecturer at King's College London. Less well known is that I am also the original writer of the now famous song “Beans, beans, good for your heart…”, and inventor of the “you must have fallen out of the stupid/ugly tree” repertoire of insults. I am the main proponent of the Human Faecal Matter for Brains Opening in chess (actually not what I wanted to call my brilliant and original opening Knight manoeuvre 1.Na3, 2.Nc1), and I also claim to have independently discovered the haiku™ poetry form (© Copyright Chris Tilling 2007) without any help from the Japs. My blog, Chrisendom, is primarily occupied with biblical and theological themes – especially those Apostle Paul shaped, but I try as best as I can to squeeze in a decent amount of inappropriate baloney on the way.
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