Monday, August 20, 2007

Hengel offers advice

'[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)


At 8/21/2007 5:51 AM, Anonymous J. B. Hood said...

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*

At 8/21/2007 4:14 PM, Anonymous James F. McGrath said...

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.

At 8/22/2007 12:12 AM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

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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