I had my Viva a few days ago. Steve Walton and Larry Hurtado, my examiners, scrutinized my thesis thoroughly, yet happily it was accepted with only minor corrections. Now I will become Dr Chris Tilling, I trust all you plebs out there will finally start treating me with a bit of awe and respect!
I have really enjoyed writing my thesis, and I think it makes a decent contribution to the whole Pauline divine-Christology debate. I can now think about getting my work published. Indeed, I think the whole area of Pauline Christology, especially as it impinges on the divine-Christology debate, needs fresh impulse.
Actually, my Viva has got me considering what sort of qualities the future of NT research needs to cultivate. Courage is now right near the top of my list - it takes guts to challenge the views of established authority figures. I think the best of NT scholarship will also develop and encourage a broader vision, one that grasps significance beyond lexical studies and syntactical analysis and dares to look also into related epistemological factors, ontology, interweaving theological themes etc. In many ways, Doug Campbell's The Deliverance of God, represents the sort of work that will move NT research forward.
Without, of course, forgetting all of the necessary ingredients (such as diligence, care, language proficiency etc.), what qualities do you think the next 50 years of NT scholarship needs to develop, to advance debates?