Friday, December 12, 2014

4 things You learn in Your first quarter at Seminary

1. Greek opens up the Bible for you in a way that nothing else can. 

I remember when this happened. I was reading about Pauline authorship regarding Ephesians (as can be seen here) and I was going off only six hours of sleep in three days. By this I mean I was dog tired. So while reading this commentary, I perused his exegetical comments regarding 1:3-14 and just kept reading. It was not until thirty minutes and fifty pages later that I realized something:

I was actually reading Greek. The original language Holy Scripture was written in, with all its variants and difficulties and marvelous simplicity.

So that was cool.

2. Historical-Criticism is an asset for the church, not an enemy. 

All theology and research must, ultimately, be done for the sake of empowering the church. So in researching the issue of authorship and simply thinking hard about the complexities therein, I hope that it isn't seen as being...I dunno...intentionally controversial.

Rather, its a historical and exegetical question that has some pretty significant theological implications. I won't rehash them here, but if something has the power to affect the church, then the church should be fully informed in order to make her own decisions.

Well okay. I'll speculate a bit. Richard Pervo dates Ephesians to around 80-90AD. Assuming he is true, it makes it difficult to utilize Ephesians in Pauline theology. However, the historical circumstances can greatly inform our contemporary exegesis of the text.

Think about it: Ephesians 2:11-22 has plenty to say for race relations, regardless of dating and authorship. 5:21-33 has a lot to say about mutuality and marriage. On and on it goes.

3. Difficulties becomes more easy to investigate when you aren't afraid.

In thinking about points 1 and 2 more, I've learned that I don't seem to be worried about certain theological or textual issues anymore. Could be I'm burnt out. Could be that there are some things worth worrying about.

4. A Podcast is likely forthcoming.

I have a few friends who are looking to be involved, and so I might begin recording episodes bi-monthly with them, as well as some episodes on my own exploring various exegetical issues in Paul. Of course, that is subject to change as seminary is likely to cause us to drop things pretty quickly.

If you would be interested in a podcast, let me know on Twitter @nickquient and if there are any NT topics that you might like me/us to talk about.


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