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A Common Criticism (of me!)

QUESTION: I want to ask your thoughts on something quickly because I think it points out one of the concerns I have with what you write and say. It seems that you have a willingness to take different positions (or maybe emphasize different positions is the right way to say it) depending on where you are and what you're advocating. In your interview with the Infidel Guy and other places, you talk about how ancient writings were dictated all the time. On the Infidel Guy show, for example, you said the following: "Every person who wrote epistles in the ancient world dictated them to scribes". But in your debate with Darrell Bock on the Unbelievable radio show (August 6, 2011) you try and argue the case that there is no evidence for dictation having happened in the ancient world (specifically in response to this claim about 1 and 2 Peter). I have also been told that when you speak in scholarly circles, the sensationalistic claims you make about the unreliability of the Bible when speaking [...]

Lake’s Apostolic Fathers

I mentioned that the first edition of the Loeb Apostolic Fathers was done by Kirsopp Lake and that I think he was a great scholar and that it was a great edition.  I’ve always looked up to him, as a brilliant scholar of an earlier generation with very many interests closely parallel to mine.   Our backgrounds could not be more different.  He grew up in England and went to Oxford; I grew up in Kansas and went to Moody Bible Institute.  J Born in 1872, as a young man Lake experienced a serious illness that affected his health for life, and that at the time kept him from pursuing the rigors of the legal profession (he wanted to practice law).  His physicians evidently thought that the study of theology would be a tame enough pursuit for his frail frame, and he took his degree from Lincoln College, Oxford.   Lake was musically inclined -- as a young curate in Durham England he conducted the Mikado -- and was early in his career concerned principally with modern social [...]

The Art of Translation

When I agreed to produce a new translation of the Apostolic Fathers for the Loeb Classical Library, my first thought was: How hard can it be?  These were texts that I had read and studied from the time I was in my PhD program in the early 1980s.  I translated them regularly with my graduate students.  I taught seminars on them.   It can’t be that tough, can it? Oh boy was I wrong.   If you’re not accustomed to doing a translation for publication, the first time comes as a shock.  At least it did for me.  Publishing a translation is very different indeed from simply reading the Greek (or Latin, or whatever) to yourself, making sense of it in your head; and it is also very different from sitting around a seminar table with a group of students working out plausible ways to construe a text.  For one thing, when you’re preparing a translation for publication, you have to make a hard and fast decision about how you want to render a passage, a sentence, [...]

The Sense of an Ending

I am today taking executive privilege and allowing myself a hiatus in my discussions of various things academic in this post.  I still have several posts I want to make about editing the edition of the apostolic fathers – especially about translating them – and I want to get back to what I was writing about before all that, as I do more and more reading of relevance to the topic of belief in Jesus’ resurrection.  And I want to talk about the two book ideas that I have been floating to my publisher.   But all that can wait.  I want to talk about an amazing novel I just finished. So, as background information that you didn’t ask for.   This past New Years I made some resolutions and oddly enough, in a rare event of history, I’ve actually been keeping them.  I vowed to lose 15 pounds (I did, and still want to lose 5 more; but it ain’t easy!) (my daughter, years ago, suggested that if I wanted to lose my beer gut I [...]

2018-01-01T01:57:16-05:00November 1st, 2012|Book Discussions, Public Forum, Reflections and Ruminations|
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