THIS IS A CONTINUATION OF MY RECOLLECTIONS OF MY TIME WITH BRUCE METZGER, MY MENTOR AT PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY FOR SEVEN YEARS (BOTH MY MASTERS AND PH.D. DEGREES)
In addition to studying with Bruce Metzger for seven years, four of them as his PhD student, I also served as his teaching assistant on a number of occasions. Teaching assistants normally help with the teaching of a large lecture course. Sometimes that means meeting with groups of students regularly – once a week – for a discussions section dealing with aspects of the course. And always it means helping with the grading, or – even more commonly – doing all the grading! The professor then lectures, gives assignments, directs the course – and the T.A. (= teaching assistant) does all the grunt work. It’s part of the training.
Metzger tended to have large courses for the MDiv students (Masters of Divinity is the basic degree for training to become a minister; MDiv students already have a college degree) – because so many of the students revered him and looked up to him as the “great man.” He was a terrific lecturer – clear, organized, focused, insightful. His colleagues, as I’ve mentioned, considered him old fashioned and theologically out of touch; but the students adored him.
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Bruce Metzger is the author of several books including The Early Versions of the New Testament and The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, And Restoration.