My Work Habits the Letter allegedly by Jesus’ Own Brother: Mailbag 2/12/2017

I will be addressing two quite disparate questions in this week’s Readers’ Mailbag: one about my work habits and one about the New Testament epistle of James: how do we know that the author expected his readers to think (or know) that he was actually the brother of Jesus himself?  If you have questions you’d like me to address in a future Mailbag, send them along!

 

QUESTION:

I notice you seem to get quite a bit done in a day (more than ...

Continue Reading →
75

A Reflection on Christmas: Blast from the Past

Four years ago I made a very personal post about my feelings about Christmas, the day after.  It was one of my personal favorite posts of all time.  I repeat it again here, this time the day before.

************************************************************

In the opening chapter of my book God’s Problem, I talked about going to church on Christmas Eve in 2006 with my wife Sarah and brother-in-law Simon, in Saffron-Walden, a market town in England where Simon lives, not ...

Continue Reading →
97

My Work for the New Revised Standard Version Committee

QUESTION:

If my memory serves me, you (as a graduate student?) were involved in the development of the NRSV Bible version in 1989. Could you describe your work please?

RESPONSE:

Yes, that’s right.  The New Revised Standard Version Committee was appointed by the U.S. National Council of Churches to produce a revision of the famous Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible, which had come out in 1952.  Since the time when the RSV had been produced (mainly in the 1940s), many important ...

Continue Reading →
60

A Personal Transition

A week ago today I finally sent off the very last and final version of The Triumph of Christianity to my editor.  It is done, as good as I can make it.  Now it will go to a copy-editor who will go over it line by line, word by word to make sure the grammar, punctuation, and even spelling is all correct, and to make suggestions for writing style as needed.   Depending on the copy-editor, sometimes there are tons of ...

Continue Reading →
80

Bruce Metzger and My Loss of Faith: A Blast from the Past

    I mentioned my mentor, Bruce Metzger, in a recent post.  In this blast from the past, I reprint a post I did almost exactly four years ago, in response to a question that I was then asked about how Metzger, a devoted Christian and minister of the church, responded to the fact that I (one of his closest students) lost my faith.   The question generated a series of posts on related topics, but here is the ...

Continue Reading →
51

Why Textual Criticism is “Safe” for Conservative Christians

It is probably not an accident that when I was a very conservative evangelical Christian who wanted to get a PhD in New Testament studies, I chose to focus, in particular, on textual criticism, the study of manuscripts in order to establish the wording of the original text.  That was, and is, a fairly common “track” for evangelicals who want to be biblical scholars.  Maybe it’s not as common now as it used to be.  But it used to be ...

Continue Reading →
61

My Original Interest in Textual Criticism

As I have indicated, my interest in textual criticism – the scholarly attempt to reconstruct what the authors of the New Testament actually wrote, given the fact we don’t have the originals but only altered copies – did not originate with my going to Princeton Theological Seminary to study with Bruce Metzger.   On the contrary, I went to study with him precisely because that had been an area of fascination for me starting in my first year of college, as ...

Continue Reading →
17

Becoming a Textual Critic

Back to my narrative of how I got interested in biblical studies, and specifically textual criticism.   I was just thinking last night about how people (on the blog or elsewhere) sometimes report to me that they have heard my conservative evangelical critics say that I’m not a biblical interpreter (exegete) or a historian, but I’m a textual critic (someone who studies the manuscripts of the New Testament).  And I started thinking about all my training in the Bible and the ...

Continue Reading →
28

How I Discovered Textual Criticism

It was at Moody Bible Institute that I first became interested in the textual criticism of the New Testament.  Let me stress a definitional point that some readers on the blog have not gotten or understood (I’ve said it a lot, so apologies for those who have gotten it! But even though I keep saying this, some people still don’t get it).   Textual criticism is NOT the study of texts to see what they mean.  For the last time (well, ...

Continue Reading →
45

Learning to Teach at Moody

I will not be continuing this autobiographical thread (thread within a thread) for much longer (you may be glad to know), but I do want to get to the ultimate point (for the thread outside the thread), which is why by a couple of quirks/flukes I ended up better equipped to write books for general audiences than most of my colleagues in my PhD program.   The first has to do with what happened with me back in my days at ...

Continue Reading →
32
Page 5 of 17 «...34567...»