I have mentioned that as a graduate student I was asked to be one of the “secretaries” for the New Revised Standard Version translation committee when they were meeting twice a year to make decisions for the new translation, recording the decisions they made for changing the older Revised Standard Version translation. I did that for several years until they had finished their translation. I graduated from my PhD program in 1985, and I was already, at that point, teaching at Rutgers University.
My position at Rutgers was a rather precarious one, professionally. In the language almost universally used today, I was an “adjunct” instructor, that is, a temporary faculty member without full (or much of any) benefits and paid as part time, even though I was teaching the full load of courses (with larger classes than most of my colleagues). Rutgers had a special title for me. I was called a “Coadjutant Casual.” I never did know what that meant.
At the time, my wife had decided to go back to school to finish her degree, and we had two young children. I had to work extra jobs to make ends meet (or, at least, close to meeting), and did a variety of things, from digitizing Greek inscriptions for the Princeton Epigraphy Project out of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton to delivering the New York Times before the crack of down – doing both jobs at the same time, while teaching at Rutgers! At the same time I was working to to crank out some publications to make me more marketable as I applied for permanent teaching positions. I was a busy camper.
Then in 1987 my doctoral advisor, Bruce Metzger, asked me if I would be interested in taking over as the full time research assistant to the New Revised Standard Translation committee, working out of the Speer Library at Princeton Theological Seminary. This was a 40-hour a week, full time job. I leapt at it. But this was not …
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