So far I have been talking about how I conceived of my textbook when I first started working on it in the mid 1990s, stressing in particular that I wanted to approach the task from a rigorously historical perspective. I should say again, I really was not sure that anyone would be interested in a textbook like that. The only think comparable that I knew about at the time was a textbook by Joseph Tyson, a fine scholar at SMU, whose book, though, was not widely used.
In addition, I heard, while I was doing the research for my book, that an Introduction was being written by none other than Raymond Brown. I thought that this was *certain* to make my book a non-entity. Many of you may not know who Raymond Brown was. At the time, he was arguably the premier scholar of the New Testament in North America. He was extremely learned; incredibly deep; unusually insightful. He had read everything. He was tremendously energetic. He trained some of the finest scholars of my generation in his position as professor of NT at the acclaimed Union Theological Seminary in New York. He was remarkably productive. He was known by everyone and revered by just about everyone. And he was writing an Introduction. I was sure that his book would take over the entire market, and that I didn’t have a prayer. In contrast to him, I was a young and insignificant nobody – someone who was known principally as a textual critic who specialized on the most specialized of areas in New Testament studies, not someone with a breadth of experience and knowledge – which were ust the sorts of things that one needs to write an Introduction to the field.
But one thought made me wonder. The thing about Ray was…
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