It is time — after many fits, starts, and interruptions — to bring this thread to a close, the thread that started with my saying I wanted to explain why I was in a better position to write trade books (for a general audience) than most of my peers who were with me in my New Testament PhD program and others in the guild of New Testament studies.

I won’t re-discuss all the background I gave over a long series of posts, but I do need to summarize the one most important point.  Almost everyone I knew in my PhD program, and most biblical scholars I know today, think (with good reason in many cases) that what they are doing in their work of interpreting the New Testament or explaining its religious significance should be interesting to lots of people.  And in fact it usually is interesting to the (small) groups of people that they typically associate with (for example in church contexts).  I never had that problem.

For my PhD I was working on a recondite, obscure, highly technical, seemingly irrelevant topic.  And I knew it.

My dissertation, as I have indicated before, involved…

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