The Beginning of the End…

Well, sort of. Today marks the beginning of my last seminar of coursework in route to a PhD (only exams and dissertation will remain–piece of cake, right?).

This semester we will be studying the general epistles and Revelation, so there is plenty of fodder for lively discussions! I am a tad disappointed that my research for the semester will not have much relevance for my dissertation. The last few seminars have allowed me to research and write on topics that would in some way aid my later research, a bonus for sure, but since I’m writing on Paul it would be a stretch to tie the two areas together. Despite this, however, I am excited about my topic for the next few months. Basically I’ll be examining literary monsters/creatures from Greek and Roman literature and their relevance (if any!) to John’s Apocalypse. I’ve got a good start on it, but I always have an open ear to suggestions for resources. If you know of solid works that would relevant for this topic, please feel free to send me the info.

 

One More Down, One to Go

Yesterday I attended the last meeting of my fall seminar. The seminar was focused primarily on Greco-Roman backgrounds for NT study, though we addressed Jewish backgrounds on occasion. The worlds of ancient Greece and Rome have become a primary interest of mine, so I was glad to have to opportunity to take this seminar. I also had the opportunity to teach the last class session, which was an enjoyable experience.

Now that the semester is finished, I have one more semester of coursework left before I sit for comprehensive exams next September. The spring will be intense as I not only will have seminar work to do, but will have to complete the last phase of my dissertation proposal for submission and approval before  semester’s end. All the while, of course, I’ll be preparing for exams. No rest for the weary I suppose!

This first stage of my PhD is almost over and in some ways it’s hard to believe I’m already here; yet, in other respects it’s been a long road. At any rate, I’m glad for the temporary reprieve before spring semester arrives, albeit a somewhat tempered one. DVR, non-course reading, and holiday activities with the family will consume the calendar for the next few weeks and that’s fine with me!

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Need an Article

I am trying to track down an article and so far I have been unsuccessful. The article is by Hugo Greßman and is entitled “Mythische Reste in der Paradieserzählung.” It’s in Archiv für Religionswissenschaft 10 (1907). Anyone out there happen to have a copy/scan/pdf of it or have access to it and would be willing to traipse through six feet snow with nothing more than a cold biscuit and worn-out shoes to get it??? I would greatly appreciate it!
*UPDATE* (Boy that was fast!)
I found it here at the library. For some reason it didn’t show up on the electronic search, but I found it on the shelf. So, disregard this post if you haven’t already!
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Papers

I have only two major papers to write this semester, one for each seminar. For the NT seminar, I have to write on a particular aspect of the New Perspective on Paul. This is a subject I’ve read on and frankly, it’s a dead horse that has been beaten, resurrected, and beaten again. In fact, many would venture to say that the “new perspective” is not so new anymore. The works on this subject are legion, so I’m trying to narrow my choices based on interest and the volumes I’ll have to work with.

Interestingly enough, I am more excited about writing my OT backgrounds paper. I will be writing on the serpent in Genesis 3, namely how ANE perceptions and depictions of serpents informed how the author of Genesis would have probably understood them and why a serpent was employed in the account. I might address the question “Did the snake really talk?” but only briefly. My interest is less in the historicity of the account and more in the perception of serpents. I’ve been reading through Egyptian, Akkadian, and Babylonian texts (translations obviously!) and various historical surveys and archaeological works and its been a very interesting venture thus far. I’ve only done initial research at this point and have yet to make definite conclusions about some questions I seek to answer, but I very much anticipate where this will lead.

As always, suggested resources are always welcome.

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Resources

Resources

As I mentioned in my last post, I begin research seminars in January and those of you in doctoral work know that the reading is, well, insane. Only one of my two seminars has the reading list included in the syllabus. The OT backgrounds seminar requires plenty of reading, but the works are our own choosing, so I’ll have to think about that before I decided exactly what I want to read. The History of NT Interpretation and Criticism reading list I have and thankfully I already have a couple of the volumes required. However, I’ll still have to acquire the rest. Because my book purchases will be greater than any in the past and my income will be significantly less, I’m going to try and get my books at the lowest price possible. I’ve purchased used books in the past and don’t mind doing so as long as they’re not tattered and/or heavily marked.
All that to say if you own any of the books listed below and would be willing to part with them for a price lower than what I can find on Amazon or elsewhere, I would be glad to buy them from you. Let me know if you’re interested!
Adam, A. K. M. What is Postmodern Biblical Criticism? Guides to Biblical Scholarship: New Testament Series, ed. Dan O. Via Jr. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1995.
Black, David Alan, and David S. Dockery, eds. Interpreting the New Testament: Essays on Methods and Issues, rev. ed. of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2001.
Carson, D. A., Peter T. O’Brien, and Mark A. Seifrid, ed. Justification and Variegated Nomism. Vol. 1, The Complexities of Second Temple Judaism. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2001.
Carson, D. A., Peter T. O’Brien, and Mark A. Seifrid, ed. Justification and Variegated Nomism. Vol. 2, The Paradoxes of Paul. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2004.
Garlington, Don. In Defense of the New Perspective on Paul: Essays and Reviews. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2005.
Krentz, Edgar. The Historical-Critical Method. Guides to Biblical Scholarship: New Testament Series, ed. Dan O. Via Jr. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1975.
Neill, Stephen, and Tom Wright. The Interpretation of the New Testament 1861–1986, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988.
Piper, John. The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2007.
Thompson, Michael B. The New Perspective on Paul. Cambridge: Grove Books, 2002.
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Moving On

I’m sure all three of my readers have noticed that I’ve been absent from the blogosphere for quite a while. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say it’s been a crazy year. Over the last few months my time has been given to writing my thesis and preparing for exams. As I mentioned a while back, DTS’ PhD entrance process is a bit different (read here for my brief synopsis). Well, I am glad to say that after several months of reading, writing, and studying, I will be starting Stage 2 in January! My thesis is done and I passed both written and oral exams, thus ensuring that I move onto the next phase of my degree. To say I am relieved is an understatement. I’ll start seminars in the spring and I’ll have two: Old Testament Backgrounds and History of New Testament Interpretation and Criticism. While the last couple of years class-wise have been ThM-level classes with additional work, the spring brings full-fledged doctoral seminars. I’ll have about 60-70 pages of writing for research papers and about 2500-3000 pages of reading. I’m going to try and enjoy my time off before jumping into the fire.

Who knows–maybe I’ll even blog again!

Here’s the cup from which I shall drink.

https://i2.wp.com/www.davidlano.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/fire-hydrant-water.jpg

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Thesis Progress

I’m finding that writing a thesis is a bit different than what I am accustomed to writing. I have written a good many exegetical papers and feel quite comfortable writing them, but my thesis is only partly exegetical, so it’s proving to be a bit more of a challenge (a good thing to be sure).

My thesis will be comprised of five chapters. I’ve begun on introdcutory matters, which are divided into four subsections, and have written right around 1,100 words thus far. I hope to keep the first chapter at about 1,500 words so that I leave plenty of room for chapters two-four, which will be the meat of the thesis. I have a 10,000-word limit (*correction: that should be 12,000), so I’ll have to be careful to say enough well rather than maxing out my limit unecessarily.

Anyway, more updates as they come.

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