Sunday, October 4, 2015

Kelber on Discipleship

This is one example of why Kelber is great and why he deserves far more appreciation today.
Discipleship is not derived from the glorified Jesus. Indeed, the Markan Jesus himself is not basking in his resurrection glory but serving on behalf of others and giving his life as a ransom for many. To put the matter frankly, Mark is not saying that a Christian life requires rebirth in the resurrection glory of the risen Lord. For Mark, to be a Christian means to follow Jesus on his way; to drink the cup of suffering; to be concerned with the salvation of others, and less– if at all– with one's own life and well-being.*
Holy crap. What a guy.

*Werner H. Kelber, Mark's Story of Jesus (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979): 52.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

What I've Been Reading

An update on what I've read recently and what I'm reading:

Narrative Criticism and Literary Criticism

I read Mark as Story earlier this year and it has changed everything about the way I read the Gospels. I cannot overstate the effect this has had on me. I know what I want to write on now. I know what I want to do with my hopeful career in NT studies.

Mark as Story: Retrospect and Prospect is a book I'm reading currently. It's an edited volume of articles by top scholars in the field talking about the effect Mark as Story has had and the future of Markan Narrative Criticism. It is edited by a friend of mine and I recommend it most highly.

A terrible cover. A wonderful book. Culpepper's Anatomy is the Johannine Mark as Story. I read this shortly before MaS but it did not have quite the same effect on me as MaS. Written after MaS, Anatomy takes readers through the basic literary design (plot, characters/characterization, implied reader, etc.) of the Fourth Gospel. I'm inclined to think I liked it less than MaS merely because I like the Gospel of John less. Nevertheless it is a great book and the second of its kind.

Moore's book is inferior to the three listed above because it is more of a secondary text. It summarizes what people are saying about literary criticism and the gospels, but for what it does it is a great book. Half the book is dedicated to Narrative Criticism and the other half is dedicated specifically to Reader-Response criticism and gospel criticism as reading. It's great but it's not the first place I would send someone for Narrative Criticism, although there are advantages it has as an introduction to various literary critical approaches.

As an introduction to Narrative Criticism, this book is wonderful. The Guides to Biblical Scholarship series by Fortress is to die for, and this book is no exception. Powell is one of the premier narrative critics today and a respected NT scholar outside of this field of criticism as well. This book was well written, short yet comprehensive, and an excellent introduction especially for the beginner.

Resseguie is the highest recommended volume on my list of introductions to Narrative Criticism. He includes Acts and, strangely, Revelation while most scholars focus only on the Gospels. He also provides many more sources for specific areas of NT criticism in the bibliography which is designed to show beginners where to go for almost every major book that is relevant to the conversation. For example, under the heading "Narrative Theory" he has a list of sixteen major volumes which deal with that topic. Under "Characterization in Biblical Literature" he has twelve volumes. This makes the book invaluable as an introduction. It does what it sets out to do and succeeds where others have not by providing specified bibliographic material to help the reader ease her way into the field. Recommended most highly.

Studies in the New Testament
Among others, I'm reading (by "am reading" I mean "have read one and am almost done with the other") two books primarily.

I'm a huge Richard Hays fan. He's why I came to Duke. His absence was/is devastating to me, but his will to continue publishing and writing even while suffering through treatments is inspiring. RB tracks the development of Christology in the four Gospels through their figurative use of the OT. Clocking in at just over 120 pages, iut's a delightful book which one can complete over a weekend. The one drawback is that it contains endnotes. I hate endnotes. But I love Hays. Read the book.

American dissertations are frustrating because, as my friend Drew said it well, they are like chapters thrown together rather than an actual book. I tend to agree. However, Rowe's ENC is not so bad at this as many other dissertations I've read but it still has this problem. Nevertheless, it is an engaging text. It is quite specialized and no easy read, but it is a rewarding volume. I judge a book by whether I am better for having read it, and I feel I am much better off for having read it. Perhaps being written under the supervision of Hays had something to do with it, but there was just something about the book that I couldn't quite point out that was just delightful. What's shocking about this book is the fact that it was published less than 10 years ago and is an original study on the use of κύριος in Luke. How had this not been written yet?? Shocking. Fantastic volume. Argues for a much higher Christology in Luke than many may suppose. It's an excellent volume.

I'll update again this soon to put on record all of the books I'm reading for class.* Until then, thanks for reading.

*Update: Sorry this never happened. And won't happen. I just don't have the time. But I put up a big ol' list here, listing most of my summer reading.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Reformation Tour Day 3

Today we went to Geneva, the famous city of the Reformation where the very best of the Reformation took place! This city and Zürich were the two seeds from which the shoots of the Reformed tradition sprung. The legacy here is amazing and, honestly, outside of North Carolina, I can genuinely envision myself living here. The Swiss are an amazing people. Much like the Germans, except kinder. I would love to stay longer. (I would also like to visit Marburg, home of the university that housed the venerable Bultmann for around 30 years, but I will discuss that in time.)

Today we went to the church at which Calvin preached for his time here in Geneva, known as St. Peter's Cathedral (in English). The place is amazing and beautiful. Pictures are below. I'll keep the commentary to a minimum and mostly just label the pictures. Among them, however, are images of Calvin's chair, the church, and much inside the church.

St Peter's Cathedral, the church at which Calvin preached for years.

The lectern from which the Word of the Lord is proclaimed and perhaps was in Calvin's era also.

A lectern. Probably from which Calvin preached, or at least the one from which the preacher today preaches.

Calvin's Chair

The Reformation Wall. There's a picture of me in front of it, but I don't know whose camera it's on, so I'll just post it later. The following pictures are images from the rest of the wall.
On the wall itself from left to right are Farel, Calvin, Beza, and Knox. You don't really get a feel for how big these statues are. They're like 25 feet high. Huge.


Yay! The Institutes got a shout out! 

This is the entire wall from the left side looking all the way down.

We also went to the Reformation museum where pictures were not technically allowed. I absolutely did not take any pictures at all. So definitely don't ask to see the pictures that I didn't take because I totally don't have any to show you. But that's why there's really no cool pictures of things like a first edition of Calvin's Institutes, a first edition of Turretin's Institutes, etc. etc. (The great Marburger did get a shout out in the Museum though! And there was a first edition of Barth's book on Bultmann's theology where he shows he had no idea what Bultmann was saying.)

In any case, I hope it was interesting for you to see the pics! 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Reformation Day 1

Today we went to the Lutherhaus in Lutherstadt-Wittenberg. It was an amazing place. After being awake for nearly a day, it was no easy trip for many of us. We were hungry, tired, and, most of all, thirsty. But it was fun. We spent nearly all of our time there at the Lutherhaus, which is a museum dedicated to all things Luther.

Originally the Lutherhaus was the Augustinian monastery in Wittenberg. (Yes, the same one to which Martin Luther gave himself before the beginning of the Reformation.) They converted it into a museum to Luther a few years ago and though they have remodeled a bit, some of the original walls, floors, ceilings, doors, etc. are kept in place. It’s an amazing place. In the (what I suppose you would call) courtyard, there is a statue (I’m guessing life-size) of Katharina von Bora, who, as we all know, was Luther’s lovely bride. There is a picture of it below.

Luther's wife, Katharina (Katie) von Bora
 On the building in which the majority of the Luther artifacts reside, there is a cut out bust of Martin Luther with an inscription. I can’t make out all of it, but I’m pretty sure it says something like “The life and work of Dr. Martin Luther."

 We also visited the Cranach hall, where the “Artist of the Reformation” painted many different portraits and scenes important to the Reformation and Reformation history. Here is a larger than life size portrait of Luther and, below that, a larger than life size portrait of Melanchthon.

A small portrait of Philip Melanchthon

Larger than life size Luther

Larger (and uglier!) than life size Melancthon

If this is accurate, Melanchthon is as (perhaps more!) ugly as Luther makes him out to be! What a face!

From here on out are a few notable items. I’ll put them here and add a caption. I don’t have much time left to write commentary, just know that the trip thus far has been awesome. We even saw some of the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. Sadly I have no pictures of those at this time, although they are on my families phones so they may end up here yet.

Luther's actual robe
Luther's Lectern

One of the images within Luther's lectern, reading Word Alone

Another few images from Luther's Lectern with the top image saying "YHWH" in Hebrew, the name for the Lord.
Below that is an image of Christ on the cross. Above him reads "Faith Alone" in Latin.
At the bottom is a portrait of a fat Luther.

The all things Luther library. The next several pictures are also of this impressive library.

A cast of Luther's face. This is also known as a death mask. It shows him to be serene, so as to prove that at the moment of his death he was ushered into heaven and so therefore his teaching was reliable.

This is the mold of his death mask.

The entrance door to Luther's living room. 

What Luther's living room looks like as you step through the door. The following images are what it looks like if you look from left to right.

Luther's stove to keep warm. It is decorated with many images on which I am not going to comment.

These were Luther's mugs and stuff. 

I could go on, but I shant. Enough pictures for today. If you want to see more, let me know and I'll try to oblige you. 

Search This Blog