Tuesday, November 24, 2009

on the horizon

One of the most exciting things about ETS was the opportunity I had to meet outstanding biblical scholars and discuss potential research ideas. 

+I spoke with Andreas Kostenberger (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) about a paper I'll be writing in December on the book of John.  He has recently published a book on the theology of John's gospel, and wrote the chapter on John for Beale and Carson's Commentary on the Use of the OT in the New.  After talking with him I decided to write on Jesus' use of imagery from Isaiah in healing the man born blind.  He had made passing reference to the idea in his chapter for Beale and Carson, but he agreed that it's an idea worth further exploration.

+I met with Daniel Block (Wheaton Graduate School) to talk about Deuteronomy, his passion and mine.  We discussed two upcoming projects of mine: (1) A paper for my spring class on Biblical Theology where I plan to trace a concept which Moses introduces in Deut 6:10-12 that later occupies the minds of many of the Old Testament prophets.   Around our house we call it the "Fat and Happy Theme", but in its next life as an academic paper I'll probably call it "Satiation and Spirituality".  (2) My thesis (to be written Spring 2011) on the use of Deuteronomy in 1 Peter, with special emphasis on the idea of Israel (and then the church) as God's "treasured possession" (Deut 26:18 / 1 Peter 2:9). 

I was talking with the lady beside me on the airplane on my way home.  She wanted to know what I was planning to write my thesis on.  She didn't seem particularly knowlegable about the Bible (she wasn't sure what Deuteronomy was), but she got downright excited when I explained my thesis proposal to her.  "Peter," I told her, "is taking words which Moses used to talk about Israel as God's chosen people, and he's using them to describe the church, made up of both Jews and non-Jews.  He's saying something pretty radical - that we are now just as special to God as the Jews were in the Old Testament times."  I wish you could have heard her.  "If you're right," she exclaimed. "Then people really need to hear this!"  She started telling the man next to her all about it.  I was so tickled.  I think she thought I had discovered something brand new.

And that's why I'm excited about all the studying I get to do in my last 3 semesters in seminary -- because these ideas really do make a difference, and they really are GOOD NEWS for us in the 21st century.  Some may argue that Biblical Studies is somewhat of a 'dead' discipline because everything that can be said about the Bible has already been said (a debatable notion, to be sure).  But at the very least these truths need to be recaptured and rearticulated for a new generation.  I can't think of anything else I'd rather do!

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