So much for the grand “live-blog my quals” plan. I passed my exams in May and took the summer mostly off. I read a few things, enough to explode my original dissertation plan, but not with any particular strategy. But school starts up again this week, and even though I’m not taking classes, it’s a good starting point and a good way to mark the transition into my own work. I’ve spent the past couple of weeks gearing up–making lists, getting books out of the library, getting up in the morning, etc.–and now, today, I’m starting. Monday and Friday mornings I’ll be in Starbucks (respectively) planning and reflecting on my work for the week. I might be posting more here, since I’m told that just WRITING is an important part of the dissertation process. Continue reading
The Acts of John is different from the other documents I’m reading for this exam in some important ways. Most importantly, its obvious docetism sets it apart from other second-century Christian literature, an era from which few texts have survived, and even fewer that did not meet the approval of later orthodoxy. Continue reading
The letters of Clement of Rome, Ignatius, and Polycarp Continue reading
In the Gospels Jesus uses the phrase “Son of Man” in both a present and a future sense. So, for example, in Matthew 8:20 he says, “Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” But in Matthew 24:44 he says, “The Son of Man will come at an hour when you least expect.” This is consistent in all three of the synoptic Gospels: the Son of Man is here now and he is coming in the future. Continue reading
One of the questions on one of my quals is going to be on the Son of Man issue. Basically, throughout the Gospels the phrase “Son of Man” keeps cropping up. Jesus is the only person who uses the phrase (except for one place in Acts and one in Revelation), and for the most part he seems to be referring to himself. What does it mean? Where does it come from?
Dear reader, welcome to the swamp that is New Testament studies. Continue reading
Since it’s the holidays and the library is closed until next week, I can only work on the books I actually own, so today it’s Rudolf Bultmann’s seminal History of the Synoptic Tradition. I’m using the 1963 edition translated by John Marsh. Continue reading
Every year at Samhain my CUUPs group puts on the same ritual. The words and individual details might shift year to year, but overall it’s quite a bit less variable compared to the rest of the year. One of the things we do is have three people, acting as the fates, measure out a length of yarn for each person and tie it around their wrist. Some people keep their yarn just for the night, some cut it off the next day. I leave mine on until Yule, as a symbol of the Dark Time and a reminder to myself to stay in reflection. Continue reading