On the Web: An Interview with Simon Gathercole
- An interview with Simon Gathercole on the Gospels of Judasand Thomas has been posted this morning on an evangelicalGathercole is a former member of our group, and has writtenabout parallels between Paul and GThos. He's on the facultyat Cambridge and edits the influential Journal for the Study ofthe New Testament (JSNT). Since I hope to publish in thatjournal in the future, I hope I'm not biting the hand that mightfeed me by saying that I'm somewhat dismayed by his evangelicalbackground and connections, of which I wasn't previously aware.Nevertheless, the interview is fairly impartial and worth reading.M.Grondin
background and connections ...> ... I'm somewhat dismayed by [Gathercole's] evangelical
>I'd better back off from this right quick before I get skeweredfor it. I was basing this mostly on a statement in the intro tothe evangelical interview, according to which "... he taught a PhDseminar on the New Perspective on Paul at Trinity EvangelicalDivinity School ... ". Obviously, this statement doesn't supportmy hasty conclusion, for which I apologize and hereby withdraw.BTW, I failed to mention that the heads-up for this interviewcame from Google Alerts, which I've noted previously as agood source for new GThos stuff on the web. It comes inmy email daily about noon. (It doesn't, however, cover e-lists.)M.Grondin
- It appears that my initial impression of Simon Gathercole'sevangelical ties was correct. He's listed as a contributor tothe blog "Evangelical Textual Criticism", run by Peter Headand Tommy Wasserman, the members of which are expectedto present a statement of theological purity (my words, butcheck their accuracy for yourselves):This is not to diminish Gathercole's work in any way. Perhapsthis will change my attitude toward evangelical scholarship,which up to now hasn't been favorable. (Among other things,I'm not keen on scholars trumpeting their religious beliefs,which Evangelicals seem prone to do - nor on scholars whoseem to regard their work as part of a Christian "mission".Gathercole doesn't seem to do that - though he does oddlymention sin at one point in the interview:"People are all too willing to believe that the church has concealedthe truth. Its partly a cultural thing and partly is fed by the fact that thechurch sometimes does cover things up, but its also a result of sin:people dont want to believe the truth and so cast around for otherexplanations instead."Hopefully, Simon was smiling when he said that.Mike GrondinMt. Clemens, MI
- On Tue, Aug 3, 2010 at 3:43 AM, Michael Grondin <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
> It appears that my initial impression of Simon Gathercole'sIt should be kept in mind that British evangelicals tend to be more
> evangelical ties was correct.
> This is not to diminish Gathercole's work in any way. Perhaps
> this will change my attitude toward evangelical scholarship,
> which up to now hasn't been favorable.
scholarly than their American counterparts. (For one, I think their
language skills are often better--both modern and ancient.) Well,
at least that's my general impression, but I do try to take each
scholar's work on an individual basis.
> It should be kept in mind that British evangelicals tend to be moreQuite right, Stephen. And thanks for the distinction, which hadn't
> scholarly than their American counterparts. (For one, I think their
> language skills are often better--both modern and ancient.) Well,
> at least that's my general impression, but I do try to take each
> scholar's work on an individual basis.
occurred to me (and which I'm happy to accept, being of some
British blood myself :-). Gathercole's academic credentials are
of course impeccable. None of that Ozarks Divinity School that
we find in the States.
Come to think of it, perhaps the Evangelical Textual Criticism
blog is Brit-heavy? 'Peter Head' sounds like it. My grandfather's
name was 'House'. Gotta love those imaginative British names!
- I'm not sure where you get the "Ozarks Divinity School" idea
concerning evangelicals Mike.
In fact, I suspect you will find many NT faculty in flagship
evangelical institutions, such as Wheaton, Fuller, and Trinity, to be
Brit heavy -- especially if you factor in where they were educated.
Mark Noll has attempted to quantify this in his book, _Between Faith
and Criticism: Evangelicals, Scholarship, and the Bible in America_:
I agree that sticking to "each scholar's work" is the way to go. In my
estimation this is not the place for evangelical bias or
- Thanks for your note, Doug. I was also chastened offlist by a respectedscholar of my acqaintance. I should tell you that at heart I'm an ardentindividualist, but in the present case, I've apparently come to associateevangelicals with fundamentalism. Wondering to myself now why that is,I see that part of it is the original statement of Evangelical principles, whichasserts inerrantism - a view which I regard as both wrong-headed andinimical to sound biblical scholarship (hence its relevance here). But, asI am now learning, there may be as many Evangelicals who don't followthat statement of principles to the letter as there are Catholics (at least inthis country) who don't follow Papal pronouncements to the letter. In anycase, I much appreciate the corrective feedback I've been receiving.Mike
- Thanks for your reply Mike. You would not be the first to equate evangelicalism with fundamentalism, nor will you be the last. One grew out of the other and there remains overlap, but there are vast and important differences between the type of scholars and scholarship you will find at a Fuller vs, say, Bob Jones or a Wheaton vs most bible institutes. Noll, who I invoked in my earlier message, is now at Notre Dame -- but while he was at Wheaton he wrote another book, _The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind_, in which he took dispensational theology to task.
I think of David Scholer, who passed away a couple years ago. He was at Fuller for many years and a top rate scholar. He is just one example, but there are many others.
Anyway, I appreciate your reply.
P.S. There is considerable debate within evangelicalism over what "inerrant" actually means.