I think Spring 2009 is shaping up to be a very good semester for me. I’m taking one seminar (Biblical Theology) with Andreas KÃ¶stenberger and the second part of mentorship with Dave Black.
Yesterday, I attended the first session of the Biblical Theology seminar. Since this is my program of study, I was expecting this to be very interesting to me; but I think its going to be better and more than I expected. Hopefully, both of my seminar papers will end up being part of my dissertation. The first paper will focus on methodology, primarily the relationship between discourse analysis and biblical theology. The second paper will probably examine the concept of “encouragement” in the book of Hebrews.
In the first session, we discussed introductory topics concerning biblical theology. For example, we differentiated between systematic theology and biblical theology. Systematic theology primarily presents theology in today’s contemporary context, answering questions that are raised by society today. Biblical theology presents the theology of the text itself, focusing on categories found in the text and answering questions raised in that context.
Here are a couple of quotes from Dr. KÃ¶stenberger that tells me that this is going to be an interesting seminar:
1) (concerning “ordering” and “categorizing” themes in biblical theology) – Biblical theologians should choose “what most organically represents the corpus they are considering”.
2) (concerning understanding Scripture and determining “categories”) – “Keep re-reading it – over and over – and keep talking about it in community”.
I am also continuing the mentorship program with Dave Black. Last semester we had some very good discussions concerning the church. This semester, our discussions will primarily focus on preparing for my comprehensive exams at the end of this semester (which I would prefer not to think about at this time).
So, I think this is going to be a good semester for classes. This should be my final semester for PhD seminars. However, there are two summer seminars that I may decided to take because they will be helpful in my dissertation: Second Temple Literature and the Book of Hebrews.
I’m sure that if you read my blog during the next few months, you’ll read more about biblical theology than could possibly interest you. But, thank you for your patience.