Sunday, July 19, 2009

The AH-HA moment.

No matter what particular passions or goals you might have, I tend to think there must have been one specific moment in time that made you go ah-ha! and cracked open the floodgates of your heart/mind to pursue that dream.

For all you bibliobloggers pursuing biblical studies (whether it be MA, MDiv, PhD, etc.), what was your ah-ha! moment? I'm curious to know if was a particular book, a specific class, a sermon, or whatever else you can think of.

As for me, there were two books regarding Romans:

John Piper, Justification of God: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Romans 9:1-23

Simon J. Gathercole, Where Is Boasting? Early Jewish Soteriology and Paul's Response in Romans 1-5

The first book I read about 3 years ago when I first began my studies @ Talbot, and while I probably understood about 10% of it, it made me want to pursue solid groundwork in the languages and exegesis. I have yet to reread the book to see how I feel about the particular issues raised in the book, but it nonetheless sits on my shelf as one of the first 'scholarly rigorous' books that I've bought.

The second book, I read about 6 months ago, and I think this was Dr. Gathercole's publishing of his doctoral dissertation under J.D.G. Dunn. It definitely raises some good questions regarding the New Perspective and in my opinion he gives a pretty fair and critical assessment of both sides on this issue.

I think I'm still very young in terms of having read good journal articles, monographs, etc., but reading these two books have been my ah-ha! moments to want to pursue a career in biblical studies.

What was your ah-ha! moment(s)?


Daniel said...

Check out Longenecker's critique of Gathercole 'On Critiquing the "New Perspective" on Paul: A Case Study', ZNW 96 (2005), 263-71.

Nick Norelli said...

Larry Hurtado's Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity was one for me. Another was J. N. D. Kelly's Early Christian Doctrines. The one got me interested in Biblical studies and the other in patristics.

Mike S. said...

Daniel: I just read the article! Thanks for the heads up, I don't have the book with me to think deeper about the methodological issues raised by Longenecker, but good article nonetheless.

Nick: I really liked Hurtado's book as well. It was a thick book to read, but very very good.