"Originality does not consist of thinking new things but of thinking for ourselves."
Monday, March 01, 2010
What is "orginality"?
I came across a great quote recently that should be an encouragement to anyone embarking on a doctoral thesis. The quote speaks to the perennial concern for originality. In a field like NT studies where every inch of the territory has been excavated numerous times one feels the great fear of whether it is even possible to say anything original. This is even communicated by some professors when they interview potential doctoral candidates. "Don't study the NT", I was once told, "nothing new has been said in over 500 years. Study something like the Shepherd of Hermes!" While I think that more people should study the Shepherd, this was very deflating. By the way, at the time I didn't really even know what the Shepherd was so the thought of spending years studying it was beyond incredible. I don't feel that way now of course. Well to the quote. George B. Stevens, a NT scholar of the late 19th century once said: