Monday, November 12, 2007

David Black on being a NT Scholar

Over at David Black on-line, Black writes:
'I have never considered myself an homme-de-lettres in the sense of a "New Testament scholar," for all such notions, in my view, are inordinately superficial. I do not believe that a distinction is to be made between the academic study of Scripture and the devotional reading of same. That is, quite simply, a false disjunction. For me, study and devotion are two sides of the same coin: I study the Bible devotionally, and I perform my daily devotions scientifically. The academic and the affective go hand in glove. Some, I think, are vaguely shocked whenever I say this, but I am quite sure it is not necessary to sacrifice Athens for Jerusalem.'
The whole post is a good example of how to balance academic and devotional study of Scripture.


Alex said...

Hey Mike,

Thanks for the quote and the link. I read one of Black's books earlier this year, a concise guide to textual criticism and it was a great help as I'm teaching myself to read Greek. I also noticed he's Ron Paul supporter. I am as well and am glad to see he is posting about this.

abcaneday said...

David Black has quite aptly described my own view of the matter, something that I have talked about and presented many times to students.

I have advocated that students should adopt such a posture. What I find is that students are relieved and freed when they hear me advocate such an approach, especially when they hear others advocate a dichotomized approach: the academic study of Scripture and the devotional use of Scripture shall never overlap and certainly should never merge.

Throughout my adult life, I have never personally separated devotional reading of Scripture for individual growth in Christ from my academic work in the Scriptures. How could I? On what possible and reasonable basis could I make such a separation? After all, do the Scriptures become a different book when I study the Word at a deep exegetical level? Hardly, unless I were to admit that the deeper I go exegetically, the deeper I immerse myself in the Word and the more I find my thoughts and heart and soul and mind--my whole person--transformed by the Word deeply engaged.