Friday, October 02, 2009

How to Get at the Sources an Author Does Not Acknowledge

One of the tasks I'm wrestling with tonight is how to get at the sources for several biblical scholars: C H Dodds, J Jeremias and G E Ladd. Ladd I have some good leads to follow. But this is not my world. I don't know Schweitzer enough to know exactly how Dodds is interpreting him. What I have are bibliographies and a computer. So dig, dig, dig. It could be worse, my director did Thomas Berry and he didn't even use footnotes! So to figure out his sources was a huge piece of work that took several scholars. She told me it was a risky (academically) venture and I can believe it. The things I'm appreciative is that not all theologians are that evasive of who their sources and dialogue partners are. If you have any nice leads on the three I chase down tonight please pass them along (even if it is not tonight anymore).


Paul said...

Hi Frank,

I suggest reading these histories of NT research. They might help you with your questions.

Stephen Neill and Tom Wright, The Interpretation of the New Testament, 1861-1986. The most readable. Neill was a delightful writer and theologian.
William Baird, History of New Testament Research, 2 vols so far from Deism up to just before C. H. Dodd.
W. G. Kümmel, The New Testament: The history of the investigation of its problems. Detailed, but very dry and too focused on German critical Protestant scholarship.

One of Freedom said...

Thanks Paul, I am sure I can find those in the library. I'm wondering why F F Bruce felt it was important to mention that Dodd had a strong foundation in studying the classics - was this not a common thing for biblical scholars of his day? I guess I'll find out when I get to the library.

So far I think my three guys, some extent, are working off of each other. And I was surprised that Jeremias was a Lutheran, he is so well liked amongst Roman Catholic scholars I had the impression he was one of their own!

Paul said...

Hi Frank

I cannot say why F. F. Bruce mentioned that. I think partly it was an apologetic claim against sceptical scholars. Among Evangelicals you sometimes hear the claim that classical and ANE historians are nowhere as sceptical of the Bible as biblical scholars. "If you know the classics like Dodd ... you would see how flawed the scepticism of a Bultmann etc is."

One of Freedom said...

That's interesting Paul. I was thinking it had more to do with the shift from Schweitzer but definitely a polemic against Bultmann is plausible. Fuellenbach has a really good chapter on the views from Schweitzer to Jeremias, his book is called The Kingdom of God.