What’s a blog without an idiosyncratic count-down list? Oh well. Bearing in mind this is just one person’s perspective, I hope it will help someone with their future course selections. Good dollars deserve good teaching, and good teaching deserves good enrollment!
5. The Gospel of John (NT325, Hall Harris III)
This NT elective, as the title suggests, focuses on the exegesis of the Fourth Gospel. Dr Harris is the school’s Johannine scholar, and his attention to the Evangelist’s narrative technique and theology provides a great deal of food for thought. Plus every class begins with a beautiful picture of German castles and mountains!
4. The Apostolic Fathers (HT217; Michael Svigel)
As I’ve said before, it’s mind-blowing that we try and interpret or exegete the NT without reference to other Christian documents contemporaneous with or immediately subsequent to the writings of the NT. Dr Svigel is a great guide as you read through the entire AF corpus, plus a few short books summarizing issues related to these fascinating texts. A bonus lecture on the “Quest for the Historical Santa” was also quite memorable.
3. Historical Jesus (NT407; Darrell Bock)
This class focuses on reading and critically evaluating N. T. Wright’s Jesus and the Victory of God and J. D. G. Dunn’s Jesus Remembered. One of the few classes conducted as a true seminar, there’s lots of room for discussion and disagreement. And did I mention it meets at the professor’s home? Just the setting alone makes the class worthwhile!
2. Cross-Cultural Theological Education (WM410; Steve Strauss)
This is probably the most practical class I have taken at DTS. Dr Strauss has decades of experience to share, and the final project (actually creating an educational plan for a given cross-cultural context) is actually quite a bit of fun. There’s also lots of advice on what it means to be a good teacher/educator in general; in other words, there’s a lot to profit from!
1. New Testament Textual Criticism (NT215; Dan Wallace)
Any of Dr Wallace’s classes is a “must-take,” but his NTTC class is his wheel-house. I have no doubt that many of the anecdotes he shares from his various travels for the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) are things you’d learn nowhere else. You also get first-hand practice collating a manuscript. It’s difficult, sometimes tedious work, but strangely rewarding. And while 2,000 pages of reading is daunting, by the end of the class I felt better qualified on issues of NTTC than pretty much any sub-field of NT studies.