So this coming fall I originally wanted to do Christology of the New Testament. Apparently, the class will be more of an online class than a lecture class (if I read it correctly) and I tend to shy away from that format for this kind of class. So I found an alternative: Book Study of Romans in Greek. Now I have come to a dilemma, seeing that I like both topics. The Christology class will cover the Gospels, the Pauline epistles, and contemporary scholarship; it should be self-evident what the Romans class will cover.
For someone who is oriented toward Christology and has a bit of Greek under the belt, which class do you think would be more beneficial? I have already done a doctrine of Christ class and figure I could either expand on that; or I could build up my Greek in the Romans class (along with a Greek readings class this semester as well). If you could take only one, what class would you take, assuming you could extract all you could from either class?
Secondly, I found this website which might be helpful to us as bloggers and academic writers: FreelanceWriting.com – 10 Words to Avoid When Writing by David Bowman. Here is an excerpt:
Writing is a combination of art and craft. The art comes from lots of reading, talking, thinking, dreaming, and writing. The craft is primarily technique. Some techniques are complex, but a few are very simple and will instantly strengthen your writing. In many cases, however, strengthening writing simply means avoiding those things that weaken it.
We have identified 10 words that nearly always weaken writing. In no particular order, they are as follows.
While both could obviously be of benefit, I think it’s always good to stay abreast of the latest scholarship on any given area. If Christology is your thing, go with that.
As much as a love Paul and Romans it seems Christology is heating up once again. Dunn and Hurtado have been volleying back and forth regarding early Christian Christology and the worship of Christ. Simon Gathercole has been trying to re-investigate high Christology in the Synoptics. C. Kavin Rowe has done a lot in Luke-Acts. If you dealt with any of these scholars on the side you would find a whole new world of issues related to Christology to keep you busy!
I love Romans, so I’m going to find some way to pretend it’s the best class for you, because I’m really wishing it were me.
I try to stay away from online classes as much as possible (I’ll need to take one in the spring). The reason I’m giving so much money to the good people at GFU has more to do with classroom interaction and hallway/coffeehouse dialogue than the books and papers. But that’s my learning style: contradictoryism.
Jason and Brian: I appreciate the points about staying up with current scholarship. I think this may come in useful down the road, especially if I decide to work more down the road with Paul Anderson’s Christology of John.
Caedmon: Although I like the books and papers, I do find the online classes something of a flop in terms of interaction. Yes, I’ve noticed your uniquely interactive style; you’ll have to let me know how that class in the spring goes for you. Also, there is a Romans Book Study in English; I think the Greek and English are combined. It would be great to learn with and from you in that class.
I’d go with Christology. Christ is more important than Greek any day of the week. 🙂
If Christology is your thing, then it has to be the Christology course. Your work on GJohn will benefit from the greater and more in-depth knowledge of different trends/trajectories throughout the rest of the NT. So as to not completely miss out on Romans, I’d seriously recommend you could get Wright’s ‘Romans in a Week’ course from Regent College and revel in some of the best lectures you’ll have ever heard.
Nick: I do not disagree. 🙂
Jonathan: Thanks for your suggestions. I’ll be sure to get a copy of Wright’s book.
UPDATE: I have decided to go with the Romans class. While I know Christology is very important, I have a better grasp on Christology than I do working my way through a book. The online format for Christology still tends to dissuade me, but the professor is very qualified in that area; still, I see little advantage doing an online class versus acquiring the books and reading them on my own. It seems that the Christology class will be more supplementary than informative for what I’m doing with my thesis as well. Thanks for all the suggestions!
Wright’s lecture course is available in cd format or mp3 to download from Regent. Romans is fantastic to work through 😉
I just re-remembered your last comment. I’ll be sure to look at it.
UPDATE: The Romans book study was moved to next semester due to low enrollment (boo!). So that leaves me now with the online Christology course. Greatly looking forward to it!
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