The Faith of Jesus Christ: The Narrative Substructure of Galatians 3:1-4:11

The Faith of Jesus Christ: The Narrative Substructure of Galatians 3:1-4:11

The Faith of Jesus Christ: The Narrative Substructure of Galatians 3:1-4:11

The Faith of Jesus Christ: The Narrative Substructure of Galatians 3:1-4:11

Excerpt

This book was originally written on a Smith-Corona portable electric typewriter. That fact highlights the span of time elapsed since I submitted The Faith of Jesus Christ as my doctoral dissertation at Emory University in 1981. During my dissertation-writing years, no one owned a personal computer. To employ Greek and Hebrew characters, I had to leave blank spaces in the typed text and later write them in by hand. Typing errors had to be scraped off the page with a special eraser or blotted out with a fast-drying white liquid solution. Any significant revision necessitated retyping all pages from the point of revision forward. When my dissertation was accepted into the SBL Dissertation Series, it had to be retyped from scratch in order to meet the formatting guidelines of the series. (Happily, the cost of paying a professional typist to do this work was covered by a grant from the Whitney Humanities Center of Yale University, where I was then beginning my teaching career.) My students today, accustomed to correcting their computer-processed papers at will and reprinting with a couple of mouse clicks, can hardly conceive that their professor once labored under such primitive conditions.

I call to mind these mundane facts about the technology of text production in order to mark the distance we have traversed in the past twenty years— and to suggest, by analogy, that the field of Pauline studies has also covered a large stretch of new ground in the same period. When this dissertation was finished in 1981, J. D. G. Dunn had not yet written his essay on “The New Perspective on Paul”; Wayne Meeks had not yet published The First Urban Christians;

1. J. D. G. Dunn, “The New Perspective on Paul,” BJRL 65 (1983) 95–122.

2. W. A. Meeks, The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul (New
Haven: Yale University Press, 1983).

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