Good news: Professor to speak on history of Gospel

By Jade Mardirosian
Staff Writer

George W. Truett Theological Seminary will present the Parchman Endowed Lectures at 9:30 a.m. today, Wednesday and Thursday in the Paul W. Powell Chapel.

The three-part lecture series, titled “The Gospels as Histories: What Sort of History are They?,” will be given by Dr. Richard Bauckham, professor emeritus at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

Dr. Todd Still, associate professor of Christian Scriptures, serves as chair of the committee that selects potential lecturers.

He said Bauckham focuses on the the Gospel as history.

“His assertion is they are history, but he is asking and wondering what sort of history are the fourfold biblical Gospels,” Still said.

Still said that students who attend the lectures will have an opportunity to think carefully about the purpose and genre of the Gospels.

“The Canonical Gospels are of great importance to many of our students and not only academically, but also personally, religiously and devotionally,” Still said. “An opportunity to think more clearly and more precisely about the Gospels will certainly be of great value to the students.”

The Parchman Endowed Lecture series was established to bring world-renowned academic theologians from various fields and disciplines to give lectures on topics of interest to the university and seminary community.

After speaking with the professor, Still said Bauckham is looking forward to meeting and lecturing with students, seeing former colleagues and also visiting Baylor for the first time.

“I think what he is after is what most scholars are after when they present lectures,” Still said. “They are interested in conversation regarding their presentation so that they might further sharpen and hone their own thinking and writing on the subject that they address.”

Bauckham explains that he was professor of New Testament Studies and Bishop Wardlaw Professor at St. Andrews until he retired in 2007, to concentrate on research and writing, according to his website. He is currently a Senior Scholar at Ridley Hall, Cambridge and teaches for the Cambridge Federation of Theological Colleges and is a visiting professor at St. Mellitus College in London.

Bauckham was general editor of the Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series from 1996 to 2002. In 2009, he was awarded the Michael Ramsey prize for his book “Jesus and the Eyewitness,” and in 2010 he received the Franz-Delitzsch Award for a volume of collected essays titled “The Jewish World around the New Testament.”

Still said it is important for schools and departments to invite various speakers to lecture at Baylor.

“Although we have important conversations that continue to occur here, we are not the only people involved in important conversations,” Still said. “To bring in others from other places who are established scholars in their fields will not only add to the ongoing conversation but will give us new pieces of the conversation to consider. It just reminds us that we are not involved in this alone.”