Friday, February 13, 2009

Q & A with Peter Enns 1

Pete Enns has graciously agreed to answer a few questions these next few days. He is busy finishing up his commentary on Ecclesiastes, so he'll have to slip in such vanity as this in its season. P.S. A living blog is better than a dead line (of commentary).

1. Give us a snapshot of who you are and where you are at in your pilgrimage, just in case someone has stumbled on this blog and has never heard of you.
Academically, I graduated from Messiah College in 1982 (Behavior Science), WTS in 1989 (MDiv), and Harvard University in 1994 (PhD, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations). I think it is safe to say that much of my academic journey has been a process of synthesizing these (and other) influences in my life.

If one were to read some of my writings with that in mind, some of what I do could be seen in proper perspective. I do not think of myself of adding new knowledge onto a past unalterable body of knowledge (so to speak) but of bringing new and old into conversation to achieve some sort of thoughtful, mutually corrective synthesis.

More personally, I was raised in a home of two German immigrants who raised me as best as they were able with a knowledge of God. I was converted in high school and began my spiritual journey in earnest.

It was not until after college, however, that I began exploring my faith on a deeper level, which led me to seminary and then doctoral work. I still find it bewildering that I went from an avowed non-reader in high school and college to someone who could not get enough of it by the time I reached 23 or 24. If you had told my college friends I was headed for a life of scholarship they might have suggested you spend less time in the hot sun without a hat.

My interests have been emerging over the years, but I suppose that Biblical Theology is a big one. By that term I mean reading the Bible as a grand narrative of diverse and historically particularized episodes that achieves an eschatological coherence in Christ. This explains my interest in the way that the NT authors handle the OT, which I see as being very creative and deeply Christological.

I am also very interested in continuing synthetic thinking in the interaction between the many important insights of modern biblical studies and an evangelical faith, the roots of which are pre-modern. One point where the two interests coalesce is in understanding the NT authors’ use of the OT in light of Second Temple hermeneutics. That piece of modern study helps me understand better the biblical theological categories of the NT writers.

No comments: