Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Reading Day

Among the various things I have been doing today, reading has definitely dominated my time. One of the areas in the library that has drawn me is the thesis and dissertation bay. The holdings of theses and dissertations are from British universities, particularly from graduates who have done research here at Tyndale House.

Many, perhaps most, of these theses and dissertations have become published books, mostly in series such as SNTS, JSNTS, or JSOTS. It is fun (Is that the right word, Jeeves?) to see the dissertation versions of many
books that I have read. There are too many to recall or to list. One of interest was to take a look at D. A. Carson's dissertation from 1975 which later became a book, Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility: Biblical Perspective in Tension. Another dissertation that caught my attention today is that written by N. T. Wright in 1980, "The Messiah and the People of God: A Study in Pauline Theology with Particular Reference to the Argument of the Epistle to the Romans." Wright, to my knowledge, never published his dissertation. Nevertheless, upon reading his dissertation today, it is plainly evident that his dissertation anticipated the trajectory that his work has taken to this day. His ideas and thinking are plainly expressed, at least in seed form, throughout his dissertation. His The Climax of the Covenant: Christ and the Law in Pauline Theology gives significant expression to much of his dissertation but expands significantly upon it, in that the book also addresses Paul's Letter to the Galatians.