Developments in My Field of Study — Gary Burge Says Cultural Reconstruction Is Contributing to Exegesis
(Can't see the video? Watch it here)
Gary Burge, professor of New Testament at Wheaton, belongs to a group of scholars interested in so-called “Contextual Exegesis.” These New Testament thinkers look beyond the syntax and grammar to become cultural anthropologists of antiquity.
In essence they become time travelers. Here’s why:
“We think the New Testament was written [just] last week,” Burge says in our video today. “But it is a literature from another time, another place, it’s a different language, and it presupposes things that our culture has forgotten.”
Burge is excited by the development within New Testament studies that seeks to mend this gap. It’s a cutting-edge issue interested in buttressing…
My Advice to Students — Gary Burge Says “Master the Languages” and “Interpret with Humility”
At Wheaton College Gary Burge, professor of the New Testament and author of Jesus and the Jewish Festivals, has opportunities to speak with budding theologians and young biblical studies students who go on to graduate and post-graduate school. Whenever he talks with these students his advice tracks along two fronts, which he explains in our video below.
First, he cannot underscore language study enough. The mastery of Greek and Hebrew is essential. Burge says, "Someone has said you really only know a language when you can write it." He explains what this means for you as a graduate student of the Old and New Testaments.
Second, he wishes that he'd been told more…
The Pool of Siloam and the Gospel of John — By Gary Burge
Frequent visitors to Jerusalem know well the Pool of Siloam located at the south end of the city of David. However the pool so often viewed at the far end of Hezekiah’s tunnel is something rebuilt entirely in the 5th century by Byzantine architects eager to reshape Jerusalem into a city welcoming Christian pilgrims. In the 19th century it was given another facelift and this has been a traditional spot for Christian visitors to retell the story of John 9.
However in the fall of 2004, Israeli excavators working on a sewer line began hitting cut stone a bit further south from the traditional pool. Archaeologists Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron were brought in and since then digging has been ongoing. A remarkable picture of the pool has emerged (see Todd Bolen’s excellent collection of photos) and this has begun a discussion concerning the real nature of the pool itself. Was it used for water collection? Was it a ritual bath before entry to the Temple? We can expect the scholarly interpretations to be vigorous for some years to come.
The interesting exegetical feature of this subject connects with John 9, the only NT passage to refer to the pool (but see Lk 13:4; cf. Neh. 3:15).