Upon my return, I was greeted by an exceeding great amount of mail which included a couple of items of interest:
- Those who have been following the saga of the damaged Orthodox Study Bible over the past few months (see here, here, and here) will be delighted to learn that I have finally received a flawless copy of the OSB to replace the severely damaged one that the publishers originally sent. It bears noting that the book was packed with the utmost care, and that it was not mechanically shrink-wrapped, but rather wrapped by hand, which suggests that it was subjected to careful scrutiny before shipping. Kudos to Conciliar Press for righting the wrong! After such a display of expeditious customer service, one imagines that Kevin’s communications merely fell through the cracks. The staff at Conciliar might take note and ensure that there are no unknown technical problems causing this.
- I have finally had the satisfaction to peruse Ben Witherington III’s Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians (vol. 1), which I bought for an exceedingly low price from Mike Aubrey a number of months ago. (Thanks, Mike!) Though unfortunately I won’t have the time to examine this commentary in detail for yet a while, I am very much looking forward to that. I must, however, mention this: while I am in awe of Witherington’s prodigious literary output and his evident scholarly powers, I can’t help but be a little amused by his (systematic?) insistence on always championing some peculiar view or another, such as the notion that St Lazarus was the “Beloved Disciple” or the authenticity of the so-called “James Ossuary.” This commentary is no exception: here Witherington appears to champion the late great C. F. D. Moule’s proposal that St Luke the Evangelist was the amanuensis for the Pastoral Epistles. However, in this case I’m very interested in following his exegetical argument through, not only because I believe these Epistles to be authentically Pauline (the term “early catholicism” means nothing at all to me), but also because my inner neo-Griesbachian is continually fascinated by the interplay between St Luke and St Paul in the biblical canon. Of course, like everything else in Pauline studies, this proposal is closely tied to questions of chronology; I’m also looking forward, then, to revisiting that vexing matter. For this, I know of no better companion than Gerd Luedemann’s Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles: Studies in Chronology, which I have placed next to Witherington’s commentary (!) in anticipation of the coming day on which I shall be able to plunge into both.
In closing, I should like to take this chance to note that the one-year (i.e., silver, in internet time) anniversary of The Voice of Stefan occurred last Sunday, July 13. A year, and still alive and kicking (death reports notwithstanding)! Many thanks to all who have taken the time to read, comment and otherwise interact with me over the past year. I can only hope that the next year will likewise be filled with your input and friendship.