…They care about, at least in part, good textbooks! Kregel’s new basic NT introductory textbook caught my eye: What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Their Writings (2008).
There were several things that appealed to me about this book. First of all, it is authored by multiple contributors who all teach undergraduate students. Secondly, it attempts to survey key themes and ideas (in a simple, non-jargon way) in less than 250 pages. Thirdly, it is chock full of great photos of various biblical places, models, artifacts – I love when good textbooks can do these kinds of things.
In terms of content, the information is quite basic. I found very well-written articles by C. Marvin Pate, George Guthrie, Ken Berding, and Justin Hardin. Now, the average scholar or doctoral student will contest many of the claims made in this book – but it is not written for YOU!!! For its audience, and the needs of keeping things really basic, it does a good job. The audience that book is aiming for is undergraduate survey courses in conservative institutions that focus on content and theology. For that kind of audience, this book will be useful and effective.
Personally, I think it is well suited for bible studies and adult bible education in churches. If I were to do an intro to the NT class at my church, this is just the thing I would use (or something close to it).
It is amazing what a difference good design makes to a textbook and this is an elegant specimen. It has an attractive cover, glossy pages, eye-catching side-bars and charts. I am a sucker for style – nice work Kregel. I guess I am just that superficial…
In any case, for those who teach or minister to the kind of students/audience I have described above (conservative, undergrad/lay-level), this is a book to check out.
This is both an opportunity to call attention to some good resources out there on job hunting and interviewing, and to ask any of you out there who are experienced in interviewing some question.
First of all, I am thankful to say that I do have one (and maybe two) interviews at SBL this year. Thus, I am scouring the internet, looking for good resources on interviewing and how to be prepared.
One resource, which is more generally geared towards humanities, is full of wisdom: http://www.otal.umd.edu/~sies/jobadvice.html.
Also, one might try to search the Chronicle of Higher Education (www.chronicle.com) which has a number of online articles on the subject of common interview questions and flow charts of the process.
I will say that, from my small amount of experience so far, it is very important (1) to get some teaching experience somehow and (2) to publish a journal article. This has been reinforced by a number of scholars (young and older) that I trust, and I have found that these elements seem to be important to those who have looked at my work.
If anyone has advice for what to do or not to do during an interview next week, don’t hesitate to comment!