I always get excited to see what Eerdmans has coming down the pipeline. Check out the schedule through May HERE.
SBL just posted a job teaching religion at the University of Hawaii! I would apply, but it involves teaching world religions – not really my thing. But if it is yours – it sounds pretty nice…
Check it out
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF RELIGION, Position number 0082340, Department of Religion, University of Hawaii at Manoa, full-time tenure track, to begin August 2010, pending position clearance and availability of funds. Duties: Teach undergraduate and graduate courses in religion, including Christianity and World Religions; conduct research and develop educational projects; other duties as assigned by the chair. Minimum Qualifications: Ph.D. in a field which includes training in the critical theories and methods used in the academic study of religion and with a specialization in Christianity; ability to teach introductory courses in Biblical literature; ability to teach introductory course on World Religions; demonstrated ability for effective teaching or its promise and active research in the field; proficiency in relevant languages for research and teaching. ABD candidates will be considered provided that all degree requirements are complete by August 1, 2010. Desirable Qualifications: Specialization in Christianity in East Asia or the Pacific; competence in teaching Judaism. Minimum Annual Salary: Commensurate with qualifications and experience. To Apply: Send letter of application addressing minimum and desirable qualifications; official transcripts of graduate work (copies are acceptable, however official transcripts will be required at time of hire); curriculum vitae; and a minimum of three letters of recommendation to: Helen J. Baroni, Chair, Department of Religion, Sakamaki A-311, University of Hawaii, 2530 Dole Street, Honolulu, HI 96822. On-line applications will not be accepted. EEO/AA Employer. Closing date: Review will begin January 15, 2010 and continue until filled. Inquiries: Helen J. Baroni, 808-956-4201, email@example.com.
I am about half way through reading Gordon Fee’s The First and Second Letter to the Thessalonians for the NICNT (Eerdmans). It is a hefty volume, at 350 pages. Fee, here, is replacing the older volume in the series by Leon Morris. Morris’ commentary was never really anyone’s go-to commentary for 1-2 Thessalonians, so it is understandable that Fee took this one on.
In some ways, Fee’s work is very impressive, as he is a very careful and attentive reader. He knows the Pauline letters so well (having done major commentaries on Philippians, 1 Corinthians, the Pastoral Epistles, and Galatians) that he is constantly pointing out where Paul is using language or syntax or ideas out of the ordinary for him.
One can always expect very precise and cogent textual discussions as well, and Fee does not shy away from challenging the status quo who simply follow Metzger’s recommendation. Similarly, Fee thinks like a translator and assesses the accuracy of various modern translations on the Thessalonian epistles. He favors the TNIV (as a committee member!), of course. This can be very helpful for professional translators (like those with Wycliffe) and also pastors who seek out the best idioms for explaining the exact meaning of a phrase or sentence in preaching or teaching.
Theologically, one can also guess that Fee gives close attention to matters pertaining to pneumatology and Christology. Indeed, the latter actually seems more prominent in this commentary -lots of discussions of how Paul uses the word “Lord” (kyrios) and whether he is referring to God the Father or Jesus – Fee often thinks the latter, and argues for this position even when most commentators presume the former.
Finally, it is also a pastorally sensitive and spiritually-enriching volume, perhaps more so than its series predecessors. After every section of commentating, Fee gives some – “so what does this mean for the church today” kind of advice. It is never cheesy or condemning, but illuminating and pensive.
Now, having made these very positive statements, I must say that as a commentary on 1 Thessalonians (I have not read the portions of 2nd Thess.), it is not really breaking much new ground in terms of insight into the major cruxes of the study of the letter. Neither in terms of background issues, textual problems, ethical issues (such as the ataktoi), or other areas does he venture a new position (at least not as of page 150). This seems to me to be a problem with new commentaries -though they are written by general experts (experts on Paul), ones like these are not by people who have spent their career on this one book (Fee has covered the field, for sure, but doesn’t have a mastery of the secondary literature, as he admits in the intro). Thus, what it adds in general exegetical insight, it lacks in incisive illumination when it comes to handling the perplexities of the letter in a new way.
I think Fee’s commentary will certainly be of more use than Morris’, as he does so many things well regarding textual criticism, rhetorical progression, translation details, christology/pneumatology, etc… Whether it will be the commentary that everyone reaches for first….I am still tempted to leave this honor to Wanamaker and Malherbe.