Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Top 10 Influential Scholars

Following from Nijay Gupta, here is my list of influential scholars.
    • N. T. Wright. Jesus and the Victory of God awoke me from a deep ignorance concerning the historical Jesus, exegesis, and what good scholarship looks like. The New Testament and the People of God is a must read for every student of the NT. And, his work on the resurrection is WOW! Then add his Romans commentary, his work on Colossians, and his popular commentaries that my wife loves! Wright is the most influential person in my thinking.
    • Gordon Fee. I remember spending hours and hours as an undergrad reading his 1 Corinthians commentary and his popular hermeneutics book: How to Read the Bible for All it's Worth. Great commentary on the Pastoral Epistles, even if it was far too short. Excellent exegete, always fair, and never boring.
    • Richard Bauckham. Singlehandedly Bauckham has shifted the focus of NT studies in such diverse fields. His work on Jesus and the Eyewitnesses is stunning, 2 Peter and Jude, probably the best commentary on those letters. His stuff on James is great, and the theological reflection exceptionally helpful. The man is a legend, and a contender for the greatest NT scholar alive. Never following the trends, he carves the evidence and shows how things worked back then. Brilliant.
    • Craig Evans. Solid historian, opened my eyes to the backgrounds of the NT. Loved his book: Jesus and His Contemporaries, and his new work on Jesus and the Satan will be very good.
    • I. H. Marshall. The Dean of NT studies. I remember reading an article on predestination in the NT, which changed my whole understanding. His Luke commentary is still great, and it was published the year I was born! All his commentaries are worth consulting, and his NT Theology is very helpful and informative. Can't wait to read his commentary on John, and his work on Romans.
    • Ben Witherington. He's probably taught me more about rhetorical aspects of interpretation than anyone else. Very helpful commentaries that are always close to my research. Always makes me think about the context of the NT letters.
    • Wofhart Pannenberg. Proved to me that systematic theology wasn't an utter waste of time. His three volume Systematic Theology is the best systematic theology I've ever read, although Stanley Grenz come's a close 2nd. Pannenberg showed me how exegesis and theology can work together, and exegesis is the building blocks of Systematics.
    • Joel Green. I've not read too much of his stuff, but what I have read has shaped my thinking. His commentary on 1 Peter is the best I've read so far, and his commentary on Luke is also probably the best. His book on the atonement really helped me think through the issues.
    • Richard Hays. The Moral Vision of the New Testament and his The Faith of Jesus Chrst are exceptional offerings from a scholar who has a clear passion for Scripture and the Church. I'm always happy and challenged when I read his commentaries on Galatians and 1 Corinthians. Hays convinced me that the subjective genitive is the best solution to the Pistis Christou debate. Sorry Nijay!
    • C. K. Barrett. One of the best scholars ever. Barrett's commentary on John persuaded me that biblical studies was far better than systematics and philosophy. His commentaries on Paul's letters are all worth serious scrutiny, and his latest offering on Acts is kick ass good.
    • Greg Boyd. I first read Boyd's Cynic, Sage or Son of God, and thought it was a helpful response to the Seminar's mistakes. Then I read his popular book: Is God to Blame? which caused an intellectual conversion, and shaped my whole theology. It's one of the most influential books I've ever read.

So, who's your most influential scholars?

1 comment:

Chris Tilling said...

Another superb list! And I'm glad to see Wright get a mention this time!