Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Big Three in New Testament Theology

As soon as I thought of the big 3, tbe number 4 comes to mind. If you have the choice to pick the three most important books of the NT, what would that be? 18 months ago, knowing that my term of service could be ending this June, I had plenty of time to ponder what I wanted to teach for the next 3 Semesters. When I was in New Zealand in Dec 2012 visiting my son, I spent most mornings at Otago University central library reading on monographs and commentaries on John's Gospel which I duly taught from Jan to May 13. Then came the 2nd most important book, Paul's letter to the Romans and I appreciated one student's comment that it got better as the course went on from July to Nov 13. In the last 7 or 8 lectures I wrote Paul's theology every week from ch. 7 onwards. Some notes ran up to 4,000 words, an essay in itself. And finally, it has to be the book of Revelation.

A colleague commented incredulously when he found out I was offering Revelation for only 2 MMin students. But the Registrar in the last day of the Semester, 13th Nov told me that the course could be opened to occasional students. At the end, 9 students signed up for the Revelation course from Jan to April 14, the last lectures to be delivered next Tuesday! Lord, I have done as You commanded to teach Your Word and You had planned for my exit or exodus 18 months back. Is it the big 3 or 4? I would go for Acts of the Apostles as the fourth most important book in New Testament theology, giving Luke a place alongside John and Paul as the three most profound theologians of the early church.

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