Friday, March 21, 2014

New Testament theology at its finest

Very excited this morning at the arrival of the postman bringing me a long-awaited copy of George Caird's New Testament Theology. New copies are ridiculously expensive on-line and seemingly unavailable in bookshops. But I tracked down this second hand version in pretty good nick for under £20 so I snaffled it up.

Caird is one of the great New Testament scholars of the English tradition of the second half of the twentieth century. A contemporary of John Robinson, Charlie Moule, Robert Morgan, and every bit their equal, his sudden and untimely death in 1987 robbed us of sharp minded man of God.

His great gift to scholarship - apart from his deft prose - was his attention to the detail of the text and his love of scripture. The uniqueness of his NT theology is that he has created it by imagining a great gathering of all the NT authors round a table at a seminar convened and overseen by Caird himself. He hears every voice and listens for the differences as well as shared insights and captures it all in words we can grasp.

His death meant that the manuscript was unfinished and the volume was completed by one his students (L D Hurst) who has done a wonderful job rescuing the book from oblivion. Even if it's not exactly what Caird would have written, I shall relish reading it and look forward to passing on some its pearls of wisdom to my NTT students in the coming months.

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