Thursday, July 28, 2011

I Am Becoming a Big Fan of the Writings of Arnold Ehrhardt

Just a quick note to my readers. I had never read much of Arnold Ehrhardt's work before but going through the Framework of New Testament Stories I am quickly becoming a big fan. He really knows his source material and his inferences are usually quite reasonable. His story is interesting too being evicted from his chair of Roman Law in Germany in the 1930s and coming to teach New Testament Studies at the University of Manchester.

I don't know how many times I have said this lately but - is there any doubt that all best scholars are either located in Europe or connected with that continent in some deep way? What's wrong with North Americans. The truth is that as I was reading the book I just assumed he might be American because of his surname resembled a famous NASCAR driver. But as I got into the book I had stop and check his background because quite simply - he was too smart to be American. This was profoundly moving scholarship.

Does everyone know what I mean by that? This means that we have all read the same books, the same handful of primary source material but along comes someone who commands the individual passages and can connect it to other texts in a way that displays the ability of a virtuouso. I had the experience when I used to play guitar.

Anyone can learn a song, strumming a few chords to an easy rhythm. But then comes a great player who seems to do things which go beyond the seeming limitations of the physicality of the instrument. This Ehrhardt is like that and I think it is because of his command of the original language of the material (Latin, Greek etc.).

I highly recommend his book.  Yet Ehrhardt's obscurity is exemplified by my inability to provide you with a link from Amazon.  Truly a great find!

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