Thursday, July 30, 2009

NT Pod 6: Resurrection and After-life in Paul: Programme Notes

I uploaded the latest NT Pod last night, touching on one of those perennial topics of interest to NT scholars, Resurrection and the After Life in Paul. My original plan to keep the NT Pod to 5 minutes or so an episode now appears to be under threat, as today I went over nine minutes for the first time. At this rate, the NT Pod will be up to the hour mark by this time next year!

For those who are less familiar with the material discussed in this episode and who would like to follow up on it, I will throw in a little bibliography. The classic essay I refer to in the piece is the following:

C.H. Dodd, "The Mind of Paul: I"; and "The Mind of Paul: II" in New Testament Studies (Manchester: University Press, 1953), 67-82 and 83-128.

The key piece is the second one, which deals with Paul's eschatology, and it is compulsory reading for anyone who wants to take the topic seriously. Both essays were originally written in the 1930s and published in the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library. I think they are Dodd at his best -- some of his finest writing. Unfortunately, neither is available online and it is my hope that one day that will change. A further bibliographical note: this is one of Dodd's own collections of essays that is called New Testament Studies. It is not the journal of the same name. Many a student has gone searching in the wrong place for this one.

I also mention N. T. Wright's "life after life after death" suggestion. The best place to access this in detailed discussion is in his Resurrection of the Son of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, Vol. 3; London: SPCK, 2003), though I am sure there are many popular places to access the same thinking. Indeed, googling for "life after life after death" will turn up a surprising number of hits.

The piece in Josephus to which I refer in passing is War 3.374f:
Do not you know that those who depart out of this life according to the law of nature, and pay that debt which was received from God, when he that lent it us is pleased to require it back again, enjoy eternal fame; that their houses and their posterity are sure, that their souls are pure and obedient, and obtain a most holy place in heaven, from whence, in the revolutions of ages, they are again sent into pure bodies; while the souls of those whose hands have acted madly against themselves are received by the darkest place in Hades, and while God, who is their Father, punishes those that offend against either of them in their posterity? for which reason God hates such doings, and the crime is punished by our most wise legislator.
(Quoted from Whiston for ease of copying and pasting!). Wright discusses this and related material in Resurrection, 129-276 (specifically 176).

6 comments: said...

Thanks for another one!

For what it's worth, Dodd's essays in the book can be accessed on Google Books, though you might not be able to view a few pages. I was able to view Part I in its entirety.

Mark Goodacre said...

Thanks, Henry. That's useful to know. Yes, excellent to be able to catch all of the first essay. Alas, the preview stops just as one is getting near the stuff about eschatology in the second essay. said...

Seems like it creates suspense for the 'previewer'. Great marketing strategy on behalf of Google Books.

I had problems with the comments last night, but I meant to add that there are two copies of the book on Google books for preview. This second copy seems to have a better preview of the second essay. I didn't check but perhaps using the two would allow one to read the entire essay.

Mark Goodacre said...

Henry -- many thanks for that. You are quite right; the second of those links has most of the second essay. Good news!

Greg said...

Dear Mark,

Just a quick note to let you know that your wish has come true. Both original articles are now available online:

Thanks for the interesting podcasts, they are a great educational tool!

Best wishes,

Gergely Juhász
(Liverpool Hope University)

Mark Goodacre said...

Ah, excellent. Many thanks, Gergely.