Writing is humming right along this spring, all thanks to God. I am currently finishing up Section J and ready to turn to J-prime. Only K, K’, L, L’, M, M’, N and N’ to go before crafting a conclusion and an introduction. Before trying to self-publish, I’ll put the work up on a site where potential publishers can consider aspiring manuscripts.
There is much joy along with this hard work. One of the recurring joys is that cumulative observations in the biblical texts, in both Luke and in portions of the Old Testament, affirm that I am in the right comparative place in the text and pursuing a hermeneutic that is theologically productive.
Composition of papers is moving along, but slowly. I am closing in on finishing the first draft of the third paper on Lk 9:51-19:46, which is the fifth paper overall (including those on Lk 4-6 and Lk 7-8). This third paper covers correspondences of Sections D, E, and F to Sections D’, E’, and F’. My slowness in writing arises mostly from the difficulties of theological reflection and expression: I am more adept at analysis.
A word about the game plan for this writing project, a project now in its eighth year of writing. At first I knew that I had to write something about these observations for someone, then it was to be a dissertation for the theological guild. Advised against that (very legitimately), a series of publishable papers seemed to be the right way to go, papers for Greek-literate pastors and other skilled Bible students. On further reflection, the papers on 9:51-19:46 need to appear together to be meaningful to the reader, so the current game plan calls for writing them and assembling them as chapters for a book, probably to be self-published.
The material on 9:51-19:46 may grow to be very lengthy, so the strategy might be to publish this material as one larger book, and also publish the material on Lk 4-8 as a separate smaller book. I appreciate your interest and solicit your comments and ideas.
Those who follow this blog will have noticed much editing of it today, July 6th. The changes have been necessitated by further discoveries in how the chiastic center and Sections A and A’ relate to each other. My earlier version was close to correct, but it was based on several inaccurate suppositions that are now corrected. The need for these changes has emerged as I worked through the first draft of Part One (Sections N, N’, A, and A’) of the paper on Luke 9:51-19:46.
I now recognize two more verses (19:45-46) as part of Section A’.
The language for how Sections N and N’ work with Sections A and A’ has changed, based on the fact that there is no manuscript evidence that 13:31-33 ever appeared with 9:51-56, or that 13:34-35 ever appeared with 19:42-44.
A paper on Luke 4:38-6:19 and another on 7:1-8:56 are now in the third or fourth draft. Part One of the paper on 9:51-19:46 achieved first-draft completion. All of them are out for review by interested friends and I have begun Part Two of the 9:51-19:46 project. At this point I anticipate that the whole project will require seven papers to cover everything.
I hope to find a journal publisher who will accept these papers serially. The papers have turned out to be essays, not full-out academic papers. The main reason is that I do not have the capacity to read and interact with all the secondary literature; I simply have a worthy thesis that needs to enter the conversation about Luke’s Gospel. Hopefully I can present it in a winsome and fair way to gain a hearing in the theological guild and a hearing with pastors and other Bible students.
Soli deo gloria.
Today I completed the first draft of “Take Care How You Hear: Luke 7:1-8:56” (Yay!) and am now soliciting peer reviews before I submit a further draft to a publisher who may be interested. These months of work on two preliminary papers have been generative not only for producing documents but also for clarifying analytical method and for plotting strategy in sequencing my analysis in “the big paper” and perhaps even for turning that paper into a series of papers. If a series of papers, as I’m tending to think, the next paper may put forward the most difficult argument I hope to make, an argument that makes (or breaks) the overall thesis. Although this project is often slow and at times uninspired, I take great joy in studying Luke, studying Jesus, and articulating a thesis about them.
I just completed the second draft of “Disciples and Apostles: Luke 4:38-6:19,” and am putting it out for “peer-review before peer-review.” The paper is one of a proposed two or three dealing with Lukan antecedents to the huge concentric parallelism in Luke 9-19. “Disciples and Apostles” is addressed to pastors and other Bible teachers who work in Greek, showing by means of a sample text how they can identify and validate a concentric form that they may have noticed in the scriptures. After further improvements to this paper and submission for publication, I hope to turn my efforts to the second antecedent paper. All of these papers are postponing major work on the big paper, but, thank the Lord, I am learning and practicing the method that I urge upon Greek-literate teachers, a method that will be foundational to the big paper as well.
Ideas for papers multiply like mice! New ones, barely started, crowd in beside familiar ones not yet done:
“John Albert Bengel’s Chiasmus Advocacy in English Translation of his Gnomon” was rejected by one journal. We plan to submit it elsewhere.
“Macro-Chiasmus in Luke 9:51-19:44” remains uncompleted, awaiting new energy from the completion of other related papers.
“The Roles of Section N/N'” has a good start, but needs to simmer on low heat to sort out some issues of my compositional strategy.
“Antecedant Chiasmus in Luke 4:42-6:19” received my most recent hours of attention, and “Antecedant Chiasmus in Luke 7:1-8:56” is outlined, but not put to writing.
The newest research and writing idea is a way to discover chiastic awareness in Greek authors, from the ancients to those of late antiquity. I happened upon two surprises of this sort recently, and now may have a method to discover more.
But I feel so isolated in this pursuit! I want to find and attend a conference on chiasm in classical and biblical literature! Or, failing that, I masochistically imagine trying to organize just such a conference myself. I solicit your comments about the existence of such a conference.
Life may now be simplifying a bit, allowing me to refocus on the project more this summer. The first major paper is only a few pages longer than it was at my last update. I anticipate a few more months of work on it, including peer-review before peer-review. The paper stands now at about 75 pages and presents a quandary (in addition to finishing it): some say it’s way too long for submission as a paper, and yet there’s more to include before wrapping it up. What to do . . . what to do?
In the meantime I have rewritten an old paper (my first conference paper) to clean up some of its many flaws. I hope to submit it soon to a local academic conference, or possibly use it as a first sortie into submitting for publication in a juried journal. I hope eventually to provide you a link to it. The new title is “John Albert Bengel’s Chiasmus Advocacy in English Translations of his Gnomon.”
Ideally, most mornings until lunch will be spent doing work on Luke. Always a great joy!