Professor Bruce M. Metzger of Princeton Theological Seminary will be known to some readers of BTW as the author of highly acclaimed books on the text, ancient translations and canon of the New Testament. In each of these three books a mass of necessary detail representing a prodigious amount of research is skilfully worked into a readable presentation. One welcomes such books, but sometimes one longs to know something more about the person responsible for them. It was with interest, then, that I came across Metzger's Reminiscences of an Octogenarian (Hendrickson, 1997).

     As the author states, this book is not strictly an autobiography. After chapters summarising his upbringing in Pennsylvania and his subsequent academic career at Princeton, Metzger goes on to describe his involvement in various academic projects: the International Greek New Testament Project, responsible for the standard critical text of the Greek New Testament used by Bible Societies world-wide; the Revised Standard and New Revised Standard translations of the Bible; the Reader's Digest Bible; the Oxford Companion to the Bible. Metzger has been in the thick of biblical scholarship for over 50 years, and much of the work in which he has been involved is fundamental both in the academy and in the church. It was fascinating to me to read this insider's view of what it was like to be involved in such work. Other chapters describe some of the more amusing or bizarre incidents of a scholar's life: the Yonan Codex (a manuscript of the Syriac New Testament which an Iranian businessman tried to sell for about a hundred times its real value in the 1950s); the pastor of a church in North Carolina who publicly burned a copy of the RSV in church, denouncing it as 'a heretical, communist-inspired Bible'; and various literary forgeries, including the alleged fragment of Clement which the late Morton Smith claimed to have discovered, which describes of a 'secret gospel' of Mark. (Morton Smith based extravagant claims about early Christianity on this fragment, which no-one has seen since; Metzger is inclined to agree with those scholars who claim it is a forgery, possibly by Smith himself.)

     I liked this book for the modesty and dry wit with which this distinguished scholar described his involvement in biblical scholarship. I also liked the vision of scholarship which came across from these pages. Metzger emerges as a patient and diligent scholar who refused to take short cuts taken in the interests of quick results; a courteous and humane person; and a man committed to serving the church as well as academic scholarship, who saw no tension between these two callings. These are not values always upheld either in the church or in contemporary biblical scholarship. He must have been a good supervisor: demanding but kindly.

     Lastly, Greek students may be amused by this limerick, one of a number of 'diversions' with which Metzger was wont to enliven his NT Greek classes: 

There was a kind curate of Kew
Who kept a large cat in the pew,
Which he taught every week
Alphabetical Greek,
But got no further than mu.

(Review by Dr Philip Satterthwaite)

 

Make the Year
a Stepping-Stone to Growth

Whatever the new year has in store
Remember there's always a good reason for
Everything that comes into our life,
For even in times of struggle and strife
If we but lift our eyes above
We see 'our cross' as a 'gift of love' ...
For things that cause the heart to ache
Until we feel that it must break
Become the strength by which we climb
To higher heights that are sublime ...
So welcome every stumbling block
And every thorn and jagged rock,
For each one is a STEPPING-STONE
To a fuller life than we've ever known,
And in the radiance of God's smiles
We learn to soar above life's trials ...
So let us accept what the new year brings,
Seeing the HAND of GOD in ALL THINGS,
And as we grow in strength and grace
The clearer we can see God's face.

- Taken from Helen Steiner Rice (Lovingly)

 

COURSES COMMENCING IN 2003. We are just one week away from the new year with 26 courses scheduled in Semester 1. Do pray and consider registering for some courses which commence in Term 1:

  • New Testament Greek I (video class, QSH, commencing 4 Jan)

  • Greek Exegesis I  (video class, QSH, commencing 4 Jan)

  • NT Greek: Basic Research Tools & Methods (video class, QSH, commencing 4 Jan)

  • Better Speech for Leadership & Ministry (NSC, commencing 8 Jan)

  • New Testament Foundations I (video class, QSH, commencing 20 Jan)

  • Biblical Hebrew I (PES, commencing 20 Jan)

  • Teaching & Discipling Through Small Groups (NPC, commencing 21 Jan)

  • Themes from Proverbs (PES, commencing 23 Jan)

  • Self Awareness & Maturity in Christ (Mr Yam Keng Mun, commencing 29 Jan)

  • Masters of the Pulpit (NSC, commencing 5 Feb)

  • The Gospel of Luke (JL, commencing 7 Feb)

  • Personal Ministry Skills (TENT module, Mr J Cortes, commencing 4 Feb)

  • Understanding Culture (TENT module, NPC, commencing 4 Mar) We are just one week away from the new year with 26 courses scheduled in Semester 1. Do pray and consider registering for some courses which commence in Term 1:
    • New Testament Greek I (video class, QSH, commencing 4 Jan)

    • Greek Exegesis I  (video class, QSH, commencing 4 Jan)

    • NT Greek: Basic Research Tools & Methods (video class, QSH, commencing 4 Jan)

    • Better Speech for Leadership & Ministry (NSC, commencing 8 Jan)

    • New Testament Foundations I (video class, QSH, commencing 20 Jan)

    • Biblical Hebrew I (PES, commencing 20 Jan)

    • Teaching & Discipling Through Small Groups (NPC, commencing 21 Jan)

    • Themes from Proverbs (PES, commencing 23 Jan)

    • Self Awareness & Maturity in Christ (Mr Yam Keng Mun, commencing 29 Jan)

    • Masters of the Pulpit (NSC, commencing 5 Feb)

    • The Gospel of Luke (JL, commencing 7 Feb)

    • Personal Ministry Skills (TENT module, Mr J Cortes, commencing 4 Feb)

    • Understanding Culture (TENT module, NPC, commencing 4 Mar)

    Intensive Courses by Guest Lecturers:

    • Introduction to Evangelism & World Mission by Mr Martin Goldsmith, commencing 6 Jan

    • Contextualizing the Gospel by Mr Martin Goldsmith, commencing 7 Jan

    • Creative Writing by Mrs Elizabeth Goldsmith, commencing 7 Jan

    • Clearing the Fog from the Pulpit to the Pew: Biblical Preaching by Dr Alvin Low, commencing 10 Feb

    Legend: QSH - Dr Quek Swee Hwa, PES - Dr Philp Satterthwaite, NPC - Dr Ng Peh Cheng, JL - Dr John Lim, NSC - Rev Ng Seng Chuan.

BGST Council, 

Faculty & Staff

wish all of you

A Joyful Christmas

&

A Blessed New Year!

God's Richest Blessings to our Birthday Stars!

Ms Lim Sio Leng  23/12
Mr Richard Song King Teong  23/12
Mr Tan Keok Hai  23/12
Ms Adelene Ho Hui Hsien  23/12
Mr Beh Soo Yeong  24/12
Dr Chan Shaw Yan  24/12
Mr Jack Lim Choon Haw  24/12
Mrs Christina Ratnam  25/12
Mrs Rina Lai-Teo Wei Fang  26/12
Mr Stephen Yung Tai Yin  26/12
Mr Kithsiri Jayalath  29/12
Rev Jimmy Tan Boon Chai  29/12
Mr Joyce Go Yong  29/12

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This page is updated on 23 Dec 2002 by Leong Kok Weng
    Dec 2002