My CSAR Fellowship in SAIACS, Bangalore

Posted: September 30, 2016 in General

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The Center for South Asian Research (CSAR) is a collaborative program of South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS), Theological Book Network (TBN), and ScholarLeaders International (SLI). I signed a contract with the CSAR to be a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow for a period of five months (i.e., May 1, 2016 till September 30, 2016). In the contract, I agreed to meet the following requirements: first, focus time and energy on the writing, providing regular updates to the CSAR committee; second, participate in the life of the SAIACS community and CSAR programs; third, honor the community expectations during the stay on campus in SAIACS; fourth, publish the research work without further delay; and fifth, provide feedback and evaluation to the CSAR committee. In order to meet the demands, the CSAR provided me the following facilities: first, reimbursement for travel expense (up to USD 500); second, food and lodging through the SAIACS Commons; third, work space with library and internet access; fourth, opportunities to engage in the academic, worship, and social life of the SAIACS campus; and fifth, a stipend of USD 1,000 per month. During my stay in SAIACS, I was engaged in researching on St. Thomas and writing a major part of my book entitled “Didymus Judas Thomas: New Testament, Apocrypha, and Historical Traditions” (a title proposed to T&T Clark/Bloomsbury). My stay in SAIACS during the last five months provided me with access to various resource persons and research avenues. The following are some of the highlights of my CSAR Fellowship.

May 2016: In May, I started the research work in SAIACS based on the Apocryphal Thomas Literature. The library (with its online access) here provided me a large number of materials. I also visited the libraries of The United Theological College, St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Dharmaram Vidhya Kshethram, and The Ecumenical Christian Centre, all in Bangalore. Toward the end of the month, I could finish the first draft of a chapter entitled “Didymus Judas Thomas in the Gospel of Thomas.” In the process, I attempted to connect the Johannine exegesis on Thomas with his characterization in the Gospel of Thomas. One of the highlights during the month was my meeting with Fr. Dr. Lucien Legrand, Professor of New Testament at St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore, who had something important to contribute toward my research project. My family was with me during the first 15 days of my stay in the Guest House provided to us (called Bhakth Singh). I thank my colleagues, Dr. Akumla Longkumer and Dr. Thongkhosei Haokip, for their cordial friendship as they served as fellow-CSAR Scholars. Toward the end of the month, I had an opportunity to present an overview of my research project to the fellow-CSAR Scholars at the CEO Centre, SAIACS, Bangalore.

June 2016: In June, I could finish a first draft of my chapter on “Didymus Judas Thomas in the Book of Thomas the Contender.” As usual, I used the library facilities in SAIACS conveniently. I visited the libraries of The United Theological College, Bangalore, Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, Union Biblical Seminary, Papel Seminary, and Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, all in Pune. Moreover, I visited some of the churches in Bangalore and addressed my research questions to the believing communities. Some of the highlights of the month were my meeting with scholars like Dr. Joseph G. Muthuraj (Professor of New Testament, UTC, Bangalore), Rev. Dr. Mani Chacko (General Secretary of the Bible Society of India), and many others who have something to contribute toward my research project. Special thanks to Rev. Dr. Mani Chacko and Rev. Subramani Subbu for the opportunity to preach at the Bible Society of India, Halls Road, and discuss my research topic with many there.

July 2016: In June, I finished a considerable amount of my work on the chapter entitled “Didymus Judas Thomas in the Acts of Thomas.” Meanwhile, I was invited to share my ideas about Didymus Judas Thomas during the Community Worship services of Southern Asia Bible College/Center for Global Leadership Development, New Life Theological College (Nava Jeeva Ashram), and South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS), all in Bangalore. I also shared my ideas about Thomas during my interactions with individuals and congregations on multifarious occasions in Bangalore and beyond. Some of the highlights of the month was my meeting with scholars like Dr. Stephanie L. Black, visiting faculty at SAIACS, and many others who encouraged me with their thoughts in order to improve my research project.

August 2016: In August, I finished a chapter entitled “Didymus Judas Thomas in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.” I used the library facilities at SAIACS conveniently. Explored the opportunity to interact with Johannine scholar Dr. Cornelis Bennema and discussed with him about the character of Thomas. He provided me with extended knowledge about the methodological issues related to the topic. I was privileged to share my ideas in the form of a research paper entitled “Didymus Judas Thomas in the Gospel of Thomas” during the Doktorklub held in SAIACS. Moreover, I have volunteered to teach the subject “The Person and Work of Jesus” in Rhema Bible College and then engaged in my research project at The Orthodox Theological Seminary, The Mar Thoma Theological Seminary, and The St. Thomas Apostolic Seminary, all in Kottayam. I had several opportunities of personal interactions with church historians and usage of library resources in different theological institutions in Kerala. The church historians like Fr. Dr. T.I. Abraham, Fr. Dr. Jose John, and Fr. Dr. Baby Varghese of Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, were kind enough to discuss with me from their expertise on Thomas. Fr. Dr. James Puliurumpil of St. Thomas Apostolic (Catholic) Seminary, Vadavathoor, Kottayam, discussed with me his knowledge about the person of Thomas and shared his books entitled “History of the Syro-Malabar Church,” “St. Thomas in India: Patristic Evidences,” and “Classic India: Western Accounts before Christ.” These are some of the most useful resources toward the last chapter of my project. My visit to Dharmaram Vidhya Kshetram in Bangalore enabled me to use their library and discuss the topic with Fr. Dr. Saju Chackalackal, Fr. Dr. Francis Thonippara, and Fr. Dr. Joy Philip Kakkanattu. Among them, Fr. Dr. Francis Thonippara gave me a broader overview of scholarly resources related to Thomas.

September 2016: In September, I was revising and realigning various parts of my work to make a final shape. I had privileges of interacting with Dr. Ebenezer D. Dasan about the coming of Thomas in the Gujarat provinces. He provided me with extended knowledge about the Thomasine presence in the North Indian context. Moreover, I shared my ideas about Thomas in my interactions with individuals and with congregations on varied occasions in Bangalore and beyond. I had good times of personal interactions with resource persons like Dr. Peter S. C. Pothan, Dr. Ashokan Bhaskaran, Dr. David Udayakumar, Dr. M. Deivanayagam, Dr. John Arun Kumar, and many others both in Bangalore and in Chennai. They helped me to develop my understanding of resources in the field of Thomas studies. My visits to institutions like Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute (Kilpauk) and “Trust for the Unification of World Religions through Soulology of Tamils” (Ayanavaram), and places like St. Thomas Mount (Periya Malai), Little Mount (Chinna Malai), and Santhome (Mylapore), all in Chennai, helped me to gather further information concerning St. Thomas. As I was heading up toward the completion of my CSAR Fellowship, most of the sessions of the CSAR Advanced Writers’ Workshop (26th till 30th September) helped me further as I am in the process of finalizing the manuscript. Thanks to all the resource persons and participants for their inputs in my life.

My five months in SAIACS were some of the excellent days spent on research, scholarship, and friendship. I owe thanks to many people: Dr. Iain Payne (Principal), Mr. Yesan Sellan (Chief Librarian; Co-ordinator of CSAR program), Mr. Jonathan Rajan (Administrator), and Mr. Tej Paul (Finance Manager) for their supports for my life and exposure in SAIACS and in Bangalore. I thank all the faculty members of SAIACS especially Dr. Idicheria Ninan, Dr. Roji T. George, Dr. William Subash, Dr. John Arun Kumar, and all others for their inputs and help for the smooth development of my research. I thank Dr. Evan Hunter (SLI) and Dr. Nancy Arnison (TBN) for all the supports rendered toward me. Special thanks to Dr. Evan Hunter for the encouragements and inputs during our one-on-one discussions in Atlanta (Georgia), Pasadena (California), and Bangalore, and also his critical comments during our Skype chats. Friends like Rev. Charlie E. George, Rev. Sam George, Rev. Thomas Chacko, Rev. Aniyan Joy Mangalath, Rev. Noble Mathew, and others extended their friendship and encouragements all through the period. I appreciate the student body of SAIACS (also some of the alumni) for their repeated questions concerning my project and continuous inspiration as I was part of the community. I thank the administration, colleagues, and students of The Union Biblical Seminary (UBS) for their helps and motivation toward my writing project. Last but not least, I thank my wife Shyni, daughter Jemimah, and son Jeremiah, for their sacrifice during the span of my writing. Above all, Jesus, My Lord and my God, was my motivation and strength right from the beginning of my academic and ministerial pursuit.

By Johnson Thomaskutty, PhD., Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India

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Herewith I publish a complete list of Fr. Dr. Lucien Legrand’s publications in two posts. See the CV of Fr. Lucien Legrand published earlier as Part One and the list of publications in Part Two.

Continuation of Part Two . . .

2006: (1) “Marian Hermeneutics,” in R.K. Samy ed. Mary in our search for Fullness of Life, Bangalore: NBCLC, 2006, 18-23; (2) “Between Incarnation and Critical Prophetism: Word of God and Cultures,” in Dei Verbum. Catholic Biblical Federation, 78, 1/2006, 8-11; (3) “Parole de Dieu et cultures -la Bible au risque de la rencontre des cultures,” Eglises d’Asie, Document 7, Septembre 2006, pp 21-24; (4) « The Word of God and the Signs of the Times, » in J. Kavunkal and others (ed), Vatican II A Gift and a Task, Mumbai: St Pauls, 2006, pp 153-159; (5) “La Bible traduite en Tamoul,” Biblia, N° 52, Oct 2006, pp 42-45; (6) « Biblical news and no-news, » in St Peter’s Link 2006, pp 53-4; (7) “A Johannine Mission Model,” ITS 43 (2006) pp 253-265; (8) “Globalization and the Gospel,” in Th. Manjaly (ed.), In the Service of Mission. Studies in Honour of Archbishop Thomas Menanparampil, Shillong: Oriens Publications, 2006, pp 89-103; (9) “Missionnaire en Inde,” Missions Etrangères, 2006; (10) “Need, Methods and Structure of Biblical Apostolate,” in Papers Presented at the Annual National Conference, ed. by A. Arul Raj, CCBI Commission for Bible and Catechetics, Bangalore: CCBI; (11) “Our Father in Heaven,” The Divine Shepherd’s Voice, 4/1, 2006, 11-16.

2007: (1) “True to God and True to Man: Expanding our Theological Horizons”: Fr Penven’s Endowment Lectures, ITS 44 (2007), 67-84; (2) “Bread for the Journey,” Jeevadhara 37 (2007), pp 158-165; (3) “Bangalore vue de ma lucarne, » Missions Etrangères de Paris no 418, Mai 2007, 29-31; (4) “Enlarging the Perspectives: Bible and Mission”, in G. Karotemprel (ed.),  Evangelizing in the Third Millenium 1, Third Millenium Series, n°1, Rajkot:  Deepti Publications, 2007, 1-15 (= 163 above); (5) “New Look on St Paul. A few Thoughts on a Recent Book,” ITS 44 (2007), 311-321; (6) “The forthcoming Synod on the Word of God. A few reflections on the LIneamenta,” ITS 44 (2007), 365-676; (7) “Towards an Asian Hermeneutics,” Asian Horizons 1 (2007), 6-17.

2008: (1) “The Word of God in the Mission of the Church,” in A. Peter Abir (ed.), The Word of God Source of Justice and Peace. The Acts of the 5th South Asian Workshop of the Catholic Biblical Federation 2-5 January 2008. Tindivanam, 2008, 39-49; reprint in Dei Verbum, CBF Bulletin 86-87, 1-2/2008, 28-31; (2) “St Paul the Missionary”, Vaiharai 12 (2007) (published in March 2008), 3-16; (3) Korean translation of The Bible on Culture: Belonging or Dissenting?¸ KCBS Literary Agency, Seoul, Sallim Publishing Co. Seoul, 2007; (4) “The Synod on the Word of God: The Instrumentum Laboris,”  Vidyajyothi Journal of Theological Reflection 72/8 (2008), 629-634; (5) “350 years of MEP Mission in Asia: a Few books on a “Beautiful Story,” ITS 45 (2008), 215-222; (6) “A Portrait of St. Paul,” Kristu Jyoti, 24 (2008), 171-183; (7) “The Church Responsibility as regards Biblical Interpretation” in Pauly Kannookadan (ed.), The Proclamation of the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church , Kochi: Liturgical Research Publications (2008), 15-27.

2009: (1) “Paul: Intercultural and Intersocial Christian Identity,” Published in Tamil Translation in I. Raymond Joseph (ed.) Irandayratthil Paul, Tiruchirapalli: St Paul’s Seminary, 2009, 75-92; (2) “Jesus’ Mission Vision,” in Proclaim A Magazine for Missionary Animation, Pontifical Mission Societies, Bangalore, 2009, 12-24; (3) “Paul’s Theology in the Context of Early Christian Pluralism,” in Jnanadeepa. Pune Journal of Religious Studies, vol 12 No 1& 2, Jan & June 2009, 52-65; (4) “CCBI Foundational Talk: Understanding the Word of God,” CCBI News. 21st Plenary Assembly  XX/1, 2009, 14-29; (5) “The Word of God in the Life and Ministry of Priests in India,” in Revisioning Catholic Priesthood, (ed. E. John Kulandai), Bangalore: CCBI Commission for Clergy, 2009, 109-124; reprint in Kristu Jyoti, 25/4, December 2009, 279-299; (6) “Building bridges: Paul’s Intercultural Identity,” ITS 47 (2009), pp 9-21; (7) “Foreign Missions: Are they outdated?” in Missions Etrangères de Paris: The Flame that was lit, Bangalore: St Peter’s Seminary, 2009, 48-50.

2010: (1) « Problèmes Œcuméniques à Corinthe (1 Cor 1,10-13), » in Mission de l’Eglise Hors Série July 2010, pp 23-27 ; (2) “Mission according to St. Paul”, in St. Paul for Today, ed. Stanislas Savarimuthu and David Stanly Kumar, ITS Supplement Series 4, Bangalore: St Peter’s Institute Publications, 2009, pp 36-43; (3) “Jesus and Jesus’ Movement in a Globalized World,” in Theology of Economics in Globalized World, ed. J. Parapally and A. Kalliath, Bangalore: Indian Theological Association and Asian Trading Corporation, 2010, pp 67-86; (4) “145 ans à fêter!”, Missions Etrangères de Paris , N° 453, septembre 2010, 64-65

2011: (1) « Du « lieu-dit des Lentilles » au Diocèse de Bangalore », Missions Etrangères de Paris, N° 458, février 2011, 17-22; (2) « A la Une des Médias en 2010 », Missions Etrangères de Paris, N° 458, février 2011, 8-12; (3) “An Indian Theological Institute: Reminiscences and Prospects,” ITS 48, 2011/1, 7-15); (4) “Acts of the Spirit? Acts of the Word?”, in All by Love. New Vistas in Theological Spirituality, Festschrift in Honour of Prof. Dr. Antony MookenthottamMSFS, ed. Jose Maniparambil and K. Henry Jose MSFS, Tejas Vidya Peetha, Bangalore, 2011, 16-26; (5) « Séminaristes en Inde », Prêtres Diocésains n° 1480, Août-Septembre 2011, 329-331; (6) “From Dei Verbum to Verbum Domini”, Word and Worship, July-Sept 2011, pp 222-230; (7) The God who speaks”, Word and Worship, July-Sept 2011, 231-234; (8) Book Review of George Chemparathy, “La Bible et le Veda comme Parole de Dieu” , ITS 48/4, 2011, 395-400; (9) “Reminiscences of a Librarian,” Petrinews 2011-2012, pp 27-30.

2012: (1) “Biblical Exegesis and Theology” in Tomy Palely and Thomas Manjaly (ed.), Theological Education Transformative Ministry, Shillong: Oriens Publications, 2011, 213-117; (2) “The Pastoral Exhortation Verbum Domini: A new Outlook,” Prabodhana VI, 2012, 7-13.Prabodhana VI, 2012, 7-13; (3) “What is God’s Word?” Prabodhana VI, 2012, 14-19; (4) “Missionary Communication, A Biblical Perspective,in Sebastian  Periannan (ed.), Missionary Communication, Bangalore: ATC, 2012, 3-10; (5) “Faith and Conversion”, ITS 49/3  (Sept 2012), 104-111; (6) “Retrospect and Prospect”, in K. Jesurathnam, and others, Liberation Hermeneutics in the Indian Interpretation of the Bible, Bangalore-Tiruvalla: SBSI-Christava Samithi, 2012, 17-26.

2013: (1) “Jesus Christ as Communicator”, in Religion and Social Communication 10/2, 2012, 158-175; (2) « Bangalore qui brille. Bangalore qui trime », Missions Etrangères de Paris, 480, Février 2013, 13-17; (3) « Vers le Toit du Monde. L’Apport du Père Krick », Missions Etrangères de Paris, 480, Février 2013, 56-59; (4) “‘You shall not make an image’ (Deut 5:8) ’He is the image of the invisible God’ (Col 1:15) Incarnational Esthetics”, Indian Theological Studies 50, Dec 2013, pp. 297-308; (5) “Holy Bible: New Living Translation, Review Article,” Indian Theological Studies 50, Dec 2013, 441-450; (6) The Bible in the on-going formation of Priests,” Word and Worship 46, 2013, 152-162 (actually published in 2014).

2014: (1) « L’Eglise Catholique en Inde en 2013 », Missions Etrangères de Paris, 491, Février 2014, 18-22; (2) « Histoire du Diocèse de Bangalore », Missions Etrangères de Paris, 491, Février 2014, 23-29; (3) « Vatican II: A momentous Event in the History of the Church », Sanyasa. Journal of Consecrated Life, IX/2, July 2014, 9-22; (4) “Studying with a Vision”, ITS LI/2, 147-150; (5) “Review Article: Jose A. Pagola, Jesus an Historical Approximation,” ITS LI/2, 213-221; (6) « Qu’ils soient Un », Entre Nous Bulletin des Equipes Enseignantes 75 (May 2014), 18-20; (7) « That they may be One », Among Us Bulletin des Equipes Enseignantes 75 (July 2014), 19-20; (8) “Word of God, Source of constant renewal of faith,” Word of God Source of Constant Renewal of Faith  Nov 27-30, 2012; Bangalore: CCBI Centre, 2014, 25-29; (9) “Did St Paul Follow a Mission Strategy?”, ITS LI/4, 339-354; (10) “Translation as Communication” (Tamil) in Naanilam Payanura (Festschrift Fr Hieronymus), Thiruchirapalli: Arul Vaaku Mandram, 2014, pp 3-15; (11) “Scripture and Theology: a Gap?” Word and Worship 47/3, 2014, 406-422 (actually January 2015).

2015: (1) « Minorité? et Alors?” Missions Etrangères de Paris, 502, Février 2015, 17-21; (2) “Biblical Perspectives for doing Mission in Contemporary India,” in P. Joseph Titus and Dexter S. Mahen (ed), Bible and Mission. Biblical Perspectives for Doing Mission in Contemporary India, Bangalore: SBSI, Tiruvalla: Christava Sahitya Samithi, 2015, pp 13-19; (3) “Apostolic Missions to the East?” ITS LII (2015/1), 39-48; (4) “Did Jesus Initiate a Radically New Way of Understanding Faith?” in Cleophas Fernandes (ed), Research  Seminar on the Quality of Adult Faith, Bangalore: NBCLC 2015, 24-36; (5) “Faith and Culture in St Paul,” The Living Word 120, 2014/5,307-318; (6) “From House to House” (Acts 20:20): The role of the Family in the Pauline Mission, in P. Joseph Titus and others, Riches of His Glory. Festschrift Aloysius Xavier, Bangalore: Theological Publications of India, 2015, 223-240; (7) “Hermeneutic of Continuity in Lk-Acts”, in A.V.K. Findeis and others ed., He is not far from any of us. Festschrift for Hans-Jürgen Findeis, Bonn: Bier’sche Verlag, 2014, 129-147; (8) “The Encyclical Laudato Si: “Treasures New and Old,” ITS LII (2015/4), 367-376.

2016: (1) “Forgiveness,” in Eugene Joseph (ed.), Peter’s Link, Feb 2016; (2) The Word is near you, Collected Papers, vol. 5, Bangalore: St Peter’s Institute (Indian Theological Studies Supplements 6), pp. xii+ 363; (3) “The First Eucharistic Heresy: 1 Cor 11:17-34,” in Simon Pinto, A. Lawrence, P.V. Antony (ed.), The Master’s Harvest. Festschrift in honour of Prof. Dr Joseph Francis, Bangalore: Asian Trading Corporation, 65-84; (4) “En Inde, les Chrétiens pèsent plus que leur poids réel,” Missions Etrangères de Paris, 513, Février 2016, 18-27; (5) « Holy Spirit in St Paul,» ITS LIII/1, 43-52; (6) “The Father of Jesus as Father of Mercy in the Synoptic Gospels,” Word and Worship 49, 46-58.

Compiled by Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India.

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Herewith I publish a complete list of Fr. Dr. Lucien Legrand’s publications in two posts. See the CV of Fr. Lucien Legrand published earlier as Part One.

1959: (1) “Vidimus Stellam Eius in Oriente”, Clergy Monthly, 23 (1959) 377-384; (2) “La Littérature Tamoule Ancienne”, in Bulletin de la Société des Missions Etrangères, 127 (1959) 679-695.

1960: (1) “The Prophetical Meaning of Celibacy I”, Scripture 12 (1960) 97-105.

1961: (1) “The Prophetical Meaning of Celibacy II”, Scripture 13 (1961) 12-20; (2) “La création triomphe cosmique de Yahvé”, NRT 83 (1961) 449-470; (3) “Matthew 19”, Review for Religious 23 (1961) 705-714.

1962: (1) “Christian Celibacy and the Cross”, Scripture 14 (1962) 1-12; (2) “The Sacrificial Value of Virginity”, Scripture 14 (1962) 65-75; (3) “Christ’s Miracle as ‘Social Work’”, IES 1 (1962) 43-64; (4) “The Spiritual Value of Virginity according to St. Paul”, IES 1 (1962) 175-195; (5) “Fécondité virginale selon l’esprit dans le Nouveau Testament”, NRT (1962) 785-805; (6) “Biblical News”, St. Peter’s Link, 1962, p.19-25.

1963: (1) Biblical Doctrine of Virginity, London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1963; (2) “L’arrière-plan néo-testamentaire de Lc 1,35”, RB 70 (1963) 161-192.

1964: (1) La Virginité dans la Bible, (translation of Biblical Doctrine of Virginity) Lectio Divina, 39, Paris, Cerf, 1964; (2) “Was Jesus Mission-Minded?” IES 3 (1964) 87-104; 190-207; (3) “An Instruction on the Biblical Commission on the Historical Truth of the Gospels”, IES 3 (1964) 311-319; (4) “Une entreprise difficile: traduire la Parole en langue indigène”, Parole et Mission, no 27 (1964) 633-643.

1965: (1) “Clés pour la mission”, Spiritus,  no 24 (1965) 307,338, 352; (2) “The Harvest is Plentiful (Mt 9:37)”, Scripture 17 (1965) 1-9.

1966: (1) “Dimensions missionnaire de la virginité, Spiritus,   no 28 (1966) 258-265; (2) Jungfräulichkeit Nach der Heligen Schrift, (translation of Biblical Doctrine of Virginity) Mainz: Matthias – Grünewald – Verlag, 1966; (3) “Vatican II on Biblical Translation”  IES 5 (1966) 237-247; (4) “Christ Witness of the Father”, Witness Unto Christ, 1 (1966) 146-151.

1967: (1) “Vatican II et la traduction des Ecritures”, RB 74 (1967) 413-422; (2) “Word and Worship: Two Aspects of One Mystery”, Word and Worship, I (1967) 12-16; (3) “Word and Worship: Two Aspects of One Mystery”, Word and Worship, I (1967) 46-50; (4) “Creation as Cosmic Victory of Yahweh”, in D. J. McCarthy and W. B. Callen, Modern Biblical studies: An Anthology from Theology Digest, Milwaukee: Bruce, 1967, p. 62-69 (Translation and digest of the article, “La création”, NRT 83 (1961) 445-470); (5) “Biblical News”, St. Peter’s Link , 1967, p. 5-9.

1968: (1) “Bible and Cinema”, Word and Worship, 2 (1968) 167-173; (2) “The Prayer of the Apostle”, Clergy Monthly  32 (1968) 184-186; (3) “St. Paul and Christian Unity”, Clergy Monthly 32 (1968) 38-40; (4) “Faith and the Church”, Clergy Monthly 32 (1968) 91-92; (5) “I Went to Arabia”, Clergy Monthly 32 (1968) 138-139; (6) “Paul and Barnabas: Priestly Brotherhood”, Clergy Monthly 32 (1968) 232-233; (7) “Only that We Should Remember the Poor”, Clergy Monthly 32 (1968) 279-280; (8) “L’Evangile aux Bergers. Essai sur le Genre littéraire  de Luc II, 8-20”, RB 75 (1968) 161-187; (9) “Bienfaisance et Bonne Nouvelle” Spiritus, no 34 (1968) 155-161.

1969: (1) La doctrina biblica de la virginidad, (translation of Biblical Doctrine of Virginity, Collection Biblia Y Kerygma: Temas de Pastoral Biblica, no. 6,  Estella (Navarra), Editorial Verbo Divino, 1969 (2 reprints); (2) “Survey: Biblical Studies in India”, IES 8 (1969) 68-71; (3) “A Biblical Catechism in the 18th Century”, IES (1969) 314-316.

1970: (1) “Biblical News”, St. Peter’s Link, 1970, p. 43-45.

1971: (1) “The Humanism of Isaiah”, IES 10 (1971) 204-209; (2) “The New Translation of the Lord’s Prayer”, Word and Worship , 4 (1971) 21-27; (3) “Saint Paul et le Célibat”, in J. Coppens, Sacerdoce et Célibat: Etudes historiques et théologiques, BETL XXVIII, Gembloux: Editions Duculot, 1971, p. 316-331.

1972: (1) “The New Testament at Qumran?”,   IES 11 (1972) 157-166; (2) “The Biblical Movement in India”, Scripture Bulletin, 4 (1972) 4-5; (3) “‘Thou Shalt Not Utter the Name of Jahweh in Vain’” Word and Worship , 5 (1972) 154-155; (4) “The Hymns from the Book of Revelation in the New Office”, Word and Worship  5 (1972) 156-165; (5) “Prayer in the prophets”, Jeevadhara 2 (1972) 109-118; (6) “And on Earth Peace to Men He Loves”, S. P. News, 1 (1972) 7-9.

1973: (1) Good News and Witness, (in Collaboration with J. Pathrapankal and M. Vellanickal) Bangalore: TPI, 1973; (2) “Catholic Bible Translation in India”, Word and Worship  6 (1973) 110-120; (3) “Acts 13:1-3 and the Mission Theology of Luke”, in J. Pathrapankal (ed.), Service and Salvation, Bangalore: TPI, 1973, p.125-131; (4) “Evangelization- Some Scriptural Insights, in Light and Life We Seek to Share, Bangalore: The Church Extension Commission, 1973, p. 884-87; (5) “The Missionary Significance of  the Areopagus Speech”, in G. Gispert-Sauch (ed.), God’s Word Among Men: Theological Essays in Honour of Joseph Putz, Delhi: Vidyajoti, 1973, p.59-71; (6) Biblical Apostolate in India, Bangalore: NBCLC, 1973; (7) “Biblical News”, St. Peter’s Link, 1973, p. 51-57.

1974: (1) “Biblical News”, St. Peter’s Link, 1974, p. 36-38; (2) “Inspiration of the Non-Biblical Scriptures”, Word and Worship 7 (1974) 316-322; (3) “Letter and Spirit: The Role of the Book in the Christian Economy, in D. S. Amalorpavadass (ed.), Research Seminar on Non-Biblical Scriptures, Bangalore: NBCLC, 1974, p. 63-77; (4) “Prophetic Dimension of Vocation for Evangelization in India”, Search, 2 (1974) 3-10.

1975: (1) “St. Paul as Pastor”, St. Peter’s Link, 1975, p. 32-36; (2) “An Ecumenical Conference on Christology”, Vidyajoti 39 (1975) 223-227; (3) “Bulletin: The Resurrection of Christ”, Biblebhasyam 1 (1975) 247-255; (4) “Christological Issues In The New Testament”, IndJT 24 (1975) 72-78; (5) “The Tragedy of Man According to St. Paul”, Jeevadhara 5 (1975) 135-147; (6) “Prayer in the Bible” in D. S. Amalorpavadass (ed.), Praying Seminar, Bangalore: NBCLC, p.67-75.

1976: (1) “Local Church and the Universal Church in the Acts of the Apostles”, Vidyajoti  40 (1976) 289-298; (2) “Women’s Ministries in the New Testament”, Biblebhasyam  2 (1976) 286-299; (3) “Lectures de la  Bible en Inde” Spiritus, 63 (1976) 171-176; (4) “From ‘Twelve’ to the Apostles”, in D. S. Amalorpavadass (ed.), Ministries in the Church in India: Research Seminar and Pastoral Consultation, New Delhi: CBCI Centre, 1976, p. 174-187; (5) “Did Jesus Stand for Freedom or for Obedience?”, St. Peter’s Link, 1976, p. 3-6.

1977: (1) “Research on Ministries in India”, ITS 14 (1977) 133-143; (2) “News and Comments: The Good News Bible”, ITS 14 (1977) 309-317. Reprinted in Bible Translator, 29 (1978) 331-336; (3) “Biblical Anthropology or Anthropologies?”, ITS 14 (1977) 349-367; (4) “Virginity in the Bible”, Biblebhasyam 3 (1977) 178-191; (5) “A Biblical Approach to the Charismatic Renewal”, Word and Worship 10 (1977) 57-64.

1978: (1) “The Church in the Acts of the Apostles”, Biblebhasyam (1978) 83-97; (2) “Bible, Theology and Preaching”, Word and Worship 11 (1978) 348-355.

1979: (1) “Bare-Foot Apostles? The Shoes of St. Mark (Mk 6:8-9 and Parallels), ITS 16 (1979) 201-219; (2) “Les Devanciers de Paul dans la Mission selon les Actes des Apôtres”, in L. De Lorenzi (ed.), Paul de Tarse Apôtre de notre Temps, Monographic Series of Benedictina, 1979, Rome: St. Paul’s Abbey, p. 61-74.

1980: (1) “Gospel and Politics” Word and Worship 13 (1980) 295-300; (2) “How New is ‘New Hermeneutics’”, Journal of Dharma    (1980) 94-108.

1981: (1) L’annonce à Marie (Lc 1,26-38): Une apocalypse aux origines de l’évangile, Lectio Divina, 106, Paris: Cerf, 1981; (2) “‘There is neither Slave nor Free, Neither Male nor Female’: St. Paul and Social Emancipation”, ITS 18 (1981) 135-163; (3) “The Meaning of a Post-Graduate Course on Scripture in the Context of the Indian Church”, ITS 18 (1981) 289-296; (4) “An Islamic Christology: The Apocryphal Gospel of Barnabas”, ITS 18 (1981) 354-364; (5) “The Unknown God of Athens (Acts 17 and the Religion of the Gentiles)”, Vidyajoti, 45 (1981) 222-231; (6) “From the Heart of God to the Ends of the Earth”, Ind. Missi. Rev.   (1981) 119-128; (7) “The Unknown God of Athens: Acts 17 and the Religion of the Gentiles”, IndJT , 30 (1981) 158-167; (8) “‘Ni esclave, ni homme libre, ni homme ni femme’: St. Paul et l’émancipation  sociale”, Spiritus, 85 (1981) 395-415 (Translation of the article, “There is neither Slave nor Free”, ITS 18 (1981) 135-163); (9) “Jesus an Essene?”, in Christianity in India: It’s True Face, New Delhi: Commission for Evangelization, 1981, p. 10-16; (10) “Jesus’ Vision of the New Community”, in D. S. Amalorpavadass (ed.) The Indian Church in the Struggle for a New Society, Bangalore: NBCLC, 1981, p. 575-578; (11) “Grace in Luke-Acts”, in Divine Grace and Human Response, Studies in Christian and Hindu Spirituality, 2, Bangalore: Aseervanam, 1981, p. 287-297.

1982: (1) “On l’appela du Nom de Jésus (Luc II, 21)”, RB 82 (1982) 481-491; (2) “Christ the Fellow Traveler. The Emmaus Story in Lk 24: 13-35”, ITS 19 (1982) 33-44; (3) “The Structure of Acts 2: The Integral Dimensions of the Charismatic Movement According to Luke”, ITS 19 (1982) 193-209; (4) “The Christmas Story in Lk 2:1-7”, ITS 19 (1982) 289-317; (5) “The Spirit, the Mission and the Church”, Biblebhasyam  8 (1982) 204-215; (6) “Etudes bibliques et inculturation en Inde”, Lettre Inter- églises, Paris, no. 26 (1982) 5-9.

1983: (1) “Inculturation and Biblical Studies in India”, ITS 20 (1983) 61-70; (2) “Indian Lines of Approach to the Bible: A Seminar, ITS 20 (1983) 368-369; (3) “The Mission Today: A Congress of Missionary Theology”, ITS 20 (1983) 370-381; (4) “Twenty Years of Biblical Renewal”, Vidyajoti  47 (1983) 484-494; (5) “Theological Issues in the Tribes of Yahweh by N. K. Gottwald: Four Critical Reviews”, in N. K. Gottwald (ed.), The Bible and Liberation: Political and Social  Hermeneutics,  New York: Orbis, 1983, p.184-189.

1984: (1) “The Biblical Landscape: New Horizons in Biblical Exegesis”, ITS 21 (1984) 205-224; (2) “Conclusions to the Indian Readings of the Bible”, ITS 21 (1984) 398-402; (3) “Images de la Mission dans le Nouveau Testament”, Spiritus, 94 (1984) 17-24; (4) “Images of the Mission in the New Testament”, Tripod 21 (1984) 52-61 (Translation of the article, “Images de la Mission”, Spiritus, 94 (1984) 17-24); (5) “La Mission: Racines bibliques, tendances actuelle, images de la mission dans le Nouveau Testament”, Document Inter – églises, Paris, 1984, p.12-26.

1985: (1) “Deux Voyages: Lc 2,41-50; 24,13-33”, in A Cause de l’Evangile: Mélanges offerts à Dom Jacques Dupont, Lectio Divina, 123, Paris, 1985; (2) “Les jeunes Eglises”, in Claude Savart and Jean Noël Aletti (eds.) Le Monde Contemporain et la Bible: Bible de tous les temps, Paris: Beauchesne, 1985, p. 339-350.

1986: (1) “The Parables of Jesus viewed from the Dekkan Plateau”, ITS 23 (1986) 154-170; (2) “The Missionary Command of the Risen Christ: Mission and Resurrection”, ITS 23 (1986) 290-309; (3) “L’étranger dans la Bible”, Spiritus, no 102 (1986) 57-67; (4) “New Trends in Bible Translation”, in Seminar on the Interconfessional Tamil Bible Translation, Tindivanam: TNBCLC, 1986, p. 7-9.

1987: (1) “The Missionary Command of the Risen Lord: Mt 28:16-20”, ITS 24 (1987) 5-28; (2) “Aratos est-il aussi parmi les prophètes?” in La vie de la Parole, Mélanges Grelot, Paris, Desclée, 1987, p. 241-258.

1988: (1) Le Dieu qui vient: La Mission dans la Bible, Paris, Desclée, 1988; (2) “Gospel Spirituality”, Salesian Journal of Spirituality, no. 3 (1988) 312-324; (3) “Vocation à la mission dans le  Nouveau Testament”, Spiritus, no. 113 (1988) 339-352; (40 “Situation de la théologie en Inde”, Echange France – Asie, Dec. 1988, p. 1-19.

1989: (1) “The Angel Gabriel and Politics”, ITS 26 (1989) 1-21; (2) “From Apostle to Pastor: St. Paul’s Pastoral Itinerary”, ITS 26 (1989) 152-170; (3) “Gospel Spirituality”, ITS 26 (1989) 231-243; (4) “Power in the Bible”, Jeevadhara 19 (1989) 43-56; (5) “Alcuni aspetti missionari di 2 Corinti” in Lorenzo De Lorenzi (ed.) The Diakonia of the Spirit: 2 Cor 4:7-7:4, Monographic Series of Benedictina, no. 10, Rome: Benedictina, 1989, p. 305-325; (6) Il Dio che viene. La Missione nelle Bibbia, (translation of Le Dieu qui vient), Rome: Edizioni Borla, 1989.

1990: (1) Unity and Plurality: Mission in the Bible, (translation of Le Dieu qui vient: La Mission dans la Bible) New York:  Orbis, 1990 (awarded in 1991 First Prize, Book Award of the Catholic Publishers’ Association in the Scripture Section, US); (2) “L’itinéraire spirituel de Saint Paul”, Spiritus,  no. 121(1990) 415-435.

1991: (1) The God Who Comes: Mission in the Bible,  Quenzon City (Philippines): Claretian Publications, 1991 (translation of Le Dieu qui vient: La Mission dans la Bible), reprint of Unity and Plurality: Mission in the Bible from New York:  Orbis, 1990, under the present title; (2) “‘Celui qui invoquera le nom du Seigneur sera sauvé’ (Actes 2:17-21)” in Ta parole est ma joie, Mélanges bibliques offerts au Père Léonard Ramaroson, Institut Supérieur de Théologie, Ambatoroka – Antananarivo, 1991, p. 61-72.

1992: (1) Unity and Plurality: Mission in the Bible, (translation of Le Dieu qui vient: La Mission dans la Bible) First Indian Edition of Unity and Plurality: Mission in the Bible from New York:  Orbis, 1990,  by Isvahani Publication, Pune, 1992. Reprint  1994; (2) “Towards an Ecological Hermeneutic”, ITS 29 (1992) 150-151; (3) “The Good Shepherd in the Gospel of Mark”, ITS 29 (1992)  234-255; (4) “Angels’ Songs or Rachel’s Dirge:: A Christmas Meditation”, ITS 29 (1992)   281-290; (5) “La finale de Marc comme récit d’annonce?”, in A. de la Fuente Adanez (ed.), Christus Natus, Festschrift to Salvador Munoz Iglesias,  Estudios Biblicos 50 (1992) 457-474 ; (6) “Inculturation, quelques points de repères bibliques”, Lettre Inter – églises, Paris, 02/ 1992, p. 13-20.

1993: (1) “The Way of the Magi and the Way of the Shepherds: A Christmas Meditation”, ITS 30 (1993) 313-318.

1994: (1) “National Consultation on Mission”, ITS 31 (1994) 71-73; (2) “Persian Bible in India”, ITS 31 (1994) 158-161; (3) “‘Word was Made Flesh’: A Christmas Meditation, ITS 31 (1994) 293-296.

1995: (1) “Gal 2:10 ‘We Should Remember the Poor’, Conclusion of Jerusalem Synod”, ITS 32 (1995) 161-173; (2) “The Bible and the Religions of the Nations”, ITS 32 (1995) 301-306; (3) “Bethlehem Then and Now: A Christmas Meditation”,  ITS 32 (1995) 301-306; (4) “Jésus et l’église primitive: Un éclairage biblique”, Spiritus, no 138 (1995) 64-77; (5) “Gal 2:9 and the Missionary Strategy of the Early Church” in Tord Fornberg (ed.) Bible, Hermeneutics, Mission, Uppsala: Swedish Institute  for Missionary Research, 1995, p. 21-83; (6) “The Visitation in Context”, in Tord Fornberg (ed.), Texts and Contexts: Biblical texts in Their Textual and Situational contexts, Uppsala: Scandinavian University Press, 1995, p.129-146; (7) “Christic Advaita” in Vandana Mataji (ed.), Shabda Shakti Sangam, Rishikesh: Jeevan-Dhara Sadhana Kutir, 1995, p. 133-139; (8) “Why new Bible Translations?” in Thiruvivilam Pudhu Mozhipayarpu: Ninaivu Malar, Tindivanam: TNBCLC, 1995, p. 50-53.

1996: (1) “Good News in the Shepherd’s Field”, ITS  33 (1996) 356-366; (2) “Biblical Scholarship on Historical Jesus”, Jeevadhara  26 (1996) 87-106; (3) “Conversion in the Bible: A Dialogical Process”, in J. Mattam and S. Kim (eds.), Mission and Conversion: A Reappraisal, Bombay: St. Paul’s, 1996, p. 17-30; (4) “Rencontres kénotiques de Jésus, Spiritus, no 142 (1996), 40-49.

1997: (1) “Inculturation and Hermeneutics”, Ind. Missi. Rev  19 (1997) 5-18.

Addenda (ajouter à la bibliographie donnée dans IndThStudies 1997): (1) 6bis “A Pioneer of Biblical Revival, Fr L.H. Vincent, O.P.” Clergy Monthly 25 (1961), 95-100; (2) 56bis “The Good News at the Crib,” The Examiner, 124 (1973), 803-805; (3) 62bis (=157). “The Authority of Scripture in the Modern Period: Roman Catholic Developments”, Indian Journal of Theology 23 (1974), 78-84; (4) 95bis (=158) “Spirituality of Social Action: Biblical Input”, Spirituality of Social Action, Caritas India, 30-41; (5) 101bis (=159) “Issues in the Roman Catholic Approach to Hermeneutics Today”, Indian Journal of Theology  31 (1982), 192-202; (6) 156bis (=160).”Jules Monchanin et le Père Amalorpavadass,” Jules Monchanin (1895-1957). Regards Croisés d’Occident et d’Orient, Lyon: Profac-Credic, 377-380.

1997: (1) “A Model of Monastic Life in the Acts of the Apostles”, in F.V. Tiso (ed.), The Sign beyond all Signs. Christian Monasticism in Dialogue with India, Bangalore: Aseervanam Benedictine Monastery, 1997, 57-65; (2) “Good News of the Kingdom or Good News of Jesus-Christ?” Studia Missionalia, 46 (1997), 213-225.

1998: (1) “Enlarging the Perspectives: Bible and Mission”, Third Millenium 1 (1998), 4-16.

1999: (1) “Jesus at the Age of Twelve: Epilogue or Prologue”, Vaiharai 4 (1999), 103-112; (2) “Good News, Kingdom, Conversion”, Ishvani Documentation 17 (1999), 327-332 (reprint in Kristu Jyoti 17/2 [2001], 106-114); (3) “The Parish as an Evangelizing Community”, Church Community Diocesan Seminar Kit, Kristu Jayanthi 2000; (4) “The God of Small Things”, ITS 36 (1999), 293-299.

2000: (1) “Jubilé dans le Nouveau Testament”, Bulletin MEP; (2) “Sois sans crainte, petit troupeau”, Spiritus 158 (2000), 3-14; (3) “On the island of Patmos, on the Lord’s Day” ITS 37 (2000),107-123; (4) “La Visitation de Marie,” Aspects du Christianisme à Madagascar, 8, Septembre 2000, 32-46  (= French Translation of 149); (5) “Caesar Augustus (Lk 2:1): Jesus’ Nativity and Politics, Indian Interpretation of the Bible (Festschrift in Honour of Prof. Joseph Pathrapankal), ed. Augustine Thottakara, Bangalore: Dharmaram Publications, 2000, 403-418; (6) The Bible on Culture, Belonging or Dissenting? New York: Orbis Books (Faith and Culture Series), pp. xvii + 190 (2d printing, 2004); (7) Christmas Then and Now, Christmas Meditations, Mumbai: St Pauls, pp. 118. English publication by ST Pauls Publishing, London, 2002; (8) “Parish as an Evangelizing Community,” Kit Evangelisation 2000 CBCI.

2001: (1) L’Apôtre des Nations ? Paul et la Stratégie Missionnaire des Eglises Apostoliques, (LectioDivina 184); Paris: Editions du Cerf, pp. 153; (2) The Bible on Culture (Indian reprint, Bangalore: TPI); (3) The Word is near you, Collected Papers, vol.1, Bangalore: St Peter’s Institute (Indian Theological Studies Suplements 3), pp. 423; (4) “Great People”?…”Little Flock”?, Jeevadhara 31, 60-68.

2002: (1) “Mission Trinitaire, Mission Universelle,” Mission de l’Eglise 134, pp. 14-18 (reprint in Missions Etrangères de Paris 366, 33-37). English translation “Trinitarian Mission: Universal Mission,” ITS 39 (2000), 109-115; (2) « Par-delà l’Occident d’autres Champs Missionnaires », Monde de la Bible 141 (mars 2002), 29-33. Reprint in M.F. Baslez (ed.), Les Premiers Temps de l’Église, Folio Histoire, Gallimard, 2004, 418-425; (3) « Philippe et l’éthiopien », Les Essentiels. Cahiers de la Vie Catholique, Octobre 2002, x-xiii; (4) The Word is near you, Collected Papers, vol.2, Bangalore: St Peter’s Institute (Indian Theological Studies Supplements 3), pp. 530; (5) “L’Action de l’Esprit en Asie,” Missions Étrangères, 323-325.

2003: (1) « Communication and the Bible », Indian Theological Studies 37 (2003), 9-17; (2) “Défis et Promesses d’une Théologie asiatique : le cas de l’Inde », Questions Actuelles 31, Mai-Juin 2003, 20-25 ; Églises d’Asie Dossiers et Documents, 3/2003, 16-20 ; (3) « Théologie en Inde », Esprit et Vie 87, Août 2003, 1-7 ; (4) « Rm 1.11-15 (17) : Proemium ou Propositio?» New Testament Studies, 49, 566-572; (5) “Higher Biblical Studies in an Asian Setting”, Vidya Jyothi 67 (2003);, 961-966.

2004: (1) “Indian Approaches to Bible Interpretation, Review and Prospects” Word and Worship 37, 39-51; (2) “The Passion of the Christ,” ITS 41 (2004), 105-109; (3) “Review Article: Une Amitié Sacerdotale. Monchanin-Duperray,” ITS 41 (2004), 181-193; (4) “Fundamentalism,” Dei Verbum 70-71 (1-2 2004) 9-17; (5) The Word is near you, Collected Papers, vol. 3, Bangalore: St Peter’s Institute (Indian Theological Studies Supplements 3), pp. 494; (6) “Biblical Dimensions of Mission,” in Siluvai Ignaci (ed.) National Seminar on the Role of Pontifical Missions Societies. Launching Evangelization into the Third Millennium in India, Bangalore: Pontifical Mission Societies, pp. 34-41; (7) “Indian Theology and Holy Scripture,” in The Living Word, 110/5, 2004, pp 252-262.

2005: (1) “Translation and Inculturation,” in Johnson J. Puthenpurackal (ed.), ‘Going to the Roots’ A multi-Disciplinary Study. Festschrift in honour of Dr K. Luke, o.f.m.cap., Bangalore: Asian Trading Corporation, 2005, pp195-208; (2) “Inculturation in the Bible,” in Mario Saturnino Dias (ed.), Rooting Faith in Asia. Source Book for Evangelization, Quezon City: Claretian Publications, 2005, 209-222; (3) “An Easter Meditation. ‘To know Him and the power of His Resurrection (Phil 3:10),” ITS 42, 9-14; (4) “Missionary Communication: a Biblical Perspective,” ITS 42, pp 132-146; (5) “Universel Biblique et Jésus-Christ. Un point de vue biblique Indien”, Théophilyon X, 2005, pp 325-335; (6) « Catholic Biblical Association in India : Past, Present and Future, » Word and Worship 38, 2005, pp 344-350.

Will be continued (. . . Part Three)

Compiled by Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India.

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It was my privilege to meet Fr. Dr. Lucien Legrand at his office in St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary in Bangalore, India, in May 2016. He is a great New Testament scholar who dedicated his life for the sake of the church and of academia. Here, I am happy to let you know his amazing contribution in the field of biblical scholarship.

Fr. Dr. Lucien Legrand, MEP (Missions Etrangères de Paris) was born on 10th November 1926 at Mons-en-Baroeul in France. He completed his seminary studies in Catholic Institute of Paris (BTh) and Gregorian University of Rome (LTh). He was ordained on 29th June 1950 and then appointed as a priest to the Diocese of Salem in India. During the period between 1950 and 1953, Fr. Lucien completed his Biblical Studies in Rome (Biblical Institute: LSS) and Jerusalem (Ecole Biblique et Archéologique Française: Diploma). In June 1955, he was appointed at St. Peter’s Seminary in Bangalore, India. During the period between 1973 and 1978, he served as a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission in Rome. In 1979, he received his DD from Institut Catholique (Paris) and Doctorate in History of Religions from Sorbonne University (France). During his career, he served as a visiting professor at The United Theological College in Bangalore and at various seminaries and theological centres in India and abroad. Fr. Lucien conducted lectures, seminars, and retreats in Belgium, Cambodia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Korea, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and other countries.

Fr. Lucien’s publications include several books on biblical exegeses and theology in English and in French: (1) L’Annonce à Marie (Lc 1, 26-38; Lectio Divina 106; Paris: Cerf, 1981); (2) Unity and Plurality: Mission in the Bible (New York: Orbis Books, 1990), won the first prize of the Catholic Press Association 1991 Book Award (Scripture); (3) The Bible on Culture (New York: Orbis Books, 2000), won the second prize of the same Catholic Press Association 2001 Book Award; and (4) Paul et la Stratégie Missionnaire des Églises Apostoliques (Lectio Divina 184 ; Paris: Cerf, 2001). His articles are published in various scholarly periodicals in English, French and Italian, and presently translated in English as a series called The Word is Near You: Collected Papers of Lucien Legrand MEP, published by St Peter’s Pontifical Institute, Bangalore (vol. 1 [2000]; vol. 2 [2001]; vol. 3 [2005]; vol. 4 [2010]; and vol. 5 [2015]).

By Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune.

st.thomasThe proposed title of the monograph is “Didymus Judas Thomas: New Testament, Apocrypha, and Historical Traditions.” A contract is signed with Bloomsbury T&T Clark (Bedford Square, London) to publish the monograph in the “Jewish and Christian Texts” Series edited by James H. Charlesworth. The word limit is 120,000 and the manuscript delivery date is February 28, 2017. The monograph will also have a Foreword by James H. Charlesworth of Princeton Theological Seminary. I was privileged to get the following fellowships to continue my project: Global Research Institute (GRI) Fellowship of Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California; Foundation on Judaism and Christian Origins (FJCO) Fellowship, Princeton, New Jersey; and Centre for South Asia Research (CSAR) Foundation in Bangalore, India, a collaborative program of ScholarLeaders International, Theological Book Network, and South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies. Above all, I once again express my thanks to Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, for granting me sabbatical leave from October 1, 2015 till September 30, 2016.

This monograph is the first study of the Thomas Traditions in the East from an interdisciplinary methodology. The focal question is as follows: Are the Thomas traditions in the Gospel of John, in the apocryphal Thomas compositions, and the early Thomas Traditions in Southwest India purely legendary (as biblical scholars have assumed) or do they preserve unexamined historical traditions intermittently (as the Thomas Christians in India have assumed)?

Didymus Judas Thomas is one of the most misunderstood characters from the beginning of the New Testament history and interpretation. The nickname ascribed to Thomas (as “doubting Thomas”) is mostly accepted as a synonym for ‘doubt,’ ‘unbelief,’ and ‘lack of devotion.’ The general tendency of studying the character from the New Testament, Apocrypha, and historical traditions, independently from one another, led the interpreters aloof from a broader understanding of the character. The dichotomy of studying the character of Thomas independently from within the limits of canonical, apocryphal, and historical disciplines created a lot of gaps within the area of Thomas studies. This situation persuades us to look at the Thomas literature comprehensively to understand the character from a broader perspective.

The current study is intended to address the following questions: Whether Thomas was a merely a ‘doubting Thomas’ or he was a ‘genuine Thomas’? Did we understand Thomas comprehensively by bridging the New Testament, Apocrypha, and historical traditions together? Or did we understand him only through disciplinary perspectives? How an interdisciplinary perspective can help us to understand the character comprehensively? How was Thomas connected to the Eastern Christianity and how does the Thomas literature support/not support this connectivity? Can we understand the Thomas traditions related to Judea, Syria, and India with the help of canonical, extra-canonical, and traditio-historical documents? These questions have to be adequately dealt with in the process of exploring the Thomas literature. The task of the study is threefold: investigate the development of the Thomas literature right from the beginning, understand the peculiar approaches and methodologies of interpreting Thomas documents, and analyze the Thomas literature integratively to understand the character and his mission involvements.

Thanks to my friends, colleagues, students, and family members for your love and support.

Johnson Thomaskutty, Bangalore, India.

FJCO Fellowship for Thomas Research

Posted: April 20, 2016 in General

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Prof. James H. Charlesworth is the first scholar who inspired me to write a book on Apostle Thomas with an eastern perspective. After my fruitful time with him in Princeton Theological Seminary (as a ThM student; 2004-2005), at École biblique archéologique française de Jérusalem to plan my Thomas project (June 2013), and during the SBL/AAR meetings in Atlanta, Georgia (November 2015), I was fortunate to receive a Fellowship from Foundation on Judaism and Christian Origins (FJCO) to have a further consultation with him at Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey, and other scholars in Boston University and Harvard Divinity School in Massachusetts. I was granted a Fellowship for the period of April 1-24, 2016, to fulfill the research requirements before my departure to India. The book entitled “Didymus Judas Thomas: New Testament, Apocrypha, and Historical Traditions” shall be published by T & T Clark (Bloomsbury) with a Foreword chapter of Prof. James H. Charlesworth. I press hard to finish the project by the end of 2016. The following are the highlights of my time in Princeton, Boston, Harvard, and other areas in New England and Tri-state areas of the United States of America.

On April 5, 2016, an appointment was scheduled with Prof. Dana L. Robert, Truman Collins Professor of World Christianity and History of Mission and Director of the Center for Global Christianity and Mission at Boston University, Massachusetts. Her suggestion to connect Thomas of the earlier traditions (i.e., Thomas of the biblical history and historical traditions) with the twenty-first century Thomas communities (especially the Diaspora Indian communities) was helpful to bypass the odds of the Middle Ages. I appreciate her view that as “Children of Thomas” we need to trace back to our earlier history rooted in the person and work of Thomas.

On April 6, 2016, I was invited by Prof. Karen L. King, Hollis Professor of Divinity, as a resource person at Harvard Divinity School. I was interviewed by her and the whole section was filmed at the Harvard EdX studio in Harvard Square. It was scheduled for the course “World Religions [Christianity] Through Their Scriptures.” It was done on the topic “Thomas Christianity in India.” An edited version of the interview shall appear on the site of Harvard University shortly. I also had good interactions with Prof. Francis X. Clooney, S. J. (Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions) and Prof. Charles M. Stang (Professor of Early Christian Thought) at the university. The suggestions by Karen L. King, Francis X. Clooney, and Charles M. Stang were significant toward the progress of my research.

The following were the three questions posed by Prof. Karen L. King during the interview: first, I understand that Christianity came to the Malabar Coast of India very early, at least within the first few centuries after the death of Jesus.  Please tell us more about the early history of Christianity in India; second, would you say more about what Thomas Christianity is like?  [i.e., how would you characterize its core character and distinctive features to our global audience?  You might choose to talk about early tradition or your own contemporary tradition.  Perhaps an anecdote that conveys this sense?]; and third, as I understand it, there are more than 70 million Christians in India today. What would you say is the most important issue these Christians are facing? I had twenty-five to thirty minutes to answer these questions.

My stay in closer proximity with Prof. James H. Charlesworth helped me to develop my research with a lot of insights from him. His reflections from historical, literary, and archaeological insights shall definitely strengthen my arguments during the course of my writing. With that intention I stayed at the Erdman Center of Princeton Theological Seminary another time as a “Thomas Researcher.” Meanwhile, I was fortunate to meet other scholars of the seminary. On April 12, 2016, an appointment was scheduled with Prof. Dale C. Allison Jr., Richard J. Dearborn Professor of New Testament at PTS. We had a detailed interaction about St. Thomas from the New Testament, Apocryphal, and Historical perspectives.

On the same day afternoon, I met with Prof. George L. Parsenios, Associate Professor of New Testament at PTS. We could discuss the poem of Romanos the Melodis (6th century) about Thomas. The prelude of the poem progresses as follows: “With his meddling right hand, Thomas explored your life-giving side, Christ God; for the doors being shut when you entered, he cried out with the rest of the apostles, ‘You are our Lord and our God.’” Also we discussed Bentley Layton’s “The Gnostic Scriptures: Ancient Wisdom for the New Age.” Part Four of the book, i.e., “The School of St. Thomas,” was insightful.

On the same day evening, it was my pleasant surprise that I was invited by Prof. James H. Charlesworth to attend the PhD seminar on “Early Judaism (NT5050): Jesus Tradition and the Dead Sea Scrolls.” After the presentation of the student, Prof. Charlesworth presented his own paper entitled “Why Are the Dead Sea Scrolls Significant for Understanding Jesus and His Message?” He concluded the presentation with the following punch-line: “Jesus was no Essene, but he was influenced negatively and positively by them. The Dead Sea Scrolls reveal to us the intellectual landscape of Jesus’ mind.” At the outset of the class I was given time to present my book project (i.e., “Didymus Judas Thomas: New Testament, Apocrypha, and Historical Traditions”) to the class. Thereafter there was question-and-answer session between myself and the whole class. Also Prof. Charlesworth scheduled students of the class to dine with me at different times in McKay Campus Center.

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On April 13, 2016, I had an amazing interaction with Prof. Clifton C. Black, Otto A. Piper Professor of Biblical Theology at PTS. I had about one and half hours to discuss with him the following topics from the Indian point of view: Christianity in general and St. Thomas Christianity in particular, persecution and religious harmony in the multi-religious context, and the relevance of biblical theology. Thanks to him for the free gift of his own book The Rhetoric of the Gospel (Second Edition; Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013). He wrote the following as a compliment: “To Johnson Thomaskutty, friend, colleague, and brother in Christ.” After referring my publications especially the one by E.J. Brill, Prof. Clifton Black suggested my name as a “Distinguished Alumnus” to the Department of Communication at PTS.

April 14 was an accomplished day with Prof. James H. Charleswoth (Princeton): first, attended his seminar on “What Is Love?” (NT3232), where he presented a phenomenal lecture on “The Personification of Love: The Theology of Sports”; second, where I gave a lecture on the topic “Love in India: How I Perceive It?” third, visited this distinguished professor’s archives in 313 Lenox House; fourth, discussed my exegeses of the Thomas Project; and fifth, had a wonderful dinner with him. We had a total of five and half hours to complete all these. The time I spent with him was worth as he challenged me with a lot of insights both from the scripture and historical traditions concerning the person and work of Thomas. I owe him so much for his word-by-word reading and editing of my exegetical analysis of Thomas in the Gospel of John.

I had opportunities in different contexts to interact with scholars such as Dr. Jesudas Athyal and Dr. Thomas Idicula in Boston, Dr. Jayakiran Sebastian and Dr. K.G. Jose in Philadelphia, and Dr. Anand Veeraraj in New Jersey. I also acknowledge the moral and spiritual support of my friends such as Rev. M.G. Johnson, Rev. Samuel John, and Rev. Varughese Mathew (New York), Rev. Renjen Philip Cherian and Rev. Freddy Thomas (Philadelphia), and Rev. James Varughese, Mr. Anish, and Mr. Binoy (New Jersey) during my stay in this part of the USA.

Once again I acknowledge my deep gratitude and love toward Prof. James H. Charlesworth and Foundation on Judaism and Christian Origins (FJCO) for the Fellowship and the insightful and meaningful time toward my scholarly pursuit. The following things were motivational during this Fellowship period: first, Prof. Charlesworth’s encouragements to explore further on the Thomasine Christianity and its growth through the centuries; second, his inspiration to explore the early eastern connections of Christianity; third, he posed a very significant question that lies at the root of the research: “Are the Thomas traditions in the Gospel of John, in the apocryphal Thomas compositions, and the early Thomas Traditions in Southwest India purely legendary (as biblical scholars have assumed) or do they preserve unexamined historical traditions intermittently (as the Thomas Christians in India have assumed)?”; fourth, his encouragement to adopt an interdisciplinary approach which explores written traditions and historical facts, oral traditions, archaeological evidences, and other areas of research broadens the perspective of the study; and fifth, our constant interaction since 2004 enlarges my understanding about the person and work of Thomas. Thanking him for all the inputs in my scholarly endeavors.

By Johnson Thomaskutty, FJCO Research Scholar, Princeton, New Jersey, USA.

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Established in 1995, the Global Research Institute (GRI) at Fuller Theological Seminary offers a fellowship to post-doctoral non-Western Christian scholars, enabling them to undertake research at Fuller Theological Seminary and complete texts for teaching in their home countries. The GRI program operates out of Fuller’s Center for Missiological Research (CMR). The Global Research Institute exists because Fuller believes that one of the primary tasks of the global Christian community is to provide local churches and Christian institutions with written material that reflects the history, needs, priorities and peculiarities of their specific contexts, and that these local concerns must matter to churches and Christian scholars everywhere. Today this need is particularly compelling in Asia, Africa and Latin America where the Church is experiencing its most rapid growth. This program provides a fellowship that allows recipients to take a two academic quarter sabbatical (6 months) to Fuller Theological Seminary’s Pasadena campus to research and write materials to further the intellectual and spiritual mission of the church in the scholar’s particular region. More details about the program go here.

I, Johnson Thomaskutty, started my GRI Research Fellowship at Fuller on 1st October 2015 and today (31st March 2016) I finish all the requirements toward its successful completion. CMR and Fuller provided the following resources toward my research: first, its extensive primary and secondary resource facilities at the David Alan Hubbard Library; second, interactions with global scholars like Marianne Meye Thompson, Frederick Dale Bruner and others from the Johannine point of view; third, interactions with New Testament scholars such as David J. Downs, Joel B. Green, Tommy Givens, Donald A. Hagner and others from the broader New Testament points of view; fourth, interactions with missional and theological points of view with Amos Yong, John Goldingay, Veli-matti Kärkkäinen, Scott Sunquist, Mark Labberton, and others; and fifth, multi-level interactions with PhD and Masters level students and scholars.

The most valuable aspects of the program include: first, encouragements from Amos Yong, Director of CMR, and his comments and recommendations; second, time-to-time personal one-on-one interactions with Marianne Meye Thompson and David J. Downs and their constructive criticisms and encouragements; third, the program helps scholars to interlock their majority worldviews and methodologies with that of the western scholarship; fourth, as a person writing about Didymos Judas Thomas I was able to see how Thomas was perceived in the western academia and was able to fill the gap with the Indian understanding of the historical person; fifth, the program provided me with a broader outlook and extended resources; sixth, provisions at various levels of the research; and seventh, I was benefited by the encouragements of GRI to attend the following conferences: (1) Golden Jubilee Conference of the School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller, Pasadena; (2) the “John and Judaism” Conference at Mercer University in Atlanta; (3) Society of Biblical Literature/American Academy of Religion Annual Conference in Atlanta; and (4) Society for Pentecostal Studies Annual Meeting in San Dimas, California.

The primary audience of my forthcoming book on Thomas would be academic scholars, students, and the common people alike. Thomas was so far looked at from a disciplinary point of view. My upcoming book attempts to address him from an interdisciplinary point of view, i.e., by bridging the New Testament, Apocryphal, and historical traditions together. Through this my ultimate aim is to invite the global audience/readers toward the historical person. A comprehensive study that focuses on Thomas and the Thomas traditions from the eastern context is a genuine need of the time. The need to build the Thomas scholarship, by bridging the eastern and the western perspectives and by interlocking the canonical, extra canonical, and traditio-historical evidences, is yet to be actualized.

I would like to make known the following things with regard to the GRI program: first, I remain ever thankful to GRI and its sponsors for this remarkable program; second, the program provided me with new insights in my thought processes about the historical person called Didymos Judas Thomas; third, special appreciation goes to Prof. Amos Yong for his initiatives to encourage and facilitate my scholarship toward the higher levels, Prof. Marianne Meye Thompson for her critical reading of my exegeses and helpful suggestions, and Prof. David J. Downs for his interactions, meal fellowships, and motivations as my academic interlocutor; fourth, the program provided me an excellent opportunity to present my views during the CMR Colloquium in Geneva Room, Fuller, Pasadena; and fifth, special thanks to both the School of World Missions and School of Theology for their openness and time-to-time encouragements.

As a Thomas scholar, I was privileged to present my views at the church pews and receive feedback from, first, Rock of the Nations Church, Norwalk, California; second, IPC Los Angeles, Whittier, California; third, Sadhana Sangat Hind-O-Pak Church, Artesia, California; fourth, India Christian Fellowship, San Diego, California; fifth, Fremont Grace Church, Fremont, California; sixth, United Methodist Church, San Francisco, California; and seventh, International Assembly of God, Phoenix, Arizona. Moreover, it was my honor that I was interviewed for Light from the East Studios by Eric Sarwar and Joe Bevins. My friends Mathew Varghese, Joy Clement Daniel, David Muthukumar, Achenkunju Pappy, John Wesley Mathew, and co-GRI scholar Prof. Teresa Chai deserve special thanks for their friendship and love during my stay in Pasadena. Fuller staff members, Johnny Ching and Sam Bang, made all the arrangements for my travel and smooth stay in the US. Thanks are also due to the students, faculty, and administration of The Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India. Finally, the sacrifices of my wife Shiny, daughter Jemimah, and son Jeremiah make all my travel and research plans possible. Thanks to one and all.

Johnson Thomaskutty, GRI Writing Scholar, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California

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You are welcome to watch Light from the East Studio’s interview with me about my current research on “Didymos Judas Thomas: New Testament, Apocrypha, and Historical Traditions” below. Click the link given below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWL_LEUe6Zw

Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India.

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[Joy Clement Daniel is a PhD candidate in the School of Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, focusing his research on “Mission to the Children.” Johnson Thomaskutty is Associate Professor of New Testament Studies at Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India, and currently a Global Research Institute Writing Scholar at Fuller.]

Question # One: Why are children absent in the pages of the Gospel of John in comparison to the Synoptic Gospels?

The Gospel of John is written from an entirely different point of view. While the Synoptic evangelists capture the story of Jesus from once upon a time point of view John captures it from once before time point of view. Due to this fact, John does not include the genealogy and the infancy narratives of Jesus. The following points are significant to note in this regard: first, while the Synoptic evangelists portray several stories related to children (infancy of both John the Baptist and Jesus and many other stories) John speaks about children from an entirely different perspective, i.e., children as eternal followers of Jesus/God; second, while the first three gospels use the expression Kingdom of God, i.e., a political metaphor, to delineate the relationship between God the King and His subjects, John uses eternal life, i.e., a filial metaphor, to decipher the Father and children relationship; third, while the Synoptic evangelists unravel the King-and-subjects relationship by way of a horizontal eschatology where the vertical aspects are presented in subsidiary fashion, the Fourth Evangelist brings to the fore a Father-and-children relationship in a vertical eschatological fashion where the horizontal aspects are subsidiary; and fourth, while the first three evangelists look at the story of Jesus mostly from a resurrection (and also historical) point of view and arrive at their conclusions on the basis of literal happenings (and literal children in the process), John unlock the events mostly from a post-resurrection point of view (and also merges history with theology) and arrives at his conclusions on the basis of both literal happenings and the ideological brainstorming (and hence children are more a kind of ideological construct). The above differentiation might help us to understand John’s view of children as a more developed and ideologically inclined one.

Question # Two: Marianne Meye Thompson develops her thesis on a metaphor ‘Children of God’ to better understand children in the Gospel of John. She portrays ‘children of God’ as a lived out identity in the world in reference to messianic community with social consequences than a spiritual status which is the traditional way of understanding it. This community is a new family that becomes a point of identity for those who are children of God and called to be an identity for all who are created by God. What is your view about it?

What Marianne Meye Thompson proposes in her article (“Children in the Gospel of John.” The Child in the Bible. Edited by Bunge, M.J. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008: 195-214) looks like a good model as far as my knowledge is concerned. By placing the theme of life at the center of the Fourth Gospel Thompson beautifully foregrounds the relationship between God the Father and his children. She emphasizes the following expressions with greater theological significance in the process of interpreting the Fourth Gospel: first, children in John are “any and all persons as children of God”; second, they are “reborn as children of God”; third, their identity as “being in the eternal life experience”; fourth, as a “new nascent messianic community”; and fifth, they are ultimately a “new community.” When Louis Martyn (History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel. Nashville: Abingdon, 1968) was suggesting that the Gospel of John as a two-level drama, he was in reality unlocking something intriguing. At the first level of the drama, the story revolves around Jesus, the child par excellence, as a paradigm for humanity in relation to God the Father. At the second level of the drama, the same is expected from the children of God as they are a model community following the grand model of Jesus the eternal child of God. Johannine community as the children of God differs in several ways from other communities including the Qumran community. While the Qumran community adopted a rhetoric of distance, John’s community accepted a rhetoric of difference. It further suggests that Johannine community, as Marianne Meye Thompson suggests, “a lived out identity in the world in reference to messianic community with social consequences.” I may re-emphasize the following things for clarity: first, Johannine narrator presents Jesus himself as a paradigm of God’s child; second, the community of John was expected to adopt the Father/God-and-Son/Jesus relationship as their esteemed model in this world; third, the world can follow the model of the children of God/Johannine community that was shaped by the ideologies of Jesus the child of God; and fourth, while those who accept this model are considered as “children of light,” those who do not accept are considered as “children of darkness.” Thus, John suggests a model that can be appropriated through people’s acceptance or rejection.

Question # Three: In your understanding of the Gospel of John what other imageries or metaphors are useful to understand this Gospel with special reference to children and childhood?

The Gospel of John is a gospel of symbolism and metaphorical expressions. A reader who reads the text with external eyes may not really get the deep-rooted and polyvalent meanings of the text. I see the theme of water runs all through the gospel with an indication about the children of God, i.e., born with water (3:5), drinking the water Jesus provides to be part of the new community (4:13-14; 7:37-38), and being part of the family of God through the water (7:7; and also possibly in 5:2). In all these occasions Jesus uses water as a symbol of regeneration, new identification, and transformation to be children of God. The newness motif of the gospel further clarifies several things: first, the theme of new wine (as ‘new joy’; 2:9-10); second, new temple (as ‘new identity’; 2:19-21); third, new birth (as ‘new beginning’; 3:3); fourth, new water (as ‘new worship’; 4:13-14); fifth, new life (as ‘new faith development’; 4:46-54); sixth, new bread (as ‘new perspective’; 6:25-51); and seventh, new light (as ‘new sight’; 9:5, 41). The introduction of Jesus as the new Moses, new manna, and the new exodus motif (6:16-21) bring to the fore some of the significant aspects of the gospel. All these themes are introduced in relation to becoming the children of God and being part of the messianic community. Jesus offers everything new to those who approach him by faith. Thus, children of God are a new community and they are the children of light.

Question # Four: I know that you had been involved in ministry to the children in your early years. What is the point of attraction of this Gospel to the children and how they can be brought to this Gospel? Would you like to prefer few stories or chapters for Sunday school teachers or child development workers?

The main attraction of John to the children is its theme of life. The Fourth Gospel is a Gospel of life. Jesus came to give life in abundance. This theme has to be foregrounded when we approach the Sunday school children. In my early years, especially as a Sunday school student from the age three and later on as a Sunday school teacher from the age fifteen, I was attracted to the Fourth Gospel mainly because of this theme. From that point of view, I look at two stories in the gospel with keen attention: first, the story of the Samaritan woman and her faith reactions and gradual growth as a child of God (4:1-26); and second, the story of the blind man turned healed and his faith and commitment as a newly added member of the community of John (9:1-41). God’s love for the world and the provision of eternal life are to be expounded further by keeping the Sunday school children at focus.

Compiled by: Joy Clement Daniel and Johnson Thomaskutty

Bas WielengaNational Council of Churches in India [NCCI] News reports the demise of Indian Christian theologian Bastiaan Wielenga.

[[Rev. Dr. Bastiaan Wielenga,  a German missionary who opted for Indian citizenship, and a globally renowned Indian Liberation theologian of our times passed away on 23rd Dec 2015.  Among several commitments, he served the Ecumenical Christian Centre,  the Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society, and Tamilnadu Theological Seminary, where he played a major role in founding the’ Centre for Social Analysis’, and from where he retired as a Professor of Biblical Studies.

Dr. Bastiaan Wielenga was a colleague of Dietrich Bonheoffer and was part of the anti-Nazi regime in Germany. His contributions towards articulation of contextual theologies, particularly Theology of the Poor and Indian Liberation Theology, through the Centre for Social Analysis and  Tamilnadu Theological Seminary in particular and the Senate of Serampore College at large, are indeed remarkable.

Dr. Bas authored several books including Towards an Eco-just Society (1999),Understanding Indian Society , co-authored with his wife Dr. Gabrielle Dietrich (1998), It is a long Road to Freedom: Perspectives of Biblical Theology (1996), A Commentary to Revelation (1995), Social Movements: Towards a Perspective, co-authored with John Desrochers (1991), and  Introduction to Marxism (1984). He was part of the editorial team that worked on Encyclopaedia of Marxism appointed by the Russian Marxian Council.]]

Read the rest here.

5861414It was nice having a valuable time and conversation with Prof. Donald A. Hagner at Archives Book Shop in Fuller, Pasadena. Ever since 1993 I was using his phenomenal two-volume commentary on Matthew (Word Biblical Commentary Series) for teaching and preaching purposes. Thus I became an admirer of his writings, especially on the Gospel of Matthew and the Letter to the Hebrews. The one hour I spent with him this evening [December 21, 2015] was beneficial in several ways. Within that short span of time he taught me what simplicity is all about through his character and what encouragement is all about through his friendly speech. Even after his retirement, he is engaged in several teaching programs in both the western and non-western contexts. His current writing projects include the following: first, a monograph entitled How New the New Testament Is? Continuity and Discontinuity between Formative Judaism and Early Christianity; and second, a revised edition of his commentary on the Gospel according to Matthew (WBC Series). Donald Hagner bought a book from the Archives Book Shop and gifted me as a Christmas gift. The title of the book is Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness (by Richard B. Hays; Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press, 2014). Thank you Prof. Donald Hagner.

[[Donald Hagner [BA., Northwestern University; BD. and ThM., Fuller Theological Seminary; PhD., University of Manchester] joined the faculty of Fuller in 1976, after seven years on the faculty of Wheaton College, and is the George Eldon Ladd Professor Emeritus of New Testament in the School of Theology. His courses have included New Testament: Gospels, Acts to Revelation, Exegetical Method and Practice, selected book studies (Greek text), and selected subjects in New Testament theology. Hagner’s writings include a commentary on Hebrews (New International Biblical Commentary), The Jewish Reclamation of Jesus, the Word Biblical Commentary on Matthew (2 vols.), Encountering the Book of Hebrews, New Testament Exegesis and Research: A Guide for Seminarians, and The New Testament: A Historical and Theological Introduction. In addition to coediting several volumes, he has produced a new, revised edition of George Eldon Ladd’s A Theology of the New Testament, and has rewritten and updated Everett Harrison’s Romans (Expositor’s Bible Commentary). He has also had many articles and book reviews published. He is the coeditor of the New International Greek Testament Commentary. He has been the recipient of the Weyerhauser Award for Excellence at Fuller, and the Golden Award from the Christian Booksellers for the Best Commentary of 1995. Hagner is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Although he has now retired from full-time service, Hagner continues mentoring PhD students and teaching occasional courses in his senior faculty role.]]

Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India

[GRI Writing Scholar, Fuller, Pasadena, California]

72003 (1)Matthew Montonini’s “New Testament Perspectives” is one of the most updated and visited blogs in the area of New Testament studies. Recently, he organized an interview with me about my publication entitled “Dialogue in the Book of Signs: A Polyvalent Analysis of John 1:19-12:50” (Leiden/Boston: E.J. Brill, 2015). It was my privilege to respond to his highly proficient questions. See his introductory statements and the interview-links herewith:

[[Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Johnson Thomaskutty, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Editor of UBS Journal at the Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India, on his recently published dissertation, Dialogue in the Book of Signs (Brill). Currently, Johnson is serving as a Global Research Institute scholar at Fuller Theological Seminary. Johnson’s Dialogue in the Book of Signs is methodologically sophisticated and will be a volume that Johannine specialists will need to consult for further work in this section of John’s Gospel. I have split the interview into two parts, (as follows)]]:

Part I: http://newtestamentperspectives.blogspot.com/2015/11/an-interview-with-johnson-thomaskutty.html

Part II: http://newtestamentperspectives.blogspot.com/2015/12/an-interview-with-johnson-thomaskutty.html

Matthew Montonini’s Blog is here: http://newtestamentperspectives.blogspot.com/

Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India

[GRI Writing Scholar, Fuller, Pasadena, California]

Johnson Thomaskutty at SBL/AAR 2015

Posted: November 27, 2015 in General

AARSBL 2015_Main Banner_0Center for Missiological Research [CMR] of Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, gave a new turn in my life as it sponsored my trip to the SBL/AAR at Atlanta, Georgia. As a Global Research Institute [GRI] scholar at Fuller, I found my trip rewarding. The SBL/AAR was held from 21 to 24 November, 2015. I express my sincere thanks to Prof. Amos Yong [Director of CMR] and Johnny Ching for the arrangements and support. I was benefitted out of the annual meeting in the following way.

On the first day, I had a very hectic schedule. My schedule started with the “International Cooperation Initiative Forum Meeting” at 9.30 AM and finished with “Scholar Leaders International Dinner” at 9.00 PM, i.e., with Evan Hunter of SLI and scholars from the Asian context. It was nice attending “John, Jesus, and History” presentations by Graham Twelftree, Tom Thatcher, Jan G. van der Watt, Andrew T. Lincoln, Mark Goodacre, and Catrin Haf Williams. During the sessions on “Comparison of Johannine and Markan Characterization,” I attended five papers including the one by Elizabeth Struthers Malbon. The day was pleasant with face-to-face interactions with scholar friends like Nijay Gupta, Darrell Bock, Ben Witherington, Jo-Ann Brant, Christopher Skinner, Francois Tolmie, Francis X. Clooney, John Christopher Thomas, Iain Torrance, Brian Small, and others.

On the second day, I was privileged to interact with John Dominic Crossan, Kasper Bro Larsen, Jesudas Athyal, Ekaputra Tupamahu, Erik Eynikel, John Byron, Paul N. Anderson, Alan Culpepper, Bill Heroman, Craig Koester, Mike Licona, and many others. Attending the Nordic Reception in the evening provided me opportunities to discuss with some of the key figures like Ismo Dunderberg.

On the third day, I attended three Johannine Forums: [1] Johannine Literature (9.00-11.30 AM); [2] Johannine Characterization and Genre (1.00-3.30 PM); and [3] The Gospel of John as Genre Mosaic (4.00-6.30 PM). It was interesting to attend the session by Finny Abraham [GTU, Berkeley] in the academic category of “Ritual in the Biblical World: Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament.” Moreover, it was good to hear the presentations of Urban von Wahlde, Mary Coloe, Kasper Bro Larsen, Harold Attridge, Colleen Conway, Jo-Ann Brant, and Tom Thatcher. Also had wonderful moments with James Charlesworth, Michael Gorman, Tatsiong Benny Liew, Douglas Estes, John J. Thatamanil, Jayakiran Sebastian, Peter Williams, Mary Coloe, Sandra Schneiders, Lidija Novakovic, Sung Uk Lim, Olugbemiro Temba, Bill Heroman, Joshua Muthalali, and others.

The session on reviewing the new book “The Gospel of John as Genre Mosaic” was significant for me in three ways: [1] I attended “The Gospel of John as Genre Mosaic” Conference in Aarhus University, Denmark, and presented a gist of my dissertation; [2] This conference connected me with a good number of John and genre specialists; and [3] This book makes a mention about my work on dialogue (Dialogue in the Book of Signs: A Polyvalent Analysis of John 1:19-12;50. Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2015).

There were several recognition scenes (anagnōrises) at SBL/AAR as many to whom I am connected through social media [Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Academia, WordPress, etc.] really appeared just in front of me and we had moments of interaction. I was happy to see the way my book was exhibited in the Book Exhibition Hall (i.e., at the Brill stall). Thanks friends for your love, appreciation, and encouragements. I look forward for SBL/AAR 2016 in San Antonio.

Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India

[GRI Writing Scholar at Fuller Theological Seminary, CA]

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The Peter Rhea and Ellen Jones Endowed New Testament Lectures at the McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University, Atlanta, Georgia, were inaugurated in 2009 with lectures presented by James D.G. Dunn. The second lecture series occurred in 2010 with lectures presented by D. Moody Smith. This year, the Jones lectures were being offered at John and Judaism: A Symposium, hosted by Mercer University, during the period of 18-20 November 2015. The following lines are quoted from the Conference Booklet:

The relationship be John and Judaism is multi-layered and variously interpreted, yet it is crucial for understanding the Gospel, and continues to have ramifications for the relationship between Jews and Christians today. This conference will give particular attention to the relationship between the Gospel of John and its Jewish context late in the first century, during the period that has been characterized as “the parting of the ways,” and to Christian responses in recent decades to the Gospel’s anti-Jewish rhetoric.

The conference was started with the keynote address of Jan G. van der Watt, Professor of New Testament and Source Texts of Early Christianity, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Holland. His lecture was circumscribed around the central question, “Is Jesus the King of Israel?” Another key lecture was entitled “Evidence of Conflict with the Synagogue in the ‘Johannine’ Writings” (by Craig A. Evans, Acadia Divinity College, Wolfville, Canada). The overall schedule of the lectures was divided into three main categories as follows:

First, “John as a Source for Understanding Judaism.” There were one lecture and two short papers in this section: [1] Main Paper: “The Gospel of John as a Source for First-Century Judaism” (by Craig R. Koester, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN); [2] Short Paper I: “John, Judaism, and ‘Searching the Scriptures’” (by Catrin H. Williams, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, Wales); and [3] Short Paper II: “John, Jews and Philosophy” (by Harold W. Attridge, Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT).

Second, “Reappraising John’s Relationship to Judaism and Jewish Christianity.” There were one lecture and three short papers in this section: [1] Main Paper: “Story and History: John, Judaism, and the Historical Imagination” (by Adele Reinhartz, University of Ottawa, Canada); [2] Short Paper I: “Johannine Christian and Baptist Sectarians within Late First-Century Judaism” (by Joel Marcus, Duke University, Durham, NC); [3] Short Paper II: “Tensions in Matthean and Johannine Soteriology Viewed in their Jewish Context” (by William R.G. Loader, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia); and [4] Short Paper III: “Matthew and John: Reflections of Early Christianity in Relation to Judaism” (R. Alan Culpepper, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University).

Third, “Reading John as Jews and Christians.” There were one lecture and three short papers in this section: [1] Main Paper: “Anti-Judaism and the Fourth Gospel Fifteen Years after the Leuven Colloquium” (by Reimund Bieringer, Catholic University, Leuven, Belgium); [2] Short Paper I: “Aspects of the ‘Parting of the Ways’ in Ephesus: From Paul to John and Further on” (by Jörg Frey, University of Zürich, Switzerland); [3] Short Paper II: “Antisemitism and Religious Violence as Flawed Interpretations of John” (by Paul N. Anderson, George Fox University, Newberg, OR); and [4] Short Paper III: “The Place of John in Christian-Jewish Relations Fifty Years after Nostra Aetate” (by Noam E. Marans, Director, Interreligious and Intergroup Relations, American Jewish Committee, New York).

Alan Culpepper (McAfee School, Mercer, GA), Benjamin Reynolds (Tyndale University College, Toronto, Canada), Jaime Clark-Soles (Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX), and Peter Rhea Jones (McAfee School, Mercer, Atlanta) chaired the sessions. One of the significant things was that all the presentations were followed by Q & A sessions. The involvement of Vernon K. Robbins (Emory University, Atlanta, GA), Urban Von Wahlde (Loyola University Chicago), and others during the Q & A session needs to be specially mentioned. The conference was highly organized and I believe that it will introduce a new way forward to Jewish-Christian dialogue based on John’s Gospel. But, at the same time, whether John’s Gospel is “pro-Jewish” or it is “anti-Jewish” can only be determined on the basis of the stance an interpreter takes in the process of her/his reading of the text. This fact was reflective through the various vantage points adopted by the presenters. Above all, I thoroughly enjoyed the conference as it is instrumental in contributing new ideas in my ongoing struggle with the Johannine text.

Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India

[GRI Writing Scholar, Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, California)

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This evening [i.e., 12 November 2015, 5 PM], Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Fuller organized a Guest Lecture at Geneva Room. On the occasion, one of the leading figures in the field of Hebrew Bible, Prof. Choon-Leong Seow [Distinguished Professor at Vanderbilt Divinity School], was the speaker. He was formerly serving as professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey. Prof. Seow’s paper was on an interesting topic, entitled “The Book of Job in Its Ancient Near Eastern Milieu.” Special appreciation goes to Prof. Christopher B. Hays [D. Wilson Moore Associate Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Studies, School of Theology, Fuller, Pasadena] for this important initiative.

In his lecture, Prof. Seow arrayed several parallelisms between The Book of Job and the ANE Literature. One of the striking points to me was about the usage of dialogue genre in both the traditions. In my recent book, I made the following similar observations:

The religious traditions of both the Ancient Near Eastern and the Greco-Roman contexts are rich in having dialogue as a literary genre. In the east, dialogue dates back to the Sumero-Babylonian dialogues and disputations (preserved in copies from the early second millennium BCE). In the Akkadian Gilgamesh Epic, conversations develop within the larger dialogue framework of Gilgamesh and Ishtar. Similarly, the living together of the divine pantheon under the supreme triad, Enlil, Enki, and An, and other gods surrounding them, makes the Mesopotamian creation myths confrontational and dialogical. The creation myth of the Enuma Elish develops as a series of verbal disputations among those figures making up the Babylonian divine pantheon. The dispute is primarily between the younger-generation gods and the primordial gods. The dialogue is one of the important means through which the confrontation is reported in this document. The Ugaritic texts of the Canaanite tradition contain various episodes of the Baal cycle. In Baal’s battle with the sea, implicit and multi-level war dialogues develop, especially among El, Baal, and Yam. Another array of dialogues develops among El, Baal, Athirat, Anat, and Kothar before the construction of a palace for Baal. The brief survey above of the Sumero-Babylonian, Egyptian, Canaanite, Greek, and Roman religious traditions serves to confirm that dialogue and interactions among the deities themselves and between the pantheon and the human world were part and parcel of the affairs of the ancient world (Thomaskutty, 2015: 27-29).

In a sub-section entitled “Old Testament Traditions” I had made the following observations about the Book of Job:

The Book of Job has this pattern at a distinct level. The ‘happy ending’ pattern of the Book of Job finds parallels with the materials from Mesopotamia and Egypt (cf. Clines, 1989). Majercik (1992: 186; cf. De Regt, 2007: 119, 162) points out that, “Among the OT writings, the Book of Job is the chief example of a literary work in dialogue form, but a type of dialogue that is influenced by literary precedents in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt.” This feature of the text provides dramatic appeal to the portrayal of Job’s story (Thomaskutty, 2015: 34-36).

Prof. Seow’s literary and narrative analysis of the Book of Job in relation to the ANE traditions throws light on to a well developed literary genre called dialogue. In the analysis, he also made it poignant that though there are parallelisms between Job and ANE Literature, at certain points and levels the said biblical text distanced itself from other literary works. Keeping that into mind I argue that: “The Johannine dialogues show striking similarities with the dialogues of the OT. As in the case of the OT dialogues, the Johannine dialogues maintain an ‘inner-negotiation’ and ‘outer-confrontation’ pattern. Though we identify similarities between the dialogues of the OT and the Gospel of John, John employs the pattern in his own terms to comfort the ‘believing insiders’ and to address the ‘unbelieving outsiders’” (p.36). From the above observation one can notice the following things: first, dialogue was a common literary genre found in ANE Literature, The Book of Job, and The Gospel of John; second, though Job had influences from the ANE Literature, it has its own unique features in implementing the dialogue genre; and third, John, similarly, has ample number of parallelisms with the dialogues of ANE Literature and The Book of Job. But the Fourth Evangelist maintained dialogue as a literary genre in his own idiom. Thanking you Dr. Seow and Dr. Chris.

Reference:

Thomaskutty, Johnson., 2015. Dialogue in the Book of Signs: A Polyvalent Analysis of John 1:19-12:50. Leiden/Boston: E.J. Brill.

Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India

[GRI Writing Scholar, Fuller, Pasadena, California]

3011059-poster-1920-how-to-non-sleazily-break-into-the-conference-speaking-circuit

There was another significant time of presenting my paper during the Center for Missiological Research [CMR] Colloquium, on 11 November 2015, at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, USA. Prof. Amos Yong, Director of CMR and Professor of Theology and Mission, was graciously chairing the session. The introductory lines of the paper are herewith:

[[The paper attempts to investigate how the narrator of the Fourth Gospel captures the socio-religious realities of the First Century CE through his narrative lens. The rhetoric of John is reflection of reality. In that sense it is a mimesis. In a context in which emerging Christian communities were denied religious freedom and were widely persecuted, the Johannine community members realized that their very existence was at risk. The community was undergoing persecution from the hands of both the Jewish religio-political authorities as well as from the Empire of Rome. Johannine community’s antilanguage and its antisocial outlook placed it well over against the Jewish and Roman power structures. While the narrator employs dualism as a major narrative means to decipher the realities, the from above ideology of Jesus is in constant conflict with the from below ideology of the Jews. In this way, two ideologies are brought into a sharp conflict (cf. Petersen, 1993). Through the usage of conflict and characterization as a major narrative devise, the narrator adds vigor and flavor to the narrative dynamics of the story and its discourse in order to turn it out as a dramatic masterpiece (cf. Chatman, 1978). This situation persuades the reader to pose the following questions: How does the narrator of John’s Gospel exemplify religious freedom and persecution both in explicit and implicit terms? How does the narrator convert the message from the Sitz-im-leben Jesu to the Sitz-im-leben kirche? How does the narrator employ the narrative techniques of mimesis and diegesis? How can the Johannine community realities be used as a paradigm in the contemporary Indian context where religious freedom and conversion remain as prima factors? The task of the paper is threefold: first, identify the Johannine tenets of narration to decipher the socio-religious realities; second, investigate how religious freedom and persecution are used as elements that the narrator propels to foreground the contextual realities; and third, understand the relevance of the topic in the present day Indian context where Ghar Wapsi and other anti-conversion activities are widely practiced.]]

Tobias Schuckert’s Missiological reflection of the paper is herewith:

[[Thomaskutty uses the Gospel of John as a framework to understand and interpret the struggle of the church in India. He uses three circles, the Sitz im Leben of the Indian church with the Sitz im Leben Jesu and the Sitz im Leben of the Johannite church to come to his conclusions (Thomaskutty 2015, 13). Thomaskutty’s passage may function to launch the conversation about how local churches can identify themselves with certain books in the New Testament.

Thomaskutty’s study resonates with van Engen’s framework of missiological research (1996, 23) that looks at the faith community (the church in India), the biblical text (the gospel of John), and the missional context (the Indian society). However, in Thomaskutty’s passage, the emphasis is strongly on the biblical text, his interpretation of the gospel of John. Therefore, following van Engen (1996), it would be fascinating to see how the Indian church would follow and interpret some of Thomaskutty’s statements. Has the gospel of John a greater impact on Indian Christans as other biblical books? Do Indian Christians identify themselves with the Gospel of John?

References

Thomaskutty, Johnson. 2015. Religious Freedom and Conversion in India Today-Reading John’s Gospel as a Jewish-Christian Conflict Narrative. In CMR Colloquium, November 11, 2015. Pasadena, CA.

VanEngen, Charles Edward. 1996. Mission on the Way : Issues in Mission Theology. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.]]

Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India

[GRI Writing Scholar, Fuller, Pasadena, California]

31agjWj4PbL__SX334_BO1,204,203,200_On November 9 at 7:00 PM, Archives Bookshop and Fuller Theological Seminary partnered to host an evening with Prof. Marianne Meye Thompson in celebration of the release of her new commentary on the Gospel of John, ‘John: A Commentary’ (Westminster John Knox, 2015). This special evening was special with a talk by Prof. Thompson, a brief Question and Answer session, and a book-signing. Archives Bookshop sold copies of the commentary at a special, discounted event-price. In his introductory speech Prof. Joel B. Green introduced Marianne with the following words: “Marianne is a scholar who teaches to write rather than writes to teach,” “she is a woman of the church,” and “she is a slow, powerful, reflective, and theological writer.” In her speech, Marianne made it clear that she signed a contract with Westminster John Knox Press on 13th October 1997. She also told: “I was always interested in John because it is a unique gospel and because it goes on its own.” In my reference of the commentary to grasp a bit more about Thomas, I realized that she has done something significant by taking into consideration the feelings of both the church and the academia. As Joel B. Green rightly put it the commentary came through slow and steady plans and processes. Marianne Meye Thompson is George Eldon Ladd Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. She has devoted many years of focused study to the Gospel of John and is widely regarded as one of its most significant contemporary interpreters. The event was held in Travis Auditorium, which is located on campus at Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of Psychology in Pasadena, California. I was really inspired by the way the whole program was conducted and I congratulate Dr. Marianne for this great contribution to the Johannine scholarship.

Read a brief description from Amazon.com below:

[[Almost from the earliest days of the church, John’s distinctive presentation of Jesus has provoked discussion about its place among the other Gospels. One cannot help but see the differences from the Synoptics and wonder about the origins and character of John. In this new volume in the New Testament Library series, Marianne Meye Thompson explores the ministry and significance of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the Gospel of John, paying special attention to the social, cultural, and historical contexts that produced it. John’s Gospel, Thompson posits, is the product of a social-cultural world whose language, commitments, and contours must be investigated in order to read John’s narrative well. In doing so, Thompson studies the narrative, structure, central themes, and theological and rhetorical arguments found in the Fourth Gospel. Thompson’s expert commentary unpacks and illuminates John’s unique witness to Jesus—who he was, what he did, and what that means.

12182938_10153305392808613_5471503517236285417_oReviews

“In this exceptional commentary, Thompson wears her deep scholarship lightly. We are given a clear and fresh vision of John’s portrayal of Jesus and its enduring significance for today. Here is real insight.” —Walter Moberly, Professor of Theology and Biblical Interpretation, Durham University

“Without neglecting the cultural contexts of this most ‘spiritual’ Gospel, Thompson demonstrates the depth of the Gospel’s scriptural roots and, in conversation with interpreters ancient and modern, the breadth and height of its theological claims. This expert engagement with the Gospel narrative is a much-needed contribution to its contemporary interpretation. It will now be my go-to commentary on John.” —Michael J. Gorman, Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, St. Mary’s Seminary & University

“Thompson has written a richly rewarding theological commentary that reads the Fourth Gospel first and foremost as a story of Jesus. No one is better qualified today to write such a commentary, and Thompson’s work does not disappoint. Both pastor and scholar will be greatly rewarded by giving this work their attention.”  —Nijay K. Gupta, George Fox Evangelical Seminary

“Both the specialist and the less informed student will find here a careful and faithful reading that traces the actual contours of the narrative while not ignoring historical considerations, literary context, patristic traditions, and contemporary scholarly debate. Professor Thompson’s main concern is to ‘illumine the witness’ of the evangelist and so to train the lens thoroughly on that witness’s ‘understanding of Jesus—who he was, what he did, and what that means.’ This she does, with grace and erudition.” —Edith M. Humphrey, William F. Orr Professor of New Testament, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary]]

See the links:

 Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India

[GRI Writing Scholar, Fuller, Pasadena, California]

John Goldingay and the New Testament

Posted: November 3, 2015 in General

profile-goldingayToday [on 3rd November 2015, Tuesday, 8.00 AM] I had a face-to-face interaction with renowned Old Testament scholar Prof. John Goldingay at Fuller Seminary’s refectory over breakfast. My interest was on his new title Do we need the New Testament? Letting the Old Testament Speak for Itself (Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, 2015). He begins this important work in a rhetorical way of expressing his views: “Yes, of course, we do need the New Testament, but why? Why is the Old Testament not enough? By asking that question, I am reversing the one Christians ask under their breath, the question whether we need the Old Testament, or whether the New Testament isn’t enough” (p. 7). In another place he says: “Yes, of course, we need the New Testament Scriptures, but they don’t supersede the earlier Scriptures. We need the First Testament for an understanding of the story of God’s working out his purpose, for its theology, for its spirituality, for its hope, for its understanding of mission, for its understanding of salvation and for its ethics” (p. 32). In the concluding remarks he further states that:

In the course of telling his story and working out its implications, the New Testament does make some affirmations that supplement what people could know from the First Testament. One is the fact that Sheol is not the end for humanity. At the end, all humanity is going to be raised from death in order to enjoy resurrection life or to go to hell. Thus people in the First Testament “did not receive what was promised. God had planned something better for us, so that they would not be brought to completion without us” (Heb 11:39-40). Paul pushes the argument further in connection with affirming that all God’s people will be raised or will meet the Lord together (1 Thess 4:13-18). We do not go to heaven when we die; the entire people of God will reach completion together. Alongside this truth is the way the New Testament assumes the existence of Satan. While the First Testament presupposes the existence of an embodiment of resistance to God, the New Testament puts more emphasis on this motif (p. 178).

The book has nine major sections excluding the introduction and conclusion. They are as follows: [1] Do We Need the New Testament? [2] Why Is Jesus Important? [3] Was the Holy Spirit Present in First Testament Times? [4] The Grand Narrative and the Middle Narratives in the First Testament and the New Testament; [5] Hoe People Have Mis(?)read Hebrews; [6] The Costly Loss of First Testament Spirituality; [7] Memory and Israel’s Faith, Hope and Life; [8] Moses (and Jesus and Paul) for Your Hardness of Hearts; and [9] Theological Interpretation: Don’t Be Christ-Centered, Don’t Be Trinitarian, Don’t Be Constrained by the Rule of Faith. This new title is a good initiative to see the relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament in a new way. While, on the one hand, it affirms the special identity and theology of the OT, on the other hand, it emphasizes the further supplementation of the Old Testament aspects in the New Testament. A good way to look forward.

Thanks to Prof. John Goldingay for his precious time as well as his new book as a free gift to me. Read more about John Goldingay below:

untitled[[John Goldingay (BA [University of Oxford], PhD [University of Nottingham], DD [Archbishop of Canterbury at Lamberth]) is the David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament in the School of Theology and has been at Fuller since 1997. Before coming to Fuller, Goldingay was principal and a professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at St John’s Theological College in Nottingham, England. He studied theology at Oxford and was ordained and worked in a church in London. Goldingay’s most recent publications include the 17-volume Old Testament For Everyone series (Westminster John Knox/SPCK (2010–15), which provides clear, concise comment on all the Old Testament Scriptures, and The Theology of the Book of Isaiah (InterVarsity Press, 2014). His book Do We Need the New Testament? Letting the Old Testament Speak for Itself comes out in 2015 (InterVarsity Press). He is the author of a three-volume Old Testament Theology (InterVarsity Press, 2003–2009). His other recent books include Key Questions about Christian Faith: Old Testament Answers (Baker, 2010) and Key Questions about Biblical Interpretation: Old Testament Answers (Baker, 2011). He has also written commentaries on Daniel, Isaiah, and Psalms. He holds membership in the Society of Biblical Literature and the Society for Old Testament Study, and serves on the Task Force on Biblical Interpretation in the Anglican Communion and the editorial board for the Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies.]]

For more details about Prof. John Goldingay, go here: http://fuller.edu/faculty/jgoldingay/

Order his book here: http://www.amazon.com/Do-We-Need-New-Testament/dp/0830824693

Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India

[GRI Writing Scholar, Fuller, California]

Fuller%20Seminary%20Dean%20of%20the%20School%20of%20Theology%20Joel%20Green%20Speaking%20300x300Fuller Theological Seminary is also known through some of the renowned New Testament scholars. Joel B. Green is one among them. I admire his commentary on Luke as a classic in that field. It was introduced to me while I was a Masters student in Princeton. One of my favorite Gospel dictionaries, i.e., Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels [First Edition], was edited by him. Today I received a copy of the second edition of DJG as a free gift from him. With regard to my research project Prof. Green attuned my attention toward two things: first, keen observation to the oral traditions concerning Didymus Judas Thomas; and second, the necessity to use the Social Memory Theory. Now, I have to consult Chris Keith, Anthony Le Donne, and Alan Kirk for that very purpose. Dr. Green, I loved your friendly attitude, encouraging words, and intellectual engagement. It was indeed an excellent morning.

[[Joel B. Green (BS [Texas Tech University]; MTh [Perkins School of Theology]; PhD [University of Aberdeen]) was named dean of the School of Theology as of July 1, 2014, and has been associate dean for the Center for Advanced Theological Studies since 2008 and professor of New Testament interpretation at Fuller since 2007. Prior to coming to Fuller, he served for ten years at Asbury Theological Seminary as professor of New Testament Interpretation, as dean of the School of Theology, and as provost. Green has written or edited more than 40 books, including six that have won awards: Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (2nd ed., 2013), Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics (2011), In Search of the Soul: Four Views of the Mind-Body Problem (with Stuart Palmer, 2005), Introducing the New Testament: Its Literature and Theology (with Paul J. Achtemeier and Marianne Meye Thompson, 2001), The Gospel of Luke (1997), and Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (with Scot McKnight, 1992). Among his most recent publications are Why Salvation? (2013), The World of the New Testament: Cultural, Social and Historical Contexts (with Lee Martin McDonald, 2013), Ears That Hear: Explorations in Theological Interpretation of the Bible (2013), Wesley, Wesleyans, and Reading Bible as Scripture (with David F. Watson, 2012), Practicing Theological Interpretation: Engaging Biblical Texts for Faith and Formation (2011), Recovering the Scandal of the Cross: The Atonement in New Testament and Contemporary Contexts (2nd ed., with Mark D. Baker, 2011), the Two Horizons New Testament Commentary on 1 Peter (2007), Seized by Truth: Reading the Bible as Scripture (2007), and Body, Soul, and Human Life: The Nature of Humanity in the Bible (2008). He is also general editor the Common English Bible Study Bible (2013), which Christian Retailing magazine awarded “Best Devotional or Study Bible of 2014.” He has written scores of essays and reviews. He is the editor of the New International Commentary on the New Testament and co-editor of both the Two Horizons New Testament Commentary and Studies in Theological Interpretation. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Theological Interpretation and serves on the editorial boards of the journals Theology and Science and Science & Christian Belief. Green has been elected to membership in both Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (SNTS) and the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR). Green has 12 years of pastoral ministry, and is currently Teaching Pastor at La Cañada United Methodist Church.]]

For more details about Joel B. Green, go here: http://fuller.edu/faculty/jgreen/

Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India.

[GRI Writing Scholar @ Fuller, Pasadena, California]

profile-downs-davidDr. David J. Downs serves me as my academic dialogue partner vis-à-vis my research project at Fuller Seminary. This involves an informal conversation over lunch once a month during my stay here. David Downs has written about ‘Thomasine Christianity’ as it relates to the presentation of almsgiving in the Gospel of Thomas and the Acts of Thomas. Moreover, he is always happy to make connections with colleagues from around the world. His family has lived and worked in Tanzania for half the year since 2009, so he is interested in theological education outside of the US. Through my interaction with David Downs, I see another chance of extending my vision in theological education, i.e., a dialogue between the Eastern and the Western New Testament scholarship. Again, thanks to Prof. Amos Yong [CMR Director] for this fantastic arrangement.

[[David Downs joined the Fuller faculty in 2007. Prior to coming to Fuller, he was a teaching fellow at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey and a visiting assistant professor at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. His research has focused on Pauline theology, economic issues in the New Testament and early Christian literature, and the Apostolic Fathers. His dissertation, The Offering of the Gentiles: Paul’s Collection for Jerusalem in Its Chronological, Cultural, and Cultic Contexts, was published by Mohr Siebeck in 2008. In 2013, Downs and Matthew L. Skinner edited The Unrelenting God: Essays on God’s Action in Scripture in Honor of Beverly Roberts Gaventa (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans). Downs has also published articles in numerous peer-reviewed journals such as Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Horizons in Biblical Theology, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Journal of Biblical Literature, Journal of Early Christian Studies, Journal of Theological Interpretation, and New Testament Studies. He has contributed articles to Engaging Economics: New Testament Scenarios and Early Christian Reception, The Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (2d. ed.), The Background of the New Testament, The New Interpreter’s Bible One Volume Commentary, The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, and The Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics. In 2011, Downs and his wife, Jen, a doctor of infectious diseases and a clinical medical researcher, were awarded a Lilly Theological Scholars Collaborative Research Grant for a cross-disciplinary project entitled, “New Creation Is Everything: Christian Identity, Male Circumcision, and HIV/AIDS in Northwest Tanzania.” Part of this research was published in the British Medical Journal Open. The Downses spend several months a year living in Mwanza, Tanzania, where David regularly teaches at P.A.G. Bible College. Downs is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Association, and the North American Patristics Society.]]

See links below:

[1] http://fuller.edu/faculty/ddowns/

[2] http://baylorpress.com/Book/473/Alms.html

Johnson Thomaskutty, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India

[GRI Writing Scholar, Fuller Theological Seminary, California]