Friday, September 18, 2009

Raymond Brown on J. Louis Martyn and scholarly collegiality

"In a Festschrift the intellectual quality of the contributions pays tribute to the scholarship of the one being honored. I wish to go beyond such formal acknowledgment by expressing what many of us owe to Lou Martyn as a person and a scholar, for in that combination lies what I do not hesitate to call his greatness. . . . .

"He has never been a 'school man'; he appreciated his masters, but he has continually thought in his own way. His basic test is always the text, verse by verse, so that the theory has to fit the text and not vice versa. . . . .

"For a decade and a half, then, with the aid of a junior colleague rotated on a regular basis, Martyn and I have had to work together on all the Field exams and dissertations of a very active New Testament doctoral program. . . . The thought that a small department by working together in friendship and respect, had achieved the level of the larger departments of the past meant something to the doctoral students as well, for consistently they treated both of us as their friends. Never, to my awareness, have they found us undermining each other or using them against each other . . ."

- Raymond Brown, "A Personal Word" in Joel Marcus and Marion L. Soards (eds.), Apocalyptic and the New Testament: Essays in Honor of J. Louis Martyn (JSNTSup 24; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1989), 9-12.


Eric said...

Where did he teach?

d. miller said...

Union Theological Seminary in New York city. J. Louis Martyn is still around, as far as I know. Raymond Brown died in 1998.

Jeremy said...

Hi David, this is your old classmate Jeremy here. I just bumped into this quotation-- a lovely tribute to Lou Martyn, whom I had the good fortune to become friends with, as he was retired nearby New Haven. He is just the sort of whole person and scholar I think we'd all love to emulate.

Lou is indeed still around--reading vigorously and thinking hard!

Hope all is well, Jeremy

d. miller said...

Thanks for the comment, Jeremy.

All is well--just unusually busy this year (or so it seems).