Sunday, June 5, 2011

C.F.D. Moule on the Birth of the New Testament

Although it first appeared almost 50 years ago, and was last revised in 1982, it is obvious from the quotations I've posted that I think C.F.D. Moule's, The Birth of the New Testament (3rd ed.; Harper & Row, 1982) is still well worth reading. Here's another gem:
"[I]n a genuinely Christian community there is a humility that renders mutual learning quick and easy--the intellectuals ready to learn from the silent witness of the less articulate, and vice versa." (207)
I found myself disagreeing with some of Moule's proposals--for example, that the Gospels weren't intended as preaching or that most of the NT can be dated pre-70. And, of course, one would turn elsewhere for a current introduction to Christian Origins. But for those already familiar with aspects of current scholarship, Birth offers an instructive glimpse into its history: to the giants on whose shoulders modern scholars--sometimes unknowingly--joust, and of those whose contributions have been forgotten to our collective loss.


Unknown said...

Just wondering, when would you peg in the writing of most of the New Testament books? post-90?

d. miller said...

Hmm...I was primarily thinking about the Synoptic Gospels, which I would date in the 70's-80's, and the Johannine literature, which I would date in the 90's. I guess that's not "most of the NT"!

Peter Kirk said...

Charlie Moule lived this humility in his own life. See my memories of him.

d. miller said...

Thanks for the link, Peter!