Yesterday I received my copy (for review in European Journal of Theology) of Greg Beale and D.A. Carson’s (eds) Commentary on the NT Use of the Old Testament (Baker/Apollos, 2007). Here are my initial thoughts.
+ It looks slick and that always helps. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when it looks this nice, it is inviting and really draws attention to itself.
+ The scholars for this are really good evangelical guys who know their stuff – Ciampa, Beale, Blomberg, CarsonThielman, Weima, M. Silva. Very impressive. I know it is meant to be a very unified evangelical approach and so that means no Richard Hays, Joel Marcus, Steve Moyise, Francis Watson, Morna Hooker, N.T. Wright, James Dunn, etc… But, I am a bit surprised that no women found their way into this ground-breaking project. For instance, Karen Jobes blurbs the book, but she could easily have done 1 Peter (see her oft-cited BEC volume). Or, Linda Belleville (who would have been a good choice for 2 Corinthians). Marianne Meye Thompson might have been good for the Gospel of John. With these three options I gave, no one would feel that they could not provide the highest level of competency and scholarship on the modern state of intertextuality. OK, I will give the editors the benefit of the doubt and presume they considered such matters and perhaps women they tracked down could not commit to the project. Still, this does not look good for conservatives. Consider, at the most recent Institute for Biblical Research committee meeting at SBL, the lack of women in attendance was taken up as a serious matter of concern – this should show that I am not just blowing smoke.
Though I am not a woman and I don’t know what it feels like to be in a field dominated by ‘the other gender’, I am a minority and I remember being at the British New Testament Conference last year in Exeter and thinking – this is a lot of white people and I wish there was a bit more diversity – I kind of stick out (as an Indian).
Overall, I imagine Beale and Carson thought that they collected the expert scholars on the subjects involved (and they did a pretty excellent job). Still, I wonder and hope that they really thought through this issue.
On a personal note, I know several of the authors of these chapters, and I do not doubt their desire to support all underrepresented groups in education and teaching. Still, multi-authored works with this kind of homogeneity seems a bit off – maybe it comes from my having lived in Massachusetts for five years!
Well, all things considered, I anticipate that I will be impressed by the commentary, and I trust the theological leadership of Beale and Carson. Keep an eye out for my coming review (when you purchase a copy of the European Journal of Theology or request your library to order it!).