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A minor


Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Wright's Creative Study Habits

Many of you have probably seen this 1999 Christianity Today article on NT Wright. Someone recently reminded me about it, and here are a couple parts I thought were cool:

Having made up his mind to be a biblical scholar but lacking any precise role models, he studied according to his own ideas. "I'd always read the Bible, but I set myself during those two years [studying theology at Oxford's Wycliffe Hall] to read through the Old Testament in English twice a year, and the New Testament in Greek four times a year. I also tape-recorded Romans in Greek, Galatians in Greek, 1 Corinthians in Greek, John in Greek, Hebrews in Greek, and Isaiah in English. I used to listen to them while doing housework or driving the car or whatever. These texts were just constantly flowing through my head." He says that to this day he can recite nearly the whole of Galatians in Greek.


Wright did his doctoral studies under George Caird, studying Romans. To do so, he placed photocopies of Romans in Greek on a board and used the copies as the backdrop for his study of the book. "I would often spend hours and days with colored felt tip pens, just getting the whole picture of Romans and how it worked—covering the board with scribbles and dots and dashes and bits and pieces of this and that, and noticing particularly the way in which—almost like themes in a symphony—there were clusters of words at a certain point which then occurred somewhere else. These didn't by any means always tally with the structure that I had been taught to look for."

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