CHICAGO, IL (December 22, 2014) — Klyne Snodgrass, the Paul W. Brandel professor of New Testament studies, says that sensing God had called him to academia has provided context for his work and he is grateful that the people who surprised him with a festschrift in his honor, Doing Theology for the Church, chose the perfect title for the book.
In a video interview with his colleague Max Lee, associate professor of New Testament studies, Snodgrass says he did not originally intend to pursue scholarly work or teach in a seminary, but that he came to see that God was calling him to that work.
“What that means for me is that it’s never merely academic work, it’s life work. So for me to deal with a topic—whether it’s Paul and the law or parables or my own identity or something else—it’s really a question of, ‘Who am I and how do I live this life that God has given and what does the text keep trying to tell us about who we are and what we should be doing?’”
He adds, “Doing theology for the church is a way of asking ourselves ‘What is it that this text is shaping us into?’”
Snodgrass says he was stunned when colleagues surprised him with the festschrift earlier this year in honor of his 40 years of teaching. “I did not have this on my radar screen at all, and to have that kind of gift from your friends and colleagues and former students will be something unparalleled that is deeply gratifying, and there are not words to do justice to the significance of the book.”
Scholars contributing essays to the volume include N.T. Wright, Richard Longenecker, Scot McKnight, seminary colleagues, and former students who have gone on to academic careers. The festschrift can be purchased here.
In the video interview, Snodgrass also discusses his greatest joys and struggles as an educator and the role his family has played in enabling him to live out his call.