Thursday, May 14, 2015

I am the Very Model of a Doctor of New Testament

With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan's "I am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General," a patter-song in The Pirates of Penzance. If you're not familiar with the tune, you can listen to the original here.
Also inspired by Josh Tyra's Old Testament-oriented "I am the Very Model of a Biblical Philologist"

I am the very model of a Doctor of New Testament,
I exegete pericopae in weather fine or inclement,
I know the difference between a codex and a Chester B,
and even if a manuscript is Byzantine or Westerly.

I number and eviscerate fallacies exegetical,
and teach my students to avoid those follies homiletical,
With views on the millennium I’m certain I’ll amuse yah
(Bothered for a rhyme... Amuse yah, amuse yah... Got it!)
In matters ‘pocalyptical I teach on the Parousia!

I argue ‘bout the authorship of letters Pauline and Petrine,
My research has determined that Luke finished Acts on May sixteen,
In short, I ably exegete, in weather fine or inclement,
I am the very model of a Doctor of New Testament!

On Paul I can expostulate perspectives old and de novo,
I comprehend a genitive subjective or objectivo,
Of tradition and redaction I’m an expert and a critic,
I’ve determined the eye color of that healéd paralytic.

My reading’s all initialized, with titles like T-D-N-T,
I wrote a hundred entries for the lexicon B-D-A-G.
I’ve diagnosed that thorn of Paul’s that made him feel so dreary,
(Bothered for a rhyme... Dreary, dreary... Got it!)
On North and South Galatian views I’m certain of my theory!

I give opinions on accents acute and circumflexian,
And lucidly enunciate both modern and Erasmian,
In short, I ably exegete, in weather fine or inclement,
I am the very model of a Doctor of New Testament!

I know what Jesus wrote upon the dust in words non-verbally,
(Yes, I know that scene’s excluded by criteria externally),
Don’t get me started talking on those Jesus Quests heretical,
I’ll quote you Schweitzer’s famous lines and slap your face polemical!


I like my eschaton inaugurated, but not realized,
I’m not Bultmannian enough to like it demythologized,
I dissect ev’ry echo or allusion, even just a hint,
           (Bothered for a rhyme... Just a hint, just a hint... Got it!)
Unlike my OT colleagues I’m a fan of the Septuagint.

I explicate the value of inscriptions and numismata
and can distinguish clearly ‘tween σαρκίνα and πνευματικά
And so I ably exegete, in weather fine or inclement,
I am the very model of a Doctor of New Testament!

Encore: (or more correctly, I wrote one too many stanzas)
I can construct a diagram semantic and syntactical,
and pontificate on matters both linguistic and rhetorical,
I opine that the magi wrote a weekly Persian horoscope,
I know well that pericope rhymes not at all with periscope!

And so I ably exegete, in weather fine or inclement,
I am the very model of a Doctor of New Testament!

1 comment:

  1. Very educational! Gary, you are bril-i-ant!
    New Testamental scholarship is sometimes very dissident.
    My fav'rite line of all is where you claim in rhyme what few can quote:
    "I know well that pericope rhymes not at all with periscope!"

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