Tim Seid, Associate Dean & Assistant Professor of New Testament Studies, Earlham School of Religion. Programmed worship, Sept. 25, 2014.
Early in my academic career I became excited by how the texts of early Christianity made more sense to me by interpreting them within the context of Greco-Roman language, rhetoric, and philosophy. Although I had considered doing an undergraduate or post-graduate degree in classical studies, I was always pulled back to focusing on early Christian studies and on how one is to live a Christian life. Whether it was the “New Testament Christianity” of my early years among evangelicals or the “primitive Christianity revived” of my later years among Quakers, I’ve always been interested in basing my faith in the experience and thought of those who wrote the texts of early Christianity.
I spend most of my time in administrative work at ESR, largely through the use of technology, but my passion has always been the study of the Bible and interpreting its texts. Most recently I’ve been challenged to look for ways that the outcome of my academic research might have practical benefit. To get to that point, I need to trace three concurrent developments that I am trying to bring together.1 As far as I know, no one else is working at this in quite the way I’m attempting to do it – which may mean I’m either really insightful or really ignorant.