Monday, April 11, 2022

Two Books That Changed My Life

I started reading books as a kid in Hawaii. They exposed me to unbelievable adventures. They took me places in my imagination I could only dream about. They were my constant companions. But only a handful I would say "changed my life."

If you could name a book or two that literally changed your life (other than the Bible), what would they be? Here are two of  mine. This was my beginning grammar at Biola when I was a Bible major. 

We were required to take two years of Greek. The first year was Classical Greek, and this was our textbook. I lasted exactly three weeks in the class. The book was WAY over my head. Por ejemplo:

Say what???????

A year later I was hired to teach 11 units of beginning Greek at Biola, using this very same textbook. 

What could be more ironic than that? I was the proverbial kid running away from a water balloon only to fall into a swimming pool. I taught from this grammar for many years until we shifted over to New Testament Greek for beginning Greek, and then I wrote my own textbook.

Here's the second book that changed my life. 

I first read this book after arriving in Basel for my doctoral studies. Since I was thinking about a possible topic for my dissertation, I read everything I could get my hands on in the field of New Testament, especially published doctoral dissertations. To me, Jewett's book was exactly the kind of treatise I wanted to write. 

It became the first of many exemplars of how to produce a first-rate dissertation. Out of pure nostalgia, I recently purchased my own copy. I picked it up today to remind myself to be grateful for all those who went before me in the field of New Testament studies. Their inspiration meant the world to me and still does. 

You don't know what is out there in the world of books until you read and cherish them. And then the memories don't leave you, ever.