Posts Tagged ‘Thesis’

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reading and compiling an annotated bibliography for the purpose of formulating and refining a thesis. You’ll forgive me, I hope, if my writing is a bit complicated. I tend to absorb the writing style of those that I’ve subjected my eyes to the most. Scholarly writing isn’t always “readable” writing.

I can tell that I’m becoming more familiar with parts of the field as I make fewer and fewer notes. At first, my annotations were summaries of the articles I was reading. Now, I’m able to sum the article up in 4-5 lines. I’ve also made sure to add a couple of lines of my thoughts of the article and its usefulness toward my “thesis.”

I’ve focused primarily on two works. First, is the work on the Enneateuch (fancy word for Genesis-Kings). The scholars in this book describe methodologies and case studies for the literary works in the Ennaeteuch. The second work is focused current scholarship on the Penteteuch. The first work is topically focused but literarily broad, and the second is more broadly focused but centers its study on the first 5 books of the Bible rather than the first 9. I’m reading both so that I can get a general grasp on the state of Old Testament studies on the Pentateuch and Former Prophets. I’ve only compiled 11 sources so far, and I have a long way to go.

Although I’m in the early stages of my bibliography, I’m already trying work through some issues with my thesis. First of all, I should mention that I’m looking at the book of Joshua and…well, I’m still thinking of an “and.” I know I want to focus on language, text critical, and literary development issues and how they impact interpretation of the final form of Joshua. Other than that, I’m too broad right now to say much about specifics.

Methodologically, I have some questions to answer. The “critical” field is definitely concerned with source criticism/literary analysis and its impact on interpretation. Evangelicals are interested in final form centering around dogmatic issues. The line between the two isn’t that bold, but I need to deal in both realms for the purpose of my thesis. This fact leads me to ask questions about “evangelical” use of “critical” scholarship. Namely, what is the useful, best, and wise use of critical scholarship? Don’t get me wrong. I have to ask the same question about evangelical scholarship. Since I am plunging myself into the deep end of source criticism at the moment, the question about critical scholarship is more pressing. The real question is: How much do I discuss source/literary/historical critical issues? I suppose I could help myself by having a more specific thesis – my problem is really the chicken-or-the-egg syndrome.

I’m not too stressed right now, but at least I’m thinking…and praying. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading my ramblings.


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