Monday 28th September: Reason #5 – Inspiring Lecturers

I cycled to St Mary's Quad for my first (and only) lecture of the day: New Testament History and Theology.

In my post about advising I mentioned that my lecturer is also my advisor. I thought we were going to have an introductory lecture, but Dr Iverson preferred to ease us into the year by casually asking us why we decided to study his module. Apart from the obvious ‘it’s compulsory’ answer, we talked about how important it is to try and understand how Christianity developed from a group of followers of Jesus into an institutionalised religion, as well as agreeing about the undeniable ‘footprint that Jesus has left on the Western world’.

Before the end of the ‘lecture’ he put up a painting on the whiteboard and asked us what we could see.
This isn’t the one that he showed us but look at the painting that St Luke is creating of the Virgin Mary and Child. It’s a similar scene to what is taking place behind the easel, and yet, baby Jesus has been depicted as fondly looking up towards Mary instead of sitting straight ahead as he is shown as doing on the right.

So how does this painting relate to how we should approach studying the New Testament?

Well, we should realise that the New Testament is not a BBC News witness to what happened but an ‘interpretation of events’. Just as St Luke’s painting, ‘events have been highlighted and enhanced’ depending on how the author has understood it.

Profound words from Dr Iverson. An encouraging start to the semester methinks, not only because I remember what was said during the 50mins I was sat in Lecture room 2, but also because something he said will stay with me for a very long time:

‘never study for a course, but study to learn

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