May 9, 2010
Five Questions with Dr. Timothy Wiarda
Dr. Timothy Wiarda graciously agreed to answer five questions about his new book Interpreting Gospel Narratives (see this post). Dr. Wiarda is professor of New Testament Studies at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, California. Prior to that he taught for fifteen years at Singapore Bible College and has also been a tentmaker in Algeria and pastor of a church for international workers in the Arab country of Oman. He holds degrees from Wheaton College (B.A., M.A.) and London School of Theology (Ph.D.).
Question: How did Interpreting Gospel Narratives come about?
I became interested in the way Gospel narratives work while doing doctoral research on Peter in the Gospels, and also through teaching courses on the Gospels. I wanted to put together in an organized way some of what I was seeing in Gospel narratives.
Question: Why did you write Interpreting Gospel Narratives?
I was hoping to help interpreters better understand and appreciate the richness of the Gospel’s narrative material.
Question: What is the main thesis of the book?
The book has several mini-theses. These include that Gospel writers take pains to portray individual characters in meaningful ways, that narrative design and theological purpose work together in Gospel narratives, and that the Holy Spirit bears testimony to Christ in and through the intended messages of the Gospel writers.
Question: Who do you think should read this book?
I have two audiences in mind; first, those who preach and teach the Gospels, but then also scholars who continue to investigate the nature and meaning of the narrative material in the Gospels.
Question: What do you hope to accomplish through this book?
I hope to raise awareness of some neglected or underappreciated aspects of the Gospels.