I just posted about the tradition of scholars here at Durham. I was at Tesco (~Walmart) this evening and ran into Loren Stuckenbruck. He mentioned to me that this week Durham had officially closed the deal with Francis Watson (currently at Aberdeen). As it stands now, Francis will begin part-time here in Durham this fall and will be full-time in fall 2008. If Durham was one of the best NT departments in the UK before, this definitely raises Durham to the top with three professors and two other very fine NT scholars. In my humble opinion, Cambridge has a top notch group of younger scholars coming in, but now Durham has stacked the deck with more academically mature scholars. We will definitely be stacked in the Pauline studies area, which is good for me!

I got asked about how this would influence John’s position. I can’t imagine that he would come and go within 3 years. Also, knowing him I’m sure he would have told his supervisees directly if he wasn’t going to be here for the full term because of this move, instead of having the news trickle out. But I’m still new here so that’s just my speculation.

The real question is what is Aberdeen going to do, since Simon Gathercole and Peter Williams are going to Cambridge this fall and now Francis Watson is coming here. I feel bad for those who were doing Paul with Simon and were thinking they would be able to rely on Francis. :0 I wonder how that works with student transfers.

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