I taught my first seminars this week–two seminar groups for NT Intro. I taught 3 or so classes back in my MBA days, but I mostly lectured due to large class sizes (60+). So doing teaching is not all new, but it was about 8 years ago when I led those. (It is interesting that I didn’t even have a masters then and I was the sole grader and had final say on all grades, whereas here I can’t assess anything that counts towards the final grade.)
We discussed first-century worldviews based on quotes of about 10 miracle stories from Roman, Jewish, and Greek figures. We then talked about the trouble of interpreting those stories. Our key test case for modern interp was Bultmann. I only had one student stand up for Bultmann and several were eager to rebut him as they affirmed the literal nature of miracles and the resurrection. I brought up the fact that allegorical interpretation isn’t, at times, too far from Bultmann and that goes on all the time, so we have to be cautious how we nuance the argument.
I can say that these first year students impressed me. I sat in on a first year (freshers) latin class for a week or two and my impression of English students was severely curtailed when they had trouble distinguishing parts of speech–like what is the word ‘is’? These students however seemed to grasp the key issues and had a few comments that I hadn’t thought of.