Tuesday, October 16, 2007

C. F. D. Moule (1908-2007)

Professor Dan Wallace has given a very personal reflection on the passing of NT and Greek scholar Charles Francis Digby Moule (pronounced mole). Wallace also provides links to other articles on the man.

I remember when I was first learning Greek, it was impressed on me that knowing the Greek New Testament was far more than a matter of doing word-studies. It involved a grasp of syntax, and of the idioms used. (This is why interlinears are, at best, pointless.)

So I was delighted to stumble across Moule's Idiom-book of New Testament Greek. I bought it, and have used it often ever since.

But an even more delightful discovery (according to the tincture of Scots blood in me) was a discovery one year as I visited my beloved town of Bishop, California. I had learned that sometimes one can find treasures in used book stores or thrift shops. There are few finds for a lot of looking, but sometimes they're really golden.

In this case, I found a copy of C. F. D. Moule's Cambridge commentary on the Greek text of Colossians...

...for ten cents!

Now, there's been inflation since, but that was still an outrageously good deal at the time.

Now, we could chat about other aspects of Wallace's recollections. Moule seems like a genuinely charming man, and he certainly was a very solid scholar. But he did not confess the Trinity? It seems like we have a soft spot for Europeans scholars — like we're so grateful if they're even in the ballpark, so they get a "pass" on what we would call "heresy" if it were Joel Osteen or Benny Hinn.


Turretinfan said...

It's good to see that this blog is still alive!

Unknown said...

yay for a new post! haha...is Moule's Idiom-book still available?

I am off to hunt for it online..

Connie said...

Yes, it is nice to see this blog "active" again.

Gotta love those "great book finds"!!! We too, frequent the thrift stores, flea markets and used bookstores in our area--a real "labor of love". :-)

DJP said...

I was disappointed that we didn't get more regular interaction, and just let involvement in my other two blogs (and the rest of life) fill up my time.

Haven't forgotten this one, though. But I'd envisioned that, in addition to everyone else, we'd have a goodly number of pastors who regularly use their Greek participating regularly. Didn't happen.

Shaun Marksbury said...

Glad to see another post! Those of us just beginning our Greek journeys need places like this. Thanks for your hard work here and at Pyro.

God bless,
Shaun Marksbury

Brad Williams said...


Have you considered a sort of format that might allow immediate critique? I was thinking that you could have someone submit a post on say, Hebrews 2:1 and the word translated "drift away", and then you could interact with it or something? Or maybe you could do a series on the difficult passages on apostasy and demonstrate the key Greek syntax in each section. Just a thought.

PocketScholar said...

I'm unclear about what you are saying regarding Moule not confessing the Trinity. Is this a requirement for good scholarship? Does someone have to line up with a specific theology to get a "pass" as a scholar?

SethMEhorn said...

Moule's book is truly a great help in reading and understanding the Greek NT. Long story, but I am actually in possession of William Lane's (NT scholar)copy of this book.

DJP said...

Author of the NICNT commentary on Mark? Pretty cool. I guess Lane already committed it to memory, eh?


Unknown said...

As a Reformed Charismatic it's hard to say which is more frustrating,
1. the arrogant and often unteachable ignorance of my Charismatic brothers in Christ of the very Word of God (and accompanying doctrines of sovereign grace) they claim to revere in their mostly experiential "pneumatology" of sorts that ironically all too often contradicts the very witness of the very Spirit of God they profess to know, or
2. the arrogant and often unteachable ignorance of my Reformed brothers in Christ of the very Spirit of God they claim to revere in their mostly intellectual "pneumatology" of sorts that ironically all too often contradicts the very witness and even commands of the very Word of God they profess to know (e.g. quench and grieve not the Spirit, nor despise prophesying nor forbid tongues).
This is why I'm thankful for reformed John Piper's more of a via media approach (www.desiringGod.org), though he clearly lacks balance in the arena of the charismata as charismatic Rick Joyner does in the reformed arena (www.morningstarministries.org).

The sad historical revisionism of cessationists is very sad indeed, and as Sam Storms. a former pastor at my charismatic fellowship noted of his own experience (similar to what happened with Dallas's Jack Deere), was largely based on pride and need for a controlling spirit that will not submit to God's, something sadly historically common in the Reformed community, but of course in no way unique to it as seen in the gross misrepresentation by most of Augustine's experience with the prophetic Montanist movement, and similarly replicated in Calvin's regrettable development of the cessationism error in order dishonestly and antiBiblically to combat the few remaining true and faithful Romanist priests he encountered who still moved in the power of the Holy Ghost he saw as a hindrance to the Reformation, much like Luther similarly wouldn't wait on God for His timing of the conversion of the Jews and so in carnal bitterness sadly began calling for their state execution that became tragic exemplar for Hitler and his Holocaust, as Calvin's bogus and unsupportable cessationism came to be exemplar for much harm to God-fearing charismatics in our day, though not meaning at all to compare the two in magnitude, just the similar lack of God's centrality in each, preferring man's false notions to God's truth that is Jesus (John 8:32 & 14:6).

I will never forget the terrible shock I had as a young Christian (but thanks to the grace of God in my pastor-teachers securely Bible-founded) in hearing the sad, gross false witness of major national, generally cessationist, but also charismatic
(a number ironically being both, insanely contradictory as it sounds, proving Jeremiah 17:9 (you really had to be there to believe it and even though I was there I sometimes still can't believe it really happened)),
Church leaders attacking my fellowship from teachers in that for a time had worldwide fame for the moving of the Holy Ghost there, almost unrecognizably perverting what really went on in meetings at which I was present as an eyewitness but they only reported second- or third-hand, so I've long ago learned that cessationism can be highly problematic and easily motivated to bend reality to fit pet notions rather than taking God or His Word seriously (as we all do), especially in the matter of false witness and gossip and refusing to do the hard thing of going to a brother as He demands of us, for which we will all give account in the Judgment (Matt 12:36).

God save us!

DJP said...

How does any of that relate to Moule's passing?