By Staff, NOBTS Communications
NEW ORLEANS – After a half century of service to the church and the academy, renowned New Testament scholar Gordon D. Fee has donated his specialized textual studies library to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS).
Designated as “The Gordon D. Fee Collection on the New Testament Text,” this significant donation contains books that Fee amassed in his half century of textual studies as well as extensive files with Fee’s notes and data for textual projects realized over the years.
An internationally acclaimed textual scholar and passionate evangelical, Fee has contributed significantly to ensuring the accuracy of the New Testament text. His studies led him to oppose various viewpoints in the field that he saw as inadequate for explaining the history of the transmission of the New Testament text.
Two such examples were his opposition to those preferring the less well-attested texts and those overplaying the role of theological motivation in explaining the rise of variant readings.
His methodological contributions to the study of the New Testament text in the writing of the Church Fathers have paved the way for many advances in that field, and the text-critical notes in his articles and exegetical commentaries have impacted the field repeatedly.
Fee is acclaimed for his studies of individual manuscripts such as the Bodmer papyrus P66, one of the earliest copies of the Gospel of John, and the fourth century manuscript Codex Sinaiticus, one of the most celebrated of all ancient manuscripts.
Fee served as editor of numerous publications and as a key committee member of the International Greek New Testament Project. He also was part of the translation committee of the best-selling New International Version English Bible.
He is currently working on a revision of his acclaimed 1 Corinthians commentary in the New International Commentary on the New Testament series, of which he is the editor.
The collection will be used extensively by scholars and PhD students at the seminary’s H. Milton Haggard Center for New Testament Textual Studies (CNTTS). CNTTS has produced its own extensive apparatus of the variants of the Greek New Testament (available in BibleWorks and Accordance software programs). Recently, work has commenced on a 10-year online textual commentary project that explains the exegetical significance of the manuscript readings, with the first results to be available in early 2012. CNTTS also cooperates with other international projects in the study of biblical manuscripts.
Given Fee’s integration of faith and learning, and mutual commitment to church and scholarship, the donation of his library to a theological seminary with a textual studies center was not unexpected. However, the donation of his library to NOBTS speaks greatly of the research underway at CNTTS. Reflecting similar values, CNTTS director and New Testament professor Bill Warren not only researches biblical manuscripts but also serves as the founding pastor of a new church plant in Pass Christian, Miss.
“Since we find the basis of our knowledge of Jesus in the Bible and have such a high view of its inspiration, we have a responsibility to be involved in the study of the manuscripts that undergird the text and the history of the textual transmission of the New Testament in as much detail as possible,” Warren said.
In a letter expressing gratitude for the donation, seminary President Chuck Kelley wrote Fee, saying, “Textual studies is such a critical area of the church’s knowledge. Thank you for helping us pass on what you have learned to those who will come behind.”