“Anyone who reads even a smattering of Paul’s writings recognizes early on that his devotion to Christ was the foremost reality and passion of his life. What he said in one of his later letters serves as a kind of motto for his entire Christian life: ‘For me to live is Christ; to die is [to] gain [Christ]’ (Phil 1:21). Christ is the beginning and goal of everything for Paul and thus is the single great reality along the way.”
–Gordon D. Fee, Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2007), 1.
“Christian ethics is not primarily an individualistic, one-on-one-with-God brand of personal holiness; rather it has to do with living the life of the Spirit in Christian community and in the world.”
–Gordon Fee, Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1996), 99.
“God is not just saving individuals and preparing them for heaven; rather, He is creating a people among whom He can live and who in their life together will reproduce God’s life and character.”
–Gordon Fee, Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1996), 66.
“We bring our exegesis to fruition when we ourselves sit with unspeakable wonder in the presence of God, contemplate His riches, pray that they might be poured out on our own friends and family; and stay there in contemplation long enough that our only response is doxology: ‘to our God and Father be glory for ever and ever, Amen.’ Until we have done this, I would venture, we have done our exegesis only tentatively. We have been mere historians.
To be true exegetes we must hear the words with our hearts, we must bask in God’s own glory, we must be moved to a sense of overwhelming awe at God’s riches in glory, we must think again on the incredible wonder that these riches are ours in Christ Jesus, and we must then worship the living God by singing praises to His glory.”
–Gordon D. Fee, “To What End Exegesis? Reflections on Exegesis and Spirituality in Philippians 4:10-20,” Bulletin for Biblical Research 8 (1998), 88.
Two Scholars Disputing (Peter and Paul?)
By Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1628)
Oil on panel. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.
“We have been studying cheerfully and seriously. As far as I was concerned it could have continued in that way, and I had already resigned myself to having my grave here by the Rhine!… And now the end has come. So listen to my piece of advice: exegesis, exegesis, and yet more exegesis! Keep to the Word, to the Scripture that has been given to us.”
–Karl Barth, on the event of his formal farewell to his students in Bonn, just prior to his expulsion from Germany in 1935. Quoted in Gordon Fee, New Testament Exegesis (Louisville, KY.: Westminster, 2002), front matter. Fee cites Eberhard Busch, Karl Barth: His Life from Letters and Autobiographical Texts (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1976).