Peter Gentry’s Faculty Address at SBTS
Posted by John Meade on September 30, 2010
Peter Gentry delivered a wonderful faculty address, “No One Holy, Like the Lord”, at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the audio file is here.
It seems to me, Gentry had three objectives: 1) to summarize biblical scholarship on Hebrew qds (holy, consecrated, belonging to)(Baudissin to Costecalde) and to place the results of these technical studies in the context of systematic theology (e.g. H. Bavinck et al.). According to Gentry, through the past 100+ years systematic theology has understood qds through the lexical analysis of Baudissin, which suffered from an etymological analysis, which concluded that the original meaning of qd meant “to cut”. Costecalde’s study of 1985, almost 100 years later, was exhaustive and more linguistically thorough and he concluded that the evidence from the ANE and the Bible indicates that qds means “consecration” or “devotion” or “belonging to” not “separate” or “otherness”. The former study emphasized distance between God and man, while the latter emphasized “devoted to” or “belonging to”. Unfortunately, this study was published in French and many systematic theologians have not utilized it. 2) To exegete the key texts where qds is used: Exodus 3 (“holy ground”), Exodus 19 (“holy nation”), and Isaiah 5-6 (Holy Lord, Holy, Holy, Holy, indicating that YHWH is devoted to social justice in the context). 3) Gentry closes his lecture with an exhortation to systematic theologians to continue the work of exegesis and not to continue accepting the viewpoints of the status quo.
The lecture is about an hour and it is definitely worth listening to.