One of our new releases last month — The Spirit and Christ in the New Testament and Christian Theology: Essays in Honor of Max Turner — is the sort of volume commonly referred to in publishing as a Festschrift.
For the uninitiated, Festschrift is German for “celebratory writing” — or, rather more loosely translated, “party in a book.”
Practically speaking, a Festschrift is a published collection of essays that honors a highly respected scholar, is written and assembled by that scholar’s distinguished peers, and is usually presented on the occasion of a milestone birthday or anniversary. This one — edited by I. Howard Marshall, Volker Rabens, and Cornelis Bennema — was presented to New Testament scholar Max Turner June 30 at the London School of Theology graduation ceremony in celebration of his sixty-fifth birthday.
Generally, Festschriften — with their academic subject matter and highly specific purpose — tend not to receive broad attention. This is a shame, as there can be some mighty good reading in a Festschrift. In the case of The Spirit and Christ in the New Testament and Christian Theology this is especially true, as both its subject matter and its list of contributors are pretty impressive.
Here’s an excerpt from the editors’ preface by I. Howard Marshall, Volker Rabens, and Cornelis Bennema that explains the book’s subject and scope:
This is a Festschrift to celebrate Max Turner’s sixty-fifth birthday. . . . We felt that such a volume should be united by more than a common desire to honor Max. Two principal areas in which Max has worked focus on the work of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, with the implications of this for the life of the church today. A volume that picks up these themes and uses Max’s work as the launching pad for further investigation of these topics would be of considerable value to students and scholars alike. We thus aimed to strike out in fresh directions rather than repeat what previous studies have done. As a result, this Festschriftcontains contributions from Max’s colleagues at LST and the wider academy, as well as his former students (many of whom now belong to the latter category). It focuses on the areas of the Spirit and Christ, both in the New Testament and in aspects of Christian theology, with topics that are relevant for the church worldwide today.
Here’s the book’s table of contents, listing contributions from distinguished scholars including James D. G. Dunn, D. A. Carson, Richard Bauckham, Joel B. Green, and others:
An Introduction to Max Turner
“The Lord, the Giver of Life”: The Gift of the Spirit as Both Life-giving and Empowering
James D. G. Dunn
The Spirit, Simeon, and the Songs of the Servant
John R. Levison
Whose Spirit? The Promise and the Promiser in Luke 12:12 35
The Persecuted Prophets: A Mirror Image of Luke’s Spirit-Inspired Church 52
Robert P. Menzies
“Was It Not Necessary for the Messiah to Suffer These Things and Enter into His Glory?” The Significance of Jesus’ Death for Luke’s Soteriology
Joel B. Green
The Giving of the Spirit in John 19–20: Another Round
Is Faith in Christ Without Evidence Superior Faith? A Re-examination of John 20:29
D. A. Carson
Apollos and the Ephesian Disciples: Befores and Afters (Acts 18:24–19:7)
Power from In Between: The Relational Experience of the Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts in Paul’s Churches
Divine Spirit and Human Spirit in Paul in the Light of Stoic and Biblical-Jewish Perspectives
Ephesians and Divine-Christology
Salvation’s Bath by the Spirit: A Study of Titus 3:5b-6 in Its Canonical Setting
Robert W. Wall
The Spirit in Hebrews: No Longer Forgotten?
New Jerusalem and the Conversion of the Nations: An Exercise in Pneumatic Discernment (Rev. 21:1–22:5)
John Christopher Thomas
Moses as “God” in Philo of Alexandria: A Precedent for Christology?
Jesus and the Spirit in Biblical and Theological Perspective: Messianic Empowering, Saving Wisdom, and the Limits of Biblical Theology
Mark L. Strauss
Cyril of Alexandria and the Incarnation
Anthony N. S. Lane
“By the Washing of Regeneration and Renewal in the Holy Spirit”: Towards a Pneumatological Theology of Justification
Towards a Theology of Togetherness — Life through the Spirit
Creative Reason and the Spirit: Identifying, Evaluating, and Developing Paradigms of Pneumatology
There’s no denying: that’s quite a Festschrift!
Congratulations and thanks to Max Turner, whose exemplary life and career have been an inspiration to so many of his students and peers.