Meeting Dr. Pete Williams


Because of my academic schedule, I have not had much time to blog over the past couple of months. To get caught up, I want to go back a couple of months. On Monday, October 27, Dr. Bill Combs and I were privileged to meet and have coffee with Dr. Peter Williams, the Warden at Tyndale House, Cambridge (to read more, click here).

Dr. Combs and I had read an itinerary about Dr. Williams’s Oct-Nov trip to the US, which included the Detroit area, and had hoped to meet him (you can read about his recent trip to the US in the 2008 autumn newsletter of Tyndale House). Dr. Combs and Dr. Williams had some interaction in 2007 about an article that Combs had posted at Evangelical Textual Criticism Blog on the subject of Biblical preservation (this is a condensation of a larger journal article (for the article, click here) that appeared in the 2000 edition of the Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal. Because of their previous interaction, Dr. Combs emailed Dr. Williams to see if we might meet while he was in the United States.

Prior to becoming Warden at Tyndale House in June of 2007, Dr. Williams had been Deputy Head of Divinity, History, and Philosophy, and a senior lecturer in New Testament at the University of Aberdeen. When he replaced Dr. Bruce Winter as Warden at Tyndale House, he became the youngest Warden. His academic credentials are impressive. He received his MA, MPhil and PhD from Cambridge University with an emphasis in languages related to the Bible. Dr. Williams is an expert in Aramaic and has taught in both Old and New Testaments. At present, his research includes the early versions of the New Testament, the structure of the opening of the Gospel of John, and the Rephaim in the Old Testament. To read more about Dr. Williams, click here. Back in August of 2007, Justin Taylor had a great interview with him, “An Interview with Peter Williams.”

In a March 2007 Christianity Today article, D. A. Carson, Research Professor in New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, made these glowing remarks: “I am delighted with this appointment. Not many scholars can speak competently across as many technical fields as can Pete. His resolute commitment to Christ and to his Gospel, combined with his administrative and people skills, make his appointment a cause for celebration. I anticipate that the best days of Tyndale House are still ahead.” Though Dr. Combs and I had a limited time with Dr. Williams, it was profitable meeting.

This past fall semester, I was teaching first semester of Elementary Hebrew Grammar. After learning the Hebrew alphabet and vowel points, some of the issues that I face is getting the class to recognize basic syllabification and the proper use of vowel points. My class awareness of these issues needed reinforcement so I pointed them to Dr. Williams post “The Great Pointing Crisis.” Since then the class have gotten with the program. It was a pleasure for Dr. Combs and I to meet Dr. Williams and we look forward to his future contributions to biblical scholarship.

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