To meet all the Center’s 2016-2017 interns, see here. –Ed.
My adventure with CSNTM began in fall of 2016 when I accidentally signed up for Dr. Wallace’s honor’s Greek class at Dallas Theological Seminary. I walked into his class wearing my California beach dress and flip flops—trying to make it through my first day in the Texas summer heat. I could tell by the California-style beach button-up he was wearing that Dr. Wallace and I would get along, but I had no idea the impact he and the Center would have on my life.
The second I heard about the internship with Dr. Wallace, my heart was already set on doing it. At the time, I was taking classes at seminary for fun and had no real direction for my program (let alone any direction toward a future in textual criticism), but that didn’t matter. I knew that this internship would teach me things that I couldn’t learn anywhere else, give me opportunities that would never otherwise be possible, and would allow me to be challenged by one of the most incredible minds I know and the amazing crew he has assembled at CSNTM.
Suffice it to say, I have not been disappointed. Mondays at the Center have ended up being my favorite day of the week. Even if our work were terribly dull, the people would be enough to make it worth it. Thankfully, that is not the case. I have been able to respond to emails from people all over the country asking deep and complex questions about the Bible. I’ve spent hours pouring over biblical manuscripts from across the centuries, and to my great surprise, I can now actually read them! I’ve been able to tag some of these manuscripts so that future generations will be able to navigate through them with the click of a button. I wrote a paper analyzing the impact of textual variants on Christian doctrine and was subsequently amazed at how the teachings in these books have held their ground through hundreds of years of transmission.
Just listing off these opportunities makes my head spin at the incredible blessing this internship has been. I am still definitely going to seminary for fun—but now I also have direction. I want to earn my PhD so that I can teach others about these amazing topics, with the same excitement and passion with which Dr. Wallace and his team have taught me.
Originally from northern Idaho, I first moved to Texas in 2011 to study computer science at LeTourneau University in Longview. After graduating, I started a three-year program with both Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics and am currently finishing up my second year. This program, which is a Master of Arts in Biblical Exegesis and Linguistics, is designed to prepare people for work in Bible translation ministries such as Wycliffe Bible Translators. I have also been married for nearly two years, and my wife, Jade, and I have a nine-month-old daughter named Evelyn.
I first encountered Dr. Wallace’s work in high school when I made an effort to teach myself Greek by studying his book Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. After taking first year Greek at DTS with him, I knew that being able to work at CSNTM was an opportunity I could not pass by!
One of my favorite components of the internship has been working through the images of manuscripts taken at the National Library of Greece. In doing so, I’ve developed skills in reading the manuscripts and tagging their major features. Through it all, it has been encouraging to be able to see first hand the amount of care and effort that past Christians put into preserving the New Testament and making it more accessible in their context. The reward is that they are available for future generations.
I have also developed a deeper appreciation for the rich history of the transmission of the Scriptures that we have available. This appreciation generated a deeper understanding of the significance of the Bible in terms of its impact on the life of the church in teaching and proclaiming the gospel. Furthermore, it produces a greater sense of confidence in the Greek text from which I will be doing translation work in the future to continue the pattern of making God’s Word accessible.
It has been an honor to work with a community of people dedicated to their work and passionate about the positive impact it will have for the community of believers at large. This has given me an environment in which I not only learn about textual criticism and the transmission of the New Testament but also get to diligently work to the best of my ability for God’s glory and the building up of His people.