Benjamin Gladd, Ph.D. 2008
Recipient of the Robert and Mary Gamble Hewitt Fellowship
Assistant Professor of New Testament
Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS
My dissertation, "Revealing the MYSTERION: The Use of Mystery in Daniel and Early Judaism with Its Bearing on First Corinthians" (Walter de Gruyter) supervised by Dr. G. K. Beale, attempts to further develop the term "mystery." Scholars have long recognized that this word is a technical term, originating from the book of Daniel. Simply put, mystery constitutes a revelation of God's hidden eschatological wisdom. After articulating the term in Daniel, I then trace the word in the Dead Sea Scrolls and other sectors of Judaism. My project then examines how mystery functions within Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians, and seeks to explain why the term is often employed. Of particular interest is the polemical nature of the term in 1 Cor 1-2 that may reflect its narratival use in Daniel; God's wisdom is superior to the wisdom of the "wise men" of Babylon. Particularly, "mystery" seems to be linked to Paul's overall concern of unity within the Corinthian community. The divided Corinthian community must rally around mystery of the cross and embrace a cruciform lifestyle.
My choice to attend Wheaton College was borne out of a concern for a strong evangelical commitment to Scripture and a firm belief in the unity of the Bible. I particularly admired Wheaton's emphasis on researching rather than an inordinate amount of class work. Also, the program promotes a close, personal relationship between the students and mentors. This enables students to observe first hand the intricacies and duties of a professor. But more importantly, students are in a marvelous position to be mentored and discipled by godly individuals. Lastly, friendships and daily interaction with fellow students greatly enrich the doctoral program, making my stint all the more enjoyable. Thanks to Wheaton, I am now adequately prepared to work in some capacity in higher education or ministry.