Thesis Defended


Yesterday afternoon I defended my thesis, “‘You Will Be Like the Gods’: The Conceptualization of Deity in the Hebrew Bible in Cognitive Perspective,” to faculty and students at Trinity Western University. I gave a brief 20-minute presentation and then answered questions from my thesis committee, from other TWU faculty, and from students attending. The entire process was supposed to take no more than 2 hours, but I spent a full 90 minutes just fielding questions. There was a lot of interest in the topic, which was nice.

The committee deliberated for less than ten minutes, and I was asked to make some very small structural revisions and was given an A+. Two professors afterward commented that it was one of the best theses the school had produced. The director of graduate studies, who was in charge of all the administrative processes, told me she usually doesn’t sit through the defenses, but she found it so fascinating she just had to stick around. I was very flattered. Afterward my wife got to speak with several other students and professors, and many of them made a point of congratulating her and thanking her for her support, which she greatly appreciated.

It was very nice to be back in the northwest and to see some old friends. I enjoyed being back on TWU’s beautiful campus and talking biblical studies again with mostly the same faculty, staff, and students. It was a wonderful trip, and thanks to a new prescription of Valium my flight anxiety was non-existent for the flight back. It’s been a nice week, and now I get to sleep in my own bed again.

Thanks to everyone out there who has supported me in one capacity or another, in person or in spirit, as I pursued this degree and my previous two. It has meant a lot to me, but I don’t often get the chance to express it. Thanks again.

PS – Information on how my thesis will be made available in the future should be forthcoming.


6 responses to “Thesis Defended

  • Stephan Huller

    Congratulations. Benny is still here until tomorrow in case you are well rested enough.

    • Daniel O. McClellan

      That’s very kind, Stephan, but we’re already back in Salt Lake. We were so busy we didn’t even have time to visit the people we planned to. It was a very rushed four days.

  • Avram

    Congratulations! I’m sure it was excellent.

  • koan2u

    I’ve had a chance to peruse you thesis and will need to carve out an afternoon to digest more of it. One word stuck out from it – “generic”. I’ve been reading the english translations of the ante nicene fathers (since my greek is pitiful) I’ve noted several examples where the ‘elect’ become ‘god’..since the “elect” is a singular used in a generic sense, it appears that the singular THEOS (before translation) is also being used generically also. I’m in the tedious process of checking the underlying greek of these citations. Correct me if I’m off on this, generic would seem to describe the characteristics of a class whereas ‘qualitative’ would seem to describe the characteristics of an individual. if this be at least semi-accurate, “intolerant monotheism” as Heiser would say, finds a very unsupportable basis in the early fathers I’ve been perusing. your comments please on this opinion and if you would be so kind, some pinpoint Bibliographical hints for volumes that expand on this, thanks!

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