Interview: Allen Hutchison

School/Institution:

Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa (near Cape Town)

Areas of Interest/Research:

Inner-Biblical Allusion / Chronicles / Exodus

What is it about your field that you love researching?

I studied communication in undergrad and love thinking about what people say and why they say it the way they do. When it comes to the Bible, I want to understand what the text says, and I also want to know why it says it the way it does. By looking at allusions in Chronicles, I get to study how the author uses other parts of Scripture to bolster Chronicles’ own ideas and arguments and think about why that is important. I also get to think about what effect those allusions have on the reader (including us 2000+ years later). I think it gives us additional insights into how God has communicated with humanity, with us.

What is one “big idea” in your scholarship?

The Bible is accessible to modern readers; we just have to meet it on its own terms. It is a set of ancient documents, not modern ones. But if we try to understand the genres of the individual writings and their literary characteristics, then we can understand the Bible and its messages, how God has revealed himself, what he thinks about us, and how we fit into his story.

What is your current research about?

Inner-biblical allusions in 2 Chr 10-36 to the book of Exodus. I’m looking at how the author of Chronicles uses these allusions and how those allusions fit into his rhetorical arguments in that section of the book.

Who is one of your academic heroes and why do you admire them?

Ray Lubeck – The first class I took with Ray was “Bible Study Methods.” He introduced me to the world of biblical literature. As I took more classes with him, I learned from him not only how to be a student of the Bible but that the way we teach the Bible matters too. He was also the first person to introduce me to the concept and field of pedagogy. He is intentional about both what he teaches and how he teaches.

What books have been formative for you in your study? Why were they so important? How did they shape you?

Brian Rosner – Greed as Idolatry: The Origin and Meaning of a Pauline Metaphor

This was my first exposure to a book that walked the reader through the exegetical process and showed how all interpretative options are on the table at first. He then narrows those options down based on his exegetical method. I remember finishing it and thinking: “If I write a book someday, I want it to be like this one.” 

Robert Alter – The Art of Biblical Narrative // Adele Berlin – The Dynamics of Biblical Parallelism

These two books opened my eyes to the value of reading the Hebrew Bible as a text written in Hebrew, not just words that needed to be translated into another language (like English) for non-Hebrew-speaking people to understand them.

Do you have any publications we can showcase?

I co-authored a linguistics/translation article about Aramaic interjections this year with my Aramaic professor. It’s behind a paywall, but if your institution has access, it’s available here. If not, people can send me an email (dahutchison AT gmail.com) and I’d be happy to send them a PDF. 

Where can we follow you online?

Twitter: @dahutchison

If we ran into you at SBL/AAR and you didn’t want to talk about your field what would you want to talk about?

My family (married for almost 19 years with 5 kids), how cool South Africa is, The Mandalorian, good storytelling.

Other than your thesis, what research/writing project are you working on right now that you’re excited about?

As part of my dissertation, I get to dive into the world of narrative analysis and especially Perspective Criticism. Perspective Criticism forces me to slow down and consider the text from different angles. I find it immensely fascinating and helpful, and I think narrative exegesis could really benefit from more of it.

>> Thank you so much Allen for taking the time to share a bit about yourself and your work.


Are you a PhD student or Early Career Researcher working in Religion or Biblical Studies? If so, we’d like to hear from you. This website is dedicated solely to interviewing PhD students and ECRs on who they are, what they love about their work, and what has inspired them. If you’d like to be interviewed, head over to the Contact page and fill out the form. There’s no catch. Don’t be shy. Self-promotion is a virtue.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Steph Hutchison says:

    Reblogged this on The Hutchison Septenary and commented:
    Below is an interview Allen did recently that I know many of you will enjoy!

    Like

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