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Dear SBL Forum,

I read with sadness the passing of one of the most powerful writers and influential scholars of modern times.  I had heard about the late Professor Barr and read some of his works in my younger days; but it was in 1998 when he was invited to give a paper on ideological interpretation of the scripture in the divinity faculty of Glasgow University where I was a research student that I first met him. Although there was hardly any time left for a more personal and indepth conversation, in the discussion that took place following his delivery, Professor Barr impressed me with his most erudite and powerfully exact scholarship. Where he was utterly convinced about a point, he never simply made a declaration but put forth his argument in no uncertain terms and with powerful evidence and analysis, often leaving the entire audience speechless. But when no clear evidence was available he was careful to probe, query, challenge, and never wanting to commit to any conclusive position, even if that meant going against what most others thought.  It is regrettable that these days eminent scholars like Barr are few. What Barr achieved in his lifetime, to my mind, may be a reflection of two of the great attributes of a great human being honesty and discipline. His honesty with the findings of his research, which brought about many radical and challenging proposals in the field of biblical theology, combined with the discipline with which he carried out his scholarly endeavours, were two among many attributes that I believe were so fundamental to the late Professor Barr's scholarly success.    Professor Barr will continue to live on in the world of scholarship; and it is my hope that he will will be a model of academic honesty and integrity, discipline, and exactness, for the many generations to come.

Richard Liong-seng Phua, Trinity Theological College, Singapore


Sam Balentine sent in two articles that appeared in the Vanderbilt University Alumni Publications Digest.

From
The Spire, Vol 20 no 1, Summer 1998:
"James Barr: Sailing New Seas" by Fay Wirth Renardson and
"Thanks to America!" by James Barr.

Both appear here, (combined in one pdf) by permission from the editor.


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