Gundry interprets portrayal of Peter

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Next Monday, Westmont’s Office of the Provost and the Gaede Institute for the Liberal Arts will present the Dr. Robert Gundry, Scholar-in-Residence, in a lecture entitled “Peter: False Disciple and Apostate According to Saint Matthew.”

The talk will explore passages concerning Peter in the book of Matthew, comparing the difference in portrayal between Matthew and the other Gospels, especially Mark.

“[The lecture will conclude] in line with Matthew’s main themes of the presence of false disciples in the church and their apostatizing to save themselves from persecution…, Peter is portrayed in the First Gospel as a false disciple and apostate alongside Judas Iscariot,” according to Gundry.

“Since Roman Catholics regard Peter as the first Pope and many Protestants regard him as their favorite apostle, the talk may well be inflammatory,” said Gundry.

Dr. Bruce Fisk, Professor of Religious Studies specializing in New Testament, stated that the pending presentation will be “stimulating,” and “provocative.”

“Biblical scholars around the world respect Dr. Gundry for his skills as an interpreter, his careful attention to textual detail, and his willingness to swim against the current of popular interpretation,” said Fisk. “I hope many students will take advantage of the chance to learn from such a great scholar.”

Gundry taught at Westmont for nearly 40 years, specializing in New Testament Greek, Eschatology, the Gospels and New Testament Theology, before his retirement in 2000.

After receiving his PhD from Manchester University in 1961, Gundry has gone on to write and publish many articles and book reviews on the New Testament, including “Commentary in the New Testament” and “Matthew: A Commentary on His Handbook for a Mixed Church under Persecution.” He has been honored with the Teacher of the Year Award three times, the Faculty Researcher of the Year Award and the Sears-Roebuck Foundation Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award.

“Bob Gundry is famous for being provocative, brave, and rocking the boat,” says Professor Holly Beers. “[This lecture] will definitely be worth your time.”

Gundry’s theories are some of the first of this nature.

“It was simply careful reading of the biblical texts that led me to the interpretation,” said Gundry.

The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 6 in Hieronymous Lounge. Gundry encourages students to read Matthew 16 and Matthew 26:31-27:10 in advance, and to come with their Bibles.


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