Thursday, May 21, 2015
Interview with Julie Smith
What has blogging been like?
I've blogged at Times and Seasons for over a decade. It has changed a lot--most of the energy and comments of blogging has moved to Facebook. I hate to sound like a curmudgeon, but this is a bad thing. People who aren't already friends with those in the blogging world are locked out, nothing is searchable, and people are even more curt than when blogging.
What do you believe is the core of the gospel?
I think the core of the gospel is trying to follow Jesus. I'm not good at it. I resent, sometimes, the way that certain aspects of the church feel like a distraction from it.
Tell me about your academic endeavors.
I finished my MA in the mid-90s. I took a break to raise and homeschool my three boys and then slowly ramped up my participation in writing, researching, and speaking over the last decade or so. My thesis concerned Mark 14:3-9, which is the story of the woman who anoints Jesus. A version of it was published in Studies in the Bible and Antiquity; you can read it here:
What are you doing now?
Now, my main project is writing the Mark volume for the BYU New Testament Commentary Series. (And I'm still homeschooling my three boys.) I'm also editing a book that will consist of imagined dialogues between scriptural figures who might not necessarily agree with each other. I also have about a half dozen papers in various stages of the publication process; most relate to the Gospel of Mark somehow.
What rule or commandment do you think is important for everyone to consider?
Commandment: how about 'love one another.'
What advice do you have for scripture readers?
Try to read for each author or person's individual voice and appreciate his or her unique witness.