February 22, 2018

Pastor Authors '2017 Most Important Book in Biblical Studies' in Poland

Daniel Kluska, Trans-European Division News

Adam Grześkowiak, a pastor in Białystok, Poland, has been recognized for his contribution to biblical literature by the theological and philosophical website Orygenes+. In 2017, his book, At the Feet of Gamaliel…” (Acts 22:3) Application of Jewish Exegesis in 1 Corinthians, ranked first among 91 other submissions on biblical studies on a list of the most interesting and important publications in Polish.

The book explores the application of Jewish exegetical methods in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. Grześkowiak researched the sources and applications of rabbinical exegesis.

“This Adventist-authored book was not only noticed by experts in the subject but first and foremost it was distinguished as a serious piece of scholarly writing.”

Although the subject is already partly covered in Polish literature, especially in academic articles, Grześkowiak discussed the subject in a new and innovative way, according to Reverend Professor Mariusz Rosik, from the Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Wrocław.

“It is good news for the Protestant scientific community,” said Mirosław Harasim, theologian and director of the "Signs of the Times" Publishing House in Warsaw. “This Adventist-authored book was not only noticed by experts in the subject but first and foremost it was distinguished as a serious piece of scholarly writing.”

As a Seventh-day Adventist, Harasim said he is delighted for the recognition and confirmation that exegetical issues of the Bible remain the flagship area of Protestant theologians. “I am convinced that the book will meet the interest of various confessional circles, including students, scientists, clergy, and publishers, providing them with new and interesting information about the Jewish roots of Christianity,” he said.

This seems to be the case, as Rosik noted that Grześkowiak’s research “is so abundant that it could be used for three monographs: ancient hermeneutics, about Hillel's character and work, and about Jewish methods of interpretation in 1st Corinthians.”

Research in demonstrating the Jewish roots of Christianity in recent decades is gaining momentum. At the Feet of Gamaliel is thus a part of the current trend in biblical theology. The volume’s website review states that one of the reasons for the award is that it is “a reliable study that sheds new light on the use of Jewish interpretative methods, not only on the First Epistle to the Corinthians (which was the subject of the study) but on a significant part of the New Testament.”

Jarosław Dzięgielewski, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Poland, said that such an achievement is the result of many years of work and the effect of searching for even better, deeper methods of understanding God's Word. “Knowing the author personally, I know that he has a special satisfaction in discovering not only the new theological puzzles but above all getting to know the One, without whom theology would not make sense,” he said.

Noting that he completed his manuscript some three years earlier, Grześkowiak, whose great passion is biblical studies, said he is grateful for the turn of events. “I thank God for leading me to publish this work,” he said.