Dissertation Completed—Sort Of!


I have reached the end of the dissertation, but I’m 3,395 words over my absolute top word limit and I have some editing to do anyway. I hope to accomplish that today.

I praise the Lord for in-laws who let me work in their basement for two weeks (they got time with their one grandchild out of it!) and for a wife who supported me.

I also praise the Lord for the opportunity to study His special and general revelation.

On the special revelation side, I was really deeply struck with how much Paul loved other Christians, perhaps especially his own converts. I was also struck by how consistently he looked for faith and love (and a little less often hope) as evidences of grace in Christian congregations. That’s the rubric I’ll use from now on.

On the general revelation side, I can say I do love language. Relevance theory, lexical pragmatics—so fun! And I do think I have something original to say about ἀγάπη because of my forays into those fields. But we’ll see what the committee thinks! If you’re a friend, pray that the Lord would give me good success throughout the rest of the dissertation process. Here’s how it will go:

  • Jan 15—I turn in a rough draft.
  • Feb 15—I turn in a final (defense) draft.
  • Mar 15—I defend the dissertation before my four committee members (date approximate).

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.


  1. Andy Naselli on January 11, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Congrats, Mark!

  2. Dustin B. on January 11, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Have been and will continue to pray for you, Mark.

  3. Joy Collins on January 11, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Hurray! Brian is right there with you. We continue to pray for you.

  4. Laura on January 11, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Congratulations, Mark!

  5. Brian Collins on January 11, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    I just finished writing also. Now for the editing.

  6. Dennis on January 11, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Way to go, Mark. I knew you could do it! Will pray for the rest of the process.

  7. Jayson Byrd on January 12, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Congrats, Mark! That’s quite the milestone.

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