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Dr. Scott Jones Awarded Humboldt Fellowship

Dr. Scott JonesDr. Scott Jones, associate professor of biblical studies at Covenant College, will spend the spring and summer of 2014 at the University of Gottingen with a fellowship for experienced researchers from the Alexander Humboldt Foundation. Named for Alexander von Humboldt, a scientist and nature researcher, the large and prestigious foundation gathers top researchers from around the world to study, collaborate, and research at German universities.

Hosted by the University of Gottingen, Jones’ fellowship will bring him to Gottingen’s theology department where he will work alongside his supervising professor and personal friend Dr. Hermann Spieckermann. Spieckermann and Jones’ work will center on psalms and wisdom literature. During the fellowship, Jones will research, deliver lectures, and continue work on a Psalms commentary. Jones’ commentary will cover book one of the Psalms (psalms 1-41), and is part of the Illuminations commentary series published by Eerdmans Publishing Company. Jones also serves as the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible editor for the Illuminations series. Jones returns to Covenant in the fall of 2014, and students will eagerly anticipate his return.

"Dr. Jones is a great professor and the Bible department won't be the same while he's gone,” said biblical & theological studies major Maddie Prentis ’15. “But this fellowship in Germany is going to be great for him and, ultimately, for us students. They are really lucky to have him."

Jones notes that English-speaking biblical scholarship is generally focused on reading a text and explaining its theology in its final form. On the other hand, German scholars look to unearth layers of tradition, and find meaning in a text by digging backwards and asking how the text came to be.

“By working with Dr. Spieckermann, I hope to bridge the gap between ways of speaking about the Psalms,” said Jones. “This is a great opportunity to see each other work, question each other, sharpen each other, and create a kind of methodological common ground.”

Jones’ family will join him on the six month trip to Germany, and Jones is excited to put to use the six semesters of German he has studied under Dr. Neiles. He sees the broader purpose of the trip as a chance to gain cross-cultural understanding.

“The project is what is getting me there. But I’m excited about engaging more broadly with German culture and immersing myself in German life,” said Jones. “It’s a great opportunity for my family to see what life is like for others and to walk in their shoes. The opportunity to see the world through the eyes of another is a great privilege.”