Chapter and Verse

November 22, 2013

By Kerry Temple - University of Chicago Magazine

Room 208 in Swift Hall is a corner classroom on the main quadrangle, and on this Wednesday evening about 20 students are loosely convened. They are here to talk about the Gospel of Mark. Some have laptops; some have notebooks. Each has a copy of Novum Testamentum Graece, an original Greek version of the New Testament, and at this point in the quarter every book is roughed up, marked up, looking lived in.

The tall windows are open, welcoming gentle breezes. The sun outside is low and the air is soft. Leafy oak limbs sway and nod. The students await their professor. When she arrives, they will probe, analyze, dissect and discuss, wrangle, read, and talk. For the next three hours or so, they will talk about a couple of chapters in Mark—the passion narrative.

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Photography by Jason Smith