This morning I’ve been reading about the study of the life of Paul, and one of the more interesting scholars who dealt with Paul’s theology was Arthur Darby Nock. Reading about his work reminded me of a story about him told to us by Dr. Scholer, which, as I mentioned earlier, was one of his gifts as a teacher.
A. D. Nock was a brilliant scholar of the Hellenistic period. He taught at Harvard (where Dr. Scholer studied, though after Nock’s time), living in quarters on campus, as was common in that era. Along with his brilliance as a scholar, Nock was also known for some eccentricities.
According to Dr. Scholer, one of Nock’s odd practices was to study nude. So the story is told of the day he was unexpectedly in his quarters, studying. A cleaning woman assigned to his rooms entered and was shocked to see Professor Nock sitting there, wearing nothing but a hat.
In her surprise she exclaimed, “Oh, my God!” To which Nock replied, “No, ma’am, merely his humble servant, Arthur Nock.”