Until I retired from active involvement in academic life in 1978, I had been a university teacher of biblical studies for over 30 years. Earlier still, I had studied Greek and Roman literature and history for seven years at three universities and had taught classical Greek for 12 years at two other universities. The academic foundation for my later career as a teacher of biblical criticism and exegesis was laid in the Faculty of Arts, not in any theological school.
The transition from classical to biblical studies came when I spent nearly ten years writing a commentary on the Greek text of the Acts of the Apostles, treating that book as a distinguished example of Hellenistic history writing. After the lapse of many years, largely devoted to the study and interpretation of the letters of Paul, I have recently advised and updated my early work on the Acts, but still regard Acts as a distinguished example of Hellenistic history writing.