Reviews of

The Formation of the Pentateuch

In Bernard M. Levinson, Dalit Rom-Shiloni, HB/OT, Jan C. Gertz, Konrad SCHMID, Mohr Siebeck, Pentateuch, Uncategorized, William L. Kelly on June 27, 2017 at 11:54 pm

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2017.06.12 | Gertz, Jan C., Bernard M. Levinson, Dalit Rom-Shiloni, and Konrad Schmid. The Formation of the Pentateuch: Bridging the Academic Cultures of Europe, Israel, and North America. Forschungen zum Alten Testament 111. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016. pp. xi + 1204. ISBN: 978-3-16-153883-4.

Review by William L. Kelly, University of Edinburgh.

The Pentateuch, as the editors of this volume rightly point out, is one of the foundational texts in the humanities. For critical scholarship on the Hebrew Bible, few areas of research could claim to be as foundational, and equally few involve such a tremendous range of critical issues, methods, and approaches. Where did this literature come from? How was it written and from what sources did its writers draw? When did it become ‘scripture’ and what does that designation mean? And, considering the various paradigms and hypotheses to have emerged in the last century of scholarship, how can a diverse field build toward consensus? Addressing questions such as these with fifty-six peer-reviewed essays and more than twelve-hundred pages, The Formation of the Pentateuch is a substantial and valuable contribution to a vital area of study.

Matthew’s New David at the End of Exile

In Brill, David (king of Israel), Intertextuality, Matthew, Max Botner, Messianism, Nicholas PIOTROWSKI, Scripture on May 31, 2017 at 2:00 pm

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2017.05.11 | Nicholas G. Piotrowski, Matthew’s New David at the End of Exile: A Socio-Rhetorical Study of Scriptural Quotations. NovTSup 170. Leiden: Brill, 2016. ISBN: 9789004326781

Reviewed by Max Botner, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main.

Matthew’s use of the Jewish scriptures—particularly his fulfillment citations—has long perplexed modern readers. Has the evangelist ransacked his scriptures in a contorted effort to justify his Christology? Or is there another principle guiding his selection of scriptural source material? In this revised version of his 2013 Wheaton College dissertation “Scripture and Community: The Socio-Rhetorical Effect of Matthew’s Prologue Quotations,” Nicholas Piotrowski mounts a fresh and compelling argument for the latter. His thesis is that “the prologue-quotations, individually and collectively, select a frame that evokes one pervasive OT subplot: «David/end-of-exile»” (p. 4).

The Concepts of the Divine in the Greek Magical Papyri

In Eleni PACHOUMI, Magic, Mohr Siebeck, Papyrology, Paul Linjamaa on May 30, 2017 at 3:09 pm

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2017.05.11 | Eleni Pachoumi, The Concepts of the Divine in the Greek Magical Papyri. Studies and Texts in Antiquity and Christianity 102. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017. XVI, 258 pages. ISBN 978-3-16-154018-9.

Review by Paul Linjamaa, Lund University.

This monograph is devoted to the many and varying forms of ancient magical papyri – spells, hymns, amulets, rituals, remedies, and mythological and liturgical elements, from the Greco Roman Egypt of second century BC to the seventh century CE.  The focus is, as indicated in the title, to investigate the “concepts of the divine”. The study comprises revised parts of the authors’ doctoral dissertation (chapter 3?) and “some articles” (chapter 1 and 2?) (9). The central concern, as stated on the back, is to investigate how “philosophical, religious and mystical assimilations affect the concepts of the divine in the Greek magical papyri”. The study includes an introduction, three central chapters, followed by an epilogue and appendices (comprising of a mind map of how the magical papyri were used and an assortment of lists pertaining to the source material used in the study).