Reviews of

Jesus’ Death and Heavenly Offering

In atonement, Cambridge University Press, Hebrews, Jonathan Rowlands, R. B. Jamieson, sacrifice on November 23, 2021 at 9:30 am

2021.11.17 | R.B. Jamieson. Jesus’ Death and Heavenly Offering. Society of New Testament Studies Monograph Series 172; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-1-108-47443-6.

Review by Jonathan Rowlands, St. Mellitus College.

In this monograph, Jamieson addresses two questions concerning the soteriology of Hebrews. First, when and where does Jesus offer himself? Second, what role does Jesus’ death play? His thesis is immediately clear: “Jesus’ death is not when and where he offers himself, but it is what he offers” (p. 1). In the introduction, by means of outlining his own contribution to the issue, Jamieson offers a helpful fivefold taxonomy for scholarship on the soteriology of Hebrews that anybody approaching the issue for the first time would do well to consult in the first instance (also outlined in a 2017 article in Currents in Biblical Research 15.3).

An Apostle in Battle

In 2 Corinthians, Christopher de Stigter, Early Christianity, Himmelreise, Lisa M. BOWENS, New Testament, Paul on October 11, 2021 at 4:14 pm

2021.10.16 | Lisa M. Bowens. An Apostle in Battle: Paul and Spiritual Warfare in 2 Corinthians 12:1–10. WUNT II 433; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017.

Review by Christopher de Stigter, Durham University.

Lisa Bowens’s published dissertation, An Apostle in Battle, is an ambitious work in conceptual integration. She argues for a mutual dependency of Paul’s cosmology, epistemology, and anthropology in his ascent to the third heaven in 2 Corinthians 12:1–10 (see especially pp. 46 & 129). It is in Paul’s Himmelsreise, she argues, that we see the Apostle within a greater cosmic battle: the human pursuit of divine knowledge is under threat from satanic attacks. For Bowens, therefore, a unifying center of all three conceptual spheres—cosmology, epistemology, and anthropology—is their bellicose construal. Her reading emphasizes Paul’s pastoral intentions, for his response to this cosmic battle, boasting in weakness, indicates his hopes for the “problems in Corinth” (p. 1). Against the tide of recent scholarship, Bowens convincingly locates a theological and practical significance in Paul’s disclosure of his ascent to the Corinthians even if this reviewer found certain points less persuasive.

Dating Acts in Its Jewish and Greco-Roman Contexts

In Bloomsbury, Book of Acts, Daniel B. Glover, Dating NT, Karl L. Armstrong, Luke-Acts, Paul on September 17, 2021 at 3:00 pm

2021.9.15 | Karl L. Armstrong. Dating Acts in Its Jewish and Greco-Roman Contexts. LNTS 637. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2021.

Review by Daniel B. Glover, Lee University.

Karl L. Armstrong’s new monograph, Dating Acts in Its Jewish and Greco-Roman Contexts, presents what he calls a new, historiographic approach to identifying the date of Acts. Bucking both current and longstanding trends in Acts scholarship, Armstrong argues for a precise date of 64 CE, a date during the reign of Nero and preceding the death of Paul, the famed fire of Rome, and the Jewish War (66–70 CE). Armstrong is revivifying an older position in Acts scholarship but also leveling new arguments in its favor. What follows is perhaps the strongest, most comprehensive case yet offered for an early date for the Acts, and, for that reason, deserves a detailed, substantive engagement as is offered later in this review.