Reviews of

Exegeting the Jews

In Brill, Gospel of John, Michael G. AZAR, Patristic exegesis, Simeon Burke on July 24, 2017 at 11:40 am

2017.07.15 | Michael G. Azar, Exegeting the Jews: The Early Reception of the Johannine “Jews”. The Bible in Ancient Christianity 10. Leiden: Brill, 2016. ISBN: 9789004308893

Reviewed by Simeon Burke, University of Edinburgh.

Following the Second World War, and particularly since the 1960s, scholars have simplistically described two millennia of Christian use of the “Johannine Jews” as “anti-Jewish”. This is the central claim of Michael Azar’s published Fordham doctoral thesis, Exegeting the Jews. Against this scholarly consensus, Azar enlists a trio of patristic authors – Origen, John Chrysostom and Cyril of Alexandria – each of whom applied John’s narrative of Jesus and the Johannine Jews in ways that do not easily conform to the categories and conclusions of the last fifty years of scholarship. The apparent hostility exhibited by the Fourth Gospel toward “the Jews” “did not function for Origen, Chrysostom and Cyril primarily as grounds for anti-Judaic sentiment, but rather as a scriptural resource for the spiritual formation and delineation of their Christian communities” (51). In other words, it was not “anti-Judaism” that fuelled their exegesis of the “Johannine Jews” but internal Christian concerns related to reading practices, ethics and orthodoxy. 

Letters from the Pillar Apostles

In 1 Peter, 2 Peter, Canon, Catholic Epistles, Darian LOCKETT, James, Johannine Epistles, Jude, Kelsie Rodenbiker, Pickwick on July 18, 2017 at 5:32 pm

PICKWICK_Template

2017.07.14 | Darian R. Lockett. Letters from the Pillar Apostles: The Formation of the Catholic Epistles as a Canonical Collection. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2017. ISBN: 9781620327562.

Reviewed by Kelsie Rodenbiker, Durham University, UK.

In Letters from the Pillar Apostles, Lockett is concerned to establish the early legitimacy of the Catholic Epistles (CE) as a historically and hermeneutically plausible canonical collection and thus an equal New Testament (NT) sub-corpus alongside the fourfold Gospel and Pauline epistles (pp. xvii, xviii). Noting an oft-assumed discontinuity, Lockett states, “[r]ather than emphasizing composition (usually associated with the historical-critical approach) or canonization (associated with subsequent, ecclesial, and theological judgments) at the expense of the other, this project considers both in dialectical relationship” in order to demonstrate “that the process of editing, collecting, and arranging of these seven texts is neither anachronistic to their meaning nor antagonistic to their very composition” (p. xvi).

Clement’s Biblical Exegesis

In Brill, Clement of Alexandria, Jana PLATOVA, Judith L. KOVACS, Patristic exegesis, Robert G. T. Edwards, Veronika CERNUSKOVA on July 3, 2017 at 9:57 am

2017.07.13 | Veronika Černušková, Judith L. Kovacs, and Jana Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (Olomouc, May 29-31, 2014). Vigiliae Christianae Supplements 139. Leiden: Brill, 2017. ISBN: 9789004331235

Reviewed by Robert G. T. Edwards, University of Notre Dame.

Except for one essay, this book is based on papers presented three years ago at the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria in Olomouc, Czech Republic. Whereas the first Colloquium in 2010 focused on Book VII of the Stromateis, this one focused on Clement’s biblical exegesis. The collection of essays is introduced by Judith Kovacs’ comprehensive overview of scholarship and issues related to Clement’s exegesis (pp. 1-37); this essay combined with Jana Plátová’s exhaustive bibliography (pp. 38-52) ably represents the state of the field. After these introductory chapters, the book is divided into three major sections: Part 1, “Clement’s Exegetical Methods”; Part 2, “Clement between Philosophy and Biblical Theology”; and Part 3, “Clement’s Exegesis of Particular Biblical Texts.”