Reviews of

Copying Early Christian Texts

In Alan MUGRIDGE, Garrick V. Allen, Manuscript Studies, Manuscripts, Material Culture, Mohr Siebeck, Papyrology on May 24, 2017 at 2:00 pm

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2017.05.10 | Alan Mugridge. Copying Early Christian Texts: A Study of Scribal Practice. WUNT 362. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016. xx + 558 pages. ISBN: 9783161546884.

Review by Garrick V. Allen, Dublin City University.

In this valuable resource, Alan Mugridge examines the codicological features of 548 early papyri originating from before the fourth century CE in an effort to be understand the social setting of their production. He is particularly interested to ascertain whether the copyists of the early Greek papyri transmitting early Christian works were ‘Christians’ (not necessarily professional scribes), or if communities hired professional copyists outside their immediate social context. The entirety of this detailed volume is devoted to the argument that “the copyists of the majority of Christian texts were trained scribes, probably working in a variety of settings, and that there is no firm evidence that the copyists were generally Christian” (p. 2). This argument has drastic implications for how we understand the textual transmission and variation of early Christian documents.

What Kind of God?

In Ancient Israel, Brent A. Strawn, Eisenbrauns, HB/OT, Mark Glanville, Michael J. Chan, Terence Fretheim on May 17, 2017 at 8:37 pm

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2017.05.09 | Michael J. Chan and Brent A. Strawn, eds. What Kind of God? Collected Essays of Terence E. Fretheim (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2015). ISBN: 978-1-57506-343-0.

Review by Mark Glanville

Michael J. Chan and Brent A. Strawn have collected thirty essays of Terence E. Fretheim that explore the question, in various ways: what kind of God is presented in the Old Testament?

The volume begins with two introductory essays, one by the editors, the other by Fretheim himself (Part I). Crucial for Fretheim’s reading of the Old Testament is the relationality of God to the both the human world and the non-human world. “For Fretheim, ‘genuine’ relationship is marked by risk, sacrifice, commitment, limitation, change, power-sharing, and the ability of both parties to shape the future, even God’s future” (4). Part II, “God and the World,” is concerned with an understanding of God and of the divine relationship to the world.

Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels

In Baylor University Press, Emanuel Conțac, Gospels, Intertextuality, Richard HAYS on April 5, 2017 at 3:01 pm

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2017.04.08 | Richard B. Hays. Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2016. xix + 504 pages. ISBN: 9781481304917.

Review by Emanuel Conțac, Pentecostal Theological Institute of Bucharest.

After writing two seminal books on the complex issue of Old Testament interpretation in the Pauline corpus (Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul, 1989; The Conversion of Imagination, 2005), Richard Hays has moved into a different field, applying to the Gospels the ample expertise gained during his arduous engagement with Paul’s thought and his reading of the Hebrew Scriptures. The prolegomena to the new inquiry came in the form of a little book entitled Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness (2014), a distilled version of the much larger manuscript that eventually, in very dire circumstances for its author (a grueling battle with pancreatic cancer), was published as Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels.