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Archive for 2017|Yearly archive page

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). Read the rest of this entry »

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).

Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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. Read the rest of this entry »

The Fourfold Gospel

In Baker Academic, Fourfold Gospel, Francis B. WATSON, Jeremiah Coogan on March 17, 2017 at 8:04 pm

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2017.03.07 | Francis Watson, The Fourfold Gospel: A Theological Reading of the New Testament Portraits of Jesus. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2016. ISBN: 9780801095450

Review by Jeremiah Coogan, University of Notre Dame.

What modes of reading does the fourfold gospel imply? To answer this question, Francis Watson (Durham University) presents “a theological reading of the New Testament portraits of Jesus.” As the indefinite article makes clear, Watson does not assert a prescriptive reading; rather, the specific readings demonstrate the fruitfulness of reading the fourfold gospel as a complex literary and canonical unity. He invites the reader to experience a different mode of reading, guided by a number of “pre-critical” exegetical insights. Both Watson’s reading and his argument about reading succeed, although this reviewer found the latter more abundantly fruitful than the former. Read the rest of this entry »

The Social World of Deuteronomy

In Ancient Israel, Cascade Books, Deuteronomy, Don C. Benjamin, Feminist Biblical Criticism, HB/OT, Mark Glanville, Wipf and Stock on March 10, 2017 at 10:15 am

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2017.03.06 | Don C. Benjamin. The Social World of Deuteronomy: A New Feminist Commentary. Cascade: Oregon, 2015. ISBN: 9781498228701.

Review by Mark Glanville.

Don C. Benjamin’s commentary on Deuteronomy, The Social World of Deuteronomy: A New Feminist Commentary (2015), is one of a number of recent commentaries on this book, including those by Daniel I. Block, (2012), Jack R. Lundbom (2013), and Eckart Otto (German, 2012-17). Benjamin’s commentary is unique, first, in that its primary methodology is to bring insights from the social sciences to bear upon the text, and, second, in that a feminist hermeneutic that is sensitive to the voices of women and other populations that are given a “small voice” in the text of Deuteronomy strongly shapes both the interpretative method and the content focus of the book. Read the rest of this entry »

The Challenge of Marcion

In Cambridge University Press, Jordan Almanzar, Judith LIEU, Marcion, Mohr Siebeck, review article, Sebastian MOLL on March 1, 2017 at 4:36 pm

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2017.03.05 | Judith M. Lieu. Marcion and the Making of a Heretic: God and Scripture in the Second Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-107-02904-0.

Sebastian Moll. The Arch-Heretic Marcion. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010. ISBN: 978-3-16-150268-2.

Review article by Jordan Almanzar, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen.

Introduction

The significance of the second century for understanding Christian history is summed up by Gerd Lüdemann, who explains that from the first generation until the end of the second century, “more important decisions were made for the whole of Christianity than were made from the end of the second century to the present day.”[i] The contours of orthodoxy were defined in those years and it was during this time that Marcion and his followers were extracted from the orthodox and branded with the dishonorable label of heretics. Read the rest of this entry »

Ecclesiology and the Scriptural Narrative of 1 Peter

In 1 Peter, Intertextuality, Katie Marcar, Patrick T. EGAN, Pickwick on February 9, 2017 at 2:00 pm

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2017.02.04 | Patrick T. Egan. Ecclesiology and the Scriptural Narrative of 1 Peter. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2016. 273 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4982-2467-3.

Reviewed by Katie Marcar, Otago University.

In Ecclesiology and the Scriptural Narrative of 1 Peter, Patrick T. Egan’s goal is “to account for all the uses of Scripture in 1 Peter in a comprehensive manner” (x). After some preliminary remarks (Ch. 1), Egan examines the hermeneutical statement in 1 Pet 1:10-12 (Ch. 2). He argues that the author (for simplicity hereafter, Peter) deploys a distinctly Christian, ecclesiologically-driven hermeneutic in which the narrative of Isaiah plays an important role. This narrative shapes the church’s understanding of Christ. In so doing, it also shapes the self-understanding of the church, since she, by virtue of being in Christ, is then an active participant in the Isaianic narrative of divine restoration (215). Read the rest of this entry »

La syntaxe du codex

In Brepols, Codicology, Dan Batovici, Manuscript Studies, Manuscripts, Marilena Maniaci, Patrick ANDRIST, Paul CANART, Uncategorized on January 23, 2017 at 2:56 pm

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2017.01.03 | Patrick Andrist, Paul Canart, Marilena Maniaci. La syntaxe du codex: Essai de codicologie structurale. Bibliologia 34; Turnhout: Brepols, 2013. ISBN: 9782503543932.

Review by Dan Batovici, KU Leuven.

This book, a collaborative project based on the extensive previous work in the field of the three authors, is an attempt to produce a comprehensive and coherent typology for describing complex codices. While the most obvious aim of this book is to offer an extensive tool for manuscript cataloguing, it is also meant and will likely prove quite useful in all connected fields. Indeed, there are well known difficulties in describing complex manuscripts in biblical studies as well—for  instance the generalised use of the ever-ambiguous ‘miscellany’ term—where a plus of specificity as well as descriptions up to date with technical codicological terminology would be welcome. Read the rest of this entry »