Reviews of

Archive for 2021|Yearly archive page

Patristic Literature in Arabic Translations

In Adrian Pirtea, Alexandria TREIGER, Arabic Manuscripts, Barbara Roggema, Brill, Patristics, Translation on April 13, 2021 at 12:37 pm
Cover Patristic Literature in Arabic Translations

2021.4.9 | Barbara Roggema, Alexander Treiger, eds. Patristic Literature in Arabic Translations. Arabic Christianity 2. Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2020. ISBN: 9789004414945.

Review by Adrian C. Pirtea, University of Vienna.

Despite many significant advances over the past decades, Arabic Christian literature remains one of the least explored literary corpora of Eastern and Oriental Christianity. In part, this is certainly due to the sheer amount of authors, texts and manuscripts available: an inventory of the Christian Arabic translations alone make up the daunting first volume of Georg Graf’s five-volume Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Literatur (Città del Vaticano, 1944-1953). Together with a growing awareness of the relevance of Arabic Bible translations, scholars are increasingly turning their attention to the equally important body of Greek (but also Syriac, Coptic, Latin, etc.) Patristic translations into Arabic.

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An Apostolic Gospel

In Cambridge University Press, Epistula Apostolorum, Francis B. WATSON, Gospels, Julia D. Lindenlaub on March 19, 2021 at 3:00 pm

2021.3.8 | Francis Watson. An Apostolic Gospel: The “Epistula Apostolorum” in Literary Context. Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series 179. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020. ISBN 978-1-108-84041-5.

Review by Julia D. Lindenlaub, University of Edinburgh.

Francis Watson’s already wide-ranging work in gospels within and beyond the canon is here expanded with a new translation of a remarkably significant yet infrequently studied text: Epistula Apostolorum (EpAp). In addition to his translation work, this contribution to the limited secondary literature on this text exemplifies its overlooked potential to problematise generic classifications of texts about Jesus and to shed new light on the early use and reuse of written Jesus tradition. Watson presents EpAp alongside counterparts in its literary context and explores central themes that suggest intriguing avenues for further research—for which this translation will surely prove indispensable.

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Scribal Habits in Sixth-Century Greek Purple Codices

In Brill, Codicology, Elijah Hixson, Manuscript Studies, Manuscripts, Matthew Burks, Scribal culture, Scribal habits, Textual Criticism on March 5, 2021 at 3:30 pm

2021.3.7 | Elijah Hixson. Scribal Habits in Sixth-Century Greek Purple Codices. NTTSD 61. Leiden: Brill, 2019. ISBN: 978-90-04-39990-7. 

Review by Matthew Burks, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Currently, Dr. Elijah Hixson works as a Research Associate at the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. Previously, Hixson was a Research Associate for Dirk Jongkind at Tyndale House at Cambridge University in the UK. Dr. Hixson earned his doctorate at the University of Edinburgh under the supervision of Drs. Paul Foster and Larry Hurtado. Hixson’s two-volume thesis was turned into this monograph for Brill. He has also co-edited with Dr. Peter Gurry, Myths and Mistakes in New Testament Textual Criticism which was published in 2019. Hixson has authored several articles in the field of textual criticism. 

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Reading with the Grain of Scripture

In Eerdmans, Gospels, Intertextuality, Nathan Charles Ridlehoover, Paul, Richard HAYS, Scripture, theological Interpretation of Scripture on February 19, 2021 at 3:00 pm

2021.2.6 | Richard B. Hays. Reading with the Grain of Scripture. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2020. ISBN: 978-0-8028-7845-8.

Review by Charles Nathan Ridlehoover, Columbia Biblical Seminary.

Students and scholars of the New Testament hardly need an introduction to Richard Hays. Hays has written ground-breaking scholarship on the letters of Paul and New Testament ethics, and his latest full-length study examines intertextual echoes in the Gospels and their Christological significance (Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels). Just before his retirement in 2018, Hays assumed the mantle of dean of Duke Divinity School while maintaining his role as the George Washington Ivey Professor Emeritus of New Testament.

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Son, Sacrifice, and Great Shepherd

In David M. Moffitt, Eric F. MASON, Hebrews, Madison N. Pierce, Mohr Siebeck, New Testament on February 5, 2021 at 3:00 pm

2021.2.5 | David M. Moffitt and Eric F. Mason, eds. Son, Sacrifice, and Great Shepherd: Studies on the Epistle to the Hebrews.WUNT II 510. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020. ISBN 978-3-16-159190-7.

Review by Madison N. Pierce, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Reviews of edited collections are often marred by the cliché that “the quality of the essays varies.” This is of course a truism, but usually, it is a subtle way for a reviewer to signal that some essays are rather poor—detracting from an otherwise reasonably good collection. Son, Sacrifice, and Great Shepherd is an excellent collection with only very good and great essays. Moffitt and Mason have assembled an impressive team of contributors—chosen from among presenters at the International Meeting for SBL from 2011–2013—and each has made a useful contribution to the study of Hebrews.

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Sharing in the Son’s Inheritance

In Bloomsbury, Esau McCaulley, Galatians, Messianism, Paul, Trey Moss on January 22, 2021 at 3:00 pm
Sharing in the Son's Inheritance: Davidic Messianism and Paul's Worldwide  Interpretation of the Abrahamic Land Promise in Galatians: 608 (The Library  of New Testament Studies): Amazon.co.uk: McCaulley, Rev. Dr. Esau:  9780567685926: Books

2021.1.4 | Esau McCaulley. Sharing in the Son’s Inheritance: Davidic Messianism and Paul’s Worldwide Interpretation of the Abrahamic Land Promise in Galatians. LNTS 608. London: T&T Clark, 2019. ISBN 9780567700292. 

Review by Trey Moss, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

 In Sharing in the Son’s Inheritance Esau McCaulley explores the connection between Paul’s messianic theology in the context of Jewish messianism and the Abrahamic land promises in Galatians. While the Abrahamic narrative looms large in Galatians (e.g., Gal 3:6–9, 14–18, 26–29; 4:21, 25–31), Pauline scholarship has often identified the Spirit as a replacement for the land in the argument of Galatians (p. 1, n. 2). Furthermore, according to McCaulley, scholarship on Galatians has not emphasized Davidic messianism in Paul’s theology (pp. 1–2). In contrast, McCaulley argues, “rather than abandoning the Abrahamic land promise, Paul expands it to encompass the whole earth because he believes that Jesus as the seed of Abraham and David (Gal 3:16), is entitled to the peoples and territories of the earth as his inheritance and kingdom (Ps 2:7–8)” (p. 2). By neglecting Paul’s theology of a Davidic Messiah, scholars have missed how Paul connects the land promises to the worldwide kingdom of the Davidic Messiah in Galatians (pp. 5–46). 

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Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind

In Ethics, Graeco-Roman Backgrounds, J. Andrew Cowan, Max J. Lee, Mohr Siebeck, Paul, Paul's ethics, Philosophy, Stoicism on January 11, 2021 at 3:00 pm
Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind

2021.1.3 | Max J. Lee. Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Pau and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries. WUNT II 515. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020. ISBN 978-3-16-149660-8.

Review by J. Andrew Cowan, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind originated as a part of Max J. Lee’s doctoral dissertation at Fuller Theological Seminary. Although he originally intended to publish his project on “Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind and Paul” as one book, the editor of WUNT suggested that he make a few additions and reserve the portion on Paul for a future work, and the material on Greco-Roman and Jewish Diaspora literature then expanded beyond the reasonable confines of one volume. Consequently, the present book focuses on philosophy of mind in Middle Platonism and Stoicism, Lee plans to publish material on Epicureanism and Diaspora Judaism in a future volume, and he describes these two works together as the foundation for a career-long research agenda on “how the Apostle Paul appropriates the language of philosophical discourse in his moral exhortations to Gentile churches” (p. VI).

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A History of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Judah

In Edward Lipiński, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, History of Israel, History of Judah, Kurtis Peters, Peeters on January 6, 2021 at 9:02 pm
9789042942127

2021.1.2 | Edward Lipiński. A History of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Judah. OLA 287. Leuven: Peeters, 2020. pp. XII+179. ISBN: 978-90-429-4212-7.

Review by Kurtis Peters, University of British Columbia.

With A History of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Judah Edward Lipiński has now added a companion volume to his recently published A History of the Kingdom of Israel (2018; see RBECS review here). The present volume proves to be as provocative as the first. From the front cover Lipiński prods at our assumptions. To call it the kingdom of Jerusalem and Judah implies a distinction of sorts: one kingdom, yes, but two polities? Or, perhaps, he implies that the kingdom changed sufficiently, such that the term “Judah” is not appropriate or adequate for the whole of the relevant time period. In fact, both of these ideas are presented, albeit briefly, in the book.

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Tradition and Innovation

In Baptism, Brill, Mystagogy, Narsai of Nisibis, Nathan WITKAMP, Patristics, Sofia Puchkova, Theodore of Mopsuestia on January 4, 2021 at 1:49 pm
Cover Tradition and Innovation: Baptismal Rite and Mystagogy in Theodore of Mopsuestia and Narsai of Nisibis

2021.1.1 | Nathan Witkamp. Tradition and Innovation: Baptismal Rite and Mystagogy in Theodore of Mopsuestia and Narsai of Nisibis. Supplements to Vigiliae Chrisitanae 149. Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2018. ISBN 9789004377851.

Review by Sofia Puchkova, KU Leuven.

The book of Nathan Witkamp, a research fellow of the Netherlands Centre for Patristic Research, presents the first comprehensive comparative analysis of the baptismal rite and mystagogy in the Catechetical Homilies of Theodore of Mopsuestia and in the 21 and 22 memre of Narsai of Nisibis. Challenging the generally accepted view that Narsai had been primarily and significantly influenced by Theodore to the extent that up till now he was regarded as a mere copyist of his teacher, Witkamp demonstrates Narsai’s creativity in the use of Theodore’s material and of the sources of the East Syrian liturgical tradition.

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