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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.

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Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as Jewish Messianism

In Benjamin E. Reynolds, Brill, Gabriele Boccaccini, Gospel of John, Jewish Backgrounds, John, Messianism, R. B. Jamieson on August 27, 2021 at 3:00 pm

2021.8.14 | Benjamin E. Reynolds and Gabriele Boccaccini (eds). Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as Jewish Messianism: Royal, Prophetic, and Divine Messiahs. Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity 106; Leiden: Brill, 2018. ISBN: 978-9004349759.

Review by R. B. Jamieson, Capitol Hill Baptist Church.

Among the four canonical Gospels, the Christology of John is often taken to be the least Jewish because it is the most divine. The essays collected in this volume aim to show not only that John’s “messianology,” so to speak, is recognizably Jewish, but that even its divine claims for Jesus have at least some clear antecedents in Jewish messianic expectation. In this twofold aim the volume amply and admirably succeeds. 

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To Recover What Has Been Lost

In Brill, Dale C. Allison Jr., Daniel Frayer-Griggs, Eschatology, Gospels, Intertextuality, Jonathan Rowlands, Nathan C. Johnson, NT reception history, Reception history, Tucker S. Ferda on June 11, 2021 at 3:00 pm

2021.6.13 | Tucker S. Ferda, Daniel Frayer-Griggs, and Nathan C. Johnson (eds). “To Recover What Has Been Lost”: Essays on Eschatology, Intertextuality, and Reception History in Honor of Dale C. Allison Jr. Supplements to Novum Testamentum 183; Leiden: Brill, 2021. ISBN: 978-90-04-44350-1.

Review by Jonathan Rowlands, St. Mellitus College.

The essays collected in this Festschrift are grouped into one of the three areas mentioned in the volume’s subtitle. As the helpful introduction from the editors notes, these are three areas that have each occupied a significant place in the writings of Dale C. Allison Jr. 

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Modern and Ancient Literary Criticism of the Gospels

In David P. Moessner, Fourfold Gospel, Gospels, Literary Criticism, Mohr Siebeck, Nathan Charles Ridlehoover, Robert Matthew Calhoun, Synoptic Gospels, Tobias NICKLAS on May 28, 2021 at 3:23 pm

2021.5.12 | Robert Matthew Calhoun, David P. Moessner, and Tobias Nicklas, eds. Modern and Ancient Literary Criticism of the Gospels. WUNT 451. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020.

Review by Charles Nathan Ridlehoover,  Columbia Biblical Seminary.

Modern and Ancient Literary Criticism of the Gospels is the product of a conference at Texas Christian University in November 2018. The conference commemorated the 25th year and 3rd edition of Richard A. Burridge’s seminal study, What Are the Gospels? The goal of the conference, and this subsequent volume, was to ask what more could be said about literary criticism and its application to the gospels genre.

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The Book of Kings and Exilic Identity

In 1 & 2 Kings, Ancient Israel, Bloomsbury, D. Allen Hutchison, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, Nathan Lovell, T & T Clark on May 11, 2021 at 8:13 pm

2021.5.11 | Nathan Lovell. The Book of Kings and Exilic Identity: 1 and 2 Kings as a Work of Political Historiography. LHBOTS 708; London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2021. ISBN 9780567695338 (electronic version).

Review by D. Allen Hutchison, Stellenbosch University.

The Book of Kings and Exilic Identity: 1 and 2 Kings as a Work of Political Historiography by Nathan Lovell is a persuasive macro-examination of 1-2 Kings developed through careful attention to the text’s details. Lovell is the Director of Research and a Senior Lecturer of Old Testament and Hebrew at George Whitefield College in Muizenberg, South Africa. The Book of Kings and Exilic Identity is the revision of his 2019 Ph.D. dissertation of the same name from the University of Sydney.

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Mark 13 and the Return of the Shepherd

In Bloomsbury, Gospel of Mark, Intertextuality, Paul Sloan, Samuel Freney, T & T Clark, Zechariah on April 27, 2021 at 3:04 pm
Mark 13 and the Return of the Shepherd

2021.4.10 | Paul Sloan. Mark 13 and the Return of the Shepherd: The Narrative Logic of Zechariah in Mark. Library of New Testament Studies 604. London: T&T Clark, 2019.

Review by Samuel Freney, Bible Society of Australia.

In my experience, the best books—certainly the best technical books—are those that engage you as a reader in a conversation that is richer and deeper than what you may have experienced previously. Paul Sloan’s book is one of these. His central claim is that Mark had the prophet Zechariah front of mind as he composed his Gospel, and that Zech 13–14 especially so imbues Mark’s narrative that it provides an interpretive key for the widely contested Olivet Discourse. Scholars have disagreed for 200 years over why Jesus seemingly answers his disciples’ question about the destruction of the temple with a reference to his second coming (p. 1).

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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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