Reviews of

Archive for the ‘Brill’ Category

Eating in Isaiah

In Andrew T. Abernethy, Brill, Food, Hebrew Bible, Isaiah, Rebekah Devine on October 15, 2017 at 5:21 pm


2017.10.20 | Andrew T. Abernethy, Eating in Isaiah: Approaching the Role of Food and Drink in Isaiah’s Structure and Message. Leiden: Brill, 2014. ISBN: 9789004270374

Review by Rebekah M. Devine

The past decade has yielded a small, yet robust crop of studies on food and drink in the Hebrew Bible. Andrew Abernethy’s contribution to this increasing yield looks at the role of food and drink in the literary structure of Isaiah, focusing on the sections that have been identified as major cruxes in the book and asking how food and drink contribute to Isaiah’s message.

Abernethy devotes the first chapter to surveying some of the recent scholarly approaches to the topic of food in biblical literature, and outlines his own method as a sequential-synchronic approach. The second chapter focuses on Isaiah 1 as an introduction to the whole book, looking at how food and drink function in its rhetoric. This study of Isaiah 1 sets the stage for later discussions on how these first food themes are fleshed out in Isaiah 2-35 (ch. 3) and 36-37 (ch. 4). After this survey of food and drink in Isaiah 1-39, Abernethy addresses 40-55 in association with 1-39 (ch. 5) and 65-66 as a conclusion to the entire Book of Isaiah (ch. 6), and then offers some concluding reflections on the study (ch. 7). Read the rest of this entry »


Hebrews in Contexts

In Brill, Bryan Dyer, Gabriella GELARDINI, Graeco-Roman Backgrounds, Harold W. ATTRIDGE, Hebrews, Jewish Backgrounds, New Testament, Spatial Theory on September 9, 2017 at 6:45 pm


2017.09.19 | Gabriella Gelardini and Harold W. Attridge, eds. Hebrews in Contexts. Leiden: Brill, 2016. ISBN: 9789004311688.

Reviewed by Bryan Dyer, Baker Academic.

This collection of essays, edited by Gabriella Gelardini and Harold Attridge, brings together many of the fine papers that have been presented in the Hebrews section at the SBL annual meetings from 2005 to 2013. In their introduction, the editors place the volume within the increased attention that the epistle has received during those years. More specifically, this volume (and the Hebrews section over the years) attempts to place Hebrews within a variety of “contexts”—a term referring to historical context (Jewish, Greco-Roman) as well as hermeneutical approaches (spatial theory, canonical reading, history of interpretation). One key feature is that the editors (also the SBL co-chairs) sought out non-Hebrews scholars who are experts in fields with baring on Hebrews to bring their specialty to the text. As a result, the volume presents some fresh readings and approaches to the text that will be new to even seasoned Hebrews scholars. Read the rest of this entry »

The Text of Marcion’s Gospel

In Brill, Dieter T. ROTH, Early Christianity, Jordan Almanzar, Marcion, New Testament, Textual Criticism on September 3, 2017 at 10:40 am


2017.09.18 | Dieter T. Roth. The Text of Marcion’s Gospel. New Testament Tools, Studies and Documents 49. Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2015. ISBN: 9789004245204.

Reviewed by Jordan Almanzar, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen.

Dieter T. Roth has taken up the ambitious task of reconstructing the Gospel portion of Marcion’s “bible”. His objective is not a new one, as the first attempts to reassemble Marcion’s text are generally traced to the 18th century (Roth, 8). [Roth credits J.S. Semler as the first scholar to attempt a resemblance of Marcion’s text, however, he also mentions Richard Simon’s work from nearly a century earlier.] Even so, scholars have long awaited a book such as the one Dieter T. Roth has produced.Its value lies chiefly in the intentionally convenient layout, which is the result of Roth’s patient classification and arrangement of material. Therefore, the book can be immediately used and appreciated by anyone interested in Marcion’s Gospel. Most of the work is an explanation of the difficulties of the task along with details on the methods employed to do so; however, readers can begin using it as a reference tool at the outset.

Read the rest of this entry »

Exegeting the Jews

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

2017.07.16 | 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.  Read the rest of this entry »

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

2017.07.14 | 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.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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


2017.05.12 | 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 »

Paul’s Letters and Contemporary Greco-Roman Literature

In Brill, Comparative Projects, Eric Covington, Graeco-Roman Backgrounds, Paul ROBERTSON, Rhetorical Strategies on December 9, 2016 at 2:00 pm


2016.12.20 | Paul M. Robertson. Paul’s Letters and Contemporary Greco-Roman Literature: Theorizing a New Taxonomy. Supplements to Novum Testamentum 167. Leiden: Brill, 2016. ISBN: 9789004320277.

Review by Eric Covington, University of St Andrews.

Many thanks to Brill for providing a review copy.

 Paul M. Robertson’s Paul’s Letters and Contemporary Greco-Roman Literature seeks to provide new, empirical criteria for locating Paul’s letters within the ancient Mediterranean literary world. Robertson’s study focuses particularly on the identification and comparison of formal literary characteristics to identify the “socio-literary sphere” within which Paul’s letters are to be best included, and which, as a result, would provide the most appropriate literary comparisons with the Pauline corpus. Read the rest of this entry »

The Intertextual Reception of Genesis 1–3 in Irenaeus of Lyons

In Brill, Eric Covington, Genesis, Irenaeus of Lyons, Patristic exegesis, Patristics, Reception history, Stephen O. PRESLEY on January 13, 2016 at 11:15 am


2016.01.02 | Stephen O. Presley. The Intertextual Reception of Genesis 1–3 in Irenaeus of Lyons (The Bible in Ancient Christianity; Leiden: Brill, 2015). Hardback. 267 pages + 34 pages bibliography & indices.

Review by Eric Covington, University of St Andrews.

Many thanks to Brill Publishers for providing a MyBook paperback inspection copy.

In The Intertextual Reception of Genesis 1–3 in Irenaeus of Lyons, Stephen O. Presley examines every reference to Gen 1–3 in Adversus Haereses (Against Heresies, abbreviated hereafter as Haer.) to demonstrate how Irenaeus interprets Genesis’ protological narratives within an intertextual network spanning the entire biblical canon.
Presley argues that Irenaeus’ intertextual exegesis is an outworking of his particular view of scriptural consonance informed by his doctrine of revelation and creation. Read the rest of this entry »

Morphological and Syntactical Irregularities in the Book of Revelation

In Apocalyptic, Brill, Garrick V. Allen, Laurenţiu Florentin MOT, New Testament, Revelation on January 4, 2016 at 2:00 pm



2016.01.01 | Laurenţiu Florentin Moţ. Morphological and Syntactical Irregularities in the Book of Revelation: A Greek Hypothesis. Linguistic Biblical Studies 11. Leiden: Brill, 2015.

Review by Garrick V. Allen, Institut für Septuaginta und biblische Textforschung, Wuppertal.

Thanks to Brill Publishers for providing a MyBook paperback inspection copy.

In this revised version of his PhD dissertation, Laurenţiu Moţ examines grammatical irregularities in the book of Revelation. He ultimately argues that Revelation’s grammatical issues are not the result of the author’s background in Semitic languages, but are best explained as inner-Greek anomalies.

Moţ begins with an extensive history of research on so-called solecisms in Revelation, tracing the conversation from Dionysius of Alexandria through to the twenty-first century (pp. 1-30). Next, Moţ presents his primary research questions. His study seeks to answer five questions (pp. 30-31):

  1. How many grammatical anomalies are in Revelation?
  2. How should they be classified?
  3. Are these irregularities the author’s intentional creations?
  4. If so, how can this be explained?
  5. How do the irregularities affect the meaning of the text.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Bibliography of Greek New Testament Manuscripts: Third Edition

In Brill, Garrick V. Allen, James Keith ELLIOTT, Manuscripts, New Testament, Textual Criticism on October 21, 2015 at 10:28 am

garrick elliott

2015.10.21 | James Keith Elliott. A Bibliography of Greek New Testament Manuscripts: Third Edition. NovTSup 160. Leiden: Brill, 2015.

Review by Garrick V. Allen, Institut für Septuaginta und biblische Textforschung, Wuppertal.

Many thanks to Brill Publishers for providing a MyBook paperback inspection copy.

The third edition of J. K. Elliott’s continued work on corralling the vast and ever expanding secondary literature relating to the manuscripts of the New Testament represents a valuable tool for textual critics and material philologists, among many others. Although it is impossible to create a fully comprehensive bibliography, the nearly fifty pages of abbreviations demonstrates that this volume, produced with the assistance of the IRSB at the Université de Lausanne, is as close as they come. The new edition includes all the material from previous editions and supplements[1] and has added relevant studies published since 2000 and other publications that were erroneously omitted from previous editions. Read the rest of this entry »