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Archive for the ‘Early Christianity’ Category

Women and Knowledge in Early Christianity

In Brill, Early Christianity, Gnosticism, Ivan Miroshnikov, Outi Lehtipuu, Patristics, Sarah Whitear, Ulla Tervahauta, Women on April 27, 2020 at 2:46 pm

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2020.04.08 | Ulla Tervahauta, Ivan Miroshnikov, Outi Lehtipuu and Ismo Dunderberg (eds.), Women and Knowledge in Early Christianity. Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 144; Boston and Leiden: Brill 2017. Available in open Access.

Review by Sarah Whitear, KU Leuven.

Women and Knowledge in Early Christianity is an edited collection in honour of the retirement of Antti Marjanen, Professor of Gnosticism and Early Christian Literature at the University of Helsinki. The book is made up of fourteen essays split into four different sections. As explicated in the introduction, ‘women and knowledge’ can be understood in a variety of ways, and thus the book features studies on various areas from the role of the feminine in gnostic literature to the knowledge of real flesh and blood women. Read the rest of this entry »

Simply Come Copying

In Alan Taylor Farnes, Early Christianity, Manuscript Studies, Manuscripts, Matthew Burks, Mohr Siebeck, New Testament, Scribal habits, Textual Criticism on November 13, 2019 at 4:00 pm

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2019.11.15 | Alan Taylor Farnes. Simply Come Copying: Direct Copies as Test Cases in the Quest for Scribal Habits. WUNT II 481. Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2019. XV + 253 pp. ISBN 978-3-16-156981-4.

Review by Matthew Burks, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Alan Taylor Farnes currently teaches adjunctly at Brigham Young University. He completed his doctoral degree at the University of Birmingham in 2017. Also, Dr. Farnes holds a master’s degree from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University. This work is the published form of his dissertation titled “Scribal Habits in Selected New Testament Manuscripts, Including Those with Surviving Exemplars.”

A major method of study in the field of textual criticism is the singular reading method. Read the rest of this entry »

Composite Citations in Antiquity

In Bloomsbury, Composite Citations, Early Christianity, Graeco-Roman Backgrounds, Jewish Backgrounds, Quotations, R. Jarrett Van Tine, Sean A. ADAMS, Seth M. EHORN on May 16, 2018 at 6:00 pm

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2018.05.07 | Adams, Sean A. and Seth M. Ehorn, eds. Composite Citations in Antiquity: Jewish Graeco-Roman, and Early Christian Uses. Vol 1. London; New York: Bloomsbury, 2016.

Reviewed by R. Jarrett Van Tine, University of St. Andrews.

This work is the first of a two-volume set addressing the curious literary technique of composite citation (CC). Although CCs appear fairly regularly in the New Testament, a thorough understanding of the method has lagged since “there has been very little work focused on this citation technique within the broader Jewish, Graeco-Roman, and early Christian milieu” (p. 1).

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The Holy Spirit, Inspiration, and the Cultures of Antiquity

In De Gruyter, DSS, Early Christianity, Jörg FREY, Jesse D. Stone, John R. LEVISON, New Testament, Pneumatology, Qumran, review on January 19, 2018 at 9:02 pm

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2018.01.02 | Jörg Frey and John R. Levison, eds. The Holy Spirit, Inspiration, and the Cultures of Antiquity: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Ekstasis 5. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2017.

Reviewed by Jesse D. Stone, University of St Andrews.

This volume gathers together essays produced as part of an interdisciplinary project on the historical roots of early Christian pneumatology (ECP) led by the editors, Jörg Frey and John “Jack” Levison.

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Perceiving the Other

In Early Christianity, Early Judaism, Matthew Thiessen, Max Botner, Michal Bar-Asher Siegal, Mohr Siebeck, review, Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation, Wolfgang Grünstäudl on December 29, 2017 at 4:00 pm

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2017.12.29 | Michal Bar-Asher Siegal, Wolfgang Grünstäudl, and Matthew Thiessen, eds. Perceiving the Other in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity. WUNT 394. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017.

Reviewed by Max Botner, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main.

Scholars of religion are becoming increasingly attuned to the ways in which groups represent and conceive of the “other.”

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The Text of Marcion’s Gospel

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

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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.

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From Stoicism to Platonism

In Cambridge University Press, Early Christianity, Early Judaism, Eric Covington, Platonism, review, Troels ENGBERG-PEDERSEN on July 31, 2017 at 11:25 am

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2017.07.17 | Troels Engberg-Pedersen (ed.). From Stoicism to Platonism: The Development of Philosophy, 100BCE100 CE. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017. ISBN: 9781107166196.

Reviewed by Eric Covington, Howard Payne University. 

From Stoicism to Platonism: The Development of Philosophy, 100BCE100CE, edited by Troels Engberg-Pedersen, contains papers that emerged from a conference held in August 2014 at the Danish Royal Academy of Sciences in Copenhagen.  The tome brings together a veritable “Who’s Who” of researchers in the area of ancient philosophy in the first-century BCE and CE world in order to examine, as the title suggests, the interaction between Stoicism and Platonism during the period of 100BCE–100 CE.  The combined effect of the collected essays is to challenge the oft-repeated characterization of this philosophical period as a time of “eclecticism.”  This work nuances this designation and provides further clarity concerning the different types of philosophical interaction during the period and the broad philosophical development during the time that eventually led to the dominance of imperial Platonism by the second century (p. 10).  Read the rest of this entry »

The Birth of the Trinity

In Christology, Early Christianity, Madison N. Pierce, Matthew W. BATES, New Testament, Oxford University Press, Pneumatology on October 17, 2015 at 3:19 pm

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2015.10.20 | Matthew W. Bates. The Birth of the Trinity: Jesus, God, and Spirit in New Testament and Early Christian Interpretations of the Old Testament. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Pp. 256. Hardcover. ISBN 9780198729563.

Review by Madison N. Pierce, Durham University.

Many thanks to OUP for providing a review copy.

While in previous decades it has been imprudent to speak of the “Trinity” prior to the fourth century, a number of recent works have set aside the stigma to re-examine the extent to which the NT is Trinitarian. Implicit in those studies is the question: What did the fourth century glean from the first? For Matthew W. Bates in The Birth of the Trinity, one of the most significant contributions is an explanation of the exegetical method termed “prosopological exegesis” (PE). This method re-interprets Jewish Scripture by identifying an otherwise ambiguous or unspecified participant in the text, a prosopon or character. This monograph draws upon Bates’ previously published thesis, The Hermeneutics of Apostolic Proclamation (Baylor University Press, 2013). Read the rest of this entry »

I papiri letterari Cristiani

In Angelo CASANOVA, Dan Batovici, Early Christianity, Guido BASTIANINI, Instituto Papirologico “G. Vitelli”, Manuscripts, Papyrology on April 12, 2014 at 10:00 am

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2014.4.8 | Guido Bastianini and Angelo Casanova, eds. I papiri letterari Cristiani: atti del Convegno internazionale di studi in memoria di Mario Naldini. Firenze, 10-11 giugno 2010. Studi e Testi di Papirologia N.S. 13. Firenze: Instituto Papirologico “G. Vitelli,” 2011. Pp. vi + 205 + 27 illustrations. ISBN 978-88-87829-45-7. Papeback.

Review by Dan Batovici, KU Leuven.

Many thanks to Instituto Papirologico “Vitelli” for providing a review copy.

Stemming from the 2010 annual colloquium of Instituto Papirologico “Vitelli” held ten years after Mario Naldini’s passing away, this volume is a Gedenkschrift in his memory. The first paper, “Mario Naldini e la Papirologia,” is signed by Carlo Nardi and offers both a laudatio and a presentation of his life and works, especially related to early Christianity and papyrology.

Eleven contributions then follow, signed by R.S. Bagnall, G. Bastianini & G. Cavallo, P. Parsons, J. Chapa, A. Carlini & M. Bandini, E. Ginnarelli, O. Zwierlein, P. Marrassini, J. Gascou, M. Stroppa, D. Minutoli & R. Pintaudi, written in English, Italian, German and French. Read the rest of this entry »

The Transmission of Sin

In Augustine, Early Christianity, Encratite heresy, Hereditary sin, Infant baptism, Isabella Image, Origen, Original Sin, Oxford University Press, Patristics, Pier Franco BEATRICE on December 10, 2013 at 9:00 am

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2013.12.22 | Pier Franco Beatrice. The Transmission of Sin: Augustine and the pre-Augustinian sources. Translation by Adam Kamesar. AAR Religions in Translation.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. xii + 299 pages. ISBN: 9780199751419

Review by Isabella Image, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford

Many thanks to OUP for providing a review copy.

This recent translation provides English readers with Beatrice’s work on Augustine’s theory of original sin, and in particular the issues of hereditary sin and the implication that babies are condemned if not baptised. His key argument is that hereditary sin — and the associated need for infant baptism — are doctrines arising from heterodox Encratite groups, who are condemned in the East but survive in North Africa and thus come to influence orthodox Christian thought.

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