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Richard Hays, “Retrospective Reading: The Challenges of Gospel-Shaped Hermeneutics”

In Edinburgh, Gospel of Mark, Gospels, Gunning Lectures, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Intertextuality, John, Kerry Lee, Luke-Acts, Matthew, New Testament, NT Theology, Richard HAYS, Scripture on February 8, 2012 at 10:41 am

A report on a paper given by Richard Hays (Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke University in Durham, NC), 26 January 2012. Professor Hays is delivering this year’s Gunning Lectures at New College, University of Edinburgh, on the topic “Israel’s Scripture Through the Eyes of the Gospel Writers.” I should note that Professor Hays has let me know that he is preparing a book for publication based upon these Gunning lectures.

RBECS is also on facebook, here.

The last of Richard Hays’ lectures in the 2012 Gunning series was part overview of the previous four lectures and part return to and exploration of the somewhat troubling assertion he made in his first lecture that modern hermeneutics (speaking, for the most part, in terms of the Christian church’s life and teaching) could and perhaps should imitate that of the Gospel writers. This assertion he expounded through nine proposals.

Rather than reporting on all of the first half of Hays’ lecture, let me refer the reader to the reports already posted on Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. However, there were a few comments in this half of the lecture which were new and noteworthy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Richard Hays, “The Temple of His Body: Reading Scripture with John”

In Edinburgh, Gospels, Gunning Lectures, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Intertextuality, John, Kerry Lee, New Testament, Richard HAYS, Scripture, SEMINAR REPORTS on February 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm

A report on a paper given by Richard Hays (Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke University in Durham, NC), 24 January 2012. Professor Hays is delivering this year’s Gunning Lectures at New College, University of Edinburgh, on the topic “Israel’s Scripture Through the Eyes of the Gospel Writers.” I should note that Professor Hays has let me know that he is preparing a book for publication based upon these Gunning lectures.

RBECS is also on facebook, here.

In the penultimate Gunning lecture, Richard Hays turned his attention to the fourth Gospel where, once again, Jesus is described as “him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote” (John 2:45, RSV). The character of Jesus makes this claim, as well, saying “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me” (John 5:46, RSV). However, like the Synoptics, John does not say specifically where and how Moses and the prophets wrote about Jesus. Rather, it remains for the reader to reconstruct this.

Unlike the Synoptics, though, John’s use of the Old Testament depends on a very few allusions and citations (according to the count of Westcott and Hort, 27 direct citations in John versus 124, 70, and 109 citations in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, respectively), but these references are explored deeply over a longer stretch of the narrative, in what Hays calls sustained meditation. Read the rest of this entry »

David Kim, “Hearing the Unsung Voice: Women in the Qumran Community”

In Archaeology, David KIM, DSS, Edinburgh, Judaism, Kerry Lee, Philo, Qumran, SEMINAR REPORTS, Women on February 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm

A report on a paper given by Dr. David Kim (Visiting Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh) at the New College Biblical Studies Research Seminar, 3 February 2012. Dr. Kim received his PhD from the University of Sydney. His research has largely been centred around Coptic texts related to the New Testament and Christian origins. He is currently working on the Gospel of Judas.

The list of forthcoming papers in the Biblical Studies Seminars at Edinburgh can be downloaded from here. RBECS is also on facebook, here.

In his paper, Dr. Kim gathered together a wide range of evidence in order to call into question the scholarly opinion that the Qumran community consisted exclusively of celibate males. This evidence fell into three categories: evidence from Hellenistic Jewish writings, evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls, and evidence from archaeology at Qumran.

Reading texts from Philo of Alexandria and Josephus, Dr. Kim pointed out that in describing Palestinian ascetic communities, especially the Essenes, both authors depict a mixed picture where marriage and the presence of women in the community was, on one hand, held with suspicion while, on the other hand, marriage was in many places accepted or even the norm. Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Hays, “The One Who Redeems Israel: Reading Scripture with Luke”

In Edinburgh, Gospels, Gunning Lectures, HB/OT, Intertextuality, Kerry Lee, Luke-Acts, New Testament, NT Theology, Richard HAYS, Scripture, Septuagint on January 26, 2012 at 5:40 pm

A report on a paper given by Richard Hays (Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke University in Durham, NC), 23 January 2012. Professor Hays is delivering this year’s Gunning Lectures at New College, University of Edinburgh, on the topic “Israel’s Scripture Through the Eyes of the Gospel Writers.” I should note that Professor Hays has let me know that he is preparing a book for publication based upon these Gunning lectures.

RBECS is also on facebook, here.

Continuing in his investigation of the ways the Gospels use the Old Testament, Professor Hays turned, in his fourth Gunning lecture, to the Gospel of Luke. The launching point for Hays’ discussion was Jesus’ post-resurrection interaction with the disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35. Focusing on the disciples’ ironic statement “We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel” as a hermeneutical key to the narrator’s understanding of Jesus’ significance, and on Jesus response which took them through “Moses and all the Prophets” explicating himself, Hays identifies redemption as a recurrent theme in Luke and asks what is it in “Moses and all the Prophets” that points to Jesus as that redeemer. Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Hays, “Torah Reconfigured: Reading Scripture with Matthew”

In Edinburgh, Gospels, Gunning Lectures, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Intertextuality, Kerry Lee, Matthew, New Testament, NT Theology, Richard HAYS, Scripture, SEMINAR REPORTS, Septuagint on January 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

A report on a paper given by Richard Hays (Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke University in Durham, NC), 19 January 2012. Professor Hays is delivering this year’s Gunning Lectures at New College, University of Edinburgh, on the topic “Israel’s Scripture Through the Eyes of the Gospel Writers.”

RBECS is also on facebook, here

Professor Hays’ third lecture in the 2012 Gunning series focused on the Gospel of Matthew, whose use of the Old Testament has become a central feature of the scholarly characterisation of the New Testament’s overall appropriation of the Old Testament. Very often, the Gospel writers’ use of the Old Testament is understood as a series of proof-texts which show no concern for the meaning or context of the cited or alluded Old Testament reference. Professor Hays’ aim in these lectures, and especially in this one, is to challenge this view by closely reading the Gospels with special sensitivity to the unique narrative strategies of the individual writers.

The intertextual strategy of Matthew in many ways makes a striking contrast with that of Mark. Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Hays, “Unexpected Echoes: Reading Scripture with Mark”

In Edinburgh, Gospel of Mark, Gunning Lectures, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Kerry Lee, Messianic secret, New Testament, Richard HAYS, Scripture, SEMINAR REPORTS on January 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm

A report on a paper given by Richard Hays (Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke University in Durham, NC), 17 January 2012. Professor Hays is delivering this year’s Gunning Lectures at New College, University of Edinburgh, on the topic “Israel’s Scripture Through the Eyes of the Gospel Writers.”

RBECS is also on facebook, here.

Professor Hays’ lecture series continued with a closer examination of the way allusions to Old Testament passages in the Gospel of Mark portray Jesus as mysteriously but directly embodying the presence of God, contrary to a certain tendency in New Testament scholarship to posit an early low Christology (evident in the Gospel of Mark, among other places) which evolved into a higher Christology (evident in, for example, the Gospel of John). He began with a reflection on the insufficiency of certain terms to encompass all that Mark’s Gospel asserts about Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Hays, “Can the Gospels Teach Us How to Read the OT?”

In Edinburgh, Gunning Lectures, HB/OT, Kerry Lee, New Testament, Richard HAYS, Scripture, SEMINAR REPORTS on January 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm

A report on a paper given by Richard Hays (Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke University in Durham, NC), 16 January 2012. Professor Hays is delivering this year’s Gunning Lectures at New College, University of Edinburgh, on the topic “Israel’s Scripture Through the Eyes of the Gospel Writers.”

RBECS is also on facebook, here.

Professor Hays’ first presentation in his series was, in part, an introduction to the problem underlying the remainder of the lectures: it is frequently accused of the New Testament that its proclamation of Jesus rests on twisted and tendentious readings of the Hebrew Bible. The Old Testament, it is asserted, is silent about Jesus, meaning, first, that the conceptual background for the New Testament resides elsewhere than Israel’s scriptures and, second, that one cannot objectively view Christianity as being in continuity with the faith of the Old Testament. Read the rest of this entry »

Helen Bond, “Dating the Death of Jesus”

In Edinburgh, Helen BOND, Historical Jesus, Kerry Lee, SEMINAR REPORTS on December 3, 2011 at 2:40 pm

A report on a paper given by Dr. Helen Bond (Senior Lecturer in New Testament, University of Edinburgh) at the Biblical Studies Seminar at New College, the University of Edinburgh, 2 December 2011.

The list of forthcoming papers in the Biblical Studies Seminars at Edinburgh can be downloaded from here. RBECS is also on facebook, here.

Dr. Bond presented a clear and persuasive argument against the certainty with which numerous scholars date the death of Jesus to 7th of April 30 CE. Her paper first set forth the reasons for this consensus, the implications of the date, a reflection on the nature of the chronological data in the Gospel of Mark, and her own suggestion, which affirms the basic historicity of the Gospel accounts but which also detaches the event from the specific date of 7th April 30 CE. She concluded by pre-emptively answering some common objections to her position. Central to her thesis was a contemplation on the nature of human remembrance and its tendency to shift to infuse meaning in subjectively significant events. Read the rest of this entry »

Nicholas Wyatt, “After Death Has Us Parted: Encounters Between the Living and the Dead in the Ancient Semitic World”

In Abraham, Edinburgh, HB/OT, Kerry Lee, Nicholas WYATT, Pentateuch, SEMINAR REPORTS on November 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm

A report on a paper given by Professor Nicholas Wyatt (Honorary Professorial Fellow, Professor Emeritus, University of Edinburgh) at the Biblical Studies Seminar at New College, the University of Edinburgh, 28 October 2011.

The list of forthcoming papers in the Biblical Studies Seminars at Edinburgh can be downloaded from here. You can find RBECS on facebook, here.

Professor Wyatt’s paper drew together disparate strands from first and second millennium BCE texts from across Mesopotamia and the Levant in order to identify common elements in their post-funerary practices, or ritual “Encounters Between the Living and the Dead.”

The bulk of the paper centered around investigating the eastern Mesopotamian practice of the kispum, a ritual feast wherein a deceased person, most especially but not exclusively a deceased king, was remembered and “fed.” Read the rest of this entry »

John Barton, “Law and Narrative in the Pentateuch”

In Edinburgh, HB/OT, John BARTON, Kerry Lee, Pentateuch, SEMINAR REPORTS on October 15, 2011 at 11:20 pm

A report on a paper given by Professor John Barton (Oriel College, Oxford University) at the Biblical Studies Seminar at New College, the University of Edinburgh, 14 October 2011.

The list of forthcoming papers in the Biblical Studies Seminars at Edinburgh can be downloaded from here. You can find RBECS on facebook, here.

Professor Barton’s paper was an exploration of the problem of the relationship between the legal and narrative texts of the Pentateuch. The paper consisted of six points/sections: (1) an introduction of the problem, (2) a review of the Jewish interpretive tradition which has foregrounded the legal texts, (3) a review of the Christian tradition which, in contrast, foregrounded the narrative texts but in a prophetic light, (4) an exploration of two broad purposes for narrative with a national scope (such as, but not limited to, royals annals), one positive and one negative, which would provide a rubric by which to foreground the narrative texts, (5) a third suggestion for the purpose of narratives which integrates the legal texts for the modern reader, and finally (6) a look ahead to some work which is breaking down the generic barriers between narrative and law, perhaps providing yet another solution to the problem. Read the rest of this entry »