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Archive for the ‘New Testament’ Category

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 »

The First Christians’ Responses to Emperor Worship

In Bruce W. WINTER, Christoph Heilig, Graeco-Roman Backgrounds, Imperial Cult, New Testament, review article on November 30, 2016 at 4:13 pm

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2016.11.19 | Bruce W. Winter. Divine Honours for the Caesars: The First Christians’ Responses. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015.

Review article by Christoph Heilig, University of Zurich, Switzerland.

1. Purpose of this Essay[1]

There are few New Testament scholars whose approach to research can be seen reflected as clearly in their publications as what we find in Bruce Winter’s contributions to New Testament studies. His aim to understand early Christianity in its ancient context is implemented by firmly locating the New Testament writings in a framework that is built upon the analysis of historical evidence – while at the same time using the Christian texts as evidence that supplements our understanding of specific issues regarding antiquity in general. Read the rest of this entry »

Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and the First Letter to Timothy

In 1 Timothy, Eisenbrauns, Ephesus, Gary G. Hoag, New Testament, Paul, Sam J. Rogers, Women on September 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm


2016.09.17 | Gary G. Hoag. Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and the First Letter to Timothy: Fresh Insights from Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus. BBRSup 11. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2015. ISBN: 9781575068299.

Review by Sam J. Rogers, University of Manchester.

Many thanks to Eisenbrauns for providing a review copy.

Gary Hoag’s revised dissertation aims to shed light on key words and phrases in 1 Timothy using Xenophon’s Ephesiaca and local Ephesian archaeological and epigraphical evidence. In each section, Hoag presents a cogent argument with ample linguistic and archaeological evidence to read 1 Timothy within an Ephesian socio-cultural context. Though some conclusions may be overstated, Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and the First Letter to Timothy is a positive contribution to current scholarship and largely succeeds in its aims. Read the rest of this entry »

Lifting the Veil

In Benjamin Winter, De Gruyter, Michael COVER, New Testament, Paul on April 4, 2016 at 2:00 pm

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2016.04.05 | Michael Cover. Lifting the Veil: 2 Corinthians 3:7-18 in Light of Jewish Homiletic and Commentary Traditions. BNZW 210. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2015.

Review by Benjamin Winter, St Louis University.

In the preface to this dense yet rewarding monograph, Cover submits that his “project might be summarized as a voyage from Paul’s epistolary interpretation of scripture to Philo’s exegesis in the Allegorical Commentary and back again” (vii). Indeed, Cover takes readers on a journey through both the form and content of Greco-Roman, Jewish, and early Christian commentaries—considering a full spectrum of “allegorical, dialectical, rhetorical, and prophetic reading strategies” for those commentaries (6). The subjects of Cover’s monograph can be categorized as follows: (1) ancient Jewish scriptural hermeneutics in general; (2) the influence of Hellenism on Jewish exegetical and homiletical traditions; and (3) Paul’s mediation of (1) and (2) in his epistles. By focusing on the introduction and control of background scriptural texts, Cover succeeds in his goal of analyzing Paul’s “pattern of exegesis” in 2 Corinthians 3:7–18. Read the rest of this entry »

Hebrews: A Different Priest and a New Commentary

In Albert VANHOYE, commentary, Convivium, Hebrews, New Testament, Nicholas J. Moore, Paulist Press, review article on February 10, 2016 at 12:00 am


2016.02.03  Albert Vanhoye. A Different Priest: The Epistle to the Hebrews. Translated by Leo Arnold. Rhetorica Semitica. Miami, FL: Convivium, 2011. Paperback. 450 pp. ISBN 9781934996201.

Albert Vanhoye. The Letter to the Hebrews: A New Commentary. Translated by Leo Arnold. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist, 2015. Paperback. V + 266 pp. ISBN 9780809149285.

Review article by Nicholas Moore.

Many thanks to Convivium Press and Paulist Press for providing review copies.

1. Introduction

“He who walks with the wise grows wise.” These two books, freshly written and translated, offer to a new audience a distillation of over six decades of reflection, research, and teaching on the Letter to the Hebrews. Albert Vanhoye SJ, a former Rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute and former President of SNTS who was made cardinal in 2006, is without any doubt one of the most significant French biblical scholars of the twentieth century. 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

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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 »

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


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 »

Biblical Words and Their Meaning: An Introduction to Lexical Semantics in the NIDNTTE

In Christoph Heilig, Moisés Silva, New Testament, review article, Zondervan on June 17, 2015 at 2:17 pm


2015.06.15 | Moisés Silva, ed. New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis. 5 vols.; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014.

Review article by Christoph Heilig, University of Zurich.

Many thanks to Zondervan for providing a review copy.

1. A Complex History

From a German perspective, the publication of the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis (5 vols.; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014) is undoubtedly an interesting event. After all, this five volume work, edited by Moisés Silva, is called the “second edition” of the dictionary formerly known as New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (ed. Colin Brown; 4 vols.; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975-1978), which is in turn based on the German Theologisches Begriffslexikon zum Neuen Testament (ed. Lothar Coenen, Erich Beyreuther, and Hans Bietenhard; Wuppertal: Brockhaus, 1967-1971). Read the rest of this entry »