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Archive for the ‘Oxford University Press’ Category

Gospel as Manuscript

In Chris Keith, Gospels, Jonathan Rowlands, Manuscript Studies, Manuscripts, Oxford University Press, Transmission history on December 28, 2020 at 6:40 pm

2020.12.21 | Chris Keith. The Gospel as Manuscript: An Early History of the Jesus Tradition as Material Artifact. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020. ISBN: 9780199384372.

Review by Jonathan Rowlands, St. Mellitus College.

Chris Keith is Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, and Director of the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham. His previous single-author monographs have examined the pericope adulterae, Jesus’ literacy, and his conflict with the scribal elite. Now, in The Gospel as Manuscript, Keith turns his attention to the study of manuscripts as material objects and its implications for New Testament studies.

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Archaeology of the Letters of Paul

In Archaeology, Jason Borges, Laura Salah Nasrallah, Oxford University Press, Paul on July 3, 2020 at 3:00 pm


2020.07.11 | Laura Salah Nasrallah. Archaeology of the Letters of Paul. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. ISBN: 9780199699674.

Review by Jason Borges, Durham University.

In Archaeology of the Letters of Paul, Laura Salah Nasrallah of Yale Divinity School examines archaeological materials from the Roman world to reexamine the social, historical, and political contexts of early Christ-followers in Pauline assemblies. This book focuses not upon the heroic apostles but on the everyday lives of the many, especially the unmentioned and marginalized brothers and sisters.

Nasrallah advocates for, and models, a particular methodology for using material evidence in New Testament studies. The opening chapter “On Method,” illustrates how this methodology, informed by feminist and post-colonial critiques, breaks from prior apologetic approaches to archaeology that sought monumental or “proof-text” evidence. Read the rest of this entry »

John the Theologian and his Paschal Gospel

In Gospel of John, John, John Behr, Jonathan Rowlands, Oxford University Press on May 29, 2020 at 3:00 pm


2020.05.09 | John Behr. John the Theologian and his Paschal Gospel: A Prologue to Theology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. ISBN: 978-0-19-883753-4.

Review by Jonathan Rowlands, St. Mellitus College.

In this monograph, John Behr examines the conception of incarnation in John’s Gospel, and its connection to the Easter event. Behr’s central thesis is that “the Gospel, together with its Prologue, in fact pivots upon the Passion—it is a ‘paschal gospel’” (p. 5), such that the incarnation is not conceived of as “an episode in the biography of the Word” (p. 4, a phrase borrowed from Rowan Williams) but “the ongoing embodiment of God in those who follow Christ” (p. 5). He approaches this topic by engaging three different groups of readers: (1) the Church Fathers, (2) modern biblical scholars, and (3) little-known French phenomenologist Michel Henry. Read the rest of this entry »

The Greek of the Pentateuch

In Adam W. Jones, John A. L. Lee, Oxford University Press, Pentateuch, Septuagint, Translation on March 31, 2020 at 3:00 pm


2020.03.06 | John A. L. Lee. The Greek of the Pentateuch: Grinfield Lectures on the Septuagint 2011–2012. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Reviewed by Adam W. Jones, London School of Theology.

John A. L. Lee’s The Greek of the Pentateuch represents the compiled and edited form of the Grinfield lectures given by Lee at Oxford in 2011 and 2012. This volume is a welcomed addition to the multitude of recent studies on the LXX, providing insight through comparison with extant contemporary Greek literature. One of Lee’s main goals is to prove the Greek Pentateuch exemplifies good Greek. After some brief introductory material, Lee establishes the need for examining as much evidence as possible from Greek literature when studying the LXX, with more weight given to “the evidence closest in time to the LXX” (p. 5). Read the rest of this entry »

The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity

In Canon, Eva MROCZEK, Hebrew Bible, Oxford University Press, Scribal culture, Second Temple, Shelby Bennet on December 11, 2019 at 11:56 pm


2019.12.17 | Eva Mroczek. The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. pp xi+269. ISBN: 9780190886080.

Review by Shelby Bennett, Trinity Western University.

Eva Mroczek makes a powerful contribution to re-thinking a central concept in Judaism and Christianity: “canon.” She explores and challenges the role and purpose of those who composed sacred texts that fall both inside and outside the covers of modern biblical collections. The book places the reader in the Second Temple period’s literary culture and illuminates a world teeming with scripture, but without a Bible.

The first chapter introduces a dominant theme of the book: the impact of a post-printing press “book” culture on our understanding of the Jewish literary culture that produced the Old Testament and Hebrew Bible. Mroczek argues that anachronistic concepts of canon and “book” still shape biblical scholarship today despite awareness of the issue. Read the rest of this entry »

Inconsistency in the Torah

In HB/OT, Joshua A. BERMAN, Lindsey A. Askin, Oxford University Press, Pentateuch, Source Criticism, Uncategorized on March 20, 2019 at 6:06 pm


2019.3.4 | Joshua A. Berman. Inconsistency in the Torah: Ancient Literary Convention and the Limits of Source Criticism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. ISBN 9780190658809.

Review by Lindsey A. Askin, University of Bristol.

Why do modern biblical scholars problematize disparity and dissonance in ancient law and narrative? Joshua A. Berman’s Inconsistency in the Torah explores this question in Pentateuchal criticism, critically approaching the methodological fallacies and analytical shortcomings that come as a result of becoming nobly but ideologically entrenched in detecting redactional layers diachronically in biblical and cognate texts (p.203). Read the rest of this entry »

The Jewish Literary Imagination in Antiquity

In Book of Psalms, Eva MROCZEK, Hebrew Bible, Jeremiah Coogan, Oxford University Press, review, Scribal culture, Second Temple, Uncategorized on November 9, 2017 at 8:04 am

Mrocz mare

2017.11.23 | Eva Mroczek, The Jewish Literary Imagination in Antiquity. New York, NY/Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2016. ISBN: 9780190279837

Reviewed by Jeremiah Coogan, University of Notre Dame.

Before the categories of “book” and “Bible” dominated the literary imagination, Mroczek asks, “What did this literary world seem like to Second Temple writers?” (4). How did the creators and users of literary artifacts organize and conceptualize writing? We note that this literary world of Second Temple Judaism is explicitly textual; Mroczek avoids the temptation to see orality as the only alternative to our familiar models of textuality: she explores literary modes that are “deeply, self-consciously textual, but shaped differently from our own” (5). Read the rest of this entry »

The Consolation of Boethius as Poetic Liturgy

In Oxford University Press, Philosophy, Samuel Pomeroy, Stephen Blackwood on June 16, 2016 at 4:17 pm



2016.06.10 | Stephen Blackwood. The Consolation of Boethius as Poetic Liturgy. Oxford Early Christian Studies. Oxford: OUP, 2015. Pp. xxi + 338. Soft-cover.

Review by Samuel Pomeroy, KU Leuven.

Thanks to Oxford University Press for providing a review copy.

According to Boethius, you are what you hear. If memory is integral to ethics (164–5), and hearing is integral to memory (169–71), then properly ordered poetry has the capacity to harmonize the dialectical nature of the intellect within the epistemological framework of creation (cf. 238). As the ars memorativa of the Trivium are the means by which sense and intellect are united (186), so too the complex metrical structure of Boethius’s Consolation is an invitation to perceive the particulars of cosmic harmony held together by divine providence (234). But it is not an invitation to silent, private reading towards esotericism. For Boethius the poet, the dialogical phonic dexterity of his Consolation’s meter is itself the gateway towards recollection. Read the rest of this entry »

Ethics in Ancient Israel

In Ancient Israel, Ethics, HB/OT, John BARTON, Kengo Akiyama, Oxford University Press on December 6, 2015 at 11:00 pm


2015.12.22 | John Barton. Ethics in Ancient Israel. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. pp.xii + 317. ISBN: 978-0-19-966043-8

Review by Kengo Akiyama.

Many thanks to OUP for providing a review copy.

In this book, John Barton argues that sustained reflection on ethics already existed in ancient Israel well before Socrates who is usually credited as the first to reflect on morality from a philosophical perspective. Instead of the more common approach of analysing the ethics of the Old Testament, that is, morality prescribed or implied by the Old Testament (a theological construct), Barton looks for historical evidence of ‘ethical thinking’ in ancient Israel (a historical description). He advances two theses in this book: [i] ‘the documents we have from ancient Israel do not portray ethical obligation exclusively in terms of obedience to the declared will of God,’ and [ii] ‘the very idea that there was critical reflection on moral issues in ancient Israel’ (p.12). The book consists of introduction, ten chapters, conclusion, bibliography and indices. 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 »