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Archive for the ‘Paul’ Category

An Apostle in Battle

In 2 Corinthians, Christopher de Stigter, Early Christianity, Himmelreise, Lisa M. BOWENS, New Testament, Paul on October 11, 2021 at 4:14 pm

2021.10.16 | Lisa M. Bowens. An Apostle in Battle: Paul and Spiritual Warfare in 2 Corinthians 12:1–10. WUNT II 433; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017.

Review by Christopher de Stigter, Durham University.

Lisa Bowens’s published dissertation, An Apostle in Battle, is an ambitious work in conceptual integration. She argues for a mutual dependency of Paul’s cosmology, epistemology, and anthropology in his ascent to the third heaven in 2 Corinthians 12:1–10 (see especially pp. 46 & 129). It is in Paul’s Himmelsreise, she argues, that we see the Apostle within a greater cosmic battle: the human pursuit of divine knowledge is under threat from satanic attacks. For Bowens, therefore, a unifying center of all three conceptual spheres—cosmology, epistemology, and anthropology—is their bellicose construal. Her reading emphasizes Paul’s pastoral intentions, for his response to this cosmic battle, boasting in weakness, indicates his hopes for the “problems in Corinth” (p. 1). Against the tide of recent scholarship, Bowens convincingly locates a theological and practical significance in Paul’s disclosure of his ascent to the Corinthians even if this reviewer found certain points less persuasive.

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Dating Acts in Its Jewish and Greco-Roman Contexts

In Bloomsbury, Book of Acts, Daniel B. Glover, Dating NT, Karl L. Armstrong, Luke-Acts, Paul on September 17, 2021 at 3:00 pm

2021.9.15 | Karl L. Armstrong. Dating Acts in Its Jewish and Greco-Roman Contexts. LNTS 637. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2021.

Review by Daniel B. Glover, Lee University.

Karl L. Armstrong’s new monograph, Dating Acts in Its Jewish and Greco-Roman Contexts, presents what he calls a new, historiographic approach to identifying the date of Acts. Bucking both current and longstanding trends in Acts scholarship, Armstrong argues for a precise date of 64 CE, a date during the reign of Nero and preceding the death of Paul, the famed fire of Rome, and the Jewish War (66–70 CE). Armstrong is revivifying an older position in Acts scholarship but also leveling new arguments in its favor. What follows is perhaps the strongest, most comprehensive case yet offered for an early date for the Acts, and, for that reason, deserves a detailed, substantive engagement as is offered later in this review.

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Reading with the Grain of Scripture

In Eerdmans, Gospels, Intertextuality, Nathan Charles Ridlehoover, Paul, Richard HAYS, Scripture, theological Interpretation of Scripture on February 19, 2021 at 3:00 pm

2021.2.6 | Richard B. Hays. Reading with the Grain of Scripture. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2020. ISBN: 978-0-8028-7845-8.

Review by Charles Nathan Ridlehoover, Columbia Biblical Seminary.

Students and scholars of the New Testament hardly need an introduction to Richard Hays. Hays has written ground-breaking scholarship on the letters of Paul and New Testament ethics, and his latest full-length study examines intertextual echoes in the Gospels and their Christological significance (Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels). Just before his retirement in 2018, Hays assumed the mantle of dean of Duke Divinity School while maintaining his role as the George Washington Ivey Professor Emeritus of New Testament.

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Sharing in the Son’s Inheritance

In Bloomsbury, Esau McCaulley, Galatians, Messianism, Paul, Trey Moss on January 22, 2021 at 3:00 pm
Sharing in the Son's Inheritance: Davidic Messianism and Paul's Worldwide  Interpretation of the Abrahamic Land Promise in Galatians: 608 (The Library  of New Testament Studies): Amazon.co.uk: McCaulley, Rev. Dr. Esau:  9780567685926: Books

2021.1.4 | Esau McCaulley. Sharing in the Son’s Inheritance: Davidic Messianism and Paul’s Worldwide Interpretation of the Abrahamic Land Promise in Galatians. LNTS 608. London: T&T Clark, 2019. ISBN 9780567700292. 

Review by Trey Moss, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

 In Sharing in the Son’s Inheritance Esau McCaulley explores the connection between Paul’s messianic theology in the context of Jewish messianism and the Abrahamic land promises in Galatians. While the Abrahamic narrative looms large in Galatians (e.g., Gal 3:6–9, 14–18, 26–29; 4:21, 25–31), Pauline scholarship has often identified the Spirit as a replacement for the land in the argument of Galatians (p. 1, n. 2). Furthermore, according to McCaulley, scholarship on Galatians has not emphasized Davidic messianism in Paul’s theology (pp. 1–2). In contrast, McCaulley argues, “rather than abandoning the Abrahamic land promise, Paul expands it to encompass the whole earth because he believes that Jesus as the seed of Abraham and David (Gal 3:16), is entitled to the peoples and territories of the earth as his inheritance and kingdom (Ps 2:7–8)” (p. 2). By neglecting Paul’s theology of a Davidic Messiah, scholars have missed how Paul connects the land promises to the worldwide kingdom of the Davidic Messiah in Galatians (pp. 5–46). 

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Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind

In Ethics, Graeco-Roman Backgrounds, J. Andrew Cowan, Max J. Lee, Mohr Siebeck, Paul, Paul's ethics, Philosophy, Stoicism on January 11, 2021 at 3:00 pm
Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind

2021.1.3 | Max J. Lee. Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Pau and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries. WUNT II 515. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020. ISBN 978-3-16-149660-8.

Review by J. Andrew Cowan, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind originated as a part of Max J. Lee’s doctoral dissertation at Fuller Theological Seminary. Although he originally intended to publish his project on “Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind and Paul” as one book, the editor of WUNT suggested that he make a few additions and reserve the portion on Paul for a future work, and the material on Greco-Roman and Jewish Diaspora literature then expanded beyond the reasonable confines of one volume. Consequently, the present book focuses on philosophy of mind in Middle Platonism and Stoicism, Lee plans to publish material on Epicureanism and Diaspora Judaism in a future volume, and he describes these two works together as the foundation for a career-long research agenda on “how the Apostle Paul appropriates the language of philosophical discourse in his moral exhortations to Gentile churches” (p. VI).

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Faith as Participation

In Gregg S. Morrison, Jeanette Hagen Pifer, Mohr Siebeck, Participation, Paul on October 2, 2020 at 3:17 pm

2020.10.17 | Jeanette Hagen Pifer. Faith as Participation: An Exegetical Study of Some Key Pauline Texts. WUNT II 486. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2019. VII + 258 pp. ISBN: 978-3-16-156476-5.

Review by Gregg S. Morrison, Birmingham, Alabama (USA).

Jeanette Hagen Pifer, currently Assistant Professor of New Testament at Biola University, has written a stimulating work that focuses on Paul’s conception of πίστις and union with or participation in Christ as found in 1 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, and Galatians. The monograph, published in Mohr Siebeck’s WUNT II series, is a revision of her doctoral dissertation at Durham University, which was supervised by Professor John M. G. Barclay. The book consists of seven chapters—an introduction and conclusion with the second, third, and fourth chapters entitled “Faith and Participation in…” 1 Thessalonians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, respectively. Pifer’s discussion of Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians is divided into two chapters and entitled simply “Galatians 2:15–21” (chapter 5) and “Galatians 3–6” (chapter 6).

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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

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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 »

Paul’s Teaching on the Pneumatika in 1 Corinthians 12–14

In 1 Corinthians, Emanuel Conțac, Mohr Siebeck, Paul, Soeng Yu Li, Spiritual Gifts on February 9, 2019 at 3:33 pm
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2019.2.3 | Soeng Yu Li. Paul’s Teaching on the Pneumatika in 1 Corinthians 12–14. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament II 455. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017. pp. xx + 543. ISBN 978-3-16-155146-8.

Review by Emanuel Conțac, Pentecostal Theological Institute of Bucharest.[1]

The 84 verses that comprise the largest thematic subsection of 1 Corinthians have generated countless monographs and other studies. The latest substantial contribution to this corpus is a book by Soeng Yu Li, written in the form of a doctoral dissertation. It was defended in 2016 at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, under the supervision of professor Reimund Bieringer. Read the rest of this entry »

Paul and Ancient Rhetoric

In Bryan Dyer, Cambridge University Press, Emanuel Conțac, Graeco-Roman Backgrounds, Paul, review, Rhetorical Strategies, Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation, Stanley E. Porter on December 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm

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2017.12.28 | Stanley Porter and Bryan R. Dyer (editors), Paul and Ancient Rhetoric: Theory and Practice in the Hellenistic Context, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017. xviii + 330 pp. 

Reviewed by Emanuel Conțac, Pentecostal Theological Institute of Bucharest

Almost forty years have passed since Hans Dieter Betz published his landmark commentary on Galatians (1979) which marked the blossoming of a new approach to the text of Paul’s letters.

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Mystery and the Making of a Christian Historical Consciousness

In De Gruyter, Jonathon Lookadoo, Paul, Second century, T. J. LANG on January 12, 2017 at 11:37 am

2017.01.01 | T. J. Lang, Mystery and the Making of a Christian Historical Consciousness: From Paul to the Second Century. BZNW 219. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015. pp. xii +293. ISBN: 9783110442670.

Review by Jonathon Lookadoo, University of Otago

Early Christian conceptions of history are a complicated matter to study. Many early Christian texts highlight continuity between God’s actions in and after Jesus and the way in which God acted prior to Jesus. However, other passages suggest a break, even a rupture, which occurred after Jesus.

Mystery and the Making of a Christian Historical Consciousness steps into this complicated issue by studying the role of “mystery” (μυστήριον) in Pauline literature and tracing the usage of the concept through the second century. Read the rest of this entry »