Reviews of

Archive for the ‘Paul’ Category

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).

Read the rest of this entry »

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

51fpbbdlhsl

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
3161554604_lp copy

 

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

41ydg4qakzl-_sx327_bo1204203200_

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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

hoawealth

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 »

The Pauline Effect: The Use of the Pauline Epistles by Early Christian Writers

In De Gruyter, Jennifer R. STRAWBRIDGE, Jonathon Lookadoo, NT reception history, Paul, Reception history, Uncategorized on July 11, 2016 at 10:20 pm

strawbridge

2016.07.13 | Jennifer R. Strawbridge. The Pauline Effect: The Use of the Pauline Epistles by Early Christian Writers. SBR 5. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2015. pp. vii + 309. ISBN: 978-3-11-043770-6.

Review by Jonathon Lookadoo, University of Otago

Many thanks to Walter de Gruyter for providing a review copy.

Amid the increasing popularity of reception histories in Humanities scholarship and particularly in early Christian studies, Jennifer Strawbridge has added a unique and timely study of the way in which Paul’s letters were received in the ante-Nicene period. A two-fold emphasis frames the book, which began as an Oxford DPhil thesis supervised by Christopher Rowland and Teresa Morgan. First, the book investigates the way in which early Christian authors used Pauline letters. Second, the volume considers how the interpretation of Paul’s letters may illuminate their role in early Christian formation. 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

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 9.49.54 AM

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 »

Paul’s Graeco-Roman Context

In Cilliers BREYTENBACH, Graeco-Roman Backgrounds, Paul, Paul Linjamaa, Peeters, Philosophy on December 30, 2015 at 2:00 pm

51h3Qu5XZ7L._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_

2015.12.24 | Cilliers Breytenbach, ed. Paul’s Graeco-Roman Context (BETL 277). Leuven: Peeters, 2015. Pp. 773. Hardcover. ISBN 9789042932715.

Review by Paul Linjamaa, Lund University.

Many thanks to Peeters for providing a review copy.

This book comprises the printed proceedings following the 62nd Colloquium Biblicum Lovaniense, which took place 16-18 July, 2013. Among the 34 essays, we find studies on broad issues, such as Paul’s Romanization (by Marie-Françoise Baslez), Paul’s use of Metanoia (by David Konstan) and Paul’s relation to wine and drunkenness (by John T. Fitzgerald). We also find more narrow studies, such as two articles on Romans 7:7-25, one by Samuel Byrskog investigating the identity of the “I” in this passage, and another by Antonio Pitta presenting a new interpretation of the passage from the perspective of Aristotle’s Poetics. Since I cannot comment upon all 34 essays, I have made a selection from essays that were presented by scholars invited to give a main lectures at the conference, as well as papers from each of the groups of accepted contributions. These papers fall into three categories: papers interpreting individual phrases in Pauline letters; papers on the rhetorical strategies and concepts underlying Paul’s letters; and papers focusing on historical questions and post-Pauline literature. Read the rest of this entry »

Paul and the Miraculous: A Historical Reconstruction

In Baker Academic, Brandon Walker, Graham H. TWELFTREE, Miracle discourses, Paul on January 23, 2015 at 6:21 pm

patm

2015.01.01 | Graham M. Twelftree. Paul and the Miraculous: A Historical Reconstruction. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic Press, 2013. 390 pp. Pbk.

Reviewed by Brandon Walker, University of Nottingham.

Many thanks go to Baker Academic for providing us with a review copy.

This latest book by Graham Twelftree illuminates the important, but often neglected issue of Paul and his relationship with the miraculous. Twelftree’s agenda in this book is to examine Paul’s understanding of the miraculous in his life and ministry (26-27). One important thesis that is set forth is that while Paul did not completely distance himself from being perceived as a miracle worker, he did not directly claim to perform miracles. The distinction is an important one. While Paul witnessed miracles occurring in relation to his preaching of the gospel, he did not lay personal claim to them. In other words, he did not claim the power-authority that caused the miracles.

The book is laid out in five sections and ten chapters. The first chapter lays out Twelftree’s methodological agenda in this chapter by gleaning Paul’s understanding of miracles in a historical reconstruction. Read the rest of this entry »