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Archive for the ‘Paul’ Category

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 »

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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

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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

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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

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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 »

Paul’s Graeco-Roman Context

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

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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

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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 »

Contours in the Text

In Bloomsbury, Garrick V. Allen, Hebrew Bible, Jonathan D. H. NORTON, Josephus, Manuscripts, New Testament, Paul, Qumran, Romans, Scribal habits, Scripture, Second Temple, Septuagint, Textual Criticism on December 19, 2013 at 9:01 am

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2013.12.23 | Jonathan D. H. Norton. Contours in the Text: Textual Variation in the Writings of Paul, Josephus and the Yahad. Library of New Testament Studies 430; London: T&T Clark, 2011. xiii + 210 pages (PB). ISBN 9780567521996.

Review by Garrick V. Allen, University of St Andrews.

Many thanks to Bloomsbury for providing a review copy.

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In this volume, Norton explores Paul’s reuse and awareness of multiple antecedent scriptural traditions in the textually pluriform environment of first century Palestine. His approach blends text-critical acumen and an awareness of exegetical issues in the contemporary discussion. His study “questions Paul’s awareness and encounter with textual plurality in Jewish scripture” (p. 1). Read the rest of this entry »

Pioneer and Perfecter of Faith

In Christology, Christopher A. RICHARDSON, Hebrews, Mohr Siebeck, Nicholas J. Moore, NT Theology, Paul, Pistis Christou on June 21, 2013 at 11:20 am

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2013.06.11 | Christopher A. Richardson. Pioneer and Perfecter of Faith: Jesus’ Faith as the Climax of Israel’s History in the Epistle to the Hebrews. WUNT II/338. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012. XI, 280 pp. Paperback. ISBN 978 3 16 150397 9.

Review by Nicholas J. Moore, Keble College, University of Oxford.

The debate over pistis Christou – whether this phrase refers to faith in Christ or the faith(fulness) of Christ – has generated a large literature focussing mostly on a few verses in Paul. Christopher Richardson’s monograph argues that the concept of Jesus’ faithfulness is clearly present in the New Testament, but in a place that few engaged in the pistis Christou debate have thought to look for it: the Letter to the Hebrews. Richardson’s study (a revision of his doctoral thesis completed under Francis Watson at Aberdeen in 2009) traces references to Jesus’ faithfulness throughout Hebrews in order to demonstrate that this is a recurring and important theme. Read the rest of this entry »

Miracle Discourse in the New Testament

In Brandon Walker, Duane F. WATSON, Gospel of John, Gospels, John, Miracle discourses, New Testament, Paul, Society of Biblical Literature, Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation, Synoptic Gospels on April 2, 2013 at 11:30 pm

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2013.04.03 | Duane F. Watson, ed. Miracle Discourse in the New Testament. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012. ISBN 1589831187.

Reviewed by Brandon Walker, University of Nottingham.

Many thanks go to SBL for kindly providing us with a review copy.

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Miracle Discourse in the New Testament is a collection of essays that were originally presented at the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting in 2001.  Miracle discourse itself has been analyzed and critiqued since the Enlightenment and has come to the fore with the publication of the works of Wendy Cotter, Graham Twelftree and most recently Craig Keener. The papers presented in this particular volume dialogue with Cotter’s Miracles of Greco-Roman Antiquity and her latest work, The Christ of the Miracle Stories: Portrait through Encounter.  The book follows a canonical order and shows the advantages of examining miracle discourse from a socio-rhetorical method (15).

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Romans (Paideia Commentaries on the New Testament)

In Baker Academic, Frank J. MATERA, NT Theology, Paul, Romans, Samuli Siikavirta on December 13, 2012 at 9:09 am

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2012.12.17 | Frank J. Matera, Romans. Paideia Commentaries on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010. 416 pages. (PB) $29.99. ISBN 9780801031892.

Review by Samuli Siikavirta, University of Cambridge.

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

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Frank J. Matera’s Romans commentary is meant for “students at the master’s level” (4) and, despite fulfilling this purpose well, it gives some food for thought to more advanced scholars alike. The Paideia series as a whole, in which Matera’s commentary stands, is student-friendly in its threefold exegetical subdivisions: “Introductory Issues” for the background, “Tracing the Train of Thought” for a focus on the rhetorical flow of the text and “Theological Issues” for the significance of the text for Pauline and, indeed, Christian theology from Antiquity through key points along the text’s history of interpretation to the present.

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