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Archive for the ‘Samuli Siikavirta’ Category

Stoicism in Early Christianity

In Baker Academic, Early Christianity, Ismo DUNDERBERG, New Testament, Samuli Siikavirta, Stoicism, Troels ENGBERG-PEDERSEN, Tuomas RASIMUS on August 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm

SEC

2013.08.17 | Tuomas Rasimus, Troels Engberg-Pedersen and Ismo Dunderberg (eds.). Stoicism in Early Christianity. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010. 320 pages. (PB) ISBN 9780801039515.

Review by Samuli Siikavirta, University of Cambridge.

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

Stoicism in Early Christianity is a collection of essays on a variety of topics suggesting that Stoicism rather than Middle Platonism was the predominant philosophical influence on early Christian texts. The emphasis on Stoic influence is seen as a neglected area in New Testament scholarship, which the book wants to change. Nearly half of the book’s thirteen essays are written by Nordic scholars (as one may expect of a book edited by two Finns and a Dane), but other authors range from universities in the USA, the Netherlands, Japan and South Africa. Read the rest of this entry »

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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

Romans

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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Michael P. Theophilos, “On the Pronunciation and Interpretation of ‘Biblical Greek’: A Re-assessment in Light of the Papyri”

In Cambridge, Early Christianity, Michael P. THEOPHILOS, Oxyrhynchus, Papyrology, Samuli Siikavirta, Scribal habits, SEMINAR REPORTS, Textual Criticism on November 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm

This is a report on a paper presented by Dr. Michael P. Theophilos, Lecturer in Biblical Studies at Australian Catholic University, at the New Testament Senior Seminar, Cambridge, 6 November 2012.

Report by Samuli Siikavirta, University of Cambridge.

The programme of the New Testament Seminar at Cambridge can be found here.

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One might assume that a Greek-speaking academic with the name Theophilos might be biased when it comes to the pronunciation of Koine Greek. Dr Michael P. Theopilos’ case clearly supported by manuscript evidence, however, made many convinced of or at least interested in the advantages of Modern Greek pronunciation over against the traditional Erasmian pronunciation (or, pronunciations) prevalent in Western academia.

Theophilos began with the common misconception that since we have no exact knowledge of how New Testament Greek was pronounced in its day, the default Erasmian pronunciation is our best option. He laid out some of the scholarship on Greek pronunciation, of which there is no lack. Many scholars, however, such as E.P. Petrounias, fail to note the witness offered by Egyptian papyri (‘The Pronunciation of Ancient Greek: Evidence and Hypotheses’, in A History of Ancient Greek: From the Beginnings to Late Antiquity [ed. A.-F. Christidis; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001], 545-555.). Read the rest of this entry »

Worship that Makes Sense to Paul: A New Approach to the Theology and Ethics of Paul’s Cultic Metaphors

In Cognition, Cultic metaphors, De Gruyter, HB/OT, Nijay K. GUPTA, Paul's ethics, Philippians, Romans, Samuli Siikavirta on October 14, 2011 at 10:43 pm

2011.10.06 | Nijay K. Gupta, Worship that Makes Sense to Paul: A New Approach to the Theology and Ethics of Paul’s Cultic Metaphors, (Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde des älteren Kirche 175), Göttingen: De Gruyter, 2010. ISBN 978-3-11-022889-2. Hardcover.

Reviewed by Samuli Siikavirta, University of Cambridge.

RBECS would like to thank De Gruyter for kindly providing us with a review copy. Visit us on facebook too.

How are cultic metaphors of the Hebrew Bible used in Paul’s undisputed letters? Read the rest of this entry »

Benjamin Schliesser, “The Dialectics of Faith and Doubt in Paul”

In Abraham, Benjamin SCHLIESSER, Cambridge, Disputing, Doubt, Faith, Meddling, Paul, Romans, Samuli Siikavirta, SEMINAR REPORTS on October 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm

A report on a paper given by Dr Benjamin Schliesser (Zürich University) at the Senior New Testament Seminar of the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, 11 October 2011.

The list of forthcoming papers in the New Testament Seminars at Cambridge can be found here. You can also find us on facebook, here.

Dr Schliesser’s paper began with the realisation that he had made when writing his PhD thesis: the notion of doubt has not been dealt with much at all in Pauline scholarship. The doubt of Don Quixote, Descartes, Luther and the modern sceptic were all mentioned as examples that shape our present-day definition of the word “doubt”: uncertainty, hesitation, lack of confidence and wavering between two positions.

Most of the paper focused on Romans 4:20 and Paul’s use of διακρίνεσθαι therein. Dr Schliesser carefully showed the discrepancy between the classical/Hellenistic meaning of the verb (“to be separated or to be dissolved [into elements]”, “to come to a decision or to get it decided” or “to contend or to dispute”) and the way in which it is usually read in the New Testament (“to contend with oneself” or simply “to doubt”). Read the rest of this entry »

John Barclay, “The Christ-Gift, Israel and Time: From Galatians to Romans”

In Cambridge, John BARCLAY, Paul, Samuli Siikavirta, SEMINAR REPORTS on May 30, 2011 at 9:32 pm

A report on a paper given by Professor John M.G. Barclay (Durham) at the Senior New Testament Seminar of the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, 17 May 2011

The list of forthcoming papers in the New Testament Seminars at Cambridge can be found here. You can also find us on facebook, here.

In what was clearly amongst the best-presented papers of the senior seminar series of this academic year, Professor John Barclay focused on the relationship between the Christ-gift and God’s plan. He painted his argument on the backdrop of the views of N.T. Wright and J.L. Martyn on the Christ-event and time. Barclay criticised both of them, admitting, though, that his own view was closer to that of Martyn’s: whereas Wright sees the crucifixion as the event that shocks Israel and unveils God’s apocalyptic plan, Martyn holds that the Christ-event creates a new cosmological moment in which the whole cosmos is put to a halt by the cross. Read the rest of this entry »

Morna Hooker, ”Paul’s Understanding of Holiness”

In Cambridge, Morna HOOKER, New Testament, Paul, Samuli Siikavirta, SEMINAR REPORTS on February 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Report on a senior seminar paper by Morna Hooker, Lady Margaret Professor Emerita, University of Cambridge, 8 Feb 2011.

The list of forthcoming papers in the New Testament Seminars at Cambridge can be found here.

Morna Hooker presented a survey of Paul’s holiness language and theology throughout the Pauline corpus. She expressed at the outset that her reason for giving a seminar paper on this particular topic was the neglect which sanctification/holiness has faced in New Testament scholarship particularly in areas affected by the Protestant overemphasis of justification over against sanctification. What also requires clarification is the confusion of terms in English: holiness terminology in Paul can be rendered in English with such words as holy, saints, holiness, sanctification and consecration. Read the rest of this entry »

Review Article: F.W. Horn and R. Zimmermann, Jenseits von Indikativ und Imperativ

In Friedrich Wilhelm HORN, Mohr Siebeck, New Testament, NT Ethics, Paul, Ruben ZIMMERMANN, Samuli Siikavirta on January 19, 2011 at 7:28 pm

2011.01.03 | F.W. Horn and R. Zimmermann, eds. Jenseits von Indikativ und Imperativ: Kontexte und Normen neutestamentlicher Ethik / Contexts and Norms of New Testament Ethics, vol. 1, (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 238), Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009. ISBN 978-3-16-149997-5. Cloth.

Review article by Samuli Siikavirta, University of Cambridge.

We extend our thanks to Mohr Siebeck for providing us with a review copy.

It is only in the recent years that some scholars have begun to criticise the indicative/imperative division of New Testament ethics that was first presented by P. Wernle in 1897 and popularised by R. Bultmann in his 1924 essay.Truthfully to its name, Jenseits von Indikativ und Imperativ [Beyond the Indicative and Imperative] delves into the recent criticism via 17 articles (two of which are in English) that present ways of going beyond the indicative and imperative. The book is the result of a round-table discussion on the foundations of New Testament ethics that took place in Germany in 2007. Read the rest of this entry »

Author’s Response to RBECS’ review on Solidarity and Difference: A Contemporary Reading of Paul’s Ethics

In Bloomsbury, David G. HORRELL, NT Ethics, Paul, Samuli Siikavirta on November 2, 2010 at 5:43 pm

2010.11.06 | David G. Horrell, Solidarity and Difference: A Contemporary Reading of Paul’s Ethics. London: T&T Clark, 2005. 360 pp. ISBN 0567083349. Hardback.

The RBECS review is available here.

I am grateful to Samuli Siikavirta for taking the time to engage at length with Solidarity and Difference and I hope that these few brief remarks by way of response may help not only to clarify issues but also, perhaps, to take discussion beyond where the book leaves off. Read the rest of this entry »

Shane Berg, ”Revelation and Anthropology in the Community Hymns of the Hodayot and in Romans”

In Cambridge, Hodayot, Paul, Romans, Samuli Siikavirta, SEMINAR REPORTS, Shane BERG on October 28, 2010 at 12:20 am

This is a report on a paper of Shane Berg, Assistant Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, presented in the Senior NT seminar at the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, 26 Oct 2010.

The list of this term’s papers in this particular seminar is available here.

Shane Berg’s paper presented the interesting hypothesis that the anthropology and religious epistemology of the community hymns of the Qumran Hodayot (thanksgiving hymns) have similarities with those of Romans. Berg argued that both the Hodayot and Romans assert universal human sinfulness in light of the creation and Fall narratives of Genesis on the one hand and the remedying agency of the Spirit on the other.

Amongst other Qumran texts, the paper mentioned 1QHa 9:10-18; 6:13; 20:11-12 and 7:12-14 as examples of community hymns with universal sinfulness in their anthropology. They depict human existence in a negative fashion, emphasising human sinfulness, ignorance and frail and inadequate cognition to come to God’s will. Men are composed of dust and cannot know God – and idea that has its Biblical background in Gen. 2-3 (cf. Job 10:9; 4:19; 34:15; Ecclesiastes 3:20; 12:7; Ps 103:14; 104:29). Read the rest of this entry »