Reviews of

Archive for the ‘SEMINAR REPORTS’ Category

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.

facebook.com/RBECS.org

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 »

Advertisements

Peter M. Head, “Onesimus and the Letter of Philemon: New Light on the Role of the Letter Carrier”

In Cambridge, Epistolography, Letter-carriers, New Testament, Oxyrhynchus, Papyrology, Paul, Peter M. HEAD, Peter Malik, SEMINAR REPORTS on May 31, 2012 at 4:15 pm

This is a report on a paper presented by Dr. Peter M. Head, Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament at the Faculty of Divinity and Tyndale House, at the New Testament  Seminar, Cambridge, 15 May 2012.

Report by Peter Malik, University of Cambridge. The programme of the New Testament Seminar at Cambridge can be found here.

facebook.com/RBECS.org

The final seminar of this academical year hosted a paper by Dr. Peter M. Head, Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament at the Faculty of Divinity and Tyndale House. Besides his 1997 monograph on the Synoptic Problem, Dr. Head is mostly known for his wide array of publications in the field of NT textual criticism, with a special focus on Greek NT manuscripts. Recently, however, he also published on ancient epistolary communication, particularly on named letter-carriers in Oxyrhynchus papyri and in ancient Jewish epistolary material (both can be accessed through Dr. Head’s website here). These are actually precursors of his forthcoming monograph on the role of letter-carriers in the interpretation of Paul’s letters. In this paper, Peter Head focused on the role of Onesimus as the letter-carrier of the letter to Philemon, and potential interpretive outcomes thereby gleaned. Read the rest of this entry »

James Carleton Paget, “The Reception of F. C. Baur in Victorian Britain”

In Biblical Criticism, Cambridge, F. C. Baur, James CARLETON PAGET, Peter Malik, SEMINAR REPORTS on February 25, 2012 at 11:25 pm

This is a report on a paper presented by Dr. James Carleton Paget, Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies, and Fellow and tutor of Peterhouse, at the New Testament  Seminar, Cambridge, 21 February 2012.

The list of forthcoming papers in the New Testament Seminar at Cambridge can be found hereRBECS is also on facebook, here.

Everyone familiar with the work of Dr. James Carleton Paget is aware of his formidable grasp of the history of biblical interpretation in general, and the 19th century biblical scholarship in particular. Therefore, it was a real treat to hear him present on this particular topic at the Senior NT seminar at the Faculty of Divinity in Cambridge. What follows is a brief reflection on the main issues raised by Dr. Carleton Paget, whose paper covered an incredible breadth of information with, I should add, his typical eloquence and unparalleled sense of humour.

First of all, the reception of and reaction to Baur’s work in the Victorian Britain was in many ways analogous to the reception of German theology in general. This was due to several factors. Not only was the knowledge of German amongst English divines limited, but when German theology actually made its way to English theological circles, it was frequently mediated via conservative lenses (and thus often not presented in toto). Read the rest of this entry »

Scott Hafemann, “Fellow participants of the ‘Divine Nature’ (theia fusis): 2 Peter 1:4 within its ‘Philosophical’ and Eschatological Context”

In 2 Peter, Apotheosis, Edinburgh, Eschatology, Kerry Lee, New Testament, NT Theology, Philo, Scott HAFEMANN, SEMINAR REPORTS on February 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm

A report on a paper given by Dr. Scott Hafemann (Reader in New Testament, University of St. Andrews) at the New College Biblical Studies Research Seminar, 17 February 2012, University of Edinburgh.

The list of forthcoming papers in the Biblical Studies Seminars at Edinburgh can be downloaded from here. RBECS is also on facebook, here.

Dr. Hafemann’s paper argued for a new reading of 2 Peter 1:4’s famous ινα δια τουτων γενησθε θειας κοινωνοι φυσεως, which has served as a prooftext for the concept of apotheosis in Christian theology since the time of the Church Fathers. Through a close reading of the text and a study of the classical use of the word φυσις, Hafemann argued against the typical understanding of this phrase as communicating a concept of an altered ontology, though what he wants to replace it with is not entirely clear.

Following the lead of ancient Christian theologians, modern commentators and translations of the New Testament encourage an understanding of φυσις which is essentially synonymous with ουσια, that is, a static non-physical quality or being. Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Bauckham, “Divine and Human Community in the Gospel of John”

In Community, Durham, John, Judaism, Justin A. Mihoc, Richard BAUCKHAM, SEMINAR REPORTS on February 14, 2012 at 1:07 am

This is a report on a paper presented by Prof Richard Bauckham, formerly of University St Andrews and fellow of the British Academy, at the New Testament Research Seminar, Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University, 13th of February 2012. The list of forthcoming papers in the NT Research Seminars at Durham University can be found here.

Prof Bauckham’s paper was written as a companion to his essay on ‘individualism’ in the Gospel of John, which he presented at the British New Testament Conference (Nottingham, 2011). In the present paper, Prof Bauckham offers a fresh interpretation of John’s usage of the ‘oneness’ language (focussing on the word ἕν), and assesses its relevance for understanding the divine and human community. He examines the Scriptural uses of the community language, with a special emphasis on Jesus’ prayer in John 17, and also the developments of this language in systematic theology.

The word ‘one’

According to Prof Bauckham, in 12 instances in 8 Johannine texts, the word ‘one’ becomes a very potent theological term. Although one might be compelled to regard this word as straight-forward, this initial impression is in fact wrong, as it is used by John at least in two different ways.

Read the rest of this entry »

N.T. Wright, “Apocalyptic and Mysticism in the New Testament”

In Apocalyptic, David J. Larsen, Mysticism, N. T. WRIGHT, New Testament, SEMINAR REPORTS, St Andrews on February 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm

This is a report on the University of St Andrews New Testament Research Seminar (N. T. Wright chair), 7 February 2012.

Professor N. Thomas Wright commenced this semester’s New Testament research seminar on Apocalyptic and Mysticism with some introductory remarks regarding these categories and what they mean for the academic study of the New Testament.

Prior to Wright’s remarks, Dr. Scott Hafemann announced that Professor Wright had recently been awarded the Mark O. Hatfield award for excellence in leadership in the field of Christian higher education by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in Washington D.C.

Wright began by commenting on the rather bumpy road that has been traveled in the history of the academic study of Apocalyptic Literature and Mysticism. Some parties, both in the German and then the American academies, have historically been very wary of venturing into these subjects and have long resisted and pushed to the sidelines the study of related texts. They have often not found a place for these categories in the study of the New Testament, arguing against the historical Jesus’ involvement in anything “mystical” and asserting that Paul wouldn’t have dabbled in it. The academy has long privileged matters of the mind over those of the heart. Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Hays, “The Temple of His Body: Reading Scripture with John”

In Edinburgh, Gospels, Gunning Lectures, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Intertextuality, John, Kerry Lee, New Testament, Richard HAYS, Scripture, SEMINAR REPORTS on February 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm

A report on a paper given by Richard Hays (Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke University in Durham, NC), 24 January 2012. Professor Hays is delivering this year’s Gunning Lectures at New College, University of Edinburgh, on the topic “Israel’s Scripture Through the Eyes of the Gospel Writers.” I should note that Professor Hays has let me know that he is preparing a book for publication based upon these Gunning lectures.

RBECS is also on facebook, here.

In the penultimate Gunning lecture, Richard Hays turned his attention to the fourth Gospel where, once again, Jesus is described as “him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote” (John 2:45, RSV). The character of Jesus makes this claim, as well, saying “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me” (John 5:46, RSV). However, like the Synoptics, John does not say specifically where and how Moses and the prophets wrote about Jesus. Rather, it remains for the reader to reconstruct this.

Unlike the Synoptics, though, John’s use of the Old Testament depends on a very few allusions and citations (according to the count of Westcott and Hort, 27 direct citations in John versus 124, 70, and 109 citations in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, respectively), but these references are explored deeply over a longer stretch of the narrative, in what Hays calls sustained meditation. Read the rest of this entry »

David Kim, “Hearing the Unsung Voice: Women in the Qumran Community”

In Archaeology, David KIM, DSS, Edinburgh, Judaism, Kerry Lee, Philo, Qumran, SEMINAR REPORTS, Women on February 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm

A report on a paper given by Dr. David Kim (Visiting Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh) at the New College Biblical Studies Research Seminar, 3 February 2012. Dr. Kim received his PhD from the University of Sydney. His research has largely been centred around Coptic texts related to the New Testament and Christian origins. He is currently working on the Gospel of Judas.

The list of forthcoming papers in the Biblical Studies Seminars at Edinburgh can be downloaded from here. RBECS is also on facebook, here.

In his paper, Dr. Kim gathered together a wide range of evidence in order to call into question the scholarly opinion that the Qumran community consisted exclusively of celibate males. This evidence fell into three categories: evidence from Hellenistic Jewish writings, evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls, and evidence from archaeology at Qumran.

Reading texts from Philo of Alexandria and Josephus, Dr. Kim pointed out that in describing Palestinian ascetic communities, especially the Essenes, both authors depict a mixed picture where marriage and the presence of women in the community was, on one hand, held with suspicion while, on the other hand, marriage was in many places accepted or even the norm. Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Hays, “Torah Reconfigured: Reading Scripture with Matthew”

In Edinburgh, Gospels, Gunning Lectures, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Intertextuality, Kerry Lee, Matthew, New Testament, NT Theology, Richard HAYS, Scripture, SEMINAR REPORTS, Septuagint on January 25, 2012 at 8:29 am

A report on a paper given by Richard Hays (Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke University in Durham, NC), 19 January 2012. Professor Hays is delivering this year’s Gunning Lectures at New College, University of Edinburgh, on the topic “Israel’s Scripture Through the Eyes of the Gospel Writers.”

RBECS is also on facebook, here

Professor Hays’ third lecture in the 2012 Gunning series focused on the Gospel of Matthew, whose use of the Old Testament has become a central feature of the scholarly characterisation of the New Testament’s overall appropriation of the Old Testament. Very often, the Gospel writers’ use of the Old Testament is understood as a series of proof-texts which show no concern for the meaning or context of the cited or alluded Old Testament reference. Professor Hays’ aim in these lectures, and especially in this one, is to challenge this view by closely reading the Gospels with special sensitivity to the unique narrative strategies of the individual writers.

The intertextual strategy of Matthew in many ways makes a striking contrast with that of Mark. Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Hays, “Unexpected Echoes: Reading Scripture with Mark”

In Edinburgh, Gospel of Mark, Gunning Lectures, HB/OT, Hermeneutics, Kerry Lee, Messianic secret, New Testament, Richard HAYS, Scripture, SEMINAR REPORTS on January 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm

A report on a paper given by Richard Hays (Dean and George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament at Duke University in Durham, NC), 17 January 2012. Professor Hays is delivering this year’s Gunning Lectures at New College, University of Edinburgh, on the topic “Israel’s Scripture Through the Eyes of the Gospel Writers.”

RBECS is also on facebook, here.

Professor Hays’ lecture series continued with a closer examination of the way allusions to Old Testament passages in the Gospel of Mark portray Jesus as mysteriously but directly embodying the presence of God, contrary to a certain tendency in New Testament scholarship to posit an early low Christology (evident in the Gospel of Mark, among other places) which evolved into a higher Christology (evident in, for example, the Gospel of John). He began with a reflection on the insufficiency of certain terms to encompass all that Mark’s Gospel asserts about Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »