10/16/17

Articles in TynBul 68.2 (Nov. 2017)

p.161
The Challenge of the Canaanites
William Ford (Belfast Bible College)
 
The negative biblical portrayal of the Canaanites appears to contrast sharply with the wider portrayal of YHWH's relationship with humanity and with Israel in particular, raising a challenge for reading these parts of the Bible as Scripture. This article considers this portrayal by drawing together key biblical references to the Canaanites into two sections: Canaanites as a whole, and as individuals. Four potential images are evaluated as possible summaries of the biblical portrayal of the Canaanites: sinners, danger, warning, and challenge, with the last being the most appropriate. The Canaanites' proximity to Israel, both geographic and moral, raises both a negative and positive challenge. Israelites can become Canaanites and vice versa, depending on their response to YHWH.
 
p.185
Form and Experience Dwelling in Unity: A Cognitive Reading of the Metaphors of Psalm 133
Wen-Pin Leow (University of Aberdeen)
 
This article uses the cognitive approach to analyse the metaphors of Psalm 133 while concurrently using a study of the remaining Psalms of Ascents to understand the underlying world-view that Psalm 133's metaphors are based on. Such an approach reveals that the subjects of the metaphors of Psalm 133 are connected at a deeper conceptual level. This conceptual relationship allows the psalmist to both describe the blessings of brotherly unity and to provide a literary parallel of the experience of those blessings through the psalm's form.
 
p.203
Diagnosing Religious Experience in Romans 8
Mark Wreford (University of Nottingham)
 
In this article, I consider Paul's use of adoption language in Romans 8 and argue that religious experience played an important role in its development. By looking closely at what Paul says about adoption and life in the Spirit, I try to identify what kind of experience this language might be articulating. Further, I suggest that it is necessary to consider how biblical scholars can best ensure they take account of religious experience when performing exegesis, offering a heuristic definition of religious experience which moves beyond the language of the NT itself, but is not conceptually anachronistic, to address a lack in the literature.
 
p.223
The Meaning of Cheirographon in Colossians 2:14 Revisited
Kyu Seop Kim (Chongshin University)
 
In this article we explore the uses of cheirographon in ancient papyri and ostraca and conclude that cheirographon does not refer to a debt certificate, contrary to scholars' consensus (except for Peter Arzt-Grabner). Instead, cheirographon was used to express various handwritten declarations including receipts, loans, contracts, and records of oath in ancient Greek papyri. In particular, cheirographon and its cognate words are used in the formula of declaration and with the expression of oath in Colossians 2:14 can be interpreted in this context. Declaration or oath on the observance of religious regulations was significant in ancient paganism and Judaism. Thus, cheirographon tois dogmasin in Colossians 2:14 can be read as the handwritten document which contains the declaration or oath with regard to the observance of religious regulation.
 
p.241
1 Timothy 2:5-6 as a Christological Reworking of the Shema
Martin Feltham (Macquarie University)
 
This article draws upon Richard B. Hays's observations regarding the way in which an 'allusive echo' can signal a broad intertextual interplay with a precursor text. I argue that the affirmation in 1 Timothy 2:5 that 'there is one God' is an 'allusive echo' of the Shema which points the attentive reader to an extended and carefully crafted intertextual interplay with the Shema and its Deuteronomic setting. I trace the way that 1 Timothy 2:5-6 reworks the Shema in the light of the story of Jesus Christ to affect the christologically driven opening up of God's people to all nation.
 
p.261
Reassessing Jude's Use of Enochic Traditions (with Notes on their Later Reception History)
Peter J. Gentry (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary);  Andrew M. Fountain (Toronto)
 
A particular reference in the book of Jude to Enoch is commonly claimed to indicate canonical status for 1 Enoch. The origins and textual transmission of the Enochic traditions are described and reassessed for non-specialists and correlated with claims for inspiration made before, during, and after the period of Second Temple Judaism. The function of Jude's use of Enoch is interpreted within the literary structure of his work and the context of the NT, with implications for the later history of Christianity and Islam
 
p.287
Knowing the Divine and Divine Knowledge in Greco-Roman Religion
Eckhard J. Schnabel (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)
 
In his 2007 Tyndale Biblical Theology lecture, Brian Rosner has shown that the notion of being known by God is an important, albeit neglected, theme in the Old and New Testament. He explored the three relation notions of belonging to God, being loved or chosen by God, and being a child or son of God. After a concise survey of relevant biblical data in the Old and New Testament, he described the value of 'being known by God' in terms of warning, humility, comfort, and security. The following paper explores Greek and Roman religious texts with a view to establishing whether the notion of 'being known by God' surfaces in the context in which the early Christian movement engaged in missionary work, seeking to win polytheists for faith in the one true God and in Jesus Messiah. New Testament scholars do not seem to have explored the subject of the Greek and Roman gods 'knowing' human beings. Similar to Rosner's biblical theological essay, which surveyed texts without in-depth discussion of exegetical details and historical context, the following essay is wide-ranging, considering primary texts written over a large span of time, from Homer's epics (which continued to be read in the first century), the Homeric Hymns, Xenophanes' fragments, Callimachus' Hymn to Demeter, Cleanthes' Hymn to Zeus, Hesiod's Theogony, Cicero's De natura deorum, and Plutarch's religious texts to the Greek Hymns in the Furley/Bremer collection and the Lydian confession inscriptions.
 
 
Dissertation Summaries
 
p.313
Discourse Markers in the Septuagint and Early Koine Greek with Special Reference to the Twelve
Christopher James Fresch (Bible College of South Australia)
 
Discourse markers (e.g. de, alla) comprise a functional category. They narrow or explicate discourse relations, instructing the reader on how to process the discourse and build a mental representation of it. In so doing, they aid the reader in the comprehension task, reducing cognitive effort and facilitating successful communication. Unfortunately, these considerations rarely feature in discussions on Greek discourse markers. Instead, their functions are often conflated with the semantics of their surrounding contexts of use and with the functions of their translational glosses. This often results in less precision in one's comprehension of the flow and structure of the discourse.

 
p.317
A Critical Examination of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method in the Catholic Epistles
Peter J. Gurry (Phoenix Seminary)
 
The present research provides the first sustained study of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM), a computerised tool developed by Gerd Mink which has become an 'essential tool' to the editors of the most widely used critical editions of the Greek New Testament (NA28/UBS5). Its main use has been on the Editio Critica Maior (ECM) for the Catholic Epistles, which now forms the basis of the NA and UBS editions. The ECM volume on Acts was published in 2017 and plans are underway to apply the CBGM to the entire New Testament. However, because it was designed to address the problems of textual contamination and coincidental agreement, the CBGM has significance far beyond the confines of biblical studies. The overarching purpose of the method is to improve our understanding of the text's history and to help reconstruct the text's starting point, or the 'initial text'. Both of these goals are subjected to close scrutiny in this thesis.
 

6/19/17

Articles in TynBul 68.1 (May. 2017)

p.1
A New Codex from the Scribe behind the Leningrad Codex: L17
Kim Phillips (Tyndale House, Cambridge)

Samuel b. Jacob was the scribe responsible for the production of the so-called Leningrad Codex (Firkowich B19a), currently our earliest complete Masoretic Bible codex. This article demonstrates that another codex from the Firkowich Collection, containing the Former Prophets only, is also the work of Samuel b. Jacob, despite the lack of a colophon to this effect. The argument is based on a combination of eleven textual and para-textual features shared between these two manuscripts, and other manuscripts known to have been produced by the same scribe.

p.31
'We Really Should Stop Translating nir in Kings as "Light" Or "Lamp"': A Response
David B. Schreiner (Wesley Biblical Seminary)

This essay responds to Deuk-il Shin's recently published 'The Translation of the Hebrew Term NI?R: "David's Yoke"?' I contend that Shin's argument does not do enough to counteract Douglas Stuart's call to stop translating nir in Kings as 'light' or 'lamp'. Among other things, Shin does not consider important contributions to the discussion, which therefore renders his argumentation deficient. All things considered, Ehud Ben Zvi's suggestion of territorial dominion is most appropriate.

p.39
'Behold, There Were Twins in Her Womb' (Gen. 25:24-26; 38:27-30): Medical Science and the Twin Births in Genesis
John Makujina (Erskine College, Washington)

Eran Viezel claims that the book of Genesis is ignorant of the fundamentals of childbirth, particularly the presenting foetal member. While the head normally emerges first, Genesis mistakenly thinks that the hands present, as they do in livestock deliveries. Therefore, the veracity of the twin births in Genesis 25:24-26 and 38:27-30, where a hand exits the womb first (Jacob and Zerah), should be rejected. The present article, however, exposes significant inaccuracies and unsupported assumptions on Viezel's part. Moreover, while maintaining that both births are anomalous, this article proposes medically realistic scenarios for the parturitions of the twins in Genesis.

p.59
Grant Slaves Equality: Re-Examining the Translation of Colossians 4:1
Murray Vasser (Asbury Theological Seminary)

This essay offers a fresh challenge to the widely accepted translation of Colossians 4:1. Though isotes normally means 'equality', most scholars insist that in Colossians 4:1 the term must instead mean 'fairness', for the author evidently assumes the continuation of slavery in the Christian community. Thus English versions render the command 'Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly' (RSV). In support of this translation, scholars routinely cite a handful of texts that are purported to demonstrate that the term isotes could mean 'fairness' instead of 'equality'. In this essay, I challenge such an interpretation of these texts. Furthermore, by demonstrating that a first-century moralist could exhort masters to treat their slaves as equals without thereby recommending the abolition of slavery, I challenge the assertion that the context of Colossians 4:1 requires a meaning of isotes other than the one well attested in the extant Greek literature. I conclude that Colossians 4:1 should be rendered as follows: 'Masters, grant slaves justice and equality.' This conclusion has important implications not only for Bible translators, but also for scholars attempting to reconstruct the situation at Colossae or describe early Christian attitudes towards slavery.

Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6gyD0TmMBY for a short introductory video.



p.73
Motif-Semantic Differences in Paul?: A Question to Advocates of the Pastorals' Plural Authorship in Dialogue with Michaela Engelmann
Jermo van Nes (Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Leuven) and Harro Koning (Ruprecht-Karls-Universit├Ąt Heidelberg)

New Testament scholarship is witnessing a growing number of studies advocating the plural authorship of the Pastoral Epistles (PE) on the basis of their mutual differences. Among them is the recent study by Michaela Engelmann highlighting 'motif-semantic' differences between the PE in terms of their Christology/soteriology, ecclesiology, heresiology, and image of Paul. While Engelmann and others challenging the common authorship of the PE offer significant contributions to the study of the PE's origins, their overall approach also raises methodological questions. By way of illustration, 1 Thessalonians and Philippians are studied in a way similar to that of Engelmann. Both letters are shown to exhibit a good number of motif-semantic differences, which might bring into question their explanatory power.

p.95
The State and Marriage: Cut the Connection
Daniel Hill (University of Liverpool)

I argue that the connection between the state and the institution of marriage should be cut. More precisely, I argue that the state should not (i) solemnise or purport to solemnise any marriages, (ii) register any marriages and (iii) make any laws, civil or criminal, respecting marriage. I advance several arguments for this thesis, and then respond to many possible objections. I do not argue for any change in any of the typical Western laws respecting sexual intercourse; in particular, I do not argue for any change in the laws regarding rape, the age of consent to intercourse or intercourse with a minor.

p.121
Could Marriage Be Disestablished?
Julian Rivers (University of Bristol Law School)

In this paper, I respond to Dr Daniel Hill's argument that English law should cease to recognise marriage. Rather than focusing on general arguments of political theory for and against such a proposal I consider practical arguments based on the development of the law in response to injustice in family relations. A law of marriage of some sort seems inevitable. This conclusion is reinforced by the arguments of libertarian and feminist writers who seek to 'abolish' marriage. Looked at more closely, they do nothing of the sort; they redefine it. Finally, I discuss the problem of unregistered marriages among British Muslims as an already existing example of marriage without the state. I conclude that law has to respond to existing social forms according to an idea of justice in domestic relations, and for that reason marriage cannot simply be 'disestablished'.


Dissertation Summaries

p.153
Ethics in the Gospel of John: Discipleship as Moral Progress
Sookgoo Shin (University of Cambridge)

This study seeks to challenge the dominant scholarly view of John's ethics as an ineffective and unhelpful companion for moral formation. The Gospel of John has been an unwelcome outsider when it comes to the discussion of ethics since it has been accused of being morally bankrupt, not ethical enough to be included in New Testament ethics, and a puzzling book – indeed, a major challenge – for ethical enquiry. No one has been, however, more sceptical about the value of John's ethics than Wayne Meeks, whose criticisms have contributed significantly to this negative view. In order to demonstrate the inadequacy of such claims, this study aims to identify the undergirding ethical dynamic that shapes John's moral structure by bringing out the implicit ethical elements that are embedded throughout John's narratives, and thus suggests a way to read the whole Gospel ethically and appreciatively of its literary characteristics.


p.157
Studies in P.Beatty III (P47): The Codex, Its Scribe, and Its Text
Peter Malik (University of Cambridge)

The importance of papyri in NT textual criticism, if properly understood, is difficult to overestimate. Despite their state of preservation, they allowed the critics to move beyond the fourth-century 'barrier' of the Constantinian period, in which the earliest 'Great majuscules' were produced. The early papyri thus provided a venue for revisiting previous theories concerning transmission history and even some of the 'canons' of textual criticism. And perhaps of equal significance is the fact that the early papyri have provided the historians with valuable evidence of early Christian material culture and worship. Although to varying degrees this applies to all the papyri from the pre-Constantinian time, it is particularly true of those from Chester Beatty (P45-47) and Bodmer (P66, 72, 75) collections.