Articles in TynBul 51.2 (Nov.2000)

Eschatology and Ethics: The Future of Israel and the Nations in Romans 15:1-13
Scott HAFEMANN (Wheaton College, Illinois)

This essay takes as its starting point the working hypothesis that Paul's argument in Romans 15:1-3, with its doxological focus, is determined by the Scripture cited therein, interpreted within its own canonical context. Rather than reinterpreting these texts christologically or ecclesiologically, the combination and sequence of quotes in 15:9-12 is shown to provide an outline of Paul's eschatology in which the future redemption of Israel and judgement of the nations is the content of the Church's hope and the foundation of her ethic of mutual acceptance.

Innocent Suffering in Mesopotamia
Daniel P. BRICKER (Azusa Pacific University, Azusa)

Recent discussion of Mesopotamian texts holds to the idea that theodicy is present in this literature. An examination of the material which takes into account the cultural and religious views prevalent at the time will call into question the validity of classifying certain documents as theodicy. This study will attempt to evaluate the application of the term theodicy to the pertinent literature recovered from Mesopotamia thus far.

The Better Resurrection (Heb. 11:35)
Gareth Lee Cockerill (Wesley Biblical Seminary, Jackson, MS)

This study demonstrates through a detailed study of Hebrews 11 that references to future resurrection (11:17-19 and 11:35) are of foundational importance to the structure and logic of the argument of the chapter, and thus to the faith encouraged by the author in this chapter. This further suggests that the common assumption that the resurrection of Christ was of no importance to the author of Hebrews is mistaken.

Ethics and the Perfect Moral Law
Harry BUNTING (University of Ulster )

This paper examines contemporary virtue ethics and the claim that Christian ethics is a virtue ethic. Three central theses are identified as being central to virtue ethics: a priority thesis, a perfectionist thesis and a communitarian thesis. It is argued that defences of the priority thesis­it best addresses the moral crisis in our society, it does justice to historical consciousness and it remedies the incompleteness in deontic ethics­are unconvincing. It is argued that virtue and moral perfection are best understood in terms of psychologically appropriate dispositions to act in accordance with moral principles. It is further argued that the communitarian thesis raises relativist difficulties and fails to do justice to the universal elements of morality. Each of these arguments is developed philosophically and the implications for Christian ethics are explored. In light of the theory of virtue sketched in the paper it is concluded that the independence thesis, upon which virtue ethics rests, is untenable and that an examination of the structure of the universal moral principles underlying the Christian faith remains the proper subject matter for Christian ethics.

The Critical and Dogmatic Agenda of Albert Schweitzer's The Quest of the Historical Jesus
S.J. GATHERCOLE (University of Aberdeen)

This article seeks to explore the twofold agenda of Schweitzer's The Quest for the Historical Jesus. The first element is well-known and obvious: Schweitzer's intention to put to death the 'liberal German' Jesus and to reinstate the true historical Jesus whose preaching and actions were wholly eschatological in orientation. The second element lies below the surface, and this article argues that Schweitzer structured the book around Reimarus, Strauss, Weiss and himself, as they aim to show the impossibility of maintaining Jesus' own dogmatic construction of eschatology in the modern era. It is also demonstrated (against some current understandings) that Schweitzer's reconstruction of Jesus' eschatology does not simply involve Jesus' belief in the end of the space-time universe.

The 'New' Roman Wife and 1 Timothy 2:9-15: The Search for a Sitz im Leben
Bruce W. WINTER (Tyndale House, Cambridge)

A challenging passage for exegetes and theologians alike is 1 Timothy 2:9-15. What has eluded the discussion has been the source of the image of the wife against which the passage is set. In this essay evidence will be presented which shows that the 'new' Roman wife was a contemporary perception which influenced this discussion. The evidence for her is threefold, viz., literary works, the poems of leading elegists of the era of the late Republic and early Empire, and the Augustan laws on marriage which aimed to rein in her promiscuous behaviour. This essay does not seek to comment on the passage as a whole but simply to highlight those sections where this background illuminates specific issues.

Haggai: Master Rhetorician
M.J. BODA (Canadian Theological Seminary, Saskatchewan)

Although the prophet among the Book of the Twelve with the fewest words, save Jonah, Haggai takes his place among the prophetic tradition as one of its greatest rhetoricians. Utilising historical critical techniques, past scholars have often explained literary features in Haggai as evidence of the compilation of various sources and forms. This article reconsiders this evidence and argues that the same evidence reveals creative rhetorical technique. Several instances of this technique are explored and this study reveals the prophet's sensitivity to influence the intended audience, creativity to sustain the audience's interest and delay tactics to produce greater impact on the audience. Some of the trends identified are traced to the prophetic tradition in general, others to the Persian Period prophetic tradition, while others are seen as unique to this book.

The Intertextual Relationship of Daniel 12:2 and Isaiah 26:19: Evidence from Qumran and the Greek Versions
Daniel P. BAILEY (North Park University, Chicago)

The language of 'awakening' from the sleep of death in Daniel 12:2 is apparently borrowed directly from Isaiah 26:19: 'Awake and shout for joy, you dwellers in the dust!' (MT). But while this echo has been recognised by scholars both ancient (Jerome) and modern, there remains a question about the underlying text. As M. Hengel has rightly noted, the verbal parallel is closer if we assume that the text of Isaiah 26:19 read by the author of Daniel contained not the hiphil imperative preserved in the MT, but the imperfect attested in 1QIsaa3 The verb forms in Daniel and Isaiah are then identical.

Dissertation Summaries

Jesus and Israel's Traditions of Judgment and Restoration
Steven M. BRYAN

If Jesus held a partially realised eschatology, it is unlikely that he would have done so in isolation from the concrete, this-worldly expectations of the eschaton which characterised Jewish eschatology in this period. In attempting to specify the degree to which Jesus' eschatology was realised, much scholarship in this century has assumed that if eschatological reality was present for Jesus it must have been abstract or spiritual. This study represents an advance over such approaches by considering Jesus' intentions in relation to key constitutional features of the eschaton within Jewish restorationism and shows that Jesus' eschatology was substantially though not completely realised.

Perceptions of Crucifixion among Jews and Christians in the Ancient World

This thesis explores the perceptions of crucifixion among Jewish people in the period from Alexander the Great until Constantine. Earlier similar studies concentrate on Graeco-Roman literature or limit discussion to whether certain Jews favoured the penalty of crucifixion. This dissertation, in contrast, examines Jewish literature in order to demonstrate the range of early Jewish perceptions about crucifixion. Early Christianity reflects awareness of, and interaction with, these Jewish perceptions.

Presbuteroi Christianoi: Towards a Theory of Integrated Ministry
Stephen Richard NORTH

This thesis examines how words for Christian leaders of the New Testament period, such as apostle, elder, and so on, were understood by the writers and readers of the New Testament documents, by looking at their usage in contemporary literary and epigraphic sources from the perspective of an ancient historian. Although the need for such examination is placed in the context of various recent debates over such structures and church reunion (for example the Anglican and Catholic document on the authority of the Pope), it was not originally intended to delve into the murky depths of the continuation of apostolic authority after the original generation.


Articles in TynBul 51.1 (May.2000)

Some Recently Published NT Papyri from Oxyrhynchus: An Overview and Preliminary Assessment
Peter M. HEAD (Tyndale House, Cambridge)

Seventeen newly published manuscripts of the Greek New Testament (comprising a new portion of P77 as well as P100-P115) are introduced and then discussed individually, with special attention to two groups of manuscripts: seven of Matthew and four of John. The material offers important new evidence on a range of text-critical issues and three passages are discussed (Mt. 23:38; Jn. 1:34; Rev. 13:18).

Proclaiming the Future: History and Theology in Prophecies against Tyre
Thomas RENZ (Oak Hill Theological College, London)

This essay seeks to contribute to our understanding of the nature and function of predictive prophecy. On the basis of programmatic statements in Isaiah 40-55 and a careful analysis and comparison of prophecies against Tyre in Isaiah 23 and Ezekiel 26 that takes into account the actual history of Tyre, other prophetic references to Tyre, and the theological thrust of the relevant sections, it is argued that predictions are an essential part of the prophetic message. Yet they offer a paradigmatic picture of God's dealings with his people and the nations rather than a detailed outline of future events. Thus prophetic predictions are not historiography before the event but a proclamation of God's purpose. This explains the conventional and vague language of many predictions, the element of conditionality in biblical prophecy, and the selective nature of the vision of the future being offered.

Pauline Paternity in 1 Thessalonians
T.J. BURKE (Belfast Institute of Further & Higher Education)

Two aspects of Paul's paternal relations, hierarchy/authority and affection, towards his Thessalonian 'offspring' are investigated against the first century Jewish and Graeco-Roman views of fatherhood. Paul's relationship with the Thessalonians was a hierarchical one, similar to that of the paterfamilias (head of the household) who assumed the responsibility for socialising his children into the community. As the founder-father of the community, Paul may have regarded the Thessalonian church as in some sense belonging to him. However, his superordinate position is tempered by a more gentle formulation in that he exercised paternal (as opposed to apostolic) authority towards his converts. Contrary to some views, there is an abundance of evidence in 1 Thessalonians to show that Paul was not averse to showing affection towards his converts. The apostle demonstrates his love in different ways, but it is his sudden physical separation from the Thessalonians­a severance that is akin to a 'death' or a 'bereavement'­which calls forth an unprecedented display of tenderness. This also compares favourably with the response of ancient fathers when their offspring died. The article concludes that any proper view of Paul's paternity needs to account for the dialectic between his superordinate status and the deep love he also felt for his 'children'.

'Why Has Yahweh Defeated Us Today before the Philistines?' The Question of the Ark Narrative
A. STIRRUP (St Philip's Theological College, Kongwa)

This study attempts to use the tools of literary criticism to bring a fresh approach to bear on the impasse which affected earlier studies on the Ark Narrative. Boundaries are established to determine the beginning, middle and end of the narrative and then an attempt is made to read that story. What emerges is a narrative which is concerned to explain, from start to finish, why the Israelites were defeated by a Philistine army, and an attempt to bring a challenge to the nation to respond appropriately to its holy God.

The Future in the Past: Eschatological Vision in British and American Protestant Missionary History
Brian STANLEY (Currents in World Christianity, Cambridge)

This article examines the strategic significance of different eschatological positions in British and North American Protestant missions. By the late nineteenth century the postmillennial expectation of a world transformed through the work of missions was being challenged by premillennial emphases, particularly in the 'faith' missions. Premillennial mission theorists were not, however, necessarily pessimistic nor indifferent to social concerns until after the First World War. Postmillennial mission theory in the twentieth century moved first towards an expectation of religious convergence, and, after 1968, towards a theology of the kingdom being realised independently of Christian evangelism. The article concludes with some suggestions for a missionary eschatology founded on the biblical vision of a new heaven and a new earth.

Source Criticism & Genesis 34
Robin PARRY (Cheltenham & Gloucester College)

Most historical critics consider the story in Genesis 34 to be composed of two sources which differ considerably from the redactional unity in which they now stand. In this study a critique is offered of the arguments given for such an analysis of the chapter and it is argued that we ought to consider the story always to have existed as a unity.

The Price of Internal Consistency?
Daniel STRANGE (King's College, London)

Clark Pinnock has attempted to reconcile divine sovereignty with human freedom by suggesting that any future based on human decisions is logically unknowable. God knows all that can be known, which does not include future human decisions, but he is omnicompetent and thus able to bring about his ultimate goals. This paper applies the three tests proposed by David Ciocchi to decide whether Pinnock's solution is internally consistent, exegetically sound and intuitively acceptable.

Review of Riad Aziz Kassis: The Book of Proverbs & Arabic Proverbial Works
P.J. WILLIAMS (Tyndale House, Cambridge)

It is rather surprising, given the quantity of secondary literature spawned by the comparison of biblical proverbs with those of other cultures, that so little has been written about the relationship between biblical proverbs and Arabic ones. Kassis's pioneering survey of extensive corpora of Arabic sayings that elucidate biblical material is therefore invaluable.

Dissertation Summaries

Jesus as the Mercy Seat: The Semantics and Theology of Paul's Use of Hilasterion in Romans 3:25
Daniel P. BAILEY

Interpreters of Romans 3:25 and 4 Maccabees 17:22 (codex S) commonly base their conclusions about hilastérion upon the immediate literary context coupled with vague notions of Jewish sacrifice and of the verbs hilaskesthai and exilaskesthai. Instead, scholars should consider the more important linguistic evidence, namely, the concrete, non-metaphorical uses of the substantivehilastérion in other ancient sources. They should be wary of investing hilastérion with meanings that are otherwise unattested (even though they may make sense in Romans or 4 Maccabees) and of paralleling Romans and 4 Maccabees prematurely.