Articles in TynBul 54.2 (Nov.2003)

Ellen Battelle Dietrick: A Nineteenth Century Minimalist
Mayer I. Gruber (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

Revisionist historicism dates most Hebrew Scripture to the Hasmonean Era. Elizabeth Cady Stanton's plea that heroines should be named suggests that credit for the revisionist thesis be given to Ellen Battelle Dietrick, who expounded it in 1895. Moreover, Dietrick's exposition fully displays the eisegetical method by which the revisionist claim is read into 2 Maccabees.

Power in the Pool: The Healing of the Man at Bethesda and Jesus' Violation of the Sabbath (Jn. 5:1-18)
Steven M. Bryan (Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology, Addis Ababa)

The man whom Jesus healed at the pool of Bethesda in John 5 harboured a magical belief that God's power was at certain times impersonally resident within the water and thus accessible apart from any direct intention or action by God. Similarly the Jews' response to the man's healing betrays their belief that, by healing on the Sabbath, Jesus has used God's power in a way unsanctioned by God and therefore independent of God. In this context, the healing functions as a sign that the actions of Jesus are one with those of God. This sign is subsequently taken up in and explained by the following discourse which likewise has as its central theme the absolute unity which exists between the actions of the Son and his Father.

Festivals in Genesis 1:14
David J. Rudolph (University of Cambridge)

The study presents a case for translating Mydi(jwOm in Genesis 1:14 as 'festivals' or 'festivals and seasons'. After surveying the growing support for this rendering in biblical scholarship, the article considers the evidence of usage, literary context, ANE background, and Second Temple Jewish literature.

Father-God Language and Old Testament Allusions in James
Esther Yue L. Ng (Wheaton College, Chicago)

This article examines three passages in James where God is referred to as pathvr (Father) (1:17; 1:27; 3:9). In all three cases, it is found that the word is neither a dead metaphor nor a mere title. To the contrary, each use of the word is relevant to what is predicated of God and his works in the immediate context when the OT allusions are identified. In addition, the predominant connotation of the fatherhood of God in James is his creatorship: of the heavenly lights, of orphans and widows, and of human beings in general. However, the fatherhood of God is also used in connection with the redemption of believers in Jesus Christ and has an eschatological dimension. Finally Father-God language in James is used to promote care for the underprivileged and respect for all­the very opposite of overbearing patriarchy.

Yahweh's Suspension of Free Will in the Old Testament: Divine Immorality or Sign-Act?
Brian P. Irwin (Alliance Theological Seminary, New York)

Several passages in the Old Testament portray Yahweh as behaving in ways that seem unfair or immoral. Two such narratives are the episodes describing the hardening of Pharaoh's heart and the spirit dispatched to deceive Ahab. In each of these two cases, careful attention to the literary context and the final form of the MT shows that Yahweh's behaviour is best understood as a sign-act directed toward a specific end.

Paul's Conversion and Luke's Portrayal of Character in Acts 8-10
Philip H. Kern (Moore Theological College, Sydney)

Luke's portrait of Saul shows him to lack a right relationship with God. This is accomplished in part by contrasting the pre-conversion Saul with Stephen, the Ethiopian eunuch, and Cornelius. After his experience on the Damascus road, Paul is portrayed in ways that resemble Stephen and Peter, while Bar Jesus and the Philippian gaoler, who clearly oppose God and Christianity, are portrayed in ways that recall the earlier portrait of Saul and inform how we are to understand him pre-conversion. Thus Luke connects opposition to the church with opposition to God, and shows that Saul, in opposing the former, was an enemy of the latter. By showing the change from an enemy to one who himself suffers for the gospel, Luke indicates that Paul has entered into a relationship with God. This suggests, furthermore, that Paul joined an already established movement.

Figuring Out Figurines
Philip Johnston (Wycliffe Hall, Oxford)

Almost one thousand Judaean pillar figurines, or JPFs, have now been found. These small terracotta female figurines are distinctive to late monarchy Judah. They have been found all over its territory, but seldom elsewhere, and come almost entirely from the eighth and seventh centuries BC. Who or what do they represent? This article first summarises recent study of figurines, to set out their known characteristics. It then looks for textual evidence of figurines. It examines inscriptional and biblical references to Asherah, the main goddess of the Iron Age Levant and now often associated with these figurines, as well as other potential biblical terms. However, while there are many terms for images and idols, none is found to apply specifically to figurines. Finally it reviews the interpretation of figurines, concluding with observations which combine archaeological and biblical data.

Context Matters: Paul's Use of Leviticus 18:5 in Galatians 3:12
Joel Willitts (University of Cambridge)

Galatians 3:10–14 is arguably one of the most difficult passages in all of the Pauline letters. The varied interpretations can be organised into three approaches that currently dominate the exegetical landscape: law/gospel antithesis, apocalyptic fulfilment and redemptive historical. All three approaches, however, have overlooked the reuse of the Leviticus 18:5 clause, 'the one who does these things will live by them' (Gal. 3:12b), in later Jewish interpretative tradition. This interpretative tradition may be a useful source in our attempt to grasp Paul's argument in Galatians 3:10–14. This essay sets out to: (1) investigate the Leviticus 18:5 clause in the Jewish interpretative tradition, and (2) offer a fresh reading of Galatians 3:10–14 within a redemptive historical/exile–restoration framework.

When Conversion is Joy and Death Victory: Historical Foundations of the Doctrine of Perseverance
Ján Hen el (Matej Bel University, Banská Bystrica)

Once people become converted one of their major existential concerns will be whether and how will they persevere in their right standing with God. As this concern is as old as Christianity, it is illuminating to see the historical developments of the doctrine of perseverance. Foundations of the doctrine may be found in the writings of Aurelius Augustine. There are to be found the four distinguishing approaches to the doctrine of perseverance developed in the course of history: (1) perseverance is necessary for believers' salvation and that it is a gift of God but they are uncertain whether this gift was given to them; (2) perseverance is necessary, God determines who perseveres and the believer may be certain of this gift; (3) perseverance is a necessary gift but God does not determine who perseveres and the believer is uncertain of his final state; (4) perseverance is necessary for obtaining final rewards but not for believers' salvation.

'I Am Against You': Yahweh's Judgement on the Nations and its Ancient Near Eastern Context
Simon Sherwin (St Edmund's College, Cambridge)

'I am against you' is a phrase that occurs several times in the Old Testament in relation to Yahweh's judgement on the nations. Both Nineveh and Babylon, the respective capitals of the two great superpowers of the day, are so addressed (Nah. 2:13; 3:5; Jer. 50:31; 51:25). Yet what does that mean against the wider background of Ancient Near Eastern literature? This paper examines the issues raised by this statement and the possible theological implications its usage has for pre-exilic Israelite religion.


Articles in TynBul 54.1 (May.2003)

P52 (P. Rylands Gk. 457) and the Nomina Sacra: Method and Probability
L.W. HURTADO (University of Edinburgh)

This article responds to the recent proposal (by Chris Tuckett) that space considerations suggest that P52, our earliest NT manuscript, would have written out the name of Jesus in full. This would have implications for the study of the nomina sacra, abbreviations used for divine names (and some other terms) in all our other NT manuscripts. The main emphasis of this article is the importance of taking account of all scribal features of manuscripts in attempting to establish probabilities for lacunae. Careful attention to method and to all the scribal features of P52 suggests that the use of an abbreviated form of the name 'Jesus' is more probable than not, and that P52 is not an early exception to the rule that all NT manuscripts use nomina sacra.


Cilicia: The First Christian Churches in Anatolia
Mark WILSON (Regent University, Vancouver)

This article explores the origin of the Christian church in Anatolia. While individual believers undoubtedly entered Anatolia during the 30s after the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:9–10), the book of Acts suggests that it was not until the following decade that the first church was organized. For it was at Antioch, the capital of the Roman province of Syria, that the first Christians appeared (Acts 11:20–26). Yet two obscure references in Acts point to the organization of churches in Cilicia at an earlier date. Among the addressees of the letter drafted by the Jerusalem council were the churches in Cilicia (Acts 15:23). Later Paul visited these same churches at the beginning of his second ministry journey (Acts 15:41). Paul's relationship to these churches points to this apostle as their founder. Since his home was the Cilician city of Tarsus, to which he returned after his conversion (Gal. 1:21; Acts 9:30), Paul was apparently active in church planting during his so-called 'silent years'. The core of these churches undoubtedly consisted of Diaspora Jews who, like Paul's family, lived in the region. Jews from Cilicia were members of a Synagogue of the Freedmen in Jerusalem, to which Paul was associated during his time in Jerusalem (Acts 6:9). Antiochus IV (175–164 bc) hellenized and urbanized Cilicia during his reign; the Romans around 39 bc added Cilicia Pedias to the province of Syria. Four cities along with Tarsus, located along or near the Pilgrim Road that transects Anatolia, constitute the most likely sites for the Cilician churches. The evidence, though incomplete, points to Cilicia as the location of the first Christian churches in Anatolia.


Popular Religion in Old Testament Research: Past, Present & Future
Jules GOMES (Selwyn College, Cambridge)

The heightened interest in the study of popular religion in various disciplines has led to scholars giving it consideration in the field of biblical studies. The 'popular religion movement', if one can so call recent developments, has, up to now, had no voice within traditional biblical criticism that makes little room for the 'religion of the marginalised'. Even more complex are the issues of definition, scope, and method from which scholars of popular religion struggle to extricate themselves. Nevertheless, given the cross-fertilisation with ancillary disciplines and the rise of new perspectives on scripture from different continents, such a pursuit does offer surprises that can contribute to mainstream critical thought. This paper examines the history of the 'popular religion movement' and negotiates methodological possibilities for the future.


What Shall We Call Each Other? Part Two: The Issue of Self-designation in the Johannine Letters and Revelation
Paul TREBILCO (University of Otago, New Zealand)

This paper discusses the 'self-designations' for their readers which were used by the Johannine Letters and Revelation. The key terms used in the Johannine Letters are 'brother and sister' and 'children of God' and in Revelation 'saints' and 'servants'. It is argued that in the case of the Pastorals (drawing on our earlier discussion in Part One) and the Johannine Letters these designations are also being used by the readers, whereas the 'world-shaping' nature of John's work means that we cannot say that the key terms that he adopts in order to refer to his readers were currently being used by them. Following these discussions, conclusions are reached with regard to early Christian communities and how they perceived their identity.


Galatians 3:16: What Kind of Exegete Was Paul?
C. John COLLINS (Covenant Theological Seminary, St Louis, MO)

This article aims to understand Paul's argument about 'seeds' and 'seed' in Galatians 3:16 ­ first, by discerning which text of Genesis lies behind it; and secondly, by using recent grammatical work on 'seed' in Hebrew to discern whether the Hebrew is collective or singular. The article concludes that Paul was using Genesis 22:18, which speaks of an individual offspring, and that he properly applied it to Jesus as a Messianic text.


The Two Asses of Zechariah 9:9 in Matthew 21
David INSTONE-BREWER (Tyndale House, Cambridge)

Matthew appears to depart from the Synoptics, Johannine tradition and from common sense when he gives Jesus two asses to ride on for his grand entrance into Jerusalem. Most commentators have assumed that Matthew misunderstood the meaning of the parallelism in Zechariah 9:9, which caused him to create another animal to enable Jesus to fulfil the prophecy. It will be suggested here that Matthew understood the concept of parallelism, but that he did not believe that Scripture should be interpreted in that way. This is in line with rabbinic thought of the first century which rejected the concept of parallelism in Scripture.


'Apokavluyi~ 'Ihsou` Cristou` (Rev. 1:1): The Climax of John's Prophecy?
Marko JAUHIAINEN (Wolfson College, Cambridge)

This' article argues that interpreters of the book of Revelation have not paid sufficient attention to the way the introductory phrase 'Apokavluyi~ 'Ihsou' Cristou' is qualified in 1:1: the ajpokavluyi~ concerns 'what must take place soon', as 'shown' to John by an angel. A critique of the traditional position is followed by an evaluation of Richard Bauckham's proposal that ajpokavluyi~ refers to the contents of the little scroll in ch. 10. The article ends with an alternative reading of the data: the clues provided by John in 1:1 regarding theajpokavluyi~ suggest that it is primarily found in the climax of the book, i.e., the visions of the destruction of Babylon and her replacement by the New Jerusalem (17:1–19:10; 21:9–22:9).


Q Review
Peter M. HEAD and P.J. WILLIAMS (Tyndale House, Cambridge)

This review article focuses on recent treatments of Q, the sayings source widely believed to stand behind the common material in Matthew and Luke (the double tradition). We begin with some recent works against the Q hypothesis, before examining the work of theInternational Q Project, including their Critical Edition of Q and Kloppenborg Verbin'sExcavating Q. We then turn to a more detailed treatment of Casey's Aramaic Approach to Q, which seeks to reconstruct the original Aramaic text of material common to Matthew and Luke. Discussion of these works suggests that contrary to the claims implicit in several studies it is not possible to reconstruct the actual wording of Q in either Greek or Aramaic with any confidence.

Hamsukkan in Isaiah 40:20: Some Reflections
S.J. SHERWIN (St Edmund's College, Cambridge)

Hamsukk n in Isaiah 40:20 has been linked with Akkadian musukkannu, a type of wood. This article examines the geographical spread of the wood in antiquity in order to determine what implications the acceptance of this reading has for the dating of the text.


Dissertation Summaries

An Eternal Planting, A House of Holiness: The Self-Understanding of the Dead Sea Scrolls Community
Paul N.W. Swarup (Clare College, Cambridge)

This dissertation is a study of two metaphors, 'an eternal planting' and 'a house of holiness', which were used extensively by the DSS community in expression of their self-understanding. The sectarian writings and non-sectarian writings used by the community have been examined in order to bring out the theology behind these two metaphors. Fourteen different text excerpts have been examined, each treated initially as an individual, discrete passage and then placed within the framework of the document in which it is found, and finally within the Qumran corpus as a whole. Each passage is compared and contrasted primarily with the Hebrew Bible to see how the text has been reworked or nuanced to suit its new context. Once this is done, the theology underlying the two metaphors is discussed. It is concluded that these two metaphors express the deep yearning of the DSS community for a complete restoration of Israel, for a return to Edenic conditions as before the Fall, and for a temple which was pure.

Matthew's Portrait of Jesus the Judge with Special Reference to Matthew 21-25
Alistair I. Wilson (Highland Theological College, Dingwall)

The argument of this thesis is that a study of Jesus as Judge, as presented in chapters 21–25 of the gospel of Matthew, leads to conclusions which are incompatible with either the image of the apocalyptic prophet of imminent catastrophe (as proposed by J. Weiss and A. Schweitzer) or the 'non-eschatological Jesus' of M. Borg. Rather, Matthew's Jesus makes authoritative declarations of judgement on his contemporaries, drawing deeply from the Jewish Wisdom and prophetic traditions in both form and content, yet does so with an eschatological perspective which perceives ultimate judgement to lie in a climactic event at an undefined point in the future in which he will play a dominant role. This image of Jesus as he appeared to Matthew must be seriously taken into account in attempts to rediscover the 'historical Jesus'.