Stanley E. Porter
Associate Professor of New Testament, Trinity Western University, Langley
This paper argues - against the general scholarly consensus - that Jesus not only had sufficient linguistic competence to converse with others in Greek but also even to teach in Greek during his ministry. After an introduction to the possible languages of Jesus (Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek), the evidence for the widespread use of Greek, especially in Galilee, is examined: the role of Greek as the lingua franca of the Graeco-Roman world; the geographic and epigraphic-literary evidence for Greek in Lower Galilee and Palestine; and Jesus' use of Greek according to the New Testament. Several significant New Testament passages are examined, including Jesus' trial before Pilate and Jesus' discussion with his disciples at Caesarea Philippi, along with several others.
NOT SO IDLE THOUGHTS ABOUT EIDOLOTHUTON
Ben Witherington III
Professor of New Testament, Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland
It is commonly assumed that eidolothuton is a polemical term created by early Jews to refer to meat sacrificed to a pagan god. An exhaustive search of the data in the TLG and in the papyri casts doubts on this hypothesis. All of the references to eidolothuton in the sources are found in Christian texts, with two exceptions; and both of these exceptions may have been influenced by Christian redaction. In any case, it appears that neither of these texts antedates the Corinthian correspondence. Thus, this term may have originated in early Jewish Christianity.
A study of all the NT references to eidolothuton reveals that this term in the early period was distinguishable fromhierothuton (sacred food), and that it meant meat sacrificed to and eaten in the presence of an idol, or in the temple precincts. Numerous reference to eidolothuton in the Greek Fathers show that Chrysostom and others understood this to be the meaning of the term in Acts 15 and in other contexts.
Several possible implications of the above are: (1) the Decree in Acts 15 is about Gentiles refraining from meals and immorality in pagan temples, not about them keeping a modicum of Jewish, or Noachic food laws; (2) 1 Cor. 8-10 reflects Paul's acceptance and implementation of the Decree; (3) Galatians was written before the Decree and reflects the struggle that led to the Decree; (4) Paul and James were in basic agreement in regard to what Gentiles needed to do to maintain table fellowship with Jewish Christians-avoid pagan feasts and immorality. Neither imposed circumcision or food laws on Gentiles. The latter was the position of the Judaising faction in the Jerusalem Church who were more conservative than James, Peter, or Paul. As C. Hill's recent 'Hellenists and Hebrews' shows, F.C. Baur's view of early Christianity is no longer adequate.
GENEALOGIES, SEED AND THE COMPOSITIONAL UNITY OF GENESIS
T. Desmond Alexander
Lecturer in Semitic Studies, The Queen's University, Belfast
Most studies on Genesis tend to focus on the disparate nature of the material which has been used in its composition. It is argued here that the entire book has been carefully composed to focus on a unique family line. The members of this line of 'seed' enjoyed a special relationship with God which resulted in the establishment of two eternal covenants, the first with Noah and the second with Abraham. At the heart of this latter covenant was the promise that God's blessing would be mediated to all the nations of the earth through the 'seed' of Abraham. While the book of Genesis draws attention to the initial stages of the fulfilment of this promise, its ultimate fulfilment is linked to a royal dynasty associated with the descendants of Judah.
WORSHIP AND ETHICS IN ROMANS 12
Head of Ministry Department, Moore Theological College, Sydney
What is the link between worship and ethics in Romans 12? Kaesemann rather too easily proposes that the mystical tradition of Hellenism is the main inspiration for Paul's thinking and ignores the biblical theological background to Paul's argument and the wider context of Romans. The first two verses of Romans 12 proclaim a reversal of the downward spiral depicted in Romans 1. A new kind of service to God is made possible by the saving work of Jesus. Renewal of the mind is a critical aspect of this, enabling Christians to discern the will of God and do it. Paul does not present a system of casuistry in the rest of Romans but various axhorations and examples consistent with the fundamental perspectives of 12:1-2.
A CAPACITY FOR AMBIGUITY?: THE BARTH - BRUNNER DEBATE REVISITED
Lecturer in Systematic Theology, Department of Divinity with Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen
This essay seeks to reconsider the debate between Karl Barth and Emil Brunner concerning the relationship between the nature and grace. The first section considers the immediate political and social context for the debate in 1930s Germany, and suggests that only when this Sitz im Leben is taken into account can the urgent tone of Barth's denunciation of Brunner be properly appreciated. Subsequent sections identify the key issues of dispute between the two, especially Brunner's insistent differentiation between a 'formal' and 'material' image of God in humans, and his affirmation of the need for a 'point of contact' for grace in human nature as created and fallen. The essay concludes by exploring an ambiguity in the central term Offenbarungsmaechtigkeit, and suggests that there is a way of interpreting this term which satisfies Barth's theological concerns, and which he himself cannot avoid conceding the validity of.
THE FOREIGN GOD AND THE SUDDEN CHRIST: THEOLOGY AND CHRISTOLOGY IN MARCION'S GOSPEL REDACTION
Tutor in New Testament, Oak Hill Theological College, London
This article seeks to establish the extent to which Marcion's Christology influenced the formation of his gospel canon, theEuaggelion. Marcion's Christology, as seen in statements preserved in Irenaeus, Tertullian and Epiphanius, has features that can be described as both docetic and modalist. These christological beliefs effect Marcion's redaction of the Pauline epistles and his omission of material from Luke's Gospel. In particular the omission of the birth narratives and notices relating to the humanity of Jesus suggest the appropriateness of Tertullian's slogan: 'the sudden Christ'.
IN SEARCH OF THE SOCIAL ELITE IN THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH
David W.J. Gill
Lecturer in Ancient History, Department of Classics & Ancient History, University College of Swansea
As the Corinthian correspondence is read against the cultural background of a Roman colony, it is possible to identify members of the social elite within the church. After a consideration of the nature of the city and its elite, various case studies are presented. These include issues such as law courts, head-dresses, divisions at the Lord's Supper, households and dining. Through the issue of benefactions further light is thrown on Corinth's place in the province of Achaia and an estimate is made for the city's population.
CERTAIN FAITH: WHAT KIND OF CERTAINTY?
Formerly Bishop in Madras, India
A frequent cause of mutual alienation among Christians is the charge of too much certainty on the one hand and too little certainty on the other. How do we find a kind of certainty which is confident and yet humble and teachable? We are heirs of an Enlightenment which took as the ideal of knowledge an 'objectivity' which pretended to eliminate all the subjective factors in human knowing and to provide indubitable certainty. This has led into the collapse, of belief in objective truth, scepticism and nihilism. Christian affirmation of the truth of the Gospel must not fall victim to a false concept of objectivity but must take the form of personal commitment to a faithful God.
LUKE 22:29-30 AND THE TIME FRAME FOR DINING AND RULING
Peter K. Nelson
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Henning, Minnesota
This work addresses the issue of the time frame anticipated by the Lukan Jesus for the fulfilment of the promises in Luke 22:29-30: are the apostles to dine and rule in the church age, in the eschaton, or in both eras? On the basis of verbal, grammatical, contextual, logical, and other factors it is argued that, in spite of the orientation of much recent scholarship, the eschaton, not earlier periods, is in view. Further, neither the differences between Luke 22:29-30 and Matthew 19:28 nor the limited thematic likeness between Luke 22:29-30 and apostolic activity in Acts count against this conclusion.
EPHESIANS 5:18-20 AND MEALTIME PROPRIETY
Peter W. Gosnell
Tutor in New Testament, Community College, Tucson, Arizona
Ephesians 5:18 startlingly contrasts drunkenness with fulness with the Spirit. Previous attempts to relate this contrast to excessive behaviour within Christian gatherings have not convinced many. Instead of suggesting alternative improprieties, the present study expolores behavioural patterns followed at various Graeco-Roman convivial gatherings. These patterns indicate that some people who regularly met for special meals commonly chose abstention from drunkenness in favour of stimulating, even religious, discussion. Accordingly, the present study suggests that the statements of 5:18-20, and ultimately others made throughout the moral teaching in Ephesians, simply reflect the writer's assumption that his readers regularly gathered in a mealtime context.
THE VERBAL SYSTEM OF CLASSICAL HEBREW IN THE JOSEPH STORY: AN APPROACH FROM DISCOURSE ANALYSIS
Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education
The present study investigates the function of the verbal forms in biblical Hebrew prose, using the Joseph story (Gen. 37-50) as a corpus, examining word order, tense, aspect, clause type, sequentiality, and related matters.
The thesis treats direct discourse and narrative sepa-rately. It begins by investigating direct discourse, because of its possible resemblance to real speech (chs. 2-6) and then applies the results of this study to narrative (chs. 7-8). While no major functional distinction between direct discourse and narrative can be observed, in the former there is a greater variety of ver-bal forms (e.g. modal, hortatory forms, etc.) and more free-standing verbal forms. Chapter 8 examines both main and subordinate clauses.
THE CONCEPT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN EPHESIANS
Archie W.D. Hui
University of Aberdeen
Alongside the long-running debate on Ephesians' authenticity or pseudonymity, there has been a steady stream of studies on various themes of the epistle by scholars of both persuasions. These include J.C. Kirby's study of baptism and Pentecost, H. Merklein's study of church office, A. Lindemann's (and, almost a decade later, H.E. Lona's) study of eschatology, C.C. Caragounis' study of mystery, T.G. Allen's study of the body of Christ, E. Penner's study of enthronement, K. Usami's study of church unity, and more recently C.E. Arnold's study of power and magic.
To this list, we should add J. Adai's Der Heilige Geist als Gegenwart Gottes in den einzelnen Christen, in derKirche und in der Welt: Studien zur Pneumatologie des Epheserbriefes (1985). This study of the Holy Spirit in Ephesians is significant because it differs from earlier works (such as those by N.Q. Hamilton, C.H. Pinnock, D. Hill, J.D.G. Dunn, and G.T. Montague) in that it treats Ephesians' pneumatology in its own right and not simply as a part of Pauline pneumatology and tradition, thus advancing scholarship a stage further.
Adai's perception is that Ephesians reflects a deutero-Pauline pneumatology. Furthermore, not only is its pneumatology influenced by Paul and his tradition, but it also developed at times in the Lucan direction.
STEWARDSHIP AND ALMSGIVING: LUKE'S THEOLOGY OF WEALTH
Seoul National University, Korea
This thesis starts with questions concerning Luke's idea of the relationship between wealth and discipleship. I began this thesis in the light of several previous studies in the area of the theme of wealth and poverty in Luke's theology over the last three decades. I found them unsatisfactory in solving the problems we have in Luke-Acts, which are derived from an attempt to relate wealth to discipleship in Luke's theology: (i) Does Luke have in mind two types of disciples? (ii) Is a total surrender of possessions required of all or just the Twelve? What might Luke mean by such a total surrender? (iii) In describing the relationship of wealth and discipleship, is the 'discipleship' motif sufficient, or are there other terms/motifs to help us understand Luke? iv) Does Luke have any specific emphasis in the practical considerations of how wealth is to be employed?
THE DAVIDIC MESSIAH IN LUKE-ACTS
The Promise and Its Fulfilment in Lukan Christology
Mark L. Strauss
Department of Biblical Studies, Christian Heritage College, El Cajon, California
This work investigates one theme within Luke's christological 'proclamation from prophecy and pattern' motif, that of the coming king from the line of David. To determine the background to this theme, in chapter 2 the Davidic promise tradition is examined in its first century context of meaning. While the diverse writings of first century Judaism exhibit a range of eschatological expectations, evidence is found of widespread hope for a coming Davidic deliverer. Sometimes this figure is described as a new 'David', other times as a 'seed' or 'shoot' from David; sometimes he plays a relatively passive role, other times an active and executive one. Throughout, the essential hope is the same: a deliverer modelled after David, Israel's greatest king, who will restore the nation and reign with justice and righteousness. A mediating position is reached between the traditional view that messianic expectations were quite fixed by the first century, and the more recent perspective that speculation was so diverse as to render the 'messianic hope' a fiction. At the turn of the Christian era, royal-Davidic expectations were widespread and relatively stable within a broader context of eschatological diversity.
JEWISH RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CROSS IN LUKE-ACTS
Jon A. Weatherly
Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, Cincinnati Bible College & Seminary, Cincinnati
Since the appearance of Franz Overbeck's commentary on Acts in 1870, scholars have struggled to define the role of Judaism in Luke-Acts. Following Overbeck's lead, much Lukan criticism has either asserted or assumed that Luke regards all Jews as sharing in responsibility for the crucifixion of Jesus and so standing under God's condemnation. Speech material in Acts ascribing responsibility for the cross to Jews is consequently understood as a Lukan creation, a facet of the wider anti-Jewish polemic which characterises the Lukan corpus. This thesis addresses both of these issues: responsibility for the cross in the wider treatment of Jews in Luke-Acts and the origin of material in Acts ascribing responsibility for the cross to Jews.