R. Alastair Campbell
Tutor in New Testament, Spurgeon's College, London
'Baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire' on the lips of John the Baptist referred to the coming Kingdom in terms of death and resurrection in which the nation would be cleansed and reborn. The experience of Jesus at the Jordan convinced him that he must not only proclaim the coming Kingdom in the power of the Spirit but bear God's judgement on behalf of the nation (Lk. 12:49-50). On the cross he underwent the baptism of fire and received the baptism of the Spirit at his resurrection. At Pentecost the church, like Jesus at Jordan, was empowered to proclaim the coming Kingdom and called to share in the sufferings of Christ before Jesus returns to baptise the world in fire and the Holy Spirit.
p215: WHAT HAPPENS TO MS BABYLON IN ISAIAH 47 WHY, AND WHO SAYS SO?
Principal, St. John's College, Nottingham
In Isaiah 47 Ms Babylon is punished not for promiscuity or other sexual misdemeanour but for a failure in her womanhood which lies in a failure of womanly compassion. She is punished not by rape or sexual humiliation but by her reduction from a position of royal authority to one of domestic servanthood.
p245: THE WRITER OF HEBREWS AS A BIBLICAL EXPOSITOR
The Rectory, Wentnor, Bishop's Castle, Shropshire
The Letter to the Hebrews stands out among New Testament writings as the one which typically 'expounds' a selected text at some length, exploring its relevance to the current situation of the readers. This article identifies seven such extended expositions within the letter, and analyses the way scripture is understood and applied in each. While the writer respected the original meaning of the text, his 'christological interpretation' leads to new and sometimes surprising applications, which may not be (or be intended to be) 'scientific exegesis', but are fully in keeping with the hermeneutical approach of the early Christian movement and of its founder.
p277: 'REFRESH THE HEARTS OF THE SAINTS' A UNIQUE PAULINE CONTEXT?
Andrew D. Clarke
Lecturer in New Testament, Department of Divinity with Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen
Some four times in the Pauline corpus the verb anapauo is used together with the noun pneuma or splanchna in the sense of 'refresh the heart'. Through a comparison of Greek literary and non-literary sources it seems that, although each of these words is common enough, their combination in this way is particularly unusual in or before the first century AD. It would appear, therefore, that the Pauline use of the complete phrase may well, at the time, have offered a unique usage. Similarities between the four Pauline contexts shed light on Paul's usage: 'refreshing the hearts of the saints' is to be seen as a positive Christian action which is highly commended by the apostle and could cross traditional social barriers.
p301: WHO WAS THE 'KING OF NINEVEH' IN JONAH 3:6?
Elgin, Illinois, USA
This article seeks to show the title 'king of Nineveh' is not an anachronism. Comparison with Aramaic use of the north-west Semitic mlk, important in a north Israelite context, may suggest that a city or provincial official might have been under consideration. Cuneiform evidence seems to suggest that no distinction is made between city and province in designating a governor. Common custom was to give provincial capitals the same name as the province. This could explain the fact that the book of Jonah says the 'city' was a three day walk (3:3).
p315: BAPTISM, CATECHISM, AND THE ECLIPSE OF JESUS' TEACHING IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY
Fellow and Lecturer in Church History, Regent's Park College, Oxford; Director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture
Which should come first: baptism or teaching? Evidence from the first six centuries indicates that Christians began by giving priority to baptism and then, after the period from the Didache through Augustine in which catechism preceded baptism, they returned to the former order. The early Christians practised intensive catechism. They sought to resocialise pagans into a lifestyle, often rooted in the teachings of Jesus, which was practised by believers. In the fourth and fifth centuries, many catechists came to focus upon belief rather than behaviour, and the teachings of Jesus were increasingly marginalised. After the sixth century, catechism largely disappeared.
p349: JESUS THE KING, MERKABAH MYSTICISM AND THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
Jey J. Kanagaraj
Head of Biblical Studies Department, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India
As King, the Johannine Jesus humbly reveals God's kingly glory, in sharp contrast to the world's expectations because he himself is, as the Son, one with the Father. This oneness in glory is plainly portrayed in John 12:41, where John interprets Isaiah's vision of the enthroned God as a vision of Christ's glory. A true vision of Jesus as King perceives him paradoxically as the Man in his lowliness, shame, suffering and crucifixion, and as the one who bears witness to the truth and exercises judgement. Such a presentation of Jesus' kingship indicates that John is addressing to some extent the Jews of his time who had great interest in Merkabah mysticism-the experience of seeing God on the throne in human-like form, after the pattern of Ezekiel 1, Isaiah 6, and Daniel 7. John testifies to what was seen and heard before the people, calling them to believe in Jesus, the Man and the King, and to see his glory enthroned supremely on the cross.
p 367: STRUCTURE, CONTEXT AND MEANING IN THE SAMUEL CONCLUSION (2 SA. 21-24)
Herbert H. Klement
In recent years increased attention has been devoted to the narratives of the books of Samuel. This newer interest in these books has concentrated especially on narrative technique and the type of literary portrayal found in these accounts. The peculiar nature of the concluding chapters of Samuel with its six chiastically arranged units has seldom been the object of an independent study. Nonetheless it is this more recent interest in literary forms which has increased awareness of the boundaries of literary units, and thus of the significance of beginnings and endings in determining the interpretation of those units. This study seeks, therefore, within the framework of a literary enquiry, to understand the chapters 2 Samuel 21-24 in their function as the conclusion of the Samuel corpus.
p371: PHILIPPIANS: FROM PEOPLE TO LETTER
This thesis explores the idea of listening to Philippians from the viewpoint of reconstructions of its first recipients. It first considers the development of the Roman colony of Philippi and the social composition of a church likely to arise in that context. It then defends the idea that there was suffering in the Philippian church and considers the probable nature of that in the social setting of Philippi. The model of the hearers developed in this way is put to work in three key exegetical areas. First, two imaginary hearers, one suffering and one not, listen to the letter-in particular to the material on the major theme of suffering. Second, the Philippian Christians listen to material on Christ's Lordship in the light of their experience of Imperial ideology. Third, the preceding work is drawn together as the Philippians listen to the juxtaposition, in 2:1-11, of the themes of suffering and unity.
p375: PATRIARCHAL RELIGION AS PORTRAYED IN GENESIS 12-50
Although J. Wellhausen had already rejected the historicity of the patriarchs, and with it their religion, and argued that the patriarchal traditions were retrojections dating from the Monarchical period, A. Alt's essay 'Der Gott der Väter' marked a watershed in the study of patriarchal religion. In this essay he argued both for a patriarchal religion distinct from Mosaic religion and for the possibility of its originating during or at just before the settlement of Israelite clans in Canaan. While many since Wellhausen have continued to argue against the historicity of the patriarchs, a number of scholars, in the light of Ugaritic and other archaeological discoveries, have followed Alt in arguing for a distinct patriarchal religion before the Mosaic period. However, the study of patriarchal religion has chiefly been confined either to the different divine names or to the social and legal practices frequently attested in Genesis. As a result, relatively little attention has been paid to patriarchal religious and cultic practices in Genesis.