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 SummariesJesus 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.