Play It Again Sam: The Poetics of Narrative Repetition in 1 Samuel 1-7
David G. Firth (Cliff College, Hope Valley)
A final form reading of 1 Samuel 1–7 is offered here, examining the narrative poetics of repetition and its relationship to complete and incomplete elements of plot. Five key repetitions are examined – monarchy, the authentic prophetic word, the fall of the house of Eli, Yhwh's independent reign and prefiguring allusions to Saul. Although the text undoubtedly makes use of sources, it is argued that it is considerably more than their sum as these elements are woven together into a coherent whole in a manner that prepares the reader for the issues that are to be addressed in subsequent narratives. In particular, the conflicts that surface in chapters 8–12 are seen to be within the frame of Yhwh's intentions since they are anticipated in these chapters. As with any good introduction, the reader is left waiting to see how it will develop.
Counterfeit Davids: Davidic Restoration and the Architecture of 1-2 Kings
Peter J. Leithart (New St. Andrews College, Idaho)
1–2 Kings makes extensive use of what Moshe Garsiel has called 'comparative structures' in that the biographies of Jeroboam and Omri are analogous to David's biography. Kings thus presents these kings as 'counterfeit Davids', and their dynasties as 'counterfeit Davidic dynasties'. Further, the end of each of these counterfeit dynasties – the northern kingdom and the Omride dynasty – foreshadows the end of the Davidic dynasty in a number of particulars. Each dynasty's end is, moreover, followed by a revival of the Davidic dynasty: the Omride dynasty is followed by the restoration under Joash, and the fall of the northern kingdom is followed by the reign of the reforming Hezekiah. In this, too, these dynasties foreshadow the end of the Davidic dynasty in 2 Kings 25, which is followed by the exaltation of Jehoiachin. Hence, 1–2 Kings consists of three embedded narratives – the story of the Davidic dynasty, the story of the northern kingdom, and the story of the Omride dynasty – and each of these has a similar shape. Each dynasty begins with a David-like figure; each ends in a similar fashion; and each is followed by a restoration of hope for the Davidic dynasty.
An Unidentified Theological Fragment from the Fifth Century in a Private Collection in Cambridge (De Hamel Ms 373)
Peter M. Head (Tyndale House, Cambridge)
This small fragment of a Christian text was purchased early in 2003 along with other small portions of Greek manuscripts on parchment which all turned out to be manuscripts of the Greek Bible. Like the other texts, it appears to have been cut and re-used in the binding or repair of other manuscripts.
The Coming of the Son of Man in Mark's Gospel
Edward Adams, (King's College, London)
This article defends the view that Mark's sayings on the coming of the Son of Man (Mark 8:38; 13:24-27; 14:62) refer to Jesus' parousia, against claims made by R. T. France and N. T. Wright. According to France and Wright, these sayings call attention to the vision of Daniel 7:9-14, in which 'one like a son of man' comes into the presence of God for the purpose of enthronement, and point to Jesus' post-mortem vindication, not his second coming. It is argued here that the Markan passages in question link Daniel 7:13 with other Old Testament texts and motifs, in particular, texts (such as Zechariah 14:3) and images about God's future coming to earth; the selective combination of Scriptures and scriptural images and their application to Jesus generates the essential concept of his parousia – his coming as exalted Lord from heaven to earth at the end of history.
The Descent of the Eschatological Temple in the Form of the Spirit at Pentecost: Part 2: Corroborating Evidence
G. K. Beale (Wheaton College Graduate School)
The first part of this article (published in the previous issue) argued that certain Old Testament and early Jewish references to a temple have been formative for the depiction of the Spirit appearing as fire and for other associated features in Acts 2. This second part examines all of the other usually recognized Old Testament references in Acts 2 in order to determine whether or not they relate to a temple theme. The vast majority of the references are observed to occur in contexts that pertain to a temple, which supports the conclusion of Part 1 that the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost is a description of the inaugurated eschatological descent to earth of the heavenly temple to establish God's end-time people as a part of this temple.
The 'Ultracharismatics' of Corinth and the Pentecostals of Latin America as the Religion of the Disaffected
Gary S. Shogren (ESEPA University, Costa Rica)
This paper arises from research on 1 Corinthians within a Latin American milieu. It shows the value of studying God's word from non-first world perspectives, particularly with regard to the themes of societal status and the charismata in the first century church. The majority opinion is that 1 Corinthians was written to correct a 'pneumatic enthusiasm', with such diverse components as the denial of the resurrection, egalitarianism and triumphalism. It would follow that the teaching about the charismata in chapters 12–14 is directed against that same outlook. We will argue that the majority of the letter is addressed to Christians who dabbled in philosophy as a sign of their upward mobility. But then, using sociological insights from Roman Corinth and from the contemporary Latin American church, we will propose that chapters 12–14 speak to the marginalised of the church. They had turned to the showiercharismata as a means of creating an identity for themselves in a church where the elitists received all the attention … as well as invitations to the table of other rich Christians. Thus while the bulk of the letter is a harsh rebuke to the arrogant elitists, chapters 12–14 are directed to the marginalised ultra charismatics, showing them that all of God's gifts must be used in the loving service of the body.
Renaming in Paul's Churches: The Case of Crispus-Sosthenes Revisited
Richard Fellows (Vancouver, Canada)
If Crispus was Sosthenes we no longer need to hypothesise that there were two Sosthenes (Acts 18:17 and 1 Cor. 1:1) or two (synagogue rulers) who became believers (Acts 18:8 and 18:17; 1 Cor. 1:1). The idea that Crispus was re-named 'Sosthenes' creates a remarkably consistent picture of the individual. Luke presents him as a synagogue ruler who caused many others to become Christians (Acts 18:8), and tells us that the Jews singled him out for a beating (Acts 18:17). The authority that his name carried among the believers in Corinth explains why Paul included him as a co-sender (1 Cor. 1:1). Paul named him 'Sosthenes', meaning 'saving', because, through his power and influence, he secured the viability of the fledgling Christian community in Corinth. This style of naming is in keeping with other examples.
The Spectrum of Wisdom and Eschatology in the Epistle of James and 4QInstruction
Darian R. Lockett (King's College, New York City)
One line of current research in the Epistle of James focuses upon the inter-relationships between traditional wisdom, prophetic, and eschatological material. In support of this line of inquiry this article investigates the combination of eschatological and sapiential concerns in James by comparing James with the intertestamental Jewish wisdom document 4QInstruction. In comparing literary forms, and sapiential and eschatological themes, the thesis is advanced that both texts incorporate traditional sapiential themes within an eschatological world-view and, therefore, James, as wisdom paraenesis, is not novel in combining these two traditions.
Dissertation SummariesThe Eclipse of God in the Song of Deborah (Judges 5): The Role of YHWH in the Light of Heroic Poetry
Charles L. Echols (Clare Hall, Cambridge)
The so-called Song of Deborah (Judges 5; hereafter, 'the Song') celebrates a decisive victory during the era of the Judges, and praises Jael and the Israelites for their defeat of a Canaanite coalition led by Sisera. The richness of the Song is apparent from the wide variety of research which it has prompted (e.g. poetics, settlement-era history, feminist criticism). However, despite generations of scholarship, critical aspects such as date, authorship and unity remain disputed. Concentrating on the poem's genre, this thesis elucidates the role ofYhwh in the poem in the light of a comparative study of heroic poetry.
Studies in the Scribal Habits of Codex Sinaiticus
Dirk Jongkind (Tyndale House, Cambridge)
Those who have visited the British Library and its magnificent treasure gallery will undoubtedly have taken a look at one of the most famous Biblical codices, the Codex Sinaiticus. Written in the fourth century on large parchment sheets, it must have contained in a single volume both the Greek Old and New Testament. The New Testament part of the manuscript is complete, whilst a large part of the Old Testament is missing. Constantin Tischendorf brought the first part of the manuscript from St. Catherine's monastery to Leipzig in 1846, and these 43 leaves of the Old Testament – still in the University Library of Leipzig – were originally published under the name Codex Friderico-Augustanus. In 1859, returning from his third visit to Mt. Sinai, Tischendorf carried the bulk of the manuscript with him to St. Petersburg and published its contents in 1862. The cash-stripped Russian government sold the manuscript to the British Museum in 1934, and since 1999 the manuscript has been at its present location. After the acquisition it was decided to make a thorough study of the manuscript, and this study resulted in the 1938 monograph Scribes and Correctors of the Codex Sinaiticus by H. J. M. Milne and T. C. Skeat. The two authors demonstrated that the whole manuscript was copied by three different scribes, who were also responsible for the earliest corrections to the text, the running titles, and other supplementary material. Besides the general appearance of the script, Milne and Skeat used two further arguments for the identification of the three hands: a) the shape of the coronisat the end of each book – each scribe displays a distinct pattern, and b) the characteristic spelling that each scribe uses. The letter pairs - and - were freely interchanged and it is possible to recognise a scribe solely on the basis of the pattern and frequency of these changes.
The Triumph of God in Christ: Divine Warfare in the Argument of Ephesians
Timothy G. Gombis (Cedarville University)
The Letter to the Ephesians finds itself in an odd situation. While it has held an esteemed position in the history of the Christian church and has been a rich resource for Christian theology through the centuries, it has been a puzzle for New Testament scholars and has endured some rather unflattering descriptions. It has been called 'confusing', an 'enigma', and 'sublime yet elusive'. This state of affairs in Ephesians scholarship has come about because of the difficulty involved in discerning the internal coherence of the letter. While scholars agree on the presence of major themes within the letter, such as corporate unity, the people of God and cosmic Christology, the manner in which they are integrated into an argument remains a mystery. If there is anything approaching a consensus on this matter, it is that the letter is largely a reinterpretation of the essence of Pauline theology for a new generation of Christians. As such, Ephesians does not contain an argument, but is rather a pastiche of Pauline traditions woven together by a Pauline disciple. Complicating matters further for those attempting to find a coherent argument is the appearance of works arguing that there is no integral relationship between the two halves of the letter: chapters 1–3 and 4–6. One recent monograph has argued that the unity of Ephesians is not found in a thematic or theological coherence, but rather in a rhetorical scheme.