Articles in TynBul 59.2 (Nov.2008)

The Last Words of Jacob and Joseph: A Rhetorico-Structural Analysis of Genesis 49:29-33 and 50:24-26
Nicholas P. Lunn (Wycliffe Bible Translators, UK)


This article utilises what is here termed the rhetorico-structural method of analysis with application to the final episodes of Genesis. By means of this approach, the final major section of the book, contrary to what is found in many commentaries, is identified as 49:29–50:26, which is structured in the shape of an inverted parallel pattern. Analysed in this way the pericopae concerning the last words and death of Jacob and the last words and death of Joseph are placed in a corresponding relationship, inviting a comparison between the two. This reveals differences but also an essential unity in the final wishes of each patriarch. Though manifested in different ways their dying requests are governed by a common faith in the future fulfilment of the divine promise to give the offspring of Abraham the land of Canaan. The author's use of a particular literary device to show the appropriateness of Jacob's burial in the cave of Machpelah is identified. Finally, the article offers an explanation for the amount of space the narrative gives to Jacob's burial as contrasted with that of Joseph.

The Shema and Early Christianity
Kim Huat Tan (Trinity Theological College, Singapore)


If Christianity emerged from the matrix of Judaism, how it conducted a dialogue­if it did at all­with the Jewish confession of its unique faith and praxis is a most interesting question. This essay claims not only did this take place frequently, as evident in the deployment of the Shema in many NT passages, it was also a flashpoint of debate between the Church and the Synagogue in the first century. It became an impetus of early Christian theological development, principally in the understanding of the constitution of the eschatological community and the identity of Jesus Christ.

'Known by God': The Meaning and Value of a Neglected Biblical Concept
Brian S. Rosner (Moore College, Macquarie University, Sydney)


Despite the fact that being known by God is a critical concept in biblical theology it is sorely neglected in biblical exegesis and theology. This introductory article seeks to revive interest in the doctrine by reflecting on its definition and by considering its pastoral function in the Bible and in early Jewish texts. It argues that being known by God is roughly equivalent to three related notions: belonging to God, being loved or chosen by God, and being a child or son of God. With respect to the use to which it is put in the relevant texts, whereas not being known by God adds severity to dire warnings, being known by God promotes humility and supplies comfort and security. The implications of a biblical doctrine of being known by God for Christology, Anthropology, and Ethics are also briefly considered.

Tiberius Claudius Dinippus and the Food Shortages in Corinth
Barry N. Danylak (St Edmund's College, Cambridge)


The question of food shortages in Corinth in the mid-first century AD has special interest for the study of Paul's letters to the Corinthian church. The letters are replete with food vocabulary, and give special attention to several food related issues within the community. A number of recent scholars have proposed that the reference to 'the present distress' ( ) in 1 Corinthians 7:26 is a reference to a food shortage occurring in Corinth around the time of Paul's visit to the city in AD 51. This paper aims to examine all the available epigraphic evidence for the office of curator of the grain supply (curator annonae) in Corinth, and those who served in the office. Special attention will be given to reconstructing the career of Tiberius Claudius Dinippus, who served as curator in the mid-first century, to reassess when and how long he probably served the office. The study confirms that there was a longstanding recurring pattern of food shortage in the city; such a crisis was especially acute in the period around AD 51, when Paul had contact with the city.

Semantic Variation within the Corpus Paulinum: Linguistic Considerations Concerning the Richer Vocabulary of the Pastoral Epistles
Armin D. Baum (Giessen School of Theology, Germany)


It is generally conceded that the vocabulary of the Pastoral Epistles is substantially richer than the vocabulary of the other ten Paulines. Still, most of the hapax legomena of the Pastorals are close semantic neighbours to the vocabulary shared with the rest of the Corpus Paulinum. From a strictly linguistic perspective the semantic richness of the Pastorals indicates that in the process of composition their author had more time at his disposal than the author(s) of the other ten Pauline Epistles. Both in terms of syntax and semantics the style of the Pastoral Epistles simply has a greater affinity to written language than that of the rest of the Corpus Paulinum which more closely resembles (conceptual) orality. Therefore the historical question concerning the authorship of the Pastorals cannot be answered primarily on the basis of their stylistic peculiarities. In his often quoted study P. N. Harrison concluded that particularly for stylistic reasons the Pastorals cannot have been written by the same author as the rest of the Pauline epistles. However, in the light of recent linguistic research this conclusion appears to be questionable. Indeed, other criteria must be judged more significant than the semantic (and syntactic) peculiarities of the Pastorals.

Searching for the Holy Spirit in the Epistle of James: Is 'Wisdom' Equivalent?
William R. Baker (Cincinnati Christian University)


The search for the Holy Spirit in James often stops with Kirk's article 'The Meaning of Wisdom in James: An Examination of a Hypothesis' published in 1969, which contends that the way in which James uses wisdom 'is more or less interchangeable with that in which other writers of the New Testament use the concept of the Holy Spirit.' This paper examines Kirk's position and arguments closely as a window into the question of whether wisdom in James should be read as equivalent to the Holy Spirit elsewhere in the NT. The basic conclusion is that Kirk (followed by Davids) has made the case for the importance of Jewish wisdom theology to James but his tantalising claims have too often not been read in the light of his sobering conclusions. At times, he has overlooked important correspondence to the Jesus tradition and has made too much of correspondences to Pauline writings. James' orientation toward wisdom is without regard to the Holy Spirit as developed in Paul or elsewhere in the New Testament. It should be read as aligning somewhere between Septuagintal wisdom literature and the Jesus tradition.

Dissertation Summaries

No Longer Living as the Gentiles: Differentiation and Shared Ethical Values in Ephesians 4:17-6:9
Daniel K. Darko (University of Scranton, PA)

First paragraph:

The starting point of this work is an observed tension in recent scholarly discussion of the ethical content of Ephesians 4:17–6:9. On the one hand, Ephesians 4:17–5:21 has been interpreted as drawing a social or ethical contrast between the addressees and the outside world, and even as encouraging or legitimating social withdrawal or separation from outsiders. On the other hand, the household code in Ephesians 5:21–6:9 has been read as encouraging integration into the wider society in an attempt to curb accusations of social disruptiveness. These social goals seem to be at odds, but rarely are these reflected on or addressed in scholarship­hence this investigative task.

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