Articles in TynBul 64.2 (Nov 2013)

These Are the Days of the Prophets: A Literary Analysis of Ezra 1–6
Christopher R. Lortie (Saskatoon, Canada)

This study outlines a plot structure for Ezra 1–6 based upon the ('lh) imperative and (bnh) imperative given in the decree by Cyrus (Ezra 1:2-4) and argues that they provide a clear framework for the narrative. The Judaean people are able to accomplish the ('lh) imperative without conflict, but the (bnh) imperative is not completed as easily. The temple rebuilding project reaches a standstill in Ezra 4:24. At this point the prophets Haggai and Zechariah intervene and become the catalyst for the resolution of the (bnh) imperative and the narrative as a whole (5:1; 6:14). The narrative is structured to demonstrate that Yhwh is the one who enables the temple rebuilding project to succeed through the action of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah over against the Persian kings.

The Early Messianic 'Afterlife' of the Tree Metaphor in Ezekiel 17:22-24
William R. Osborne (College of the Ozarks)

This article discusses the royal associations of tree imagery in the ancient Near East before examining four early messianic interpretations of the tree symbolism in Ezekiel 17:22-24, namely those of 4QEzekiela, the Septuagint, Targum Ezekiel, and The Shepherd of Hermas.

Undercurrents in Jonah
James Robson (Wycliffe Hall, Oxford)

On the surface, the book of Jonah is marked by a certain literary simplicity and apparent artlessness. This is evident in at least three ways: its style, with few adjectives, action-oriented narrative, repetition of words and phrases, sound-plays and personifications; its plot, with extreme scenarios and a binary view of the world; its structure, with significant substantial correspondence. Yet it is often in the very places of apparent artlessness that there are hidden depths. A survey of these undercurrents suggests that the book of Jonah is best understood as an engaging exploration of how credal confessions relate to the complexities of lived experience.

The Parable of the Prodigal Father: An Interpretative Key to the Third Gospel (Luke 15:11-32)
Trevor J. Burke (Moody Bible Institute, Chicago)

Agreement on a title for the parable in Luke 15:11-32 has proved problematic for interpreters: is this primarily a story about the 'son' or 'sons' or a 'family'? While such descriptions are viable, they are insufficient and the view taken in this essay, along with that of an increasing number of scholars­not discounting the role of the two sons­is to approach the story from a paternal perspective. Moreover, this parable is about a 'prodigal father' for his extravagant generosity and liberality is highly unusual and unexpected. Such conduct, however, is no less a part of the evangelist's wider agenda of 'prodigality' in the third Gospel, where the same munificence and largesse are characteristics consonant with those who belong in the kingdom of God. It is concluded that if the father is representative of God in his reckless beneficence then another legitimate designation for this narrative should be 'The Parable of the Prodigal Father'

Gender Versus Marital Concerns: Does 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 Address the Issues of Male/Female or Husband/Wife? 
Preston T. Massey (Indiana Wesleyan University)

This study proposes an alternative for interpreting the background to 1 Corinthians 11–14. The investigation will focus on the following three issues: 1) the issue of married women versus any woman; 2) the matter of a married woman's talking in a public setting; and 3) the nature of the church as the family of God meeting in a house for public worship. The combination of these factors will lead to the conclusion that Paul is addressing marital issues.

'The Root' in Paul's Olive Tree Metaphor (Romans 11:16-24)
Svetlana Khobnya (Nazarene Theological College, Manchester)

In Romans 11:16-24 Paul addresses the subject of the Jewish and Gentile inclusion in the people of God using the illustration of the olive tree. How this description fits Paul's argument in Romans or what precisely Paul communicates by this comparison remains unclear. This essay suggests that Paul's awareness of living in the time when scripture is being fulfilled in Christ determines how we should read the olive tree metaphor. It proposes that the olive tree and the whole process of its rejuvenation pictures the restoration of Israel and the addition of the Gentiles into God's people on the basis of the fulfilment of God's promises in Christ, the very root of the tree. In this light the olive tree metaphor becomes lucid and fits Paul's overall discussion in Romans.

The Adam-Christ Typology in Paul and Its Development in the Early Church Fathers
John VanMaaren (McMaster University)

This article examines the development of the Adam-Christ typology in the early church. It begins by outlining the characteristics of typology and considering Paul's use of the Adam-Christ typology. It then looks at the Adam-Christ typology in Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Origen, Methodius, Augustine and Cyril of Alexandria. Each of these is compared with Paul. For Paul, it is Christ's death and resurrection that correspond to Adam's sin. The church fathers expand Paul's typology and these expansions eventually come to overshadow the main point of correspondence for Paul, Christ's death and resurrection.

Praying to the Holy Spirit in Early Christianity
Boris Paschke (Evangelische Theologische Faculteit Leuven,  Research Foundation Flanders)

This article studies praying to the Holy Spirit in early Christianity of the first three centuries AD. The relevant primary sources are presented and interpreted. While the New Testament remains silent on the topic, some early Christian texts from the Second and Third Centuries AD (i.e. writings of Tertullian and Origen as well as the Acts of John and Acts of Thomas) testify that the idea and practice of addressing the Holy Spirit in prayer (either alone or together with Jesus Christ) existed in early Christianity. However, the paucity of express early Christian quotations of or references to prayers to the Holy Spirit suggests that praying to the Holy Spirit was not widespread but rather remained an exception in early Christianity.

Dissertation Summaries:         

Responding to a Puzzled Scribe: The Barberini Version of Habakkuk 3 Analysed in the Light of the Other Greek Versions
Joshua Harper (Houston, Texas)

This anonymous version of Habakkuk 3 cannot be identified with any of the other known Greek versions of Habakkuk or the Twelve Prophets. It is only found in six Septuagint manuscripts, and has come to be known as the Barberini version of Habakkuk 3 after one of the best witnesses, which was formerly in the library of the Barberini family in Rome. The goal of my thesis is to describe the Barberini version and the translator responsible for it­to give the who, what, where, when, why, and how of its creation in so far as this can be determined by comparing the Barberini Greek version with the other Greek and Hebrew versions of the chapter.


Articles in TynBul 64.1 (May 2013)

The Condemnation of Jephthah
Tamie S. Davis (Dodoma, Tanzania)

This paper argues that literary context, commonly used by evangelicals, and intertextuality, often championed by feminist scholars, are complementary tools for understanding the story of Jephthah and his daughter in Judges 11:29-40. The lack of comment from the narrator on the morality of the story has perplexed many readers but, when viewed together, these approaches build a compelling case for Jephthah's condemnation. The literary context gives warrant to the feminist horror at the events of Judges 11:29-40. Intertextual contrast relating to gender can alert the reader to other differences between the stories which then present Jephthah as an inversion of Abraham: unfaithful and abhorrent to YHWH.

'May the Lord Make the Woman like Rachel': Comparing Michal and Rachel   
John Dekker (Melbourne)

The portrayal of Michal in the book of Samuel is similar to that of Rachel in the book of Genesis. Both have an older sister who is their rival for the affections of their husband. Both have an erratic father who pursues their husband. Both possess household idols called teraphim, which features in the story of their deceiving their father. Both have at least a period of barrenness. Yet there are also differences between the two women, which can be explained in terms of the portrayal of Michal as an even more tragic figure than Rachel. Careful consideration of the points of similarity and difference yields the conclusion that the allusions to the Rachel story in the book of Samuel are intentional.

'I Will Save My People from Their Sins': The Influence of Ezekiel 36:28b-29a; 37:23b on Matthew 1:21
Nicholas G. Piotrowski (Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis)

Matthean scholars are nearly unanimous that LXX Psalm 129:8 [MT 130:8] is the allusive background to Matthew 1:21 notwithstanding formidable semantic differences. Ezekiel 36:28b-29a; 37:23b, however, provides a more convincing and more fruitful conceptual background for Matthew's programmatic verse. Semantic and thematic considerations bear this out. The result of reading Matthew 1:21 through the lens of Ezekiel 36:28b-29a; 37:23b is the selection of frames for reading the rest of the gospel in terms of the prophet's vision for Israel's restoration from exile.

Review Article: The Deliverance of God: an Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul by Douglas A. Campbell
Bruce Clark (Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge)

Campbell launches a sustained attack against traditional theological conceptions of justification and aims to free Romans 1–4 (on which these conceptions seemingly rest) from a widespread rationalistic, contractual, individualistic (mis)reading, which gains its plausibility only by the modernistic theological superstructure forced upon it. Campbell then presents an in-depth re-reading of Romans 1–4 (as well as parts of chs. 9–11, Gal. 2–3, Phil. 3), in which Paul engages in a highly complex, 'subtle' polemic, creatively employing 'speech-in-character' as a means of subverting a Jewish Christian 'Teacher' whose visit to Rome threatens to undermine the Roman Christians' assurance of salvation. Campbell argues that justification is participatory and liberative: Christ's death and resurrection constitute the 'righteousness/deliverance of God', by which he justifies, or delivers, an enslaved humanity from the power of sin. This article concentrates primarily on Campbell's own exegesis, concluding that, while important aspects of Campbell's critique of both "justification theory" and traditional readings of Romans 1–4 must be carefully considered, his own exegesis is not only ingenious, asking too much of Paul and the letter's auditors, but altogether untenable at key points.

Jewish Pilgrim Festivals and Calendar in Paul's Ministry with the Gentile Churches 
Jin K. Hwang (Fuller Theological Seminary)

It is quite remarkable that Paul explicitly mentions two of the Jewish pilgrim festivals, namely, the Passover and Pentecost in 1 Corinthians (5:7-8; 16:8). This study argues that such festivals played a key role not only in providing Paul with the biblical foundations for his exhortations in 1 Corinthians (as indicated in ch. 5) but also in shaping his ministry with the Gentile churches at Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia, and Macedonia, and his collection project in particular, which entails the pilgrimage to Jerusalem by representatives from his Gentile churches, most likely during a Jewish festival (as indicated in ch. 16).

The Temple in the Apocalypse of Weeks and in Hebrews
Philip Church (Laidlaw College, Auckland, New Zealand

Several Second Temple texts make no explicit mention of the temple, but it cannot be assumed that this silence indicates a lack of interest. While the Apocalypse of Weeks reveres Solomon's temple and describes it in ways that indicate that it anticipates the eschatological temple, the Second Temple is ignored, implying a strong polemic against it. Hebrews makes no explicit mention of the Second Temple, but several texts reflect a critique of temple, priesthood, and sacrificial system. Hebrews claims that the temple and its associated rituals were a symbolic foreshadowing of the eschatological dwelling of God with his people in the last days, now come with the exaltation of Christ. Since the reality has now come, the readers can no longer be occupied with the symbols.

Lexicography and New Testament Categories of Church Discipline
Andrew D. Clarke (University of Aberdeen)

A range of circumstances, which were formative in the crises prompting the Protestant Reformation, resulted in heightened emphasis on ecclesiastical discipline, with some Reformation Confessions elevating discipline 'according to the Word of God' to one of three significant 'marks' of the 'true church'. However, the Bible prompted no similar consensus among either the Reformers or the Reformation Confessions as to how, when, by or to whom such discipline should be exercised. Although the New Testament has no dominant vocabulary for 'discipline', the fixing on this term in the Sixteenth Century and subsequently nonetheless became a controlling principle in identifying and interpreting certain New Testament passages as 'disciplinary' in focus. Latin lexical roots pose an additional disjunction between first-century and post-Reformation legacy understandings of 'discipline'. Revisiting New Testament categories of discipleship, education and Christian formation may offer a constructively holistic approach that reaches beyond now traditional views of church discipline.

Dissertation Summaries:         

Israel and the Universal Mission in the Gospel of Matthew  
Tae Sub Kim (Seoul National University)

This study investigates the relationship between Israel and the universal mission in the Gospel of Matthew. The previous views of scholars deal with this relationship unilaterally proceeding 'from Israel to the Gentile (or the universal) mission' alone, but the relationship in the other direction has not yet been discussed. Thus, while introducing new perspectives aiming for a fuller understanding of the reciprocal relationship between Israel and the universal mission in the First Gospel, this study attempts to demonstrate how the completion of the universal mission is associated with the re-establishment of Israel in the Gospel of Matthew.

The Greek Perfect Active System: 200 BC – AD 150
Robert Crellin (Greek Bible College, Athens)

What does the ancient Greek perfect stem (covering both perfect and pluperfect forms) mean?  This has proved a controversial question for at least a century, as it has been recognised that traditional accounts leave the form performing functions associated with present and past tenses in certain other European languages. Thus to say 'I know' and 'I stand', both present forms in English, a perfect is used in Greek. By contrast, the sentiment 'I have made' also corresponds to a perfect in Greek. In addition to this aspectual problem the perfect is also involved in a transitivity problem: some perfect actives in Greek are functionally passive. For example, the active perfect 'apolola' means 'I am lost', and not 'I have lost (something)' which might be expected.