On Exaggerating Creation's Role in Biblical Law and Ethics
Richard Neville (Laidlaw College, New Zealand)
Recent claims that creation theology is the broad horizon of Old Testament theology carry with them the potential for making easy connections between creation and ethics in biblical law. This potential is beginning to be realised in assertions that creation has an implied presence in Israel's law and that Israel's economic life was carried out within a worldview shaped by creation principles. These kinds of statements make it possible for the reader to discover creation at any point in the law that modern sensibilities would wish it. And yet the evidence presented here suggests that this will lead to the misreading of Israel's law. Care needs to be taken that the marginalisation of creation theology in the twentieth century does not give way to a twenty-first century misrepresentation of creation's role in Israel's faith.
The Nephilim: a Tall Story? Who Were the Nephilim and How Did They Survive the Flood?
Robin Routledge (Mattersey Hall, UK)
The Nephilim figure prominently in some popular literature. Their portrayal is speculative, but also based on Second Temple texts, which portray the Nephilim as the giant offspring of angels and human women who were responsible for the corruption that resulted in the flood. The OT includes few direct references to the Nephilim (Gen. 6:4; Num. 13:33; possibly Ezek. 32:27), though they have been generally linked with giant pre-conquest inhabitants of Canaan, particularly Anakites and Rephaim. The lack of detail in the OT suggests the existence of underlying extra-biblical traditions, though substantial differences appear to rule out Second Temple texts as a source for OT writers. Because the OT appears to include references to the Nephilim existing both before and after the flood, an important question is whether (or how) they survived the deluge. This article argues that the Nephilim in the OT are associated, primarily, with the antediluvian era; though are, intentially, linked with postdiluvian 'heroes' to highlight the perversity of the pre-flood generation, who, in seeking liaisons with heavenly beings, seek to overcome their mortality. How they survived the flood does not appear to be of interest to the OT writers.
What's Wrong with 'Playing the Harlot'? The Meaning of ??? in Judges 19:2
Isabelle Hamley (St John's College, Nottingham)
The story of the Levite's concubine in Judges 19 arouses horror and very mixed scholarly interpretations. The silent concubine is cast in many shades, from silent victim to shady character on a par with the morally troubled Levite. Characterisation hinges on understanding the nature of the concubine's actions in verse 2. Was she unfaithful, literally or metaphorically? Or simply angry, as in the Greek text? Despite a long tradition of exonerating the concubine from sexual misconduct, the debate has been reopened, unexpectedly, by feminist critics asking why we should automatically assume she is innocent of all wrongdoing, in a text where virtually all characters are morally ambiguous at best. This paper will argue that the Masoretic Text offers the best reading of the story, consistent with subtle narration and moral complexity.
The King and the Reader: Hermeneutical Reflections on 1 Kings 20-21
T.S. Hadjiev (Queen's University Belfast)
1 Kings 2021 offers a critical portrayal of Ahab as a king who practices neither mercy, nor justice in his dealings with his subjects but who strives to present a public image of himself as a king of mercy and justice. His character would have been seen by the exilic/post-exilic readership of the book of Kings as prefiguring their own experience of judgement and providing them with a model of repentance in the face of inevitable doom.
The Elihu Speeches: Their Place and Sense in the Book of Job
Ragnar Andersen (Tune in Östfold, Norway)
The different opinions about the Elihu speeches (Job 3237) contribute greatly to confusion in research on the book of Job. In this paper I discuss whether the Elihu speeches are later interpolations or original to the writing, and I defend the latter position. Furthermore, I critically analyse current views on the speeches' role in the book as a whole and argue that Elihu is an inspired wisdom teacher who paves the way for Job's encounter with God. Elihu does not merely repeat the claims of Job's three friends.
A New LXX Fragment Containing Job 7:3-4 and 7:9
Lincoln H. Blumell (Brigham Young University)
This article presents an edition of a papyrus fragment from LXX Job that is housed in the Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan. The fragment likely dates to the sixth century A.D.AD and comes from a codex. On the recto the fragment contains Job 7:3-4 and on the verso Job 7:9.
'He Was Raised on the Third Day According to the Scriptures' (1 Corinthians 15:4): A Typological Interpretation Based on the Cultic Calendar in Leviticus 23
Joel White (Freie Theologische Hochschule, Gießen)
According to one of the earliest creedal statements in the NT, which Paul quotes in 1 Corinthians 15:4, the Messiah 'was raised on the third day according to the scriptures'. Scholarly analysis has centred on determining which scriptures are in view, rarely differentiating between the creed's perspective and Paul's. One can only speculate about the former, but with regard to the latter there are contextual clues in 1 Corinthians 15 that Paul sought to draw attention to the typological significance of the sheaf of firstfruits which, according to the Leviticus 23:10-11, was to be waved before the Lord on the day after the Sabbath after Passover, the very day that Jesus rose from the dead.
Human Dignity and Human Justice: Thinking with Calvin About the Imago Dei
Joan Lockwood O'Donovan (School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh)
This article explores Calvin's theological treatment of the Biblical doctrine of humankind's creation in and restoration to 'the image of God', and draws out the critical implications of his treatment for the contemporary elaboration of an 'inherent human dignity' in terms of 'human (subjective) rights' as the moral foundation of a public justice of secular, egalitarian rights. The argument is that Calvin locates the created and restored 'image' in active Trinitarian and Christological relations of divine and human knowing and loving, and not in any immanent or self-standing human structure, quality, or capacity, and in so doing renders theologically problematic an elaboration of 'inherent human dignity' in terms of subjective rights. Moreover, his account of public justice, being rooted in, ordered to, and limited by these divine-human relationships, is incompatible with a secular rights polity.
Satan as Adversary and Ally in the Process of Ecclesial Discipline: The Use of the Prologue to Job in 1 Corinthians 5:5 and 1 Timothy 1:20
Dillon T. Thornton (University of Otago)
Twice in the NT Paul refers to delivering someone to Satan. In 1 Corinthians 5:5, the apostle tells the Corinthian believers to hand a man living in sexual immorality over to Satan (paradounai ton toiouton tw satana). In 1 Timothy 1:20, Paul tells Timothy that he handed Hymenaeus and Alexander over to Satan (paredwka tw satana). Paul's language is strikingly similar to language contained in the prologue to Job. In Job 1:6-12, Satan disputes the blamelessness of Job and seeks Yahweh's permission to test Job's integrity. First, Yahweh allows Satan to attack Job's most prized possessions (Job 1:12). After the first attack fails, Satan asks for Yahweh's permission to assault Job physically. Then in Job 2:6 LXX, the LORD says to Satan, 'Behold, I deliver him to you' (Idou paradidwmi soi auton). In this paper, I argue that in both 1 Corinthians 5:5 and 1 Timothy 1:20 Paul draws from the prologue to Job, and he portrays Satan as an enemy of God who nevertheless can play the part of an ally in the process of church discipline.
Repetition in Hebrews
Nicholas J. Moore (Stranton All Saints, Hartlepool)
The phrase 'vaine repeticions' indicts medieval Roman Catholic worship in Cranmer's preface to the 1549 prayer book, and recurs in the Geneva and King James Bibles to describe the prattling prayers of the Gentiles in Matthew 6:7. These examples indicate both the bad press repetition has had in certain streams of theological tradition, and the ambivalence of such a reception: Cranmer's liturgy was to be repeated daily throughout England, and Matthew 6:7 forms part of the introduction to the most repeated petition in Christian history, the Lord's Prayer. This reception has in part been caused by and has in turn affected readings of the Letter to the Hebrews, which speaks of repetition in ways unique in the NT and has often been assumed to denigrate repetition as negative, ineffective, and ritualistic. This study challenges this reading, demonstrating that repetition functions in a multivalent way in the letter. The study thus rehabilitates our understanding of repetition in Hebrews, and thereby lays foundations for the theological development and deployment of this theme in other contexts.
Participation and Creation in Augustine and Aquinas
Yonghua Ge (Jesus College, Cambridge)
'The One and the Many' names one of the most ancient debates in philosophyit enquires whether reality is ultimately a unity or a plurality and how the two relate if we admit to both. For most people today, this topic seems too archaic to have any relevance. However, in his Bampton Lectures at the University of Oxford in 1992, The One, the Three and the Many, Colin Gunton sought to analyze the ills of modernityexcessive secularism and radical fragmentationin the frame of the One and the Many. He argued that the dominant mode of the Western philosophical and theological tradition tended to prioritize unity over plurality and as a result led to the revolt of the Many against the One in modern thought. On this interpretation, the origin of the modern problem lies in the failure of classical Western theologians, such as Augustine and Aquinas, in offering an adequate Christian solution to the problem of 'the One and the Many'.