This article proceeds through a series of integrated sections. First, the problem of the Fourth Gospel’s (FG) positioning of the scourging of Jesus and the Roman soldiers’ mocking of him in the midst of the trial is compared with Mark’s account of the trial. Second, by drawing on contemporary sources the methods of Roman crucifixion are examined to provide a guide for interpreting the Biblical data. Third, the efforts to harmonize the FG with the other Gospels by suggesting it referred to a lighter lashing are examined and found wanting. The next four sections develop John’s approach to the Trial as a drama; not as fiction, but as a creative reshaping of his data. By placing the mocking as well as the scourging of Jesus prior to Pilate’s handing him over to be crucified allows the FG to climax the drama with Jesus finally exiting from the praetorium to face his accusers for the first time as their King (Messiah).
This article examines the way Cyril of Alexandria interprets the Passion narrative in his commentary on the Gospel of John. It argues that besides the doctrinal, christological focus of his exegesis Cyril is concerned with a second issue: the contested masculinity of Jesus and his followers during the events of the Passion. This concern becomes clear when Cyril designates the cross-bearing Jesus as “the type of manly courage” (typos andreías). Following a survey of the current historical masculinity studies, the article examines Cyril’s interpretation of such scenes of the Johannine Passion account where Jesus is depicted as being arrested, beaten and flogged, humiliated and finally crucified – i.e., depicted in a way that might seem to contradict antique ideals of manliness. It finally analyzes Cyril’s explanations as to various “unmanly” or “manly” traits of Jesus’ adversaries, especially of the Jews, and of his followers: Peter, his beloved disciple and his Mother.
The publication of the fiftieth volume of Erasmi Opera Omnia (ASD), a series begun in 1969, leads to an examination of Erasmus as editor of texts, of which his editions of the New Testament and of patristic writings hold pride of place. Treatment of the question how Erasmus himself rated editions and editors is preceded by an assessment of his public persona. The disputatious or outright polemical Erasmus showed himself not at all, as Huizinga would have it, “restricted to the feline” in his expressions about other scholars and their work. Erasmus’ ideas about the making or the appreciation of an edition often started from the negative: who is not able to make or to appreciate a good edition, and what exactly is a bad edition? In the end, however, while discussing St Augustine’s works he drew a portrait of the ideal editor.
The so-called Canonical letter (or περὶ Μετανοίας, “On Repentance”) of St. Peter of Alexandria, sheds light on a variety of means that Christians chose to avoid the sacrifice test under the Diocletian persecution. Canons 5-7 deal explicitly with slave- owners using their slaves as surrogates. St. Peter condemns these practices heavily, while at the same time he condemns servile obedience. In this, Peter is almost alone in early Christianity, when almost all Christians preached blind obedience. The article examines these canons, and contextualizes them with other Christian perceptions of ancient slavery. At the same time, the letter is important for the understanding of the Great persecution, its mechanisms, and the personal situation of St. Peter. Hence, the letter is discussed in regards to its transmission, and its context.
Justin Martyr is commonly regarded as the “inventor of heresy,” an assessment that is based to a considerable extent on his authorship of the earliest-known, now lost anti-heretical treatise mentioned in Justin’s First Apology 26. Justin’s authorship of this treatise has often been assumed, but rarely argued, and it has been contested by a number of scholars. This study evaluates the grammatical, literary, and historical aspects of this question and argues, against recent claims to the contrary, that the hypothesis that Justin was involved in the production of this important document best accommodates the available evidence.