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Abstract

Basil of Caesarea’s On the Holy Spirit has often been painted as a work that symbolises his emergence from the shadow of his embittered mentor, Eustathius of Sebaste. This paper reassesses the extent of Eustathius’ influence on the treatise. By analysing both the tone and argumentation of On the Holy Spirit, I counter this scholarly narrative, showing that Eustathius in fact serves as the silent interlocutor of the treatise, to whom Basil pleads the case of his orthodoxy, and with whom he begs for the church to be healed. Consequently, On the Holy Spirit should be read as more in vogue with apologetic literature than polemic , as a redoubled effort to respond to Eustathius that mounts an impassioned but cordial defence of Basil’s vision of Christian orthodoxy and a long-overdue plea for peace in a war-torn church.

Open Access
In: Vigiliae Christianae
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Abstract

This article lays out Origen’s anthropological application of John 1:26. In particular, it examines the way in which Origen pairs the phrase “one whom you do not know has stood in your midst (μέσος ὑμῶν)” with the Stoic terminus technicus “governing faculty” (ἡγεμονικόν) through an identification of μέσος with soul. This identification assumes that μέσος refers to the soul and that references to the soul apply to the governing faculty. The former stands upon Origen’s four-fold interpretation of μέσος; the latter is an assumption based in Stoic psychology. This article begins with an examination of how Origen connects μέσος to soul and, subsequently, soul to the governing faculty. Next, it examines Origen’s engagement with John 1:26 in his Commentary on John. Finally, the article discusses the various ways in which Origen interprets this verse in his other works.

Open Access
In: Vigiliae Christianae

Abstract

According to the mashal (parable) attributed to Shimʿon ben Yoḥai in Gen. Rab. 22:9, the murder of Abel (Gen 4:8–10) may be likened to a gladiator’s death in the arena. This article argues that the parable assumes the audience’s familiarity with gladiatorial shows, which came to an end in the early fifth century CE. Tracing the transmission of the mashal in Tanḥuma ha-Nidpas (Bereshit 9) and the earliest commentaries on Genesis Rabba, it further argues that the gladiatorial allusion was not understood after the demise of the games, and that the Tanḥuma’s version is a later reformulation. The preservation of the imagery in the earliest extant manuscripts of Genesis Rabba, despite the fact that it was not well-understood when they were produced, demonstrates the conservation of a reference to a late antique public institution in medieval copies and thus contributes to the knowledge of Genesis Rabba’s textual history.

Open Access
In: Journal for the Study of Judaism
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Abstract

Earlier scholarship faced a number of limitations in classifying catena manuscripts on the Acts of the Apostles. This study makes a comparison of exegetical scholia in selected text passages (Acts 2:1–16, 8:9–25, 28:19–31) in order to determine the different types of catena and how they relate to each other. This survey reveals the diversity of the tradition: some manuscripts are merely copies, which repeat the same text with only small variations, but others are unique and cannot be directly identified with a particular catena type. It is therefore necessary to expand the classification of catenae on Acts in the Clavis Patrum Graecorum so as to mark subdivisions within the individual types.

Open Access
In: Vigiliae Christianae
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Abstract

The present paper deals with the controversially discussed relationships between the gods Alalu, Anu, Kumarbi, and Tarḫunnaš in the Hittite Song of Going Forth (CTH 344). On the basis of a new philological analysis, of comparisons with theogonies or succession myths in other ancient cultures and on the background of considerations on the cross-cultural stratification of various mythical traditions in the surviving Hittite text, various proposals on the genealogical relationship of the deities in question are weighed against each other and reasons are presented for the plausibility of the proposed new translation and general reconstruction that the divine kingship always passes from father to son within a single genealogical line.

Open Access
In: Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions

Abstract

The controversial account of Jesus in Josephus’s Jewish Antiquities 18.63–64, known as the Testimonium Flavianum, has puzzling similarities to Luke 24.18–24, a portion of the Emmaus narrative. This article proposes an explanation based on established research into Josephus’s methods of composition. Through a phrase-by-phrase study, this article finds that the Testimonium can be derived from the Emmaus narrative using transformations Josephus is demonstrated to have employed in paraphrasing known sources for the Antiquities. Precedents are identified in word adoption/substitution and content modification. Consequently, I submit that the Testimonium is Josephus’s paraphrase of a Christian source. This result also resolves the difficulties that have raised doubts about the Testimonium’s authenticity, with implications for the understanding of the historical Jesus.

Open Access
In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus

Abstract

In a famous passage of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5:17–20) Jesus proclaims that he has not come to abolish the law but to fulfil it. The Gospel of Matthew was probably written for a Jewish audience, and its author presumed that Jews continue to obey the legal obligations of the Torah. The passage seems to claim that legal observance is necessary for salvation, which disturbed many of its later Christian readers. The article analyzes how the saying influenced both Western and Eastern Christian legal thought in late antiquity. Through the satirical Talmudic story (Bavli, Shabbat 116ab), which refers specifically to Matthew, the article also shows how rabbinic legal understanding modifies Christian traditions of the passage.

Open Access
In: Religious Identities in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages
Une analyse comparée de la notion de “démon” dans la Septante et dans la Bible Hébraïque
Author:
This book offers a thorough analysis of demons in the Hebrew Bible and Septuagint in the wider context of the ancient Near East and the Greek world. Taking a fresh and innovative angle of enquiry, Anna Angelini investigates continuities and changes in the representation of divine powers in Hellenistic Judaism, thereby revealing the role of the Greek translation of the Bible in shaping ancient demonology, angelology, and pneumatology. Combining philological and semantic analyses with a historical approach and anthropological insights, the author both develops a new method for analyzing religious categories within biblical traditions and sheds new light on the importance of the Septuagint for the history of ancient Judaism.

Le livre propose une analyse approfondie des démons dans la Bible Hébraïque et la Septante, à la lumière du Proche Orient Ancien et du contexte grec. Par un nouvel angle d’approche, Anna Angelini met en lumière dynamiques de continuité et de changement dans les représentations des puissances divines à l’époque hellénistique, en soulignant l’importance de la traduction grecque de la Bible pour la compréhension de la démonologie, de l’angélologie et de la pneumatologie antiques. En intégrant l’analyse philologique et sémantique avec une approche historique et des méthodes anthropologiques, l’autrice développe une nouvelle méthodologie pour analyser des catégories religieuses à l’intérieur des traditions bibliques et affirme la valeur de la Septante pour l’histoire du judaïsme antique.
In: L’imaginaire du démoniaque dans la Septante