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Abstract

While biblical texts generally tend to conciliatory endings, this does not seem to hold true regarding the traumatic destruction of Jerusalem in 587 v.Chr. (cf. 2 Kgs 25//Jer 52). The article presents how some texts manage to transport comforting messages along with the reference to the catastrophic event, e.g. Lev 26; Dtn 4 and 28–32 as well as 2 Kgs 25 in the context of Jos 1 – 2 Kgs 17 and more specifically 2 Kgs 17–24. Jer 52 is interpreted in connection with Jer 39–40 and 29–33. Thr 1; 3 and 5 at the end open up some comfort in the hope of being heard by God. 2 Chr 36 presents the catastrophe as a way to new beginnings. Bar 4–5 and the Letter of Jeremiah can be read as continuations of the Book of Jeremiah with a stronger accent on hope.

Open Access
In: Biblische Zeitschrift

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
Author:

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

While many scholars note the presence and influence of Jesus’s teaching in James, this study seeks to focus on whether there are any recurrent words or phrases that may introduce, indicate, or ‘demark’ the presence of Jesus’s teaching within James. This study analyses the presence of the words ‘hear’ and ‘listen’, ἀδελφός language, and the phrases ἄγε νῦν and ἀδελφοί μου ἀγαπητοί and their potential connection with Jesus’s teaching found within the epistle of James. As a result, this study notes the correlation between the use of these phrases and the subsequent presence of Jesus’s teaching, which suggests the potential for these phrases to ‘demark’ or introduce the presence of the words of Jesus in James’s epistle. Consequently, this study suggests that these key words and phrases function in the introduction to Jesus’s teaching within James, highlighting the upcoming presence of a Jesus saying to the audience.

Open Access
In: Evangelical Quarterly: An International Review of Bible and Theology
Author:

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
Author:

Abstract

In this response essay, which culminates with an application of my theory of narrative empathy to the Parable of the Good Samaritan, I comment on an article by Cornelis Bennema and engage with the ideas in the framing, introductory essay by Jan Rüggemeier and Elizabeth E. Shively. In the course of carrying out these tasks, I also offer what I hope will be broadly useful comments on fictional and nonfictional contexts for character construction, on characters and characterization, and on the way diverse actual readers engage with characters. This essay concludes with some thoughts on narrative empathy, responding to the final section of Rüggemeier and Shively’s essay, which offers comprehensive overview of empathy and sympathy as aspects of emotional reading.

Open Access
In: Biblical Interpretation
Authors: and

Abstract

This study employs an array of cognitive linguistic (cl) models to reveal some of the details in how contemporary readers understand and interpret characters in a New Testament parable, the one often tagged “The Good Samaritan.” It also uses cognitive narrative analysis to explore how Luke constructs and develops the dialog partners in the pericope and the characters in the parable. The larger goal is to use cl to reveal some of the ways in which meanings are evoked, constructed, constrained and opened up. The parable is embedded in a larger narrative and immediate co-text, its characters selected from the stock of Lukan personae. The study explains how narrative spaces are built up; how characters serve as anchors and links to the larger narrative; and how viewpoint shifts proliferate as the story unfolds.

The Lukan narrator makes Jesus’ viewpoint clear: “Do this, and you will live!” Readers are implicitly invited to identify with the compassionate character of the parable and emulate him. But the opening question and closing dialog shape the parable’s point, expanding its trajectory beyond mere moral rule revision or definitions of “neighbor” or even of “good” character. This parable allows readers to imagine with Luke a way of life lived in the light of the new epoch Jesus is announcing and inaugurating.

Open Access
In: Biblical Interpretation
Author:

Abstract

The Roman senator Marcellus plays a prominent role among the considerable number of characters mentioned in the apocryphal Acts of Peter. He was very important for the Christian community, and his house was a central meeting place for widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor, before it became the residence of Simon Magus and his followers. By applying a specific approach of cognitive narratology and by taking serious an active participation of readers in analyzing a character more closely, this study intends to analyze the extent to which such an approach might help to perceive and understand Marcellus more appropriately and to highlight his function within the story and his impact on readers.

Open Access
In: Biblical Interpretation

Abstract

This response article reviews the contributions of Kirsten Marie Hartvigsen and Thomas Kraus to this special issue, and uses them as the basis for a discussion of some theoretical and methodological issues relevant to cognitive narratology and cognitive literary studies more broadly. Without offering substantial answers itself, the response poses questions concerning (i) the compatibility of different scientific frameworks used in cognitive models of characterization, particularly in the light of currently dominant ‘4ea’ models of cognition (there is a particular focus on the relationship between affective and (other) cognitive aspects of reader response, and on the role of memory); and (ii) the adaptability of cognitive models to dealing with “synthetic” and “thematic” (as opposed to “mimetic”) aspects of literary character. A brief conclusion argues for two-way traffic between the cognitive sciences and literary criticism.

Open Access
In: Biblical Interpretation

Abstract

In the Gospel of Luke 1–2, the narrator focuses on two couples and their (future) sons. The plot of the narrative emphasizes the main characteristics of the characters, which in turn accentuate important characteristics of God. Audience members construct these characters like real-life persons based on the discourse aspect (textual features which indicate character traits, plots, focalization, etc.) and the suggestion aspect (memories, emotions, schemata that are activated or primed, etc.). In this article, the construction of characters is analyzed with insights into mental character models and social schemata. The linear presentation of information in orally performed narratives structures the first part of the analysis. The latter part draws on conceptual blending theory to explore how the character of God is constructed based on selected information projected from the utterances of the other characters to the blended space.

Open Access
In: Biblical Interpretation