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Ancient Readers and their Scriptures

Engaging the Hebrew Bible in Early Judaism and Christianity

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Edited by Garrick Allen and John Anthony Dunne

explores the various ways that ancient Jewish and Christian writers engaged with and interpreted the Hebrew Bible in antiquity, focusing on physical mechanics of rewriting and reuse, modes of allusion and quotation, texts and text forms, text collecting, and the development of interpretative traditions. Contributions examine the use of the Hebrew Bible and its early versions in a variety of ancient corpora, including the Septuagint, Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament, and Rabbinic works, analysing the vast array of textual permutations that define ancient engagement with Jewish scripture. This volume argues that the processes of reading and cognition, influenced by the physical and intellectual contexts of interpretation, are central aspects of ancient biblical interpretation that are underappreciated in current scholarship.

Ethics in the Gospel of John

Discipleship as Moral Progress

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Sookgoo Shin

In Ethics in the Gospel of John Sookgoo Shin seeks to challenge the dominant scholarly view of John’s ethics as an ineffective and unhelpful companion for moral formation. In order to demonstrate the relevance of John’s ethics, Shin argues that the development of discipleship in John’s Gospel should be understood as moral progress, which was a well-known moral concept in the ancient Mediterranean world. Having drawn an ethical model from the writings of Plutarch, this study aims to identify the undergirding ethical dynamic that shapes John’s moral structure by bringing out the implicit ethical elements that are embedded throughout John’s narratives, and thus suggests a way to read the whole Gospel ethically and appreciatively of its literary characteristics.

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Edited by Eric F. Mason and Edmondo F. Lupieri

The seventeen studies in Golden Calf Traditions in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam explore the biblical origins of the golden calf story in Exodus, Deuteronomy, and 1 Kings, as well as its reception in a variety of sources: Hebrew Scriptures (Hosea, Jeremiah, Psalms, Nehemiah), Second Temple Judaism (Animal Apocalypse, Pseudo-Philo, Philo, Josephus), rabbinic Judaism, the New Testament (Acts, Paul, Hebrews, Revelation) and early Christianity (among Greek, Latin, and Syriac writers), as well as the Qur’an and Islamic literature. Expert contributors explore how each ancient author engaged with the calf traditions—whether explicitly, implicitly, or by clearly and consciously avoiding them—and elucidate how the story was used both negatively and positively for didactic, allegorical, polemical, and even apologetic purposes.

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Nina Nikki

Guided by awareness of the problematic relationship between polemical text and history, Opponents and Identity in Philippians seeks to establish a historical context for the letter to the Philippians. The study re-evaluates the relationship between Paul and the Jerusalem-based Christ-believing community from the time of the Jerusalem meeting and the Antioch incident. A more detailed analysis centers on how this relationship is reflected in Philippians. The book argues that Paul was continuously on problematic terms with the Jerusalem community, which means that they are the Jewish Christ-believing opponents referred to at several places in Philippians as well. With the help of the social identity approach (SIA), the book illustrates how Paul engages in identity formation through polemical rhetoric in his last letter.

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Katja Kujanpää

Quotations from Jewish scriptures play a crucial role in the Letter to the Romans. The Rhetorical Functions of Scriptural Quotations in Romans explores their rhetorical functions in Paul’s argumentation. It offers a careful text-critical analysis of the 51 quotations in Romans, and asks questions such as: does Paul quote accurately according to a wording known to him or does he adapt it himself? Moreover, to what extent does Paul strive to preserve the sense that the quoted words have in their original context? Katja Kujanpää’s approach of combining rhetorical matters with close textual study results in a more comprehensive picture of quotations in Romans than has been previously seen. Thus, the book opens new perspectives on Paul’s argumentation, rhetoric and theological agenda.

Barbarian or Greek?

The Charge of Barbarism and Early Christian Apologetics

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Stamenka Antonova

In her book Barbarian or Greek?: The Charge of Barbarism and Early Christian Apologetics, Stamenka Antonova examines different aspects of the charge of barbarism in the Greek and Latin Christian apologetic texts (2-4th centuries) and the various responses to it by the early Christians. The author demonstrates that the charge of barbarism encompasses a broad range of meanings, such as low social class, inadequate education, immorality, criminal activity, political treason, as well as foreign ethnicity and language. In addition to contextualizing the charge of barbarism in ancient rhetorical practices, the author also applies literary criticism and post-colonial theory to shed light on the concept of the barbarian as an ideological-rhetorical tool for othering, marginalization and persecution in the Roman Empire.

Les manuscrits arabes des lettres de Paul

État de la question et étude de cas (1 Corinthiens dans le Vat. Ar. 13)

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Sara Schulthess

Cet ouvrage ouvre une fenêtre sur la transmission des lettres de Paul en arabe. Il s’interroge sur le manque d’intérêt depuis le début du 20ème siècle pour les manuscrits arabes du Nouveau Testament et apporte une contribution à la récente reprise scientifique de ce champ, en étudiant le corpus largement inexploré des manuscrits arabes des lettres de Paul. Après un état des lieux établi à l’aide d’un répertoire de manuscrits, l’étude se concentre sur un manuscrit, le Vaticanus Arabicus 13. L’édition de la Première lettre aux Corinthiens de ce document du 9ème siècle est suivie d’une analyse linguistique et philologique pointue ; elle permet de dégager des éléments exégétiques qui mettent en lumière l’intérêt théologique du texte.

This work provides an insight into the transmission of the Letters of Paul into Arabic. It aims to understand the lack of interest since the beginning of the 20th century for the Arabic manuscripts of the New Testament and to contribute to the current scholarly rediscovery for this field by studying the largely unexplored corpus of the Arabic manuscripts of the Letters of Paul. After a broad overview with the help of a list of witnesses, the study focuses on a specific manuscript: Vaticanus Arabicus 13. The edition of First Corinthians of this 9th century document is followed by a close analysis of linguistic and philological aspects, while the underlining of interesting exegetical points reveals the theological interest of the text.

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Edited by AnneMarie Luijendijk and William E. Klingshirn

Sortilege—the making of decisions by casting lots—was widely practiced in the Mediterranean world during the period known as late antiquity, between the third and eighth centuries CE. In My Lots are in Thy Hands: Sortilege and its Practitioners in Late Antiquity, AnneMarie Luijendijk and William Klingshirn have collected fourteen essays that examine late antique lot divination, especially but not exclusively through texts preserved in Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac. Employing the overlapping perspectives of religious studies, classics, anthropology, economics, and history, contributors study a variety of topics, including the hermeneutics and operations of divinatory texts, the importance of diviners and their instruments, and the place of faith and doubt in the search for hidden order in a seemingly random world.

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Bogdan Gabriel Bucur

Scripture Re-envisioned discusses the christological exegesis of biblical theophanies and argues its crucial importance for the appropriation of the Hebrew Bible as the Christian Old Testament. The Emmaus episode in Luke 24 and its history of interpretation serve as the methodological and hermeneutical prolegomenon to the early Christian exegesis of theophanies. Subsequent chapters discuss the reception history of Genesis 18; Exodus 3 and 33; Psalm 98/99 and 131/132; Isaiah 6; Habakkuk 3:2 (LXX); Daniel 3 and 7. Bucur shows that the earliest, most widespread and enduring reading of these biblical texts, namely their interpretation as "christophanies"— manifestations of the Logos-to-be-incarnate—constitutes a robust and versatile exegetical tradition, which lent itself to doctrinal reflection, apologetics, polemics, liturgical anamnesis and doxology

The Religious Worldviews Reflected in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Symposium of the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature, 28–30 May, 2013

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Edited by Ruth A. Clements, Menahem Kister and Michael Segal

The Dead Sea Scrolls offer a window onto the rich theological landscape of Judaism in the Second Temple period. Through careful textual analysis, the authors of these twelve studies explore such topics as dualism and determinism, esoteric knowledge, eschatology and covenant, the nature of heaven and / or the divine, moral agency, and more; as well as connections between concepts expressed in the Qumran corpus and in later Jewish and Christian literature. The religious worldviews reflected in the Scrolls constitute part of the ideological environment of Second Temple Judaism; the analysis of these texts is essential for the reconstruction of that milieu. Taken together, these studies indicate the breadth and depth of theological reflection in the Second Temple period.