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Dieter T. Roth

In The Text of Marcion’s Gospel Dieter T. Roth offers a new, critical reconstruction of Marcion’s Gospel including various levels of certainty for readings in this Gospel text. An extensive history of research, overview of both attested and unattested verses in the various sources, and methodological considerations related, in particular, to understanding the citation customs of the sources set the stage for a comprehensive analysis of all relevant data concerning Marcion’s Gospel. On the basis of this new reconstruction significant issues in the study of early Christianity, including the relationship between Marcion’s Gospel and Luke and the place of Marcion in the history of the canon and the formation of the fourfold Gospel, can be considered anew.

Herrscherideal und Herrschaftskritik bei Philo von Alexandria

Eine Untersuchung am Beispiel seiner Josephsdarstellung in De Josepho und De somniis II

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Friederike Oertelt

Die in der Arbeit vorgenomme Auslegung der Schriften De Josepho und De Somniis II von Philo von Alexandria liest die beiden gegensätzlichen Darstellungen der Josephfigur als Beitrag zum Herrschaftsdiskurs. Die ambivalenten Tendenzen der biblischen Josephfigur bilden für ihn den Ausgangspunkt am Beispiel Josephs, Strukturen sowohl tyrannischer als auch idealer Herrschaft zu untersuchen. Philos Kenntnis griechisch-hellenistischer Philosophie sowie sein Verständnis der Tora als göttlich inspiriertem Text ermöglicht ihm, den politischen Charakter auf unterschiedlichen Ebenen zu reflektieren. Die Spannung zwischen beiden Traktaten bleibt dabei bestehen und kann als bewusste Darstellung gelungener und tyrannischer Herrschaft gedeutet werden. Zugleich entwickelt Philo aus den Ambivalenzen der Josephfigur heraus ein Herrschaftskonzept, welches aufgrund des Toraverständnisses politisches Handeln aus Abhängigkeiten befreit und universale Handlungsvorgaben und Kontrollinstanzen aufzeigt.

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The exegesis of De Josepho and De Somniis II intended in this work read the two portrayals of Joseph as Philo’s contribution to the discourse on government. The ambivalent tendencies in the Joseph figure form the point of departure for Philo in using it for examining structures of tyrannical and ideal rule. Philo’s knowledge of Greek-Hellenistic philosophy and his understanding of the Torah enables him to reflect upon the political character on different levels. Thus the tension between both treatises can be interpreted as a conscious portrayal of effective and of tyrannical rule. At the same time Philo develops a concept of government out of the ambivalences of the Joseph figure, which, on the basis of the understanding of the Torah, liberates political action from dependencies and points out universal guidelines for action and the authorities responsible for control of them.

The Lawsuit Motif in John’s Gospel from New Perspectives

Jesus Christ, Crucified Criminal and Emperor of the World

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Per Jarle Bekken

The study sheds fresh light on aspects of the lawsuit motif in John from the background of Diaspora-Jewish and Greco-Roman data and perspectives. – John’s narrative of the attempts on Jesus for such crimes as breaking the Sabbath, blasphemy, and seduction are illuminated from Philo’s perspectives on vigilante execution. – Furthermore, John’s narrative of the official Jewish and Roman forensic procedures against Jesus can also be situated within the framework of the Greco-Roman administration exemplified by the legal papyri from the Roman Egypt. – Philo’s expectation of an eschatological emperor, who shall rule over many nations, provides a cultural context for the way John’s gospel re-inscribed Jesus as the true “Emperor” of all the nations.

Reading the Bible Ethically

Recovering the Voice in the Text

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Eric J. Douglass

All interpretive systems deal with the author. Modern systems consider the text to be autonomous, so that it is disconnected from the author’s interests. In Reading the Bible Ethically, Eric Douglass reconsiders this connection. His central argument is that the author is a subject who reproduces her culture and her subjectivity in the text. As the author reproduces her subjectivity, the text functions as the author’s voice. This allows Douglass to apply ethical principles to interpretation, where that voice is treated as a subject for conversation, and not an object for manipulation. He uses this to texture the reading process, so that an initial reading takes account of the author’s communication, while a second reading critiques that communication.

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Pieter W. van der Horst

In Saxa judaica loquuntur (‘Jewish stones speak out’), Pieter W. van der Horst informs the reader about the recent boom in the study of ancient Jewish epigraphy and he demonstrates what kinds of new information this development yields. After sketching the status quaestionis, this book exemplifies the relevance of early Jewish inscriptions by means of a study of Judaism in Asia Minor on the basis of epigraphic material. It also highlights several areas of research for which this material provides us with insights that the Jewish literary sources do not grant us. Furthermore, the book contains a selection of some 50 inscriptions, in both their original languages and English translation with explanatory notes.

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John Emerton

Edited by Graham Davies and Robert Patterson Gordon

John Emerton was Regius Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge University from 1968 to 1995 and is a former Editor of Vetus Testamentum and its Supplements (1975-97). His work is characterised by profound learning and rigorous argument. He published detailed articles on a wide range of subjects, not only on the Hebrew language but also on Biblical texts, Semitic philology and epigraphy, Pentateuchal criticism and other central issues in Biblical scholarship, and biographical essays on some modern scholars. The forty-eight essays in this volume have been selected to provide both an overview of Emerton’s influential work in all these fields and easier access to some items which are no longer readily available.

Grace and Agency in Paul and Second Temple Judaism

Interpreting the Transformation of the Heart

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Kyle Wells

Following recent intertextual studies, Kyle B. Wells examines how descriptions of ‘heart-transformation’ in Deut 30, Jer 31–32 and Ezek 36 informed Paul and his contemporaries' articulations about grace and agency. Beyond advancing our understanding of how these restoration narratives were interpreted in the LXX, the Dead Sea Literature, Baruch, Jubilees, 2 Baruch, 4 Ezra, and Philo, Wells demonstrates that while most Jews in this period did not set divine and human agency in competition with one another, their constructions differed markedly and this would have contributed to vehement disagreements among them. While not sui generis in every respect, Paul's own convictions about grace and agency appear radical due to the way he reconfigures these concepts in relation to Christ.

A Study of the Gospels in Codex Alexandrinus

Codicology, Palaeography, and Scribal Hands

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W. Andrew Smith

Codex Alexandrinus is one of the three earliest surviving entire Greek Bibles and is an important fifth-century witness to the Christian Scriptures, yet no major analysis of the codex has been performed in over a century. In A Study of the Gospels in Codex Alexandrinus W. Andrew Smith delivers a fresh and highly-detailed examination of the codex and its rich variety of features using codicology, palaeography, and statistical analysis. Among the highlights of this study, W. Andrew Smith’s work overturns the view that a single scribe was responsible for copying the canonical books of the New Testament and demonstrates that the orthographic patterns in the Gospels can no longer be used to argue for Egyptian provenance of the codex.

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Edited by Peter J. Tomson and Joshua J. Schwartz

The papers in this volume are organized around the ambition to reboot the writing of history about Jews and Christians in the first two centuries CE. Many are convinced of the need for a new perspective on this crucial period that saw both the birth of rabbinic Judaism and apostolic Christianity and their parting of ways. Yet the traditional paradigm of Judaism and Christianity as being two totally different systems of life and thought still predominates in thought, handbooks, and programs of research and teaching. As a result, the sources are still being read as reflecting two separate histories, one Jewish and the other Christian.
The contributors to the present work were invited to attempt to approach the ancient Jewish and Christian sources as belonging to one single history, precisely in order to get a better view of the process that separated both communities. In doing so, it is necessary to pay constant attention to the common factor affecting both communities: the Roman Empire. Roman history and Roman archaeology should provide the basis on which to study and write the shared history of Jews and Christians and the process of their separation.
A basic intuition is that the series of wars between Jews and Romans between 66 and 135 CE – a phenomenon unrivalled in antiquity – must have played a major role in this process. Thus the papers are arranged around three focal points: (1) the varieties of Jewish and Christian expression in late Second Temple times, (2) the socio-economic, military, and ideological processes during the period of the revolts, and (3) the post-revolt Jewish and Christian identities that emerged. As such, the volume is part of a larger project that is to result in a source book and a history of Jews and Christians in the first and second centuries.


Texts and Traditions

Essays in Honour of J. Keith Elliott

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Edited by Peter Doble and Jeffrey Kloha

The methodology of New Testament textual criticism, the critical evaluation of readings, and the history and texts of early Christianity is the focus of the influential work of J. K. Elliott. Texts and Traditions offers eighteen essays in his honour. The essays, by colleagues and students from his long career, reflect Elliott's wide interest and impact. From questions of the purpose and practice of textual criticism, to detailed assessment of New Testament literature and the readings of its manuscripts, to provocative studies of the reception of Jesus and the New Testament in the second century, this volume will be of value to those studying the New Testament and Early Christianity.