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Edited by Ulla Tervahauta, Ivan Miroshnikov, Outi Lehtipuu and Ismo Dunderberg

Women and knowledge are interconnected in several ways in late ancient and early Christian discourses, not least because wisdom (Sophia) and spiritual knowledge (Gnosis) were frequently personified as female entities. Ancient texts deal with idealized women and use feminine imagery to describe the divine but they also debate women’s access to and capacity of gaining knowledge. Combining rhetorical analysis with social historical approaches, the contributions in this book cover a wide array of source materials, drawing special attention to the so-called Gnostic texts. The fourteen essays, written by prominent experts of ancient Christianity, are dedicated to Professor Antti Marjanen (University of Helsinki).

Translation Theory and the Old Testament in Matthew

The Possibilities of Skopos Theory

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Woojin Chung

In Translation Theory and the Old Testament in Matthew, Woojin Chung employs a rigorous method of Skopos theory to examine Matthew’s citation technique in his infancy narrative and locates the specific purpose of his use of Scripture. He argues that the complex nature of the formulaic quotations and allusion in Matthew 1‒2 can be understood in light of new methodological insights. The way Matthew cites the Old Testament for his communicative purpose is congruent to the approach of a Skopos translator who is motivated by a specific purpose of translation. The theory of interpretation of his use of Scripture, therefore, can be informed by the theory and method of translation.

Jewish Education from Antiquity to the Middle Ages

Studies in Honour of Philip S. Alexander

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Edited by George J. Brooke and Renate Smithuis

In Jewish Education from Antiquity to the Middle Ages fifteen scholars offer specialist studies on Jewish education from the areas of their expertise. This tightly themed volume in honour of Philip S. Alexander has some essays that look at individual manuscripts, some that consider larger literary corpora, and some that are more thematically organised.

Jewish education has been addressed largely as a matter of the study house, the bet midrash. Here a richer range of texts and themes discloses a wide variety of activity in several spheres of Jewish life. In addition, some notable non-Jewish sources provide a wider context for the discourse than is often the case.

Christianity and the Roots of Morality

Philosophical, Early Christian and Empirical Perspectives

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Edited by Petri Luomanen, Anne Birgitta Pessi and Illka Pyysiäinen

What is the role of religion, especially Christianity, in morality, pro-social behavior and altruism? Are there innate human moral capacities in the human mind? When and how did they appear in the history of evolution? What is the real significance of Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount — does it set up unique moral standards or only crystallize humans’ innate moral intuitions? What is the role of religious teachings and religious communities in pro-social behavior? Christianity and the Roots of Morality: Philosophical, Early Christian, and Empirical Perspectives casts light on these questions through interdisciplinary articles by scholars from social sciences, cognitive science, social psychology, sociology of religion, philosophy, systematic theology, comparative religion and biblical studies.

Contributors include: Nancy T. Ammerman, István Czachesz, Grace Davie, Jutta Jokiranta, Simo Knuuttila, Kristen Monroe, Mika Ojakangas, Sami Pihlström, Antti Raunio, Heikki Räisänen (✝), Risto Saarinen, Kari Syreeni, Lauri Thurén, Petri Ylikoski.

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Paul Gilliam III

In Ignatius of Antioch and the Arian Controversy, Paul R. Gilliam III contends that the legacy of the second-century martyr Ignatius of Antioch was one battleground upon which Nicene and Non-Nicene personalities fought for their understanding of the relationship of the Son to the Father. It is well-know that Ignatius’ views continued to live on into the fourth century via the long recension of his letters. Gilliam, however, shows that there was much more to Ignatius’ fourth-century presence than the Ignatian long recension.

Numerals in Early Greek New Testament Manuscripts

Text-Critical, Scribal, and Theological Studies

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Zachary Cole

In Numerals in Early Greek New Testament Manuscripts, Zachary J. Cole provides the first in-depth examination of the seemingly obscure, yet important topic: how early Christian scribes wrote numbers and why. While scholars have long been aware that Christian scribes occasionally used numerical abbreviations in their books, few have been able to make much sense of it.

This detailed analysis of numerals in manuscripts up through the fifth century CE uncovers a wealth of palaeographical and codicological data. Among other findings, Zachary J. Cole shows that some numerals can function as “visual links” between witnesses, that numbers sometimes—though rarely—functioned like nomina sacra, and that Christians uniquely adapted their numbering system to suit the needs of public reading.

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Peter Malik

Since ancient works were preserved by means of handwritten copies, critical enquiry into their texts necessitates the study of such copies. In P.Beatty III (P47): The Codex, Its Scribe, and Its Text, Peter Malik focuses on the earliest extensive copy of the Book of Revelation. Integrating matters of palaeography, codicology, and scribal practice with textual analysis, Malik sheds new light on this largely neglected, yet crucially important, early Christian papyrus. Notable contributions include a new proposed date for P47, identification of several previously unreported scribal corrections, as well as the discovery of the manuscript’s close affinity with the Sahidic version. Significantly, Malik’s detailed, data-rich analyses are accompanied by a fresh transcription and, for the first time, high-resolution colour photographs of the manuscript.

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Christopher A. Graham

In The Church as Paradise and the Way Therein: Early Christian Appropriation of Genesis 3:22–24, Christopher A. Graham demonstrates that early Christian authors employed the words “paradise” and “way” as allusions to the expulsion narrative (Genesis 3:22–24) to signify that the benefits available in protological Paradise were once again accessible in and through Jesus and the Church.

The centrality of the expulsion narrative in their literary milieus gave these authors confidence that readers would discern these allusions. After considering the reception of the expulsion in texts circulating within the early Christian milieu, Graham turns to the texts of Luke and Irenaeus of Lyons. Both authors drew from an interpretive tradition in which a return to Paradise was desirable. Both celebrated Jesus's reversal of Adam's expulsion and the constitution of Jesus's followers as the location and means by which humanity could continue to access divine truth and life. For both authors, the Church is Paradise and the way therein.

Hebrews and the Temple

Attitudes to the Temple in Second Temple Judaism and in Hebrews

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Philip Church

In Hebrews and the Temple Philip Church argues that the silence of Hebrews concerning the temple does not mean that the author is not interested in the temple. He writes to encourage his readers to abandon their preoccupation with it and to follow Jesus to their eschatological goal. Following extensive discussions of attitudes to the temple in the literature of Second Temple Judaism, Church turns to Hebrews and argues that the temple is presented there as a symbolic foreshadowing of the eschatological dwelling of God with his people. Now that the eschatological moment has arrived with the exaltation of Christ to the right hand of God, preoccupation with the temple and its rituals must cease.

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Edited by Joey Dodson and David Briones

Paul and Seneca in Dialogue assembles an international group of scholars to compare the philosophical and theological strands in Paul and Seneca’s writings, placing them in dialogue with one another. Arguably, no other first-century, non-Christian writer’s thoughts resemble Paul’s as closely as Seneca’s, and scholars have often found value in comparing Pauline concepts with Seneca’s writings. Nevertheless, apart from the occasional article, broad comparison, or cross-reference, an in-depth critical comparison of these writers has not been attempted for over fifty years – since Sevenster’s monograph of 1961. In the light of the vast amount of research offering new perspectives on both Paul and Seneca since the early 1960s, this new comparison of the two writers is long overdue.