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Karl Olav Sandnes

From early on, Christians passed down the account of Jesus’s agony at the prospect of his own death and his prayer that the cup should pass from him (Gethsemane). Yet, this is a troublesome aspect of Christian tradition. Jesus was committed to his death, but as it approached, he prayed for his escape, even as he submitted himself to God’s will. Ancient critics mocked Jesus and his followers for the events at Gethsemane. The ‘hero’ failed to meet the cultural standards for noble death and masculinity. As such, this story calls for further reflection and interpretation. The present book unfolds discourses from the earliest centuries of Christianity to determine what strategies were developed to come to terms with Gethsemane.

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Orrey McFarland

In God and Grace in Philo and Paul, Orrey McFarland examines how Philo of Alexandria and the Apostle Paul understood divine grace. While scholars have occasionally observed that Philo and Paul both speak about God’s generosity, such work has often placed the two theologians in either strong continuity or stark discontinuity without probing into the theological logic that animates the particularities of their thought. By contrast, McFarland sets Philo and Paul in conversation and argues that both could speak of divine gifts emphatically and in formally similar ways while making materially different theological judgments in the context of their concrete historical settings and larger theological frameworks. That is, McFarland demonstrates how their theologies of grace are neither identical nor antithetical.

Linguistic Manifestations in the Trimorphic Protennoia and the Thunder: Perfect Mind

Analysed against the Background of Platonic and Stoic Dialectics

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Tilde Bak Halvgaard

Both the Thunder: Perfect Mind (NHC VI,2) and the Trimorphic Protennoia (NHC XIII,1) present their readers with goddesses who descend in such auditive terms as sound, voice, and word. In Linguistic Manifestations in the Trimorphic Protennoia and the Thunder: Perfect Mind, Tilde Bak Halvgaard argues that these presentations reflect a philosophical discussion about the nature of words and names, utterances and language, as well as the relationship between language and reality, inspired especially by Platonic and Stoic dialectics.
Her analysis of these linguistic manifestations against the background of ancient philosophy of language offers many new insights into the structure of the two texts and the paradoxical sayings of the Thunder: Perfect Mind.

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Hughson T. Ong

In The Multilingual Jesus and the Sociolinguistic World of the New Testament, Hughson Ong provides a study of the multifarious social and linguistic dynamics that compose the speech community of ancient Palestine, which include its historical linguistic shifts under different military regimes, its geographical linguistic landscape, the social functions of the languages in its linguistic repertoire, and the specific types of social contexts where those languages were used. Using a sociolinguistic model, his study attempts to paint a portrait of the sociolinguistic situation of ancient Palestine. This book is arguably the most comprehensive treatment of the subject matter to date in terms of its survey of the secondary literature and of its analysis of the sociolinguistic environment of first-century Palestine.

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Edited by Stanley E. Porter and Hughson T. Ong

The essays in The Origins of John’s Gospel, gathered by Stanley E. Porter and Hughson T. Ong, either survey or discuss in detail various areas and topics in Johannine scholarship, especially in the study of John’s Gospel. These include the authorship and dating, sources, and traditions of John’s Gospel, its structure and composition, the Johannine community, and Johannine anti-Judaism and the Son of Man sayings. Collectively, these essays offer important contributions to various areas and topics of research relating to the origins of John’s Gospel.

Public Reading in Early Christianity

Lectors, Manuscripts, and Sound in the Oral Delivery of John 1-4

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Dan Nässelqvist

In Public Reading in Early Christianity: Lectors, Manuscripts, and Sound in the Oral Delivery of John 1-4 Dan Nässelqvist investigates the oral delivery of New Testament writings in early Christian communities of the first two centuries C.E. He examines the role of lectors and public reading in the Greek and Roman world as well as in early Christianity. Nässelqvist introduces a method of sound analysis, which utilizes the correspondence between composition and delivery in ancient literary writings to retrieve information about oral delivery from the sound structures of the text being read aloud. Finally he applies the method of sound analysis to John 1–4 and presents the implications for our understanding of public reading and the Gospel of John.

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Edited by David Vincent Meconi S.J.

Twelve leading scholars have collaborated on this unique volume, bringing their biblical and patristic expertise together to show how the first followers of Jesus used their own canonical scriptures to address concerns central to life in the Roman Empire. Sacred Scripture and Secular Struggles offers an overview of how early Christians approached and appropriated biblical texts in addressing wider societal issues of imperial power, slavery, the use of wealth, suicide and other fundamental issues brought about by the convergence of empire and ecclesia.

The Star of Bethlehem and the Magi

Interdisciplinary Perspectives from Experts on the Ancient Near East, the Greco-Roman World, and Modern Astronomy

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Edited by George H. van Kooten and Peter Barthel

This book is the fruit of the first ever interdisciplinary international scientific conference on Matthew's story of the Star of Bethlehem and the Magi, held in 2014 at the University of Groningen, and attended by world-leading specialists in all relevant fields: modern astronomy, the ancient near-eastern and Greco-Roman worlds, the history of science, and religion. The scholarly discussions and the exchange of the interdisciplinary views proved to be immensely fruitful and resulted in the present book. Its twenty chapters describe the various aspects of The Star: the history of its interpretation, ancient near-eastern astronomy and astrology and the Magi, astrology in the Greco-Roman and the Jewish worlds, and the early Christian world – at a generally accessible level. An epilogue summarizes the fact-fiction balance of the most famous star which has ever shone.

The War Scroll, Violence, War and Peace in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature

Essays in Honour of Martin G. Abegg on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday

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Edited by Kipp Davis, Kyung S. Baek, Peter W. Flint and Dorothy Peters

This volume is a collection of essays written in honour of Martin G. Abegg from a range of contributors with expertise in Second Temple Jewish literature in reflection upon Prof. Abegg’s work. These essays are arranged according to four topics that deal with various aspects of text, language and interpretation of the Qumran War Scroll, and concepts of war and peace in Second Temple Jewish literature.

The contents of the volume are divided into the following four main sections: (1) The War Scroll, (2) War and Peace in the Hebrew Scriptures, (3) War and Peace in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and (4) War and Peace in early Jewish and Christian texts and interpretation.

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Edited by Daniel Gurtner, Juan Hernández, Jr. and Paul Foster

The collection of essays focuses on the twin areas of research undertaken by Prof. Michael W. Holmes. These are the sub-disciplines of textual criticism and the study of the Apostolic Fathers. The first part of the volume on textual criticism focuses on issues of method, the praxis of editing and collating texts, and discussions pertaining to individual variants. The second part of the volume assembles essays on the Apostolic Fathers. There is a particular focus on the person and writings of Polycarp, since this is the area of research where Prof. Holmes has worked most intensively.