Early Jewish Messianism in the New Testament Serge Ruzer takes a new tack on the investigation of early Christian polemical strategies against the backdrop of Second Temple Judaism. Complementing traditional inquiry on the subject, Ruzer focuses on those elements of Messiah- and Christ-centered ideas that bear witness to patterns of broader circulation – namely, the Jewish messianic ideas that provided the underpinning for the identity-making moves of Jesus’ early followers. The volume suggests that such attempts can be expected to reflect eschatological ideas of the Jewish ʻOtherʼ. Exploring cases where the New Testament shows itself an early witness for belief patterns found in contemporaneous or only later rabbinic sources, this volume reveals a fuller picture of Second Temple Jewish messianism.
In this first translation of Sylvain Maréchal’s Bible commentary, Sheila Delany offers an important document in the history of modern European secularization and rationalist Bible criticism. Editor of one of France’s best-known radical journals,
Révolutions de Paris, and author in many genres—drama, poetry, journalism, treatise—Maréchal (1750-1803) embraced the revolutionary egalitarian ideas of François-Noël “Gracchus” Babeuf. As an atheist, he witnessed with dismay the advent of Napoleon and the post-revolutionary return of Catholic fervor.
For and Against the Bible was his protest, his reminder of what the nation had endured and of what, at the opening of the nineteenth century, it might still accomplish. Delany’s introduction and annotated English translation will be of great interest to all interested in Jewish or Christian Bible studies, history of Bible criticism, eighteenth century European rationalism, French atheism, modern European secularism.
History of the Pauline Corpus in Texts, Transmissions, and Trajectories , Chris S. Stevens examines the Greek manuscripts of the Pauline texts from P46 to Claromontanus. Previous research is often hindered by the lack of a systematic analysis and an indelicate linguistic methodology. This book offers an entirely new analysis of the early life of the Pauline corpus. Departing from traditional approaches, this text-critical work is the first to use Systemic Functional Linguistics, which enables both the comparison and ranking of textual differences across multiple manuscripts. Furthermore, the analysis is synchronically oriented, so it is non-evaluative. The results indicate a highly uniform textual transmission during the early centuries. The systematic analysis challenges previous research regarding text types, Christological scribal alterations, and textual trajectories.
This work consists of an introduction, transcription, translation, and commentary to the Greek translation of Isaiah in the Codex Sinaiticus. It comments on the Greek language in its context, especially on how the Greek language is stretched beyond its normal range of function. It addresses the peculiarities of Codex Sinaiticus, including its history, scribes, divisions, and orthography. In line with the aims of the
Brill Septuagint Commentary Series, it mainly discusses not how the text was produced, but how it was read.
A Prolegomenon to the Study of Paul examines foundational assumptions that ground all interpretations of the apostle Paul. This examination touches on several topics, invoking issues pertaining to truth, hermeneutics, canonicity, historiography, pseudonymity, literary genres, and authority. Underlying all of this is a guiding thesis, namely, that every encounter with Paul involves “Pauline Archimedean points,” or fixed points of reference that establish the measure for constructing any interpretation of Paul whatsoever. Building on this, the author interrogates various issues that inform the formation of these Pauline Archimedean points, in pursuit of an important but modest goal: to urge Pauline readers to engage in a modicum of self-reflection over the various considerations that precondition all of our efforts to comprehend Paul.
The way Luke uses and interprets Scripture continues to captivate many. In his new work,
The Prophets Agree, a title inspired by James’ words at the Jerusalem Council, Aaron W. White turns over one rock that has remained untouched. Interpretation of the four quotations of the Minor Prophets in Acts frequently isolates each citation from the other. However, this full-length study of the place of the Minor Prophets in Acts asks what difference it makes to regard these four quotations as a singular contribution to Acts from a unifi ed source.
By an in-depth study of each quotation, an innovative method of intertextuality, and an eye to the overall agenda of Acts, White proves the importance of reading the Twelve Prophets in unity when it is quoted in Acts, and the integral role it plays in the redemptive-historical plotline of Acts.
Early Christians Adapting to the Roman Empire: Mutual Recognition Niko Huttunen challenges the interpretation of early Christian texts as anti-imperial documents. He presents examples of the positive relationship between early Christians and the Roman society. With the concept of “recognition” Huttunen describes a situation in which the parties can come to terms with each other without full agreement. Huttunen provides examples of non-Christian philosophers recognizing early Christians. He claims that recognition was a response to Christians who presented themselves as philosophers. Huttunen reads Romans 13 as a part of the ancient tradition of the law of the stronger. His pioneering study on early Christian soldiers uncovers the practical dimension of recognizing the empire.
What, in Matthew’s view, should a human being become and how does one attain that ideal? In
The Sermon on the Mount and Spiritual Exercises: The Making of the Matthean Self, George Branch-Trevathan presents a new account of Matthew’s ethics and argues that the evangelist presents the Sermon on the Mount as functioning like many other ancient sayings collections, that is, as facilitating transformative work on oneself, or “spiritual exercises,” that enable one to realize the evangelist’s ideals. The conclusion suggests some implications for our understanding of ethical formation in antiquity and the study of ethics more generally. This will be an essential volume for scholars studying the Gospel of Matthew, early Christian ethics, the relationships between early Christian and ancient philosophical writings, or ethical formation in antiquity.