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The Body as Metaphor

The Structure of a Human and the Meaning of Scripture

Gregory E. Sterling


This essay considers Philo of Alexandria’s metaphor in which he used the dual nature of embodied existence (body and soul) to argue that both literal and allegorical readings are legitimate. It examines the metaphor in the framework of Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CTM) developed by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson that argues that experience is the key to meaning. A metaphor occurs when we apply a pattern that we have observed in one setting (gestalt) to another. In this case, Philo has drawn on a Platonic/Stoic understanding of being human and applied it to contested hermeneutics within the Alexandrian Jewish community in an effort to maintain a sense of unity among two groups. The metaphorical experience is the recognition that Scripture is polyvalent in the same way that being human is.

J.K. Elliott

Henk Jan de Jonge


Erasmus’ Novum Testamentum of 1519 is an improved and enlarged edition of his Novum Instrumentum of 1516. The chief component remained his new version of the NT in more cultivated Latin than that of the Vulgate. But the 1519 edition also includes several Greek paratexts not yet printed in 1516. This article discusses the Greek witnesses which were used for the new edition and points out Greek and Latin readings in which it differs from 1516. The importance of the 1519 Novum Testamentum is that it constitutes the consolidation of Erasmus’ humanistic programme for promoting the study of the NT as an essentially philological discipline. The work is Erasmus’ self-confident vindication of this programme against advocates of the Vulgate and scholastic theology.

Paul C.J. Riley


At least since the time of Westcott and Hort, the concept of explicitness has been used in the practice of New Testament textual criticism. However, until now, the concept has not been defined or tested. This article examines how explicitness has been understood and used by textual critics, and then outlines how linguistics can support the application of this concept in understanding textual transmission. It then tests the validity of the concept of explicitness for textual criticism in comparison to the results of applying traditional internal and external criteria. It also demonstrates the explanatory power of explicitness by evaluating select textual variants in the Gospel of John. It concludes that the use of explicitness for the evaluation of variants is linguistically coherent and text-critically valid and can assist in the identification of the most primitive reading.

Questioning Divine δεῖ

On Allowing Texts Not to Say Everything

Peter-Ben Smit


Frequently, δεῖ is associated with salvation history and the exercise of divine will and identified as “theological δεῖ” or “divine δεῖ”. In the history of scholarship, there is an increasing emphasis on interpreting δεῖ along these lines, thereby marginalizing other shades of meaning that this verb may have. The question is whether this course of interpretative action is justified. This will be tested in this article. In order to do so, first a brief overview of the possible shades of meaning of δεῖ will be provided; second, the occurrences of δεῖ in the Gospel of Mark are systematically reviewed; third and finally, concluding reflections will be offered, including a word of caution when it comes to deifying δεῖ. In this manner, the current study seeks to contribute to the undoing of the theosis of this particular part of early Christian vocabulary.

Jill E. Marshall


One of Paul’s most notoriously difficult arguments begins with praise that the Corinthians have kept the “traditions” just as he “handed over” to them (1 Cor 11:2). Paul does not mention “traditions” after this verse, but this introduction suggests that they play a role in his argument. This essay demonstrates how traditions are part of the rhetorical argumentation of 1 Cor 11:2-16. Paul does not strictly recite teachings that his audience knows but changes them by addition or reformulation. Two modified traditions, in 11:3 and 11:11-12, formulate different perspectives on the relationship between men and women: first, hierarchical, and second, interdependent. The essay proceeds in three parts: discussion of Paul’s παράδοσις language, rhetorical analysis of 1 Cor 11:2-16, and proposal for the two “traditions” and their function in 11:3 and 11:11-12.

Untrustworthy Believers

The Rhetorical Strategy of the Johannine Language of Commitment and Belief

Christopher Seglenieks


The Gospel of John seeks to evoke belief, the kind of belief that leads to eternal life (20:31). Yet the language of belief is used to challenge the reader, as in 2:23-25 there are believers whose faith falls short of the belief that leads to life. This account confronts a reader unprepared for the appearance of inadequate faith. In confronting the reader, the scene serves a rhetorical function to provoke the reader to question why this faith falls short, and what genuine belief entails. This pattern is repeated in a series of episodes (6:60-71; 8:30-31; 15:1-6) where characters are described in terms of faith and commitment, and yet in each case the narrative conveys that their faith-response is inadequate. These episodes contribute to a rhetorical strategy whereby readers are continually challenged to understand the nature of genuine belief, in order that they might take on such genuine belief themselves.

The Egerton Gospel (Egerton Papyrus 2 + Papyrus Köln VI 255)

Introduction, Critical Edition, and Commentary


Lorne R. Zelyck

In this commentary on the Egerton Gospel, Lorne R. Zelyck presents a fresh paleographical analysis and thorough reconstruction of the fragmentary text, which results in new readings and interpretations. Details surrounding the acquisition of the manuscript are presented for the first time, and various scholarly viewpoints on controversial topics, such as the date of composition and relationship to the canonical gospels, are addressed. This early apocryphal gospel (150-250 CE) provides traditional interpretations of the canonical gospels that are similar to those of other early Christian authors, and affirms Jesus’ continuity with the miracle-working prophets Moses and Elisha, his obedience to the Law, divinity, and violent rejection by Jewish opponents.