While few today argue that Jerusalem and Pauline Christ groups chose ekklesia to distance themselves from Jewish synagogues, scholars still debate the background and meaning of this self-designation. After a concise review of the scholarly debate the article asks what one can learn from Paul’s correspondence with the Christ group in Philippi. While Paul does not address the Philippians as an ekklesia in Phil 1:1–2, he nonetheless calls them ekklesia in Phil 4:15. Yet, the city’s ekklesia of Hellenistic times was a Latin colonia after the battle at Philippi in 42 BCE. In Paul’s time, the city was ruled by a tiny Latin-speaking elite of Italian families. It is argued that by manifold allusions to political practice and language Paul recurs to the democratic traditions of the expropriated and disfranchised Greeks that were moved to the outskirts and vincula of the area.
The Psalms are an important source for the intertextual grid that underlies the Gospel of Matthew. Particularly, Matthew refers to them in several key passages throughout his gospel (e.g. Ps 91:11f. in Mt 4:6; Ps 110:1 in Mt 22:44; 26:64, Ps 69:22 in Mt 27:34.48; Ps 22 in Mt 27:188.8.131.52). Within the Parable Discourse (Mt 13:1–52) Matthew quotes Ps 78:2 as a ‘fulfillment quotation’ (Mt 13:35). After concluding that most likely the wording of Mt 13:35 does not contain a specification of καταβολή, Matthew’s source for this intertextual reference is determined to be ‘the’ Septuagint, which he changes in the second part of the quotation due to interpretational reasons. Within its closer context this reference to Ps 78:2 serves Matthew to differentiate between the crowds who merely hear what was hidden and the disciples who both hear and understand. For this purpose, Matthew has to refer to Ps 78:2 in an atomistic way. This proves that Matthew is in principle willing to atomisticaly use a psalm, which in turn is important for the discussion of the use of other psalms within the gospel – especially on the extensive use of Ps 22 within the Matthean crucifixion scene.
Genesis 18–19 presents an ambiguous image of God, as the deity is portrayed in the narrative both as YHWH and as a human being. This article examines this ambiguity in the representation of the God of Israel with a focus on the literary development of the narrative. It is argued that traces of an ancient Yahweh religion, which did not exclude the appearance of the deity in an ambiguous form (simultaneously God and human, one figure and multiple figures), are found throughout the narrative complex, suggesting that such a representation of the deity was integral to the concept of God in ancient Israel.
This article outlines some intertextual connections between Jacob and Moses, taking Gen 32:23–33 as a starting point. In this way it becomes apparent that the Jacob narratives carry traces of the Moses narrative – and vice versa. Jacob and Moses are brought together in Hos 12, which underscores these observations and further demonstrates that the textual fabric of the Hebrew Bible has become increasingly dense as well as interwoven through the ages, according to the logic of the midrash.