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By applying a stylistic analysis within a systemic-functional linguistic framework, this study argues that Luke's construal of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 and its co-thematic passages attempt to persuade Jewish believers of Luke's audience not to separate from multi-ethnic churches, a goal that is accomplished through subverting the value orientations of a prominent Noahic tradition within Second Temple Jewish literature that promotes strict Jewish isolation from Gentiles. As a result, this study breaks fresh methodological ground in the linguistic study on the New Testament and also advances critical scholarship on the book of Acts.
According to Raúl González Salinero, the plurality of religious expressions within Judaism prior to the predominance of the rabbinical current disproves the assumption according to which some Jewish customs and precepts (especially the Sabbath) prevented Jews from joining the Roman army without renouncing their ancestral culture. The military exemption occasionally granted to the Jews by the Roman authorities was compatible with their voluntary enlistment (as it was in the Hellenistic armies) in order to obtain Roman citizenship. As the sources attest, Judaism did not pose any insurmountable obstacle to integration of the Jews into the Roman world. They achieved a noteworthy presence in the Roman army by the fourth century CE, at which time the Church’s influence over imperial power led to their exclusion from the militia armata.
Author: Andrei Timotin
Author: Melinda Nielsen
The medieval Latin poem Speculum Humanae Salvationis (known in English as The Mirror of Human Salvation) was one of the most popular works of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries with preachers and laity alike. Utilizing a typological approach to interpretation, it combines Old Testament and New Testament events and figures to depict an integrated narrative of redemption. As such, the Speculum is not only an outstanding model of medieval biblical interpretation, but also a fascinating case study in allegorical reading habits and the interplay between text and image. This Scholars Initiative project comprises the first modern transcription and English translation of the full Latin Speculum, accompanied by annotations tracing the biblical references and detailed notes explaining the visual iconography.
Volume Editors: Athanasios Despotis and Hermut Löhr
The interest in interdisciplinary research on the experience of religious conversion or spiritual transformation grows progressively. In light of this burgeoning area of study, this volume explores conversion or converting experience in the ancient Mediterranean with attention to early Judaism, early Christianity, and philosophy in the Roman empire. The contributions include both historical and philological reconstructions relying on source material and utilizing interdisciplinary approaches. Similarly, the authors analyze the literary use of the motif of conversion, the topic of philosophical conversion as well as ritual, social and embodied aspects of spiritual transformation.