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Mapping “I Am” in the Gospel of John
Author:
This book introduces a new methodological framework based on the theory of Systemic Functional Linguistics which can examine the linguistic features of the New Testament text. By applying a two-step discourse analysis model that includes a functional-semantic analysis and a rhetorical-relational analysis, this book argues that the twenty-eight occurrences of “I am” in Jesus’s utterances throughout the Gospel of John reinforce John’s portrayal of Jesus’s divinity. In the light of John’s construing of Jesus’ divinity, this new analysis of the Johannine “I am” phrases demonstrates how Johannine Christology is expressed through the narrative of John’s Gospel with various textual characteristics.
N.T. Wright's Eschatology and Mission Theology
In this study, N.T. Wright’s exceptional work on the resurrection is shown to form the centre of his eschatology and mission theology. Wright’s emphasis on the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection for the gospel’s missional encounter with the West is highlighted. By drawing out the significance of the resurrection for Wright’s eschatological narrative, the author sets the stage for Wright’s mission theology, focusing on the church, evangelism, political theology, and eschatological ethics. Wright’s emphasis on doing history is explained in terms of the theological conviction that, since God acted in history, historical study has become a sphere of missional engagement.
Prayer in the Ancient World (PAW) is an innovative resource on prayer in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean. The over 350 entries in PAW showcase a robust selection of the range of different types of prayers attested from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Anatolia, the Levant, early Judaism and Christianity, Greece, Rome, Arabia, and Iran, enhanced by critical commentary.
The project illustrates the variety of ways human beings have sought to communicate with or influence beings with extraordinary superhuman power for millennia. By including diverse examples such as vows and oaths, blessings, curses, incantations, graffiti, iconography, and more, PAW casts a wide net. In so doing, PAW privileges no particular tradition or conception of how to interact with the divine; for example, the project refuses to perpetuate a value distinction between “prayer,” “magic,” and “cursing.”

Detailed overviews introduce each area and address key issues such as language and terminology, geographical distribution, materiality, orality, phenomenology of prayer, prayer and magic, blessings and curses, and ritual settings and ritual actors. In order to be as comprehensive as practically possible, the volume includes a representative prayer of every attested type from each tradition.

Individual entries include a wealth of information. Each begins with a list of essential details, including the source, region, date, occasion, type and function, performers, and materiality of the prayer. Next, after a concise summary and a brief synopsis of the main textual witnesses, a formal description calls attention to the exemplar’s literary and stylistic features, rhetorical structure, important motifs, and terminology. The occasions when the prayer was used and its function are analyzed, followed by a discussion of how this exemplar fits within the range of variation of this type of prayer practice, both synchronically and diachronically. Important features of the prayer relevant for cross-cultural comparison are foregrounded in the subsequent section. Following an up-to-date translation, a concise yet detailed commentary provides explanations necessary for understanding the prayer and its function. Finally, each entry concludes with a bibliography of essential primary and secondary resources for further study.

Abstract

Are name statistics in the Gospels and Acts a good test of historicity? Kamil Gregor and Brian Blais, in a recent article of the jshj , argue that the sample of name occurrences in the Gospels and Acts is too small to be determinative and that several statistical anomalies weigh against a positive verdict. Unfortunately, their conclusions result directly from improper testing and questionable data selection. Chi-squared goodness-of-fit testing establishes that name occurrences in the Gospels and Acts fit into their historical context at least as well as those in the works of Josephus. Additionally, they fit better than occurrences derived from ancient fictional sources and occurrences from modern, well-researched historical novels.

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
Author:

Abstract

Having taught the subject of the historical Jesus for more than thirty years, from New Zealand to London, I review from a personal perspective what has changed, and how I have taught the course over the decades. Overall, it seems harder to teach now than ever before, for reasons explored here.

Open Access
In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
Free access
In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus

Abstract

The hypothesis according to which Jesus and his group were somehow involved in anti-Roman resistance has been systematically opposed by some quarters through the centuries. One of the most recent examples is Jesse P. Nickel’s The Things that Make for Peace: Jesus and Eschatological Violence, a book whose author boldly claims to have ‘refuted’ that hypothesis. The present article surveys this volume, concluding that it contains several misunderstandings of the field and method, as well as serious misrepresentations of the hypothesis under discussion, to the extent that everything indicates that it is influenced by theological presuppositions. These conclusions are not limited because Nickel’s book is representative of a much wider trend within the field.

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
Author:

Abstract

This article discusses the author’s experience of teaching historical Jesus courses at several institutions in the United States over a span of fourteen years. It outlines some observed pedagogical challenges in teaching these courses and some strategies the author has employed to address them.

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus
Free access
In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus

Abstract

James Crossley and Robert Myles’s Jesus: A Life in Class Conflict is a considerable accomplishment in its situation of Jesus as a figure inseparable from the material conditions of labor exploitation. The present review discusses two topics that the book touches upon only briefly, but linger under the surface of their analysis: Jesus’ treatment of enslaved laborers and utopian social experimentation. This article juxtaposes Jesus with the roughly contemporaneous figure of Spartacus to consider about the availability of social experimentation and the location of slaves within class-based analyses of Roman antiquity.

In: Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus