This article deals with the question of the nature of and scholarly approaches to studying Greek syntax in the Septuagint. The concrete point of departure is the publication of A Syntax of Septuagint Greek by T. Muraoka (Leuven: Peeters, 2016). The author discusses Muraoka’s work, while touching upon general trends in Septuagint scholarship, and reviews the book in a detailed manner. The author’s theoretical considerations are illustrated by two case studies that demonstrate the problems associated with Muraoka’s approach to syntax in the Septuagint. By way of conclusion, the author reflects on future directions in research on the Septuagint and its language usage.
While all agree that the language of the Septuagint does not represent a Jewish dialect, scholarship has nevertheless struggled to find ways of discussing the language of the Septuagint without implying a similar idea. Just as the notions of “biblical Greek” and “Jewish Greek” have rightly come under scrutiny, so also must scholars carefully reconsider “Septuagint Greek” and similar sobriquets. While admittedly helpful shorthand, such terminology may unintentionally license—or surreptitiously import—prescriptivist approaches to language that are now widely abandoned in linguistic scholarship. This article presents the ancient historical background to such approaches and surveys problematic terminology common within contemporary scholarship to illustrate its links (or lack thereof) with developments in general linguistics. More up-to-date frameworks, particularly from sociolinguistics, provide better concepts and terminology for discussing the language of the Septuagint. Attention is also given to evaluating the absence of external evidence and matters of style.
This article explores the ruach in the postexilic books of 1–2 Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Esther. First, it examines the six clear (and one ambiguous) references to the Holy Spirit in these texts. It notes the consistent use of earlier ruach traditions that have been adapted by the biblical writers in the Second Temple period to emphasize the continued presence of God’s Spirit with his covenant people. Second, it considers more ambiguous allusions to the Holy Spirit, including the involvement of the divine ruach in the creation and re-creation of the temple and orchestrating human events to accomplish God’s purposes. This study demonstrates that the retrieval of previous ruach traditions were not just adopted but adapted by the biblical writers in this new postexilic context.
In the Thessalonian correspondence, Paul, through his occasional yet repeated references to the Spirit’s role in the life of a believer, individual and corporate, teaches that the Spirit is active in a person’s life from the time faith in the gospel is kindled in them. The Spirit regenerates a sinner through deep conviction and power and continues to sanctify a person to live in holiness according to the will of God. Paul reminds them that even their joy amid suffering is the work of the Spirit in them. It enables them not only to imitate Christ and the other believing communities in suffering but also to become a model for other persecuted communities. Paul firmly encourages them to embrace the charismatic gifts of the Spirit among them, but he warns them to be cautious so as to avoid their possible misuse.
The Holy Spirit plays a significant role in 1 Corinthians. Paul discusses the role of the Spirit in personal lives, community formation, and worship, among other aspects of Christian living. Paul’s teaching about the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians cannot be understood apart from the situation of the congregation in Corinth. It is not possible to address every issue related to the Holy Spirit in an essay of this length. However, Paul highlights and sometimes elaborates on different aspects of the ministry and function of the Holy Spirit among believers in several passages. Therefore, the approach in this essay is to look at some of the passages and see how much they foster the understanding of the Holy Spirit’s work in 1 Corinthians.
The Holy Spirit is central to the message of all three of these epistles. Although 1 Peter includes more details, all three portray the Spirit as the means by which the believer is transformed in God and enabled to participate in the suffering and death of Christ. Finally, the Spirit conveys the blessing/reward for suffering. For the author of 2 Peter (1:20–21), the Spirit conveys prophecy from God through holy men to believers. Jude applies the concept that the Spirit enables the believer to live a godly life, providing the criteria for whether a life is truly Spirit-filled.
The Holy Spirit plays an indispensable role in Paul’s configuration of the Christian life. This article briefly examines the significance of the Spirit in Paul’s overall argument in 2 Corinthians. The eleven Spirit texts are explored under three main themes: the Spirit as a seal and deposit; the Spirit and the New Covenant; and the Spirit and the Trinity.