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Abstract

In this article, I will examine the functions of oaths in narratives of encounter, confrontation and polemic between religious communities in late antiquity, especially Jews and Christians. Through an analysis of these narratives, I hope to show that oaths had several functions: specific oath formulae were strongly associated with specific religious identities, and as such could be used to highlight distance between religious groups. However, oaths could be used to demonstrate the permeability of religious boundaries, or even be deployed cunningly to conceal one’s identity or subvert expectations of its performance.

Open Access
In: Vigiliae Christianae

Abstract

Four fragmentary Egyptian papyrus sheets containing liturgical texts housed at the Catholic University of Milan were published by Giuseppe Ghedini in 1933 and subsequently known as the Milan Euchologion. While reportedly lost, a single photograph of the papyri preserved in Harold Idris Bell’s papers in the British Library allows for a reassessment of the arrangement and contents of the papyri. Based on a new analysis of the fragments, it is clear that they preserve the end of an anaphora (fruits of communion, intercession, and doxology), a prayer of fraction, and a prayer of thanksgiving after communion and that they date to the second half of the fourth century. This places them among the earliest material witnesses to the anaphora and the post-anaphoral part of the Eucharist.

In: Vigiliae Christianae

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