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Edited by Dan Batovici and Kristin de Troyer

Reception history has emerged over the last decades as a rapidly growing domain of research, entertaining a notable methodological diversity. Authoritative Texts and Reception History samples that diversity, offering a collection of essay that discuss various reception-historical issues, from a plurality of perspectives, across several fields: Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pseudepigrapha and the Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament, early and late-antique Christianity. While furthering specific discussions in their specific fields, the contributions included here—authored by both established and emerging scholars—illustrate just how wide the umbrella of ‘reception history’ can be, and the varied range of topics, concerns and approaches it can accommodate.

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Jacobus Kok

In New Perspectives on Healing, Restoration and Reconciliation in John, Jacobus (Kobus) Kok investigates the depth and applicability of Jesus’ healing narratives in John’s gospel. Against the background of an ancient group-oriented worldview, it goes beyond the impasse of most Western approaches to interpreting the Biblical healing narratives to date.

He argues that the concept of healing was understood in antiquity (as in some parts of Africa) in a much broader way than we tend to understand it today. He shows inter alia why the interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman could be interpreted as a healing narrative, illustrating the ancient interrelationship between healing, restoration and reconciliation.

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James Keith Elliott

Early Christians built on the stories of Jesus' and Mary’s birth and childhood. Their later accounts, many of them found nowadays among collections of non-canonical ('apocryphal') texts, are important and interesting. They give insights into the growth of Christian theology, especially concerning the role and status of Mary, and also the way in which the earliest stories were elaborated and interpreted in popular folk religion.
A range of the earliest accounts is presented here in fresh translations. This second edition contains some texts originally in a variety of different languages such as Armenian, Ethiopic, Coptic and Irish, not available at the time of the first edition. The texts are arranged in small units and synoptically, in order to permit readers to compare texts and to see the differences and similarities between them.
J.K. Elliott has selected and arranged the texts, and he provides introductory and concluding chapters. He also includes a full and helpful bibliography to benefit readers who may wish to pursue this comparative study more deeply.

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Stephen O. Presley

In The Intertextual Reception of Genesis 1-3 in Irenaeus of Lyons, Stephen Presley explores the intertextual nature of Irenaeus’ interpretation of Genesis 1-3 by drawing on contemporary discussions on the topic. Irenaeus interprets the creation accounts, Presley argues, in continuity with the rest of the scriptural witness through a series of reading strategies including: a literary sense, prophetic fulfillment, typology, philological associations, organizational strategies, narratival arrangements, prosopological interpretation, illustrative identification, and general-to-particular reasoning. Irenaeus’ perspective competes with his Gnostic interlocutors who utilize similar methods of interpretation, but fashion distinctive textual relationships between Genesis 1-3 and other texts. These reading strategies circumscribe precisely how Irenaeus’ intertextual exegesis is applied to these creation texts within the integrative structure of his theological perspective.

Studies in Matthew's Gospel

Literary Design, Intertextuality, and Social Setting

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W.J.C. Weren

These Studies in Matthew’s Gospel by Wim J.C. Weren are the result of scholarly work carried out using recent methods in Biblical exegesis such as structural analysis, text semantics and intertextuality. Part One presents a new proposal regarding the macrostructure of Matthew’s Gospel and discusses meanings of textual units from this Gospel on the basis of synchronic research. In Part Two, intertextual theories are described and practical tools are developed that enable us to identify various types of relations between texts from Matthew’s Gospel and co-generic or co-thematic textual units from the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint and early Jewish and early Christian writings. Part Three answers the question to what extent the ways in which the disciples are portrayed in Matthew is related to ‘real’ groups in the Matthean communities. The three successive steps are deliberately chosen and are in a complementary relationship to each other.

Pre-Nicene Christology in Paschal Contexts

The Case of the Divine Noetic Anthropos

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Dragoş Giulea

In Pre-Nicene Christology in Paschal Contexts Dragoş A. Giulea re-examines the earliest texts related to the festival of Easter in light of Second Temple traditions. Commonly portrayed as sacrificial lamb, the key actor of the paschal narrative is here designated as heavenly Kabod, Divine Image, King of the Powers, celestial Anthropos, Demiurge, Son of Man, each of these divine names implying a corresponding soteriological function.
Dragoş A. Giulea indicates as well that the Greek philosophical vocabulary and certain idioms of the mystery religions inspired new categories which reshaped the traditional way of describing the nature of celestial entities and the epistemological capacities able to access these realities. Thus, the King of the Powers, or the Son of Man, is several times described as a noetic Anthropos, while initiation and noetic perception become the appropriate methods of accessing the divine.

Birthing Salvation

Gender and Class in Early Christian Childbearing Discourse

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Anna Rebecca Solevåg

In Birthing Salvation Anna Rebecca Solevåg explores the theme of childbearing in early Christian discourse. The book maps the importance of women’s childbearing in Greco-Roman culture and shows how childbearing discourse interfaces with salvation discourse in three early Christian texts: the Pastoral Epistles, the Acts of Andrew and the Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas. Issues of gender and class are explored through an intersectional analysis. In particular, the institution of slavery, and its implications for ideas about salvation in these texts are drawn out. Birthing Salvation offers fresh interpretations of these texts, including the peculiar statement in 1 Tim 2:15 that women “will be saved through childbearing.”

Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation

Introduction, Translation and Commentary

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Albert Geljon and D.T. Runia

The Jewish exegete and philosopher Philo of Alexandria has long been famous for his allegorical treatises on the Greek Bible. The present volume contains the first translation and commentary in English on his treatise De agricultura ( On cultivation), which gives an elaborate allegorical interpretation of Genesis 9:20. Noah’s role as a cultivator is analysed in terms of the ethical and spiritual quest of the soul making progress towards its goal. The translation renders Philo’s baroque Greek into readable modern English. The commentary pays particular attention to the treatise’s structure, its biblical basis and its exegetical and philosophical contents. The volume will be valuable for the insights it gives into an unusual but highly influential method of biblical interpretation.

The Reception and Interpretation of the Bible in Late Antiquity

Proceedings of the Montréal Colloquium in Honour of Charles Kannengiesser, 11-13 October 2006

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Edited by Lorenzo DiTommaso and Lucian Turcescu

The volume is a Festschrift offered to Charles Kannengiesser on the occasion of his 80th birthday and honours him for his numerous scholarly accomplishments. Its twenty-five contributions discuss some of the major issues pertaining to the reception and interpretation of the Bible in late antique Christianity and Judaism. They focus on the ways in which communities and individuals understood the Bible and interpreted its traditions to address their historical, social, and theological requirements. Since the Bible was by far the most important book during these centuries, a discussion of its influence in such contexts will illuminate significant aspects of the formation of western civilisation.

Exegese und Lebensform

Die Proömien der antiken griechischen Bibelkommentare

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Matthias Skeb

The study examines the prefaces of the Greek biblical commentaries in Late Antiquity. It analyzes their formal position in the traditions of commenting and the theological interests of the Christian commentators. Special attention is paid both to re-examining the widespread opinion that these prefaces are dependent on the 'schemata isagogica' of the pagan schools of philosophy, and to the presentation of the theological identity of biblical commentators.
The three main chapters analyze the traditions of non-Christian proems, the commentaries of Origen and those of the exponents of Alexandrian and Antiochene exegesis.
The book provides interesting new insights into the formal aspects, motivation, relevance and hermeneutics of the commentaries as well as into the cultural transfer on which they are based.