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Questioning Divine δεῖ

On Allowing Texts Not to Say Everything

Peter-Ben Smit

Abstract

Frequently, δεῖ is associated with salvation history and the exercise of divine will and identified as “theological δεῖ” or “divine δεῖ”. In the history of scholarship, there is an increasing emphasis on interpreting δεῖ along these lines, thereby marginalizing other shades of meaning that this verb may have. The question is whether this course of interpretative action is justified. This will be tested in this article. In order to do so, first a brief overview of the possible shades of meaning of δεῖ will be provided; second, the occurrences of δεῖ in the Gospel of Mark are systematically reviewed; third and finally, concluding reflections will be offered, including a word of caution when it comes to deifying δεῖ. In this manner, the current study seeks to contribute to the undoing of the theosis of this particular part of early Christian vocabulary.

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Jill E. Marshall

Abstract

One of Paul’s most notoriously difficult arguments begins with praise that the Corinthians have kept the “traditions” just as he “handed over” to them (1 Cor 11:2). Paul does not mention “traditions” after this verse, but this introduction suggests that they play a role in his argument. This essay demonstrates how traditions are part of the rhetorical argumentation of 1 Cor 11:2-16. Paul does not strictly recite teachings that his audience knows but changes them by addition or reformulation. Two modified traditions, in 11:3 and 11:11-12, formulate different perspectives on the relationship between men and women: first, hierarchical, and second, interdependent. The essay proceeds in three parts: discussion of Paul’s παράδοσις language, rhetorical analysis of 1 Cor 11:2-16, and proposal for the two “traditions” and their function in 11:3 and 11:11-12.

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Untrustworthy Believers

The Rhetorical Strategy of the Johannine Language of Commitment and Belief

Christopher Seglenieks

Abstract

The Gospel of John seeks to evoke belief, the kind of belief that leads to eternal life (20:31). Yet the language of belief is used to challenge the reader, as in 2:23-25 there are believers whose faith falls short of the belief that leads to life. This account confronts a reader unprepared for the appearance of inadequate faith. In confronting the reader, the scene serves a rhetorical function to provoke the reader to question why this faith falls short, and what genuine belief entails. This pattern is repeated in a series of episodes (6:60-71; 8:30-31; 15:1-6) where characters are described in terms of faith and commitment, and yet in each case the narrative conveys that their faith-response is inadequate. These episodes contribute to a rhetorical strategy whereby readers are continually challenged to understand the nature of genuine belief, in order that they might take on such genuine belief themselves.

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Edited by Howard N. Wallace

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Illness and Health Care in the Ancient Near East

The Role of the Temple in Greece, Mesopotamia, and Israel

Edited by Hector Avalos

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Edited by Dikaia Chatziefstathiou and Andrea Kathryn Talentino

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Edited by S. Lieberman

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Edited by Susan Niditch

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Edited by Leonard J. Greenspoon