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Does John 8:44 Imply That the Devil Has a Father?

Contesting the Pro-Gnostic Reading

Stephen Robert Llewelyn, Alexandra Robinson and Blake Edward Wassell

Abstract

John 8:44 has been a source of concern because of its ambiguity. Is it to be read “of (your) father, the devil” or “of the father of the devil”? This article contends that the former, traditional reading is not ungrammatical as suggested in the grammars and more recently by DeConick and that accordingly the verse cannot be considered pro-gnostic.

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J.K. Elliott

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The Sense of Quoting

A Semiotic Case Study of Biblical Quotations

Series:

David W. Odell-Scott

Abstract

This essay argues that the neutral continuous script of ancient manuscripts of the Greek New Testament composed with no punctuation and no spacing provided readers discretionary authority to determine and assess the status of phrases as they articulated a cohesive and coherent reading of the script. The variety of reading renditions, each differently scored with punctuation, supported the production of quotations. These cultivated and harvested quotes, while useful for authorizing sectarian discourse, rarely convey the sense of the phrase in the continuous script. Augustine’s work on punctuating the scriptures in service to the production of plainer quotable passages in support of the rule of faith is addressed. The textual analysis of a plainer quotable passage at 1 Cor. 7:1b concerning male celibacy supports the thesis that plainer passages are the product of interpretative scoring of the script in service to discursive endeavours. To quote is often to misquote.

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Rafidah Mohamad Cusairi and Mahdi Zahraa

Abstract

The unavailability of civil courts to hear cases relating to Muslim family law and other related matters persuaded community leaders and religious scholars in the United Kingdom to establish several Sharīʿah councils. This article explores the role played by these councils in resolving matrimonial disputes, especially the process and procedure of issuing an Islamic divorce. Library and empirical research methods were employed. Three main uk Sharīʿah councils were visited wherein mediation and arbitration sessions, as well as monthly meetings, were observed to examine how disputes are handled and decisions made. The study leads to several findings. Mediation and arbitration are the main methods used in the process, and despite the relative success of Sharīʿah councils, they face challenges resulting from the dichotomy and overlapping jurisdictions of Islamic and English family law and the non-alignment of divorce issued by uk courts and religious divorce.