Browse results

You are looking at 1 - 100 of 6,224 items for :

  • New Testament & Early Christian Writings x

Children and Methods

Listening To and Learning From Children in the Biblical World


Edited by Kristine Henriksen Garroway and John W. Martens

In Children and Methods: Listening To and Learning From Children in the Biblical World, Kristine Henriksen Garroway and John W. Martens bring together an interdisciplinary collection of essays addressing children in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and broader ancient world. While the study of children has been on the rise in a number of fields, the methodologies by which we listen to and learn from children in ancient Judaism and Christianity have not been critically examined.

This collection of essays proposes that while the various lenses of established methods of higher criticism offer insight into the lives of children, by filtering these methods through the new field of Childist Criticism, children can be heard and seen in a new light.

The Sermon on the Mount and Spiritual Exercises

The Making of the Matthean Self


George Branch-Trevathan

What, in Matthew’s view, should a human being become and how does one attain that ideal? In The Sermon on the Mount and Spiritual Exercises: The Making of the Matthean Self, George Branch-Trevathan presents a new account of Matthew’s ethics and argues that the evangelist presents the Sermon on the Mount as functioning like many other ancient sayings collections, that is, as facilitating transformative work on oneself, or “spiritual exercises,” that enable one to realize the evangelist’s ideals. The conclusion suggests some implications for our understanding of ethical formation in antiquity and the study of ethics more generally. This will be an essential volume for scholars studying the Gospel of Matthew, early Christian ethics, the relationships between early Christian and ancient philosophical writings, or ethical formation in antiquity.


Edited by Douglas Estes

The tree of life is an iconic visual symbol at the edge of religious thought over the last several millennia. As a show of its significance, the tree bookends the Christian canon; yet scholarship has paid it minimal attention in the modern era. In The Tree of Life a team of scholars explore the origin, development, meaning, reception, and theology of this consequential yet obscure symbol. The fourteen essays trek from the origins of the tree in the texts and material culture of the ancient Near East, to its notable roles in biblical literature, to its expansion by early church fathers and Gnostics, to its rebirth in medieval art and culture, and to its place in modern theological thought.


Thomas E. Hunt

In Jerome of Stridon and the Ethics of Literary Production in Late Antiquity Thomas E. Hunt argues that Jerome developed a consistent theology of language and the human body that inflected all of his writing projects. In doing so, the book challenges and recasts the way that this important figure in Late Antiquity has been understood. This study maps the first seven years of Jerome’s time in Bethlehem (386–393). Treating his commentaries on Paul, his hagiography, his controversy with Jovinian, his correspondence with Augustine, and his translation of Hebrew, the book shows Jerome to be immersed in the exciting and dangerous currents moving through late antique Christianity.


Judith V. Stack

Metaphor and the Portrayal of the Cause(s) of Sin and Evil in the Gospel of Matthew traces the range and significance of metaphors used in Matthew for the origin and sin and evil and their congruence with key texts of the Second Temple milieu.

While traditional theology has often sought to pinpoint a single cause of sin and evil, Matthew’s use of a spectrum of metaphors undermines theologically reductionist approaches and opens up a rich range of ways for conceiving of and talking about the cause of sin and evil. Ultimately, the use of metaphor (necessary to discussions of sin) destabilizes foundationalist theologies of sin, and any theology of sin must grapple with the inherently tensive nature of metaphorical language.


Laura Delbrugge

A Scholarly Edition of the Gamaliel (Valencia: Juan Jofre, 1525) is a modernized edition of a late medieval devotional that formed part of the narrative tradition of La Vengeance de nostre Seigneur, which gained popularity from the twelfth century. The 1525 compendium Gamaliel is comprised of seven loosely related texts, including the Passion of Christ, the Destruction of Jerusalem, the biographies of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, and the Slaughter of the Innocents. The Gamaliel was reproduced in over a dozen Spanish and Catalan printed editions in the first half of the sixteenth century until it was banned by the Spanish Inquisition beginning in 1558, likely due to its anonymous authorship and apocryphal content.

Edited by Stefan Alkier and Thomas Paulsen

Diese neue Übersetzung führt die Fachkompetenzen eines Theologen und eines Klassischen Philologen zusammen und eröffnet damit eine neue Perspektive auf die Offenbarung des Johannes jenseits kirchlich-konfessioneller Hörgewohnheiten.
Der Text der Johannesapokalypse wird in zwei Fassungen geboten: Während die Lesefassung die Übersetzung als Fließtext ohne Unterbrechung durch die Vers- und Kapiteleinteilungen präsentiert, bietet die Studienfassung die Zählungen der Verse und Kapitel, um so einen Vergleich mit dem Original und anderen Übersetzungen zu ermöglichen. Die Abfolge beider Fassungen macht nicht allein die ästhetische und theologische Sprachkraft dieses hochberühmten letzten Buches der Bibel auf ungewohnte Weise lesbar, sondern führt zu zahlreichen überraschenden Erkenntnissen über die sprachliche Gestaltung und den Sinngehalt dieses äußerst komplexen Textes. Der Übersetzung beigegeben sind eine Einführung mit Erläuterung der Übersetzungsprinzipien, ein Epilog, in dem zentrale Interpretationsansätze vorgeführt werden und ein Glossar mit den markantesten semantischen Entscheidungen, das sich nicht an späteren kirchlichen Traditionen, sondern am Koine-Griechisch des 1. Jh. n. Chr. orientiert.

The Lukan Lens on Wealth and Possessions

A Perspective Shaped by the Themes of Reversal and Right Response


Rachel L. Coleman

In The Lukan Lens on Wealth and Possessions: A Perspective Shaped by Reversal and Right Response, Rachel Coleman offers a detailed look at Luke’s wealth ethic. The long-debated question of how Luke understands the relationship between followers of Jesus and material possessions is examined with careful exegesis and keen literary and theological sensitivity. The twin motifs established in Luke’s introductory unit (Luke 1:5–4:44)—reversal and right response—provide the hermeneutical lenses that allow the reader to discern a consistent Lukan perspective on wealth in the life of disciples. With an engaging style and an eye to the contemporary church, the book will appeal to both scholars and pastors.


Edited by Einar Thomassen and Christoph Markschies

The Coptic Life of Aaron

Critical Edition, Translation and Commentary


Jacques van der Vliet and Jitse Dijkstra

The Life of Aaron is one of the most interesting and sophisticated hagiographical works surviving in Coptic. The work contains descriptions of the lives of ascetic monks, in particular Apa Aaron, on the southern Egyptian frontier in the fourth and early fifth centuries, and was probably written in the sixth century. Even though the first edition of this work was already published by E.A. Wallis Budge in 1915, a critical edition remained outstanding. In this book Jitse H.F. Dijkstra and Jacques van der Vliet present not only a critical text, for the most part based on the only completely preserved, tenth-century manuscript, but also a new translation and an exhaustive commentary addressing philological, literary and historical aspects of the text.

Bar Ṣalībī’s Treatise Against the Jews

Edited and Translated with Notes and Commentary


Rifaat Ebied, Malki Malki and Lionel R. Wickham

Dionysius Bar Ṣalībī’s Treatise against the Jews offers rare and illuminating insight into Christian-Jewish-Muslim relations during the Crusader era, not from the perspective of western Crusaders, but from the frequently neglected viewpoint of the oriental orthodox tradition. Bar Ṣalībī, a distinguished hierarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church, lived in a turbulent time of heightened tensions in the Levant. The Treatise against the Jews, which forms part of the corpus of Syriac Polemical Works, investigates the prejudices of Christians and Jews towards each other during the 12 century AD.This edition and translation is based on all the available manuscripts of the text, accompanied by extensive introductions, notes and commentary as well as studies of its place in the field of Syriac Patristic Polemics.

John J. Peters

Research on Luke-Acts and the Gospels has largely overlooked the major distinction within ancient historiography between accounts written about events contemporary with the author (e.g., by Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius) and accounts written about non-contemporary events (e.g., by Diodorus, Dionysius, Plutarch, Arrian). As ancient authors writing about contemporary events represented their sources primarily in terms of autopsy and eyewitness testimony, so Luke’s preface corresponds with this practice. I argue that a proper understanding of ancient historical method, epistemology, and the use of ἐπιχειρέω (Luke 1.1; Acts 9.29; 19.13) confirm that Luke represented as the sources for his account not the ‘many’ prior accounts but rather the ‘eyewitnesses’ and ‘servants of the word’.

Discerning What the Quest of the Historical Jesus Could Not See

Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited

Richard A. Horsley

In Jesus and the Disinherited Thurman recognized that the all-important historical context of Jesus was among a people subjugated, similar to that of segregated and colonized peoples. He discerned the cost in human degradation for people subjected by overwhelming power as they struggled with fear, deception, and hate. In the Gospels he discerned Jesus’ uniquely creative response: His assurance that people are ‘children of God’ establishes a ground of personal dignity that leads to a new courage in the face of violence. Key was Jesus’ command to ‘love your enemies’, which Thurman understood broadly, as enabling the disinherited to forgive people who subjugated them. He finds in Jesus a transformative teaching and embodiment of non-violent direct action, which decisively influenced leaders of the civil rights movement. This essay will compare established scholarly interpretations of Jesus’ sayings with Thurman’s insights and explore how subsequent studies can build on them.

Esau McCaulley

Howard Thurman and the Religion of Jesus

Survival of the Disinherited and Womanist Wisdom

Mitzi J. Smith

This essay examines Howard Thurman’s interpretation of the historical Jesus and the religion of Jesus in his 1949 book Jesus and the Disinherited (jatd). Thurman interprets Jesus within his first century CE socio-historical context and from the perspective of disinherited African Americans. He articulates the significance of the religion of Jesus, versus religion about Jesus, for the disinherited and how it can ensure their survival. Since jatd addresses race/racism and class/classism but not the intersection of race, gender, and class, I place jatd in conversation with black feminist Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider, womanist theologian Delores Williams’ Sisters in the Wilderness, and Angela Sim’s Lynched, who focus on the survival of black women (Lorde and Williams) and the resilience of black people living in a culture of fear.

Emerson Powery

This essay contextualizes Thurman’s “Jesus” within academia and the larger Western milieu of the 1940–1950s. Thurman offered a usable construction in order to encourage people to eliminate their “fear” of the other, discourage their use of “deception” as a strategy of survival, and replace their “hate” with love for the other, as a means of maintaining their own human dignity for the purpose of thriving in an American society that preferred their ghettoized isolation and dehumanized existence.

Jemar Tisby

This short introduction to the life of Howard Thurman contextualizes his most celebrated book, Jesus and the Disinherited, with attention to the conditions of his childhood, social placement, career, and religious life.

Dennis R. Edwards

First Peter relies heavily upon the Jesus tradition found in the Gospels in order to motivate and encourage followers of Jesus who were being marginalized and harassed by the dominant society. Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited does the same work as 1 Peter. The social condition of Thurman and his audience mirrors that of the addressees of 1 Peter. This essay compares Jesus and the Disinherited and 1 Peter, demonstrating how both authors relied upon the Jesus tradition, especially the Sermon on the Mount and the Passion.

Abraham Smith

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited (1949). Thurman’s classic was not a work of dogma nor a variation on the so-called “Quest for the Historical Jesus.” Instead, Thurman’s classic primarily offered a mystic’s message of hope to many marginalized persons in the first half of the twentieth century. In part, Jesus and the Disinherited reveals Jesus’s insight about the importance of personal dignity for dispossessed persons in any age. In part, Jesus and the Disinherited also frames the mystic’s message of hope as a defense of Thurman’s affinity for a religion that reputedly was linked to a long history of oppression, colonization, violence, and exploitation. Thus, in Jesus and the Disinherited, Thurman avers that there is a distinction between the religion of Jesus (which Thurman put on the side of the marginalized) and institutional Christianity (which Thurman saw as aligned with dominant societal structures).

Thurman among Modern Jesus Scholars

Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited in Conversation with Jens Schröter and Dale Allison

Esau McCaulley

Written in honor of the seventy-year anniversary of Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited, this paper takes up Thurman’s plea that we should consider the relevance of historical Jesus studies to the oppressed. I heed his call by examining Thurman’s claims about Jesus’ life and ministry in light of the work of two contemporary Jesus scholars whose work on social history have moved the conversation forward in our day, Jens Schröter and Dale Allison. This comparison shows that many of Thurman’s insights about Jesus stand up to critical scrutiny. I then ask probing questions of Schröter and Allison’s work, particularly what their scholarship has to say to the disinherited.


Edited by Edmondo F. Lupieri

An international team of twenty scholars under Edmondo F. Lupieri’s direction produced Mary Magdalene from the New Testament to the New Age and Beyond. While the historical figure of the Magdalene may be lost forever, the construction of her literary images and their transformations and adaptations over the centuries are a lively testimony to human creativity and faith. Different pictures of Mary travelled through time and space, from history to legend and mythology, crossed religious boundaries, going beyond the various Christianities, to become a “sign of contradiction” for many. This book describes a special case of biblical reception history, that of the New Testament figure of a woman whose presence at the side of Jesus has been disturbing for some, but proves to be inspiring for others.

Religion in Ephesos Reconsidered

Archaeology of Spaces, Structures, and Objects


Edited by Daniel Schowalter, Sabine Ladstätter, Steven J. Friesen and Christine Thomas

Religion in Ephesos Reconsidered provides a detailed overview of the current state of research on the most important Ephesian projects offering evidence for religious activity during the Roman period. Ranging from huge temple complexes to hand-held figurines, this book surveys a broad scope of materials. Careful reading of texts and inscriptions is combined with cutting-edge archaeological and architectural analysis to illustrate how the ancient people of Ephesos worshipped both the traditional deities and the new gods that came into their purview. Overall, the volume questions traditional understandings of material culture in Ephesos, and demonstrates that the views of the city and its inhabitants on religion were more complex and diverse than has been previously assumed.

Intolerance, Polemics, and Debate in Antiquity

Politico-Cultural, Philosophical, and Religious Forms of Critical Conversation


Edited by George H. van Kooten and Jacques van Ruiten

In Intolerance, Polemics, and Debate in Antiquity scholars reflect on politico-cultural, philosophical, and religious forms of critical conversation in the ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, Graeco-Roman, and early-Islamic world. They enquire into the boundaries between debate, polemics, and intolerance, and address their manifestations in both philosophy and religion. This cross-cultural and inclusive approach shows that debate and polemics are not so different as often assumed, since polemics may also indicate that ultimate values are at stake. Polemics can also have a positive effect, stimulating further cultural development. Intolerance is more straightforwardly negative. Religious intolerance is often a justification for politics, but also elite rationalism can become totalitarian. The volume also highlights the importance of the fluency of minorities in the dominant discourses and of their ability to develop contrapuntal lines of thought within a common cultural discourse.


A Commentary on Leueitikon in Codex Vaticanus


Mark Awabdy

In Leviticus Awabdy offers the first commentary on the Greek version of Leviticus according to Codex Vaticanus (4th century CE), which binds the Old and New Testaments into a single volume as Christian scripture. Distinct from other LXX Leviticus commentaries that employ a critical edition and focus on translation technique, Greco-Roman context and reception, this study interprets a single Greek manuscript on its own terms in solidarity with its early Byzantine users unversed in Hebrew. With a formal-equivalence English translation of a new, uncorrected edition, Awabdy illuminates Leueitikon in B as an aesthetic composition that not only exhibits inherited Hebraic syntax and Koine lexical forms, but its own structure and theology, paragraph (outdented) divisions, syntax and pragmatics, intertextuality, solecisms and textual variants.

The Egerton Gospel (Egerton Papyrus 2 + Papyrus Köln VI 255)

Introduction, Critical Edition, and Commentary


Lorne R. Zelyck

In this commentary on the Egerton Gospel, Lorne R. Zelyck presents a fresh paleographical analysis and thorough reconstruction of the fragmentary text, which results in new readings and interpretations. Details surrounding the acquisition of the manuscript are presented for the first time, and various scholarly viewpoints on controversial topics, such as the date of composition and relationship to the canonical gospels, are addressed. This early apocryphal gospel (150-250 CE) provides traditional interpretations of the canonical gospels that are similar to those of other early Christian authors, and affirms Jesus’ continuity with the miracle-working prophets Moses and Elisha, his obedience to the Law, divinity, and violent rejection by Jewish opponents.


Elijah Hixson

In Scribal Habits in Sixth-Century Greek Purple Codices, Elijah Hixson assesses the extent to which unique readings reveal the tendencies of the scribes who produced three luxury manuscripts of Matthew’s Gospel. The manuscripts, Codex Purpureus Petropolitanus (N 022), Codex Sinopensis (O 023) and Codex Rossanensis (Σ 042), were each copied in the sixth century from the same exemplar. Hixson compares the results of a modified singular readings method to the number of actual changes each scribe made. An edition of the lost exemplar and transcriptions of Matthew in each manuscript follow in the appendices. Of particular relevance to New Testament textual criticism is the observation that the singular readings method does not accurately reveal the habits of these three scribes.

Reinhard Pummer

The paper seeks to shed light on the ministry and reception of Jesus of Nazareth as perceived through the lens of the Gospel of John in the light of Samaritan, Galilean, and Judean perspectives. Flavius Josephus and the Samaritan tradition help us to gain a better understanding of certain details expressed or alluded to in the gospels. In particular, on the basis of these two sources the paper puts into context the gospel passage that is best informed about the relations between Samaritans and Jews, viz. John 4:1–42. It thus aims at elucidating the Samaritan references in the Gospel of John by current research on Samaritanism.

J. K. Elliott

Christological Punctuation

A Note on Phil 2:7

Robert Matthew Calhoun


The 26th edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, followed by the 27th and 28th editions, deleted a punctuation variant in Phil 2:7 noted in the 25th, which drew attention to a syntactical ambiguity in the construal of three successive participial phrases (7b–d). Resolutions of this ambiguity have significant consequences for the passage’s christological perspective. Future editions should revise and restore this variant.

Laurent Pinchard


This essay discusses the text of the 3rd c. uncial 0171. The uncial consists of three fragments, two pertaining to the text of Luke, and one pertaining to the text of Matthew (10: 17-32), which is the focus of the present study. Despite its extremely fragmentary nature, certain letters are sufficiently legible to permit a faithful reconstruction of the text. Although the “Western” character of the manuscript is well-established, some of the earlier studies of the textual variants seem to have overlooked or misinterpreted a number of key elements. Through a verse by verse reassessment of the textual variants in MS 0171, this study suggests some new explanations for their origins, and concludes that this is an important witness to the transmission of the text of the Greek New Testament.

Robert J. Myles and Michael Kok


John 18:15–16 mentions an unknown disciple of Jesus who “was known to the high priest” giving him access to the events in Caiaphas’s courtyard. A minority of scholars maintain the identity of this disciple is consistent with John, the son of Zebedee, whom they also maintain was the author of the Fourth Gospel. To support this position, the commonplace fiction of Galilean fishermen belonging to an aspiring “middle-class” is asserted. This article reviews the arguments and suggests that a more robust representation of class stratification in the ancient world demonstrates the implausibility of such a scenario.

Romans 7 and the Resurrection of Lament in Christ

The Wretched “I” and His Biblical Doppelgänger

Will N. Timmins


Relatively little attention has been paid to biblical parallels to the wretched “I” of Rom 7:14–25. A few scholars have observed features shared with the psalms of lament, but these studies have been limited in scope and have proved inconclusive in identifying the “I.” A comparison between Romans 7 and one of the psalms of lament, namely Psalm 119, reveals a number of significant verbal and conceptual correspondences, which throw fresh light onto previously unclear aspects of the “I”’s monologue. In addition, Paul’s wretched “I” is revealed as inhabiting the same symbolic world as the Christ-believers in Rome, experiencing with them the resurrection of lament in Christ.

“Through Whom He Made the Ages”

A Salvation-Historical Interpretation of Heb 1:2c

K. R. Harriman


The default translation of the phrase δι’ οὗ καὶ ἐποίησεν τοὺς αἰῶνας in Heb 1:2c is spatial: “through whom he made the worlds/universe.” The typical explanation for why this temporal term should have a spatial meaning is that αἰών can have the sense of “the ages and everything in them,” so that it is roughly equivalent to the universe of space and time. In contrast, this paper demonstrates on the bases of lexical-historical, broad contextual, and immediate contextual evidence that a temporal translation (“ages” as in history) is preferable and that this temporal sense is more specifically salvation-historical in meaning.

Tamás Visi

The consensus of present-day historians that Jesus was crucified around the year 30 ce has been challenged by a minority of scholars who argue that the execution of John the Baptist could not take place earlier than 35 ce, and for that reason Jesus must have been crucified at the Passover of 36 ce. This paper argues that both parties have strong and convincing arguments, and for that reason we must conclude that John was probably executed after Jesus’ death. The collective memory of the early Christians did not succeed in retaining the chronological order of these events, and this circumstance allowed the synoptics to turn the Baptist into a forerunner of Christ.


Edited by Antti Laato

Understanding the Spiritual Meaning of Jerusalem in Three Abrahamic Religions analyzes the historical, social and theological factors which have resulted in Jerusalem being considered a holy place in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It also surveys the transmission of the religious traditions related to Jerusalem. This volume centralizes both the biblical background of Jerusalem’s pivotal role as holy place and its later development in religious writings; the biblical imagery has been adapted, rewritten and modified in Second Temple Jewish writings, the New Testament, patristic and Jewish literature, and Islamic traditions. Thus, all three monotheistic religions have influenced the multifaceted, interpretive traditions which help to understand the current religious and political position of Jerusalem in the three main Abrahamic faiths.

Sigurd Grindheim

This article challenges the emerging consensus that Jesus was a faithful Jew whose teaching could be understood within the bounds of first-century Jewish legal discussion. It is argued that Mark’s remark, that “Jesus declared all foods clean” (Mk 7:19b), adequately represents the originally intended meaning of an authentic saying regarding ethical and ceremonial purity (Mk 7:15, 18–19 par.). If so, he did not consider all of the stipulations of the Mosaic law to be binding.


Edited by Jörg Frey, Matthijs Dulk, den and Jan van der Watt

In the 2016 Radboud Prestige Lectures, published in this volume, Jörg Frey develops a new perspective on 2 Peter by arguing that the letter is dependent on the Apocalypse of Peter. Frey argues that reading 2 Peter against the backdrop of the Apocalypse of Peter sheds new light on many longstanding interpretative questions and offers fresh insights into the history of second-century Christianity. Frey’s lectures are followed by responses from leading scholars in the field, who discuss Frey’s proposal in ways both critical and constructive. Contributors include: Richard Bauckham, Jan Bremmer, Terrance Callan, Paul Foster, Jeremy Hultin, Tobias Nicklas, David Nienhuis and Martin Ruf.

History, Biography, and the Genre of Luke-Acts

An Exploration of Literary Divergence in Greek Narrative Discourse


Andrew W. Pitts

Unlike contemporary literary-linguistic configurations of genre, current methodologies for the study of the Gospel genre are designed only to target genre similarities not genre differences. This basic oversight results in the convoluted discussion we witness in Lukan genre study today. Each recent treatment of the genre of Luke-Acts represents a distinct effort to draw parallels between Luke-Acts and a specific (or multiple) literary tradition(s). These studies all underestimate the role of literary divergence in genre analysis, leveraging much—if not, all—of their case on literary proximity. This monograph will show how attention to literary divergence from a number of angles may bring resolution to the increasingly complex discussions of the genre(s) of Luke-Acts.

Paulus als interkultureller Vermittler

Eine Studie zur kulturellen Positionierung des Apostels der Völker


Esther Kobel

Editorial-board Sandra Huebenthal, Jacqueline Eliza Vayntrub, Zeba Crook and Anselm C. Hagedorn

Paulus als interkultureller Vermittler: Wie der Jude Paulus als Christusgläubiger sein Evangelium unter den Menschen aus den Völkern verbreitete. Der als Jude geborene Apostel Paulus sah sich berufen, das Evangelium der Auferstehung Christi unter den Völkern zu vermitteln. Die vorliegende kulturwissenschaftlich geprägte Studie zeigt auf, dass und in welcher Weise Paulus seine bikulturelle Persönlichkeit einsetzte, um die Menschen aus den Völkern für seine Version des Evangeliums von Jesus Christus zu gewinnen. Im Fokus der Untersuchung zu Paulus als Vermittler in einem Kulturtransfergeschehen stehen die paulinischen Selbstbeschreibungen, insbesondere deren „Spitzensätze“ (1 Kor 9,19–23) sowie als beispielhafte Manifestation seiner Adaptabilität die Selbstdarstellung als Wettkämpfer (1 Kor 9,24–27).

Editorial-board Sandra Huebenthal, Zeba Crook, Anselm C. Hagedorn and Jacqueline Eliza Vayntrub

Die Erforschung der kulturellen Kontexte der Bibel hat neue Wege eröffnet, biblische Texte als kulturelle Artefakte und Zeugnisse für bestimmte Orte, Zeiten und Umstände zu lesen und zu verstehen. Ziel der Reihe ist es, neueste Forschungsergebnisse aus den Bereichen Kultur – einschließlich Sozialwissenschaften, Wissenschaft, Wirtschaft, Recht und Literatur – sowie hermeneutische Ansätze zur Produktion und Rezeption der Bibel als Kulturtext zu veröffentlichen.

Die Reihe konzentriert sich überwiegend auf Monographien, ist aber auch offen für inter- und transdisziplinäre wissenschaftliche Sammelbände über die Texte und Zusammenhänge einzelner biblischer Bücher, darunter Werke aus Ästhetik, Kunst und Poesie. Akzeptiert werden Beiträge in Englisch, Französisch und Deutsch. Alle Manuskripte werden in einem Peer-Review-Verfahren bewertet.

Essen im antiken Judentum und Urchristentum

Diskurse zur sozialen Bedeutung von Tischgemeinschaft, Speiseverboten und Reinheitsvorschriften


Christina Eschner

In Essen im antiken Judentum und Urchristentum untersucht Christina Eschner die Auseinandersetzungen zum jüdischen Gesetz innerhalb des Urchristentums vor dem Hintergrund vergleichbarer Diskurse im antiken Judentum. Ziel ist es, die urchristliche Praxis des Gesetzes in ihrem größeren Kontext darzustellen und ihr gegebenenfalls einen bestimmten Platz im facettenreichen Bild der zeitgenössischen jüdischen Strömungen zuzuweisen. Dabei finden Schriften aus Qumran, dem griechischsprachigen und dem rabbinischen Judentum Berücksichtigung. Der Fokus liegt auf Vorschriften zu verbotenen Speisen, zur Tischgemeinschaft und zur erlaubten Art und Weise der Nahrungsaufnahme. Auch pagane Traditionen werden einbezogen. Damit ist diese Studie besonders interdisziplinär ausgerichtet. Sie bewegt sich an der Schnittstelle zwischen Themenfeldern der neutestamentlichen Wissenschaft, der Altphilologie, der Alten Geschichte und der Judaistik. Sie kommt zu dem Ergebnis, dass die urchristlichen Diskurse zum Essen nicht auf eine vollständige Abschaffung der entsprechenden jüdischen Gesetzesanordungen zielen.

In Essen im antiken Judentum und Urchristentum Christina Eschner examines the Early Christian disputes about the Jewish law against the background of Ancient Jewish discourses on commands of the law, in order to situate the Early Christian practice of the law within its broader context. Jewish sources include the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jewish writings in Greek and early rabbinic texts. This study focusses on rules concerning prohibited food, table fellowship and the permissible way of food intake. Pagan traditions are also considered. Thus, the work has an interdisciplinary orientation, discussing issues at the junction of New Testament studies, Classics, Ancient History and Jewish studies. It concludes that Early Christian food discourses do not aim for the complete abolition of the law.

Questioning the Historicity of Jesus

Why a Philosophical Analysis Elucidates the Historical Discourse


Raphael Lataster

This volume moves beyond the mainstream scholarly scepticism over the Christ of Faith and considers if there is sufficient evidence to establish the existence of the more mundane Historical Jesus. Using the logical tools of the analytic philosopher, Lataster finds that the relevant sources are unreliable as historical documents, and that the key method of those purporting that the Historical Jesus existed is to appeal to sources that do not exist. Considering an ancient hypothesis suggesting that Jesus began as a celestial messiah that certain Second Temple Jews already believed in, and was later allegorised in the Gospels, Lataster discovers that it is more reasonable to at least be agnostic over Jesus’ historicity.

Sōtēria: Salvation in Early Christianity and Antiquity

Festschrift in Honour of Cilliers Breytenbach on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday


Edited by David du Toit, Christine Gerber and Christiane Zimmermann

In Sōtēria: Salvation in Early Christianity and Antiquity, an international team of scholars assembles to honour the distinguished academic career of New Testament scholar Cilliers Breytenbach. Colleagues and friends consider in which manner concepts of salvation were constructed in early Christianity and its Jewish and Graeco-Roman contexts. Studies on aspects of soteriology in the New Testament writings, such as in the narratives on Jesus’ life and work, and theological interpretations of his life and death in the epistolary literature, are supplemented by studies on salvation in the Apostolic Fathers, Marcion, early Christian inscriptions and Antiochian theology. The volume starts with some exemplary studies on salvation in the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea scrolls, the Septuagint, and popular Graeco-Roman literature and philosophy. Furthermore, some contributions shed light on the ancient cultural background of early Christian soteriological concepts.


Jonathan E Soyars

In The Shepherd of Hermas and the Pauline Legacy, Jonathan E. Soyars traces the influence of Pauline literary traditions upon one of the most widely attested and influential apocalyptic texts from early Christianity. Scholarship largely considers Hermas to have known very little about Pauline letters, but by looking beyond verbatim quotations Soyars discovers extensive evidence of his adoption, adaptation, and synthesis of identifiable Pauline material in the Visions, Mandates, and Similitudes sections. Hermas emerges as a Pauline interpreter who creatively engages topics and themes developed within and across the Pauline letters through time. These results reconnect the Shepherd with early Paulinism and extend reconstructions of the sphere of Pauline influence in the second century C.E.

Dynamis eis Soterian

Investigating the Semantic Background of a New Testament Syntagma

Marion Christina Hauck


This study shows that the syntagma δύναµις εἰς σωτηρίαν was widely used in ancient Greek literature of the Classical, Hellenistic, and Greco-Roman periods. A semantic context analysis reveals that “danger” is the common intersection of all contexts in which the syntagma δύναµις εἰς σωτηρίαν occurs. In a modified way it also appears in texts of the New Testament (Rom 1:16; 1 Pet 1:5): By using δύναµις (θεοῦ) εἰς σωτηρίαν in a context focused on danger, Paul (as well as the author of 1 Peter) indicates that his use of the syntagma is consistent with the pagan, non-biblical use of δύναµις εἰς σωτηρίαν.

“Ihr kennt weder mich noch meinen Vater”

Philologische Überlegungen zu Joh 8:19

Hans Förster


Jesus’ statement in John 8:19 is most often interpreted from the perspective of a theology of revelation. From a philological perspective, however, there is also a possible interpretation that understands Jesus’ interaction with his jewish audience in John 8:13-20 as a typical Johannine Misunderstanding.

Jeffrey Tripp


The Fourth Gospel portrays Jesus as having special knowledge of himself and his future, but also of the people and events around him. While John’s Jesus always has divine insight, he does not always share it. Jesus neither shares nor hides special knowledge haphazardly, but in service of two interrelated goals: sharing special knowledge persuades doubting characters in order to build a group of believers to receive the Spirit after his death. Jesus hides special knowledge in order to ensure a proper death at his hour. In this way, John explains how a character who exerts sovereign control throughout the Gospel is nevertheless betrayed and executed.

“My Kingdom Lasts Forever”

Bringing King Job (T.Job 31–33) into the Conversation on Exalted Patriarchs and Early Christology

Gregory R. Lanier


In the field of research on the Jewish background of NT Christology, exalted patriarchs (famous OT figures endowed with transcendent characteristics) play a prominent role. One key figure has been almost overlooked in such comparative work: Job as portrayed in the Testament of Job. As a king with a glorious heavenly throne, a position at the right hand of God, and an eternal kingdom, this Job bears a profile on par with—if not exceeding—that of other important figures in post-biblical Jewish literature (Adam, Abel, Enoch, Melchizedek, Joseph, and Moses). This study argues that Job should be added to the roster of such Jewish figures for future work on early Christology.

Putting on the New Self

Costume and Character in Eph 4:22–24

David Starling


This article argues that the principal background against which the clothing metaphor in Eph 4:22, 24 would have been understood by the letter’s original hearers is that of the theater, within which changes of costume signalled changes of identity, character, or fate. After a brief survey of recent scholarly commentaries (which pay surprisingly little attention to the possibility of a theatrical background to the metaphor in these verses) it highlights instances of similar expressions within Greco-Roman theatrical contexts, both literal and metaphorical, discusses the relevant aspects of ancient dramatic theory and practice, and explores the implications of this reading for theological interpretation of Ephesians.

The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5)

A Study of Determinism and Early Christian Philosophy of Ethics


Paul Linjamaa

In The Ethics of The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5) Paul Linjamaa offers the first full length thematical monograph on the longest Valentinian text extant today. By investigating the ethics of The Tripartite Tractate, this study offers in-depth exploration of the text's ontology, epistemology, theory of will, and passions, as well as the anthropology and social setting of the text.
Valentinians have often been associated with determinism, which has been presented as “Gnostic” and then not taken seriously, or been disregarded as an invention of ancient intra-Christian polemics. Linjamaa challenges this conception and presents insights into how early Christian determinism actually worked, and how it effectively sustained viable and functioning ethics.

Biblical Interpretation and African Traditional Religion

Cross-Cultural and Community Readings in Owamboland, Namibia


Helen C. John

In Biblical Interpretation and African Traditional Religion, Helen C. John juxtaposes grassroots biblical interpretations from Owamboland, Namibia, with professional interpretations of selected New Testament texts, effectively demonstrating the capacity of grassroots interpretations to destabilise, challenge and nuance dominant professional interpretations. John uses a cross-cultural and dialogical approach – ‘Cross-Cultural Biblical Interpretation Groups’ – to explore the relationship between African Traditional Religion (ATR), Christianity and biblical interpretation in Owamboland, Namibia. She contextualises the grassroots Owambo interpretations using fieldwork experiences and ethnographic literature, thus heightening the cross-cultural encounter. In particular, John reflects on Western epistemologies and the Eurocentric interpretative trends that are brought into relief by the African interpretations gathered in Owamboland.

Bruce Chilton

Alan Segal rejected the claim that the “empty tomb” must be taken as the fulcrum of analysis for Jesus’ Resurrection. He characterized that argument as the project of “a small group of scholars made up entirely of the faithful trying to impose their faith in the form of an academic argument.”1 Although Segal’s criticism is too broadly articulated to be convincing, it identifies a weakness in recent discussion. The tomb of Jesus, judged by the statements of the texts involved and their developing tendencies, is better described as “emptying” as time went on than as “empty” from the outset. More importantly, reference to the tomb conveyed differing emphases among tradents, and distinctive outlooks on the Resurrection. Awareness of both the exegetical trajectory of the relevant texts and their varying perspectives leads to the suggestion that the “empty tomb” needs to be replaced as the point of departure in discussion.

Cristiana Facchini

This article is devoted to Leon Modena’s anti-Christian polemical work Magen ve-herev (1643 ca.) as a useful source for the reconstruction of notions about the historical Jesus in the early modern period. In this work, Modena depicts Jesus in a sympathetic way, placing his religious activity against the backdrop of second Temple Judaism. Modena’s Jesus is fully Jewish, and Magen ve-herev offers different perspectives on the religious and historical context of Jesus’ life, and on the development of Christianity. The text is interpreted not exclusively against the backdrop of Jewish anti-Christian polemics but as the result of an increasing interest in the history of Christianity and ecclesiastical history, mainly as a response to the religious strife that resonated in the Republic of Venice and its ghetto.

Revolutionary Contexts for the Quest

Jesus in the Rhetoric and Methods of Early Modern Intellectual History

Jonathan C.P. Birch

This article contributes to a new perspective on the historical Jesus in early modern intellectual history. This perspective looks beyond German and academic scholarship, and takes account of a plurality of religious, social, and political contexts. Having outlined avenues of research which are consistent with this approach, I focus on radicalised socio-political contexts for the emergence of ‘history’ as a category of analysis for Jesus. Two contexts will be discussed: the late eighteenth century, with reference to Joseph Priestley, Baron d’Holbach, and their associations with the French Revolution; and the interregnum period in seventeenth-century Britain, with reference to early Quaker controversies and the apologetic work of Henry More. I identify ideas about Jesus in those contexts which have echoed in subsequent scholarship, while challenging the notion that there is a compelling association between sympathetic historical conceptions of Jesus (as opposed to theological) and a tendency towards radical and revolutionary politics.

Anthony Giambrone

This study helps critically distance future scholarship from the rhetorical and religious agenda of Albert Schweitzer’s Quest of the Historical Jesus, with the corollary aim of problematizing the widespread ‘Three Quests’ heuristic, so dependent upon it. The pronounced ambitions and strongly marked German Protestant social location of Schweitzer’s project will be exposed by calling to witness a very early, yet widely neglected reception of his work: Marie-Joseph Lagrange’s The Meaning of Christianity according to German Exegesis (1917). The quite different, though no less contextualized socio-religious location of this French Catholic priest will serve to highlight some significant phenomena obscured by the standard picture of the history of Jesus research, above all its deep theoretical roots in the Radical Reformation.

Theses on the Nature of the Leben-Jesu-Forschung

A Proposal for a Paradigm Shift in Understanding the Quest

Fernando Bermejo-Rubio

Criticisms addressed to the historiographical paradigm of the so-called ‘three quests’ by several scholars with different ideological backgrounds and who have worked independently have debunked it by proving its untenable character. The present paper makes a proposal for a new paradigm which allows us to understand the quest of the historical Jesus in a more comprehensive, lucid and explanatory way. This proposal has been articulated through a set of theses, accompanied in each case by an explanation (and, sometimes, by corollaries), accomplishing a threefold task: a broader characterization of historical Jesus research, a summary discussion of the main distortions contained in the ‘three-quests’ model, and, more importantly, an exposition of the basic principles of a new paradigm.

The Work of Isaac Ben Abraham Troki (16th Century)

On the Place of the Sefer Hizzuq Emunah in the Quest for the Historical Jesus

Miriam Benfatto

The Jewish anti-Christian polemical literature includes in its arguments the figure of Jesus of Nazareth, since one of its main goals is to discredit certain attributes of the Christian Messiah. This literature, however, has been so far almost completely overlooked in the Leben-Jesu-Forschung. The present paper draws attention to the figure of Jesus that can be seen in the famous text of Isaac ben Abraham Troki, the Sefer Hizzuq Emunah (end of the 16th century), whose controversial deconstruction of the Christological figure of Jesus allows us to discover a particular type of historical construction.


David I. Yoon

In A Discourse Analysis of Galatians and the New Perspective on Paul, David I. Yoon outlines discourse analysis from the framework of Systemic Functional Linguistics for analyzing Paul’s letter to the Galatians. From this analysis, he determines whether the context of situation better reflects the New Perspective on Paul, covenantal nomism, or a more traditional perspective, legalism.

The first half of the book introduces the New Perspective on Paul and discourse analysis, followed by a detailed model of SFL discourse analysis with respect to register and context of situation. The second half is a discourse analysis of Galatians. This is the first monograph-length study to address the New Perspective on Paul from a linguistic approach, and will as such be of great interest to scholars of Pauline Studies, linguistics, and theology.

Biblical Exegesis without Authorial Intention?

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Authorship and Meaning


Edited by Clarissa Breu

In Biblical Exegesis without Authorial Intention? Interdisciplinary Approaches to Authorship and Meaning, Clarissa Breu offers interdisciplinary contributions to the question of the author in biblical interpretation with a focus on “death of the author” theory. The wide range of approaches represented in the volume comprises mostly postmodern theory (e. g. Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Paul de Man, Julia Kristeva and Gilles Deleuze), but also the implied author and intentio operis. Furthermore, psychology, choreography, reader-response theories and anthropological studies are reflected. Inasmuch as the contributions demonstrate that biblical studies could utilize significantly more differentiated views on the author than are predominantly presumed within the discipline, it is an invitation to question the importance and place attributed to the author.


Tyler Smith

The Fourth Gospel and the Manufacture of Minds in Ancient Historiography, Biography, Romance, and Drama is the first book-length study of genre and character cognition in the Gospel of John. Informed by traditions of ancient literary criticism and the emerging discipline of cognitive narratology, Tyler Smith argues that narrative genres have generalizable patterns for representing cognitive material and that this has profound implications for how readers make sense of cognitive content woven into the narratives they encounter. After investigating conventions for representing cognition in ancient historiography, biography, romance, and drama, Smith offers an original account of how these conventions illuminate the Johannine narrative’s enigmatic cognitive dimension, a rich tapestry of love and hate, belief and disbelief, recognition and misrecognition, understanding and misunderstanding, knowledge, ignorance, desire, and motivation.

Jesus the Samaritan

Ethnic Labeling in the Gospel of John


Stewart Penwell

In Jesus the Samaritan: Ethnic Labeling in the Gospel of John, Stewart Penwell examines how ethnic labels function in the Gospel of John. After a review of the discourse history between “the Jews” and “the Samaritans,” the dual ethnic labeling in John 4:9 and 8:48 are examined and, in each instance, members from “the Jews” and “the Samaritans” label Jesus as a member of each other’s group for deviating from what were deemed acceptable practices as a member of “the Jews.” The intra-textual links between John 4 and 8 reveal that the function of Jesus’s dual ethnic labeling is to establish a new pattern of practices and categories for the “children of God” (1:12; 11:52) who are a trans-ethnic group united in fictive kinship and embedded within the Judean ethnic group’s culture and traditions.


Edited by Stanley E. Porter and Christopher D. Land

In Paul and Scripture, an international group of scholars discuss a range of topics related to the Apostle Paul and his relationship(s) with Jewish Scripture. The essays represent a broad spectrum of viewpoints, with some devoted to methodological issues, others to general patterns in Paul’s uses of Scripture, and still others to specific letters or passages within the traditional Pauline canon (inclusive of the disputed letters). The end result is an overview of the various ways in which Paul the Apostle weaves into his writings the authority, content, and even wording of Jewish Scriptures.

The Sons of God in Genesis 6:1–4

Analysis and History of Exegesis


J.J.T. Doedens

In The Sons of God in Genesis 6:1–4, Jaap Doedens offers an overview of the history of exegesis of the enigmatic text about the ‘sons of God’, the ‘daughters of men’, and the ‘giants’. First, he analyzes the text of Gen 6:1–4. Subsequently, he tracks the different exegetical proposals from the earliest exegesis until those of modern times. He further provides the reader with an evaluation of the meaning of the expression ‘sons of God’ in the Old Testament and the Ancient Near East. In the last chapter, he concentrates on the message and function of Gen 6:1–4. This volume comprehensively gathers ancient and modern exegetical attempts, providing the means for an ongoing dialogue about this essentially complex and elusive passage.


Edited by David Frankfurter

In the midst of academic debates about the utility of the term “magic” and the cultural meaning of ancient words like mageia or khesheph, this Guide to the Study of Ancient Magic seeks to advance the discussion by separating out three topics essential to the very idea of magic. The three major sections of this volume address (1) indigenous terminologies for ambiguous or illicit ritual in antiquity; (2) the ancient texts, manuals, and artifacts commonly designated “magical” or used to represent ancient magic; and (3) a series of contexts, from the written word to materiality itself, to which the term “magic” might usefully pertain.

The individual essays in this volume cover most of Mediterranean and Near Eastern antiquity, with essays by both established and emergent scholars of ancient religions.

In a burgeoning field of “magic studies” trying both to preserve and to justify critically the category itself, this volume brings new clarity and provocative insights. This will be an indispensable resource to all interested in magic in the Bible and the Ancient Near East, ancient Greece and Rome, Early Christianity and Judaism, Egypt through the Christian period, and also comparative and critical theory.

J.K. Elliott

J.K. Elliott

Driven by Grief, Inspired by Christ

Paul “Beside Himself” in 2 Cor 5:13

Clair E. Mesick


Paul’s enigmatic claim of being “beside himself” (ἐξίστηµι) in 2 Cor 5:13 has been interpreted as a reference to an episode of religious ecstasy, an incident of erratic behavior, or a criticism of Paul’s poor rhetoric and leadership. Among its wide range of meanings, however, ἐξίστηµι denotes excessive emotion; it is used in classical texts to describe those swept away by immoderate anger or grief or even those moved or transported by the power of a rhetor’s words. Drawing on these texts, and following a suggestion by James Kennedy in 1903, the author will argue that in 2 Cor 5:13 Paul is controlling for the legitimate possibility that his prior correspondence with the Corinthians, specifically 2 Corinthians 10–13, might have been seen as furious, emotional, or even violent, and reinterpreting any seemingly immoderate anger or foolish speech as done wholly in service of God and compelled by Christ.

Gregory-Aland 080

A Sixth-Century Purple Fragment of Mark’s Gospel

Elijah Hixson


The purpose of this short article is to give an edition and brief assessment of the sixth-century fragment of a purple Gospel codex, 080. The fragment has never been fully published in an accessible form or edition, and no legible, complete images of it currently exist to my knowledge. Therefore in light of the forthcoming Editio Critica Maior for Mark’s Gospel, it seems helpful to track down what can be known about the fragmentary manuscript and to publish an edition of its text.

Jesus and the Wings of Yhwh

Bird Imagery in the Lament over Jerusalem (Matt 23:37–39; Luke 13:34–35)

Jonathan Rowlands


In this article the author analyses the lament over Jerusalem (Matt 23:37–39; Luke 13:34–35) and its use of bird imagery. He argues the picture of Jesus as a mother hen builds on an established metaphor that uses the imagery of a protective bird to refer to Yhwh’s divine protection over Israel. The author therefore asserts this pericope most likely portrays Jesus as the person of Yhwh.

Friedrich Gustav Lang


The disposition of Hebrews is analyzed in terms of literary structure and significant proportions. The discussion of differing proposals for the letter leads to an outline of five main parts. Two christological sections (1:1–2:18; 7:1–10:18) alternate with two hortatory ones calling to faith (3:1–6:20; 10:19–12:29), then follow general exhortations (13:1–21), finally an epistolary appendix (13:22–25). The stichos of 15 syllables is introduced as the ancient standard measure of Greek prose. Counting stichoi in Hebrews reveals remarkable proportions seemingly due to intentional disposing. The letter’s first main part, for example, is half the size of the second one, and both together half the size of the whole. All results of the structural and stichometrical analysis are then condensed in a tabular outline.

J.K. Elliott


Here follow two reviews of works within the field of New Testament textual criticism: one is of the final five fascicules of Jean-Claude Haelewyck’s Mark for the Vetus Latina series; the other is of Didier Lafleur’s analysis of a good number of the Greek New Testament manuscripts currently in Tirana, Albania.

Angela Standhartinger


Paul models his autobiography in Phil 3:4–14 not as a paradigmatic embodiment of Phil 2:6–11 but as a Jewish sage. Framed by dramatic and apocalyptic passages, Phil 3:4–14 include the fundamental change of heart, when the wise one becomes aware that all advantages of noble birth and virtues count for nothing in comparison with the overwhelming gifts Wisdom resp. Christ will offer to those who constantly seek and love her and him. Like the sage of Sirach 51:13–30 and Wisdom of Solomon 6–9 Paul will never attain perfection. But similar to the Jewish sage he calls his students to join him in imitation (Phil 3:17). In accordance with ancient philosophy, rhetoric and ethics mimesis does not mean copying or imitation in a modern sense, but describes a creative activity, a call to take the ideal that Paul’s actions represent and join in applying it to one’s own behavior and actions.

Greek Writers and Philosophers in Philo and Josephus

A Study of Their Secular Education and Educational Ideals


Erkki Koskenniemi

In Greek Writers and Philosophers in Philo and Josephus Erkki Koskenniemi investigates how two Jewish writers, Philo and Josephus, quoted, mentioned and referred to Greek writers and philosophers. He asks what this tells us about their Greek education, their contacts with Classical culture in general, and about the societies in which Philo and Josephus lived. Although Philo in Alexandria and Josephus in Jerusalem both had the possibility to acquire a thorough knowledge of Greek language and culture, they show very different attitudes. Philo, who was probably admitted to the gymnasium, often and enthusiastically refers to Greek poets and philosophers. Josephus on the other hand rarely quotes from their works, giving evidence of a more traditionalistic tendencies among Jewish nobility in Jerusalem.

The Firstborn Son in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity

A Study of Primogeniture and Christology


Kyu Seop Kim

Despite scholars’ ongoing historical and sociological investigations into the ancient family, the right and the status of the firstborn son have been rarely explored by NT scholars, and this topic has not attracted the careful attention that it deserves. This work offers a study of the meaning of the firstborn son in the New Testament paying specific attention to the concept of primogeniture in the Old Testament and Jewish literature. This study argues that primogeniture was a unique institution in Jewish society, and that the title of the firstborn son indicates his access to the promise of Israel, and is associated with the right of the inheritance (i.e., primogeniture) including the Land and the special status of Israel.


Barbara Baert

Interruptions and Transitions: Essays on the Senses in Medieval and Early Modern Visual Culture is an anthology of the most recent works by Barbara Baert, discussing the connection between the experiences of the senses in the medieval and early modern visual culture, the hermeneutics of imagery, and the limits and possibilities of contemporary Art Sciences.
The six chapters include Pentecost, Noli me tangere, the woman with an issue of blood, the Johannesschüssel, the dancing Salome, and the role of the wind.
The reader is shown a medieval and early modern visual culture as a history of artistic solutions, as the fascinating approach between biblical texts, plastic imagination, and the art-scientific métier. This makes him a privileged guest in a unique in-between space where humans and their artistic expression can meet existentially.


Cambry Pardee

In Scribal Harmonization Cambry G. Pardee examines the earliest Greek manuscripts of the Synoptic Gospels for evidence that scribes altered the text of the Gospels—either deliberately or inadvertently—in ways that eliminated discrepancies between them. The phenomenon of harmonization demonstrates that a scribe’s memories of previous experiences with gospel traditions could have a powerful effect on the manuscripts that they produced. This book assembles for the first time a catalogue of harmonizing variants from every manuscript of Matthew, Mark, and Luke from the fourth century and earlier. Far from reducing the unique voices of the individual evangelists to a single melody, the earliest scribes contributed new tones, innovative strains, and fascinating harmonies to the four-fold gospel tradition.

Becoming Marxist

Studies in Philosophy, Struggle, and Endurance


Ted Stolze

In Becoming Marxist Ted Stolze offers a series of studies that take up the importance of philosophy for the development of an open and critical Marxism. He argues that an adequate ‘philosophy for Marxism’ must be open to engagement with a diverse range of traditions, texts, and authors – from Paul of Tarsus, via Averroes, Spinoza, and Hobbes, to Althusser, Deleuze, Negri, Habermas, and Žižek. Stolze also explores such practical contemporary issues as the politics of self-emancipation, the nature of Islamophobia, and climate change.

Ancient Readers and their Scriptures

Engaging the Hebrew Bible in Early Judaism and Christianity


Edited by Garrick Allen and John Anthony Dunne

explores the various ways that ancient Jewish and Christian writers engaged with and interpreted the Hebrew Bible in antiquity, focusing on physical mechanics of rewriting and reuse, modes of allusion and quotation, texts and text forms, text collecting, and the development of interpretative traditions. Contributions examine the use of the Hebrew Bible and its early versions in a variety of ancient corpora, including the Septuagint, Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament, and Rabbinic works, analysing the vast array of textual permutations that define ancient engagement with Jewish scripture. This volume argues that the processes of reading and cognition, influenced by the physical and intellectual contexts of interpretation, are central aspects of ancient biblical interpretation that are underappreciated in current scholarship.

Ethics in the Gospel of John

Discipleship as Moral Progress


Sookgoo Shin

In Ethics in the Gospel of John Sookgoo Shin seeks to challenge the dominant scholarly view of John’s ethics as an ineffective and unhelpful companion for moral formation. In order to demonstrate the relevance of John’s ethics, Shin argues that the development of discipleship in John’s Gospel should be understood as moral progress, which was a well-known moral concept in the ancient Mediterranean world. Having drawn an ethical model from the writings of Plutarch, this study aims to identify the undergirding ethical dynamic that shapes John’s moral structure by bringing out the implicit ethical elements that are embedded throughout John’s narratives, and thus suggests a way to read the whole Gospel ethically and appreciatively of its literary characteristics.


Edited by Eric F. Mason and Edmondo F. Lupieri

The seventeen studies in Golden Calf Traditions in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam explore the biblical origins of the golden calf story in Exodus, Deuteronomy, and 1 Kings, as well as its reception in a variety of sources: Hebrew Scriptures (Hosea, Jeremiah, Psalms, Nehemiah), Second Temple Judaism (Animal Apocalypse, Pseudo-Philo, Philo, Josephus), rabbinic Judaism, the New Testament (Acts, Paul, Hebrews, Revelation) and early Christianity (among Greek, Latin, and Syriac writers), as well as the Qur’an and Islamic literature. Expert contributors explore how each ancient author engaged with the calf traditions—whether explicitly, implicitly, or by clearly and consciously avoiding them—and elucidate how the story was used both negatively and positively for didactic, allegorical, polemical, and even apologetic purposes.


Nina Nikki

Guided by awareness of the problematic relationship between polemical text and history, Opponents and Identity in Philippians seeks to establish a historical context for the letter to the Philippians. The study re-evaluates the relationship between Paul and the Jerusalem-based Christ-believing community from the time of the Jerusalem meeting and the Antioch incident. A more detailed analysis centers on how this relationship is reflected in Philippians. The book argues that Paul was continuously on problematic terms with the Jerusalem community, which means that they are the Jewish Christ-believing opponents referred to at several places in Philippians as well. With the help of the social identity approach (SIA), the book illustrates how Paul engages in identity formation through polemical rhetoric in his last letter.


H.A.G. Houghton, C.M. Kreinecker, R.F MacLachlan and C.J Smith

The earliest Latin versions of the writings of the New Testament offer important insights into the oldest forms of the biblical text, the use of language in the ancient Church and the foundations from which Christian theology developed in the West.
This volume presents a collation of Old Latin evidence for the four principal Pauline Epistles (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians and Galatians). The sources comprise twenty-six Vetus Latina manuscripts, ten commentaries written between the fourth and sixth centuries and four early testimonia collections. Their text differs in many ways from the standard Vulgate version.
Created using innovative digital editing tools, this collation makes this valuable data available for the first time and is complemented by full electronic transcriptions online.


Katja Kujanpää

Quotations from Jewish scriptures play a crucial role in the Letter to the Romans. The Rhetorical Functions of Scriptural Quotations in Romans explores their rhetorical functions in Paul’s argumentation. It offers a careful text-critical analysis of the 51 quotations in Romans, and asks questions such as: does Paul quote accurately according to a wording known to him or does he adapt it himself? Moreover, to what extent does Paul strive to preserve the sense that the quoted words have in their original context? Katja Kujanpää’s approach of combining rhetorical matters with close textual study results in a more comprehensive picture of quotations in Romans than has been previously seen. Thus, the book opens new perspectives on Paul’s argumentation, rhetoric and theological agenda.

Barbarian or Greek?

The Charge of Barbarism and Early Christian Apologetics


Stamenka Antonova

In her book Barbarian or Greek?: The Charge of Barbarism and Early Christian Apologetics, Stamenka Antonova examines different aspects of the charge of barbarism in the Greek and Latin Christian apologetic texts (2-4th centuries) and the various responses to it by the early Christians. The author demonstrates that the charge of barbarism encompasses a broad range of meanings, such as low social class, inadequate education, immorality, criminal activity, political treason, as well as foreign ethnicity and language. In addition to contextualizing the charge of barbarism in ancient rhetorical practices, the author also applies literary criticism and post-colonial theory to shed light on the concept of the barbarian as an ideological-rhetorical tool for othering, marginalization and persecution in the Roman Empire.

Exegesis in the Making

Postcolonialism and New Testament Studies

Anna Runesson

The last thirty years have witnessed increasing diversity in methodology and perspectives within
biblical studies. One of the most dynamic and continually expanding contributions to this
development is that of postcolonial studies, known for its fresh approaches as well as for its
complex theoretical foundations. The present book aims at introducing both student and scholar to
this emerging field. Part One discusses in a structured and pedagogical way the theoretical location
of postcolonial biblical studies as well as its critique of and contributions to New Testament
exegesis more specifically. Part Two presents five articles by scholars from Africa, Asia, and North
America, illustrating the diversity of current postcolonial studies as applied to individual New
Testament texts.

Les manuscrits arabes des lettres de Paul

État de la question et étude de cas (1 Corinthiens dans le Vat. Ar. 13)


Sara Schulthess

Cet ouvrage ouvre une fenêtre sur la transmission des lettres de Paul en arabe. Il s’interroge sur le manque d’intérêt depuis le début du 20ème siècle pour les manuscrits arabes du Nouveau Testament et apporte une contribution à la récente reprise scientifique de ce champ, en étudiant le corpus largement inexploré des manuscrits arabes des lettres de Paul. Après un état des lieux établi à l’aide d’un répertoire de manuscrits, l’étude se concentre sur un manuscrit, le Vaticanus Arabicus 13. L’édition de la Première lettre aux Corinthiens de ce document du 9ème siècle est suivie d’une analyse linguistique et philologique pointue ; elle permet de dégager des éléments exégétiques qui mettent en lumière l’intérêt théologique du texte.

This work provides an insight into the transmission of the Letters of Paul into Arabic. It aims to understand the lack of interest since the beginning of the 20th century for the Arabic manuscripts of the New Testament and to contribute to the current scholarly rediscovery for this field by studying the largely unexplored corpus of the Arabic manuscripts of the Letters of Paul. After a broad overview with the help of a list of witnesses, the study focuses on a specific manuscript: Vaticanus Arabicus 13. The edition of First Corinthians of this 9th century document is followed by a close analysis of linguistic and philological aspects, while the underlining of interesting exegetical points reveals the theological interest of the text.


Edited by AnneMarie Luijendijk and William E. Klingshirn

Sortilege—the making of decisions by casting lots—was widely practiced in the Mediterranean world during the period known as late antiquity, between the third and eighth centuries CE. In My Lots are in Thy Hands: Sortilege and its Practitioners in Late Antiquity, AnneMarie Luijendijk and William Klingshirn have collected fourteen essays that examine late antique lot divination, especially but not exclusively through texts preserved in Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac. Employing the overlapping perspectives of religious studies, classics, anthropology, economics, and history, contributors study a variety of topics, including the hermeneutics and operations of divinatory texts, the importance of diviners and their instruments, and the place of faith and doubt in the search for hidden order in a seemingly random world.

J.K. Elliott

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


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.