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Stefania Benini


The project of Saint Paul occupies Pasolini’s imagination between 1966 and 1974. It originated with and connects to Pasolini’s previous Franciscan project on the subversive hagiography, Bestemmia (“Blasphemy”), another (unshot) screenplay in verse about a rascal of twelfth-century Rome, transformed into a saint after a vision of the Passion in the midst of an orgy. Pasolini worked on Blasphemy from 1962 to 1967, and still later was referring to the project of Saint Paul with the same title of Blasphemy. The continuity, as well as the difference, between the two projects is relevant. I will investigate the roots of Pasolini’s Pauline turn, after his Franciscan stage, and contextualize the project of Saint Paul within Pasolini’s production and within the rise of European queer cinema. I will also put it into dialogue with contemporary political theology, for instance with the Franciscan turn of Agamben, or the emergence of new, multi-stable subjectivities within the Kippbilder model proposed by Luca Di Blasi in his interpretation of Pasolini’s Saint Paul.

George Aichele


Because Pier Paolo Pasolini never completed his movie Saint Paul, any discussion of it must be speculative. However, insofar as the film appears in Pasolini’s screenplay outline and plan, it depicts Paul, in relation to the Pauline writings of the Bible, as a seriously fragmented person. This Paul struggles with multiple personalities that are continually fragmenting and at war with one another. In this way the film fuses together in a single cinematic narrative the many “Pauls” who appear in the Pauline letters and the Acts of the Apostles. The “remixed” quality that then appears in the screenplay contrasts sharply to Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew. The resulting story echoes some of the writings of Italo Calvino, as well as Spike Jonze’s movie Adaptation.

Theodore W. Jennings Jr.


This essay explores the remarkable radicalities as well as ironies of the Paul featured in both Pasolini’s screenplay and other receptions of Paul’s letters. Pasolini’s depiction stages a series of potential historical correspondences by setting the words written or attributed to the apostle (in those letters and the Acts of the Apostles) into the times of Pasolini’s own life. This juxtaposition allows for a more complex view of the radical, passionate, but manipulative saint and more recent politics of revolution, corruption, and accommodation. The tension between two different views of Paul, organizing militant cells and struggling with bodily weakness, then, provide entry points for identification with and interrogation of notions of sexual liberation and political transformation. These political investments are brought into further relief throughout by situating both Pasolini and Paul in a genealogy of Marxist thinkers and organizers, from Engels and Lenin, through Benjamin, to Agamben and Badiou, surfacing important new insights about the Paul of history and of reception in the West.

Elizabeth A. Castelli


The legacy of Pasolini’s work persists beyond the recent English translation of his screenplay for Saint Paul. This concluding essay then provides a brief reflective extension into three additional genres: painting, poetry, and public art. These artistic adaptations reflect the open-ended impacts of Pasolini’s work, its provocations and excesses in particular evoke a notion of saintliness.

Laura Copier


In several of his writings on the relation between film and language, Pasolini discusses the possibility of a moment in which a screenplay can be considered an autonomous object, “a work complete and finished in itself.” In the first part of this essay, I will reflect on the concept of the screenplay in a larger context and more specifically, Pasolini’s writings on the ontological status of the screenplay as a “structure that wants to be another structure.” The case of Saint Paul is thought-provoking, precisely because this original screenplay was never turned into an actual film. Despite this, Pasolini argues that the screenplay invites – or perhaps even forces – its reader to imagine, to visualize, the film it describes. Pasolini’s ideas on the function of language as a means to conjure up images are central to this act of visualization. In the second part of this essay, I will attempt an act of visualization. This endeavor to visualize Saint Paul as a possible film is hinged upon a careful reading of the screenplay. I analyze the opening and closing sequences outlined in the screenplay to visualize the possible filmic expression of its protagonist Paul.

Jay Twomey


After situating Pasolini’s sketch for a screenplay about the apostle within a broad context of Pauline retellings, this essay goes on to explore the uneasy tension Pasolini develops between Paul as representative of an oppressive religious authority, and Paul as frail, entrancing, humbled mystic. The tension is uneasy because it represents something of a false dichotomy. The real choice offered in the screenplay, the paper argues, is between Paul the New Testament personality, and Paul the ordinary, and mostly unknown, individual. While Pasolini may barely hint at the possibilities of so understated a treatment, his example sets the stage (so to speak) for an intriguingly contemporary response to more typical examples of Pauline reception (especially among critics inspired by the Paul of Badiou, Agamben, et al.).

Anastasia M. Ivanova


In the course of the Middle Ages, the Copts experienced a variety of drastic changes in the attitude of Muslim rulers towards them, from confidence to disgrace. The latter included not only the increasingly rigorous tax policies, but also social and domestic constraints.

Laura Carlson Hasler


Determining the authenticity of Ezra-Nehemiah’s sources was a central question among scholars more than a century ago and remains so today. In this article, I explore why posing questions of authenticity about the source documents endures as a mainstay of Ezra-Nehemiah scholarship and argue that the implications of the authenticity question are frequently overstated. This overstatement reveals a prevailing scholarly instinct to separate “the real” from “the ideological,” a dichotomy traceable since C.C. Torrey’s Ezra Studies. Using Ezra 4 as an example, I argue that determining the authenticity of Ezra-Nehemiah’s source documents is not a worthy litmus test of historical-critical scholarship. Instead, considering how Ezra 4 resembles a space of collection rather than a linear story collapses methodological boundaries, calling into question the usefulness of categories like authenticity and fabrication in our understanding of Ezra-Nehemiah and beyond.

Clarifying the Eclipse

Ascetics, Politics, and the Poetics of Power in Post-Roman Iberia

David Ungvary


This essay examines a literary exchange between the Visigothic poet-king Sisebut (612-621 AD) and his scholar-bishop Isidore of Seville following an anomalous sequence of eclipses. After Sisebut commissioned a scientific treatise from Isidore on such natural phenomena, he responded to the bishop’s prose with a short poem on lunar eclipses (De eclipsi lunae). This study interprets the exchange of texts not as a literary game, but as high-stakes political correspondence. It situates the king’s verses in an ongoing process of cultural construction in Visigothic Spain, led prominently by Isidore himself, but also tied to a rising ascetic movement. It argues that Sisebut was attuned to Isidore’s designs to manage the discourses through which Christian power was proclaimed, and shows how the king attempted to versify in accord with scientific truth so as to fit within Isidore’s ascetic intellectual program.

Holger Szesnat


This paper is a response to Alice Whealey’s proposal concerning the authorship of certain fragments traditionally assigned to Eusebius of Caesarea, arguing that they are more likely the work of his pupil, Eusebius of Emesa. The paper considers the manuscript evidence, specifically the lemmata in 1611, in relation to the internal evidence considered by Whealey.

Devin L. White


In On Prayer 1-4, Evagrius of Pontus reads the incense described in Exodus 30:34-37 as an allegorical type of the four cardinal virtues. This essay explains the logic of Evagrius’s interpretation, situating his argument in a longstanding philosophical debate about the interrelationship of the virtues. By reading the incense as virtue, Evagrius joins both Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa in interpreting Exodus as a source for virtue theory, as well as several ancient philosophers who explained the virtues and their interrelation by comparing them to physical substances combined in a mixture. Central to Evagrius’s argument is the compound ancient philosophers called a “juxtaposition” (σύνθεσις), the use of which term shows Evagrius’s knowledge of a well-attested hexaplaric variant in Exod 30:35. In sum, authorized by his text of Exodus, Evagrius suggests the virtues relate to each other in the same fashion that the ingredients of a σύνθεσις relate to each other.

Johannes van Oort

Ian N. Mills


Most scholars agree that “pagans” did not read Christian scripture. This critical consensus, however, places inordinate weight on a decontextualized quotation from Tertullian and neglects a body of evidence to the contrary. In particular, the role of books in early autobiographical conversion narratives suggests that early Christian authors and copyists could sometimes work with a reasonable expectation of pagan readership. Against traditional notions of the restricted appeal and circulation of Christian literature, pagan and Christian sources alike indicate that Christian writings found an audience among philo-barbarian thinkers and that certain Christians promoted their books in pagan circles.

Willem J. C. Blom


The reference to Christ in Tacitus’ Annales is one of the earliest references to Jesus by a non-Christian author. Although this so-called “Testimonium Taciteum” is generally accepted as authentic, arguments against the authenticity of the passage given by Richard Carrier have not yet received a thorough response. In this article, I will argue that the arguments against authenticity of the Testimonium Taciteum do not rest on solid ground, nor does the alternative interpretation of the passage by Carrier. On the other hand, it is probable that Tacitus referred in his passage to the persecution of Christians, although that persecution may have been less connected with the fire of Rome than is commonly suggested. There are also four arguments that favour the authenticity of the Testimonium.

A. K. M. Adam


A significant body of literature rests on the premise that the most propitious way of characterizing the way we interpret linguistic signs corresponds to the practices of encoding and decoding. A sender conceives a message, encodes it in linguistic signs, transmits the message (by voice, or in handwriting, or print, or digital media) and the recipient of the message decodes it. This model itself impedes progress in textual interpretation. An approach to hermeneutics that takes its cue from broader phenomena of perception, apprehension, and inference can provide a more illuminating theoretical discourse for evaluating contested interpretations, with the additional benefit that by changing the way that we view linguistic hermeneutics, we stand to integrate our endeavors more fully with the interpretation of art, music, ethics, and gestural action.

John M. G. Barclay


This response to Willis, Sumney, and MacDonald highlights and develops their key points. Reinforcing Willis’ reading of gift-reciprocity in Philippians, seen even in the self-giving (non-“taking”) of Christ (Phil 2.6-11), it is argued that Paul views gifts in Christ as operative simultaneously at two levels—gifts circulate among believers, but also come from God and are offered to God. Sumney’s reading of 2 Thessalonians is nuanced by connecting the language of “worth” to 1 Thess 2.12: the congruity between believers and the Kingdom of God is based on the agency of God and the prior gift of new life. Further reflection is offered on the perfection of “efficacy” and its possible range of meanings. Finally, MacDonald’s reading of Ephesians is affirmed with emphasis on the Christ-gift as the key to the cosmos; the Psalm-interpretation in Ephesians 4.7-10 clarifies how this gift permeates (“fills”) all reality, as manifested first in gifts within Christ’s body.

Margaret Y. MacDonald


With a focus on Eph 4:7-16, the article highlights the significance of the concept of “gift” in Ephesians. John Barclay’s work helps to situate the Paul of Ephesians among Jewish theologians of grace, especially the perspective of the Qumran Hodayot with respect to the incongruity of divine mercy. Moreover, the results of recent analyses of Ephesians within the Roman Imperial context, including civic and familial concepts, are pushed to a new level of understanding. The study includes an examination of the link between ancient ideologies and practices related to gift giving and the delineation of social bonds and communal obligations where the depiction of the role of Christ as the giver of ministerial gifts plays a crucial role. Ultimately, the essay goes some way to close the perceived gap between the undisputed letters and Ephesians in term of a theology of grace.

Gail P. Streete and Christopher R. Hutson


This orientation essay provides an overview of the four other articles in this special section on J. M. G. Barclay’s, Paul and the Gift (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015). After introducing key ideas from Barclay’s work, which focuses on Paul’s letters to the Galatians and Romans, we summarize three studies in which scholars employ Barclay’s method to examine some of the shorter Pauline letters. Wendell L. Willis discusses Philippians; Jerry L. Sumney discusses 2 Thessalonians; and Margaret Y. MacDonald discusses Ephesians. This special section also includes Barclay’s responses to all three. In addition, we explain how this collection of essays originated in the work of the Disputed Paulines Section of the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature.

Wendell L. Willis


This paper employs a basic insight from John M. G. Barclay’s book, Paul and the Gift, that the word χάρις in first-century Greek very often referred to a gift, especially his “perfection” of the word as “conditional.” In Paul’s lifetime the common cultural expectation was that the recipient of a gift accepted that a return gift was normative and expected—whether physical or not. This understanding is thoroughly discussed in Seneca, De Beneficiis which describes how the obligation to reciprocity in giving and receiving is expected of all civil persons, apart from civic position and status. This is because the function of a gift is the building or maintaining of relationships. This purpose is shown to be the case also in Philippians with reference to the passage employing the lexeme (Phil 1:7, 29; 2:6-11) and in 4:10-20 where Paul discusses the gift he received from the Philippian church.

Jerry L. Sumney


Drawing on the aspects of grace that John M. G. Barclay identifies, this essay examines the understandings of grace found in 2 Thessalonians. We find that 2 Thessalonians “perfects” (pushes to the extreme) the superabundance and emphasizes the priority of God’s gift of grace. Unlike what Barclay finds in Romans and Galatians, 2 Thessalonians does not perfect the incongruity of grace. It allows that there is a sense in which God has chosen the appropriate people to give grace. Because it does not perfect the incongruity between the worthiness of the recipient and the offer of grace, its view of grace is similar to that of the Wisdom of Solomon. Seeing that 2 Thessalonians does not perfect incongruity as Paul does in Romans and Galatians may offer a new perspective from which to think about its authorship.

Saul M. Olyan


Much has been written about animal rights in the four decades since the appearance of Peter Singer’s classic monograph Animal Liberation (1975) and not a few studies consider – often in passing – what biblical texts have to contribute to debates about animal rights. These studies are, however, almost exclusively the work of non-specialists. I begin to address this dearth of professional scholarship on this topic by exploring what four biblical laws – Exod. 23:10-11, 12; Lev. 25:2-7 and Deut. 5:12-15 – might suggest about the legal standing of animals. As legal scholar Gary L. Francione states, “[W]e normally use [the term “rights”] to describe a type of protection that does not evaporate in the face of consequential considerations.” In this article, I consider whether the four biblical laws in question meet this standard.

Daniel J. D. Stulac


Following the work of Ellen Davis in her 2009 volume Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible, this essay identifies an “agrarian hermeneutic” as an important resource for addressing current impasses in modern-critical exegesis. A close examination of Isaiah 5 demonstrates how such a hermeneutic provides fresh insight into a well-worn text. Modern scholars have tended to see this passage as a chronological sequence of prophetic indictment (5:1-7), grievance (5:8-24), and military sentence (5:25-30); such interpretations typically exchange the chapter’s actual language for the sociopolitical realities that are thought to stand behind it, and moreover, cannot adequately account for the text’s redactional expansions. By contrast, an agrarian-rhetorical perspective on this passage identifies a theological sequence that communicates to the reader a paradigmatic vision of land-destruction and loss.

Laura Quick


The use of cosmetic oils by the heroines of the books of Esther and Ruth is frequently interpreted as a means to enhance their beauty and allurement. Cosmetic use in the Hebrew Bible is routinely condemned, and yet Esther and Ruth receive no censure for their actions. By utilising a sociological approach to the function of cosmetics and body adornment alongside archaeological and textual evidence from ancient Palestine, in this article I consider the use of cosmetics akin to a speech act, able to communicate the social status and sexual intentions of the wearer to those around them. This perspective provides a new access to understanding the characterisation of Esther and Ruth, showing that their intentions in utilising cosmetic oils fundamentally differs in the two books. This has implications for understanding some of the narrative elements within the tales, as well as their reception at the hands of later interpreters.

Sébastien Doane and Nathan Robert Mastnjak


The image of Rachel’s inconsolable weeping for her lost children in Jer. 31:15 presents a specific kind of response to a cultural trauma. As this paper argues, understanding this response is enriched both by analyzing the extra-textual literary strategy of the passage itself and by engaging in an intertextual reading of the ancient text with a contemporary artistic response to trauma. By means of an allusion to Genesis 37, Jer. 31:15 makes a case both for the continued existence of the people of Israel and for the legitimacy of experiencing the exile as a metaphorical death. What Jer. 31:15 accomplishes textually for a sixth century BCE Judean audience, the Witness Blanket accomplishes in a visual medium for threatened Canadian native cultures. Both texts stage a protest against the threat to the continued existence of culture by asserting the persistent potency of its cultural symbols.

Emily O. Gravett


Milton Steinberg’s posthumously published novel The Prophet’s Wife retells the story of the prophet Hosea and his “wife of whoredom,” Gomer. To analyze the novel’s interpretation of the biblical text, the article first reviews the book of Hosea and outlines the concept of “retrieval” in biblical retellings (that is, the restoration of characters overlooked in the Bible). Because Steinberg retrieves Gomer by drawing upon language of sight, body, and beauty, the article turns to the concept of the “male gaze” from film studies. Using this concept, the article examines several key moments of retrieval from the novel, in which Gomer is framed as a beautiful object for male eyes to appraise. What becomes clear is that Gomer’s retrieval in The Prophet’s Wife paradoxically results in her increased exposure to the male gaze. The article culminates in an exploration of this risk, possibly inherent in biblical retellings that retrieve female figures.

Carleen Mandolfo


Biblical scholars need to pay more attention to violent women as feminist subjects, and violence as a means of enabling women, rather than the disabling that has occurred through a politically and conceptually strategic commitment to their victimization. This paper explores the feminist erasure of Jael’s violence in Judges 4, and asks whether this violence might be appreciated as a vehicle of feminist empowerment. This erasure does biblical women a disservice by not taking their violence seriously as a signifier of their identity as women. How might violent biblical women model a kind of radical agency that feminists have typically shied away from? Dismissing these female characters as patriarchal patsies robs them of what might be their last recourse to self-expression. Rather than requiring justification, their violence might better be heralded as a fundamental qualifier of their femininity.

Shimon Gesundheit


For quite a long time it has been part of the opinio communis within Hebrew Bible scholarship that compassion and empathy with persona miserae is in its very meaning invented by Ancient Israel. This view has been challenged by a comparative study of Frank C. Fensham. The present article shows on the one hand that care for the poor, widows and orphans is in fact not innovative. On the other hand, a closer analysis is able to show that the biblical and Jewish care for the strangers, slaves and animals is indeed unique.

„A little Drama“ (G. M. Tucker)

Zur literarischen Form von Am 7,10–17

Alessandro Casagrande


The use of a narrative imperfect in Am 7:10–17 after 7:1–9 and the abrupt shift to 8:1–3 frequently compelled critics to determine its literary form. For diachronic studies defining classifications include ‘third-party report’ and ‘apophthegma’. By contrast, synchronic studies emphasize the contextual integration of Am 7:10–17 and concentrate on a narrative analysis. Within this focus it is striking, that the passage is often associated with a ‘drama’ but without assessing the methodological ramifications of such a claim. The present article takes this ‘synchronic gap’ up and relates it to approaches to view drama as a possible genre for prophetic books. In doing so, a reading of Am 7:10–17 as part of a narrator-mediated discourse using a dramatic mode shows that the passage can be deemed an entrance with three speeches integrated into the wider context of 7:1–8:3. Particularly the classification of 7:10a, 12aα, 14aα as narrator’s discourse using a dramatic mode makes this claim plausible.

Thomas Schumacher


This contribution discusses the understanding of inculturation that is operative for Luke’s Paul in the Areopagus speech. It combines philological analysis of conspicuous features of the text with an evaluation of archeological data to situate the Areopagus speech within the socio-cultural context of Athens. An interpretation of verse 31 is proposed that does not include reference to an eschatological event and which could help to clarify the often discussed soteriological and christological difficulties of the argumention. Thus it becomes evident that the adopted stance of the Lukan Paul before the Areopagus is marked by ironic inversions and anti-imperial critique.

Gudrun Guttenberger


In 2 Cor 3 Paul talks about him and Moses as a medium of God. Paul’s argument is analyzed and interpreted with a pivotal concept of mediality: presence. Moses and the Tora are drafted by Paul as opaque, therefore an ineffective media for God’s acting. He, as an apostle, claims to be a transparent medium by which the believers are transformed to media themselves. He proves his claim by the reading process of 2 Cor 3: the performative quality of his text, mainly achieved by effects of immersion, discloses the Spirit’s acting. So Paul’s letter gives life, although the letter kills.

„Scriptura sui ipsius interpres“

Annäherungen an ein Konzept intertextueller Schriftauslegung

Stefan Seiler


Ausgehend von einem forschungsgeschichtlichen Überblick werden die verschiedenen Faktoren intertextueller Kommunikation untersucht. Literarischer Referenzrahmen ist hierbei der „Kanon“ der Hebräischen Bibel, dessen in sich vernetzte Strukturen eine derartige Form der Lektüre nahelegen. Den Texten, die von ihrer kommunikativen Gestalt her verstanden werden, kommt im Dialog miteinander und im Gespräch mit den Rezipierenden eine produktive Eigenständigkeit zu. Durch die Wechselwirkung der am intertextuellen Geschehen beteiligten Größen können sich „sinndynamisierende Prozesse“ (R. Lachmann) vollziehen, wodurch sich erweiterte (theologische) Deutungshorizonte von manifestem Text und Referenztext(en) erschließen lassen. Am Beispiel des im anthologischen Stil verfassten Psalms 103 werden insbesondere die intertextuellen Bezüge der „Gnadenformel“ in V. 8 zu entsprechenden Referenztexten untersucht. Im „Gespräch“ mit Ex 34,6f. ergibt sich ein theologisch kontroverser Diskurs über die Frage nach göttlicher Vergeltung und Vergebung. Der Psalm selbst kann als Auslegung und Meditation der Barmherzigkeitsformel verstanden werden. Die Analyse weiterer infra- bzw. intratextueller Relationen verstärkt etwa das Motiv der Dignität des einzelnen Menschen (Ps 8,5f.) und beleuchtet das Verhältnis von Schuld und Gnade unter Einbeziehung der Vergänglichkeit des Menschen (Gen 3,19 [vgl. Gen 2,7f.]; Ps 90,5f.; Jes 40,8). Das Konzept intertextueller Schriftauslegung ist als Ergänzung und Bereicherung der historisch-kritischen Exegese zu verstehen, deren Ergebnisse unverzichtbar bleiben.

Martin Stowasser


The article is looking for traits of the concept of God’s covenant with Israel within the Book of Revelation. It persues the question how far elements of this theological concept were adopted and to which extent they have been altered by John. In analyzing the use of διαθήκη in Rev 11:16 as well as of the formula of the covenant in Rev 21:3 and 21:7 the idea of “covenant” presents itself to be just one among several other motives taken up by John from the Old Testament without stressing it. John is putting the idea of God’s covenant in a new and emphasised universal horizon extending it to all humankind.

Nicoletta Gatti and Daniel Yeboah


Imprecatory prayer is becoming a common phenomenon in Ghana. This plea seeks the complete annihilation of human enemies believed to be the cause of the woes the petitioners face. However, ecclesiastic authorities and academic world find it difficult to dialogue with the practice and reject imprecatory prayers as ‘unchristian.’ Interestingly enough, the same attitude is manifested towards portions of the Bible which contain ‘imprecatory prayers’: The Psalter. As a consequence, while the Historic Mission Churches forbid imprecatory prayers, their members flock to the Charismatic and Prophetic Churches. Against this background, the article analyses Ps 58, one of the ‘imprecatory psalms’ excluded by the official prayers of Historic Mission Churches, to understand its call to action and the perlocutory effect on the reader. The article concludes that the ‘imprecatory prayers’ can be a powerful educational tool to see the world with the eyes of the victims: it offers them a model of prayer of “cursing back to life;” a painful way to reconciliation and to rediscovering justice.

Thomas Söding


It is an open question how important the death of Jesus is in Lukan theology. The logic of narration in the Gospel and in Acts may help to find a new argument. The prophecy of Simeon identifies the dialectic of falling and rising as structure of Lukan soteriology. In this framework various motives – the persecuted prophet, the contrast of death and resurrection, and the “must” of the passion – get their specific meaning. At the end of both, the ministry of Jesus and the public mission of Paul, in the inner circle of followers the death of Jesus is proclaimed as decisive mean of eschatological salvation.

Wilfried Warning


In general, commentators consider Gen 46:8–27 as a secondary addition. Close reading brings to light the structuring role of verses 18 and 25 („these were the sons of Zilpah / Bilhah … and these she bore to Jacob, sixteen souls / seven souls”). In a ten-part outline based on the personal name (PN) „Jacob” v. 18 takes the fourth and v.25 the fourth from last positions.

In Genesis 37–50 the noun נפש „soul” occurs thirteen times – now v. 18 takes the sixth and v. 25 the sixth-from-last positions. The thirteen-part table based on the PN „Ruben” stands out for two reasons: Firstly, in Genesis the term „Ruben the first born of Jacob” shows up only twice, namely in the first (34,23) and last (46,8) texts. Secondly, as regards content 37,22 and 42,22 are correlated. In the 13-part outline they take the sixth and sixth-from-last positions respectively.

The distinct distribution of these terms indicates that the passage per se is well structured and, what is more, at the same time it has been skillfully integrated in Gen 37–50 and in the Jacob-Joseph cycle.

Christian Gers-Uphaus


According to Erich Zenger, Psalm 82 has been considered as one of the most “spectacular” texts of the Old Testament. This psalm not only declares the death of other gods (אלהים) but also defines commitment towards the poor as a criterion for being true god. Within the debate of different methodological approaches to biblical texts, the present article first discusses some selected historical-critical questions of Psalm 82. It then asks the questions, Who are the poor in this Psalm? and Is it accidental that Psalm 82 speaks of the one אלהים in opposition to the other אלהים ? These questions will be answered by offering a canonical exegesis of this Psalm within the corpus of the Psalms of Asaph.

Mark W. Hamilton


The dual endings of Hosea promoted reflection on Israel’s history as the movement from destruction to restoration based on Yhwh’s gracious decision for Israel. It thus clarifies the endings of the prior sections of the book (chs. 3 and 11) by locating Israel’s future in the realm of Yhwh’s activities. The final ending (14:10) balances the theme of divine agency in 14:2–9 with the recognition of human decision-making and moral formation as aspects of history as well. The endings of Hosea thus offer a good example of metahistoriography, a text that uses non-historiographic techniques to speak of the movements of history.

Das lange Haar in 1 Kor 11,14–15a

Reevaluation der paulinischen Argumentation im Kontext antiker Haarmode und populärer Naturphilosophie

Marcel Friesen

In der Forschung konnte bisher nicht eindeutig geklärt werden, welche Bedeutung das lange Haar der Frau in 1 Kor 11,14–15a hat. So behauptet David Gill – gefolgt von Eckard Schnabel und David Garland –, dass das lange Haar der Frau sowohl in der griechisch-römischen Antike als auch in 1 Kor 11 als Symbol der Beziehung einer Ehefrau zu ihrem Mann zu verstehen sei. Diese These soll sowohl historisch als auch literarisch für den Kontext von 1 Kor 11,13–15 durch eine Reevaluation der paulinischen Argumentation im Kontext der antikeren Haarmode sowie der populären Naturphilosophie geprüft werden. Dabei wird sich herausstellen, dass die These von Gill sowohl historisch betrachtet als auch für den Kontext von 1 Kor 11 unplausibel ist und Paulus das lange Haar als ein Geschlechtsrollensymbol der Frau verstand.

Nils Neumann

The Lukan parable of the Rich Fool (Lk 12,13–21) substantially bears the signature of the third gospel’s author. Luke takes fundamental motifs from Jesus’ speech about worrying, which is available to him in written form (Lk 12,22–34; cf. Mt 6,19–33). The parable’s narrative structure on the other hand stems from the Menippean branch of Cynic Philosophy, where several variations of it are documented. By combining these elements the writer compiles a new parable, also adding characteristic features of his own narrative style. Thus, the paragraph Lk 12,13–21 is clearly an example of its author’s literary creativity.

Die Gefäßmetapher in 1 Thess 4,4

Ein neuer Versuch zur Deutung von 1 Thess 4,4f.

Matthias Konradt

In der Deutung von 1 Thess 4,4 wird notorisch kontrovers diskutiert, ob mit der Gefäßmetapher der eigene Leib, das Geschlechtsorgan oder die Ehefrau gemeint ist. Aufschluss wird meist von den übrigen antiken Belegen erwartet, doch bietet deren übliche schlichte Rubrizierung in die genannten Optionen keine entscheidende Interpretationshilfe. Neben einer Sichtung der exegetischen Indizien, ob Paulus in 1 Thess 4,4 das Selbstverhältnis oder Sozialverhalten im Blick hat, ist vielmehr vorrangig zu fragen, welche Eigenschaften des metaphorisch gebrauchten Ausdrucks in den antiken Verwendungsweisen auf das durch diesen Bezeichnete übertragen werden. Der Beitrag begründet, dass es in 1 Thess 4,4f. um innereheliches Sexualverhalten geht, mit der Gefäßmetapher ein schöpfungstheologischer Horizont aufgespannt wird und es auf dieser Grundlage keineswegs zwingend ist, die Gefäßmetapher allein auf die Ehefrau zu beziehen.

Hymnen und Gebete in Israel und in seiner Umwelt

Komparatistische Aspekte (Mit einem bibliographischen Anhang)

Bernd Janowski

Die Hymnen und Gebete des Alten Orients und des Alten Testaments sind einzigartige Zeugnisse menschlicher Selbst- und Welterfahrung. Der Beitrag geht zunächst (I) der Frage nach, wie man diese Texte, die unterschiedlichen Kulturen, Sprachen und Zeiten angehören, miteinander vergleichen soll. Im zweiten Abschnitt (II) wird das Thema zum einen anhand von Hymnen (Ps 36, ägyptische Sonnenhymnen des Neuen Reichs) und zum anderen anhand von Klagegebeten (Ps 38, mesopotamische Handerhebungsgebete an Ištar) konkretisiert und vertieft. Abschließend (III) werden Grundregeln für den methodisch reflektierten Religionsgeschichtlichen Vergleich formuliert.

Phönizier und Geldbeutel

Anmerkungen zu Spr 7

Hans-Peter Mathys

Die fremde Frau von Spr 7 ist wie ihr Mann, der mit großer Wahrscheinlichkeit im internationalen Fernhandel tätig ist, eine Phönizierin oder pflegt doch einen phönizischen „way of life“. Dafür sprechen neben der Tatsache, dass in nachexilischer Zeit in Jehud und Samaria der Handel vor allem in der Hand der Phönizier lag, Ausdrücke, die eindeutig in die Levante weisen: marbaddīm, „Decken“, kesä’ „Neumondtag“ sowie zibḥē šelāmīm „Heilsopfer“. Auch der Geldbeutel, den der Mann der fremden Frau bei sich trägt, weist in diese Richtung: Seit dem 4. Jh. v.Chr. – und zum Teil bis in die Gegenwart – gelten die Phönizier als Erfinder des Münzgeldes, was nachweislich falsch ist.

The Strange Woman in Prov 7, like her husband who in all likelihood is involved in international trade, is a Phoenician or at least she leads a Phoenician way of life. This conjecture is substantiated by the fact that trade in Yehud and Samaria in post-exilic times was mainly in the hands of the Phoenicians, but even more by expressions that clearly point to the Levant: marbaddīm “coverings”, kesä’ “full moon”, and zibḥē šelāmīm “peace offerings”. The bag of money that the woman’s husband has taken with him also points to Phoenicia. The Phoenicians have been considered the inventors of coinage ever since the 4th century BC – though this is demonstrably incorrect.

Prophet am Ende

Auf den Spuren Jeremias in Jer 19,1–21,10

Johannes Schiller

In the context of the Book of Jeremiah the highly complex texts of Jer 19,1–21,10 serve as an exilic-postexilic reflexion of the catastrophe. At the same time, however, a detailed analysis shows that a lot of text features allow a different interpretation – in view of the approaching war and the current danger of extinction.

Jörn Kiefer

Bezeichnet תשוקה in der Hebräischen Bibel sexuelles Verlangen (Gen 3,16; Hld 7,11) oder ein aggressives Streben (Gen 4,7)? Der Aufsatz trägt die linguistischen und semantischen Argumente aus allen Bereichen zusammen: Aus dem biblischen Sprachgebrauch, auch dem der wurzelverwandten Verben, von semitischen Parallelen, aus alten Übersetzungen und dem nachbiblischen Hebräisch. Fazit: Wie das Verbum שׁקק zum einen „sich stürzen auf“ zum anderen aber „begierig sein nach“ bedeuten kann, so auch תשוקה. Im „Aussein auf etwas“ liegt der gemeinsame Nenner.

Does the biblical term תשוקה mean sexual desire (Gen 3:16, 7,11) or aggressive pursuit (Gen 4,7)? This essay collects the linguistic and semantic arguments from all areas: biblical usage, root-related verbs, Semitic parallels, ancient translations, and postbiblical Hebrew. Conclusion: Just as the verb שׁקק means on the one hand “rush at” on the other hand “be eager for”, so also תשוקה. The common denominator is “being out for something”.

Matthias A d r i a n and Hildegard S c h e r e r

Cultic Offerings of Foreigners

The Exegetical Logic Informing Pesiqta Rabbati’s “Exclusivist” Interpretation of Lev 22:17–25 and Related Biblical Passages

David Rothstein

„Der Felsen aber war Christus“ (1 Kor 10,4)

Überlegungen zu Funktion und Bedeutung einer schwierigen paulinischen Bemerkung

Daniel Lanzinger

This article examines Paul’s enigmatic statement that “the rock was Christ” (1 Cor 10:4) from the perspective of ancient understandings and habits of allegorical interpretation. Paul’s use of the exodus story can be addressed as an exemplum type of allegory, as described by Quintilian and applied for exegetical purposes by Heraclitus and Philo. In contrast to previous scholarship, it is shown that the employment of different tenses in allegorical formulas is a matter of style rather than of content so that Paul’s use of ἦν instead ἐστίν does not contradict the fact that it is meant to designate the allegorical sense of the term “rock”.

Die drei Sprüche zum „weisen Sohn“

Zur Diskussion um Komposition und Redaktion in Spr 10–15

Winkler Mathias

Die Rolle Samarias bei der Entstehung des Judentums

Auf dem Weg zu einer neuen Sicht der nachexilischen Geschichte Israels

Heckl Raik

Jesus, der Herzenskenner

Die καρδία-Motivik als Schlüssel zum Verständnis von Mk 2,1–12

Alexander Weihs

Im narrativen Zentrum der Erzählung von der Heilung des Gelähmten (Mk 2,1–12) ist in Mk 2,6 und 2,8 gleich zweifach das Motiv des Herzens (griechisch: καρδία) angesprochen. Der hier vorliegende Beitrag vertritt die These, dass von einer angemessenen Interpretation dieses Sachverhalts wichtige Impulse für das Verständnis des Gesamttextes ausgehen können. Motivanalytisch verdienen dabei sowohl das Moment der Herzenskenntnis als auch die anthropologische Grundanschauung vom Herzen als Mitte des Menschen besondere Beachtung. Die in den analytischen Detailschritten erzielten Ergebnisse werden zum einen hinsichtlich ihrer Bedeutsamkeit für den direkten Erzählzusammenhang entfaltet, zum anderen im Horizont des Makrokontextes des Evangeliums reflektiert.

Knut B a c k h a u s


SNTS-Tagung 2016 in Montreal

Thomas Schmeller

Der Chronist als Davids Volkszähler

Israel und seine Zahlen in 1 Chr 21

Kristin Weingart