Friday, December 16, 2011

Hilarious but Adorable Nativity Clip

This made my day -- an adorable video of a Nativity play with one of the angels stealing the show. Thanks to AKMA and Tim Gombis for sharing on Fb. I guarantee you'll enjoy it.


Friday, December 02, 2011

Death of Wilfred Lambert, Obituary and Reflections

Jim West reports on the sad news of the death of Prof. Wilfred Lambert and links to a nice, detailed obituary in the Birmingham Post:

I got to know Professor Lambert while I was at the University of Birmingham between 1995 and 2005.  He was unfailingly gracious and kind-spirited though I must admit to thinking him, at times, a little eccentric.  He was a regular in the coffee room in the Arts Building and I remember many interesting conversations with him there.  He would always try to get to our Biblical Studies colloquium and on one occasion presented a paper.  I used to have to make a special effort to tell him about the colloquium because he never embraced email; everything was done the old-fashioned way.

I knew about his Christadelphian affiliations and remember his disdain for a lot of modern medicine, and especially modern drugs.  I had not realized until reading the obituary, though, that he was so thoroughly Brummy, born in Erdington, at King Edward's High School in Edgbaston (where many a great classicist studied) and so on.  Nor did I know that he was a conscientious objector during the war.

The obituary has a little (but important) mistake:
His knowledge of ancient eastern history could not be bettered and in January 2010 Prof Lambert and colleague Dr Irving Finkel identified pieces from a cuneiform tablet that was inscribed with the same text as the Cyrus Cylinder, a clay artefact dating from 6 BC praising the rule of Babylon monarch King Cyrus The Great.
It should, of course, be the 6th Century BC.  Details about that discovery are found in a press release at the British Museum (scroll down to 23 January 2010).

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Bethlehemian Rhapsody

I really love this. As I've said before, there are not enough puppets on the NT blog:


Thanks to Stephen Carlson, Judy Redman and Trevor Hawes for posting this on Fb.

Biblical Studies Carnival 69

The latest and unbelievably comprehensive Biblical Studies Carnival is up:

It is compiled by the ever-impressive Deane Galbraith and it is as lively as you would expect.  I am now proud to have met Deane, sadly only very briefly, in San Francisco last week.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What if the Pauline letters were labelled after their sender?

Since we are towards the end of the semester, I am at that point in my NT intro course where we are looking at the (so-called) Catholic Epistles.  It occurred to me yesterday that the genius of Paul's epistles is that they have nice memorable, catchy individual names like "Philippians" and "Galatians".  There is only one sequel  (2 Corinthians), possibly two (2 Thessalonians).

But what if Paul's letters were were named after their sender rather than his audiences?  Would Romans have worked as well if it were called 6 Paul?  Or 1 Corinthians if it were 2 Paul?  It's difficult to imagine, somehow.

It's a bit like the Bond films.  Would On Her Majesty's Secret Service have been as appealing if it were called James Bond 6?  Or Die Another Day if it were James Bond 20?  I doubt it.

Method and Meaning -- Harold Attridge Festschrift

I was delighted to receive today my copy of Andrew B. McGowan & Kent H. Richards, Method and Meaning: Essays on New Testament Interpretation in Honor of Harold W. Attridge (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011).  It's a massive volume, just under 600 pages, and aims to honour one of the great scholars of early Christianity of our time.

You can read a little more about the volume over on the SBL site -- front matter including introduction and table of contents -- and there is a nice flyer there too.  One of the two editors, Andrew McGowan,  has been blogging about it too, with more over on too.

My essay in the volume is about the Synoptic Problem.  It's called "The Synoptic Problem: John the Baptist and Jesus" and it comes just after James Robinson's contribution (and there's an honour I never expected to have).   I know -- surprise, surprise! -- Goodacre is writing about the Synoptic Problem again!  But in my defence, I was asked to write on the topic, and the idea of the volume is that it will not simply be one of those Festschriften that allows scholars to throw in any old piece they happen to have been working on.  Rather, it looks to provide a volume that will be of use to students of the NT and early Christianity, looking at the major methods in the field and applying them to specific texts.  Seriously, I am absolutely delighted to have been invited to participate in what looks to be a fantastic volume.  I have already begun delving into it.  

There was a reception in honour of Harold Attridge at the SBL this year, at which this volume was presented, on the Friday evening, and it was very clear just how well-loved and greatly respected Harold Attridge is in the guild.  My hope is that this volume will contribute in some way to honouring the wonderful contribution that he has made to enriching the study of early Christianity.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pods, blogs and other time-wasters

I have been invited by the Student Advisory Board at the Society of Biblical Literature to speak at a session on the "Wired-in Generation".  It is on Saturday at 1pm and the details of the program are at the bottom of this post.  My title is "Pods, Blogs and other Time-wasters: Do Electronic Media Detract from Proper Scholarship?"

Putting "pods" at the front of that title is a deliberate and self-indulgent reference to my own attempts at podcasting, something that at this point still marks out my own online output as a little different from others'.  In spite of the massive proliferation of academic blogs in recent years, there are still relatively few podcasts around, thinking especially of genuine podcasts, i.e. programmes produced specially for the occasion of disseminating via the internet, and not just online recordings of lectures.

Having produced the NT Pod for over two years now, I am still struck at how podcasting differs from a lot of the other stuff one does online.  Somehow, perhaps because it takes so much longer to prepare, record and produce a podcast than it does to blog, it feels like it has a longevity that the blogs lack.  But perhaps it is just that it is a relatively new medium.  Perhaps podcasts will, in the long run, go the way of other experiments on the net and will come to be seen as "of their time", dated, forgettable, a waste of time.

My title is, of course, slightly facetious given that I have "wasted" a huge amount of my own time in online activities.  First, back in the mid to late 90s, it was the e-lists.  I still remember the thrill of participating in the e-lists, first b-greek and Crosstalk and later also Synoptic-L and several others.  The late 90s were their hey-day.  Back then, the whole world was not on email and it now seems extraordinary to imagine that it was actually a thrill to receive an email.  And to receive emails from all around the world and to be able to reply instantly, arguing about some element of Greek grammar, or some theme in Historical Jesus scholarship -- it was genuinely exciting stuff.

I have similar memories of the early days of blogging, roughly a decade ago.  When Jim Davila began his Paleojudaica blog, I read it avidly.  It was the first blog I remember even being aware of.  It wasn't long before I wanted to begin my own, then as a sister to the New Testament Gateway site that I had been running since the late nineties, though later under its own NT Blog heading. Back then blogging was easy, innovative and fun.  With so few people blogging in our area, there were only a handful of blogs to read, and that gave one more time to write.  There was a thrill in exploring the new medium, and I loved it.

The email lists have not gone away, but their importance has diminished massively now that we are all desperately fighting to stay on top of the hoards of daily emails, longingly imagining that simpler world that we once inhabited with its letters, memos and time for reading.  Looking back on the heyday of the e-lists, I can't help thinking that I must have wasted a huge amount of time on them.  It really felt like it mattered when one was deep in debate with someone about some point of Greek grammar, or some argument for the existence of Q.  But what value was it really?  I am embarrassed to think of the boldness with which we circulated our half-baked opinions and relieved to think that lots of that stuff has vanished from the net, never to be seen again.

But what about blogs?  What about the time spent blogging?  Could it have been spent more profitably doing something else instead, like reading a book, taking a walk or sleeping? I remember how people would sometimes comment on the time stamps on my posts, so often written in the early hours of the morning.  I used to say that that was the only way that I could find time to blog, and I think I believed it.  Why didn't I just take life a little easier?  Or why didn't I write more real stuff and get more published?

3,604 posts in eight years.  Hundreds of thousands of words.  Hours, days, weeks of time wasted.  Why did I bother?  Why do any of us bother?  After all, I am not the most prolific blogger, not by a long shot.  How much time has been burned up by the likes of uber-bloggers like James McGrath, Jim West and Joel Watts?

Back in the early days of doing scholarship on the internet, I remember being asked by another scholar about the value of this sort of work, not, at that point, blogging, but e-lists, websites and the like.   I was working in the UK at the time where we had a thing called the "Research Assessment Exercise".  I wouldn't be able to submit any of my internet stuff to that, would I?  I was a little take aback by the question.  It had never even occurred to me that the internet stuff might be taking me away from proper scholarship, the kind of stuff that one could submit to the RAE.  Perhaps he was right; perhaps this is not the way for a true scholar to behave.

Anyone who has had a blog for a while will be aware of just how short our memories are.  When the same old question comes back around again -- there is a kind of blog cycle -- it is rare for one of us to say, "Oh, I remember a great post about that two or three years ago."  Blogs are ephemeral.  Blog posts do not endure.  Even if you keep a full archive of everything you have ever posted, the vast majority of your posts, the great bulk of activity, 99% of your output evaporates from consciousness.  Here today, gone tomorrow.

I have often been surprised at what I forget of my own blogging activity.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a reference in a recent article written by John Lyons, and published in the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, to something I had once said here about the conflict between the criterion of multiple attestation and the criterion of embarrassment in historical Jesus research.  It was a good thought, I think, but one that I had completely forgotten. 

But here is another thought.  Perhaps I would have forgotten that idea forever if I had not blogged it.  Perhaps this is one of the values of a blog -- it is the chance to put down a marker in the sand, to share some thoughts, to put things out there and to see what happens.  Indeed, this is one of the values of the medium -- it is a little more than the casual conversation but a little less than the published piece.  It can occupy a kind of middle ground.  It is a sketch pad, but it is also interactive.  If you are lucky, people talk back.

A New Testament scholar once asked my advice on starting a blog in order to support his new book that was coming out, to give it a bit of extra publicity and to provide a place where people could come and interact with him about the book.  I advised caution.  Blogs that are set up to support publications seldom last very long, not least because they end up being rather self-possessed and narrow.  The most successful blogs, or the ones that I like reading, are those that range widely, blogs that chat about topics that are outside the narrowly defined area of a particular scholar's research interest, and touch on ephemera related more broadly to the discipline.

They are great for intellectual tidbits, the things you just can't resist sharing but know will never make it into one of your publications.  They are places for notes about teaching, for reflections on the funny side of scholarship, for research ideas that would otherwise never see the light of day.  And it's worth thinking too of those ideas that are better left to the blog alone, or would have better left even off the blog.  Sometimes blogging is all you need to do to convince yourself that an idea does not have legs and can be quietly dropped.

I don't think I'd advise anyone to start a blog unless there was a chance that they would be become an enthusiast.  In the end, it has to be its own reward.  The same is true with those other bits of public technology, podcasts, gateway sites, even the ones that now look long in the tooth, the e-lists, the scholarly websites.  That's why I don't regret the time I have spent online.  I have enjoyed it and it is just possible that it has made me a better scholar.  It's certainly given me some practice in writing, in interacting with others, and in improving my teaching.

I suppose that what I am saying to the graduate students is that it really is a waste of time to blog, to podcast, even to tweet, if you are doing it for its own sake, to gain recognition or something like that.  But if it's something you'd enjoy, it does have its rewards.  I sometimes think, "That's bloggable!" even if I don't get around to blogging it.  Or "I could do a podcast on that!" even when I never find the time to sit down and record.   And that's something that can keep you sane, which can't be a bad thing.

Engaging the "Wired-In Generation": Knowledge and Learning in the Digital Age
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Room: 3002 - Convention Center
Theme: Hosted by the Student Advisory Board
Teresa Calpino, Loyola University of Chicago, Presiding
Mark Goodacre, Duke University
Pods, Blogs, and other Time-wasters: Do Electronic Media Detract from Proper Scholarship? (15 min)
Christian Brady, Pennsylvania State University
On the Internet No One Knows You're a Grad Student, Or How Social Media Can Help You, Build You Up, and Tear You Down (15 min)
Kelley Coblentz Bautch, St. Edward's University
Videoconferencing in the Classroom: Broadening the Horizons of Students through Interactive Scholarly Exchange(15 min)
Discussion (30 min)

It's SBL again

The time has come for the SBL Annual Meeting again, when thousands of Biblical scholars all descend on some American city and hang out together for a few days, listening to good, bad and many mediocre papers, walking through the book exhibit, going to meetings, networking and, most importantly of all, socializing.

This year it is in San Francisco and travelling there from the east coast is almost like travelling from England.  You even have to cross several time zones.  As a result, I've got a horribly early start in the morning.

As usual, I'll be tweeting my way through the conference (follow me @goodacre)  I've just taken an early look and it appears that the hashtag of choice is going to be #SBLAAR.  

I always used to blog my way through the conference too, and used to enjoy it, and I'll see if I can do the same this time.  It can be a good way of staying awake in sessions, but it does depend also on not being too busy.

I look forward to seeing lots of you there.

Erasure History Conference

As I mentioned the other day, I went to an excellent conference on "Erasure History" in Toronto last weekend.  I tweeted through the event.  It was a genuinely outstanding conference, organized by John Marshall, and the qualities of the papers were excellent.  Tony Burke has some reflections on Apocryphicity.  My own paper imagined A World Without Mark and I've made it available here (PDF) for a while, with the usual remarks about it being work in progress and subject to revision, and so on.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Erasure History Conference

Tony Burke has already mentioned this, over on Apocryphicity, but there is a conference later this week (11-12 November) on Erasure History: Approaching the Missing Sources of Antiquity in Toronto.  Here is the blurb:
From Antiquity to the early middle ages, lost texts may outnumber survivors. The reconstructive efforts of historiography in general and textual editing in particular must grapple with the way in which the poverty of preservation conditions scholarly efforts. "Erasure History" names the effort to think through significant historical problems as if a crucial surviving source were instead among the lost. This endeavour of programmatically holding data in abeyance is meant to illuminate the conditions under which we actually labour and to facilitate fresh consideration of, and renewed humility before, the generative problems of Western historical scholarship. 
The purpose of the Erasure History Workshop is to bring together students and scholars from disciplines that study the ancient Mediterranean world historically to participate in a thought experiment with methodological significance. The workshop's participants will consider the status of "the archive" of Mediterranean Antiquity by abstaining from an important source in analysis of a literary/historical problem.
Several prominent scholars from North American Universities have been invited to think and write provisionally in contradiction to their specialized knowledge of a key topic in their field. The goal of the exercise is to understand better the problems under investigation by understanding better the status of the archive that is the basis for their analysis. The Erasure History Workshop will form the 47th instance of the Conference on Editorial Problems held annually at the University of Toronto.
I will be speaking on "A World without Mark" and John Kloppenborg will be responding. More details, full program and registration details here.

Friday, November 04, 2011

The Origin of the Symbol "Q"

An anonymous writer on the Sheffield Biblical Studies blog has a nice post on Why was ‘Q’ named ‘Q’: because ‘Q’ comes after ‘P’? in which s/he quotes R. H. Lightfoot's contention that the symbol "Q" did not originate in Germany but rather in England.  J. Armitage Robinson claimed that he used it in the 1890s as the letter coming after "P" in the alphabet.  For him, "P" stood for "Peter", the alleged source of Mark's Gospel.

It's a great myth of origins and while it is quite possible that Robinson introduced the term "Q" independently of the German scholarship, there is no question that the term is in fact first used in the German scholarship.  Frans Neirynck shows that the use of "Q." as an abbreviation for Quelle goes back to Eduard Simons, Hat der dritte Evangelist den kanonischen Matthäus benutzt (Bonn: Universitäts-Buchdruckerei von Carl Georgi, 1880).  It is then used as "Q", without the dot, from 1890 onwards, by Johannes Weiss, and with full critical self-awareness by Paul Wernle in 1899.  Some bibliography:

Frans Neirynck, "The Symbol Q (=Quelle), ETL 54 (1978): 119-25

Frans Neirynck, "Once More: The Symbol Q", ETL 55 (1979): 382-3

Frans Neirynck, "Note on the Siglum Q", Evangelica II (BETL 99; Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1991), 474

See too the helpful summary in:

James M. Robinson, Paul Hoffmann and John S. Kloppenborg. The Sayings Gospel Q in Greek and English: with Parallels from the Gospels of Mark and Thomas (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2002), 23-4

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Matthew Effect

In a comment on my previous blog post, The Dalai Lama Quotation and the Historical Sceptic, Stephen Carlson notes that this is an example of "the Matthew Effect", about which Daniel Rigney writes:
The term Matthew effect was cooined by the Columbia University sociologist Robert K. Merton (1968a) to refer to the commonly observed tendency, noted above, for initial advantages to accumulate through time . . . In his pioneering studies of prestige systems in scientific communities, Merton demonstrated that prestigious scientists and institutions tend to attract inordinate attention and resources, leading to the further accumulation of prestige, which in turn attracts further resources (Daniel Rigney, The Matthew Effect: How Advantage Begets Further Advantage (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010), 4).
The term has come to be used of occasions where a piece of research, an idea, a quotation, a story gets associated with a more famous, more prominent person.  It is called the "Matthew effect" because of Matt. 13.12, "For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away."

Now what I find delightful about this terminology is that it inadvertently contains within it an example of the very phenomenon it is describing.  Matthew has been, since the early second century, the most popular Gospel, the Church's Gospel, and when people quote something that's in more than one Gospel, they invariably quote from Matthew.

So a saying that originates in Mark's Gospel (Mark 4.25),* which most scholars rightly take to have been written prior to Matthew, is actually remembered better as a saying in Matthew.  It is not the Mark Effect but the Matthew Effect.  The better known, more prominent Gospel lends its name to the feature that is thereby illustrated.

* See also Matt. 25.29, Luke 8.18, Luke 19.26.

That Dalai Lama Quotation, and the Historical Sceptic

Seen this on Facebook recently? It's been doing the rounds
"The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered, ‘Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.’"
It's a great quotation but according to the Damien Zone, it is a hoax,
"This quote, printed over a photograph of the Dalai Lama, is floating around on Facebook. It is inspiring millions of simple-minded Facebookers — but there’s a problem. HE NEVER SAID IT! There is no record of the Dalai Lama ever saying this and on his website there is no mention of it. Devout followers of the Dalai Lama say it is not true, but we live in the day where all one needs to do is put something up on Facebook and it becomes the law of the land — at least where idiots are concerned."
I am no expert on the Dalai Lama but the case presented by the Damien Zone sounds plausible, and certainly a good deal more plausible than the simple pasting of a quotation next to the picture of the Dalai Lama.

Now of course if the Dalai Lama did not say that, how might the analogy help us with historical Jesus research?  Or any research into great figures of the past?  Misattributions of quotations to Winston Churchill are famous and even in our own area, there is a great misattribution of a saying to Schweitzer (about looking into the well) that was actually said by George Tyrrell.

I must admit that the ease with which misattribution like this can happen within someone's lifetime, as well as not long after their death, reminds us of just how perilous it is to build a picture of the historical Jesus that crudely assumes historicity for sayings material, screening the Gospel sayings and parsing them down to the nth degree to find nuances in what he said.

Imagine the historical Dalai Lama scholar in two thousand years with this multiply attested saying that emerges during the great man's own life time.  What if the dissenting voices like the Damien Zone's get lost but the apparent witnesses to the saying remain?  Every now and then a helpful analogy comes along to remind us how precarious the task of historical Jesus research can be.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bloggers Get-together at the SBL

Bob Cargill is putting out the call for a  bloggers' get-together at the SBL in San Francisco.  Here's the link to his blog post with the cases fixed so that it's easier for old fogies like me to read:

Where shall the bloggers congregate at SBL in SF?

He also draws our attention to two sessions involving blogging in the program:

S19-314 – Blogger and Online Publication
11/19/2011, 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Golden Gate C2 – Marriott Marquis

Robert R. Cargill, University of Iowa, Presiding

Robert R. Cargill, University of Iowa
Welcome and Introduction (5 min)

Alice Bach, Case Western Reserve University
Can Blogging at 3 AM Be Considered Scholarship? (25 min)
Madeleine Flannagan, University of Auckland and Matthew Flannagan, Independent Scholar
Blogging a Short-Cut to Peer Review: How to Do It Effectively (25 min)
Juhana Markus Saukkonen, University of Helsinki
Sense and Practicality: Building a Historical GIS Online (25 min)
Richard Price, The Past, Present, and Future of Scholarly Social Networking (25 min)
This session will conclude with a Q&A discussion period with CEO, Dr. Richard Price.
Discussion (25 min)

S19-320 – Engaging the “Wired-In Generation”: Knowledge and Learning in the Digital Age
11/19/2011, 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Room: 3000 – Convention Center
Theme: Hosted by the Student Advisory Board
Teresa Calpino, Loyola University of Chicago, Presiding
Mark Goodacre, Duke University
Pods, Blogs, and other Time-wasters: Do Electronic Media Detract from Proper Scholarship? (15 min)
Christian Brady, Pennsylvania State University
On the Internet No One Knows You’re a Grad Student, Or How Social Media Can Help You, Build You Up, and Tear You Down (15 min)
Kelley Coblentz Bautch, St. Edward’s University
Videoconferencing in the Classroom: Broadening the Horizons of Students through Interactive Scholarly Exchange (15 min)
Discussion (30 min)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bart Ehrman "something of a superman"

It's official -- Bart Ehrman is "something of a superman when it comes to scriptural studies", at least according to a review of his co-edited volume, with Zlatko Plese, The Apocryphal Gospels, in the LA Times, with thanks to Jim Davila for the link.

The Cinematic Savior: Jesus Films and Related Literature

A former student of mine, Jon Rainey (MA Religion, Duke, 2009), has put together an excellent bibliographic essay on Jesus films, ideal for those who require a little guidance on this topic.  It reminds me that I really ought to resurrect my Jesus Film pages.

The Cinematic Savior: Jesus Films and Related Literature
Jon Rainey
Theological Librarianship 3/2 (2010): 22-26

It's available, free to all, from the link above (PDF).

Great work, Jon!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

C. K. Barrett Obituaries

The Guardian published its obituary of C. K. Barrett last week. It is written by Robert Morgan who describes him, alongside C. H. Dodd, as "the greatest British New Testament scholar of the twentieth century":

The Rev CK Barrett obituary
Biblical scholar known for his acute analysis of the New Testament

Thanks to Alan Bandy, Sean Winter, Mike Bird and others for the notice.

The Telegraph obituary was published a month ago, but I did not get the chance to mention it because it fell during my sabbatical from blogging:

The Reverend C K Barrett
The Reverend CK Barrett, who died on August 26 aged 94, was one of the foremost New Testament theologians of the 20th century

Both obituaries mention his habit of doing his NT research from 10pm to 2am each day.

Jim Davila on KGO Radio

Among a thousand things I have missed while I have been away is Jim Davila's appearance on KGO Radio, on Brent Walter's God Talk.  Luckily, you can catch it as a podcast.  (Previous God Talk episodes featuring bibliobloggers here).

The Jordan Lead Codices Information Page

There is one thing I have been able to keep up with while I have been away and that is the issue of the Jordan Lead Codices.  I have been privileged to be among those bloggers who have been discussing this issue and I have been cheering from the sidelines while some really great work has been taking place, explaining clearly and decisively why the evidence demonstrates that these are fake.  Now Steve Caruso has gathered the key information together in one place:

Thanks to Steve and everyone else involved for putting information out there in such a clear and accessible way.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Biblioblog Carnivals

So what's everyone been up to  while I've been away?  On these occasions, I like to turn to the Biblioblog Carnivals, and I am not disappointed this time.  Over on Scotteriology, there are two carnivals, "the lesser" and "the greater":

September Biblioblog Carnival: The "Lesser"

September 2011 Biblical Studies Carnival: The "Greater"

I must admit that I don't know / can't remember / can't work out who is behind Scotteriology, and the about page doesn't help me much, but many thanks for helping those, like me, who have not been around the blogs at all in September and can catch up with such an entertaining digest.

Sam Cooke, "Touch the Hem of his Garment"

Far too many of my analogies and digressions in class are drawn from British culture, so it's always nice when I can point to something like this.  On Thursday this week, we were talking about Matthew's Gospel and we were looking at his redaction of the story of the woman with a haemorrhage (Matt. 9.18-26 // Mark 5.21-43 // Luke 8.40-56), and the note that she touched not just his garment but "the hem" of his garment, Matt. 9.20, a minor agreement with Luke 8.44.  It reminded me of one of my favourite old gospel tracks, Sam Cooke's "Touch the Hem of His Garment". If you are not familiar with the track, it is a classic. Here is a nice youtube version with some fan-added images:


Saturday, September 03, 2011

Fake Jordan Lead Codices: The Video

Tom Verenna has put an excellent video together explaining why the Jordan Lead Codices are fakes. It summarizes the evidence so far gathered in a clear and nicely illustrated fashion. It's just under ten minutes long:

Thanks, Tom, for the hard work you have put into this.

Friday, September 02, 2011

German Bible Society Online Free Bibles

Thanks to Andy Rowell for passing this one on.  The German Bible Society has made available free online versions of its texts, including the NA27, the Septuagint and the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia.  It is a very attractive user interface, with nice unicode fonts, browsable and searchable.

German Bible Society: Online Bibles

No critical apparatus available (yet) but I'm sure it goes without saying that this is a very exciting development.

Eric Meyers and Carol Meyers, Online Office Hours

My colleagues here in the Religion Department yesterday appeared on Duke's Online Office Hours, discussing Archaeology, Bible, Politics and Media. You can watch the video here:


I have also added it to our departmental Audio and Video page.

NT Blog Eight Years Old Today!

It's eight years since the first post on the NT Blog, back on 2 September 2003! (Previous blogiversaries). I've had a shocking few weeks for blogging because I am finishing off a book and all my spare time has been poured into that, but I'll be back with regular blogging soon, I hope for another eight years or so.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Death of C. K. Barrett

Sorry to hear, via Steve Walton on Facebook, of the death of C. K. Barrett last night. The news comes via Jimmy Dunn:
You will be saddened to hear that Kingsley Barrett, my predecessor, died last night (6.30 pm, 26.08.11) - aged 94. He was the greatest UK commentator on NT texts since J. B. Lightfoot, and much loved by a wide range of Methodist chapels to which he ministered for about 60 years. He will be much missed, but his commentaries will live on for many years, providing information and insight to future generations of students of the NT.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

JSNT Latest

The September Journal for the Study of the New Testament is out:

Journal for the Study of the New Testament: 1 September 2011; Vol. 34, No. 1

Abstracts free for all; articles available to subscribers and subscribing institutions:


A Liturgical Tradition behind the Ending of James
Dale C. Allison, Jr
Journal for the Study of the New Testament 2011;34 3-18

Faith in Romans: The Salvation of the Individual or Life in Community?
Ben C. Dunson
Journal for the Study of the New Testament 2011;34 19-46

Paul's Intentional 'Thankless Thanks' in Philippians 4.10-20
David Briones
Journal for the Study of the New Testament 2011;34 47-69

Luke's Use of Mark as paraphrasis: Its Effects on Characterization in the 'Healing of Blind Bartimaeus' Pericope (Mark 10.46-52/Luke 18.35-43)
Timothy A. Brookins
Journal for the Study of the New Testament 2011;34 70-89

'Praise the Lord, All you Gentiles': The Encoded Audience of Romans 15.7-13
A. Andrew Das
Journal for the Study of the New Testament 2011;34 90-110

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Third Quest for the Historical Jesus is over

So says Craig Evans in the first of a series of posts on the Future of Historical Jesus Studies over on Near Emmaus.  I am pleased to hear this.  I have been in favour of abandoning "the third quest" of the historical Jesus for some time (see also NT Pod 49: What is the Third Quest of the Historical Jesus?).  The term has been a tough one from the start, but became increasingly so as the 1990s progressed.  But let's please not start talking about "the fourth quest" or any similar terms.  Let's just talk about historical Jesus research and have done.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

BBC finally doubting the fake metal codices

Many of us have known from early on that the metal codices that emerged earlier this year are fakes. Note in particular Jim Davila's Fake Metal Codices Watch and Tom Verenna's essay at Bible and Interpretation.  As Jim Davila now notes, the BBC begins backtracking and as Jim West says, It's nice to see the BBC catching up with what we all knew months ago. The new article:

Doubts over authenticity of "ancient Christian" books
Kevin Connolly

One of the disappointing things here is the lack of reference to the earlier article by Robert Pigott, which needs explicit correction. After that article appeared on 29 March, I wrote a friendly email to Robert Pigott (5 April) explaining that the consensus among experts was that the codices were fakes, and offering to point him in the direction of some clear, helpful blog posts and articles by experts. He never replied.  Nevertheless, progress is progress even if it is done in this way by a different writer apparently unaware of previous mistakes.

Update: further comments from Tom Verenna.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Giant Jesus and the Walking, Talking Cross

Over on Remnant of Giants, Deane Galbraith (Tyrone Slothrop) comments on Bart Ehrman's Huffington Post column in Jesus was a Giant! … or was he, really? Bart Ehrman in the Huffington Post on the most famous passage in the Gospel of Peter:
The Giant Jesus and the Walking-Talking Cross. Remarkably, the Gospels of the New Testament do not tell the story of Jesus emerging from the tomb on Easter morning. But the Gospel of Peter does. In this text, discovered near the end of the nineteenth century, Jesus comes out of the tomb as tall as a mountain, supported by two angels, nearly as tall themselves. And behind them, from the tomb, there emerges the cross, which has a conversation with God in heaven, assuring him that the message of salvation has now gone to those in the underworld. How a Gospel like this was ever lost is anyone’s guess.

- Bart Ehrman, “What Didn’t Make It Into The Bible?”, The Huffington Post, 21 July 2011
The quotation actually illustrates splendidly one of the reasons that I offered in my recent conference paper for suggesting that a conjectural emendation is required here.  The paper was called "A Walking, Talking Cross or the Walking, Talking Crucified One? A conjectural emendation in the Gospel of Peter 10.39, 42" (Abstract). The paper was based on a blog post from last year and in due course, I will be expanding the paper for publication.

What the quotation above illustrates nicely is the narrative oddity of the giant Jesus, who is stretched beyond the heavens, from where God addresses not the crucified one but the cross, which has apparently come out of the tomb and remained on earth, something that makes no narrative sense at all, even within the bizarre logic of the Gospel of Peter.  Here's a brief section from my paper:
There are certain advantages that this reading brings. There are advantages both to the broader narrative context and the pericope itself. With respect to the broader narrative, now it is no longer the case that a cross emerges from a tomb that it never entered. With respect to the narrower context, it overcomes the incongruity that the three men all stretch as far as – or beyond – the heavens, but the voice from heaven then addresses the cross back on earth.  In the revised reading, the voice in heaven directly addresses the crucified one, who is beyond the heavens.  Moreover, on the usual reading, the witnesses should be able to see the cross speaking, so there is no need for the note that they “there was heard the answer, 'Yes'”, a line far more appropriate to the reading with the conjectural emendation. On this reading, they only hear the answer because it is the crucified one speaking, and his head is beyond the heavens. Further, the conjectural emendation removes the extraordinary situation whereby Jesus is upstaged, at his own resurrection, by his cross.

KGO Radio God Talk online

My chat with Brent Walters on KGO Radio's God Talk is now also available online, either to listen again or to download.  It's a phone conversation so don't expect studio audio quality at my end.  It's a general chat about the business of interpreting the Bible.  The programme is on every Sunday morning, and this segment is the third hour on Sunday morning, 24 July.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Guesting on KGO Radio this morning

I'm going to be Brent Walter's guest on God Talk on KGO Newstalk 810 San Francisco this morning, at about 7am their time, 10am EDT. We'll be chatting about the interpretation of the Bible.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Blog titles beginning with "A" to "Z" on your reader

I wonder if, in time, with the proliferation of blogs, we will see more people trying to label their blogs with titles beginning with the letter "A"?  If you use a reader and have not done your own sorting, the blogs you subscribe to are likely to appear in alphabetical order.  So in my reader, which sorts alphabetically, "A 'Goula Blogger", often pops up at the top of my list and gets read first.  If there is anything on "Abnormal Interests", that is also likely to be read quickly.  So too AKMA's Random Thoughts.

If, on the other hand, your blog begins with "Z", that drops right down any list ordered alphabetically.  So if you were to label your blog after a Swiss reformer, for example, it might run the risk of getting read later than everything else, and some time after fatigue has set in.

What I am wondering is whether we may, in time, see the equivalent of the Yellow Pages phenomenon of "Aardvark Double Glazing".  Perhaps an "Abba Aramaic blog"?  Or an "Aaron 's Pentateuchal Thoughts"?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Where single attestation is preferable to multiple attestation

Further to my thoughts about the contradiction between "multiple attestation" and "embarrassment" in Historical Jesus Research, I'd like to throw out a related thought that I think compromises the value of the "multiple attestation" criterion.  Sometimes single attestation might in fact be a far better indicator of historicity than multiple attestation.

Mark is often rightly seen as more primitive in its representation of Jesus in comparison with Matthew, Luke and John.  There are moments where Mark provides a rough witness to an earlier stage of the tradition, where single attestation is a better indication of historicity than multiple attestation would be.  Where Jesus heals the Deaf Mute with physical agents (Mark 7.31-37) and where he heals the Blind Man of Bethsaida with some apparent limit to his abilities (Mark 8.22-26), these pericopae are not included by Matthew and Luke, no doubt because of the uncongenial picture of Jesus they imply.  Here, single attestation is a better indicator of primitivity than multiple attestation would be.  To put it another way, is the Multiplication of the Loaves, attested six times in the Gospel tradition, the more likely to be historical than Jesus spitting in the mouth of the deaf mute, which is attested only once?

I am aware, of course, that multiple attestation, as it is usually configured, refers to multiple independent attestation, and so one is searching for material that occurs in allegedly independent sources like Mark, Q, Thomas and John.  Notwithstanding my scepticism about the existence of Q and the independence of Thomas, the point still stands by analogy between the written Gospels and attestation in traditions, that uncongenial material will often have dropped out, so that some of the more unusual, primitive features will be at best singly attested where they are attested at all.  In this context, multiple attestation is actually a weaker indication of historicity than is single attestation.

Monday, July 18, 2011

On the contradiction between "multiple attestation" and "embarrassment" in Historical Jesus Research

I am writing a piece at the moment on the criterion of multiple attestation in Historical Jesus research and I came across this nice piece of wisdom in a quotation in an article by John Lyons:
"I can’t help thinking that one cancels out the other. If everyone, Q, an independent Thomas, Mark, Matthew, Luke all have this same material, who is embarrassed about it? The multiple attestation is itself an argument against embarrassment" (W. J. Lyons, “A Prophet Is Rejected in His Home Town (Mark 6.4 and Parallels): A Study in the Methodological (In)Consistency of the Jesus Seminar”, JSHJ 6 (2008): 59-84 (79).
It turns out that it's something I once said here on the NT Blog while I was reflecting on an SBL session that used the criteria of multiple attestation and embarrassment side by side. I am grateful to John for drawing attention to the passing comment (and, incidentally, for his article, which is an excellent discussion of the problems with the way that the Jesus seminar uses Historical Jesus criteria) because I think there may be something in it.

What other area of the humanities would manage to come up with something so counter-intuitive as criteria that apparently contradict one another?  When we are embarrassed about something, do we keep repeating the information?  If members of the early church were seriously embarrassed about John's baptism of Jesus, for example, why did they keep repeating it, even celebrating it?  Would multiple witnesses really begin their accounts of the "good news" by trumpeting something they all found embarrassing?

If a tradition is multiply attested, it is a tradition that on some level the evangelists were proud to repeat.  When they were embarrassed about things, they could easily omit them.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Biblical Studies Carnival, July 2011

Chris Brady does an excellent job with the Biblical Studies Carnival for July but he is understandably exhausted after doing it and exhorts everyone to help out with the next one.  I understand what Chris means. I have never done a carnival and I am afraid that the task is far too daunting for me to take on.  Thanks to everyone who does the job, and exhortations to everyone else to help out.

Logos Android App Beta now available

I'm excited to hear of the Public Beta of the Logos Android App which is now available.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Thanks to Deane Galbraith for a note about a new online journal out today:

Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception
Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception is an independent, open-access, peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of innovative research in reception history, broadly conceived, within and across religious traditions.
There are some fascinating articles in the first edition of the journal, including one by James Crossley on the Life of Brian that is well worth a read.

Congratulations to all concerned on this new venture.

Bloomsbury buys Continuum

Continuum, one of the major academic publishers in our area, and the home of the premier series the Library of New Testament Studies, has been acquired by Bloomsbury:

This piece, from the Independent, says that "the purchase of Continuum from Nova/ Paul Investments Capital was a "transformational step" in its strategy to grow its academic and professional division".  More here in The Bookseller.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Latest JBL

Details of the latest Journal of Biblical Literature

Volume 130, Number 2 / Summer 2011 of Journal of Biblical Literature is now available on the website at

This issue contains:

       Differentiation in Genesis 1: An Exegetical Creation ex nihilo
       Richard Neville
       URL of article:

       Sexual Desire? Eve, Genesis 3:16, and
       Joel N. Lohr
       URL of article:

       The Story of Saul's Election (1 Samuel 9-10) in the Light of Mantic Practice in Ancient Iraq
       Jeffrey L. Cooley
       URL of article:

       The Rab Šāqēh between Rhetoric and Redaction
       Jerome T. Walsh
       URL of article:

       Did Nehemiah Own Tyrian Goods? Trade between Judea and Phoenicia during the Achaemenid Period
       Benjamin J. Noonan
       URL of article:

       The Dangerous Sisters of Jeremiah and Ezekiel
       Amy Kalmanofsky
       URL of article:

       Suspense, Simultaneity, and Divine Providence in the Book of Tobit
       Ryan S. Schellenberg
       URL of article:

       A Centurion's "Confession": A Performance-Critical Analysis of Mark 15:39
       Kelly R. Iverson
       URL of article:

       Divine Judgment against Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11): A Stock Scene of Perjury and Death
       J. Albert Harrill
       URL of article:

       What Do the Gentiles Have to Do with "All Israel"? A Fresh Look at Romans 11:25-27
       Jason A. Staples
       URL of article:

       Does περιβόλαιоν Mean "Testicle" in 1 Corinthians 11:15?
       Mark Goodacre
       URL of article:

       Blessing God and Cursing People: James 3:9-10
       Dale C. Allison, Jr.
       URL of article: now defunct

I've just noticed, after receiving a comment over on the NT Gateway, that is now defunct.  Has anyone archived the site and uploaded elsewhere?

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

New Testament Studies latest

The new issue of New Testament Studies is out.  Abstracts free for all; the remaining content is for subscribers and subscribing institutions:


‘Blessed is Whoever is Not Offended by Me’: The Subversive Appropriation of (Royal) Messianic Ideology in Q 3–7
Simon J. Joseph
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 03, July 2011, pp 307-324
doi: 10.1017/S0028688510000329, Published online by Cambridge University Press 08 Jun 2011

Galatians 5.11: Evidence of an Early Law-observant Mission by Paul?
Douglas A. Campbell
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 03, July 2011, pp 325-347
doi: 10.1017/S002868851100004X, Published online by Cambridge University Press 08 Jun 2011

Paul's Appropriation of Philo's Theory of ‘Two Men’ in 1 Corinthians 15.45–49
Stefan Nordgaard
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 03, July 2011, pp 348-365
doi: 10.1017/S0028688511000075, Published online by Cambridge University Press 08 Jun 2011

Leben allein aus Gnade. Eph 2.1-10 und die paulinische Rechtfertigungsbotschaft
Christine Gerber
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 03, July 2011, pp 366-391
doi: 10.1017/S0028688511000051, Published online by Cambridge University Press 08 Jun 2011

Gott als verlässlicher Käufer: Einige Papyrologische Anmerkungen und bibeltheologische Schlussfolgerungen zum Gottesbild der Paulusbriefe
Peter Arzt-Grabner
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 03, July 2011, pp 392-414
doi: 10.1017/S0028688511000038, Published online by Cambridge University Press 08 Jun 2011

The Encomiastic Topics of Syncrisis as the Key to the Structure and Argument of Hebrews
Michael W. Martin and Jason A. Whitlark
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 03, July 2011, pp 415-439
doi: 10.1017/S0028688511000099, Published online by Cambridge University Press 08 Jun 2011

Why Did the Early Christians Call Themselves ?
Paul Trebilco
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 03, July 2011, pp 440-460
doi: 10.1017/S0028688511000087, Published online by Cambridge University Press 08 Jun 2011

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Biblioblogging Carnival at Unsettled Christianity

Occasionally, I drop off the face of the earth and become so immersed in research that the blogging doesn't so much go onto the back burner as into the back bedroom. It's at times like that the biblioblogging carnivals are so useful. And for May, Joel Watts put together a superb piece over on his number 1 blog:

Biblioblogging Carnival - Unsettled Edition

Talking of number 1 blogs, it seems that these days there is a kind of voting system for blogs too -- May 2011 Top Ten Biblioblogs. Unsurprisingly, the winner there is James McGrath.  But coming in at a very impressive number 7 is April DeConick. It's impressive because it's on the basis of a mere four posts in May, compared to Jim West, at number 10, who posted a record-breaking four million, eight hundred and fifty thousand, three hundred and twenty two posts in May.

Update (Thursday, 9.51): Chuck Grantham comments, over on A 'Goula Blogger.

New Bible Gateway features SBL Greek NT

The new version of the Bible Gateway launched last week. It's been on the web for an age. In fact, when I started my NT Gateway back in 1997, it was one of my first links. The new version includes something that will be of interest and use to Bible scholars, another quick and easy way to access the SBL Greek New Testament.

Conference Announcement: Romans 5-8 at Princeton Theological Seminary

Presentations will be offered by an outstanding group of international scholars, including:

John M.G. Barclay, Durham University
Martinus C. de Boer, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Susan Grove Eastman, Duke University Divinity School
Neil Elliott, Fortress Press
Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Princeton Theological Seminary
J. Louis Martyn, Union Theological Seminary (emeritus)
Ben Myers, Charles Sturt University School of Theology, Sydney
Stephen Westerholm, McMaster University
Philip G. Ziegler, King’s College, University of Aberdeen
Workshops given by Cleophus LaRue and Gordon Mikoski, Princeton Theological Seminary
Short papers will be read in simultaneous sessions. To offer a paper, submit a 200-word abstract by September 1, 2011 to:
For further information, vistit the Romans Conference web page.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Q: Do you want to believe?

Courtesy of C. J. Schmidt over on Question Assumptions.

It's tough being a sceptic.

Library of New Testament Studies Latest Titles

Library of New Testament Studies latest titles include:

Continuum Highlights
New Titles in the Library of New Testament Studies Series
Continuum logo
2011 IPG Independent Publisher of the Year and Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year
Contours in the Text: Textual Variation in the Writings of Paul, Josephus and the Yahad
Jonathan D. H. Norton
Norton-Piliavsky places Paul's work within the context of ancient Jewish literary practice, bridging the gap between textual criticism and social history in contemporary discussions. The author argues that studies of ancient Jewish exegesis draw on two distinct analytical modes: the text-critical and the socio-historical. He then shows that the two are usually joined together in discussions of ancient Jewish literature arguing that as a result of this, commentators often allow the text-critical approach to guide their efforts to understand historical questions.
Published: February 2011 | Hardback: £60.00
More information and preview online
Fourth Gospel in First-Century Media Culture
Edited by Anthony Le Donne and Tom Thatcher
Werner Kelber's The Oral and the Written Gospel substantially challenged predominant paradigms for understanding early Jesus traditions and the formation of written Gospels. Since that publication, a more precise and complex picture of first-century media culture has emerged. Yet while issues of orality, aurality, performance, and mnemonics are now well voiced in Synoptic Studies, Johannine scholars remain largely unaware of such issues and their implications. The highly respected contributors to this book seek to fill this lacuna by exploring various applications of orality, literacy, memory, and performance theories to the Johannine Literature in hopes of opening new avenues for future discussion.
Published: February 2011 | Hardback: £65.00
More information and preview online
Abuse, Power and Fearful Obedience: Reconsidering 1 Peter's Commands to Wives
Jennifer G. Bird
Bird analyzes the construction of wives' subjectivity in 1 Peter, working primarily with that is referred to as the Haustafel (household code) section and engaging feminist critical questions, postcolonial theory, and materialist theory in her analysis. Bird examines the two crucial labels for understanding Petrine Christian identity - 'aliens and refugees' and 'royal priesthood and holy nation' - and finds them to stand in stark contract with the commands and identity given to the wives in the Haustafel section. Similarly, the command to 'honour the Emperor', which immediately precedes the Haustafel, engenders a rich discussion of the text's socio-political implications.
Published: July 2011 | Hardback: £65.00
More information and preview online
Prayer and Vindication in Luke — Acts: The Theme of Prayer within the Context of the Legitimating and Edifying Objective of the Lukan Narrative
Geir O. Holmas
Holmas asserts that the distribution of strategically-placed prayer notices and prayers throughout Luke-Acts serves a twofold purpose. First, it is integral to Luke's project of authenticating the Jesus-movement as accredited by Israel's God. Holmas shows that Luke presents a consistent pattern of divine affirmation and redemption attending the tenacious prayers of the faithful ones throughout every major phase of his narrative — in turn demonstrating continuity with the pious Israel of the past. Secondly, most importantly the 'ultimate' purpose of Luke 's emphasis on prayer is didactical. In Luke's gospel Jesus summons his disciples (and implicitly his readers) to confident and persistent prayer before the Eschaton, assuring them of God's readiness to answer their entreaties.
Published: March 2011 | Hardback: £70.00
More information and preview online
Paul as Missionary: Identity, Activity, Theology, and Practice
Edited by Trevor J. Burke and Brian S. Rosner
Paul as Missionary: Identity, Activity, Theology and Practice takes the view that before anything else Paul must first and foremost be identified as a 'missionary'. Using the entire Pauline corpus the contributors to this volume assess what Paul's correspondence can tell us about how he perceived his role and identity. The work comprises four parts: in section one, Paul's identity as priest, eschatological herald, and missionary-pastor are explored while in part two topics such as the apostle's activity among pagans, his suffering, and Paul 's 'missionary message' to the church at Rome are considered. Section three comprises essays on the Spirit as the governing dynamic, the glory of God as the apostle's missionary goal, and the importance of Paul's Christology in shaping his mission to the Gentiles. Finally, part four addresses Paul's missionary praxis, including his support of his missionary enterprise.
Published: March 2011 | Hardback: £70.00
More information and preview online
The Danielic Eschatological Hour in the Johannine Literature
Stefanos Mihalios
Stefanos Mihalios examines the uses of the 'hour' in the writings of John and demonstrates the contribution of Danielic eschatology to John's understanding of this concept. Mihalios begins by tracing the notion of an eschatological time in the Old Testament within expressions such as 'in that time ' and 'time of distress,' which also appear in the book of Daniel and relate to the eschatological hour found in Daniel. Mihalios finds that even within the Jewish tradition there exists an anticipation of the fulfillment of the Danielic eschatological time, since the eschatological hour appears in the Jewish literature within contexts that allude to the Danielic end-time events. Mihalios moves on to examines the Johannine eschatological expressions and themes that have their source in Daniel, finding evidence of clear allusions whenever the word 'hour' arises.
Published: March 2011 | Hardback: £65.00
More information and preview online
'Who is this son of man?': The Latest Scholarship on a Puzzling Expression of the Historical Jesus
Edited by Larry W. Hurtado and Paul L. Owen
This book is the first ever collection of scholarly essays in English devoted specifically to the theme of the expression 'son of man'. It describes the major competing theories which have addressed questions such as: What is the original Aramaic expression which lies behind the Greek phrase, and what was its original connotation? How do the gospel writers use the expression 'son of man'? Is it a Christological title, pregnant with meaning, much like the titles son of God, Christ/Messiah, and son of David? Is it used as a way of designating Jesus as a human being of unique redemptive significance? Or does it rather originate in a nuanced use (obscured in Greek translation) of an Aramaic expression used in place of the first person pronoun, as an indefinite pronoun, or for generic statements about human beings?
Published: March 2011 | Hardback: £70.00
More information and preview online
Dialogue Not Dogma: Many Voices in the Gospel of Luke
Raj Nadella
Lukan scholars offer varying responses to the issue of divergent viewpoints in the gospel regarding the identity of Jesus, wealth, women, and the emphasis on doing vis-á-vis hearing. Many forms of criticism attempt to explain or harmonize these apparent contradictions. Conversely, Raj Nadella argues that there is no dominant viewpoint in Luke and that the divergence in viewpoints is a unique literary feature to be celebrated rather than a problem to be solved. Nadella interprets selected Lukan passages in light of Bakhtinian concepts such as dialogism, loophole, and exotopy to show that the disparate perspectives, and interplay between them, display Luke's superior literary skills rather than his inability to produce a coherent work.
Published: March 2011 | Hardback: £60.00
More information and preview online
Paul's Use of the Old Testament in Romans 9.10-18: An Intertextual and Theological Exegesis
Brian J. Abasciano
Abasciano builds upon his previous LNTS volume, Paul's Use of the Old Testament in Romans 9.1-9, continuing the project begun in that volume and its intertextual methodology. This method incorporates into a thorough traditional exegesis a comprehensive analysis of Paul's use of Scripture against the background of interpretive traditions surrounding the texts alluded to, with great emphasis placed on analyzing the original contexts of Paul's citations and allusions. Such an intertextual exegesis is conducted in Romans 9:10-18 with an awareness of the broader unit of chapters 9-11 especially, and also the epistle as a whole. Conclusions for the meaning of these passages and their theological significance are drawn.
Published: April 2011 | Hardback: £60.00
More information and preview online
Conversion of the Nations in Revelation
Allan J. McNicol
Allan McNicol examines the longstanding tension between the author of Revelation's description of the destruction of unrepentant nations early in the book in contrast with their final experience of salvation in Rev 21.24-26. McNicol examines how the author of Revelation interprets and re-fashions both scripture and the myths of the age in order to lay out his vision of redemption — leading to his ultimate conclusion that human political power (Rome) will crumble before the influence of the crucified Jesus. Through careful attention to references to the 'pilgrimage to the Gentiles' in prophetic literature, McNicol is able to draw valuable conclusions as to how the core tension examined may be resolved.
Published: April 2011 | Hardback: £60.00
More information and preview online
Back to top