One of my colleagues, Prof. Magnar Kartveit, at The School of Mission and Theology, Stavanger-Norway, is publishing a new book this spring:
Rejoice, Dear Zion! Hebrew Construct Phrases with “Daughter” and “Virgin” as Nomen Regens (Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 447) Berlin: de Gruyter, 2013. 210 p.
In this forthcoming publication he discusses the phrase “Daughter of Zion” from a linguistic point of view, using methaphor theory and irony as tools.
The German publisher promotes the book thus:”
The phrase “Daughter of Zion” is in recent Bible translations often rendered “Daughter Zion”. The discussion behind this change has continued for decades, but lacks proper linguistic footing. Parlance in grammars, dictionaries, commentaries and textbooks is often confusing.
The present book seeks to remedy this defect by treating all relevant expressions from a linguistic point of view. To do this, it also discusses the understanding of Hebrew construct phrases, and finds that while there is a morphological category of genitive in Akkadian, Ugaritic and Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic and Syriac do not display it. The use of this term as a syntactical category is unfortunate, and the term should be avoided in Hebrew grammar. Metaphor theory and the use of irony are also tools in the discussion of the phrases.
As a result of the treatment, the author finds that there are some Hebrew construct phrases where nomen regens describes the following nomen rectum, and the description may be metaphorical, in some cases also ironical. This seems to be the case with “Daughter of Zion” and similar phrases. This understanding calls for a revision of the translation of the phrases, and new translations are suggested.”
Scott D. Mackcie has posted a new article on his blog, this time on a pauline letter:
“The Two Tables of the Law and Paul’s Ethical Methodology in 1 Corinthians 6:12–20 and 10:23–11:1,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 75.2 (2013): 315–334.
Congratulations to Scott for having an article published in Catholic Biblical Quarterly.
Professor emeritus at Divinity school, Edinburgh University, has published some interesting postings in the recent weeks. Here he deals with topics central to his books on early Christology, see especially Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity (2003), and his How On Earth Did Jesus Become a God?(2005).
I would like like to refer to these postings on his Blog called Larry Hurtado’s Blog:
“Revelatory” Experiences and Religious Innovation (April 15)
“I had been asked to focus on religious experience in my Rice lecture, and so took the opportunity to re-visit matters and treat in more detail some direct evidence in early Christian texts. I began by clarifying what I mean by “revelatory” experiences, distinguishing these from other types of religious experiences. In experiences of “revelation”, the recipient senses some significant new cognitive content, and/or some major re-configuring of previous beliefs, often with an accompanying sense of mission to proclaim the new insight/belief. I emphasize that we don’t have to grant the religious/theological validity of the claimed revelation; we simply have to recognize the genuineness of the claim to having such experiences and the efficacy of such experiences in generating religious innovations.”
Read more here.
“Early Christian Monotheism” (April 19)
“I began by discussing “the Terminology Question”, specifically debates about whether in fact it is misleading to refer to ancient Jewish or Christian “monotheism”. The problem is that (1) the term is of relatively recent vintage (18th century), and, more seriously, (2) that the standard dictionary definition is belief in the existence of only one God (or, correspondingly, denial of the existence of any other gods). All our evidence of ancient Jewish tradition is either inconclusive about whether the existence of other deities was denied, or else is pretty clear that their existence wasn’t denied. Ancient Jews (and Christians) seem to have been more concerned to refuse the worship of other deities, and not so much their existence.
I respond by noting, however, that …..” Read more here.
Jesus in early Christian Prayer (April 24)
“In previous postings I gave concise summaries of the thrust of my recent guest lecture in Rice University and one of the two lectures in Houston Baptist University. In this posting I want to summarize the other HBU lecture: “The Place of Jesus in Earliest Christian Prayer and its Import for Early Christian Identity.”” Read more here.
A new interesting blog has recently been established by Dr. Willem J. de Wit
Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, called Mideast Bible.
Mideast Bible is a website dedicated to reading and studying the Bible and theology through Middle Eastern eyes. The site is best understood as a bridge with two-way traffic:
on the one hand it informs interested people all over the world about Middle Eastern perspectives on the Bible and theology;
on the other hand it draws attention to global developments in Biblical Studies and theology (and sometimes higher education more in general) that may be of interest to Middle Eastern students, pastors, and theologians.
Go to http://mideastbible.com/
So far prof de Wit has mostly posted references to other webpages etc, but hopefully we may also see more substantive articles and other goodies.
Mohr Siebeck announces that a new book on ancient Alexandria will be out this spring, published in Germany and in German:
Hrsg. v. Tobias Georges, Felix Albrecht u. Reinhard Feldmeier
Mohr Siebeck May 2013, 600 pages (est.).
They also provide this interesting List of Contents:
Reinhard Feldmeier, Tobias Georges : Vorwort Archäologie und Geschichte Alexandrias Balbina Bäbler : Zur Archäologie Alexandrias – Dorit Engster : Wissenschaftliche Forschung und technologischer Fortschritt in Alexandria – Heinz-Günther Nesselrath : Das Museion und die Große Bibliothek von Alexandria Paganes Alexandria Jürgen Zangenberg : Fragile Vielfalt. Beobachtungen zur Sozialgeschichte Alexandrias in hellenenistisch-römischer Zeit – Ilinca Tanaseanu-Döbler : Philosophie in Alexandria – der Kreis um Ammonios Sakkas – Martin Bommas : Isis in Alexandria – Theologie und Ikonographie – Stefan Schmidt : Der Sturz des Serapis – Zur Bedeutung paganer Götterbilder in der spätantiken Gesellschaft Alexandrias Jüdisches Alexandria Anna-Maria Schwemer : Zur griechischen und jüdischen Gründungslegende Alexandriens – Maren Niehoff : Jüdische Bibelinterpretation zwischen Homerforschung und Christentum – Felix Albrecht : Die Septuaginta. Einsichten zur Enstehungs-, Überlieferungs- und Wirkungsgeschichte des griechischen Alten Testaments – Friedrich Reiterer : Zwischen Jerusalem und Alexandria. Alttestamentlicher Glaube im Umfeld hellenistischer Politik und Bildung – Jan Dochhorn : Jüdisch-alexandrinische Literatur? Eine Problemanzeige und ein Überblick über diejenige Literatur, die potentiell dem antiken Judentum entstammt – Karin Schöpflin : Die Hellenisierung der jüdischen Gottesbezeichnung. Ein Versuch anhand von Beobachtungen am spätbiblischen Buch Tobit – Reinhard Kratz : Elephantine und Alexandria. Nicht-biblisches und biblisches Judentum in Ägypten – Beatrice Wyss : Philon und die Pentas. Arithmologie als exegetische Methode - Anna-Maria Schwemer : Der jüdische Aufstand in der Diaspora unter Trajan (115-117 n. Chr.) Christliches Alexandria Jürgen Wehnert : Apollos – Winrich Löhr: Christliche ,Gnostiker‘ in Alexandria im zweiten Jahrhundert – Ralf Sedlak : Klemens – ein christlicher Autor in Alexandria – Peter Gemeinhardt : Glaube, Bildung, Theologie: Ein Spannungsfeld im frühchristlichen Alexandria Islamisches Alexandria Hinrich Biesterfeld : “Von Alexandria nach Bagdad”
A former student at The School of Theology and Mission, Stavanger-Norway, now the executive general secretary of the Norwegian Bible Society, Ingeborg Mongstad-Kvammen is about to have her PhD dissertation published at Brill:
Toward a Postcolonial Reading of the Epistle of James.James 2:1-13 in its Roman Imperial Context
(Biblical Interpretation Series 119. Leiden; Brill, 2013).
I am glad to see this news and to bring it further on both for the profit of Ingeborg, and because I was the leader of the assessment board for her dissertation a few years ago. Now it can be accessable for a wider readership. It is, alas, somewhat expensive, but hopefully a library near you will buy it.
The publisher presents the book thus:
Toward a Postcolonial Reading of the Epistle of James offers an interpretation of Jas 2:1-13 putting the text in the midst of the Roman imperial system of rank. This study shows that the conflict of the text has more to do with differences of rank than poverty and wealth. The main problem is that the Christian assemblies are acting according to Roman cultural etiquette instead of their Jewish-Christian heritage when a Roman equestrian and a beggar visit the assembly. They are accused of having become too Roman. From a postcolonial perspective, this is a typical case of hybrid identities. Additional key concepts from postcolonialism, such as diaspora, ’othering’ and the binarisms coloniser/colonised, centre/margin, honour/shame, power/powerless are highlighted throughout the study.
Via Academia.edu I came over a wonderful blog resource for religion in antiquity, called Hieroi logoi: Digital Resources for Religion in Late Antiquity.
The blogger (Paul Dilley), University of Iowa, presents the project thus: “The purpose of this blog is to discover and review all websites relevant to the study of the religions of Late Antiquity, here understood broadly as the period between Alexander the Great (3rd century BCE) and Muhammad (6th-7th century CE). My goal is gradually to create a centralized information portal on this subject, extensively categorized and tagged, for scholarly research and teaching, as well as the interested public. Some of these sites are well known, others obscure; some straightforward to use, others difficult; some are well-funded collaborative efforts, others are more informal. Caveat lector! But all have their interest..”
Looking around on this website I found several I would like to include in my Resource Pages for Biblical Studies.
Among the Philo volumes I bought at SBL last November, was also the quite new volume by Karl-Gustav Sandelin, Finland.
In 2008 he was able to published a collection of his articles originally published in Sweedish. You can read more about this volume here.
Now there is another volume out.
Attraction and Danger of Alien Religion. Studies in Early Judaism and Christianity
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 290
Mohr-Siebeck; Tubingen, 2012.
This volume contains 11 articles, originally published in the years from 1991 to 2006. Two of the articles are not previously published.
The complete list of studies published in this volume can be given thus:
Jews and alien Religious Practices during the Hellenistic Age (2006)
The Danger of Idolatry According to Philo of Alexandria (1991)
Philo’s Ambivalence towards Statues (2001)
Does Paul Argue against Sacramentalism and Over-Conﬁdence in 1 Cor 10:1-14? (1995)
“Do not be Idolators!” (1 Cor 10:17) (1995)
Drawing the Line: Paul on Idol Food and Idolatry in 1 Cor 8:1-11:1 (2003).
Does Paul warn the Corinthians Not to eat Demons?
Philo and Paul on Alien Religion: A Comparison (2005)
The Jesus-Tradition and Idolatry (1996)
Attraction and Danger of Alien Religion in the Revelation of John
As the publisher says on the frontleaf page:
“Early Judaism and early Christianity emerged during the Hellenistic and early Roman imperial era. They were, naturally, confronted with the Hellenistic and the Roman religion. The question therefore arose as to whether Jews or Christians were free to participate in religious activities alien to the religious heritage of their own. In his articles, Karl-Gustav Sandelin presents documentary material showing that this problem was a burning issue within Judaism from the beginning of the Hellenistic period until the end of the first century C.E. Several Jewish individuals converted to the Hellenistic or the Roman religion. Such behavior was also discussed and generally condemned, for example by the Books of Maccabees and authors such as Philo of Alexandria and Flavius Josephus. A similar problem is to be found in the New Testament, notably in the letters of Paul, especially in the first letter to the Corinthians and in the Revelation of John.” This description of the issues dealt with in the nice volume is so accurate that it can hardly be bettered.
Congratulations to prof. Sandelin on this new collection of articles!
At the end of this year, if the printing process goes well, there is supposed to be published a volume on 1 Peter in memory of Leonhard Goppelt.The volume is now being edited by Prof. Dr. David S. du Toit
Institut für Neues Testament, Evangelisch-theologische Fakultät, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.
I was happy to be invited to participate, and have just submitted my piece, a small study discussing the views of Ben Witherington III on the ethnic identity of the first readers of 1 Peter. As some of you may know, Witherington, in his commentary on 1 Peter (Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians Vol 11: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on 1-2 Peter; InterVarsity Academic:2007) argues that the first readers were of Jewish background. I did not manage to fall in completely with his views. Taking the arguments one by one, I must admit, that most, may be all, might be read as possible arguments for an intended or perceived Jewish readership; but taken all together, the comulative value still tips the scale in the Gentile direction for me. However, when working on the article, I became again aware of the strong ‘supersessionist’ tendency in the letter. Another issue I dealt with is the often rather ‘naive’ attitude or view of many commentators that the author really did know much about his readers: Hence, can we, in fact, really speak about the ethnic background of the readers, or can we at best talk and write about how the author perceived them?
Added some resources to the Philo pages on my Resource Pages to Biblical Studies; in particular the HomePage of René Bloch, and a couple of his articles on Philo. Enjoy!