Philonica et Neotestamentica

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Monthly Archives: April 2008

Bible Maps

David Instone-Brewer has gathered a lot of information concerning Bible maps and geography info available on the internet, and posted it on his blog: Tyndale Tech.

Worth visiting is also some similar info located at Biblical Studies and Technological Tools Blog.

Philo’s Scriptures

Cohen, Naomi,
Philo’s Scriptures: Citations from the Prophets and Writings: Evidence for a Haftarah Cycle in Second Temple Judaism
(Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism, 123
Leiden: Brill, 2007), pp. xvii + 278 ,$142.00

Description: It is indeed remarkable that although Philo has quoted extensively from the Pentateuch, his works contain no more than forty-six references to the Prophets and Writings. The author provides a convincing explanation for every one of these citations. It corroborates the thesis that Philo availed himself of lexicographic aids and midrashic material, and further, that even when the language of their composition was Hebrew/Aramaic, that he used them in Greek translation. It identifies a circle engaged in esoteric philosophic allegorization of Scriptures, with which Philo associated, and it finds that the specific quotations from the Prophets point to the existence, already in the 1st century CE, of a traditional Haftarah Cycle. The book fills a long felt lacuna.

Naomi G. Cohen, taught for many years at Tel-Aviv and Haifa Universities, and is presently a Senior Research Fellow at Haifa University. She has published extensively both on Philo and on Jewish Liturgy, including Philo Judaeus: His Universe of Discourse (1995; according to the publisher, this book is now out of print).

Reviews at RBL

The following new reviews have been added to the Review of Biblical Literature:

Philip S. Alexander
The Mystical Texts: Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice and Related Manuscripts
Reviewed by Samuel Thomas

John Barton
The Nature of Biblical Criticism
Reviewed by James D. G. Dunn

Roland Boer
Symposia: Dialogues concerning the History of Biblical Interpretation
Reviewed by Henning Graf Reventlow

Andrew Chester
Messiah and Exaltation: Jewish Messianic and Visionary Traditions and New Testament Christology
Reviewed by Martin Karrer

Zeba A. Crook
Reconceptualising Conversion: Patronage, Loyalty, and Conversion in the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean
Reviewed by Dietmar Neufeld

A. Andrew Das
Solving the Romans Debate
Reviewed by Don Garlington

Max Küchler and Karl Matthias Schmidt, eds.
Texte-Fakten-Artefakte: Beiträge zur Bedeutung der Archäologie für die neutestamentliche Forschung
Reviewed by Gabriele Faßbeck

Tremper Longman III
Reviewed by Timothy J. Sandoval

Edward P. Meadors
Idolatry and the Hardening of the Heart: A Study in Biblical Theology
Reviewed by Thomas J. Kraus

Eine urchristliche praeparatio ad martyrium

By reading 1 Peter, trying to work out its view on mission, I was struck by its emphasis on what one might call praeparatio ad Martyrium, and the lack of studies dealing with this aspect.

But then I discovered, there is in fact a major study published that deals exactly with this aspekt:

Reichert, Angelika, Eine urchristliche praeparatio ad martyrium

Studien zur Komposition, Traditionsgeschichte und Theologie des 1. Petrusbriefes

Beiträge zur biblischen Exegese und Theologie 22
Frankfurt/M., Bern, New York, Paris, 1989. 624 S.

“Der in der Struktur des 1Petr auffallende und oft als crux interpretum empfundene Abschnitt 3,13-4,6 zeigt sich auf synchroner Ebene in thematischer und funktionaler Hinsicht als die eigentliche Mitte des Schreibens: Themen, die den ganzen 1Petr bestimmen (Eschatologie, Weltverhältnis, Leiden), werden hier aufeinander bezogen und in der Funktion einer praeparatio ad martyrium zum Ausdruck gebracht. Zugleich zwingt die synchrone Analyse zur diachronen Rückfrage. Diese führt zu der für das «Paulinismus»-Problem relevanten Hypothese: Die Traditionsverarbeitung spiegelt die kritische Auseinandersetzung des Verfassers des 1Petr mit einem bestimmten Zweig der nachpaulinischen Entwicklung.”

Die Verkündigung unter Geistern und Toten

The text of 1 Pet 3:19ff is still attracting interest and studies. Here is one more, available on the Internet as a .pdf file:

Paul-Gerhard Klumbies,
Die Verkündigung unter Geistern und Toten
nach 1Petr 3,19f und 4,6

(=ZNW 92 [2001] 207-228)

The article is also available here.

Neutestamentliche Repetitorium

For all of the students that can read German, there is a nice Repetitorium available in the web pages made and kept by prof. dr. Peter Pilhover; Neutestamentliche Repetitorium.

The Repetitorium is not yet complete, but it already covers most of the New testament; you can see the Table of Contents here. The various sections are avaiable as .pdf files. I have not checked all, but made a brief reading of his pages on 1 Peter. Here he advocates a date for this letter later than what I would argue ( go here);accordingly he does not suppport the authorship of Peter either. But all in all, the pages are nicely set up, and easy to read.

Some more articles on Philo

A search made me aware of some more recent articles related to Philo, his works and conceptual world. They might be worthy of a closer study; hence here are the references:

Kovelman, Arkady,
‘Jeremiah 9:22-23 in Philo and Paul,’

Review of Rabbinic Judaism, Volume 10, Number 2, 2007 , pp. 162-175.

Geljon, A.C.
Philonic Elements in Didymus the Blind’s Exegesis of the Story of Cain and Abel
Vigiliae Christianae, Volume 61, Number 3, 2007 , pp. 282-312

“This article focuses on Philo’s influence on the interpretation of Cain and Abel given by Didymus the Blind in his Commentary on Genesis. Didymus refers a few times to Philo by name but more places can be detected in which Didymus makes use of Philo. Both Philo and Didymus see in Cain and Abel two different worldviews, which are opposed to each other. Cain is the wicked man, who does not respect God, whereas Abel is the virtuous man, who loves God. Philo bases his interpretation on the translation of Cain as possession and of Abel as referring to God. These translations are absent in Didymus. Philonic elements can be seen, for instance, in Abel as shepherding the senses and in Cain presented as a sophist. It is remarkable that Didymus does not interpret Abel as a type of Christ, as other church fathers do.”

Louth, Andrew
II. Philo”
The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition” January 2007 , pp. 17-35

“Philo was a devout Jew who defended the traditional customs of his faith. The bulk of his writings consist of commentaries on parts of the Pentateuch in the Septuagint version. He is important for two reasons. First, as a representative of Middle Platonism — the Stoicized form Platonism had taken from the beginning of the first century BC — which provides the intellectual background of many of the Fathers, and is the form in which the idea of the soul’s ascent to God is understood. Secondly, Philo is important in himself, for there is no doubt that his writings had a very considerable influence on the Alexandrian tradition in Greek patristic theology.”

Feldman, Louis H.
Moses the General and the Battle against Midian in Philo”
Jewish Studies Quarterly, Volume 14, Number 1, March 2007 , pp. 1-1