Amphiteather from the 4. century

Kom al-dikka
Kom al-dikka

This is not the Amphitheater of Philo’s time, of which he has so much to tell us when he records the events of the pogrom at ca 38 AD. This one is from the century and can held only a few hundreds. What is surprising is that this is the only Roman amphitheater known in present day Egypt. It was discovered by mere coincidence when foundations were being laid for apartments buildings. Now there are still some excavations in the area; close by there is also excavated a nice Roman villa, called ‘the villa of the birds’ because of its many mocaic pictures of birds, still keeping their beautyful colors.

Like most other Roman amphitheatres, the acoustic was excellent. There was a marked spot in the front middel; when you stepped upon it an talked, the sound changed dramatically; step aside, and it changed again.

Jesus and the God of Israel

Somewhat unexepectedly, the most recent book of Richard Bauckham appeared in my mailbox today. Another interesting volume to read is on my desk:
Richard Bauckham,
Jesus and the God of Israel.
God crucified and other studies on the New Testament’s Christology of Divine Identity.

Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 2008. 285 pp.

It turns out that his famous, but brief study; God Crucified (1998), is included as the first chapter of this volume (pp. 1-59), then we have the following studies included as separate chapters:

Biblical theology and the Problems of Monotheism (60-106),
The ‘Most High’ God and the Nature of Early Jewish Monotheism (107-126),
The worship of Jesus in Early Christianity (127-151),
The Throne of God and the Worship of Jesus (152-181),
Paul’s Christology of Divine Identity (182-132),
The Divinity of Jesus in the Letter to the Hebrews (233-254
God’s Self-identification with the Godforsaken in the Gospel of Mark (254-268).

Some of these chapters have been published before, but are now revised, others are not yet published; some of these will also appear in other volumes.
Finally, it turns out that this is not Bauckham’s final work and words on these issues. He admits that he is still working, and will be for some time to come, on a larger study, provisonally entitled Jesus and the Identity of God: Early Jewish Monotheism and New Testament Christology. Hence those who like the thesis set forth in this collection of minor studies still have something to look forward to from the desk of R. Bauckham.

Sophia and her world

The doyen of Finnish scholarship on Philo, Karl-Gustav Sandelin, just had a collection of his articles published. I received the volume yesterday:

Karl-Gustav Sandelin,
Sophia och hennar värld.
Exegetiska uppsattser från fyra årtionden
(Studier i exegetik och judaistik utgivna av Teologiska fakulteten vid Åbo Akademi Nr. 6; Åbo 2008). 305pp.

This is a collection of articles published in the last four decades, and all of them are here given in Sweedish. The following articles are most relevant for Philo studies:

s.77-81: Måltidens symboliska betydelse i den alexandrinska judendomen. Ett bidrag till frågan om den kristna eikaristiens bakgrund.

s.82-100: Vishetens måltid

s. 141-159: Dragning till frammande kult bland judar under hellenistisk tid og tidig kejsartid

s.160-170: Filon från Alexandria och den grekisk-romerska kulturen

s. 199-212: Kejsaren och hans bild i Uppenbarelsesboken och hos Filon.

In the Forword, Sandelin is reflecting on his scholarly career, and characterizes it as focused on three fields of interests:

1.  His work with interpreting a particular chapter in the New Testament, namely 1 Kor 15, as demonstrated by his PhD from 1976 on Die Auseinandersetzung mit der Weisheit in 1 Korinter 15;

2. investigations of the Jewish Wisdom as a provider of Nourishment, an interest that resulted in his study Wisdom as Nourisher (1987), and several articles published in the volume mentioned above, and

3. studies of how the Hellenistic religion attracted Jews and Christians at the beginning of the first century CE. Several of these studies are published as articles, and it is good to read that he is planning to publish these in another volume. I am looking forward to that, and congratulate prof Sandelin with this present volume on Sophia och hennar värld.

Here is a complete list of the various articles of this volume, and where they have been previously published:


* Den religionshistoriska skolans syn på 1 Kor 15. Teologisk Tidskrift
2/1978, 73-81
* Vishetstradition såsom bakgrund till 1 Kor 15. Teologisk Tidskrift
3/1978, 148-155
* De dödas uppståndelse: lectio praecursoria den 4.12. 1976. Finsk
Tidskrift 3, 1977, 118-126
* Måltidens symboliska betydelse i den alexandrinska judendomen. Ett
bidrag till frågan om den kristna eukaristins bakgrund. Kommunion och
kommunikation. Teologiska studier tillägnade Helge Nyman på hans
70-årsdag den 15 juli 1980, Åke Sandholm på hans 60-årsdag den 14 juli
1980. Utg. Fride Hedman et al. Åbo, 1980, 128-134
*Vishetens måltid. Judendom och kristendom under de första århundradena.
Nordiskt patristikerprojekt. Red av Sten Hidal et al. Stavanger etc.
1986, 268-283
* Gemenskap med Kristi kropp: realpresens hos Paulus? Teologisk
Tidskrift 95, 1990, 378-386
* Realpresens och bibelutläggning. Religio et bibliotheca. Festskrift
till Tore Ahlbäck 14.3.2001. Red. av Nils G. Holm … et al. Åbo: Åbo
Akademi, 2001. 171-190


* Dragning till främmande kult bland judar under hellenistisk tid och
tidig kejsartid. Nordisk Judaistik 10, 1989, 27-38
* Filon från Alexandria och den grekisk-romerska kulturen. Finsk
tidskrift 6, 1999, 367-380
* Urkristendomen: En strömvirvel i religionernas flod. Finsk tidskrift
5, 1997, 245-252
* Minnesrik resa till Grekland. Helikon 4, 1998, 10-12.
* Hur det kristna gudstjänstlivet i Korint fick sin början. Teologi och
gudstjänstliv. Festskrift utgiven med anledning av Teologiska
fakultetens vid Åbo Akademi 75-årsjubileum. Red. Ingvar
Dahlbacka, Birgitta Sarelin. Åbo: Åbo Akademis förlag, 1999, 41-60
* Kejsaren och hans bild i Uppenbarelseboken och hos Filon. Ej tidigare


* Tradition och uppenbarelse i några vishetstexter. Festskrift för
Helmer Ringgren. Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok 41-42, 1976-77, 206-213
* Textkritik: Att kritisera en text? Sphinx 1998-99, 81-86
* Runeberg – klassiker och teolog. Hufvudstadsbladet 5.2.1989
* Adam, Eva och djävulen. Reflektioner. En vänskrift till Ulrika
Wolf-Knuts. Red. Gabi Limbach och Lena Marander-Eklund,
(Religionsvetenskapliga skrifter 70). Åbo: Åbo Akademi, 2007, 82-87
* Kan man förstå Jesus? Att förstå inom humaniora, utg. R. Gothoni,
Finska Vetenskaps-Societeten, 2002, 285-307
* Metafor och liknelse i Bibeln. Avskedsföreläsning i Teologiska
fakulteten vid Åbo Akademi den 9.5. 2006. Ej tidigare publicerad

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

From time to time I refer to book reviews published on The Society for Biblical Studies Biblical Review site.
Now these reviews are announced on a new blog , called Give it a try and subscribe to it, and you will be notified when any new reviews are published.

At the same time, SBL announces that in late December 2008, they passed a significant milestone: publication of the 5,000th review (4,000+ total books reviewed). That should amount to ca 200000 pages.

The last review published here is

Anthony C. Thiselton, Hermeneutics of Doctrine
Reviewed by Dirk J. Smit.

GNT27 and BHS for Iphone

Great news for all users of Iphone; Greek New Testament (N27), and Biblica Hebraica Stuttgartensia are finally now available for Iphone, in an acccented and vocalized version.

I have commented on this in earlier postings (see here and here); now both GNT27 and BHS are available form

I have not tested the BHS version, but have downloaded and installed the Greek New Testament, and it works fine. You can find more info about the BHS here.

The procedure for using GNT27 on Iphone is this.
1. Install the free BibleReader from iTunes.
2. Make an account on Olivetree
3. Within the iPhone BibleReader view your Olive Tree account and install titles. You get further info about this procedure here.

The GNT27 version includes a Three step Verse Chooser to easily navigate to any verse, and a Word search to quickly find any word in the document.

If you have comments on these or other versions for Iphone, please use the comments field below.