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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 14 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

NA 28 now available on the Net

The Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece is now available on the net. No footnotes etc, but the main text is clear and readable. Go here.
The German Bible Society, furthermore, announces that the Nestle-Aland digital will be available as download for Microsoft Windows, OS X, iOS and Android in 2013.

The 28th edition of the Nestle-Aland had to accomplish two different tasks. First, the apparatus had to be revised thoroughly to give it more clarity and make it easier to use. Secondly, the text-critical in-sights and decisions resulting from work on the Editio Critica Maior of the Greek New Testament had to be incorporated. As a consequence of these alterations, which so far concern only the Catholic Letters, the Nestle-Aland has for the first time in its history a different presentation for different parts of the text. The Catholic Letters were revised according to a fundamentally new concept which in the long run will be adopted for the entire edition. The revision of the remaining texts was confined to a thorough inspection and rearrangement of the apparatus, while the basic structure was left untouched (adopted from the publisher’s announcement).

New books on Philo

bildeAs many of us know, the SBL Annual Meeting is an excellent place and occasion to get your hands on new books. Here are the new books on Philo that I carried with me in my suitcase back home, presented from the one on the top of the pile on the picture:

Hans Svebakken,
Philo of Alexandria’s Exposition of the Tenth Commandment.
Studia Philonica Monographs 6
Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, 2012.

Mireille Hadas-Lebel,
Philo of Alexandria. A Thinker in the Jewish Diaspora
Studies in Philo of Alexandria 7
Brill; Leiden, 2012 (orig published in French in 2003)

Karl-Gustav Sandelin,
Attraction and Danger of Alien Religion. Studies in Early Judaism and Christianity
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 290
Mohr-Siebeck; Tubingen, 2012

Albert C. Geljon and David T. Runia,
Philo of alexandria On Cultivation. Inroduction, Translation and Commentary
Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series 4
Brill; Leiden, 2013

Svebakken’s book is the revised and updated version of his dissertation, carried out under the mentorship of Thomas Tobin. It deals with Philo’s exposition of the tenth Commandment, beginning with an overview of its content, context and place in previous research. Chapter Two deals with Philo on desire (pp 33-80); Chapt Three is about Philo on Self-control and practice (pp. 81-108), and then the Fourth chapter is a translation and commentary on Philo’s exposition of the tenth commandment (pp. 109-183), followed by a brief summary and lines of further research.
As mentioned above, the book on Philo by Hadas-Lebel was published in French in 2003; those of us not mastering French as well as we ought to, should be happy for this translation. The book will surely have to be listed among the several readable Introductions to Philo that is available now, and more is to come.
K.-G. Sandelin has published several articles on Philo, on Philo and the New Testament, and on topics from the New testament. His first collection of these articles, a collection of his articles written in Sweedish, was published in 2008 (Sophia och hennes värld. Exegetiska uppsatser från fyra årtionden. Studier i exegetik och judaistik utgivna av Teologiska fakulteten vid Åbo Akademi Nr. Teologiska Fakulteten, Åbo Akademi; Åbo, 2008). The present volume is a collection of ten his articles, originally published in English. Five of these deals directly with Philo, but Philo is drawn upon also in some of the others.It is good to have these articles of the Finnish scholar gathered in these two volumes.
This year saw the publication of another volume from the Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series. Hopefully there will be another out next year(?). The one published this year deals with Philo’s work De Agricultura/On Cultivation, a text dealing with Genesis 9:20a!

I must admit, I have been so busy after I returned home from Chicago that there has not been much time for reading; I intend, however, to return to some of these books in later postings.

And then I bought some books related to the New Testament too, but the disclosure of these titles will have to wait for my next blogpost…. Stay tuned……..

Reading Philo in Greek

James F. McGrath has an interesting and relevant posting on his blog Exploring our Matrix on Nov 27: “I just recently started meeting with some colleagues and a student in a Greek reading group. I suggested to a colleague in Classics that it might be interesting to read Philo of Alexandria together, and she got very excited about the idea, and some other colleagues in Religion also expressed an interest.
And so lately, I have felt disconcertingly like I am back in Greek class, wondering why the verses that I end up with when it is my turn to read and translate are so difficult, while those others end up with seem comparatively easy. Of course, if I had been preparing …… Read more here.
May be some more should try to get together reading Philo in Greek?

Philo dinner

20121118-224034.jpg

Every year during the SBL Annual Meeting, some Philo scholars use to get together and go out for dinner. This time we went to the Italian Village Restaurant on West Monroe Street, ca 15 of us.

It was not easy to get a picture, and I only had my Iphone available, but it should be possible to see the following persons here:
From left; me (T.Seland), then alas, F. Calabi is hidden behind the head of F.E. Brenk, furthermore, on the other side of the table; P.N Hernandez, J. Otto, D.Konstan, S. Gambetti; on the other side of the table from right, you might see R. Bloch, E.Birnbaum, A.Geljon, and C. Carlier. Then in addition, the following persons were present; R. Cox, J. Reddoch, and AM Seland.

New Commentary on Philo

Brill is publishing a new commentary on Philo’s De Agricultura (I’m not sure if there ever has been a commentary on this text before, at least not in English):

Albert C. Geljon and David T. Runia,
Philo of Alexandria, De Agricultura
Introduction, Translation and Commentary
Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series Vol 4.
Leiden, Brill 2012 (Nov).Approx. 305 pp.

Hopefully, it will be out and available at the SBL Annual Meeting at the end of this week.
Bring some extra money (!), it’s not cheap: €112.00 //$156.00.
The publisher presents the volume thus:”The present volume contains the first translation and commentary in English on his treatise De agricultura (On cultivation), which gives an elaborate allegorical interpretation of Genesis 9:20. Noah’s role as a cultivator is analysed in terms of the ethical and spiritual quest of the soul making progress towards its goal. The translation renders Philo’s baroque Greek into readable modern English. The commentary pays particular attention to the treatise’s structure, its biblical basis and its exegetical and philosophical contents. The volume will be valuable for the insights it gives into an unusual but highly influential method of biblical interpretation.”

Philo at SBL I (corrected)

Due to the fact that Sarah Pearce is not able to attend the SBL Annual Meeting this year, there will be a slight change in the Philo session on Sunday morning:
S18-137 Philo of Alexandria
11/18/2012 9:00 AM to 11:45 AM
Room: S103d – McCormick Place
Theme: Philo’s Graeco-Roman Readers

The aim of this panel is to open up new evidence or revisit old questions about who read and made use of Philo’s writings in the past.
Torrey Seland, School of Mission and Theology, Norway, Presiding
James R. Royse, Claremont, CA
Did Philo Publish His Works? (25 min)
Gregory Sterling, University of Notre Dame
“A Man of the highest Repute”: Did Josephus know the Works of Philo of Alexandria? (25 min)
Frederick E. Brenk, Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome
Philo and Plutarch on the Nature of God (25 min)
Break (15 min)
Jennifer Otto, McGill University
Philo, Judaeus? A re-evaluation of why Clement calls Philo “the Pythagorean” (25 min)
Gretchen Reydams-Schils, University of Notre Dame
Calcidius, Philo, and Origen (25 min)
Discussion (25 min)